Richard Blumenthal (D)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (Legal Newsline)-Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is looking for state funds and experts to help in the search for the remains of 46 Continental Army soldiers who died in Milford, Conn., of smallpox in 1777.

The Connecticut Post reported Monday that a monument was erected 50 years after the incident, indicating the men were buried in a mass grave near the spot.

Tom Beirne, former chairman of the Board of Aldermen, told the newspaper he fears that some of the remains may be on an adjacent lot, where a developer is seeking approval to build an apartment complex.

Blumenthal said if the remains are on private property, "I would think if it were necessary that we could take action to secure the site."

Beirne said he spoke to Blumenthal when both men attended the recent burial of the repatriated remains of a U.S. Army sergeant who was killed during the Vietnam era.

"The monument is within 50 feet of the proposed construction site, which borders the cemetery," Beirne was quoted as saying. "The U.S. Department of Defense has told me that it is a state matter, and that's why I alerted the attorney general."

Developers Robert Smith and Philip Craft have a contract to purchase the site next to Milford Cemetery to build apartments.

Smith has reportedly said that his firm will hire an archaeological firm to survey the site before any work starts.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at

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