Saturday, September 13, 2014

Antietam: Captain Jarvis Blinn's restored gravestone

Flowers placed by the grave of 14th Connecticut Captain Jarvis Blinn, who
 was killed at the Battle of Antietam.
Nearly 152 years after a bullet tore through Jarvis Blinn's heart and killed him, the 14th Connecticut captain's descendants, re-enactors and Civil War enthusiasts gathered under leaden skies Saturday afternoon to honor him at his restored tombstone in Center Cemetery in Rocky Hill, Conn. Sparked by this February 2013 post on my blog that included images of Blinn's broken tombstone, a 14th Connecticut re-enacting group sought donations from Civil War groups, Blinn descendants and others to repair it.  A low bid of  $1,050 was submitted by Nelson Architectural Restoration's Randall Nelson, who repaired the marker recently and may be seen below in the video that I shot at Blinn's gravestone.

A 26-year-old mechanic from New Britain, Conn., Blinn was killed at the Battle of Antietam on Sept. 17, 1862 -- 152 years ago Wednesday.  "I am a dead man!" the officer said moments after he was shot near Bloody Lane. (See my interactive panorama here of where the 14th Connecticut attacked.)  A Mason and the first officer in his regiment to die, Blinn left behind wife, Alice, and two young children. 

"His wife is heart-broken," a woman who attended Blinn's funeral service noted. "Their attachment to each other was unbounded -- he was all to her. Such a sad, hopeless, despairing countenance I never saw. There are two children -- dear little creatures the eldest five years of age -- for them only his memory lives."
Hal Gilbert, Blinn's great-great nephew, and his daughter, Mary, pose at their ancestor's
 grave at  Center Cemetery in Rocky Hill, Conn. Hal, whose father was named after 
Jarvis,  holds an original albumen  image of Blinn, a well-liked soldier who was 
unanimously selected captain of Company F on Aug. 15, 1862.

A close-up of the albumen of 14th Connecticut Captain Jarvis Blinn, who was
 only 26 when he was killed.
During the ceremony at Blinn's grave, a re-enactor sang The Vacant Chair,  a Civil War song.
14th Connecticut re-enactors fire a salute near Jarvis Blinn's grave.
Jarvis Blinn's descendants and re-enactors gather near Blinn's grave.
A close-up of Blinn's repaired gravestone.

1 comment:

  1. We are overwhelmed with gratitude for all the passion and generosity of the work done to make this day happen! Our family came together, many have not seen each other in decades. I met one cousin for the first time. It was an AWESOME day for everyone. Thank you everyone!

    The small gravestone next to Alice, Jarvis' wife was indeed his daughter Allie.