Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Antietam: Remembering Lieutenant George Crosby

Close-up of George Crosby's memorial marker. Only 19 years old, he was mortally wounded
 at the Battle of Antietam. He died at the home of his parents in Middle Haddam, Conn.
Crosby's gravestone at Union Hill Cemetery in East Hampton, Conn.
After a trip to Middletown, Conn., this morning (loved the Working Man's Special at O'Rourke's Diner!), I crossed the Connecticut River to pay my respects to George Crosby, a 19-year-old lieutenant in the 14th Connecticut, who was mortally wounded at the Battle of Antietam.

George Crosby's memorial and gravestone 
at Union Hill Cemetery  in East Hampton, Conn.

Judging from the two stones placed atop his gravestone at Union Hill Cemetery in East Hampton, there were recent visitors. And it was gratifying that someone had printed out images of Crosby from my blog, placed them in a protective cover and mounted them on a piece of wood that was stuck in the ground just to the right of his plain, gray marker. Crosby's brownstone memorial marker, just a few steps behind his gravestone, badly needs some TLC. Green lichen have obscured some of the wording on the front of the marker and a large crack down the left side must be repaired.

Crosby's marker isn't as damaged as 16th Connecticut captain Newton Manross', but a few more Connecticut winters could take a terrible toll. Like so many other young men who suffered at Antietam, this kid deserves to be remembered. Perhaps we can marshal a few folks to clean up his memorial in time for the 150th anniversary of his death on Oct. 22. Struck by a bullet that sliced through his side and punctured his lungs, Crosby died 37 days after Antietam at the home of his parents in Middle Haddam.

"From the beginning of the battle till he received his death wound, he fought nobly, encouraging his men and leading them on," the Middletown Constitution reported on Oct. 29, 1862. "And for a half hour after he was wounded, while he lay helpless on the ground, without regarding his own condition, he kept constantly exhorting his comrades to do their duty."

Crosby's image appears in the 1865 Wesleyan University album. 

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