|Augustus Potter, a private in the 15th Massachusetts, was wounded at Antietam, |
Gettysburg and Mine Run, Va.. He survived the Civil War.
I visited West Brookfield, Mass, about and hour or so from my home in Connecticut, two weeks ago to do research on Justus Collins Wellington, a private in the 15th Massachusetts who was killed at Antietam on Sept. 17, 1862. Wellington's parents are buried in Pine Grove Cemetery in West Brookfield, but I believe Justus is probably buried under a gravestone marked "Unknown" in the national cemetery in Sharpsburg, Md.
|A small Second Corps, II Division flag |
on Potter's grave.
A 24-year-old shoemaker from West Brookfield, Potter enlisted as a private in the 15th Massachusetts on July 12, 1861, the same day as Wellington. Potter probably knew Justus, who also was a shoemaker in West Brookfield. He mustered out because of a disability on Jan. 10, 1862, but was back with his regiment when it was decimated in the West Woods at Antietam on Sept. 17, 1862. Potter suffered a slight leg wound at Antietam, one of 325 casualties (including 70 killed) in his regiment in about 20 minutes.
Less than a year later, Potter was at Gettysburg, where he was wounded on July 2, 1863. A little more than four months later, Potter was wounded at Mine Run, Va., and seven months later, on June 22, 1864, he was captured at Petersburg, Va., sent to Libby Prison in Richmond and later paroled. Thanks to three of his descendants, there's an excellent breakdown of Potter's service on Susan Harnwell's terrific 15th Massachusetts site. Potter's brother, Henry, a private in Co. C of the 4th New Hampshire Infantry, was killed at Drewry's Bluff in Virginia on May 16, 1864.
Wounded three times, captured, survived the war -- I'll bet Potter had some amazing tales to tell.
After the Civil War, Potter was busy too. He fathered 10 children with his wife, Mary. He died March 9, 1918 at age 81.
I'll look to dig up much more on Potter at the National Archives next spring.