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Elijah Bacon

Page history last edited by cathy nelson 11 years, 4 months ago

The only Medal of Honor was earned by Elijah William Bacon.


Elijah Bacon was born in 1838 in Burlington, CT,   The family moved to Berlin.  On March 24, 1857, Elijah married Eliza ‘Angeline’ Shelley.  The family assumed that Elijah was a stonecutter who worked for Angeline’s father, Julius Shelley, who had a quarry and marble shop.  Shelley Monument still exists today in Madison. 


On July 28, 1862, Elijah and his brother Andrew both enlisted into the 14th Regiment, Company F.  There were 21 Berlin men in this company.  The Regiment was immediately thrown into the war.  Their first battle was on September 17, 1862 at Antietam, MD, the bloodiest single day battle in American history.  The Regiment was active in many battles.  In July 1863, the Regiment was in the Battle of Gettysburg where the 14th Regiment was part of the group that repelled Pickett’s Charge.  This is where Elijah captured the flag of the Confederate 16th North Carolina Infantry of A.P. Hill’s Corps.  It was considered a great dishonor to lose your battle flag.   

For this action, he was awarded the Medal of Honor.  The Medal of Honor was created by the US Congress to recognize the valor of the soldiers in the Civil War.  In all, 63 medals were awarded to soldiers for their actions of bravery and courage on the battlefield of Gettysburg.  The Medal of Honor was posthumously awarded to Elijah on December 1, 1864.  Elijah Bacon is the only Berlin man to earn the award.



On May 6, 1864, Elijah was killed during the Battle of the Wilderness.  He was 28 years old. 


There were 3 brothers: His older brother Oliver also enlisted in the war and survived.

His brother, Andrew was captured on May 9, 1864 at Ely’s Ford, VA, imprisoned in Andersonville, GA, and died in a prison of war camp in Florence, SC on Jan. 25, 1865.  Both brothers have gravestones in the family plot in Maple Cemetery in Berlin.

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