January 8, 2014 by milfordpreservationtrust
On New Year’s Day, 2014, the Milford Preservation Trust commemorated one of the most important events in Milford’s history by lighting 47 lanterns at the base of the Captain Stephen Stow monument in Milford’s ancient cemetery. The monument is a memorial to 200 Revolutionary War soldiers who were taken prisoner during the Battles of New York in 1776, became ill with smallpox, and were dumped from a British ship onto Ft. Trumbull Beach on New Year’s Eve, 1776-1777. beach area, Forty-six of them later died and were buried in a mass grave, probably in the cemetery. One Milford resident who volunteered to care for the sick, also contracted the disease and died. He was Captain Stephen Stow, and this hero of Milford’s colonial history was buried with the soldiers. Some soldiers returned home. Some died on the way and were buried where they died. Lanterns were also placed at the John Downs House and the Sanford-Bristol House to celebrate other survivors of the 18th century.