Aug 30

The gravestone of E. Raymond Fonda at Albany Rural Cemetery, who gave his life in battle during the Civil War, has been restored.
The work was performed by Grave Stone Matters on August 24, 2010. (click on images to enlarge)

The work scope was more extensive than planned because of the discovery of marble side rails in addition to the three-piece headstone and the footstone. Great care and expertise was taken by Joe Ferrannini of GSM, assisted by Civil War Historian Mark Bodnar (credits for photos).  Thanks also to Colonie Historian Kevin Franklin for his interest and coordination efforts.

E. Raymond Fonda can be found on rootsweb and findagrave listings, and the New York State Military Museum.
E. Raymond Fonda Sgt-Maj

E. Raymond Fonda Sgt-Maj, Co.H, 115th NY Infantry Regiment

Eldert Raymond Fonda; b. 1837 in Watertown, MA; 1850 & 1860 Census, Edinburgh, Saratoga Co., NY; 1860 Census, Vergennes, Addison, VT; d. 7/22/1864 in New York City from wounds sustained in battle; bur. John Fonda Lot, Albany Rural Cemetery, Menands, Albany Co., NY; DAR Library, GRC National Index: Fonda, E Raymond, State IL, Series/Vol s1 v10, Page 175

Civil War Service: 1). E Raymond Fonda; Vergennes, Vermont; enlisted as a Private on 02-May-1861; enlisted in Co.G, 1st Infantry Regiment Vermont on 09-May-1861; mustered out Co.G, 1st Infantry Regiment Vermont on 15-Aug-1861 in Bradtleboro, VT; 2). E Raymond Fonda; enlisted as a Private on 21-Jul-1862 at the age of 24; enlisted in Co.H, 115th Infantry Regiment New York on 01-Aug-1862; POW on 15-Sep-1862 at Harper’s Ferry, VA; paroled on 16-Sep-1862 at Harper’s Ferry, VA; promoted to Full Sergeant MAJ on 16-Oct-1862; wounded on 07-May-1864 at Chester Station, VA; died of wounds Co.H, 115th Infantry Regiment New York on 22-Jul-1864 in New York, NY

Battle of Chesterfield Heights, Virginia July 1864

Battle of Chesterfield Heights, Virginia - May 1864

Sgt.-Maj. Civil War; mortally wounded at Chesterfield Heights, VA on May 7th, 1864; born in Watertown, Mass., but resided in Cohoes, Albany county, when he enlisted in Co. H. He was a mechanic by trade, and twenty-four years of age. Besides the hard service seen in the 115th NY Infantry, he served his country three months in the 1st VT Infantry, early in the war. His father had been in the employ of the government for nearly forty years; a younger brother held the position of sergeant in the regular army, and Raymond himself had been familiar with military operations from his youth up, so that he was a finished and well drilled soldier. Possessed of a brave and resolute will, he was a good soldier. Blest with a kind and loving heart, he won many friends. Pleasant and amiable to both officers and men, he was highly respected. His military career was without a single blot, and he died a true patriot and esteemed by all who knew him.

The battle of Chesterfield Heights, Va., was his last battle with the rebels. The regiment was lying behind a bank of earth, firing at the rebels, and Raymond refused to lie down with the rest, but kept walking along the lines while the bloody conflict was progressing, making his person a mark for the enemy’s bullets. Suddenly he sang out to the commanding officer, “Major, we are flanked right and left!” And sure enough we were flanked, and many brave men shed their blood before we cut our way out. Among the first to fall was E. Raymond Fonda, and two frightful wounds sent out streams of blood. The soldiers carried his bleeding form from the field, and in due time he reached the city of NY. After many weeks of suffering he died in the arms of his friends.

...was treated in a field hospital until the 10th, when he was admitted into Hampton Hospital, Fort Monroe; thence transferred to New York, and admitted to Ladies' Home Hospital on the 23d of May.

