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1806 Zenas Bliss Funeral Pamphlet - Died at 27 Years - Famous RI Family

1806 Zenas Bliss Funeral Pamphlet - Died at 27 Years - Famous RI Family


Zenas Bliss may have only lived to the age of 27 but he was the progenitor of a family important in the military and in government with his great-grandson elected Lt Governor of Rhode Island from 1910-1913.

This is a little pamphlet preached at the funeral of Zenas Bliss who died on August 8, 1806 less than one year after his marriage to Keziah Wilmarth of Lyndon, VT on September 8, 1805, and only two months after the birth of his only child, Zenas Bliss, Jr.  Zenas was a son of Captain Jonathan Bliss who was a patriot in the Revolutionary War and was also the grandfather of a Civil War Medal of Honor recipient. Zenas was part of an important Rhode Island family who settled the town of Rehoboth, RI. He was also related - in some family connection - to Rufus Bliss who was the owner of Bliss Manufacturing who made Bliss toys.

The 'Marg' who commissioned this pamphlet seems to have been an aunt or cousin because his mother's name was Lydia and he didn't have any sisters named Margaret (Marg).

TheZenas Bliss family descendency:

Zenas Bliss's only child, Zenas Bliss Jr, born on June 11, 1806, and was part of the Rhode Island Bliss family's history of military service because even though he was not in the military himself, Zenas Bliss Jr was the father of Major General Zenas Randall Bliss (4/17/1835-1/2/1900).

This excerpt is from the Arlington National Cemetery website at:


He served in Texas until May 9, 1861, when he was captured with the command of Colonel I.V.D. Reeve, 8th U.S. Infantry, by a Confederate force under General Earl Van Dorn, and he was held as a prisoner-of-war, at San Antonio, Texas, and Richmond, Virginia, until he was exchanged on April 5, 1862. He was appointed Colonel, 10th Rhode Island Volunteers, August 1862; fought in the Fredericksburg campaign, December 1862; then in the Division of the Ohio in Kentucky to May 1863; transferred with the 2nd Division IX Corps, and with that organization took part in the siege and capture of Jackson, Mississippi.

He transferred to Kentucky and commanded the military district of Middle Tennessee to the Spring of 1864; commanded the 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, IX Corps, in the Wilderness Campaign and in the battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Petersburg, etc. After the war, he commanded the military district of Charleston, South Carolina, and was Assistant Commander of Freedmen and Abandoned Mines and various branches of military and civil duty.

He was awarded the Medal of Honor on December 30, 1898, for services during the Civil War at Fredericksburg, Virginia, on December 13, 1862, while serving as Colonel, 7th Rhode Island Volunteer Infantry.

Major General Bliss's son, Zenas Work Bliss became the Lt Governor of Rhode Island.

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