Age: 31, credited to Charleston, VTVITALS
Birth: 1830, Waterford, VTADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Alias?: None notedDESCENDANTS
Old Protestant Cemetery, Island Pond, VT
Check the cemetery for location/directions
and other veterans who may be buried there.
CAPTAIN ERASTUS BUCK
By Rev. P.H. White
Among the many brave Vermonters who laid down their lives for their country during the battles of the Wilderness, there was none braver than Capt. Erastus Buck of the 3d Regiment, who died of wounds in Georgetown, May 22, 1864. He was a native of Charleston, vt., and during the whole of his early life, had a desperate struggle with poverty. Upon coming of age he went to California, and in that land of gold he procured enough of the precious metal to lay the foundation of a comfortable fortune. He was living upon a well tilled and well stocked farm of his own in his native town, when the war broke out; and as soon as he could adjust his concerns he enlisted in Company D, of the 3d Regiment. He was made sergeant when the Company was organized, was promoted to the 2d lieutenancy Nov. 19, '61, and to the 1st lieutenancy Sept 16, 1862, and to the captaincy last winter.
As an officer he had some peculiarities which while they exposed him to criticism of martinets, gave him all the more influence with his own men. The rules of military service do not allow a commissioned officer to soil his hands at manual labor. But if there were tress to be felled or trenches to be dug by Company I, captain Buck not only gave orders to that effect, but set such an example as few of his men could fully imitate. In the attempt to do this, however, they accomplished more work than almost any Company in the regiment, or even the brigade. He was exceedingly careless about form of speech and of command, ordering his company now like a gang of poor-laborers then like soldiers. But they admired him for his undaunted bravery, loved him for the freedom and frankness of his intercourse with them, and promptly went wherever he ordered; or, rather, followed wherever he led, for he was not the man to send others where he could not go himself.
He had a robust constitution, enjoyed almost perfect health, was hardly off duty a single day, nor did he receive a single wound in the many engagements in which he shared, 'till the fatal one that terminated his life. His remains were conveyed to Charleston, and burial with Masonic Honors, in the presence of more than a thousand people who assembled to pay last tribute to the gallant soldier.
Coventry, June 21, 1864
Hemenway's Historical Gazetteer, 1877, iii:129
Courtesy of Deanna French.