Monday, February 18, 2013

Antietam death: Private Albert Easterbrook, 34th New York

Private Albert Easterbrook of the 34th New York was only 19 when
 he died at Antietam. (Photo: Courtesy of Dean Nelson)
Like in most wars, the Civil War claimed a disproportionate share of young men. At the Battle of Antietam, Daniel Tarbox, a farmer's son from Brooklyn, Conn., was just 18 when he was killed near Burnside Bridge. From East Haddam, Conn., John Bingham, another farmer's son, was 17 when died in John Otto's cornfield. George Crosby, a student at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., was 19 when he was mortally wounded on William Roulette's farm. Marvin Wait, the son of a lawyer from Norwich, Conn., was also 19 when he was mortally wounded near Harpers Ferry Road.

During a research trip to the Connecticut State Library last Friday, Dean Nelson, the Museum of Connecticut History administrator, shared with me this terrific carte de visite from his collection. Albert Easterbrook, a private in the 34th New York from Oneida, N.Y., was just 19 when he died at Antietam. His name was among those on this stunningly long list of Antietam dead published in the New York Times on Oct. 12, 1862. Just imagine the outcry today if a death list like this were published today.

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