Contributed by Jonathan Olly
Lindorf D. Bixby was born in Boston on January 31, 1841 to Benoni Bixby and Jane A. Stackpole. At the age of twenty-one he enlisted in Somerville on February 5, 1862 as a private in Company K of the 31st Regiment, Massachusetts Infantry. According to an 1890 federal census of Union veterans, he was discharged on February 22, 1864 with the rank of sergeant, but reenlisted that same day into Company K of the 6th Massachusetts Cavalry. According to the National Park Service history of the unit (nps.gov/civilwar/search-battle-units-detail.htm?battleUnitCode=UMA0031RI), the 31st Regiment was converted to the 6th Massachusetts Cavalry Regiment in December 1863. As this carte de visite was made in Baton Rouge, it dates to 1863, as this was when Bixby’s regiment was listed as being in the capital (March, July, and September through December of 1863).
Bixby was discharged for the final time on September 9, 1865 with the rank of sergeant, along with a permanent injury to his eyesight. He returned home to Somerville, and married Martha C. Harvey on May 15, 1866. Over the next decade they would have at least four children. In 1865 a state census listed his occupation as a “wharf builder” with his father. When his marriage was recorded in the city register his occupation was “pile driver.” In the birth register of his daughter Sarah in 1877 he is listed as a “hose driver” — presumably in the Somerville Fire Department. The 1880 federal census records him as a “steam driver” living with his wife and two children, George (age 11), and Sadie (age 3) in Somerville. The 1900 census records him as an “engineer (fire)” for the city of Somerville. He died on April 14, 1913 at his home at 356 Highland Avenue in Somerville. His death certificate lists him as a retired “Engineman Fire Dept.”