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Chaplain Leo Rizzo

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Father Leo da Saracena, a Franciscan priest, entered the seminary near his native home in Calabria, Italy. The Fransicans there, many from Ireland, taught him to speak English, but with an Irish accent. He served as Chaplain throughout the Ninth’s action in the Richmond-Petersburg and Washington D.C. area as well as the campaign in the Shenandoah Valley. After the war he served as pastor in Winsted, CT and also served as one of the first presidents of what is now Saint Bonaventure University in Olean, NY. He died on November 3, 1897 and is buried in Saint Joseph’s Cemetery in Winsted, CT.

From Murray’s 1903 “History of the Ninth Regiment”:
RIZZO, CHAPLAIN LEO, born in Calabria, Italy, about 1832; succeeded the Rev. Daniel Mullen as chaplain of the Ninth ; enlisted, July 15, 1864; mustered, the same day; honorably discharged, Oct. 26, 1864. His family name was Rizzo. He became a Catholic priest of the Franciscan Order and was known in religion as the Very Rev. Leo da Saracena, O. S. F. By the officers and men of the Ninth he was popularly known as "Father Leo."

Upon his arrival in this country, he was assigned to the diocese of Hartford, Ct., and was made a curate of St. Mary's church, New Haven, by Bishop McFarland. "Many will remember," says an obituary notice, "the enthusiastic and heartfelt welcome which the remnant of the regiment tendered the chaplain who came to Hartford on Battle Flag Day not to ride in a carriage, an honor to which his station entitled him, but to stand, where he always stood, among the men, to march with them through the streets of the city as he had marched with them through the fields of battle" Upon his return from the war, Father Leo was sent to build up the Winsted, Ct., parish and did his work very thoroughly. His obsequies were of a very impressive nature and took place at St. Joseph's church, Winsted, Nov. 6, 1897. The services began at 10 a. m., with a solemn Pontifical Mass. The office of the dead was chanted by the Rev. Father Murphy of Manchester, assisted by the Rev. Fathers McElroy of Derby, Quinn of Collinsville and Lynch of Waterbury. Bishop Tierney, of Hartford, celebrated Mass and was assisted by deacons of honor, Rev. T. W. Broderick of Hartford, and Rev. Father Kennedy of Norwich; deacon of the Mass, Rev. W. J. Slocum of Waterbury; sub deacon of the Mass, Rev. Luke Fitzsimmons, of New Hartford; master of ceremonies, Rev. Father McGurk, Hartford, and Rev. T. J. Finn of Birmingham as censor bearer. In compliance with the wish of Father Leo there was no funeral sermon. Bishop Bevins of Springfield, Mass., administered absolution in the church and the Very Rev. Father Anacletus of New York gave absolution at the grave.

The honorary pall bearers representing the Ninth Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers, of which Father Leo was chaplain, were Col. Fitz Gibbon of Bridgeport, Col. John G. Healy, Capt. Michael Mc-Carten and Lieut. William O'Keefe of New Haven, Sergt. Michael Cronan and Corp. M. P. Coen of Naugatuck, and Color Bearer Frank Lynch of Meriden. Instead of bringing flowers and other decorations as a tribute, the Ninth Regiment association brought a beautiful silk flag of regulation size, with the inscription printed thereon in golden letters, "Veterans of the Ninth Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers." The flag was mounted upon a sectional pole of oak surmounted by an eagle and tassels and was presented with a touching address by Col. John G. Healy of New Haven in behalf of the regiment. It was accepted in behalf of the Franciscan order by Father Anacletus, ex-provincial of the order, in words very fitting to the occasion and which expressed great feeling. The honorary pall bearers from the Franciscans were the Very Rev. Father Anacletus, Rev. Father Julius, Rev. Father McCabe, Rev. Father Daniel, of New York city, Rev. Father Pamphilus, guardian of the Mother House in Allegany, N. Y., and Rev. Father Cyprian of Allegany, N. Y. Governor Cooke of Connecticut walked with the honorary pall bearers. At the grave, Bugler James F. McCann, of Naugatuck, sounded "taps" in honor of the deceased regimental chaplain.




Cpl John Alexander
Pvt Albert Andrews

Mus Charles Andre
Pvt Josiah Barker
Pvt David Barry
QM Nathan Bennett
Lt John Bolger

Sgt William Brown
Pvt Dominick Burns
Sgt Bernard Caffrey
Col Thomas W. Cahill
Pvt John I. Cain
Pvt Ambrose Carney
Lt John Carroll
Lt Daniel Carroll
Pvt John Carroll
Lt Patrick T. Claffee
Capt Thomas Coates
Cpl John P. Coen
Cpl Michael P. Coen
Sgt Michael Cronan
Pvt Patrick Cullen
Capt Elliot Curtis
Lt John Curtis
Mus Dennis Deegan
Pvt Levi S. Drew
Capt John Duffy
Lt Fredrick M. Fairchild
Pvt Daniel Farrell
Lt Col Richard FitzGibbon
Pvt Patrick Flanagan
Mjr Frederick Frye
Surg Charles Gallagher
Capt Patrick Garvey

Sgt Daniel Gallagher
Lt William Gleeson
Capt James Graham
Sgt Malachi Hackett
Pvt John Hazlett
Prin Muc John Healy
Lt Col John G Healy
Pvt Edward Heffernan
Sgt Daniel Heffernan
Capt James Hennessey
Pvt Michael Horrigan
Lt Patrick Ingoldsby
Pvt Martin Joyce
Pvt Patrick Kane
Pvt Patrick Lane
Pvt Patrick Larkin
Lt Joseph Lawler
Lt James Lawler
Lt Thomas Lawler

Pvt John Marlow
Capt Michael McCarten
Chap Daniel Mullen
Sgt James T. Mullen
Lt Michael Mullins
Capt Lawrence O'Brien
Lt William O'Keefe
Lt Daniel O'Sullivan
Capt Charles Palmer
Sgt Phillip Reilley
Chap Leo Rizzo
Sgt Timothy Ryan
Capt Gary Scott
Lt John Shaw
Capt Terrance Sheridan
Lt Christian Streit
Sgt Thomas Tallmadge
Capt David C. Warner
Pvt Robert Walsh
Capt Michael Williams
Capt William Wright

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