Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Connecticut soldier at Gettysburg

Lt. Col. Henry Merwin commanded the 27th Connecticut at Gettysburg, the smallest union regiment in the battle. His troops got into quite a fix, battling a Confederate assault at The Wheatfield. This was a confusing back and forth across a
large, rolling field of wheat near Little Round Top. Merwin fell mortally wounded, one of thousands of Union casualties on July 2, 1863, the second day of the three-day battle. As I was riding my bike across the battlefield today, I came across this small marker (top) for Merwin, which actually calls out a much larger regimental monument (above left) for the 27th Connecticut about 60 yards distant that marks where he was cut down. Merwin was captured at the Battle of Chancellorsville on May 3, 1863, and paroled 20 days later. Perhaps he would have survived the war if he had not been released. Merwin was from New Haven, Conn., where you can find his grave at Grove Street Cemetery. He was 24 when he was killed.

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