Thursday, May 15, 2014

150 years ago today: Major General John Sedgwick's funeral

John Sedgwick's grave marker stands out in the rural cemetery in Cornwall Hollow, Conn.
A sharpshooter's bullet through the left cheek killed Sedgwick at Spotsylvania Courthouse, Va.
Emblem for the VI Corps, which was commanded by Sedgwick in 1863-64, appears 
on the front of the marker.
An old metal Grand Army of the Republic marker at the base of Sedgwick's grave.

One hundred and fifty years today, hundreds of mourners gathered for the graveside service at a cemetery in Cornwall Hollow, Conn., for Union Major General John Sedgwick, who six days earlier had been killed by a sharpshooter at Spotsylvania Courthouse, Va. As his body was lowered into the grave, "a peal of thunder like the roar of distant artillery reverberated along the heavens, sounding his requiem and the tired soldier rested." In contrast to 1864, I was the only person in the cemetery this afternoon at 12:30 ET on a rainy day in northwestern Connecticut. For more on Sedgwick's funeral, click here.

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