Blast From the Past: A gravestone at Blossom Hill tells a story of 11 forgotten men

This grave marker commemorates the 11 young men who were wounded in the Civil War and later died at a hospital in Concord.  Courtesy of Jim Spain
This grave marker commemorates the 11 young men who were wounded in the Civil War and later died at a hospital in Concord. Courtesy of Jim Spain

As I walk the Blossom Hill Cemetery this brisk March day, I stop to reflect on those less fortunate. My thoughts are with those who have perished tragically in a time of war, just 11 young men, no different from our very own brothers, sons and fathers. Just 11 young men who enlisted with a passion to defend our country and speak for those less fortunate and oppressed.

It is a very special monument where I somberly reflect today, for it represents 11 brave young men who perished as casualties of the Civil War. Unlike many soldiers, they did not perish on the field of honor but rather right here in the city of Concord in the year 1865.

You see, this is a special monument that was placed as a tribute to 11 young men who were wounded during the last year of the Civil War, wounded so severely that they perished in Concord at the hospital. Sadly, when these young men passed away, they were listed as “Unknown.” The monument pictured was erected as a tribute in the year 1893, 28 years after their deaths.

The deep carved letters etched into the cold granite tell a simple story, “Unknown but Not Forgotten.” “In memory of eleven Union Soldiers who died in the hospital at Concord, NH in 1865.”

It was more than 150 years ago that our ancestors placed these young men in this hallowed ground. Prayers were offered and tears were shed for the unknown that day. They remain unknown to this day, but are certainly not forgotten.

For I stop to reflect on those less fortunate.

Author: James W. Spain II / For the Insider

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  1. Thank you for enlightening us with your accounting of 11 men who lived so long ago (from our current perspective). Thank you

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    • Hello Mervin,

      I am so pleased to see that you enjoyed my story. I can only wish that some day we might be able to identify these young men. Until then, they remain unknown but certainly not forgotten.

      My Best,

      Jim Spain

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  2. Thank you for posting this, Jim. In many ways the Civil War seems so long ago, and yet I heard so many wonderful stories from my mother regarding her maternal grandfather, Thomas Robinson, that I feel close to him to this day. She and her siblings lived with “Grandpa Tom” on Robinson St. in the Heights of Concord after their father died at a young age. Grandpa Tom served honorably in the Civil War, came home, raised a family, and took in my mother’s family when he was a widower.
    Also, my mother’s father, Frank Wentworth, served in the Civil War for four years and lift behind a Civil War Diary. This diary speaks to the tremendous sacrifices made by those men in order to preserve freedom for all in our country. This grandfather lived to come home also and served as mayor of Gardner, ME for years, and yet he suffered from the effects of the War until his death.
    All wars take a tremendous toll on humanity, as can be attested to by the graves of my cousin, Leigh Wentworth, in Blossom Hill Cemetary, who died in a prison camp in N.Korea, and my uncle, Francis X. Keane, who died in WWII, in the Battle of the Bulge, and now rests in Calvery Cemetary. But the Civil War took more American lives than any other, and it was not really that far in the past. May we never forget the sacrifices of those young men who died anonymously in Concord, and of all the men and women who gave their lives in order to make this country as great as it is today.

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    • Hello Roberta,

      Thank you for contacting me regarding my article. My thoughts are with you and your family, so many sacrifices for our country. You certainly have shared some amazing history Roberta, a legacy to be very proud of. As we approach Memorial Day we will remember our Veterans this year, honoring your family as well as these eleven young men that have finally found eternal peace.

      My Best,

      Jim Spain

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