I did some more searching and found this (rather gruesome) account of Sgt-Major Fonda’s hospital treatment:
CASE 973 –Sergeant-Major E. Raymond Fonda, 45th New York, aged 28 years, was wounded at Drury’s Bluff. May 7, 1864, by a minié ball, which entered one inch to the right of the coccyx, passed upward and out to within half an inch of the surface, just above the trochanter major of the right side. The ball was cut down upon and removed on the same day; it did not injure the bone. The wounded man was treated in a field hospital until the 10th, when he was admitted into Hampton Hospital, Fort Monroe; thence transferred to New York, and admitted to Ladies’ Home Hospital on the 23d of May. Surgeon A. B. Mott, U. S. V., reported: “When admitted, the patient was very much emaciated; the wound healed unhealthy and inflamed, the discharges thin and offensive, and there was a disposition to slough. The sloughing increased on the 26th; the discharge was sanious and thin, the patient weak and restless. On the 28th, the wounds were still unhealthy in condition and showing evidence of gangrene. June 1st: The discharge was slightly increased and the wound painful. Five ounces of sherry wine daily, with extra diet. was ordered. On the 8th, the wounds were still painful, and the discharge continued to look unhealthy. Hemorrhage occurred on the 13th, coming probably from the sciatic artery; persulphate of iron was applied and the wound plugged. On the 14th. there was a very profuse hemorrhage, which was arrested by persulphate of iron with pressure. Hemorrhage recurred on the 15th, and was checked by the application of Lambert’s tourniquet with compresses. The patient was much reduced in strength; pulse 130. Beef-tea and five ounces of sherry wine were given and frequently repeated during the day. There was no hemorrhage the next day; beef-tea and wine continued. The patient was much better on the 17th; his pulse 160. After consultation, it was decided that the only chance for the patient’s recovery would be to ligate the right internal iliac artery. He was put under the influence of a mixture of chloroform and ether, and the operation was performed by Surgeon A. B. Mott, U. S. V.

... and the brave young soldier who saved the regiment was E. Raymond Fonda...

And more on the battle where he was wounded:
Sergeant-Major E. Raymond Fonda, of Cohoes, who, during the fight, bravely and almost recklessly exposed himself to the storm of bullets, but escaped unhurt, until we were falling back, after the accomplishment of our object, when he was struck in the leg and arm. Our flag-staff was cut in two, the same ball glancing and severely wounding the bearer, Serg’t Keck.
E. RAYMOND FONDA, Sergeant-Major of the 115th regiment, died at the Ladies Home U. S. Hospital, in New York, July 22d, of wounds received in one of the actions near Petersburg. The 115th regiment has returned from Florida, and was at Gloucester Point, opposite Yorktown, on the York river, at last advices. Other troops came on at the same time.

History of Cohoes:
July 22, Sergeant Major E. Raymond Fonda, aged 27. Was a member of the 115th Reg’t N. Y. Vols. He was severely wounded May 7th, in one of the battles near Petersburg, Va., from the effects of which he died in the Lady’s Home Hospital, New York.

History of Saratoga County:
E. Raymond Fonda, enl. July 21, 1862, 115th Regt., Co. H; pro. to sergt.-major; mortally wounded at Chesterfield Heights, Va., May 7, 1864; died in hospital, New York city.

True Stories of the War For the Union – Personal Experiences and Observations of Union Soldiers in the Several Campaigns:
All at once the men in gray started down the hill ; then the men in blue gave a wild cheer and charged down the other hillside, reaching the railroad trick first, when they instantly dropped behind an embankment and poured a withering fire into the hosts in gray, stopping their advance. In the mist he dimly saw a fight which chilled his blood – a large body of men in gray stealing around the flank of a regiment in blue, which seemed to be his own brothers, and he felt that they were lost, when suddenly a, fine-looking young soldier from the midst of the regiment in blue rose up from the ground, and at a glance saw their peril, and in the face of a thousand bullets, gave the alarm: the men in blue cut their way through the hosts of gray and escaped, but many scores had fallen in the conflict, among the number being the fine-looking young soldier, who had saved his brothers. This proved to be a description of the battle of Chesterfield Heights and of our regiment, and the brave young soldier who saved the regiment was E. Raymond Fonda, of our company.

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