Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Antietam panorama: Connecticut section national cemetery

                                                  Click on image for full-screen panorama.

16th Connecticut Pvt. John Loveland's gravestone at 
Antietam National Cemetery. Loveland, from Hartford, 
was mortally wounded in John Otto's cornfield
 during the Battle of Antietam.
There are 85 gravestones for Connecticut soldiers at Antietam National Cemetery, but not all those men were killed at Antietam, an obscure fact that may only interest me. Indulge me for a moment while I toss around a few numbers.

At least 25 Connecticut soldiers buried on the grounds are from units that did not fight in Sharpsburg, according my count using the History of Antietam descriptive list published in 1869. Pvt. Anson Balcom of the 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery, for example, was wounded in Winchester, Va., on Sept. 19, 1864, died 23 days later and was buried in the national cemetery, probably after his remains were disinterred elsewhere shortly after the war.

According to the descriptive list, one grave contains the remains of an unknown soldier from an unknown Connecticut regiment. At least two soldiers who were killed at Antietam and have gravestones in the national cemetery are actually buried in Connecticut, leaving who's really buried under those markers a mystery. 8th Connecticut Pvt. Oliver Case, killed near Harpers Ferry Road, and 16th Pvt. Bridgeman Hollister, mortally wounded in John Otto's 40-acre cornfield, are buried in Simsbury and Glastonbury, respectively. 

Seven soldiers from Connecticut who died of their Antietam wounds were treated at Big Spring Hospital, a tent hospital set up on a farm near Keedysville, Md. Truman Squire of 89th New York, the head surgeon at that hospital, compiled the list below of 32 soldiers who died at Crystal Spring, also known as Big Spring or Locust Spring Hospital. Privates Horace Hunn (16th Connecticut), Francis Burr (16th); Henry Schofield (11th), Thomas Remington (11th), Frederick Culver (11th) and corporals Andrew Kimball (8th) and W. Farmer (8th) each have gravestones in the national cemetery. Schofield apparently also has a marker at Hickory Street Cemetery, which really makes my head spin. Where is he really buried? 

This exercise in frustration began tonight as I was trying to determine how many Connecticut soldiers who died at the Battle of  Antietam are actually buried in the national cemetery. That detective work continues. In the meantime, enjoy the interactive panorama above of the Connecticut section of the national cemetery.

Seven soldiers from Connecticut appear on a list of soldiers who died at Locust Spring (also
known as Crystal Spring) Hospital near Keedysville, Md., after the Battle of Antietam.
(Chemung County Historical Society)

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