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Ut-r-'-SV af CONGRESS 
iwf. 0' 'Mfs Rec.e'veci 

JUN 6 la08 

CMSS/^ Me. No. 

cuwr A. 

Copyright, 1908, by 
Dudley L. Vaill 


This volume is one of a series published under 
the auspices of the Litchfield County University 
Club, and in accordance with a proposition 
made to the club by one of its members, 
Mr. Carl Stoeckel, of Norfolk, Connecticut. 




Governor Buckingham Frontispiece 

Rev. Hiram Eddy facing page 7 

Presentation of Colors, September loth, 1 862 
The first encampment in Virginia 
Fort Ellsworth, near Alexandria, May, 1863 
In the Defences. Guard mount .... 

General Sedgwick 

The first battle 

Colonel Wessells 

Colonel Kellogg 

Colonel Mackenzie 

Colonel Hubbard 

Monument at Arlington 









For those who dwell within its borders, or 
whose ancestral roots are bedded among its 
hills, the claims of Litchfield County to distinc- 
tion are many and of many kinds. In these 
latter days it has become notable as the home of 
certain organizations of unique character and 
high purpose, which flourish under circum- 
stances highly exceptional, and certainly no less 
highly appreciated. 

It is as part of the work of one of these that 
there is commemorated in this volume an or- 
ganization of an earlier day, one distinctively 
of the county, in no way unique in its time, but 



of the highest purpose — the regiment gathered 
here for the national defence in the Civil War. 

The county's participation in that defence 
was by no means restricted to the raising of a 
single regiment. Quite as many, perhaps more, 
of its sons were enrolled in other commands as 
made up what was known originally as the 
Nineteenth Connecticut Volunteer Infantry; 
but in that body its organized effort as a county 
found expression, and it was proud to let the 
splendid record of that body stand as typical of 
its sacrifices for the preservation of the Union. 

Though the history of that regiment's career 
has been written in full detail, the purpose of 
this slight repetition of the story needs no 
apology. There is sufficient justification in its 
intrinsic interest, to say nothing of a personal 
interest in its members, men who gave such 
proofs of their quality, and whose survivors are 
still our neighbors in probably every town in 
the county. 


There is also something more than mere in- 
terest to be gained, in considering historical 
matters of such immensity as the Civil War, 
in giving the attention to some minute sec- 
tion of the whole, such as the account of 
individual experiences, or of the career of a 
particular regiment such as this; it is of 
great value as bringing an adequate realization 
of the actual bearing of the great events of 
that time upon the people of the time. The 
story of a body of Litchfield County men, such 
men as we see every day, drawn from such 
homes as we know all about us, is a potent help 
to understanding in what way and with what 
aspects these great historical movements bore 
upon the people of the country, for the expe- 
rience of this group of towns and their sons fur- 
nished but one small instance of what was 
borne, infinitely magnified, throughout the 

It will readily appear that the subject might 



furnish material for a notable volume. In the 
present case nothing is possible save a brief 
sketch of the matter, made up chiefly, as will be 
seen, of citations from the published history of 
the regiment, and from such other sources of 
information as were easily accessible. Among 
the latter must be noted the records of the Regi- 
mental Association, to which access was had 
through the courtesy of its secretary, D. C. Kil- 
bourn, Esq., of Litchfield, and his assistance, as 
well as that of H. W. Wessells, Esq., of Litch- 
field, to both of whom the securing of most 
of the illustrations used is due, is gratefully 



N spite of the labors of unnumbered 
chroniclers, it is not easy, if in- 
deed it is possible, for us of this 
later generation to realize ade- 
quately the great patriotic upris- 
ing of the war times. 

It began in the early days of 1861 with the 
assault on Fort Sumter, which, following a 
long and trying season of uncertainty, fur- 
nished the sudden shock that resolved the 
doubts of the wavering and changed the opin- 
ions of the incredulous. Immediately there 
swept over all the northern states a wave of in- 
tense national feeling, attended by scenes of 


patriotic and confident enthusiasm more noisy 
than far-sighted, and there was a resulting host 
of volunteers, who went forth for the service of 
ninety days with the largest hopes, and propor- 
tionate ignorance of the crisis which had come 
to the nation. Of these Connecticut furnished 
more than her allotted share, and Litchfield 
County a due proportion. 

The climax of this excited period was sup- 
plied by the battle of Bull Run. There was 
surprise, and almost consternation, at the first 
news of this salutary event, but quickly follow- 
ing, a renewed rally of patriotic feeling, less 
excited but more determined, and with a clearer 
apprehension of the actual situation. The en- 
listment of volunteers for a longer term had 
been begun, and now went forward briskly for 
many months; regiment after regiment was en- 
rolled, equipped, and sent southward, until, in 
the spring of 1862, the force of this movement 
began to spend itself. The national arms had 
met with some important successes during the 
winter, and a feeling of confidence had arisen 



in the invincibility of the Grand Army of the 
Potomac, which had been gathering and organ- 
izing under General McClellan for what the 
impatient country was disposed to think an in- 
terminable time. A War Department order in 
April, 1862, putting a stop to recruiting for the 
armies, added to the confidence, since an easy 
inference could be drawn from it, and the North 
settled down to await with high hopes the re- 
sults of McClellan's long expected advance. 

Then came the campaign on the Peninsula. 
At first there was but meagre news and a multi- 
tude of conflicting rumors about its fierce battles 
and famous retreat, but in the end the real- 
ization of the failure of this mighty effort. To 
the country it was a disappointment literally 
stunning in its proportions; but now at length 
there was revealed the magnitude of the task 
confronting the nation, and again there sprang 
up the determination, grim and intense, to 
strain every nerve for the restoration of the 

The President's call for three hundred thou- 


sand men to serve "for three years or the war" 
was proclaimed to this state by Governor Buck- 
ingham on July 3rd (1862), and evidence was 
at once forthcoming that it was sternly heeded 
by the people. To fill Connecticut's quota 
under this call, it was proposed that regiments 
should be raised by counties. A convention was 
promptly called, which met in Litchfield on 
July 22nd; delegates from every town in the 
county were in attendance, representatives of 
all shades of political opinion and individual 
bias, but the conclusions of the meeting were 
unanimously reached. It was resolved that 
Litchfield County should furnish an entire regi- 
ment of volunteers, and that Leverett W. 
Wessells, at that time Sheriff, should be recom- 
mended as its commander. 

Immediate steps were taken to render this 
determination effective; the Governor promptly 
accepted the recommendation as to the colo- 
nelcy, recruiting officers were designated to 
secure enlistments, bounties voted by the dif- 
ferent towns as proposed by the county meeting, 


Rc\ . Mir.iin 1-',JJ\- 


and the movement thoroughly organized. Al- 
though there was a clear appreciation of the 
present need, the dozen or more Connecticut 
regiments already in the field had drawn a large 
number of men from Litchfield County, and 
effort was necessary to gain the required enroll- 
ment. There had been many opportunities al- 
ready for all to volunteer who had any wish to 
do so, but the call now came to men who a few 
weeks before had hardly dreamed of the need 
of their serving; men not to be attracted by the 
excitement of a novel adventure, but who recog- 
nized soberly the duty that was presenting itself 
in this emergency, and men of a very different 
stamp from those drawn into the ranks in the 
later years of the war by enormous bounties. 
It is reasonable to think that pride in the success 
of the county's effort was a factor in stimulating 
enlistments; announcement that a draft would 
be resorted to later was doubtless another. Just 
at this time, also, the return from a year's cap- 
tivity in the South of the Rev. Hiram Eddy of 
Winsted, who had been made prisoner at Bull 


Run, furnished a powerful advocate to the 
cause; night after night he spoke in different 
towns, urging the call to service fervently and 
with effect. 

It is to be noted that at the same time that 
this endeavor was being made to fill the ranks 
of a regiment for three years' service, recruiting 
was going on with almost equal vigor under the 
call for men to serve for nine months, and three 
full companies were contributed by Litchfield 
County to the Twenty-eighth Infantry, which 
bore a valiant part in the campaign against Port 
Hudson in the following summer. It is possi- 
ble to gain some idea of how the great tides 
of war were felt throughout the whole land 
by imagining the stir and turmoil thus 
brought, in the summer of 1862, into this re- 
mote and peaceful quarter by the engrossing 

In the last week in August, the necessary num- 
ber of recruits having been secured, the dif- 
ferent companies were brought together in 



Litchfield and marched to the hill overlooking 
the town which had been selected as the loca- 
tion of Camp Button, named in honor of Lieu- 
tenant Henry M. Button, who had fallen in 
battle at Cedar Mountain shortly before. Lieu- 
tenant Button, the son of Governor Henry 
Button, was a graduate of Yale in the class of 
1857, and was practising law in Litchfield when 
he volunteered for service on the organization 
of the Fifth Connecticut Infantry. 

The interest and pride of the county in its 
own regiment was naturally of the strongest; 
the family that had no son or brother or cousin 
in its ranks seemed almost the exception, and 
Camp Button became at once the goal of a 
ceaseless stream of visitors from far and near, 
somewhat to the prejudice of those principles 
of military order and discipline which had now 
to be acquired. The preparation and drill 
which employed the scant two weeks spent here 
were supervised by Lieutenant-Colonel Kel- 
logg, fresh from McClellan's army in Virginia, 
and he was afterwards reported as delivering 



the opinion that if there were nine hundred men 
in the camp, there were certainly nine thousand 
women most of the time. 

With all possible haste, preparations were 
made for an early departure, but there was op- 
portunity for a formal mustering of the regi- 
ment in Litchfield, when a fine set of colors was 
presented by William Curtis Noyes, Esq., in 
behalf of his wife. A horse for the Colonel was 
given also, by the Hon. Robbins Battell, saddle 
and equipments by Judge Origen S. Seymour, 
and a sword by the deputies who had served 
under Sheriff Wessells. 

On September 15th (1862), the eight hun- 
dred and eighty-nine officers and men now mus- 
tered as the Nineteenth Connecticut Volunteer 
Infantry broke camp, made their first march to 
East Litchfield station, and started for the 
South, with the entire population for miles 
around gathered to witness, not as a holiday 
spectacle, but as a farewell, grave with signifi- 
cance, the departure of the county regiment. 

"In order to raise it," says the regimental his- 


tory, "Litchfield County had given up the 
flower of her youth, the hope and pride of hun- 
dreds of families, and they had by no means 
enlisted to hght for a superior class of men at 
home. There was no superior class at home. 
In moral qualities, in social worth, in every civil 
relation, they were the best that Connecticut 
had to give. More than fifty of the rank and 
file of the regiment subsequently found their 
way to commissions, and at least a hundred 
more proved themselves not a whit less compe- 
tent or worthy to wear sash and saber if it had 
been their fortune." 

