Vesper, Owen R.
Age: 18, credited to Royalton, VT
Unit(s): 3rd VT INF
Service: enl 6/1/61, m/i 7/16/61, Pvt, Co. F, 3rd VT INF, reen 12/21/63, wdd, Wilderness, 5/5/64, tr to Co. K, 7/25/64, m/o 6/27/65
See Legend for expansion of abbreviationsVITALS
Birth: 02/15/1843, Unknown
Burial: Oak Grove Cemetery, Springfield, MA
Marker/Plot: Section 7
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Heidi McColgan
Findagrave Memorial #: 90136252
Alias?: None noted
College?: Not Found
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)
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Oak Grove Cemetery, Springfield, MA
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Owen R. Vesper
The Claremont National Eagle, January 13, 1900
A Family of Patriots
How the Vespers, of Vermont, Gave Their Lives for Country
Washington, Dec. 30 (Special).
A singular case of inherited patriotism and sacrifice of the men of a family for their country’s defense has come before the War Department for consideration, which emphasizes a notable defect in the laws intended to reward heroism and devotion to duty. It is a case that appeals strongly to the authorities, who recognize the high moral obligation of a crippled veteran whose father, grandfather, and great-grandfather gave their lives, two to preserve the Union and one to secure American Independence, and who has now given the lives of his two sons, his sole means of support, to free Cuba and achieve the destiny of the United States. The simple record of facts as presented to the War Department is as follows:
Owen R. Vesper, eighteen years old, enlisted in May, 1861, as a private in Company F, 3d Vermont Infantry. In September of the same year his aged father enlisted as a recruit in the same company to be with his only son. In 1862, while the regiment was in the Chickahominy swamps, near Richmond; the father, Oramel succumbed to the vicissitudes of the arduous campaign and died at Harrison’s Landing, just after the Seven Day’s battles. The boy became one of the best soldiers in the regiment, serving through the Antietam and Fredericksburg campaigns, and back through Virginia to Rappahannock Station. Vesper was always conspicuous in the celebrated 3d Vermont, which went into service in 1861 with over one thousand of the hardiest Green Mountain men, and after receiving three thousand recruits during the war was mustered out in July 1865, with a total strength of three hundred and fifty, of whom only forty-five left home with the command at Lincoln’s first call.
There was not a soldier in the regiment whose services were not distinguished and meritorious, and heroism was such a commonplace matter with the Vermonters that officers were not called upon to be continually sending in reports to headquarters of conspicuous instances. Vesper re-enlisted as a veteran volunteer, and on May 5, 1864, at the Wilderness, he lost his right arm above the elbow in action, and in consequence was transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps and served until the close of the war. On his return home he married, and two sons were born to him. With the assistance of his devoted wife, and in spite of his own infirmity, by dint of diligence night and day he educated the boys, and just as they reached manhood and were becoming the sole dependence of their parent, the Spanish War began. The old martial spirit, transmitted from the grandfather and father, asserted itself, and they joined the 2d Massachusetts, going through the battles at Santiago with that regiment. There the younger, Paul, died in the infected camps on august 10 and his elder brother, Lieutenant Harry J. Vesper died on the transport, Mobile on the way home, only two days out from Montauk Point, and was buried at sea.
Thus has a family of patriots been annihilated in their country’s service. Owen Vesper’s great grandfather was a soldier of the Revolution under Washington. His grandfather, a soldier of the War of 1812, was taken prisoner by the British, and died upon release. His father in the Civil War was buried at Harrison’s Landing. He gave his own right arm at the Wilderness, and then gave his two sons in the Spanish War.
Contributed by Cathy Hoyt.