Sweet Auburn: The Magazine of the Friends of Mount Auburn Community, Conservation & Citizen Science - Page 15

William Cummings (1840–1910) Lot 322, Chestnut Avenue William Cummings was a gas fitter from Boston. In 1862, he enlisted in the Union Army, serving as a Private in Company H of the 24th Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. He was discharged for disability in May 1864 in Fort Monroe, VA, shortly after participating in ferocious fighting on Drewry’s Bluff, VA, in which the 24th took terrible losses: 11 killed, and 54 wounded or missing. Cummings appears to have been institutionalized following his discharge, and he died in 1910 at the Boston State Hospital. Emily Parsons (1824–1880) Lot 608, Greenbriar Path Emily Parsons trained as a nurse in the early 19th century—a rarity for women at the time. In 1861, at age 37, she became a nurse for the Union army. She served at Fort Schuyler Military Hospital on Long Island, Lawson Hospital in Missouri, and the hospital steamship City of Alton, which travelled the Mississippi River providing medical care to soldiers, including during the Battle of Vicksburg. She aided the escape of many African Americans from slavery during that time. Parsons was placed in charge of the Benton Barracks Hospital in St. Louis, where she helped reduce death rates and improve conditions for African American patients. After the war, she returned to Massachusetts and opened Cambridge Hospital— now Mount Auburn Hospital. Frank Howard Nelson (1843–1862) Lot 2845, Ivy Path Frank Howard Nelson was born in Boston and served as the Lieutenant of 19th Regiment, New York Infantry. He fought and died in the Battle of Williamsburg, VA, at the age of 19. Nelson is buried elsewhere, but a cenotaph honoring him was placed in his family’s lot. His marble headstone is topped with a carved military- themed motif. Mason Rea (1838–1864) Lot 669, Cypress Avenue Mason Rea served as 1st Lieutenant of the 24th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment K. He was killed in action at Drewry’s Bluff, VA, on May 16, 1864, at age 26. Rea’s remains were first interred on the battlefield, but were later moved to Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, VA, in 1865. Rea’s family placed a marble cenotaph in his memory at Mount Auburn, featuring a sword and flag in relief diagonally across the front. 2017 Volume 2 | 13