A DEVOTED HUSBAND A BRAVE SOLDIER A TRUE GENEROUS FRIEND BORN IN BRISTOL N.Y. MAY 30, 1842 AND ACCIDENTALLY SHOT IN PONCHATOULA LA FEB.11.1872 AGED 29 YRS 8 MO.12 DAS
A MEMBER OF
THE 21st N.Y. VOL. CAV. HE SERVED NOBLY DURING THE WAR AND WAS DESPERATELY WOUNDED IN DEFENSE OF HIS COUNTRY HE WAS ALSO A MEMBER OF THE GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC AND OF THE MASONIC FRATERNITY
A theory about this stone's unique geometric shape is posited in "Speaking Stones" from the Rochester University. The simple decorative lines leave the powerful message of the stone's shape and words to speak for themselves without other distracting symbols. The design of this stone was, perhaps chosen by the wife of E. Burke Collins, since the largest text on the front of this stone is "My Husband". It seems obvious that she wanted this stone with its unique geometry to catch the attention of any passers by. Follow the straight side upwards to the slightly curved upper edge and continue the curve. These lines meet to form a very conventional shape of a tablet style with a curved top. Collins' is not a complete triangular, but rather a full tablet cut off at little more than half its size, bearing a strong relation to the person whose grave this stone marks. E. Burke Collins was shot by accident when only 29 years old, scarcely more than half the life expectancy of that time.
This was a small gravestone that certainly caught my attention. I took the photos, on the fly, so to speak and was pleasantly surprised to see that it was one that was included in the Speaking Stones website, which turned out to be a course offered by the Rochester University for the Dept of Religion and Classics. The course outline almost makes me want to go back to school.