Monday, May 30, 2016

A bit of American Civil War History: Prentiss Brothers

A few weeks ago, I visited Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. It's a National Historic Landmark, and various well-known people are buried there, including Samuel Morse, Elias Howe, and Leonard Bernstein. And Boss Tweed, who is one of the city's most famous corrupt politicians.

There are also thousands of Civil War veterans buried at Green-Wood. Among them are two brothers from Maryland, Clifton and William Prentiss.

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They fought on opposite sides of the war, Clifton for the Union and William for the Confederacy. Both died of injuries sustained at the Battle of Petersburg. Their nurse at Washington's Armory Square Hospital was Walt Whitman. And I didn't realize it until a few minutes ago, but he wrote about them in Specimen Days: Two Brothers, One South, One North.

2 comments:

Brian Joseph said...

This is so interesting and ultimately tragic. We hear a lot about the "brother fighting brother" aspect of The American Civil War. This illustrates that it was not a cliche.

That the brothers dies in the same battle is so ironically tragic.

Relyn Lawson said...

This is an amazing piece of history! Thank you!!