Sunday, March 09, 2014

Crumbling history: Monument to captain killed at Antietam

Captain Newton Manross was killed by artillery fire in Otto's cornfield at Antietam.
This monument to Manross was placed in Forestville Cemetery in Bristol, Conn., by survivors 
of Company K of the 16th Connecticut.
Manross was only 37 years old when he was killed.
(Photo: Amherst College Archives & Special Collections)
I periodically have provided updates on the poor condition of a monument to 16th Connecticut Captain Newton Manross, who was killed at the Battle of Antietam. The 37-year-old soldier's body was returned in September 1862 to his hometown of Bristol, Conn., where he was buried in Forestville Cemetery, not far from the house where he was grew up. After the Civil War, survivors of Manross' Company K dedicated a monument in the cemetery in memory of their captain, a professor at Amherst (Mass.) College when the war broke out. Harsh winters have taken their toll on the obelisk, which is made of brownstone, a soft stone often prone to erosion. Water gets in cracks, freezes and expands ... and well, the damage is done. A huge section of the back of the monument has been cracked for at least two years, but the damage I saw this morning looks worse than ever. It won't take much for that large section to fall off -- damage that I suspect could be irreparable. Lichen also must be removed from the monument. Perhaps an intelligent blog reader has an idea or two for how we can repair this important piece of Civil War history. E-mail me at I'll talk about Manross and his monument at my "Connecticut Yankees at Antietam" talk at the Bristol Historical Society on Thursday, March 20 at 7 p.m. Admission is free for members, $5 for non-members.

Above and below: A massive crack on the back of the Manross monument.

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