Saturday, August 11, 2012

Antietam: A penny for your thoughts

Gravestone of 16th Connecticut captain Newton Manross in Forestville Cemetery in Bristol.
A professor before the war, Manross told his wife upon enlisting: "You can better afford to have
 a country without a husband than a husband without a country." (CLICK HERE FOR STORY.)
Gravestone of William Sweet, a 20-year-old private in the 8th Connecticut, at Carey Cemetery
in rural Canterbury, Conn. Three other soldiers killed at Antietam -- Sergeant Charles Lewis of the
8th Connecticut, Private Dwight Carey of the 8th Connecticut  and Private Charles Morse
of the 11th Connecticut -- are also buried at Carey Cemetery.  (CLICK HERE FOR STORY.)
Gravestone of Daniel Tarbox, a private in the 11th Connecticut. Buried in South Cemetery
in Brooklyn, Conn., Tarbox was mortally wounded at Antietam at the assault on Burnside Bridge.
Only 18 years old, he died the day after the battle.  (CLICK HERE FOR STORY.)
Two pennies on the gravestone of brothers Francis and Frederick Hollister of the 14th Connecticut.
The Hollisters, who lost their blankets at Antietam, died within a half-hour of each other a little
 more than three months later, at Falmouth, Va. They are buried together in Union Hill Cemetery 
in East Hampton, Conn. (CLICK HERE FOR THE STORY.)
Gravestone of 16th Connecticut private Thomas DeMars of Cromwell, Conn. Killed at Antietam, 
he is buried at Kelsey Cemetery in Cromwell. He was only 19 years old.

For the past 15 months, I have traveled throughout Connecticut -- from Brooklyn in the east to Bristol in the west -- visiting the graves of solders with a connection to the Battle of Antietam. It's not hard to find them. Scores of men and boys from Connecticut were killed or mortally wounded in the fields and woodlots outside Sharpsburg, Md., on Sept. 17, 1862 -- the bloodiest day in American history. Each time I visit a cemetery, I place a penny, Lincoln side up, on the soldier's gravestone. I figure that's a neat way to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice nearly 150 years ago. As the 150th anniversary of Antietam nears, perhaps you'll want to do the same in a cemetery near you. (Lincoln side up, of course.)


  1. I'm following your lead on the penny idea. I've left one on Gideon's across the lane from Manross his Co.K Captain.

  2. I will be sure to visit those brave men whose lives were given in the defense of our nation who now repose in Yantic Cemetery in Norwich where I now live and in Canterbury at Carey Cemetery where my own father, a Korean and Vietnam War veteran, also lies in eternal rest. It's the least I can do.

  3. Great tradition John...keep it up! I do wonder what President Lincoln would think?