Conant, Abel B.
Age: 0, credited to Thetford, VT
Unit(s): 7th KY INF
Service: 7th KY INF, comn ASURG, 8/7/61 (9/22/61), pr SURG 5/10/64, resgd 9/24/64
See Legend for expansion of abbreviationsVITALS
Birth: 01/05/1837, Lyme, NH
Burial: Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY
Marker/Plot: Lot 6894, Sec 46
Findagrave Memorial #: 76069383
Alias?: None noted
Portrait?: VHS off-site
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)
Remarks: more off-site
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Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY
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The subject of this notice, Abel Blood Conant, M. D., was born in the township of Lyme, Grafton county, N. H., on the fifth day of January, 1837, and was the youngest of six brothers—having two sisters also older than himself.
Industry was one of the cardinal virtues his father inculcated upon all his sons; and he, like the others, was kept employed on the farm Or in the carpenter's shop, until he was twenty-one years of age; having in the meantime attended two terms at an Academy, and taught school two winters with success. At this age he commenced the study of Latin and Greek, at Thetford Academy, Vermont, defraying his expenses meantime by teaching and labor. He soon commenced the study of medicine, under the general direction of his brother, Dr. D. S. Conant, of this city. In the winter of 1859-60, he joined the private dissecting class of Dr. A. B. Crosby, at Hanover, N. H., and attended his first course of lectures in the University of Vermont during the spring of 1860. In the fall of that year he came to New York, and put himself under the immediate direction of his brother, with whom he resided. He attended two courses of lectures at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, where he was graduated in March, 1862.
He immediately offered his services to his country, and was accepted as contract surgeon and sent into Kentucky. In the fall of 1862, he was appointed assistant surgeon of the Third Kentucky regiment of volunteers, subsequently called the Seventh, and of which Dr. Wm. Berry was surgeon.
Dr. Conant followed the fortunes of this regiment through its term of service, beloved by all, and fulfilling those offices of trust (such as treasurer of the regiment, of the hospital fund, etc.), which showed the confidence his fellow soldiers reposed in his integrity. On the 10th of June, 1864, he was promoted to full surgeon of the regiment, Dr. Berry having resigned; though he had been acting surgeon for six mouths previously, during Dr. Berry's absence on account of sickness. . On the 27th of August he received orders to act as inspector of his division, and on September 1st as senior surgeon first brigade, fifth division, nineteenth army corps. On September 24th, his regiment having served the full time, he was honorably discharged from military service. He immediately returned to this city, and was soon after elected a member of this Society. He was preparing a paper to be read before this Society, giving a narrative of his experience in the service, when removed by death. After his return from the army, he was appointed Lecturer on Physiology in the University of Vermont for the coming session, and had already commenced the preparation of his course of lectures, intending at the close of the term to spend the summer and fall in Europe, on a tour for professional improvement. His purpose was then to return and locate himself for general practice in this city.
After his return from the army he enjoyed his usual health, with the exception of a troublesome cold, contracted at Cairo, on his way home from New Orleans. But on Friday, December 16th, he became quite ill with what seemed to be only an ordinary sick headache, which persisted through the day. On Saturday he felt himself threatened with a chill. On Sunday his throat became sore and troublesome, and on Monday unmistakable signs of diphtheria became manifest. The disease seemed to progress favorably until Wednesday night, when indications of blood poisoning began to appear. From this time he sank rapidly, and died suddenly of paralysis of the heart at twelve o'clock on Thursday, the 22d. He was attended during his last illness by his brother and the writer of this notice. Dr. Alonzo Clark, and Dr. Leaming were called in during his last hours. His remains were interred in his brother's lot on Chapel Hill, Greenwood. Thus terminated the brief but active and useful professional career of a good young man.
Dr. Conant was quiet and modest in his deportment, but had already struggled with and overcome difficulties which would have discouraged a less courageous and persevering mind. His was a simple, truthful, manly character, such as constitutes the foundation of all true manliness.
His firm faith in the truths of revelation, and his efforts to walk in the paths of christian duty, added to the natural qualities of his character the better and higher characteristics of a christian gentleman, and enabled him to say, on his return from the army, that he remained as free from all moral contamination as he was when he entered it. 'In all the relations he sustained as son, brother, or professional adviser, he ever manifested the kind and humane feelings that endeared him alike to his family and friends. As an evidence of the high esteem he had earned for himself among strangers, both professionally and as a man, I quote from a letter of Dr. Berry's, for two years his superior surgeon. Dr. B. writes: "I was intimately associated with Dr. Conant for nearly two years, as the original surgeon of the Seventh Kentucky regiment, and found him a firm friend and a man of unflinching honor, integrity and bravery, devoted to his profession, and likely at no distant period to attain a high position in it."
It is a sad loss to his chosen profession when one so energetic, so high minded, so true, however young he may be, is stricken from its roll. We who have had a longer term of labor in it can perhaps better appreciate this fact than can such young men themselves. Let me assure our younger confreres that we observe them with interest and sympathize with them; for it is they who will sustain the honor of our profession when we are gone.
Source: Obituary notice of Dr. A. B. Conant. By E. R. Peaslee, M. D., of New York. [Read before the Medical Society of the County of New York, February, 1865.]
Contributed by David Morin