Age: 23, credited to Bennington, VT
Unit(s): 2nd VT INF
Service: comn 1LT, Co. A, 2nd VT INF, 5/16/61 (5/16/61), pr CPT, Co. I, 1/22/62 (1/22/62), pr MAJ, 1/8/63 (1/20/63), pr LTC, 2/9/63 (2/23/63), pr COL, 4/2/64 (4/21/64), kia, Wilderness, 5/5/64
See Legend for expansion of abbreviationsVITALS
Birth: 12/09/1836, Readsboro, VT
Burial: Old First Church Cemetery, Bennington, VT
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Heidi McColgan
Findagrave Memorial #: 9396958
Alias?: None noted
Portrait?: Gibson Collection, Jones Collection, VHS Collections
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: WPA Graves Registration Card indicates that this is a cenotaph.
2nd Great Granduncle of Dodd Eastham, Houston, TX
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Old First Church Cemetery, Bennington, VT
Check the cemetery for location/directions and other veterans who may be buried there.
VHS - 2nd Vermont Infantry Album (V2)
John Gibson Collection
Dewey Jones Collection
From Benedict's "Vermont in the Civil War," volume 1, pp. 112-113:
On the 1st of April (1864), Colonel Walbridge, who had been for some time a sufferer from chronic rheumatism affecting his lower limbs, resigned, and Lieut. Colonel Newton Stone succeeded him as colonel.
Colonel Stone was the son of Rev. Ambrose Stone of Readsboro. He had selected the law as his profession and Bennington as his place of residence and business, and had before him the prospect of a successful professional career, when, at the age of 23, he enlisted and went out as First Lieutenant of Co. A of the Second Vermont. He had repeatedly distinguished himself in battle, and reached the colonelcy by successive promotions through all the intermediate ranks. His term of command was brief but glorious, ending a month later in the murderous Wilderness. On the 4th of May, 1864, the regiment marched with the Sixth Corps and the army, to take its share of the perils and glory of General Grant's overland campaign. In the battles of the Wilderness, May 5th and 6th, the Second fought with the old brigade on the left of the Orange Plank-road. It was on the first day placed in the second line, its right resting on the Plank-road, but moved forward into the front line, after the fighting became severe, and did some of the hardest and best fighting that was done in those two bloody days, at a fearful cost. Its gallant young commander was killed on the 5th. About five o'clock in the afternoon Colonel Stone received a flesh wound in the leg, and was taken to the rear. As soon as the wound was dressed he called for his horse, and rode back to the front. The men greeted him with cheers, as he rejoined his command, which was sturdily holding its ground under a fearful fire of musketry. He addressed them as follows: "Well, boys, this is rough work; but I have done as I told you I wished you to do, not to leave for a slight wound, but to remain just as long as you can do any good. I am here to stay as long as I can do any good.” He then rode along the line, speaking a word of cheer to every company. As he halted to address Company B, a musket ball entered his head, and he fell from his horse a corpse. When the regiment was withdrawn to the rear, the enemy pressed forward over the ground it had held, and Colonel Stone's body fell into their hands. The enemy again falling back, it was soon after recovered, and was finally taken to Bennington for burial.
Footnote to the last paragraph: "General L. A. Grant in his report said of Colonel Stone: "He was a good officer, gallant by nature, prompt in his duties, and urbane in his manners. He was beloved by his command, and by all who knew him.”
May 18, 1864
The death of Col. Newton Stone of the 2d Vt., on the second days' battle in the Wilderness, is fully confirmed. After he fell, his regiment was forced back, leaving his body in the hands of the enemy; but it was afterwards recovered and buried by his command. Col. Stone was the son of Rev. Ambrose Stone of Readsboro, Vt., 26 years old, and a promising young lawyer of Bennington when he went to the war as lieutenant in the regiment that he commanded at the time of his death, his gallant services commanding swift and sure promotions. Two brothers of Col. Stone are still in the army, one Lieut. Pratt Stone , in the regiment his brother commanded.
