By KAITLYN NAPLES
The Bristol Public Library History Room has a new addition to its photograph collection, thanks to the great, great, great niece of Captain Newton S. Manross, who died in his first battle of the Civil War.
Marcia Eveland of Burlington grew up in Bristol and is a member of the Manross family, the first family to settle in Forestville. She has accumulated a multitude of family heirlooms, and just recently donated a photograph of her great, great, great uncle, a book that was written about him, and also donated his dress sword to the Bristol Historical Society.
Newton Manross was born in 1825, and was the second son of Elisha Manross, a clockmaker in Forestville, and the great, great grandson of Nehemiah Manross, who was Forestville’s first settler, Historical Research Librarian at the Bristol Public Library Jay Manewitz said.
Newton Manross graduated from Yale University in 1850, earned a Ph. D. in chemistry from the University of Gottingen in Germany, and became a professor at Amherst College. He became captain of Company K, which was a troop of 16 men from Connecticut. He was elected to be captain, and the first battle he fought in was the Battle of Antietam, the single bloodiest day in American military history, Manewitz said. Newton Manross died in that battle on Sept. 17, 1862 from a cannonball.
When the Civil War began, Manross wrote to his wife and the last words he said to her were “you can better afford to have a country without a husband, than a husband without a country.”
The photograph Eveland donated is believed to be the original photograph taken, which is of Manross in his military dress. The sword Eveland donated to the historical society was given to
Manross by the city of Bristol.
“It doesn’t truly belong to me,” Eveland said, adding she is not a direct descendant of Manross, and has attempted to give it to those who are but has not been successful. “I’m just trying to get it home.”
Manross was 37-years-old when he died, and was buried in the Forestville Cemetery.
The photograph will be on display at the history room in the Bristol main library on High Street, and the sword will be at the historical society at 98 Summer St., and can be reached at (860)583-6309. The Bristol History Room is open to the public on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 2 to 4 p.m., and then again on Wednesday from 6 to 7:45 p.m.