Among the hundreds of soldiers, nurses, and volunteers who worked at Camp Letterman was Private Justus Silliman of the 17th Connecticut Volunteers, a resident of New Canaan. Slightly wounded in the fighting on July 1st, he remained behind to care for his more critically wounded comrade, Samuel Comstock. Writing to his mother on August 11th, Silliman noted that "Sam is getting on about as usual. His recovery I believe is yet considered doubtful. He is very thin but is quite strong for one who has suffered so much - I think appearances are favorable at present."
Six weeks later, Private Silliman had to report to his mother on September 26th:
I have just returned from visiting Sam. He is failing rapidly and is liable to drop away at any moment. He seemed disinclined to talk and wished to sleep. I have made arrangements so that I can have him embalmed, the cost of embalming will be $15,00, box $5.00, Expressage would cost about $24.
Sam died on September 27th, and Private Silliman accompanied the body back to New Canaan. Ironically, just a few weeks before, Silliman observed that "Gettysburg has been an extensive coffin mart & embalmers harvest field...these coffin speculators made an enormous profit."