St. Albans Daily Messenger
May 20, 1864
We cannot refrain from printing one more of the many notices which we find in our exchange of this brave and lamented officer.
The fate of the late Col. Newton Stone, of the 2d Vermont, has at last been satisfactorily ascertained. He was shot dead while at the head of his regiment, in the second days' fight. The regiment was overpowered and driven back and the body of the Colonel fell in the hands of the rebels. The regiment however, soon rallied again determined to avenge the death of their gallant Colonel and made a desperate charge forcing the rebels back with great slaughter and recovering the body of their Colonel, which had been stripped of everything of value, even to his boots. He was buried near the spot where he fell, and many a brave soldier who has fought under him on nearly every battlefield in Virginia, dropped a tear upon his grave.
'He sleeps his last sleep, he has fought his last battle, no sound can awake him to glory again.'
The body of Col. Stone is to be taken up and conveyed to his home in Readsboro, Vermont, where his father, Rev. Ambrose Stone, resides. He was a finished scholar, an accomplished gentleman, and a brave officer, and his memory will long be cherished by a large circle of friends and acquaintances, of whom none knew him but to love.
Vermont Phoenix, Friday, May 27, 1864
Death of Col. Newton Stone. -- It has at last been ascertained the Col. Newton Stone of the Second Vermnt Regiment has been killed. He was shot dead while at the head of his regiment, in the second day's fight of Grant's army. The regiment was overpowered and driven back and the body of the colonel fell into the hands of the rebels. The regiment, howover, soon rallied again and made a desperate charge forcing the rebels back with great slaughter and recovering the body of their Colonel, which had been stripped of everything of value, even to his boots. He was buried near the spot where he fell. The body is to be taken up and conveney to his home in Readsboro, Vt., where his father, Rev. Ambrose Stone, resides. He was 26 years of age and admitted to the bar at Bennington, just previous to his entering the service, three years ago.
Lowell Daily Citizen and News, Saturday, June 4, 1864
The Last Words of Col. Stone. --- Much has been said --- but not too much --- in praise of Col. Newton Stone, late commander of the Vermont 2d, who fell in the second day's fight in the Wilderness. He was first wounded in the leg, and conveyed to the rear, and, after hving his wound dressed, requested to be placed upon his horse, wihch was done, when he immediately rode to the front and took his position at the head of his regiment, amid the cheers of his men, whom he addressed briefly as follows:
"Well, boys, this is rough work, but I have done as I told you I wished you to do, not to leave for a slight wound, but remain just as long as you could do any good; I am here to do so as long as I can."
He then rode along the line, speaking a word of cheer to every company, and, as he halted to address Company B, a rifle-ball pierced his head, and he fell from his horse a corpse. At that moment the regiment was vored back, and the body of their colonel was captured, but was immediately retaken.
June 10, 1865
The remains of Col. Newton Stone of the 2d Vermont regiment, who was killed in the battle of the Wilderness, May 5,1864, are to be removed from the battlefield to Bennington, where a monument is to be erected in his memory. Capt. Pratt Stone of the staff of Gen. L.A. Grant, and a brother of Col. Stone, is expected to arrive in Bennington with the remains on Tuesday of next week, but the time of the funeral is not yet designated.
June 27, 1865
The remains of Col .Newton Stone of the 2d Vermont regiment, who was killed in the battle of the Wilderness, were buried at Bennington with appropriate services. Capt. Pratt Stone, lately on Brig. Gen. Grant's staff, and a brother of Col. Stone, has resigned his commission and is stopping for the present at his home in Rowe, Mass.
Hoosac Valley News and Transcript
13 July 1865
Col. Newton Stone, who was killed on the 5th of May last, in the terrible battle of that day, in the Wilderness, was born at Rowe, in the state of Mass. on the 9th day of December, 1836.
