Saturday, June 20, 2015

'Sad sight': Connecticut soldiers who died in each other's arms

2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery Corporal George Page was killed at the Battle of Cedar Creek.
(Don Serfass collection)
A state-issued marker for Page in Calhoun Cemetery in Cornwall, Conn.
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After the Union army rapidly retreated, re-grouped and finally routed the Rebels at the Battle of Cedar Creek on Oct. 19, 1864, the 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery aided its wounded and collected its dead. Among the 13 bodies found near a stone wall the next day were the remains of George W. Page, a 25-year-old corporal from Cornwall, and Charles Reed, a 19-year-old corporal from Salisbury.
JANUARY 2007: George Page's gravestone notes 
he was  "killed in the battle of Seder Creek."
(Find A Grave/Andrea Price-Johnson)

The two friends in Company G had crawled "quite a distance to each other from where they were hit," 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery Lieutenant Michael Kelly wrote, and were found by their comrades clasped in each other's arms.

"It was a sad sight," Kelly wrote about Page and Reed. "They were robed [sic] of all their effects... by the Rebs -- shoes Pants blouse -- all that was any good was gone."

When Page and Reed were tossed into a trench with the rest of the regiment's dead, "many a rough and war worn veteran's face was washed with tears," assistant surgeon Judson B. Andrews noted, "as he turned away from so affecting a sight."

Page's remains were probably recovered and re-buried in Cornwall in Calhoun Cemetery, where he lies under a stone inscribed that he was killed at the battle of  "Seder Creek." 

During a recent visit, I found that marker face down in the grass, broken in two and forgotten. A weather-worn, state-issued marker in front of the toppled gravestone memorializes the young soldier. Reed's final resting place may be in Town Hill Cemetery in Salisbury, Conn., although it's unclear if his remains were returned from Virginia.

JUNE 2015: Page's original marker, cracked and face down in the grass.
Corporal Charles Reed's marker in Town Hill Cemetery in Salisbury.
Charles Reed was only 19 when he died at the Battle of Cedar Creek.

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  1. Anonymous10:15 AM

    I read your blog religiously. Usually it leaves me heartbroken and puzzled about the human slaughter of its own. Hatred rots the human heart .

  2. I guess, well, at least neither of them died alone... Still very sad...