A Tragic Fate

Photo by Michael Kleen

Memorial to Maj. Gen. Emory Upton (1839-1881) and his wife Emily Norwood Martin (1846-1870) in Fort Hill Cemetery, 19 Fort Street in Auburn, New York. Emory Upton was a Union officer in the Army of the Potomac during the American Civil War. He had a brilliant tactical mind, and developed a plan that briefly broke through Robert E. Lee’s defensive fortifications during the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. He was brevetted Major General for his service.

After the war, he married 21-year-old Emily Norwood Martin, who died tragically of tuberculosis two years later. Emory was devastated by her loss, and never remarried. He committed suicide in 1881 after suffering severe headaches, possibly from a brain tumor. His biographer wrote, “History cannot furnish a brighter example of unselfish patriotism, or ambition unsullied by an ignoble thought or an unworthy deed.”

Maj. Gen. Emory Upton (1839-1881)

Emily’s epitaph reads, “Still, Still with Thee When Purple Morning Breaketh…”

Emily Norwood Martin Upton (1846-1870)

Author: Michael Kleen

Michael Kleen is an author, raconteur, and occasional traveler. He has a M.A. in History and M.S. in Education. He enjoys studying military history, folklore, and philosophy.

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