When he was a little more than one year old, his parents moved to Readsboro, in this county, where they have ever since continued to reside. More than twenty years ago, his father, who was then a leading member of the church, and a life long enemy of the slavery institution, seceded from the church, because of its tolerance of that accursed sin, and united with another branch, whose sympathies were in unison with his own, and young Stone inherited a full share of his father's hatred of this sum of all villainies, together with no small portion of the unbending will, and decision of character, which distinguished his father, when once he had carefully weighed and considered upon his course of action.
Col. S. early evinced a taste for study, and without the aid of wealthy or influential friends, by his own energy and industry, he acquired a good academical education, and at the age of twenty one in 1858, he came to Bennington and entered the law office of the Hon. A.B. Gardner, where he continued to pursue his studies, with a diligence and success, which gave high promise of future pre-eminence in his chosen profession, until the breaking out of the war in 1861.
It was while he was pursuing his studies with Mr. G. that he first became known in this town, and his uniformly modest and manly behavior, early attracted the notice and respect of our people. When the 2nd Vt. Regt. was being raised, Col. Stone was among the first to enlist, and on the 15th day of May, 1861, upon the organization of the Co., it was no small compliment to his worth and reputation that he was unanimously elected First Lieut. of a company of so much intelligence and which has furnished so many worthy and distinguished officers for the service.
Col. James H. Walbridge was at the same time chosen Capt. of the Company and during the eventful three years, which followed, and until Col. W. was compelled to resign, on account of ill health, in March last, the intercourse and friendship between these two men, were marked by a confidence, and mutual reliance, which is honorable to both.
Young Stone was admitted to the bar, in June, 1861, at Manchester, his regt. at the time being on its way to Burlington, where it was mustered into service, on the 17th of June 1861. Lieut. Stone was promoted to the first vacant Captaincy, in his regiment which occurred in Co.. I on the 22nd day of January, 1862. He continued to perform the duties of this office, with credit and ability until Jan. 8th, 1863, when upon Maj. Walbridge's promotion to the Lt.-Colonelcy, Capt. Stone was commissioned Major of the regt. He remained with the regiment only until the 19th of the same month, when he was detailed to serve upon the staff of Gen. Howe, as Inspector Gen. of the Division, until about the middle of March last, when he returned to his regiment. Col. Walbridge, at the time being at home on sick leave.
It is no discredit to the other members of the staff, to say that Col. Stone was a favorite with the General, and that he performed his duties, to the entire satisfaction of his superior officer. Upon the occasion of active work, in battle, Col. Stone was accustomed to tender his services to Gen. Howe in any capacity where he might be most useful, although his special duties would excuse him from hazardous service, and on all such occasions he merited and received the approval of his principal.
Col. Stone was commissioned Col. April 2nd 1864, and commanded his regiment from that time until his death, which occurred on the 5th of May, when so many other of Vermont's brave sons, gave up their lives for the cause of their county and of Freedom.
He was wounded by a bullet through his leg, early in the fight, and went back to the rear to have the wound dressed by the Surgeon, but he could not remain away from his men, and returned to inspire them by his presence and his example. He passed from the right to the left of the line, exhorting all to their duty, and fell as a soldier would wish to fall, with his back to the field, and his feet to the foe.
He has left a father and mother, two brothers, one in the service in the 2nd Vt. and a dear sister to mourn his early death, but the consolations that remain to them, are among the most perfect which Heaven lends to humanity.
The last obsequies of the lamented
Col. Newton Stone of the Vermont 2d, who fell in the Wilderness while leading his men on to battle and victory, and whose remains were recently interred in the Bennington Hill Cemetery, were held in Readsboro, the residence of his father, Rev. Ambrose Stone, Sunday, July 2d. Rev. Mr. Lamb of Whitingham, officiated, and preached a very impressive discourse upon words recorded in the 14th verse of the 90th psalm. A large concourse of people convened to pay their last respects to him whom none knew but to respect, admire and love for his noble manly Christian character. The Colonel's favorite horse, a beautiful chestnut colored pony, was led in the procession. The occasion was one of deep solemnity and long to be remembered by all present. A beautiful monument is to be erected to the memory of the deceased in the cemetery at Bennington.
