Thursday, April 05, 2012

Antietam dead: 18-year-old Private Daniel Tarbox

Mortally wounded at Burnside Bridge at Antietam, Daniel Tarbox died a day after the battle,
 on Sept. 18, 1862. Only 18 years old,  Tarbox is buried in South Cemetery in Brooklyn, Conn.
Scores of Connecticut dead from Antietam are buried throughout the state, in large cemeteries such as Spring Grove Cemetery in Hartford in the west to tiny, rural cemeteries such as Bedlam Road Cemetery in Chaplin in the east.

Close-up of G.A.R. marker embedded next to Tarbox's gravestone.
On Sunday afternoon in historic Brooklyn, Conn., about 45 miles east of Hartford, I found the final resting place of Daniel Tarbox Jr. of the 11th Connecticut among many other well-marked gravestones of Civil War veterans in South Cemetery.

A private in Company F,  the son of  a prosperous farmer was mortally wounded at Burnside Bridge and died the day after Antietam, on Sept. 18, 1862. Like fellow Antietam casualties Lieutenant Marvin Wait of the 8th Connecticut and Private John Bingham of the 16th Connecticut, Tarbox, 18, was just a teenager.

According to a post-war history of Connecticut Civil War service, Tarbox was cut down along with Sergeant John R. Read of Hartford, Sergeant Hiram C. Roberts of Winchester, Corporal Theodore S. Bates of Norfolk, Private Oliver R Ormsby of Franklin, Sergeant George E. Bailey of Saybrook, "and a score of others, in the fatal charge on the bridge." (1)

Of  105 soldiers from Brooklyn who served during the Civil War, 22 died, undoubtedly a huge toll on a small farming community that had a population of barely over 2,000 in 1860. (2)

An American flag and a heavy, old Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) marker, perhaps embedded near Tarbox's gravestone for a century or more, mark the teenager's gravestone in the cemetery about a quarter-mile from the center of town. I added a penny atop his marker in his memory. The circumstances of the young man's death are noted on a nearby family memorial, which also includes these barely legible words:

Mother I may not hear thy voice again.

Father and brothers, all a long farewell!

(1) The Military and Civil History of Connecticut During the War of 1861-65, William A. Croffut and John Moses Morris, Ledyard Bill, 1869, Page 281

(2) 1860 U.S. census

According to the 1860 U.S. census, Daniel Tarbox was one of five children living with
Daniel Tarbox Sr. and his wife, Lucelia in Brooklyn, Conn. Tarbox Sr. was a farmer.

The small, well-marked gravestone of Private Daniel Tarbox of the 11th Connecticut.
A penny in memory of  Daniel Tarbox Jr. atop his gravestone..

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