The regimental officers were : Colonel, Leverett 
W. Wessells, Litchfield; lieutenant-colonel, 
Elisha S. Kellogg, Derby; major, Nathaniel 
Smith, Woodbury; adjutant, Charles J. Dem- 
ing, Litchfield; quartermaster, Bradley D. Lee, 
Barkhamsted; chaplain, Jonathan A. Wain- 
wright, Torrington; surgeon, Henry Plumb, 
New Milford. 

Colonel Wessells, a native of Litchfield, and 


a brother of General Henry W. Wessells of the 
regular army, had been prominent in public af- 
fairs before the war, and served for twelve 
years as Sheriff. Ill health interfered with his 
service with the regiment from the first, and 
finally compelled his resignation in September, 
1 863. Later he was appointed Provost Marshal 
for the Fourth District of Connecticut, and for 
many years after the war was active in civil 
affairs, being the candidate for State Treasurer 
on the Republican ticket in 1868, Quartermas- 
ter-General on Governor Andrews' staff, and 
member of the General Assembly. He died at 
Dover, Delaware, April 4, 1895. 


WASHINGTON in September, 1862, 
while relatively secure from the 
easy capture which would have 
been possible in the summer of 
the previous year, was not in a 
situation of such safety as to preclude anxiety, 
for Pope had just been beaten at Bull Run and 
Lee's army was north of the Potomac in the first 
of its memorable invasions of the loyal states. 
On the very day of his check at Antietam, Sep- 
tember 17th, the Nineteenth Connecticut Vol- 
unteers reached the capital, and the next day 
moved into the hostile state of Virginia, 
bivouacking near Alexandria. 


In this vicinity the regiment was destined to 
remain for many months, and to learn, as far as 
was possible without the grim teachings of actual 
experience, the business for which it was gath- 
ered. At first there was a constant expectation 
of orders to join the army in active operations; 
the county newspapers for many weeks noted 
regularly that the regiment was still near Alex- 
andria, "but orders to march are hourly ex- 
pected." It was good fortune, however, that 
none came, for not a little of the credit of its 
later service was due to the proficiency in dis- 
cipline and soldierly qualities gained in the 
long months now spent in preparation. 

The task of giving the necessary military 
education to the thousand odd men fresh from 
the ordinary routine of rural Connecticut life, 
fell upon the shoulders of Lieutenant-Colonel 
Kellogg, and by all the testimony available, 
most of all by the splendid proof they later 
gave, it is clear that it was entrusted to a master 
hand. Matters of organization and administra- 
tion at first engrossed Colonel Wessells' atten- 




tion; ill health soon supervened, and later he 
was given the command of a brigade. The regi- 
ment from its beginning was Kellogg's, and he 
received in due course the commission vacated 
by its first commander in September, 1863. 

A thorough and well-tried soldier himself, he 
quickly gained the respect of his command by 
his complete competency, and its strong and 
admiring affection was not slow in following. 
There are men among us to this day for whom 
no superlatives are adequate to give expression 
to their feelings in regard to him. As the regi- 
mental history records of their career "there is 
not a scene, a day, nor a memory from Camp 
Dutton to Grapevine Point that can be wholly 
divested of Kellogg. Like the ancient Eastern 
king who suddenly died on the eve of an en- 
gagement, and whose remains were bolstered 
up in warlike attitude in his chariot, and fol- 
lowed by his enthusiastic soldiers to battle and 
to victory, so this mighty leader, although fall- 
ing in the very first onset, yet went on through 
every succeeding march and fight, and won post- 


humous victories for the regiment which maybe 
said to have been born of his loins. Battalion 
and company, officer and private, arms and 
quarters, camp and drill, command and obe- 
dience, honor and duty, esprit and excellence, 
every moral and material belonging of the regi- 
ment, bore the impress of his genius. In the 
eyes of civilians. Colonel Kellogg was nothing 
but a horrid, strutting, shaggy monster. But 
request any one of the survivors of the Nine- 
teenth Infantry or the Second Artillery to name 
the most perfect soldier he ever saw, and this will 
surely be the man. Or ask him to conjure up the 
ideal soldier of his imagination, still the same 
figure, complete in feature, gesture, gauntlet, 
saber, boot, spur, observant eye and command- 
ing voice, will stalk with majestic port upon the 
mental vision. He seemed the superior of all 
superiors, and major-generals shrunk into pigmy 
corporals in comparison with him. In every 
faculty of body, mind, heart, and soul he was 
built after a large pattern. His virtues were 
large and his vices were not small. As Lincoln 



said of Seward, he could swear magnificently. 
His nature was versatile, and full of contradic- 
tions; sometimes exhibiting the tenderest sensi- 
bilities and sometimes none at all. Now he 
would be in the hospital tent bending with 
streaming eyes over the victims of fever, and 
kissing the dying Corporal Webster, and an 
hour later would find him down at the guard 
house, prying open the jaws of a refractory sol- 
dier with a bayonet in order to insert a gag; or 
in anger drilling a battalion, for the fault of a 
single man, to the last point of endurance; or 
shamefully abusing the most honorable and 
faithful officers in the regiment. 'In rage, deaf 
as the sea, hasty as fire.' But notwithstanding 
his frequent ill treatment of officers and sol- 
diers, he had a hold on their affections such as 
no other commander ever had, or could have. 
The men who were cursing him one day for the 
almost intolerable rigors of his discipline, would 
in twenty-four hours be throwing up their caps 
for him, or subscribing to buy him a new horse, 
or petitioning the Governor not to let him be 



jumped. The man who sat on a sharp-backed 
wooden horse in front of the guard house, would 
sometimes watch the motions of the Colonel on 
drill or parade, until he forgot the pain and dis- 
grace of his punishment in admiration of the 
man who inflicted it." 

It is not hard to understand the hold he 
gained, through a personality so striking and 
forceful, upon the men of his command; they 
were but boys for the most part, in point of fact, 
and open to the influence of just such strength, 
and perhaps also just such weaknesses, as they 
saw in this splendidly virile and genuine, and 
very human character. 

Colonel Kellogg was a Litchfield County 
man, a native of New Hartford, and at this time 
about thirty-eight years of age. His education 
was not of the schools, but gained from years 
of adventurous life as sailor, gold-hunter, and 
wanderer. Shortly before the war he had set- 
tled in his native state, but he responded to the 
call for the national defence among the very 
first, and before the organization of the Nine- 


teenth had served as Major of the First Con- 
necticut Artillery. He lies buried in Winsted. 

For more than a year and a half the regiment 
was numbered among the defenders of the capi- 
tal, removing after a few months from the im- 
mediate neighborhood of Alexandria, and being 
stationed among the different forts and redoubts 
which formed the line of defence south of the 

Important as its service there was, and novel 
as it must have been to Litchfield County boys, 
it was not marked by incidents of any note, and 
furnished nothing to attract attention among 
the general and absorbing operations of the war. 
It was, still, of vast interest to the people of the 
home towns. The county newspapers had many 
letters to print in those days from the soldiers 
themselves, and from visitors from home, who 
in no inconsiderable numbers were journeying 
down to look in upon them constantly. There 
were of course matters of various nature which 
gave rise to complaints of different degrees of 



seriousness; there was not unnaturally much 
sickness among the men in the early part of 
their service ; there were political campaigns at 
home, in which the volunteers had and showed 
a strong interest; there was a regrettable quar- 
rel among the officers in which Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel Kellogg was placed in an unfortunate light, 
and the termination of which gave the men an 
opportunity of showing their feeling for him. 
All these matters were well aired in type; 
meanwhile the regiment, doing well such 
duty as was laid upon it, grew in efficiency for 
hard and active service when it should be 
called for. 

The possibility of a call to action at almost 
any minute was seen in April, 1863, when orders 
came that the regiment be held ready to march. 
Reinforcements were going forward to the Army 
of the Potomac, now under Hooker, in large 
numbers; but the Nineteenth was finally left in 
the Defences. Thus months were passed in the 
routine of drill and parade, guard mounting 
and target practice, varied by brief and rare fur- 



loughs, while the lightnings of the mighty 
conflict raging so near left them untouched. 
"Yet," it is related, "a. good many seemed to be 
in all sorts of affliction, and were constantly 
complaining because they could not go to the 
front. A year later, when the soldiers of the 
Nineteenth were staggering along the Pamun- 
key, with heavy loads and blistered feet, or 
throwing up breastworks with their coffee-pots 
all night under fire in front of Petersburg, they 
looked back to the Defences of Washington as 
to a lost Elysium." 

It was in November, 1863, that the War De- 
partment orders were issued changing the Nine- 
teenth Infantry to a regiment of heavy artillery, 
which Governor Buckingham denominated the 
Second Connecticut. Artillery drill had for 
some time been part of its work, and the general 
efficiency and good record of the regiment in all 
particulars was responsible for the change, 
which was a welcome one, as the artillery was 
considered a very desirable branch of the ser- 



vice, and the increase in size gave prospects of 
speedier promotions. 

Recruiting had been necessary almost all the 
time to keep the regiment up to the numerical 
standard; death and the discharge for disability 
had been operating from the first. It was now 
needful to fill it up to the artillery standard of 
eighteen hundred men, and this was success- 
fully accomplished. Officers and men were 
despatched to Connecticut to gather recruits, 
and their advertisements set forth enticingly 
the advantage of joining a command so com- 
fortably situated as "this famous regiment" in 
the Defences of Washington, where, it was per- 
missible to infer, it was permanently stationed, 
a belief which had come to be generally held. 
The effort, however, was not confined by geo- 
graphical limits, and a large part of the men 
secured were strangers to Litchfield County. 
Before the ist of March, 1864, over eleven 
hundred recruits were received, and with the 
nucleus of the old regiment quickly formed into 
an efficient command. 




"This vast body of recruits was made up of 
all sorts of men," the history of the regiment 
states. "A goodly portion of them were no less 
intelligent, patriotic, and honorable than the 
'old' Nineteenth — and that is praise enough. 
Another portion of them were not exactly the 
worst kind of men, but those adventurous and 
uneasy varlets who always want to get out of 
jail when they are in, and in when they are out; 
furloughed sailors, for example, who had en- 
listed just for fun, while ashore, with no definite 
purpose of remaining in the land service for any 
tedious length of time. And, lastly, there were 
about three hundred of the most thorough paced 
villains that the stews and slums of New York 
and Baltimore could furnish — bounty- jumpers, 
thieves, and cut-throats, who had deserted from 
regiment after regiment in which they had en- 
listed under fictitious names and who now pro- 
posed to repeat the operation. And they did 
repeat it. No less than two hundred and fifty 
deserted before the middle of May, very few of 
whom were ever retaken and returned to the 



regiment. There were rebels in Alexandria who 
furnished deserters with citizens' clothes and 
thus their capture became almost impossible." 

At first, and perhaps to some extent always, 
there was a mental distinction made by the men 
between those who had originally enlisted in 
the "old Nineteenth," and the large body which 
was now joined to that organization, many of 
whom had never seen the Litchfield hills. But 
there was enough character in the original body 
to give its distinct tone to the enlarged regi- 
ment; its officers were all of the first enlistment, 
and the common sufferings and successes which 
soon fell to their lot quickly deprived this dis- 
tinction of any invidiousness. The Second Ar- 
tillery was always known, and proudly known, 
as the Litchfield County Regiment. 


