The grave marker for Sydney Woodbury is not too far from our Clark Family and it is on the main path. It has been damaged and on the ground for a very long time. I have tried for several years to find out if he died at Antietam, since he died on the same day. He did serve in the navy, but it wouldn’t seem likely that a sailor would die at the Battle of Antietam. There is no death record for him. I have researched his entire family, thinking that I might find a family tree in Ancestry with information. No luck.
Sydney’s monument has been reset and is looking good. I decided to try again. I thought the newspaper for Gloucester would have a list of war casualties, so I looked in the Gloucester Telegraph for the 17th of September, 1862 and the week after. I scanned the lists of men serving and didn’t see him. Then an article caught my eye and as I was reading it, Sydney Woodbury’s name jumped off the page. The article was damaged in the middle, but the first paragraph was legible as was the part about Sydney.
The Gloucester Telegraph
Serious Railroad Collision
“A collision occurred on the Eastern Railroad at Wenham, a little before eight o’clock on Wednesday evening, between a train on the way to Newburyport, containing one passenger car, and a train of four cars returning from Portsmouth with about 200 persons who had been on an excursion to that city, under the direction of Mr. Perham.”
“The fireman of the excursion train, Sydney Woodbury of Gloucester, who has been employed on the road but a few days, was killed. – His head nearly severed.”
As the D2 cleaner takes effect in the coming weeks, his monument will be a handsome reminder of a young man lost in his prime. It will give me something to talk to him about as I clean knotweed from the Woodbury Family Plot.