Monday, February 11, 2008

Meet Israel Peck

UPDATE! The cemetery is said to be haunted!

Overlooking the junction of five roads in the small Connecticut town of Unionville is a cemetery that dates to the 1850s. The small plot of land includes the final resting place of at least a dozen Civil War veterans, including Israel Peck. A private in the 25th Connecticut Volunteers, Peck served nine months in the Union Army, mustering out on Aug. 26, 1863, in Hartford.

The 25th fought in the Deep South and earned a good reputation. According to its regimental history:

The Twenty-fifth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers (Colonel
George P. Bissell), was recruited in Hartford and Tolland
Counties in the fall of 1862. The regiment was composed of the
very best material, being almost exclusively young men impelled
by a patriotic motive, and from the first took a high stand for
efficiency and good discipline.

Later in its history, when it had been tried in marches
and battles, it was thus described by Adjutant-General Morse in
his report to the Legislature for 1864:

"This is one of the best of our nine months regiments, and
bore a conspicuous part in the advance upon and campaign
preceding the fall of Port Hudson. By the bravery always
displayed on the field of battle and the patient endurance
manifested on many long and arduous marches, it has won for
itself a high and lasting reputation."

Peck, in his 40s, was probably one of the older privates in his regiment. One wonders who he left behind as he served his country deep in Louisiana and Mississippi. On this cold, winter day, the view from Unionville cemetery was impressive. There could be worse places to spend eternity.

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