Hingham played an important role in American military history even before the United States was established, and continued the tradition with every war since.
Anthony Eames is widely recognized in the town for his part in a large local controversy. After being nominated for the position of captain in the Hingham Militia in 1644, the town tried to revoke the nomination. This led to a prolonged battle between Eames, Rev. Peter Hobart, and the colonial government. This battle for the position of captain split the town and resulted in a great deal of ill will.
Perhaps the most famous of all Hingham military figures is Major-General Benjamin Lincoln. An instrumental figure in the Revolutionary War, Lincoln fought in several key battles, including those of the White Plains and Stillwater, N.Y. He was given many important commands during the war, and afterwards served in several national government positions.
Herbert L. Foss is also widely known for his military exploits. He was given several awards, including the Medal of Honor, for his participation in the Battle of Cienfuegos during the Spanish-American War. Still, he was a modest figure who spent the rest of his life dedicated to the Hingham Armory and Cemetery.
There are also two lesser known individuals who fought bravely during the Civil War: David H. Champlin and Andrew J. Clark. Champlin was a member of the famous 54th Massachusetts Regiment - the first black regiment in the union army. He fought in several key campaigns, such as the Battle of Olustee, but still had to struggle in order to receive the same pay and benefits as white soldiers. Clark was a member of the Fourth Massachusetts Regiment and also participated in several important battles, including that of Roanoke Island. His experiences, both positive and negative, were captured in his letters to the Hingham Journal.
All of these men fought bravely for their country and their beliefs. They are but five of many Hingham residents who did so, and are representative of the town's long history of serving the country.