Monday, May 30, 2011

Civil War under my nose: Memorial Day in Conn.

This Civil War memorial is in Thomaston, about 35 minutes from Hartford.
Within 25 minutes during a short drive on this rainy Memorial Day morning, I passed at least three Civil War memorials, a good reminder of how small Connecticut towns were affected by the war. Nearly 5,300 soldiers from Connecticut died during the Civil War, about 10 percent of those who served. (1)

Forty-nine soldiers from Plymouth, Conn., died during the Civil
War. Above, the Plymouth Civil War memorial, one of the
oldest in the state.
In Plymouth,  a memorial on the town green across from the Plymouth Congregational Church honors 49 soldiers who died.(1) The dedication date is unknown, but it may have been as early as 1865, making it among the oldest Civil War memorials in the state.

In Thomaston, about a mile down the road from Plymouth, there's a large memorial on a small trangular plot off Park Street. Dedicated in 1902, it is flanked by a pair of cannon.

In Burlington, the names of 88 soldiers who served from the area during the war are listed on the plaque on a memorial on a small plot at the intersection of Spielman Highway (Route 4) and George Washington Turnpike. Fourteen of those soldiers died, no doubt an immense burden for such a small town. (2)

And here's a nice thought on the meaning of Memorial Day from Oliver Wendell Holmes, who fought at Antietam and later became a Supreme Court justice. Thanks to my friend Jim Buchanan, an Antietam park volunteer, for posting it on his excellent Walking The West Woods blog.

At least 14 men from Burlington, Conn., died during the Civil War.

(1) A Compendium of the War of Rebellion, Frederick H. Dyer, 1908
(2) American Civil War Research Database
(3) American Civil War Research Database

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