Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Edwin N. Pratt, an unusual Civil War tombstone

The tombstone was photographed at the Parsons Cemetery in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine by 
my friend and fellow genealogy blogger, June Stearns Butka of "Dame Gussie's Genealogy Rants".  At our recent blogger bash she gave me these interesting photographs to write about.

a veteran volunteer in Co. H.
1st Me. Heavy Artillery,
died at Fort Simmons
Washington D.C.
May 2, 1864
AE. 19 yrs, 4 mos.
Son of Roswell B. & Cynthia
The morning came but the angel of death
Had passed o'er the camp and they found him
Asleep, like a Christian, soldier at rest,
With the emblems of warfare around him.

I was interested in learning more about this tombstone because of the unique carving of the soldier and the American flag.  I've never seen anything like this on any other Civil War tombstone. 

Edwin N. Pratt was born about 1844 to Roswell Barrows Pratt and Cynthia Whitcomb.  His mother died before the 1850 census of Foxcroft.  His sister Jennie (Jane) Kenney and his parents are buried in the Parsons Cemetery, too.  Edwin enlisted as a volunteer in the Civil War for the 22nd Maine, and then re-enlisted in the 18th Maine (later organized as the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery).  He was the only son of the family.  

The 1st Maine had one of the highest casualty rates of the war. It served to defend Washington DC and was reassigned to the Army of the Potomac in the spring of 1864.  Edwin Pratt died just weeks before the Battle of Petersburg, where the greatest single loss of life in a Union regiment occured.  7 officers and 108 men were killed, and another 25 officers and 464 men were wounded (67% of the 900 man force).  

According to the regimental history book The First Maine Heavy Artillery 1862 - 1865, by Horace H. Shaw, 1903, page 430, Edwin N. Pratt died May 2, 1864 at Fort Sumner, Washington, DC, of fever. 

Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Tombstone Tuesday ~ Edwin N. Pratt, an unusual Civil War tombstone", Nufield Genealogy, post September 22, 2015 ( http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2015/09/tombstone-tuesday-edwin-n-pratt-unusual.html : accessed [access date]).

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if that headstone was put up right after his death or sometime later by descendants? In any case, it is beautiful and unique.