Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Antietam: Sergeant Frederick Eno's marker

Sergeant Frederick Reuben Eno's gravestone in Mountain View Cemetery
 in Bloomfield, Conn.
Either Frederick Reuben Eno was killed in action at Antietam on Sept. 17, 1862, or he died a day after the battle, telling those who found him shortly before he breathed his last that he would "die like a man." I imagine the fog of war often produces such confusion.

Eno, a 30-year-old sergeant from Bloomfield, Conn., served in Company F of the 14th Connecticut, which saw severe fighting on William Roulette's farm, near Bloody Lane. This 1868 account notes that after he was wounded in the abdomen, Eno refused assistance from comrades, sending them back into the fighting. But according to an account published in the Hartford Courant on Oct. 10, 1862, Eno was taken a short distance to the rear after he was wounded. Perhaps he received care at Roulette's farm house, spring house or barn, all of which were used as field hospitals during and after the battle.

Eno later dismissed his attendants, according to the Courant, and managed to walk two miles to another barn that was also used as a hospital. Barely alive, he was found there the next morning and asked if he had a message for friends back in Connecticut. "Tell them I have done my duty," he said, "and die like a man." He died a short time later. According to this 1891 account (see Page 61) , however, "Brave Sergt. Eno was killed outright" and documents in the soldier's pension file also note that he died on Sept. 17, 1862. (Click here for my downloadable Excel spreadsheet of Connecticut Antietam deaths.)

For Augustus and Sylvia Eno, their son's death was an especially cruel blow. The couple depended on the income of Frederick, who provided $120 yearly to his parents prior to his enlistment in the Union army on July 29, 1862. (1) One of seven children, Frederick had three other brothers, none of whom apparently served in the Union army although they all were of age. Plagued by rheumatism, Frederick's father was confined to his bed and unable to work to support his family for the final nine years of his life, a family physician noted after the war. (2) The 68-year-old man died on Sept. 9, 1863, almost a year after his son died at Antietam.

It's unclear whether Frederick's body was returned to Connecticut, but he has a marker in Mountain View Cemetery in Bloomfield, about 10 miles from where he boarded a steamship on the Connecticut River in Hartford and sailed off to war in late August 1862.

(1) Frederick Eno pension file, National Archives and Records Service, Washington, D.C.
(2) Ibid.
In this pension document, Bloomfield, Conn., physician Henry Gray noted that
 Frederick Eno's father was plagued by rheumatism in the last years of his life.

No comments:

Post a Comment