During the summer and early autumn interest in the conflict steadily increased, and the war-fever reached its height in October. At that time, Oct. 10, 1861, an agricultural fair was held in Ware. There were present at the fair Capt. W. S. B. Hopkins, Nelson F. Bond, W. I. Allen and Luther Howell, the last three students from Amherst College. A conference of these men resulted in the announcement of a war meeting for that evening, directly after the distribution of prizes. The meeting was held, stirring speeches were made, and an enlistment roll was placed upon a table in the hall. Enlistments began at once amid great enthusiasm. The next day the roll was placed in Captain Hopkins’s office for further names, and in two or three days the company was filled up. The town then engaged Major Raymond of Boston to drill the company, which he did until November 9, when the men were sent to Camp Seward at Pittsfield.
“Here we lay shovelling snow, and drilling very little. We were in barracks so thick that we could hardly stir, obliged to lie abed days to keep warm; and to make things more pleasant we went on guard about once every four days. It was so cold that we had to run to keep from freezing. After a while we packed up our traps and started for Camp Chase, Lowell, remaining there a week, after which we started for the Land of Sugar.” — Diary of Luther Fairbank
Company D, 31st Regiment Mass. Volunteers sailed from Boston on the S. S. Mississippi on the twenty-second of February, 1862, for Ship Island at the mouth of the Mississippi river which General Butler made a rendezvous for an attack upon New Orleans.
About sixty Ware men were enlisted in Company D, and they were allowed to elect their own officers, those elected being afterwards commissioned by General Butler. The Ware Company, as it was called, was the first to land at New Orleans.
Officers of Co. D, 31 Mass. Vol.: Captain W. S. B. Hopkins, First Lieutenant William [sic] Irving Allen, Second Lieutenant Luther Howell, First Sergeant Nelson F. Bond.
— from the History of Ware, Massachusetts, by Arthur Chase, 1911