HERE came to the Second Connecti- 
cut Heavy Artillery, on May 17, 
1864, the summons which, after 
such long immunity, it had almost 
ceased to expect. 
The preceding two weeks had been among 
the most eventful of the war. They had seen 
the crossing of the Rapidan by Grant on the 
4th, and the terrible battles for days follow- 
ing in the Wilderness and at Spottsylvania, de- 
pleting the army by such enormous losses as 
even this war had hardly seen before. Heavy 
reinforcements were demanded and sent for- 
ward from all branches of the service; in the 



emergency this artillery regiment was sum- 
moned to fight as infantry, and so served until 
the end of the conflict, though for a long time 
with a hope, which survived many disappoint- 
ments, of being assigned to its proper work with 
the heavy guns. 

It started for the front on May i8th (1864) , 
and on the 20th reached the headquarters 
of the Army of the Potomac, and was assigned 
to the Second Brigade, First Division, of the 
Sixth Corps, now under Major-General Horatio 
G. Wright, another leader of Connecticut 
origin, who had succeeded to the command of 
the Corps on the death a few days before of 
Litchfield County's most noted soldier, John 

The famous series of movements "by the left 
flank" was in progress, and the regiment was in 
active motion at once. For more than a week 
following its arrival at the front it was on the 
march practically all the time while Grant 
pushed southward. To troops unaccustomed to 
anything more arduous than drilling in the De- 


General Sedgwick 


fences at Washington, it was almost beyond the 
limits of endurance. At the start, without ex- 
perience in campaigning, the men had overbur- 
dened themselves with impedimenta which it 
was very soon necessary to dispense with. "The 
amount of personal effects then thrown away," 
wrote the chaplain. Rev. Winthrop H. Phelps, 
"has been estimated by officers who witnessed 
and have carefully calculated it, to be from 
twenty to thirty thousand dollars. To this 
amount must be added the loss to the Govern- 
ment in the rations and ammunition left on the 
way." On some of the marches days were 
passed with scarcely anything to eat, and it is 
recorded that raw corn was eagerly gathered, 
kernel by kernel, in empty granaries, and eaten 
with a relish. Heat, dust, rain, mud, and a rate 
of movement which taxed to the utmost the 
powers of the strongest, gave to these untried 
troops a savage hint of the hardships of cam- 
paigning, into which they had been plunged 
without any gradual steps of breaking in, and 
much more terrible experiences were close at 



hand. Of these there came a slight foretaste in 
a skirmish with the enemy on the 24th near 
Jericho Ford on the North Anna River, result- 
ing in the death of one man and the wounding 
of three others, the first of what was soon to be 
a portentous list of casualties. 

The movements of both armies were bringing 
them steadily nearer to Richmond, and but one 
chance now remained to achieve the object of 
the campaign, the defeat of Lee's army north of 
the Chickahominy and away from the strong 
defences of the Confederate capital. The 
enemy, swinging southward to conform to 
Grant's advance, finally reached the important 
point of Cold Harbor on May 31st. Cav- 
alry was sent forward to dislodge him, and 
seized some of the entrenchments near that 
place, while both armies were hurried forward 
for the inevitable battle. The Sixth Corps, of 
which the Second Artillery was part, reached its 
position on the extreme left near noon on 
June 1st, having marched since midnight, and 



awaited the placing of other troops before the 
charge, which had been ordered to take place at 
five o'clock. 

It would have been a fearful waiting for 
these men could they have known what was in 
store for them. But they were drugged, as it 
were, with utter fatigue; the almost constant 
movement of their two weeks of active service 
had left them "so nearly dead with marching 
and want of sleep" that they could not notice 
or comprehend the significant movements of the 
columns of troops about them preparing for 
battle, or the artillery which soon opened fire on 
both sides; their stupor, it is related, was of a 
kind that none can describe. They heard with- 
out excitement the earnest instructions of 
Colonel Kellogg, who, in pride and anxiety at 
this first trial of his beloved command, was 
in constant consultation with officers and 
men, directing, encouraging, explaining. "He 
marked out on the ground," writes one of his 
staff, "the shape of the works to be taken, — told 
the officers what dispositions to make of the dif- 



ferent battalions, — how the charge was to be 
made, — spoke of our reputation as a band-box 
regiment, 'Now we are called on to show what 
we can do at fighting.' " The brigade com- 
mander, General Emory Upton, was also watch- 
ing closely this new regiment which had never 
been in battle. But all foreboding was spared 
most of the men through sheer exhaustion. 

At about the appointed time, five in the after- 
noon, the regiment was moved in three bat- 
talions of four companies each out of the breast- 
works where it had lain through the afternoon, 
leaving knapsacks behind, stationed for a few 
moments among the scanty pine-woods in front, 
and then at the word of command started forth 
upon its fateful journey, the Colonel in the 

The first battalion, with the colors in the 
centre, moved at a double quick across the open 
field under a constantly thickening fire, over 
the enemy's first line of rifle pits which was 
abandoned at its approach, and onward to the 
main line of breastworks with a force and im- 


petus which would have carried it over this 
like Niagara but for an impassable obstruction. 
Says the regimental history, "There had been a 
thick growth of pine sprouts and saplings on 
this ground, but the rebels had cut them, proba- 
bly that very day, and had arranged them so as 
to form a very effective abatis, — thereby clear- 
ing the spot and thus enabling them to see our 
movements. Up to this point there had been 
no firing sufficient to confuse or check the bat- 
talion, but here the rebel musketry opened. A 
sheet of flame, sudden as lightning, red as blood, 
and so near that it seemed to singe the men's 
faces, burst along the rebel breastwork, and the 
ground and trees close behind our line was 
ploughed and riddled with a thousand balls 
that just missed the heads of the men. The 
battalion dropped flat on the ground, and the 
second volley, like the first, nearly all went 
over. Several men were struck, but not a large 
number. It is more than probable that if there 
had been no other than this front fire, the rebel 
breastworks would have been ours, notwith- 


standing the pine boughs. But at that moment 
a long line of rebels on our left, having nothing 
in their own front to engage their attention, and 
having unobstructed range on the battalion, 
opened a fire which no human valor could 
withstand, and which no pen can adequately de- 
scribe. It was the work of almost a single min- 
ute. The air was filled with sulphurous smoke, 
and the shrieks and howls of more than two hun- 
dred and fifty mangled men rose above the yells 
of triumphant rebels and the roar of their mus- 
ketry. 'About face,' shouted Colonel Kellogg, 
but it was his last command. He had already 
been struck in the arm, and the words had 
scarcely passed his lips when another shot 
pierced his head, and he fell dead upon the in- 
terlacing pine boughs. Wild and blind with 
wounds, bruises, noise, smoke, and conflicting 
orders, the men staggered in every direction, 
some of them falling upon the very top of the 
rebel parapet, where they were completely rid- 
dled with bullets, — others wandering off into 
the woods on the right and front, to find their 



way to death by starvation at Anderson ville, or 
never to be heard of again." 

The second battalion had advanced at an in- 
terval of about seventy-five yards after the 
first, and the third had followed in turn, but 
they were ordered by General Upton to lie 
down as they approached the entrenchments. 
They could not fire without injury to the line in 
front, and could only hold their dangerous and 
trying position in readiness to support their 
comrades ahead, protecting themselves as they 
could from the fire that seemed like leaden hail. 
There was no suggestion of retreat at any point 
and several hundred of the enemy, taking advan- 
tage of a lull in the firing, streamed over the 
breastworks and gave themselves up, but 
through a misunderstanding of the case the 
credit of their capture was given to other regi- 
ments, though clearly due to this. 

The history continues: "The lines now be- 
came very much mixed. Those of the first bat- 
talion who were not killed or wounded gradu- 
ally crawled or worked back; wounded men 



were carried through to the rear; and the woods 
began to grow dark, either with night or smoke 
or both. The companies were formed and 
brought up to the breastworks one by one, and 
the line extended toward the left. The enemy 
soon vacated the breastwork in our immediate 
front, and crept off through the darkness." 
Throughout the terrible night they held their 
ground, keeping up a constant fire to prevent 
an attempt by the enemy to reoccupy the line, 
until they were relieved in the early morning by 
other troops ; they had secured a position which 
it was indispensable to hold, and the line thus 
gained remained the regiment's front during its 
stay at Cold Harbor. Until June 12th the posi- 
tion was kept confronting the enemy, whose 
line was parallel and close before it, while daily 
additions were made to the list of casualties as 
they labored in strengthening the protective 

The official report of General Upton reads in 
part as follows: "The Second Connecticut, anx- 
ious to prove its courage, moved to the assault 



in beautiful order. Crossing an open field it 
entered a pine-wood, passed down a gentle de- 
clivity and up a slight ascent. Here the charge 
was checked. For seventy feet in front of the 
works the trees had been felled, interlocking 
with each other and barring all further advance. 
Two paths several yards apart, and wide 
enough for four men to march abreast, led 
through the obstruction. Up these to the foot 
of the works the brave men rushed but were 
swept away by a converging fire. Unable to 
carry the intrenchments, I directed the men 
to lie down and not return the fire. Opposite 
the right the works were carried. The regi- 
ment was marched to the point gained and, 
moving to the left, captured the point first at- 
tacked. In this position without support on 
either flank the Second Connecticut fought till 
three a.m., when the enemy fell back to a second 
line of works." 

The regimental history continues: ''On the 
morning of the 2nd the wounded who still 
remained were got off to the rear, and taken to 



the Division Hospital some two miles back. 
Many of them had lain all night, with shattered 
bones, or weak with loss of blood, calling vainly 
for help, or water, or death. Some of them lay 
in positions so exposed to the enemy's fire that 
they could not be reached until the breastworks 
had been built up and strengthened at certain 
points, nor even then without much ingenuity 
and much danger; but at length they were all 
removed. Where it could be done with safety, 
the dead were buried during the day. Most of 
the bodies, however, could not be reached until 
night, and were then gathered and buried under 
cover of the darkness." 

The regiment's part in the charge of June 3rd, 
the disastrous movement of the whole Union 
line against the Confederate works, which 
Grant admitted never should have been made, 
was attended with casualties which by com- 
parison with the slaughter of the 1st seemed 
inconsiderable. There were, in fact, losses in 
killed and wounded on almost all of the twelve 
days of its stay at Cold Harbor, but the fatal 



1st of June greatly overshadowed the remain- 
ing time, and that first action was indeed incom- 
parably the most severe the Second Connecticut 
ever saw. Its loss in killed and wounded, in 
fact, is said to have been greater than that of 
any other Connecticut regiment in any single 

The reputation of a fighting regiment, which 
its fallen leader had predicted, was amply 
earned by that unfaltering advance against in- 
trenchments manned by Lee's veterans, and 
that tenacious defence of the position gained, 
but the cost was appallingly great. The record 
of Cold Harbor, of which all but a very small 
proportion was incurred on June 1st, is given 
as follows : Killed or died of wounds, one hun- 
dred and twenty-one; wounded, but not mor- 
tally, one hundred and ninety; missing, fifteen; 
prisoners, three. 

