Monday, December 24, 2012

The Soldier's Funeral: A Civil War poem

Glued to the back cover of a  tattered, old photo album of Connecticut soldiers who died during the Civil War, I found this poem, crinkled and yellowed with age, called "The Soldier's Funeral" by Amelia Cooke. I thought it would be nice to post it tonight with two photos of Connecticut soldiers found in the album and two others, a small tribute to the men who made the ultimate sacrifice so long ago.

 Charles Meigs, a private in the 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery,
was mustered out on May 21, 1864, but died of consumption less
than a month after the Civil War ended. He's buried in Hartford's

Spring Grove Cemetery. (Photo: Connecticut State Library archives)

With muffled drums and measured tread And arms reversed, they bore the dead From battle’s din and a world of pain When the thread of his life had been snapped in twain

Miles Shepard, a private in the 16th Connecticut, died of pneumonia
at Weverton Hospital, near Harpers Ferry, W.Va., on Nov. 13, 1862.
The final resting place of the soldier from Simsbury, Conn.,

 is unknown. (Photo: Connecticut State Library archives)

His cap, sash, belt, and trusty sword,
(The best beloved of his simple hoard of relics)
Now his coffin crowned: --
They could only be part of the charnel ground.
Though his funeral notes are passing sweet,
him they will no rapture meet;
The martial strains may fill the air,
But not disturb the slumberer there.

LEFT: Nathan Hale, a private in the 16th Connecticut, died in Baltimore on
Oct. 12, 1862. He was from Wethersfield. RIGHT: William T. Loomis, a private 

in the 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery from Torrington, died in a railroad 
accident on Jan. 28, 1863. (Photos: Connecticut State Library archives)

Play on, play on – he sleeps too well
To hear the music’s melodious swell
Or the trampling of feet upon the ground;
He’ll not wake till the last trumpet’s sound.

When the prayer was said, and requiem played;
In the bosom of earth the warrior laid,
About the spot the soldier pressed,
Where the bones of their comrade were put to rest,

And eyes grew dim, and tongues were mute,
As they fired their thrice farewell salute,
That meed was his due and
they paid the "brave,"
And then left him alone in his soldier grave

Amasa Norton, a private in the 11th Connecticut from Stafford, died
on Jan. 3, 1863 at Fredericksburg, Va., probably of disease.
He is buried in Stafford Street Cemetery in Stafford, Conn.

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