Sunday, March 03, 2013

Antietam: Lieutenant George Crosby's 'return' home

George Crosby's funeral service was held at Christ Episcopal Church on Oct. 24, 1862.
The stained-glass windows at Christ Episcopal Church in
Middle Haddam, Conn.., have nautical  themes.
In an account in the Middletown, Conn., newspaper, George Crosby's funeral service at the Episcopal church in Middle Haddam, Conn., on Oct. 24, 1862, was described as "one of the largest funerals ever attended in that place." A lieutenant in the 14th Connecticut, Crosby was wounded at Antietam and died at the home of his parents, a few hundred yards up the road from Christ Episcopal Church.

And so it was an eerie experience Saturday when I gave a Civil War talk in the very church where Crosby was eulogized. As I did at Antietam a little more than two weeks ago, I photographed Crosby's placard, this time outside the church where friends, family and the president of Wesleyan University gathered for the former Wesleyan student's funeral more than 150 years ago. (After my talk, I gave his placard to the current owners of the house where Crosby died.)

The interior of the little church, restored years ago, still maintains its old character. Middle Haddam was home to many ship captains, who plied their trade on the nearby Connecticut River. The ceiling of the Episcopal church that many of them attended is shaped like the bottom of the hull of a ship and the stained-glass windows have nautical themes.

Interior of church where George Crosby's funeral service was held in 1862.
After he was wounded at Antietam, George Crosby was operated on in this spring house
on William Roulette's farm. Crosby died 37 days later.

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