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J. Eaton

J. Eaton

Federal (USV)


Jacob Eaton

(1833 - 1865)

Home State: Connecticut

Education: Yale College,
Yale Divinity School, Class of 1862

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 8th Connecticut Infantry

Before Antietam

In 1860 he was the 28 year old pastor of the Third Congregational Church in Meriden, CT. He enlisted on 22 September 1861 and mustered as a Private in Company K, 8th Connecticut Infantry on 27 September. He was appointed First Lieutenant of Company B on 1 February 1862.

On the Campaign

He was wounded in the leg in action at Antietam on 17 September 1862. In combat above the Rohrbach Bridge near Sharpsburg that afternoon:

Twenty men are falling every minute ... Eaton totters, wounded, down the hill. Wait, bullet-riddled, staggers a few rods, and sinks ... The wounded prop themselves behind the rude stone fence, and hurl leaden vengeance at the foe.

The rest of the War

He resigned his commission on 27 October 1862.

On the invitation of Colonel Joseph R. Hawley he enlisted again, on 29 March 1864 and reported initially as an "unassigned" Private to the 7th Connecticut Infantry, but was appointed Chaplain of the regiment on 20 May. He died of typhoid fever on 20 March 1865 while tending to former prisoners of war at Wilmington, NC.

References & notes

His service from the Record,1 with detail from a 25 March 1864 letter from Hawley to Eaton, now in the Gilder Lehrman Institute collection. The quote above from the History.2 Personal details from family genealogists, the US Census of 1860, and a brief bio from the Cornwall Historical Society. His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture from a photograph in the Connecticut Museum, Hartford.

He married the widow Alura Ann Miner Harrison (1819-1875) in 1857.

He wrote the Memorial of his brother officer Marvin Wait, killed at Antietam, for the Connecticut War Record, and had it published as a separate volume in 1863.


03/12/1833; Mount Pleasant, PA


03/20/1865; Wilmington, NC; burial in Cornwall Cemetery, Cornwall, 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, pp. 293, 333, 357  [AotW citation 30625]

2   Croffut, W. A., and John M. Morris, The Military and Civil History of Connecticut during the War of 1861-65, New York: Ledyard Bill, 1868, p. 272  [AotW citation 30626]