Argus and Patriot
Nov. 19, 1902
A painting of Col. Newton Stone has been hung in the reception room of the State house. It was given by Samuel Baker Hall of North Bennington.
May, 28, 1933
Portrain and Sword of Bennington Civil War Colonel Given Museum
Mementoes of Col. Newton Stone of 2d Vermont Regiment Presented to Historical Association By Westfield Relatives – His Service and Death at Battle of the Wilderness
Bennington, Vt., May 27 – On Memorial day there will be a presented to the local historical museum an oil portrait and sword reminiscent of Civil war days. The portrait is a likeness of Col. Newton Stone of the 2d Vermont regiment and the sword is one that he carried during a part of his military career. These mementoes came to the notice of John Spargo, president of the battle Monument and Historical association, through a letter from a nephew of Col. Stone at Westfield, Mass. The presentation of the portrait and sword is made by Miss Anna G. Clark and Edward G. Clark of Westfield, Mass., and Lyman N. Clark, Jr., of Reno, Nev. , whose mother, Martha (Stone) Clark, was a sister of the colonel. On the scabbard of the sword is an imprint of a horseshoe calk. This imprint was made by a cavalry horse during the retreat at the first battle of Bull Run. Col. Stone was killed in action at the battle of the Wilderness on ma 5, 1864, at the age of 27 and at the close of the war his body was brought back to Vermont by his brother, Capt. A. Pratt Stone, who was given an escort of cavalry, and the funeral and burial took place in Bennington.
The horse assigned to Col. Stone was brought North at the time and it was an animal of unusual intelligence. Col. Stone gave the horse credit for saving his life on several occasions, or at least prevented him from being taken prisoner. One dark night the colonel made a tour of inspection along the sentry line and turned as he supposed to return to his headquarters. The horse went on for a time and then suddenly balked. No amount of urging would cause him to go on and Col. Stone gave him the rein. The horse whirled quickly and went straight into camp.
The Sunday following the funeral in Bennington a memorial service was held in the old town hall of Readsboro and there were so many inquiries about the horse that he was saddled and brought out in front of the church. Later he was bought by a relative, Daniel Craig.
Col. Stone was born December 9, 1836, a son of Ambrose and Lucy (Amidon) Stone. There were eight children in the family, three daughters, Elizabeth, Lucy and Martha, and five sons, Solomon, Royal, Daniel, A. Pratt and Newton. Four of the sons were in the civil war, Royal and Solomon in Massachusetts regiments and Col. Newton and A. Pratt Stone in the 2d Vermont regiment. It is recorded that Col. Stone as a youth was particularly studious and ambitious and inherited many of the fine traits of his parents. He decided upon law as his profession and in 1858 moved from Readsboro to Bennington where he studied law in the office of A.B. Gardner until 1861. One biographer wrote, " During his residence in Bennington his excellent qualities of mind and heart and uniformly modest and irreproachable behavior won for him wide and hearty appreciation. In person he was of medium stature and slender frame; of pleasing address and prepossessing appearance; always a favorite deeply and tenderly beloved by his friends.”
On May 15, 1861, Col. Stone enlisted in the 2d Vermont regiment and was unanimously elected first lieutenant of Co. A. In June the young lieutenant was admitted to the bar and his regiment was mustered into service at Burlington on June 17 and formed a part of the Army of the Potomac. This new regiment was quick to get into the action and took part in the disastrous Bull Run engagement. The young officer mentions in his diary that it was more of a victory than a defeat inasmuch as the entire North became aroused and united thereby. In January 1862 he became captain and previously had been acting adjutant of the regiment.
