Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Faces of the Civil War: Eliphalet Bingham

Eliphalet Bingham, one of six brothers from an East Haddam, Conn., family 
who served in the Union army during the Civil War, died in Virginia in 1864.
 (Photo courtesy Tad Sattler)
Wells and John Bingham of East Haddam, Conn. John
 was killed  at Antietam. Wells survived the Civil War. 
(Photos courtesy Military and Historical Image Bank)

In late November, I told the story of brothers John and Wells Bingham, teenagers from East Haddam, Conn., who served as privates in the 16th Connecticut. John was killed in farmer John Otto's 40-acre cornfield at Antietam; Wells survived the war but committed suicide in 1904, apparently distraught over business dealings. The brothers are among six sons of farmer Elisha Bingham who served in the Union army during the war.

Tragically, another Bingham son also died during the Civil War: 21-year-old Eliphalet, a private in the 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery. Thanks to Connecticut reenactor Tad Sattler, I now have a have a photo of Eliphalet, who died in Virginia on May 1, 1864, not quite four months after he enlisted. The cause of his death merits more research.

John and Eliphalet are buried side-by-side in East Haddam's Little Church Cemetery, a short distance from the beautiful First Church of Christ. Perhaps that's where both of the Bingham brothers' funeral services were held nearly 150 years ago. (I shot the video below of my November visit to Little Church Cemetery.)

I have found 15 sets of brothers from Connecticut who died during the war, including most recently the Porter brothers of Glastonbury. If you know of other sets of brothers from the state who perished during the Civil War, drop me a line.

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