A Father’s Request – Edward Waterman

Four days after the firing on Fort Sumter and one day after his enlistment in First Regiment Infantry, Edward Waterman’s father wrote to the Captain of his son’s company, George Burnham.

. . . in the defence [sic] of our Country the service of a Soldier is not all that may be required.

Should his life be required as his Parent I would desire his body & in case of death could it be so I would thank you for anything that you could do to save his body from indiscriminate burial & give me notice that I could obtain it for burial with our family here.

Nathan Waterman’s prescience as to the sorrows of the impending war was uncanny. Although Edward Waterman was safely mustered out of service three months later, just over 400 soldiers who enlisted from Hartford would die in the service of their country – and less than 30% would have their remains returned home for burial in Hartford.

Edward Waterman died of typhoid in Groton, CT on November 3, 1877 and is buried in his family’s plot in Spring Grove Cemetery.