The Two Graves of Oliver C. Case

 

Private Oliver Cromwell Case has two graves. At least, he has two gravestones in two different cemeteries. One is located in the Antietam Battlefield National Cemetery (photo above) and the other is in the Simsbury Cemetery [Memorial Gateway,Simsbury Cemetery Lot C-10] in his hometown of Simsbury, Connecticut(article, cemetery photo and recent photo of the gravestone are below). Where is he actually buried? Good question. I believe his remains were transferred to the Simsbury Cemeteryin December of 1862 by his father as his brother Alonzo recounted it after the war, but we cannot be completely certain. In the account Alonzo gives of finding Oliver’s body and burying him on the battlefield, he indicates that he and his brother Ariel pinned a paper identifying Oliver to his coat before he was buried in a temporary grave after the battle near Burnside’s Bridge.
 

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Vandals Topple Gravestones
June 2, 2004
By DON STACOM, Courant Staff Writer
SIMSBURY — The headstone for Union soldier Oliver Cromwell Case has stood over his grave at Simsbury Cemetery since 1862, when a grieving Job Case buried his 22-year-old son after the bloody Battle of Antietam. Now the marble monument lies face down in the dirt, toppled during the Memorial Day weekend in a vandalism spree at one of the town’s oldest burial grounds. Vandals knocked over 27 gravestones and shattered another one, doing thousands of dollars in damage. But the timing of the destruction infuriated local veterans, and dismayed townspeople who lined the sidewalks of Hopmeadow Street for the Memorial Day parade Monday. ‘It makes me sick that someone would do that. This was a soldier at Antietam. There’s no respect for people,’ said Evan Woollacott, commander of the town’s American Legion Post. Cemetery officials spotted the damage Monday afternoon as they prepared for a Memorial Day ceremony to dedicate a new flagpole on the hilly property. Several parade spectators walking back to their cars also noticed, said Jackson F. Eno, president of the Simsbury Cemetery Association. ‘It was disgusting. First we saw a couple of stones were knocked over and thought it was done by one jerky kid. Then we realized the magnitude and felt sicker,’ Eno said Tuesday. Police suspect the vandals randomly knocked down gravestones Sunday night or early Monday. Three detectives examined footprints and looked for other evidence Tuesday. Eno offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to arrests and convictions. The vandals broke some stones off their bases, and shattered one by prying it out of the ground and smashing it against a larger granite monument. Oliver Cromwell Case joined the Connecticut Volunteers Eighth Regiment, and was killed at Antietam in September 1862, according to documents at the cemetery and the historical society. In a letter, his brother Alonzo wrote of searching the battlefield with another brother, Ariel, for the body. ‘We found him lying dead,’ Alonzo Case wrote. ‘We got help and had him buried near the men of the 16th … His body remained here until Dec., when father went and had it brought to Simsbury for burial. Those were sad days for me.’ Simsbury police Sgt. Brian Cavanaugh is asking for tips. Det. Jim Polomsky can be reached at 860-658-3130.
 
 
 

 

 

 

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