Three months after Oliver Case was shot through the head and killed at the Battle of Antietam, his father, Job, traveled to Sharpsburg, Md., to recover the remains of his son. Case was re-buried in Simsbury, Conn., his hometown, sometime during the winter of 1862.
On his blog about Case, John Rogers eloquently tells the tale of the 22-year-old private in the 8th Connecticut. Eloquent is also a good word to use to describe Case, whose remarkable letters to his sister Abbie are preserved in the Simsbury Historical Society. I knew nothing about Case's story until I began corresponding 18 months ago with Rogers, a career military man from Georgia who knows a thing or two about the sacrifice soldiers make for our country.
I find myself drawn to Case's grave high atop the slope at the cemetery about 10 miles from my house. Perhaps it's the beautiful white marker with the inscription "Killed at Antietam, Md." that pulls me back there. Or maybe it's the inscription "Aged 22 Years." 22 years old. That kid had years of life ahead of him. Or maybe it's the story of Case and his Bible, which the soldier inscribed with the words "If you die, die like a man." Maybe it's because I just like the view of the quaint New England town from the atop that hill.
On a bike ride Sunday, I decided to stop by Case's grave, this time to shoot an interactive panorama. More than 150 years ago, Job Case stood there to bury his son, one of more than 200 men and boys from the Connecticut who died at Antietam. On Memorial Day, Case's grave and the graves of all veterans in the old cemetery were decorated with American flags. A nice touch. Well-deserved, too.
|Oliver Case is buried in Simsbury (Conn.) Cemetery, not far from the house where he grew up.|