Friday, July 26, 2013

Commander John J. Cornwell-Memorial in Lisbon Cemetery

 There are several grave markers in the Lisbon Cemetery that have remarkable stories actually written on them.  Or, at least enough information to help you find their remarkable story.  On the marker  for Commander John Cornwell it tells that it is in his memory, that he was a Commander in the U.S. Navy, and that he is buried in  Toulon, France.  It also gives the date of his death as Feb 12, 1867.

Putting Mr. Cornwell into the computer, his whole story comes up.  It was written by East Liverpool's own, Timothy Brookes, a local historian who has slid into the place of the amazing Joan Witt, who died suddenly in April of last year.
He wrote it for a publication called the Salt Water Buckeye.
 My favorite thing about that article is  the picture you find of Commander Cornwell.  You actually see what he looked like.  It is always nice to have a face to go with a name on a tombstone.  It makes them more real. 
He apparently died from too much stress, according to the ship surgeon, W.E. Taylor. He called the cause of death "Congestion of the brain."

Cornwell was the Commander of the double-turreted monitor, the U.S.S. Nahant.
First, what is a monitor?  A Monitor is the class of relatively small warship which was neither fast nor strongly armored but carried disproportionately large guns.
Second, what was the U.S.S. Nahant?

Here is a picture of the ship, commissioned in 1862.  Cornwell took command in 1865, right after the fall of Forte Sumter.

It was awesome to see a little of the past, just from reading a grave marker in Lisbon Cemetery.  I look forward to doing that again.


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