Monday, March 17, 2014

10th Connecticut Private Levi Lyman 'died a soldier's death'

John Otis, captain of Co. B of the 10th Connecticut, wrote of the death of 
Private Levi Lyman in this letter to the soldier's father. Levi was mortally wounded 
at the Battle of New Bern. (Photo: fold3.com via National Archives.) 
CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE.
On March 15, 1862, a day after grapeshot tore through the chest of  29-year-old Levi F. Lyman at the Battle of New Bern (N.C.), the 10th Connecticut private died from his wounds. The duty of  informing Levi's family of the death of the married father of a 1-year-old son fell to the captain of Lyman's Company B, John L. Otis. The officer's short note, dated March 19, 1862, began like so many others letters to families of dead soldiers during the Civil War, including this one, this one and this one. "It becomes my painful duty to inform you ...," Otis wrote Levi's 52-year-old father in Manchester, Conn.

The final resting place of Lyman is unknown.

XXX

Newberne, N.C., March 19, 1862
Levi L. Lyman Esq.

Dear sir 

It becomes my painful duty to inform you of the death of your son Levi F. Lyman. He died on Saturday the 15th inst. of wounds received in battle the previous day, and though you and your family cannot but sorrow for the loss, you must feel proud of one who died a soldier's death, in the cause of Republican institutions. I have been witness to his courage and good conduct in the field, being beside him when he was struck. He dropped his gun, saying, "O, captain, I am shot." When his brother Willie went up to him, he said "Don't mind me Willie. Go back and help drive out the rebels." When we went in pursuit of the enemy I left Willie who stayed by him to the last. He rejoined his company last night.

Yours truly
J.L. Otis, Capt. 
Co. B. 10 C.V.

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