General Martin T. McMahon, writing of 
this battle in "The Century's" series of war 
papers, says : "I remember at one point a mute 
and pathetic evidence of sterling valor. The 


Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery, a new 
regiment eighteen hundred strong, had joined 
us but a few days before the battle. Its uni- 
form was bright and fresh; therefore its dead 
were easily distinguished where they lay. They 
marked in a dotted line an obtuse angle, cover- 
ing a wide front, with its apex toward the 
enemy, and there upon his face, still in death, 
with his head to the works, lay the Colonel, the 
brave and genial Colonel Elisha S. Kellogg." 
Such was their first trial in battle. 


IMMEDIATELY after receiving news 
of the action of June 1st, Gov- 
ernor Buckingham had sent a com- 
mission as colonel to Lieutenant- 
Colonel James Hubbard. He, 
however, was unwilling to assume the responsi- 
bility of the command; this had been his first 
battle, and he "drew the hasty inference that 
all the fighting was likely to consist of a similar 
walking into the jaws of hell. He afterwards 
found that this was a mistake." 

Upon General Upton's advice, therefore, 
the officers recommended to the Governor the 
appointment of Ranald S. Mackenzie, then a 


captain of engineers on duty at headquarters, 
and this recommendation being favorably en- 
dorsed by superior officers up to the Lieutenant- 
General, was accepted, and Colonel Mackenzie 
took command on June 6th. 

Of the man who was now to lead the regi- 
ment. Grant in his Memoirs writes twenty years 
later the following unqualified judgment: "I 
regarded Mackenzie as the most promising 
young officer in the army. Graduating at West 
Point as he did during the second year of the 
war, he had won his way up to the command of 
a corps before its close. This he did upon his 
own merit and without influence." Such a 
statement from such a quarter is enough to show 
that once more the Second Connecticut was to 
be commanded by a soldier of more than ordi- 
nary qualities, a fact which was not long in 

Colonel Mackenzie's active connection with 
the regiment lasted only some four months, but 
they were months of great activity and afforded 
such occasions for proof of his abilities that his 



speedy promotion was inevitable. He never 
achieved the general popularity with his men 
that had come to his predecessor, nor cared to, 
but he did gain quite as thoroughly their re- 
spect through his mastership of the business in 
hand. It was not long after he assumed com- 
mand that, as the regimental history says, the 
men ''began to grieve anew over the loss of 
Kellogg. That commander had chastised us 
with whips, but this one dealt in scorpions. By 
the time we reached the Shenandoah Valley, he 
had so far developed as to be a far greater ter- 
ror, to both officers and men, than Early's grape 
and canister. He was a Perpetual Punisher, 
and the Second Connecticut while under him 
was always a punished regiment. There is a 
regimental tradition to the effect that a well- 
defined purpose existed among the men, prior 
to the battle of Winchester, to dispose of this 
commanding scourge during the first fight that 
occurred. If he had known it, it would only 
have excited his contempt, for he cared not a 
copper for the good will of any except his mili- 


tary superiors, and certainly feared no man of 
woman born, on either side of the lines. But 
the purpose, if any existed, quailed and failed 
before his audacious pluck on that bloody day. 
He seemed to court destruction all day long. 
With his hat aloft on the point of his saber he 
galloped over forty-acre fields, through a per- 
fect hailstorm of rebel lead and iron, with as 
much impunity as though he had been a ghost. 
The men hated him with the hate of hell, but 
they could not draw bead on so brave a man as 
that. Henceforth they firmly believed he bore 
a charmed life." 

Colonel Mackenzie's advancement was bril- 
liantly rapid, as Grant states, and at the time 
of Lee's surrender he was in command of a 
corps of cavalry, which had shortly before taken 
an important part in the battle of Five Forks 
under his leadership. 

When the war ended he became colonel of 
the Twenty-fourth Infantry in the regular 
army, and later received a cavalry command, 
gaining much distinction by his services in the 



Indian campaigns in the West and on the Mexi- 
can border. He was made brigadier-general in 
1882, shortly after placed on the retired list, 
and died at Governor's Island in 1889. 

The unsuccessful assault on Lee's works at 
Cold Harbor marked the end of the first part 
of Grant's campaign. The next move was to 
swing the army southward to the line of the 
James River and prepare to move upon Rich- 
mond and its defences from that side. This 
change of base was one of General Grant's 
finest achievements, admirably planned, and 
so skilfully executed that for three days Lee 
remained in total ignorance of what his adver- 
sary was doing. The Second Connecticut with- 
drew from its position on June 12th, late at 
night, reached the river on the 16th, and, 
moving up it in transports, was disembarked 
and sent toward Petersburg, to a point on the 
left wing of the army. It reached position 
on the night of the 19th and entrenched. 
The usual occurrences of such marches as at- 


tended this change of scene were varied for the 
men, as the regimental history suggestively re- 
lates, by a notable circumstance — a bath in the 
river. "It was the only luxury we had had for 
weeks. It was a goodly sight to see half a dozen 
regiments disporting themselves in the tepid 
waters of the James. But no reader can possi- 
bly understand what enjoyment it afforded, un- 
less he has slept on the ground for fourteen days 
without undressing, and been compelled to 
walk, cook, and live on all fours, lest a perpen- 
dicular assertion of his manhood should in- 
stantly convert it into clay." 

The operations against Petersburg had been 
going on for some time when the regiment ar- 
rived, and for two days it lay in the rifle pits 
it had dug under continual fire, with frequent 
resulting casualties. It was "the most intoler- 
able position the regiment was ever required to 
hold. We had seen a deadlier spot at Cold 
Harbor, and others awaited us in the future; 
but they were agonies that did not last. Here, 
however, we had to stay, hour after hour, from 



before dawn until after dark, and that, too, 
where we could not move a rod without extreme 
danger. The enemy's line was parallel with 
ours, just across the wheat field; then they had 
numerous sharpshooters, who were familiar with 
every acre of the ground, perched in tall trees 
on both our flanks; then they had artillery 
posted everywhere. No man could cast his eyes 
over the parapet, or expose himself ten feet in 
the rear of the trench without drawing fire. 
And yet they did thus expose themselves; for 
where there are even chances of being missed 
or hit, soldiers will take the chances rather than 
lie still and suffer from thirst, supineness, and 
want of all things. There was no getting to the 
rear until zig-zag passages were dug, and then 
the wounded were borne off. Our occupation 
continued during the night and the next day, 
the regiment being divided into two reliefs, the 
one off duty lying a little to the rear, in a corn- 
field near Harrison's house. But it was a ques- 
tion whether 'off' or 'on' duty was the more dan- 


On the 2 1st, relieved from this post, the 
regiment was moved to a new position further 
southwest and about the same distance from 
the city of Petersburg, which lay in plain 
view and whose city clocks could be heard dis- 
tinctly. The Sixth Corps was engaged in an 
operation having the purpose of breaking Lee's 
communications with the South by the line of 
the Weldon Railroad, and in the course of this 
the Second Connecticut took part in a "sharp 
skirmish" with Hill's Division, on June 22nd, 
an affair which to other experiences would be 
notable as a battle of some proportions. The 
desired result was not gained; the attempt on 
Petersburg, which if successful might have has- 
tened the end of the Confederacy by six months, 
and which came so near success, was changed to 
besieging operations, and for some time Grant's 
army lay comparatively quiet. In its four days 
in action here, the regiment suffered as follows : 
Killed or died of wounds, fifteen; wounded but 
not mortally, fifteen; missing, three; prisoners 
who died, five. 


Colonel Wessells 

VV V . VyV>^ ' 

,N July 9th came the orders which 
took the Second Connecticut for 
many months away from its place 
before Petersburg, where, after 
the activities described, it had set- 
tled down to a less exciting course of construct- 
ing batteries, forts, and breastworks, and laying 
out camps, with days of comparative peace and 
comfort notwithstanding several alarms show- 
ing the possibility of more arduous service. 

The Confederate Army which had been sent 
under General Early into the Shenandoah Val- 
ley to create a diversion in that quarter, had 
unexpectedly appeared on the Potomac in a 



sudden dash upon Washington, then defended 
chiefly by raw levies. Part of the Sixth Corps 
had been detached from Grant's army and sent 
to protect the capital a few days before ; now the 
rest of the corps, including the Second Connec- 
ticut, was hurried north and reached Washing- 
ton just in time to defeat Early's purpose. He 
had planned to storm the city on the I2th, 
and with good prospects of success; it was on 
that very day at an early hour, that the rein- 
forcing troops arrived. They were hurried 
through the city to the threatened point, and the 
enemy, seeing the well-known corps badge con- 
fronting them at Fort Stevens, and recognizing 
that the opportunity was gone, promptly re- 
treated, after an engagement in which the 
Second Connecticut took no active part. This 
occasion was notable by reason of the fact that 
for the only time during the war President Lin- 
coln was under fire, as he watched the progress 
of affairs from the parapet of Fort Stevens. 

The pursuit which began at once entailed 
some hard marching, but the enemy could not 



be brought to a stand. It continued for several 
days until the Valley of the Shenandoah was 
reached, when Early, as was supposed, having 
hurried back to join Lee at Petersburg, the 
Sixth Corps was marched again swiftly to the 
capital. Here it developed that the authorities 
had decided to keep part of the forces sent for 
their protection, to man the defences, since 
Early's attempt had come so dangerously near 
succeeding, and the Second Connecticut was 
chosen to remain. On July 25th it was moved 
into the same forts it had occupied when called 
to the front two months before, and here it 
might have remained through the rest of its 
term of service, if Early had, as was presumed, 
gone back to join Lee at Petersburg. But 
it was learned now that he had faced about 
when the chase ceased and was again threaten- 
ing a northward move. The Sixth Corps was 
therefore ordered against his force once 
more, the Second Connecticut going from 
the anticipated comforts of its prospective 
garrison duty with anything but satisfaction. 



"The men who had rolled into those cosy bunks 
with the declared intention of 'sleeping a week 
steady,' were on their cursing way through Ten- 
allytown again in twenty-four hours, marching 
with accelerated pace toward Frederick to over- 
take the brigade of the red cross, to which they 
had so lately bidden an everlasting adieu. Oh, 
bitter cup!" 

After much marching and counter marching 
they found themselves on August 6th at Hall- 
town in the Valley. For more than a month the 
army, now placed under the command of Gen- 
eral Sheridan, was occupied in organizing and 
manoeuvering for the projected campaign, 
which the presence of the hostile force in that 
important quarter necessitated. 

