Snapshot of a Civil War Soldier: William (Willie) Nelson Bartlett

Snapshot of a Civil War Soldier:  William (Willie) Nelson Bartlett

The Civil War monument on the Guilford Green lists the names of Guilford residents who gave their lives for us.  Representative of these men is William (Willie) Nelson Bartlett, who died of a gunshot to the heart when he was 20 years old.

Here’s what we know about Willie from his death records and his compiled service record at the National Archives and Records Administration.  The website provides information on Willie’s abolitionist father George and Guilford’s connection to the anti-slavery movement.

William (Willie) Nelson Bartlett
Sex:  Male
Parents:  George Bartlett and Ruth Bartlett
Date of Birth:  July 27, 1844
Place of Birth: Guilford, Connecticut
Address:  111 Goose Lane, Guilford, Connecticut
Occupation:  Farmer
Marital Status:  Single
Date of Enlistment:  August 6, 1862 (age 18)
Details of Enlistment:  Private, 14th Connecticut Infantry, Company I, three-year term
Date of Death: August 15, 1864 (age 20)
Cause of Death:  Gunshot wound through the heart
Place of Death:  Second Battle of Deep Bottom, Deep Bottom, Virginia
Burial Place:  Alderbrook Cemetery, Guilford, Connecticut

Willie lived with his parents at 111 Goose Lane, Guilford, Connecticut, which was part of the Underground Railroad. Once the James Davis House, today a Yale-New Haven Hospital medical facility occupies the property.

At the time of the Civil War, Guilford was active in the anti-slavery movement with an anti-slavery society of 123 members.  According to stories passed from one generation to the next, Willie’s father, George Bartlett (1798-1893), was an abolitionist and anti-slavery society member who hid fugitive slaves in a cellar on the Goose Lane property.


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