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Friday, June 29, 2012

Bradford's Civil War Cemetery Tour

This month I led three Civil War Cemetery tours at Bradford’s Upper Plain Cemetery in connection with the Bradford Public Library summer reading program. Here are my notes and some of the sites we visited.

Bradford sent 158 men to the Union forces in the Civil War. Vermont sent 34,000 out of a population of 350,000 of which died from 1832 died from wounds and 3662 from diseases and other causes. Some enlisted, others drafted, and others were substitutes for those who didn’t want to go. Bradford’s men were privates and officers, some became prisoners, were killed or wounded and other probably suffered from invisible wounds. Some joined Vermonters and others served in other state regiments. Some saw major battles and or participated in the hundred of smaller ones. Some were soldiers or sailors, others worked in support positions. They were in the infantry, artillery, navy, marines and cavalry. Before going and after returning they were farmers, papermakers, teachers, merchants and businessmen, clerks and loafers. These are some of the headstones found in the Upper Plain Cemetery. Many are cenotaphs, empty graves.

William P. Manson died June 14,1864 at Andersonville Prison (GA) cenotaph. Captured at Strawberry Bank TN Jan 22, 1864 (diarrhea) A-33-52 Also Albert Butler age 18 Early in the war parole was practiced. 1 capt= 60 privates. Then both sides set up a system of prisons. Camp Sumter at Andersonville GA operated for 14 months on 27 acres. The prison population was 32,000 at one time, total 45,000, 13,000 died in absolute hellish conditions.

David H. Winship (large new stone-B52) Co. F 9th NH Vol. Wounded at Antietam (Sharpsburg. Maryland) Lee’s invasion of the north, September 17, 1862 died Nov.14, 1862 Generally bodies were not shipped home until Dr. Thomas Holmes technique of embalming began on the battlefield, zinc lined casket, $50 for officers $25 privates, northern only, cost a hardship for families. Soldiers began to wear privately purchased dog tags or pinning cards on their uniforms before battles to help with identification.

Charles A. Smith (B-18) drafted, 8/4/63 private 4th Vt. Infantry 24 year old single farmer when drafted. KIA 6/21/64 maybe in the western Virginia’s campaign, Epitaph: “God is with the right and sooner or later, the right must prevail. God help me to be ever in the right”

Charles H. Brown.  Stone indicates he was just over 15 at time he was killed on September 26, 1864.  He was a member of Co I, 17th vermont Regiment.  "Thou has taken you away From those that hold thee dear.  May God bind up those broken hearts  And wipe away the tears."
Private Amos B. Chase (new stone B 69 ) Co. H 2nd Reg Berdan’s Sharpshooters, Joined Nov. 30, 1863 Killed June 18, 1864. Seige of Petersburg VA. Bradford’s only sharpshooter. Snipers or sharpshooter (named for the use of Sharp’s rifles) dark green uniforms, Test for inclusion: 10 freestanding 10” circle 100’, lying down 10 at 200’. Their duty very dangerous. Had a demoralizing impact on the enemy.

Benjamin Underwood…age 23 lst Vermont soldier to die…Fortress Monroe, VA, died of measles , age 20. May 20, 1861 (cenotaph) C 14 (back of D. Farr stone) (just 12 days after being mustered in)

Charles C. Woodworth, wounded at Charleston VA, Died of wounds on August 27, 1864 @ 19 years of age. Member of Battery I, Vermont Heavy Artillery C 45

Lt .Col. Dudley Andross (established Bradford family) He had done well in the gold fields of California. Captain of Bradford Guard, 1861 (Participated in the Battle of Big Bethel) & 9th Vermont Volunteers…. Bradford residents sent him a white horse in Brattleboro. C 59

Moody C. Martin, Private Company B, 6th Vermont Regiment reenlisted …along with two brothers (Harrison and Remembrance) Killed at Battle of the Wilderness on May 5, 1864 (deadliest day for Vermonters ever) (cenotaph) D 113 (of 1681 men, 189 killed or wounded, 189 died of disease 22 other from imprisonment etc. (1234 killed or wounded that day) Most costly battle of the war….one Vermont brigade lost 1645 of its 2100 men during the week of fighting

George W. Martin, enlisted Nov. 12, 1862, about 13 years of age, ( misrepresented his age as 18-19) Company G, 10th Vermont Volunteers. Wounded. When he died in the 1930s he was the last member of the Bradford GAR. D 147.May be the youngest Vermonter to serve.

George B. Worthen (B-1) anchor on stone//joined navy in 1856 sailed along the coast of Africa as corporal of marines/ reenlisted wounded at the battle of Roanoke Island, Feb 8, 1862, but later took part in engagement with Merrimack, head wounds, lung and ribs transferred to Naval Hospital, released and returned to Bradford, died Sept. 15, 1863

Cyrus Conant Farnham A-2-14 was member of the Military Telegraphic Dept….That department and the messages they sent importance to commanders, Coded messages often decreased the impact of wiretapping, died on Feb. 25, 2863 of typhoid fever in Tennessee.

Colonel Roswell Farnham, Bradford Guard, May 1861 later 12th Vermont Regiment, Governor of Vermont 1880-82’s. Businessman. F-2-117

Colonel John Chandler Stearns,(1831-1914. During Lee’s first invasion of the north Stonewall Jackson attacked the Union troops at Harper’s Ferry… General Dixon Miles in dereliction of duty allowed troops to surrendered (12, 419 were the largest force of Americans to surrender until WW 2 Dudley Andross also part of that group…exchanged at did guard duty at Chicago, Mustered out in 1863. (Cannon Balls) F-2-166

Oscar Crosby Navy (1847-1917) called a landsman because he had never been on the ocean. He served on several ships,(probably on blockade dury and served as a carpenter’s mate. He was discharged in August 1865…came home and married Addie Rowell in 1868 and farmed in Thetford/West Fairlee and Bradford died here in 1917

Preston S. Chamberlin (cannon balls) part of Bradford Guard, May , 1861, later Lt/ Col. Company H, 12th Vermont K-8-410 Company H did guard duty around Washington, repelled Stuart’s advances to the Capital, also guarded railroads, ammunition wagons and prisoners. no battle deaths, 63 from disease with 4 desertions. Later became very involved in community representing Bradford in the Legislature and serving as trustee of the BA(buried here)

Calista Robinson Jones, National President of the Women’s Relief Corps c. 1901. K-7-409 The organization was the women’s auxiliary of the GAR (Grand Army of the Republic). During her service in the organization the national headquarters was located at her home in Bradford. She worked to have the Andersonville site made a national landmark and have Flag Day made a holiday. The organization worked to help orphans and widows as well as injured veterans.

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