Terryville in Litchfield County, Connecticut — The American Northeast (New England)
Dorence Atwater, Plymouth's Civil War Hero
After the War, he and Clara Barton returned to the prison camp to properly mark the graves and establish the Andersonville National Cemetery. He and Barton became lifelong friends.
In 1868, Atwater became consul to the Seychelles, an island chain off the east coast of Africa. In 1871, President Ulysses Grant appointed Atwater as U.S. consul to Tahiti. Atwater married a Tahitian princess and spent most of the rest of his life in the Pacific, running successful businesses such as a steamship line and a vanilla plantation. Clara Barton came to Plymouth's Centennial Celebration in 1895 to honor her friend, and returned on Memorial Day in 1907 for the dedication of
Atwater returned to Terryville 1908 to see this monument. He died in 1910 and is buried in Tahiti. The Tahitian word “TUPUATAAROA” is inscribed on his gravestone. It means "wise man".
( right panel )
Feb. 3, 1845 - Born in Terryville. Third child of
Catherine Fenn Atwater and Henry Atwater.
1861 - Enlists in Union Army. Assigned to 2nd NY Cavalry.
May 1863 - His mother, Catherine, dies.
July 1863 - Captured by Confederates, sent to Belle Isle, Richmond, VA, POW camp.
Feb. 1864 - Sent to Andersonville, GA, POW camp.
Feb. 1865 - Released from Andersonville with secret list of 13,000 dead.
March 1865 - Returns to Terryville.
April 1865 - His father, Henry, dies. Travels to Washington, D.C. Meets Clara Barton.
July 1865 - Goes to Andersonville with Clara Barton.
Sept. 1865 - Court martialed in dispute over ownership of the Death Records. Sent to Federal prison in Auburn, NY, at hard labor.
Nov. 1865 - Released from prison after Clara Barton intercedes.
July 1866 - "A List of the Union Soldiers Buried at
Andersonville" is published by the New York Tribune.
1866-1867 - Atwater and Clara Barton work in the Missing Soldiers Office. They travel, giving lectures to raise funds for
1868 - Appointed Consul to Seychelle Islands.
1871 - Appointed Consul to Tahiti.
1875 - Marries Princess Moetia Salmon in Tahiti.
Late 1800s - Owns shipping business, vanilla plantation, pearl business, works with lepers.
1906 - Original copy of Atwater's Death Records destroyed in Great Fire of San Francisco.
1907 - Atwater monument installed at Baldwin Park.
1908 - Returns to Terryville to see his monument.
Nov. 26, 1910 - Dies in San Francisco.
1912 - Buried in Tahiti in a ceremony reserved for royalty.
The Legacy of Clara Barton and Dorence Atwater
Clara Barton and Dorence Atwater were able to account for 20,000 missing soldiers and provide their families some comfort in knowing what happened to their loved ones.
This was the first time in U.S. history that a concerted effort was made to notify families about their fathers, brothers, and sons who were Missing In Action.
The Andersonville Prison Historic Site is managed by the National Park Service. It is the home of the National Prisoner of War Museum. According to the Park Service Atwater may have been the most important enlisted man to serve in the Union Army.
For the record of the dead, you are indebted to the forethought, courage, and perseverance of Dorence Atwater – Clara Barton
Location. 41° 40.731′ N, 73° 0.481′ W. Marker is in Terryville, Connecticut, in Litchfield County. Marker is at the intersection of Park Street and Main Street, on the right when traveling north on Park Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Terryville CT 06786, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Loyal Sons and Daughters (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Plymouth Veterans Monument (about 500 feet away); Plymouth Vietnam Veterans Memorial (about 500 feet away); The Old Terryville Cemetery (approx. 0.2 miles away); Terryville Soldiers Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Original Date Stone (approx. 0.2 miles away); Terryville Congregational Church Bell (approx. ¼ mile away); The Eli Terry Jr. Water Wheel (approx. 0.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Terryville.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Markers in Andersonville Prison of War Camp, Andersonville, Ga.
Also see . . .
1. Dorence Atwater on Wikipedia. (Submitted on February 28, 2010, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
2. The Andersonville Death Rolls. (Submitted on February 28, 2010, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 1,039 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. 7. submitted on , by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. 8, 9, 10. submitted on , by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.