Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Antietam: From death springs art

Part of the ornate, weather-worn iron fence around the grave of Wadsworth Washburn
in Denison Cemetery in Berlin, Conn. Washburn was killed at Antietam.

On a cold, late October day, I traveled 25 minutes from my house to visit the grave of Wadsworth A. Washburn, an orderly sergeant in Company G of  the 16th Connecticut who was killed at Antietam. Denison Cemetery isn't off the beaten path, but it's tricky to find nonetheless, tucked away in a residential area in Berlin, Conn. In October 1862, Wadsworth's father traveled to Sharpsburg, Md., to retrieve his son's body, a sad duty for many Connecticut families in the days and weeks after the terrible battle. The ornate iron fence surrounding the soldier's grave in the little cemetery caught my eye, so I shot the close-up above. Although worn by the elements. it remains nice piece of craftsmanship. Wadsworth's 17-year-old sister, Emma, is apparently buried in the same plot. Wadsworth, 26, served barely a month in the Union army before he was killed in farmer John Otto's field outside Sharpsburg.
The well-worn stone on the fence surrounding Washburn's gravesite (below).

  • MORE ON ANTIETAM: Read my extensive thread on the battle.


    1. I noticed your blog and interests in Civil War burial sites. I wanted to suggest a similar burial site in Fairview Cemetery, New Britain CT. Another 16th CVI Solider killed 17 Sept 1862 during Antietam, Orderly Sgt W.P Orville Campbell. His Obelisk reads,"Was Killed while Bravely Defending the National Flag in the battle of Antietam Sept 17 1862 at the age of 19." I'd just finishing writing a book about these types of grave sites, "Forgotten Valor, Military Grave sites in New England". My book will on the shelves sometime in March 2012. I had posted several pictures from my research on 14th CVI Company F Facebook page.

    2. Thank you for this post. I am newly settled in Berlin and the Denison cemetery is not far. I visited it the other day and saw this plot. Thank you for the story, I know who to "speak" respectfully to next time I visit.