|Captain John Drake of the 16th Connecticut was killed at the Battle of Antietam|
on Sept. 17, 1862. (Photo Connecticut State Library archives)
|Drake's grave in Hartford's Spring Grove Cemetery. |
Antietam is barely legible on the marker.
(Photo courtesy Mary Falvey)
"Captain Drake was the most gentlemanly man in the regiment," Surgeon Nathan Mayer noted. "He was the very soul of courtesy and unaffected dignity of deportment. He always had a quiet care for his men, when they were sick, and was a marked favorite with them, as well as with comrades in the line." (2)
Regiment adjutant John Burnham, Antietam's unsung hero, supervised the burial of 16th Connecticut soldiers, ensuring that the graves of soldiers such as Drake could be found later. Along with the bodies of Brown and 16th Connecticut privates William Nichols and Seth Franklin Prior, Drake's remains were returned to Hartford by undertaker William Roberts on Oct. 10, 1862. Advertising his ghastly services in the Hartford Courant, Roberts made a good living retrieving bodies of soldiers throughout the South during the Civil War. Drake had a military funeral in Hartford, where he was buried in Spring Grove Cemetery.
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(1) George Q. Whitney Collection, Connecticut State Library, Biographical Sketches of 16th Connecticut soldiers
(2) History of the Sixteenth Connecticut Volunteers, B.F. Blakeslee, Hartford, The Case, Lockwood & Brainard Co., 1875