|Frederick Henry Beecher, the nephew of Harriet Beecher Stowe, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana to Harriet’s brother Charles and his Maine
born wife Sarah Coffin Stowe. In his formative years Harriet’s younger brother Charles was working for a counting house where the future
clergyman, and author in his own rite, had the unlikely task of traveling about the Louisiana bayous in a boat collecting delinquent debts from well
to do planters. As such he learned a great deal of life in the deep south. He hobnobbed with the gentile while at the same time witnessing the
circumstance of slavery . His detailed letters to sister Harriet would later serve the author as a primary source in her work Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
When the Civil War broke out Harriet’s nephew Freddy was a student at Bowdoin College just down the street from the Stowe home in Brunswick,
Maine. After graduation Frederick enlisted as a Sergeant of Co. B 16th Maine Volunteer Infantry. Wounded at the battle of Fredericksburg then
again severely wounded at Gettysburg, this hard fought Beecher was promoted through the rank of Brevet Captain before the Civil War’s end.
Frederick had not seen the last of battle however as he fell in action against Cheyenne Chief Roman Nose when on September 17, 1868, 600 of
the great chief’s warriors fell on a column of elite Army scouts where Beecher was second in command. The action on the Arikaree River near
what is now Wray, Colorado, would be recorded as The Battle of Beecher Island. It would claim the lives of both Chief Roman Nose and the
young officer from Maine, Frederick Henry Beecher. The name largely lost in the greatness of his Aunt’s legacy but his saber, inscribed to the
Lieutenant of the old 16th Maine, would be prized in his memory for decades and a marker still stands where he fell.