Though on a much smaller scale than the oper- 
ations in which the regiment had borne a part 
since it had been in active service, the impend- 
ing action in the Shenandoah Valley was recog- 
nized as being of great importance. Grant's 
official report, speaking on this point, says : "De- 
feat to us would lay open to the enemy the 



states of Maryland and Pennsylvania for long 
distances before another army could be inter- 
posed to check him," and aside from the military 
aspect of the matter, the political campaign 
then agitating the loyal states made the result 
of the struggle here of profound influence. 

The campaign's activities began with the bat- 
tle of the Opequan, or, as it is perhaps more 
often designated, of Winchester. General 
Sheridan took advantage of an opportunity for 
which he had been patiently waiting by moving 
his forces to the attack at daylight on the morn- 
ing of September 19th, and before noon the en- 
gagement was fierce and general, both assault 
and defence being made with equal spirit and 
determination; that part of the Sixth Corps 
which comprised the Second Connecticut, how- 
ever, had taken small part in it, being held in 

It was about midday that in a counter charge 
against the Union center, the enemy found a 
weak point at the junction of the Sixth Corps 
with the Nineteenth, of which they quickly took 



advantage, breaking the line and driving back 
the troops on the flanks of both corps in great 
disorder. Their successful advance and the 
flight of the opposing forces gave such assur- 
ances of victory that more than one Confederate 
writer says that at this point the battle which 
had raged since daylight was won. Jefferson 
Davis himself wrote, years after, of the charge : 
"This affair occurred about 1 1 a.m., and a splen- 
did victory had been gained," — a judgment 
which lacked finality. In fact, had the separa- 
tion of the wings of Sheridan's army been ac- 
complished, as it was threatened, the result 
would have been utter disaster; just now, how- 
ever, Upton's brigade, of which the Second 
Connecticut formed a large part, was brought 
up to the point of danger. The charge was 
checked, the enemy in turn driven back, and the 
Union line re-established. 

In the regimental history it is related that the 
brigade was pushed forward gradually, "halted 
on a spot where the ground was depressed 
enough to afford a little protection, and 



only a little, — for several men were hit while 
lying there, as well as others, while get- 
ting there. In three minutes the regiment 
again advanced, passed over a knoll, lost sev- 
eral more men, and halted in another hollow 
spot, similar to the first. The enemy's advance 
had now been pushed well back, and here a stay 
was made of perhaps two hours. Colonel Mac- 
kenzie rode slowly back and forth along the rise 
of ground in front of this position in a very 
reckless manner, in plain sight and easy range 
of the enemy, who kept up a fire from a piece of 
woods in front, which elicited from him the re- 
mark, T guess those fellows will get tired of 
firing at me by and by.' But the ground where 
the regiment lay was very slightly depressed, 
and although the shots missed Mackenzie they 
killed and wounded a large number of both 
officers and men behind him. 

About three o'clock, an advance of the whole 
line having been ordered by Sheridan, the regi- 
ment charged across the field, Mackenzie riding 
some ten rods ahead, holding his hat aloft on 



the point of his saber. The distance to the 
woods was at least a quarter of a mile, and was 
traversed under a fire that carried off its victims 
at nearly every step. The enemy abandoned 
the woods, however, as the regiment approached. 
After a short halt it again advanced to a rail 
fence which ran along the side of an extensive 
field. Here, for the first time during the whole 
of this bloody day, did the regiment have orders 
to fire, and for ten minutes they had the privi- 
lege of pouring an effective fire into the rebels, 
who were thick in front. Then a flank move- 
ment was made along the fence to the right, fol- 
lowed by a direct advance of forty rods into the 
field. Here was the deadliest spot of the day. 
The enemy's artillery, on a rise of ground in 
front, plowed the field with canister and shells, 
and tore the ranks in a frightful manner. Major 
Rice was struck by a shell, his left arm torn off, 
and his body cut almost asunder. Major Skin- 
ner was struck on the top of the head by a shell, 
knocked nearly a rod with his face to the earth, 
and was carried to the rear insensible. General 



Upton had a good quarter pound of flesh taken 
out of his thigh by a shell. Colonel Mackenzie's 
horse was cut in two by a solid shot which just 
grazed the rider's leg and let him down to the 
ground very abruptly. Several other officers were 
also struck; and from these instances as well as 
from the appended list of casualties some idea 
may be gained of the havoc among the enlisted 
men at this point. Although the regiment had 
been under fire and losing continually from the 
middle of the afternoon, until it was now almost 
sunset, yet the losses during ten minutes in this 
last field were probably equal to those of all the 
rest of the day. It was doubtless the spot re- 
ferred to by the rebel historian, Pollard, when 
he says, 'Early's artillery was fought to the 
muzzle of the guns.' Mackenzie gave the order 
to move by the left flank and a start was made, 
but there was no enduring such a fire, and the 
men ran back and lay down. Another attempt 
was soon made, and after passing a large oak 
tree a sheltered position was secured. The next 
move was directly into the enemy's breastwork. 



They had just been driven from it by a cavalry 
charge from the right, and were in full retreat 
through the streets of Winchester, and some of 
their abandoned artillery which had done us so 
much damage stood yet in position, hissing hot 
with action, with their miserable rac-a-bone 
horses attached. The brigade, numbering less 
than half the muskets it had in the morning, was 
now got into shape, and after marching to a 
field in the eastern edge of the city, bivouacked 
for the night, while the pursuit rolled miles 
away up the valley pike." Night alone, wrote 
General Wesley Merritt, saved Early's army 
from capture. 

To the losses of the day the Second Con- 
necticut contributed forty-two killed and one 
hundred and eight wounded, the proportion of 
officers being very large. 

Unlike their previous severe engagement at 
Cold Harbor, the regiment had the thrilling 
consciousness of complete victory to hearten 
them after this battle, and, later, when the full 
history of the day was learned, the realization 



that they had played a part of no little import- 
ance in attaining it. 

The moment when they were brought into 
action was a critical one. General Sheridan, in 
his report summing up the operations of the 
campaign, said: "At Winchester for a moment 
the contest was uncertain, but the gallant at- 
tack of General Upton's brigade of the Sixth 
Corps restored the line of battle," and of this 
brigade the Second Connecticut formed fully 
half. Upton's report gave high praise to Colo- 
nel Mackenzie, and said: "His regiment on the 
right initiated nearly every movement of the 
division, and behaved with great steadiness and 

The victory itself, with the sequel which fol- 
lowed so promptly three days later, had an im- 
portance far beyond its purely military value, 
through its marked effects upon public sentiment 
throughout the country; it brought to one side 
jubilant satisfaction, and gave a corresponding 
depression to the other, and it elevated Sheri- 
dan at once to that high place in popular affec- 



tion which he always afterwards held. That it 
was "the turning-point of the fortunes of the 
war in Virginia," was the verdict of a Confed- 
erate officer of high rank, and Nicolay and Hay 
in the "Life of Lincoln" describe it as "one of 
the most important of the war." 

As for the Litchfield County regiment, among 
its many proud memories, none surely holds a 
higher place than that of the worthy and effec- 
tive part it took in this day's work, forming, as 
it did, so large a part of the brigade which, in 
the words of General Upton's biographer, turned 
possible defeat into certain victory. 

General Sheridan's method of operation 
could hardly be held as dilatory. It would 
doubtless have commended itself more highly 
to his men if it had been somewhat more so, 
when at daylight on the morning after the 
splendid success of September 19th they were 
ordered in pursuit of Early's army. 

The Confederate forces had taken position 
on Fisher's Hill, considered the Gibraltar of the 



Valley, and according to Sheridan, almost im- 
pregnable to a direct assault. Two days were 
occupied in bringing up troops and making dis- 
positions for the attack. The Second Con- 
necticut reached its assigned position on the 
2 1st near midnight, and found itself "on the 
very top of a hill fully as high as Fisher's Hill, 
and separated from it by Tumbling River. The 
enemy's stronghold was on the top of the oppo- 
site hill directly across the stream." 

On the 22nd more or less skirmishing took 
place all day. A force had been sent round the 
enemy's left flank; the attack it delivered late 
in the afternoon was a complete surprise to 
Early's men, and an advance by the whole 
Union line quickly routed them. 

To make this charge the regiment moved 
down the steep hill, waded the stream, and 
moved up the rocky front of the rebel Gibraltar. 
How they got up there is a mystery, — for the 
ascent of that rocky declivity would now seem 
an impossibility to an unburdened traveller, 
even though there were no deadly enemy at the 



top. But up they went, clinging to rocks and 
bushes. The main rebel breastwork, which they 
were so confident of holding, was about fifteen 
rods from the top of the bluff, with brush piled 
in front of it. Just as the top was reached the 
Eighth Corps struck the enemy on the right, and 
their flight was disordered and precipitate. The 
Second Connecticut was the first regiment that 
reached and planted colors on the works from 
the direct front. 

They were marching in pursuit all that night 
and for three succeeding days, until the chase 
was seen to be hopeless and the army faced 
northward again. Four killed and nineteen 
wounded were added at Fisher's Hill to the 
growing record of the Second Connecticut's 


Colonel Kellogg 

I ^SM \ni\ !■ 

'UCH complete failure in their cam- 
paign had, it was now believed, 
eliminated the enemy in the Shen- 
andoah Valley. The Sixth Corps 
was accordingly ordered back to 
Grant's army before Petersburg after a few 
days of rest, and was moving toward Washing- 
ton on its way when there came a sudden change 
of orders. 

Early, reinforced and once more ready, was 
again in the works he had been driven from at 
Fisher's Hill. The corps, recalled to join 
the forces of Sheridan, went into camp along 
the north bank of Cedar Creek on October 14th, 



and here there soon took place one of the most 
thrilling and dramatic conflicts of the war. 

"For the next few days," the history of the 
regiment states, "there was much quiet ^nd a 
good deal of speculation among the troops as to 
what would be the next shift of the scenes. The 
enemy was close in front, just as he had been 
for weeks preceding the battle of Winchester, 
but this attitude which might once have been 
called defiance, now seemed to be mere impu- 
dence, — and it was the general opinion that 
Early did not wish or intend to fight again, but 
that he was to be kept there as a standing threat 
in order to prevent Sheridan's army from re- 
turning to Grant. And yet there was something 
mysterious in his conduct. He was known to 
be receiving reinforcements, and his signal flags 
on Three-top Mountain (just south of Fisher's 
Hill) were continually in motion. From the 
top of Massanutton Mountain his vedettes 
could look down upon the whole Union army, 
as one can look down upon New Haven from 
East Rock, and there is no doubt that the exact 



location of every camp, and the position of 
every gun and every picket post were thor- 
oughly known to him. Nevertheless, it seemed 
the most improbable thing in the world that he 
could be meditating either an open attack or a 
surprise. The position was strong, the creek 
and its crossings in possession of our pickets 
both along the front and well out on either 
flank." But Early himself, being in difficulties 
his enemy knew nothing of, says, 'T was com- 
pelled to move back for want of provisions and 
forage, or attack the enemy in his position with 
the hope of driving him from it, and I deter- 
mined to attack." 

