|Private Loren Griswold "lost his arm" at the Roulette Farm at Antietam, according to a notation |
on the reverse of this cabinet card. (New England Civil War Museum collection)
|The New England Civil War Museum is on the second floor of the|
building that also serves as Vernon Town Hall. The museum
has a cool Facebook page here.
Years later, a relative of the private noted Loren's misfortune on the back of a cabinet card -- a late-19th century image the size of an oversized postcard -- that depicts a plowed field, large barn, farmhouse and spring house that once were Roulette's property. "Field at Antietam where Uncle Loren Griswold left his arm during Battle of Antietam -- Civil War," the ink script reads. Perhaps Uncle Loren had his arm amputated in Roulette's barn or spring house, both used as Federal field hospitals during and after the battle.
|14th Connecticut sergeant Benjamin Hirst of Vernon wore this forage cap during the Civil War.|
It's part of the collection at the New England Civil War Museum.
|14th Connecticut regimental badge donated |
to New England Civil War Museum.
My focus this afternoon was Antietam, so I enjoyed perusing the mirror picked up by the brother of 14th Connecticut sergeant Benjamin Hirst in Bloody Lane after the battle. Benjamin later sent it to his wife, Sarah, back in Vernon. "When you look at yourself in it remember me always," he wrote her. I also enjoyed an up-close-and-personal view of Hirst's old forage cap and a silver 14th Connecticut regimental badge with its distinctive clover design.
Matt Reardon, the museum's enthusiastic executive director/archivist/acquistion director/jack-of-all-trades, cheerfully answers all questions about the wide-ranging collection. Most of the relics were donated by Civil War veterans. Other items were acquired from collectors. And some, such as the Roulette farm cabinet card, just seem to turn up in nooks and crannies of the former GAR hall.
The museum, which also has a Facebook page, is staffed by volunteers, so it's open infrequently. Check it out the second and fourth Sundays of every month from noon to 3 p.m. There's no admission fee, but donations are appreciated. (I got a dandy Civil War coffee mug for a $5 donation today.) And unlike a certain Civil War museum in New Orleans, photography is allowed.
(1)History of the Fourteenth Regiment, Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, Charles Davis, The Horton Printing Company, 1906, Page 43
|14th Connecticut sergeant Benjamin Hirst's brother, John, picked up this mirror in |
Bloody Lane after the Battle of Antietam.