The Calvin Shedd Papers > Background > Private Thomas K. Heath

Private Thomas K. Heath

Date(s) of Letter(s) From:  Little, Henry F. W.  The Seventh Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion.  Concord, New Hampshire:  Seventh New Hampshire Veteran Association, 1896. 
March 2, 1862
"On the 17th, Private Thomas K. Heath, of Company A, died at 9 o'clock P. M.  He had been sick since coming on board, and remained below in his bunk, apparently frightened by the rolling and pitching of the ship.  At last he was brought on deck, where, as soon as he beheld the broad expanse of water around him, with the mountainous waves heaving like a seething cauldron, he seemed so overcome by fright that immediately he sank upon the deck, and expired within a few hours.  Under the extraordinary circumstances the death of this comrade aboard ship seemed a pitiful one.  At 10 o'clock on the morning of the 18th, we gave the body of our soldier a burial at sea.  Having been sewed up in his blanket, with a sixty-pound shot at the foot, the body was laid upon a plank an covered with the stars and stripes.  Adjt. Thomas A. Henderson read the beautiful burial service of the Episcopal Church, and at its conclusion he pronounced the 'Amen," one end of the plank was lifted and the body, with a dull splash, passed gently down into the depths of the 'deep, deep sea.'  The body was buried with military honors, and the usual three volleys were fired over the remains, and the ship, which had been 'hove to' for the performance of the ceremony, was again put on her course."  p. 35