His plan was, like his adversary's at the last 
encounter, a surprise around the left flank with 
a feint on the right, and it was carried out on 
the morning of October 19th with complete suc- 
cess. General Sheridan had been called to 
Washington a few days before, as no active 
operations seemed imminent, and the army lay 
feeling quite secure. 

Good fortune attended the attacking forces, 


and the surprise was perfect. General Merritt 
writes: "Crook's (Eighth Corps) camp and after- 
wards Emory's (Nineteenth Corps) were at- 
tacked in flank and rear, and the men and offi- 
cers driven from their beds, many of them not 
having time to hurry into their clothes, except 
as they retreated, half awake and terror-stricken 
from the overpowering numbers of the enemy. 
Their own artillery in conjunction with that of 
the enemy, was turned on them, and long before 
it was light enough for their eyes, unaccus- 
tomed to the dim light, to distinguish friend 
from foe, they were hurrying to our right and 
rear intent only on their safety. Wright's 
(Sixth Corps) infantry, which was farther re- 
moved from the point of attack, fared somewhat 
better, but did not offer more than a spasmodic 
resistance." Nevertheless, they made Early 
"pay dearly for every foot gained and finally 
brought him to a stand," as Nicolay and Hay 


The history of the Second Connecticut tells 
the story of the day as follows: "Most of the 


regiment were up next morning long before 
Reveille and many had begun to cook their 
coffee on account of that ominous popping and 
cracking which had been going on for half an 
hour off to the right. They did not exactly sup- 
pose it meant anything, but they had learned 
wisdom by many a sudden march on an empty 
stomach and did not propose to be caught nap- 
ping. The clatter on the right increased. It 
began to be the wonder why no orders came. 
But suddenly every man seemed to lose interest 
in the right, and turned his inquiring eyes and 
ears toward the left. Rapid volleys and a 
vague tumult told that there was trouble there. 
'Fall in I' said Mackenzie. The brigade moved 
briskly off toward the east, crossing the track of 
other troops and batteries of artillery which 
were hurriedly swinging into position, while 
ambulances, orderlies, staff officers, camp fol- 
lowers, pack horses, cavalrymen, sutler's wagons, 
hospital wagons, and six-mule teams of ever)^ 
description came trundling and galloping pell 
mell toward the right and rear and making off 



toward Winchester. It was not a hundred rods 
from our own camp to the place where we went 
into position on a road running north. General 
Wright, the temporary commander of the army, 
bareheaded, and with blood trickling from his 
beard, sat on his horse near by, as if bewildered 
or in a brown study. The ground was cleared 
in front of the road and sloped off some thirty 
rods to a stream, on the opposite side of which it 
rose for about an equal distance to a piece of 
woods in which the advance rebel line had al- 
ready taken position. The newly risen sun, 
huge and bloody, was on their side in more 
senses than one. Our line faced directly to the 
east and we could see nothing but that enormous 
disk, rising out of the fog, while they could see 
every man in our line and could take good aim. 
The battalion lay down, and part of the men 
began to hre, but the shape of the ground af- 
forded little protection and large numbers were 
killed and wounded. Four fifths of our loss for 
the entire day occurred during the time we lay 
here,— which could not have been over five min- 



utes, — by the end of which time the Second 
Connecticut found itself in an isolated position 
not unlike that at Cold Harbor. The fog had 
now thinned away somewhat and a firm rebel 
line with colors full high advanced came rolling 
over the knoll just in front of our left not more 
than three hundred yards distant. 'Rise up, — 
Retreat,' said Mackenzie, — and the battalion 
began to move back. 

For a little distance the retreat was made in 
very good order, but it soon degenerated into a 
rout. Men from a score of regiments were 
mixed up in flight, and the whole corps was 
scattered over acres and acres with no more or- 
ganization than a herd of buffaloes. Some of 
the wounded were carried for a distance by their 
comrades, who were at length compelled to 
leave them to their fate in order to escape being 
shot. About a mile from the place where the 
retreat commenced there was a road running 
directly across the valley. Here the troops were 
rallied and a slight defence of rails thrown up. 
The regimental and brigade flags were set up as 


beacons to direct each man how to steer through 
the mob and in a very few minutes there was an 
effective line of battle established. A few 
round shot ricochetted overhead, making about 
an eighth of a mile at a jump, and a few grape 
were dropped into a ditch just behind our line, 
quickly clearing out some soldiers who had 
crawled in there, but this was the extent of the 
pursuit. The whole brigade (and a very small 
brigade it was) was deployed as skirmishers 
under Colonel Olcott of the One Hundred and 
Twenty-first New York. Three lines of skir- 
mishers were formed and each in turn consti- 
tuted the first line while the other two passed 
through and halted, and so the retreat was con- 
tinued for about three miles until a halt was 
made upon high ground, from which we could 
plainly see the Johnnies sauntering around on 
the very ground where we had slept." 

Once more could Early claim the credit of a 
victory of which at night he was to find himself 
again deprived. Sheridan's famous ride, his 
meeting and turning of the tide of fugitives, is 



the feature of the day's occurrences which will 
always live in the popular memory. It is a sig- 
nificant hint of the scale of such a battlefield 
to know that the men of the Second Connecticut 
had no visual perception of his presence that 
day, though they heard the cheering occasioned 
by his appearance in other parts of the scene, 
and in his report there is mention of a meet- 
ing with Colonel Mackenzie, whom he tried 
to persuade to go to the rear on account of his 

The Confederate belief in their victory was 
not unreasonable, but it was now to suffer an 
astonishing upset. Weary and demoralized 
with success, they were entirely unprepared for 
the vigor of their opponents, who after repul- 
sing their last assault, quickly reformed the lines 
and prepared for a general advance. Sheridan 
writes: "This attack was brilliantly made, and 
as the enemy was protected by rail breastworks 
and at some portions of his line by stone fences, 
his resistance was very determined." 

The history of the Second Connecticut gives 


a detailed account of its movement, first against 
a stone wall in front which after some opposi- 
tion was abandoned by the enemy, who then 
"attempted to rally behind another fence a little 
further back, but after a moment or two gave it 
up and 'retired.' Not only in front of our regi- 
ment, but all along as far as the eye could reach, 
both to the right and left, were they flying over 
the uneven country in precisely the same kind 
of disorder that we had exhibited in the morn- 
ing. The shouts and screams of victory mingled 
with the roar of the firing, and never was heard 
'so musical a discord, such sweet thunder.' The 
sight of so many rebel heels made it a very easy 
thing to be brave, and the Union troops pressed 
on, utterly regardless of the grape and canister 
which to the last moment the enemy flung be- 
hind him. It would not have been well for them 
to have fired too much if they had had ever so 
good a chance, for they would have been no 
more likely to hit our men than their own, who 
were our prisoners and scattered in squads of 
twenty, squads of ten, and squads of one, all 


over the vast field. At one time they made a 
determined stand along a ridge in front of our 
brigade. A breastwork of rails was thrown to- 
gether, colors planted, a nucleus made, and 
both flanks grew longer and longer with won- 
derful rapidity. It was evident that they were 
driving back their men to this line without re- 
gard to regiment or organization of any kind. 
This could be plainly seen from the adjacent 
and similar ridge over which we were moving, — 
the pursuers being in quite as much disorder (so 
far as organizations were concerned) as the pur- 
sued. That growing line began to look ugly 
and somewhat quenched the ardor of the chase. 
It began to be a question in many minds whether 
it would not be a point of wisdom 'to survey the 
vantage of the ground' before getting much 
further. But just as we descended into the in- 
tervening hollow, a body of cavalry, not large 
but compact, was seen scouring along the fields 
to our right and front like a whirlwind directly 
toward the left flank of that formidable line on 
the hill. When we reached the top there was no 



enemy there I They had moved on and the cav- 
alry after them. 

Thus the chase was continued, from posi- 
tion to position, for miles and miles, for hours 
and hours, until darkness closed in and every 
regiment went into camp on the identical 
ground it had left in such haste in the morning. 
Every man tied his shelter tent to the very same 
old stakes, and in half an hour coffee was boil- 
ing and salt pork sputtering over thousands of 
camp fires. Civil life may furnish better fare 
than the army at Cedar Creek had that night, 
but not better appetites; for it must be borne in 
mind that many had gone into the fight directly 
from their beds and had eaten nothing for 
twenty-four hours. 

Men from every company started out the first 
thing after reaching camp to look for our dead 
and wounded, many of whom lay not fifty rods 
off. The slightly wounded who had not got 
away had been taken prisoners and sent at once 
toward Richmond — while the severely wounded 
had lain all day on the ground near where 



they were hit while the tide of battle ebbed 
and flowed over them. Some of the mortally 
wounded were just able to greet their re- 
turning comrades, hear the news of victory, 
and send a last message to their friends be- 
fore expiring. Corporal Charles M. Burr was 
shot above the ankle just after the battalion 
had risen up and started to retreat. Both 
bones of his leg were shattered and he had 
to be left. In a few minutes the rebel battalion 
which I have already mentioned came directly 
over him in pursuit, and was soon out of his 
sight. Then being alone for a short time he 
pulled oif the boot from his sound leg, put his 
watch and money into it and put it on again. 
Next a merciful rebel lieutenant came and tied 
a handkerchief around his leg, stanching the 
blood. Next came the noble army of stragglers 
and bummers with the question, 'Hello, Yank, 
have you got any Yankee notions about you?' 
and at the same time thrusting their hands into 
every pocket. They captured a little money 
and small traps, but seeing one boot was spoiled 


they did not meddle with the other. Next came 
wagons, picking up muskets and accoutrements 
which lay thick all over the ground. Then came 
ambulances and picked up the rebel wounded 
but left ours. Then came a citizen of the Con- 
federacy asking many questions, and then came 
three boys who gave him water. And thus the 
day wore along until the middle of the after- 
noon when the tide of travel began to turn. 
The noble army of stragglers and bummers led 
the advance — then the roar of battle grew 
nearer and louder and more general, then 
came galloping officers and all kinds of wagons, 
then a brass twelve-pounder swung round close 
to him, unlimbered, fired one shot, and whipped 
off again — then came the routed infantry, artil- 
lery, and cavalry, all mixed together, all on a 
full run, and strewing the ground with muskets 
and equipments. Then came the shouting 
'boys in blue,' and in a few minutes Pat 
Birmingham came up and said: 'Well, 
Charley, I 'm glad to find you alive. I did n't 
expect it. We 're back again in the old 



camp, and the Johnnies are whipped all to 
pieces.' " 

The victory was as complete and satisfying 
as it was spectacular; the enemy was at last so 
thoroughly beaten that a dangerous attitude 
could not be taken again. It was a fitting close 
for Sheridan's famous campaign in the Shenan- 
doah Valley. 

