Thursday, May 19, 2022

In a Connecticut cemetery, two brothers are not forgotten

A before and after of the Hollister brothers' marker in a Middle Haddam, Conn., cemetery.

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More than a decade ago, I spotted a grimy gravestone for the Hollister brothers—Francis, 20, and Frederick, 18—in Union Hill Cemetery in Middle Haddam, Conn. Both served in Company K of the 14th Connecticut and died of disease within a half hour of each other in a camp near Fredericksburg, Va., two days before Christmas 1862.

“They lost their blankets at Antietam and for three months had to sleep out of doors or crouch scantily clad all night long over a smoky camp-fire, from which exposure they died,” according to a regimental history. The brothers' bodies were returned to Connecticut and buried "with appropriate ceremonies" on  Jan. 11, 1863.

Now the good news from Kimberly, who read an old post on the brothers on my blog. She and her husband cleaned the stone. Fabulous work.

“It took about three separate cleanings to get the gravestone as white as you see it. It could stand to use at least two more cleanings this season because there is still some very slight staining over the epitaph, and it's still a bit spotty at the bottom of the gravestone. This was one challenging stone to clean! It was black with years of biological growth and sticky tree sap, forming a thick cement-like layer on the gravestone. We also planted some daffodil bulbs (which have since bloomed) and placed a new GAR marker for the brothers.”

Let’s keep history alive. 👊

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  • Page, Charles, History of the Fourteenth Regiment, Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, Meriden, Conn.: The Horton Printing Company, 1906
  • Hartford Courant, Jan. 20, 1863

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