Individual Record -- Dwinell, Melvin
Age: 0, credited to Calais, VT
Unit(s): 8th GA INF
Service: 8th GA INF (CSA)
See Legend for expansion of abbreviationsVITALS
Birth: 07/09/1825, Calais, VT
Burial: Fairview Cemetery, Calais, VT
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer: David Cross
Findagrave Memorial #: 64165763
Alias?: None noted
College?: UVM 49
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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Fairview Cemetery, Calais, VT
Check the cemetery for location/directions and other veterans who may be buried there.
In the Fairview Cemetery in East Calais, Vermont, located in the north half of the cemetery in the extreme west section along the white wood rail fence, there is a grave stone inscribed:
SON OF ISRAEL & PHILA G. DWINELL
EAST CALAIS July 9, 1825
ROME GA. DEC. 28, 1887
Adjacent to the stone is a Confederate War Veteran marker and Confederate battle flag.
Capt. Melvin Dwinell, the oldest newspaper owner and editor at Rome, Ga., died there the afternoon of the 28th of December. Leaving his boyhood home in Vermont, he went to Rome in 1853, where he purchased the Courier, then a small weekly sheet, and continued its proprietor and editor from that time until the 15th of January 1885, having published it as a tri-weekly about twenty years, until 1881, and then converted it into a daily and weekly. In January 1881, he sold it, the purchaser merging it with "The Tribune of Rome." When the great civil war broke out Capt. Dwinell enlisted in the Rome Light Guard, of which he was elected 1st Lieutenant, and served for two years, participating in the battle of Gettysburg, in which he was wounded. At the expiration of that time he went home on a furlough, wearing the epaulets of a captain, and was elected to the Legislature, where he served until the collapse of the confederacy.
As a newspaper publisher he won a handsome success, and as a man was highly esteemed. His editorial successor says of him that there were none in that region who "do not know the honest, manly face and figure, of Capt. Melvin Dwinell." At the close of the war he was, in common with almost everybody in the South, a poor man, but he went to work with Vermont energy and persistence, and again accumulated a handsome competence. The Tribune says that he "leaves a large fortune in real estate and city property." A few years since he made a journey to Egypt and other foreign countries, writing home a very interesting series of letters, which were afterward gathered, and published in a volume that had a large sale.
Captain Dwinell was the fifth of a family of seven children of Israel and Phila Dwinell, of Calais, in which town all of these children were born. The others all survive him, and are Alexander, of Brooklyn, N.Y., Edson, of Oakland, Cal., Ira, Albert, and Levi, of Calais, and Jane, wife of Rev. J. G. Hale, of Lugona, Southern California. Deceased obtained his education in the common schools of his native town, and then graduated at the University of Vermont.
After graduation he taught two years in the Academy at Morrisville, the balance of the time until he went south being spent at the home to which he was very strongly attached. During the war of the rebellion he was prevented from visiting the North, but as soon as affairs had become settle he resumed his yearly visits, and scarcely a summer had passed that he did not spend a part of the season at the old homestead. Ira and Albert, his brothers, went to Rome, Ga., when notified of his serious illness, but did not reach there until after his decease. Brief funeral services were held at Rome, and the body was at once sent north, where the funeral and interment is to take place at East Calais at 11 o'clock a.m. to-day, Rev. J. O. Sherburne, Methodist, of Montpelier, is to officiate, as the deceased was a member of that religious denomination in his southern home.
Source: Argus & Patriot, 11 January 1888
Additional material: The 8th Georgia Infantry Webpage contains a photograph, autobiography and some of Melvin's wartime letters. Weston A. Cate, Jr., "Forever Calais: A History of Calais, Vermont" (L. Brown & Sons, Barre, Vt., 1999). Dwinell, Harold A. "Vermonter in Gray: The Story of Melvin Dwinell" Vermont History, 30 (July 1962), pp 220-37.
Additional autobiographical material in Abby Hemenway's Vermont Historical Gazetteer, iv:162-163.
(Photographs contributed by David F. Cross M.D., Charlotte)
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