To the Second Connecticut the day at Cedar 
Creek brought losses nearly as heavy as were 
suffered at Winchester just a month before: 
thirty-eight killed, ninety-six wounded, and 
two missing, besides a large number made pris- 
oners, — an entire company having been cap- 
tured early in the morning while on picket, — of 
whom eleven died in captivity. These losses 
were in fact proportionately even larger than 
those met with at Cold Harbor, as the hard 
service of the preceding months had reduced 
the regiment's effective strength to about 
twenty-five officers and seven hundred men 
present for duty. 



ENERAL Sheridan's report on the 
Shenandoah campaign gave high 
praise to Colonel Mackenzie, who, 
as a result of his conduct, received 
a promotion and was commis- 
sioned brigadier-general in December. His dis- 
ability from the two wounds received at Cedar 
Creek, however, necessitated his relinquishing 
the command of the regiment immediately after 
that engagement, and this devolved upon Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel James Hubbard; to him in due 
course came the colonel's commission, and he 
led the regiment throughout the rest of its 

Colonel Mackenzie 



Colonel Hubbard, though born in Salisbury, 
had lived in the West before the war, and first 
saw service with an Illinois regiment. Return- 
ing to Connecticut, he assisted in raising a com- 
pany for the Nineteenth, and was mustered in 
as its captain. He was steadily promot'^d until 
the death of Colonel Kellogg brought him natu- 
rally to the command of the regiment; but, as 
has been said, his own modest estimate of his 
qualifications for this responsibility caused him 
to decline the appointment. When it came to 
him a second time he accepted, and proved by 
his subsequent handling of the regiment a 
worthy successor to the remarkably able soldiers 
under whom he had served, winning the brevet 
rank of brigadier-general in the final campaigns. 
His ambition was, a comrade wrote, to do his 
full duty without a thought for personal glory; 
and he enjoyed in a high degree the respect 
and affection of his command. He died in 
Washington, where he lived for many 
years, on December 21, 1886, and was buried 
in Winsted. 



The brilliant victories in which the Second 
Artillery had borne so worthy a part, and the 
re-election of President Lincoln in November 
( 1864) , put an end to all anxieties as to danger 
in the quarter of the Shenandoah, which before 
Sheridan's campaign had been a region of fatal 
mischance to the national cause from the begin- 
ning of the war. As a consequence the Sixth 
Corps was once more ordered to rejoin Grant's 
army, and the regiment left the historic valley 
on December 1st, arriving on the 5th before 
Petersburg, where it was assigned a position 
near the place of its skirmish on June 22nd. 

"Then it was unbroken forest," says its his- 
tory; "now, hundreds of acres were cleared, and 
dotted with camps. A corduroy road ran by, 
and a telegraph, and Grant's railroad. No 
other such railroad was ever seen before, or ever 
will be again. It was laid right on top of the 
ground, without any attempt at grading, and 
you might see the engine and rear car of a long 
train, while the middle of the train would be in 
a valley, completely out of sight. Having 


reached Parke Station, we moved to a camp near 
Battery Number Twenty-seven, and went into 
the snug and elegant little log houses just 
vacated by the Ninety-fourth New York. 
This was a new kind of situation for the 'Second 
Heavies.' The idea of being behind perma- 
nent and powerful breastworks, defended by 
abatis, ditches, and what not, with approaches 
so difficult that ten men could hold five hundred 
at bay, was so novel, that the men actually felt 
as if there must be some mistake, and that they 
had got into the wrong place." 

For two months no fighting fell to the regi- 
ment's lot, for though the Union commanders 
and armies were ready and eager to make an 
end of the war as soon as possible, little could 
be done during the winter. Though this inac- 
tivity brought perhaps some relief from the 
rigors of army life, the men had numerous re- 
minders that they were still in active service. 
One of the chief events of this season the his- 
tory of the regiment describes as follows: "On 



the afternoon of the 9th (December, 1864) , the 
First and Third Divisions of the Sixth Corps 
were marched to the left, beyond the permanent 
lines, and off in the direction of the Weldon 
Railroad, to prevent any attack on the Fifth 
and Second Corps, now returning from their 
expedition. After going for about six miles we 
halted for the night, in a piece of woods. It 
was bitter cold when we left camp, but soon be- 
gan to moderate, then to rain, then to sleet; so 
that by the time we halted, everything was cov- 
ered with ice, with snow two inches deep on the 
ground, and still sifting down through the 
pines. It was the work of an hour to get hres 
going, — but at last they began to take hold, and 
fuel was piled on as though it did not cost any- 
thing. Clouds of steam rolled out of the soaked 
garments of the men, as they stood huddled 
around the roaring, cracking piles, — and the 
black night and ghostly woods were lighted up 
in a style most wonderful. The storm con- 
tinued all night, and many a man waked up 
next morning to find his legs firmly packed in 



new fallen snow. At daylight orders came to 
pack up and be ready to move at once; which 
was now a difficult order to execute, on account 
of many things, especially the shelter tents; — 
for they were as rigid as sheet-iron and yet had 
to be rolled up and strapped on the knapsacks. 
Nevertheless it was not long before the regi- 
ment was in motion; and after plodding off for 
a mile to the left, a line of battle was formed, 
vedettes sent out, trees felled and breastworks 
built, and at dinner-time the men were allowed 
to build fires and cook breakfast. Then, after 
standing until almost night in the snow, which 
had now turned to sleet, the column was headed 
homeward. Upon arriving, it was discovered 
that some of the Jersey Brigade had taken pos- 
session of our log snuggeries, and that their 
officers had established their heels upon the 
mantels in our officers' quarters, and were smok- 
ing the pipes of comfort and complacency, as 
though they had not a trouble in the world, and 
never expected to have. But they soon found 
that possession is not nine points of military 


law, by any means. An order from Division 
Headquarters soon sent them profanely pack- 
ing, — and the Second Heavies occupied." 

Though weeks were spent in such compara- 
tive comfort and immunity as the present situ- 
ation afforded, the men felt as if they were rest- 
ing over a volcano which might break into fierce 
activity at any moment; and as the winter 
passed signs of the renewal of the struggle mul- 
tiplied on all sides. 

On February 5th (1865) , part of the Second 
Connecticut was ordered to move out to support 
and protect the flank of the Fifth Corps, which 
was engaged near Hatcher's Run, and accord- 
ingly left the comforts of the camp and bivou- 
acked for the night a few miles away. The history 
of the regiment says : "It was bitter cold sleeping 
that night — so cold that half the men stood or 
sat around fires all night. In the morning the 
movement was continued. A little before sun- 
down we crossed Hatcher's Run and moved by 
the flank directly into a piece of woods, the 
Second Brigade under Hubbard leading the 



division and the Second Connecticut under 
Skinner leading the brigade. Wounded men 
were being brought to the rear and the noise 
just ahead told of mischief there. Colonel 
Hubbard filed to the left at the head of the col- 
umn along a slight ridge and about half the 
regiment had filed when troops of the Fifth 
Corps came running through to the rear and at 
the same moment General Wheaton rode up 
with 'oblique to the left, oblique to the left,' and 
making energetic gestures toward the rise of 
ground. The ridge was quickly gained and fire 
opened just in time to head off a counter fire 
and charge that was already in progress, but be- 
tween the 'file left' and the 'left oblique' and 
the breaking of our ranks by troops retreating 
from in front, and the vines and underbrush 
(which were so thick that they unhorsed some 
of the staff officers) there was a good deal of con- 
fusion, and the line soon fell back about ten 
rods, where it was reformed and a vigorous fire 
poured — somewhat at random — a little to the 
left of our first position. The attempt of the 


enemy to get in on the left of the Fifth Corps 
was frustrated. Our casualties were six 
wounded (some of them probably by our own 
men) and one missing. The position was occu- 
pied that night, and the next day until about 
sundown, when the brigade shifted some dis- 
tance to the right and again advanced under an 
artillery fire to within a short distance of the 
rebel batteries and built breastworks. The 
rebel picket shots whistled overhead all the time 
the breastworks were building, but mostly too 
high to hurt anything but the trees. At mid- 
night the division moved back to quarters, ar- 
riving at sunrise. Having taken a ration of 
whiskey which was ordered by Grant or some- 
body else in consideration of three nights and 
two days on the bare ground in February, to- 
gether with some fighting and a good deal of 
hard marching and hard work, the men lay 
down to sleep as the sun rose up, and did not 
rise up until the sun went down." 


Colonel Hubbard 

HE routine of picket duty, inspec- 
tion, alarms, and orders to be in 
readiness which came not infre- 
quently, continued for another 
succession of weeks, varied now 
by the constant arrival of deserters from the 
enemy, who were coming into the Union lines 
singly and in large parties almost daily, and re- 
vealing the desperate condition on the other 
side. Preparations went on for what all felt 
was to be the final campaign; and this opened 
for the Second Connecticut on March 29th, 
when the famous assault on Fort Stedman was 
made by the enemy, Lee's last attempt at offen- 
sive operations. 



This position, which was on the eastern side 
of the city of Petersburg, was gallantly attacked 
and captured in the early morning; troops were 
at once called from all parts of the Union line 
and hurried to the point of action, but the fort 
was retaken before the Second Connecticut 
reached the scene, and the regiment was then 
moved to the southwest of the city before Fort 
Fisher, a general assault of the whole extensive 
line having been ordered by Grant to develop 
the weakness that Lee must have been obliged 
to make somewhere to carry out his plan against 
Fort Stedman. The attack succeeded in gain- 
ing and holding a large share of the Confederate 
picket line, a matter of great importance. 

The Second Connecticut advanced to the 
charge late in the afternoon "as steadily as 
though on a battalion drill," the regimental his- 
tory relates. It captured a line of rifle pits and 
kept on "under a combined artillery and musket 
fire. The air was blue with the little cast iron 
balls from spherical-case shot which shaved the 
ground and exploded among the stumps just in 



rear of the line at intervals of only a few sec- 
onds. Twenty of the Second Connecticut were 
wounded — seven of them mortally — in reach- 
ing, occupying, and abandoning this position, 
which, proving entirely untenable, was held 
only a few minutes. The line faced about and 
moved back under the same mixed fire of 
solid shot, spherical case, and musketry, and 
halted not far in front of the spot whence it had 
first moved forward. Other troops on the right 
now engaged the battery and captured the rest 
of the picket line, and after half an hour the 
brigade again moved forward to a position still 
further advanced than the previous one, where 
a permanent picket line was established." 

The week following this eventful day, which 
began with the capture of one of the Union 
works, and ended with substantial gains along 
their front, saw intense activity on all sides. 
The abandonment of Petersburg by Lee was 
now plainly imminent, and the preventing of 
his army's escape was the paramount object. 
The whole vast field of operation about the 


besieged city became a seething theater of 
complicated movement, and the Second Con- 
necticut, under frequent orders for immediate 
advance, was formed in line at all hours of 
the day or night, and excited by a thousand 
rumors and orders given and revoked, but it 
did not finally leave its quarters during this 

On April ist, Sheridan won his notable vic- 
tory at Five Forks, and at midnight the regi- 
ment was ordered out for a final charge on the 
defences so long held against them, which was 
to be made early on the 2nd. All was made 
ready, the lines formed, and at daylight the 
signal gun set the army in motion. 

