On Saturday I attended a Civil War themed walking tour at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge to commemorate the sesquicentennial anniversary of the Battle of the Wilderness, a two-day conflagration which took place on May 5-6, 1864, in the woods and farmlands of Spotsylvania County, Virginia. The Battle of the Wilderness was the inaugural conflict of Union General Ulysses S. Grant's Overland Campaign, a series of brutal battles in Virginia with the objective to capture the Confederate capital at Richmond. We began our tour with an introductory presentation on the battle at Story Chapel and then began our visits to the gravesites of officers, enlisted, and civilians who took part in this fateful battle.
Lieutenant Colonel Waldo Merriam of the 16th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment fought at the Battle of the Wilderness and was subsequently killed at the Battle of Spotsylvania on May 12, 1864. He was a member of the Massachusetts First Corps of Cadets, a military organization dating from 1741 which provided officers and recruits for Massachusetts regiments.
Henry May Bond was an adjutant with the 20th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. He was wounded in the jaw on May 6 at the Battle of the Wilderness and was subsequently transported in an ambulance to a hospital with other wounded officers of his regiment. On the route Henry's ambulance was intercepted by Confederate Colonel John Singleton Mosby's Raiders. Henry was tragically and fatally wounded in the encounter.
Famed artist Winslow Homer was an artist correspondent for Harper's Weekly magazine during the Civil War years. His sketches and drawings brought a visual representation of the war to civilians and families on the home front.
Henry Larcom Abbot was an army engineer and brigadier general with the Union Army. He engineered and led the siege artillery brigade at Petersburg and Richmond.
John Michael Tobin of the 9th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment won the Medal of Honor for his exemplary service at the Battle of Malvern Hill on July 1, 1862. Tobin took voluntary command of the 9th Massachusetts Infantry after the wounding of regimental commander Colonel Thomas Cass, rallying and reforming the regiment and twice picking up the regimental colors during a series of attacks.
Joseph S. Hills was a captain in the 16th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment who was killed at the Battle of the Wilderness on May 6, 1864. He fell while leading and encouraging his men forward during the fight. His gravestone memorial prominently displays a hat and sword to commemorate his Civil War service, along with inscriptions for fidelity and bravery under fire.
Charles Folsom served as quartermaster in the 20th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment during the Civil War and was subsequently a superintendent of Mount Auburn Cemetery.
Charles Devens was a brigadier general in the 15th Massachusetts Regiment Infantry. His unit was the first to occupy Richmond in 1865.
Zabdiel Boylston Adams was a surgeon with the 36th Massachusetts Regiment. He pioneered techniques for treatment of wounded soldiers on the battlefield. He was captured by Confederate forces at the Battle of the Wilderness and treated his own wounds by pouring pure nitric acid directly into his gangrenous leg.
Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Lyman was an archivist and an aide-de-camp to General George Meade, commander of the Army of the Potomac, at the Battle of the Wilderness. Lyman documented his Civil War service in a compilation of letters and diaries.
Henry Todd, a colorbearer for the 36th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, was killed waving his unit's colors at the Battle of the Wilderness on May 6, 1864. His gravestone commemorates his service as colorbearer for his regiment.
Charles Carleton Coffin was a journalist and Civil War correspondent. He accompanied the Army of the Potomac for the entire duration of the war and was an eyewitness to major battles.
Mount Auburn docents Bill McEvoy and Rosemarie Smurzynski were our wonderful guides for this moving and informative tour. For additional information about Civil War walks at Mount Auburn please visit http://mountauburn.org/tag/civil-war/. For other events at Mount Auburn please visit their calendar of events at http://www.mountauburn.org/category/events. For additional information about previous Civil War walks at Mount Auburn Cemetery please visit my blog posts labeled Mount Auburn Cemetery and Civil War Walking Tours.
1Mount Auburn Cemetery (Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts), Waldo Merriam marker, Fountain Avenue, Lot 2922, photographed by Carol Swaine-Kuzel, 10 May 2014.
2Mount Auburn Cemetery, Bond family marker, Indian Ridge Path, Lot 156, photographed by Carol Swaine-Kuzel, 10 May 2014.
3Mount Auburn Cemetery, Winslow Homer marker, Lily Path, Lot 563, photographed by Carol Swaine-Kuzel, 10 May 2014.
4Mount Auburn Cemetery, Henry Larcom Abbot marker, Fuchsia Path, Lot 3705, photographed by Carol Swaine-Kuzel, 10 May 2014.
5Mount Auburn Cemetery, John Michael Tobin,Chestnut Avenue, Lot 1049, photographed by Carol Swaine-Kuzel, 10 May 2014.
6Mount Auburn Cemetery, Joseph S. Hills marker, Petunia Path, Lot 1450, photographed by Carol Swaine-Kuzel, 10 May 2014.
7Mount Auburn Cemetery, Charles Folsom marker, Myrtle Path, Lot 33, photographed by Carol Swaine-Kuzel, 10 May 2014.
8Mount Auburn Cemetery, Charles Devens marker, Tulip Path, Lot 1594, photographed by Carol Swaine-Kuzel, 10 May 2014.
9"Lecture, Mitchell Adams, Dr. Zabdiel Boylston Adams: Surgeon and Soldier for the Union," Lecture, Mitchell Adams, Dr. Zabdiel Boylston Adams: Surgeon and Soldier for the Union (http://www.bostonathenaeum.org/events/1739/lecture-mitchell-adams-dr-zabdiel-boylston-adams-surgeon-and-solider-union: 16 May 2014). Mount Auburn Cemetery, Zabdiel Boylston Adams marker, Elder Path, Lot 2700, photographed by Carol Swaine-Kuzel, 10 May 2014.
10Mount Auburn Cemetery, Theodore Lyman marker, Pilgrim Path, Lot 705, photographed by Carol Swaine-Kuzel, 10 May 2014.
11Mount Auburn Cemetery, Henry Todd marker, Spruce Avenue, Lot 1762,photographed by Carol Swaine-Kuzel, 10 May 2014.
12Mount Auburn Cemetery, Charles Carleton Coffin marker, Gentian Path, Lot 5981, photographed by Carol Swaine-Kuzel, 10 May 2014.