The young officer was ordinarily and uniformly optimistic as to the final outcome of the terrible war but he sometime frankly expressed his opinion of the seemingly absurd delays brought about by the action, or lack of action of those in high command. Hope and regret often filled his letters to those back home but he did not allow his dismay to be communicated to the men under his charge.
Col. Stone was promoted rapidly throughout his career in the army and soon after becoming major was detailed as inspector-general of the 2d division under Gen. Howe. One friend wrote, "In his position upon the staff his business qualities had a good chance to display themselves; he was the oracle of the regiment in the matters of official business and was often consulted by superior officers. At one time in his inspection work he brought to the notice of the government frauds perpetrated by certain contractors of camps and garrison equipage at Philadelphia and other places, which was the means of bringing speedy punishment on the parties thus engaged." When Lieut.-Col. Walbridge became colonel, Maj. Stone took his place and was later named colonel. In one letter back home he wrote that he not think the army was demoralized but the complications and conflicts of opinions at Washington, the strictures of the press, and the opposition to the draft, did more to demoralize the army than a defeat.
The lieutenant colonel accompanied his regiment to New York to aid the enforcement of the draft but was ordered to return to the headquarters of Gen. Howe. He reenlisted for three years, and made this entry in his diary, "I hope the war will be ended long before the expiration of the term but if I knew it was not to be my duty would be the same. My place is here. I long with a great longing for a month of home quiet.” In the month of February he had his furlough and he happily visited the beloved Vermont home and surroundings and it was the last time that he gazed upon those wonderful hills and enjoyed the companionship of his relatives and friends. On April 2 he was relieved of his staff duties and became colonel of his regiment. It has been said that no Vermont officer in the Civil war received a greater number of commissions than Col. Stone.
It was during the bloody battle of the Wilderness that Co. Stone was wounded and later killed. He was twice wounded and one musket ball shattered one of his ankles. Using his sword and empty scabbard as canes he stood by his men, refusing the advice of his brother officers to have the wounds dressed. The regiment was forced to fall back and the colonel received the death wound, a bullet through his lungs. That night the colonel's brother, Capt. A. Pratt Stone, searched the battlefield with the aid of matches and came upon the body of the colonel. One story told by survivors is to the effect that another searching party came upon Capt. Stone and found that he had been holding his brother in his arms all through the night, so overcome was he by the tragedy of the occasion. There was a temporary burial ordered by the captain and later the body was taken North to lie forever amid the familiar scenes of his youth.
Dr. Stevens of the 77th New York regiment, historian of the 6th corps, wrote, " The Vermont brigade lost many of its brightest ornaments. Col. Stone will be remembered for his urbane manners by all who frequented our division headquarters and his bravery had endeared him to his men.” One of the soldiers in the ranks wrote that the death of his colonel was the greatest loss the regiment ever sustained. That he had the confidence of his superiors and the respect and love of his men is borne out by all available records of those trying and stirring times. One of his first acts as colonel was the appointment of a chaplain who wrote a friend of the harmonious relations that existed between the colonel and his men. A monument marks his resting place in Bennington and when the Grand Army post was organized in North Bennington it was named the Newton Stone post. In the last letter to his mother, written on the eve of the battle which resulted in his death, Col. Stone recorded the following: "On the morrow we move and no one can tell what may befall us, but in Almighty God I put my trust.”
BORN IN READSBORO
DEC. 9, 1836,
INLISTED IN CO. A. 2. VT. V.
FOR GALLANT CONDUCT
TO BE COL OF HIS REG.
WAS IN THE BATTLES OF
SEVEN DAYS BATTLES,
AND WAS KILLED
IN THE BATTLE
OF THE WILDERNESS,
MAY 5, 1864.
Contributed by Tom Boudreau.
Photograph of Colonel Stone courtesy of Dewey Jones.
Photograph of Mrs. Stone courtesy of John Gibson.
Tombstone photographs by Heidi McColgan.