Sunday, March 18, 2012

Brothers: Connecticut's Civil War sacrifice (Cont.)

Brothers John and William Wallace Porter are buried in Green Cemetery in Glastonbury, Conn.
William was mortally wounded at Antietam; John died near Petersburg.

Close-up of the grave of William Porter, a "Christian soldier
 and patriot." He was only 27 years old when he died at a
 Sharpsburg, Md., field hospital. 
The number of Civil War deaths is mind-blogging. At least 620,000 men died, and one scholar believes that figure is way too low. 

Also astounding are the double tragedies many Connecticut families suffered during the war. I have found 13 sets of brothers from the state who died during the war, including one more today during a visit to  ancient Green Cemetery in Glastonbury, about 15 miles southeast of  Hartford. In late November, I wrote about eight sets of brothers who perished during the war, plotting out their hometowns on a map that accompanied the post.

The Historical Society of Glastonbury offers walking tours
 of Green Cemetery.
Glastonbury's William Wallace Porter, a 27-year-old private in Company H of the 16th Connecticut, suffered a severe wound in his left leg at Antietam on Sept. 17, 1862. Twenty-three days, Porter, whose leg was amputated, died in a Sharpsburg-area field hospital.
William's brother, John, a 28-year-old private in Company D of the 1st Connecticut Heavy Artlillery, was killed in battle near Petersburg on Nov. 25, 1864.

According to a diary of a man named Joseph Wright, the Porter brothers' father took his wagon south, retrieved the bodies of both his sons and returned them for burial at Green Cemetery. I'm eager to tap into Wright's diary, part of the Historical Society of Glastonbury collection, for further research on the brothers.

Two weeks ago, Connecticut Civil War researcher Mary Falvey shared with me the stories of two more brothers who died during the war: Hartford's Charles and Lewis Weld. A colonel in the U.S. Colored Troops 41st Infantry, Lewis died of disease on Jan. 9, 1865. Charles, a captain in the U.S. Army 17th Infantry, was mortally wounded at Chancellorsville on May 1, 1863. Both brothers are buried in Old North Cemetery in Hartford.

If you know of other sets of brothers from Connecticut who died during the Civil War, drop me a line. I have a major project I am interested in pursuing on the topic.

Some gravestones at Green Cemetery in Glastonbury, Conn., date to the late 17th century.
Here's a close-up of the interesting top of an old marker.

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