|Congressional Medal of Honor winner Patrick Scanlan is|
buried in St. Mary's Cemetery in Avon, Conn.
|Civil War graves are often marked by|
plastic G.A.R markers such as this
one on Patrick Scanlan's grave.
G.A.R. stands for Grand Army of the Republic.
Born in Ireland, Patrick Scanlan was a bootmaker from Spencer, Mass., a small town about 45 miles from Springfield. Irishmen served both sides of the Civil War, of course. In their terrible assault on Dec. 13, 1862, at Marye's Heights at Fredericksburg, Va., Union boys of the famed Irish Brigade were cut down by Irishmen from Georgia.
After enlisting in the 4th Massachusetts Cavalry in December 1863, Scanlan sailed from Boston to Hilton Head, S.C., aboard the steamer "Western Metropolis" on March 20, 1864. The 25-year-old private arrived in Hilton Head on April 1, but the 4th Massachusetts was assigned mostly picket and outpost duty.
In late May, Scanlan and his comrades finally "saw the elephant."
|This sign at St. Mary's Cemetery in |
Avon, Conn., marks the row for
Patrick Scanlan's grave.
Scanlan, whose name is misspelled "Scanlon" on his gravestone, died in Farmington, Conn., on Sept. 5, 1903. He was 64. His final resting place is among other Irish graves at St. Mary's Cemetery, a rolling plot of land in Avon, Conn., that slopes toward the Farmington River.