25 May 2015

Memorial Day: Horace Saxton Dutton (1843-1862)

(Click to enlarge.)

Memorial Day is the day to remember all who served in the armed forces and paid the ultimate price.  But it was originally called "Decoration Day" and was the day set aside to decorate the graves of those who died in the Civil War with flowers.

Horace Saxton Dutton was just a kid.  Nineteen years old when he died, from a religious family of avowed abolitionists, was this the proud, highly principled and determined child?  The first to speak up and the last to shut up?  I suspect but still need to find out.

He enlisted at age eighteen, a month before his nineteenth birthday.  He was dead less than four months later from the number one killer of soldiers during the Civil War -- illness.  He died at the regimental hospital while encamped in Memphis, Tennessee.

His father Norman drove a wagon from Metamora, Illinois down to Memphis to retrieve his son's body so it could be buried back home.

I have a cousin who has a family letter from the time documenting this story.  I am getting a copy and will transcribe and post to this blog.

Copyright © 2015 by Kevin W. Walker

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