Yalie Civil War Veterans Honored with Flags at New Haven's Grove Street Cemetery

By McLoughlin, Pamela | New Haven Register (New Haven, CT), May 25, 2014 | Go to article overview

Yalie Civil War Veterans Honored with Flags at New Haven's Grove Street Cemetery


McLoughlin, Pamela, New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)


NEW HAVEN » If Civil War veteran and hero Theodore Winthrop ever had an American Flag on his grave at Grove Street Cemetery before Saturday, it was probably at least 100 years ago.

Winthrop, the first New Haven man and Yalie killed in the war -- and one of the first Union officers from anywhere to perish -- was honored with a flag on his grave Saturday along with some 29 other Civil War veterans, many with Yale University connections.

"He was a New Haven and a Yale hero," said Myles Alderman of North Haven who directed flag carrier and Yale graduate Michael Schaffer to place the flag one foot out from the gravestone center, per protocol.

The flag placements on this Memorial Day weekend -- a time to honor fallen veterans of all wars -- were arranged by Alderman, Yale graduate who is part of a group with strong Yale ties that gets together to discuss the war that he said took 750,000 lives, a number equal by today's population to between five and seven million people. Alderman is not a veteran.

"It was the most catastrophic event in United States history," Alderman said. "The country was literally split apart."

The Civil War was fought from 1861 to 1865, after seven Southern slave states declared their secession and formed the Confederate States of America.

Alderman led a group of about 10, many with Yale ties, through the cemetery to some of those Civil war grave sites. Alderman said that in Woolsey Hall, just across the street from the cemetery, are listed the names of 168 Yale men who died in service during the war. One-hundred and fourteen of them died serving the Union and 54 for the Confederacy.

The list of Yale Civil War veterans buried in the historic cemetery includes Yale graduates from the medical school, theological department (as it was known then) and schools of philosophy and arts, as well as Yale Law School.

At each stop Aldermen told a little about the veteran. Yale Medical School graduate Francis Bacon, at the first Battle of Bull Run July 21, 1861, Class of 1853, was an assistant surgeon during his first enlistment and by 1912 when he was killed, director/ general of the medical department of the Gulf. …

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