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J.H. Burnham

J.H. Burnham

Federal (USV)


John Henry Burnham

(1835 - 1883)

Home State: Connecticut

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 16th Connecticut Infantry

Before Antietam

A bookkeeper and militia officer in Hartford, he enrolled as First Lieutenant and Adjutant of the 16th Connecticut Infantry on 30 July 1862.

On the Campaign

He was with his regiment at Antietam on 17 September 1862 and was noted for afterward carefully locating and documenting the field burials of all the men of the 16th Connecticut killed there.

The rest of the War

He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 26 December 1862. He was wounded at Suffolk, VA on 8 May 1863 and was captured with most of the regiment at Plymouth, NC on 20 April 1864. He was a prisoner in Libby Prison, Richmond, VA and in camps at Charleston, SC and Macon, GA until exchanged in June 1864. He mustered out with his regiment on 24 June 1865 at New Bern, NC.

After the War

He returned to his business in Hartford and was Postmaster there in 1871-72. He retired due to his health in 1880 and was admitted to the Retreat for the Insane in Hartford, then, in December 1881, to the Connecticut State Hospital in Middletown, CT. He died there at age 47 in April 1883.

References & notes

His service from the Record.1 Personal details from family genealogists, the US Census of 1860, and a brief bio from the Cedar Hill Cemetery Foundation. His gravesite is on Findagrave, source also of his picture, from a photograph contributed by Chris Van Blargan.

He married Helena Estelle Ferre (1839-1876) in December 1866.

More on the Web

See more about Adjutant Burnham's work at Antietam in a fine post by John Banks.


11/30/1835; Tolland, CT


04/10/1883; Middletown, CT; burial in Cedar Hill Cemetery, Hartford, CT


1   State of Connecticut, Adjutant General's Office, and AGs Smith, Camp, and Barbour, and AAG White, Record of Service of Connecticut Men in the Army and Navy of the United States during the War of the Rebellion, Hartford: Press of the Case, Lockwood, and Brainard Company, 1889, pg. 619  [AotW citation 27260]

2   Gordon, Lesley J., 16th CV [Connecticut Volunteers] database [roster], Published 2014, first accessed 06 February 2022, <!107&authkey=!ACNE422k47Tnc_Q&ithint=file%2cxl>  [AotW citation 27261]