"The advance was over precisely the same 
ground as on the 25th of March, and the 
firing came from the same battery and breast- 
works, although not quite so severe. Lieutenant- 
Colonel Skinner and seven enlisted men were 
wounded — none of them fatally. There was 
but little firing on our side, but with bayonets 
fixed the boys went in, — not in a very mathe- 



matical right line, but strongly and surely, — on, 
on, until the first line was carried. Then, in- 
vigorated and greatly encouraged by success, 
they pressed on — the opposing fire slackening 
every minute, — on, on, through the abatis and 
ditch, up the steep bank, over the parapet into 
the rebel camp that had but just been deserted. 
Then and there the long tried and ever 
faithful soldiers of the Republic saw day- 
light — and such a shout as tore the concave 
of that morning sky it were worth dying to 
hear." The same jubilant success was attend- 
ing the whole army, though not without 
sharp resistance on the part of the enemy in 

Throughout the day advances were made and 
the works so long besieged were occupied all 
over the vast field, and at night the men "lay 
down in muddy trenches, among the dying and 
the dead, under a most murderous fire of sharp- 
shooters. There had been charges and counter 
charges, — but our troops held all they had 
gained. At length the hot day gave place to 



chilly night, and the extreme change brought 
much suffering. The men had flung away what- 
ever was fling-away-able during the charge of 
the morning and the subsequent hot march — as 
men always will, under like circumstances — 
and now they found themselves blanketless, 
stockingless, overcoatless, — in cold and damp 
trenches, and compelled by the steady firing to 
lie still, or adopt a horizontal, crawling mode of 
locomotion, which did not admit of speed 
enough to quicken the circulation of the blood. 
Some took clothing from the dead and wrapped 
themselves in it; others, who were fortunate 
enough to procure spades, dug gopher holes, and 
burrowed. At daylight the Sixty-fifth New 
York clambered over the huge earthwork, took 
possession of Fort Hell, opened a picket fire and 
fired one of the guns in the fort, eliciting no 
reply. Just then a huge fire in the direction of 
the city, followed by several explosions, con- 
vinced our side that Lee's army had indeed left. 
The regiment was hastily got together, — ninety 
muskets being all that could be produced, — and 



sent out on picket. The picket line advanced 
and meeting with no resistance pushed on into 
the city. What regiment was first to enter the 
city is and probably ever will be a disputed 
question. The Second Connecticut claims to 
have been in first, but Colonel Hubbard had or- 
dered the colors to remain behind when the regi- 
ment went out on the skirmish line, consequently 
the stars and stripes that first floated over cap- 
tured Petersburg belonged to some other regi- 
ment. Colonel Hubbard was, however, made 
Provost-Marshal of the city, and for a brief 
while dispensed government and law in that 

Petersburg, however, now that it was aban- 
doned by the enemy, had lost the importance it 
had so long possessed, and all energies were 
given to preventing the escape of its late de- 
fenders. Before the end of the day (April 3d) 
the regiment, with the rest of the Sixth Corps, 
had turned westward and joined the pursuit. 
The chase was stern and the marches rapid, but 
far less wearing to these victorious veterans, 



filled with the consciousness of success, than 
those that had initiated their campaigning less 
than a year before. On April 6th the regiment, 
after an all day march, came up with the enemy 
in position at Sailor's Creek, and went into the 
last engagement of its career. It was a charge 
under a hot fire, sharp and decisive, which 
quickly changed to a pursuit of the fleeing 
enemy, kept up until the bivouack at ten 
o'clock. The Second Connecticut captured the 
headquarters train of General Mahone, a battle 
flag, and many prisoners, and ended the tale of 
its losses with three men killed and six 

The chase was taken up next morning (April 
7th) , and the regiment had reached a point close 
to Appomattox Court House, when on April 9th 
Lee met Grant and surrendered what remained 
of his army, at that historic place. 

To imagine all that this meant to the men in 
arms is far easier than to attempt its descrip- 
tion. They saw at last the end arriving of all 



the privation and suffering they had volun- 
teered to undergo ; they saw the triumph of the 
Union they had risen to defend to the uttermost 
extremity a proven fact. The whole continent 
vibrated with the deepest feeling at the news of 
it, but they, better than any others, knew in the 
fullest degree its immense significance. 


MMEDiATELY after the surrender 
of the Army of Northern Virginia, 
the Sixth Corps was moved to 
Burkesville, some distance from 
Appomattox in the direction of 
Richmond, and there it remained for about 
ten days awaiting events. On April 22nd 
it was ordered southward to Danville, with 
a view to joining Sherman's army then 
confronting Johnston in North Carolina, 
a movement which again necessitated some 
fatiguing marches, the one hundred and five 
miles being covered in less than five days. 
News was received, however, that Johnston had 
followed the example of Lee and surrendered, 



and the corps thereupon faced about once more. 
On its leisurely progress to the north it was 
joined by crowds of the newly freed negroes, 
who attached themselves to every regiment in 
droves, and the lately hostile inhabitants came 
also at every stopping place, 'with baskets and 
two-wheeled carts" for supplies to relieve their 
dire necessities. 

Near Richmond the regiment remained sev- 
eral days, and the men were allowed passes to 
visit the late Confederate capital, so long the 
goal of their strenuous efforts. "The burnt dis- 
trict was still smoking with the remains of the 
great fire of April 2nd, and the city was full of 
officers and soldiers of the ex-Confederate army. 
The blue and the gray mingled on the streets and 
public squares, and were seen side by side in the 
Sabbath congregations. The war was over." 

The consciousness of this last great fact was 
now becoming insistent in the minds of these 
citizen soldiers. The great purpose for which 
they had offered themselves was carried out, and 
their eagerness to have done with all the circum- 



stances of military life was increasingly strong, 
and grew so intense as to render the final weeks 
of their term of service extremely trying. 

The tremendous task of disbanding the armies 
of the Union was occupying the entire energies 
of the War Department, but to the men it 
seemed as if their longed for turn would never 
come. Back in the well-known fortifications 
around Washington they waited, taking part in 
the Grand Review on June 8th, in all the misery 
of full dress, and in a temper that would have 
carried them against the thousands of acclaim- 
ing spectators with savage joy, had it been a 
host of enemies in arms. 

But their turn came at last, and on July 7th, 
one hundred and eighty-three men, all that were 
left of the original enlisted men of the "old 
Nineteenth," were mustered out; two days later 
they departed for New Haven and were wel- 
comed there, like all the returning troops, with 
patriotic rejoicing. 

The remainder of the regiment, some four 
hundred in number, was mustered out in its 



turn on August i8th, reached New Haven on 
the 20th, and "passed up Chapel Street amid 
welcoming crowds of people, the clangor of 
bells, and a shower of rockets and red lights that 
made the field-and-staif horses prance with the 
belief that battle had come again. After partak- 
ing of a bounteous entertainment prepared in 
the basement of the State House, the regiment 
proceeded to Grapevine Point, where, on the 5th 
of September, they received their pay and dis- 
charge, and the Second ConnecticutHeavy Artil- 
lery vanishedfromsightandpassedintoHistory." 

In Litchfield County the return of the various 
contingents to their homes was made the occa- 
sion of great rejoicing. Chief among these cele- 
brations was a grand reception at the county 
seat on August 1st, when the first detachment 
to be discharged had arrived; they were feted 
with dinner and speeches, illuminations and a 
triumphal arch. There were also other organ- 
ized demonstrations in other towns, and every- 
where the strongest manifestations of pride in 



these warrior sons of the county, and joy at their 

But all who went had not returned. The ter- 
rible significance of the cold and formal col- 
umns and tables of the regiment's casualties was 
felt in every town, and to their tale was added 
in succeeding years a long list of the many who 
had indeed come back, but broken with wounds 
and disease, and just as truly devoted to death 
through their service as those who fell upon the 
field of battle. 

What the Second Connecticut suffered is 
shown, so far as official statistics go, in the 
tables published by the Adjutant-General of 
the state, as follows : 

Killed 147 

Missing in action, probably killed ... 11 

Fatally wounded 95 

Wounded 427 

Captured 72 

Died in prison 21 

Died of disease or accident 1 5'4 

Discharged for disability 285 

Unaccounted for at muster out • • • • 35 


Monument at ArIine;ton 


The officers of the regiment as mustered out 
were: Colonel, James Hubbard, Salisbury; 
lieutenant-colonel, Jeffrey Skinner, Winches- 
ter; majors, Edward W. Jones, New Hartford; 
Augustus H. Fenn, Plymouth; Chester D. 
Cleveland, Barkhamsted; adjutant, Theodore 
F. Vaill, Litchfield; quartermaster, Edward C. 
Huxley, Goshen; surgeon, Henry Plumb, New 
Milford; assistant surgeons, Robert G. Haz- 
zard. New Haven; Judson B. Andrews, New 
Haven; chaplain, Winthrop H. Phelps, Bark- 


«HE preceding pages have outlined 
^ the career of the Second Connec- 

ticut Heavy Artillery, and have 
narrated some of the more mem- 
orable events of its history. 
Enough has been told of what it did to furnish 
grounds for deducing what it was; but to deal 
with the regiment on the personal side is hardly 
possible within the limits of such a sketch as 
this, though it is a matter that cannot be entirely 
passed by. It need not be said that there is 
abundant human interest attaching as a matter 
of course to such men as were in the aggregate 
the subjects of so fine a record. 

Any body of men — a college class, a legisla- 


ture, a regiment — is in character what its com- 
ponent members make it ; in this case there was 
the material, which, furnished with worthy 
leadership — and it unquestionably had that — 
made up the organization whose not uneventful 
existence has been described. That they were 
better men, or worse, braver men, or more patri- 
otic, than their descendants and successors 
would prove under similar conditions, or than 
the hundreds of thousands of their contempo- 
raries who devoted themselves to the same ser- 
vice, is not to be believed; yet to have passed 
through such experiences as have been re- 
counted, which became for them for a time the 
commonplaces of every-day life, is enough to 
place them apart from ordinary men in the eyes 
of our peace knowing generation. In fact, to 
have passed the tests of so fierce a course of edu- 
cation gives them a title to a place thus apart. 
The university man of to-day, as the burden 
of the baccalaureate sermons so frequently tes- 
tifies, is consigned to a special place of responsi- 
bility in life because of his training; these men 


surely earned one of special honor by reason of 
theirs, which was, too, not like the other, prepa- 
ration alone, but also fulfilment. The realiza- 
tion of how typical it all was of that generation 
and that time, brings the clearest understanding 
of the real scope of the Civil War. 

To the members of the Litchfield County Uni- 
versity Club it is perhaps a point of interest to 
take brief notice of those names on the regi- 
mental rolls which would probably have been 
found upon its list of members had the organi- 
zation been in existence in that earlier time. A 
number of the officers and men were college 
graduates when they enlisted, and others gained 
degrees after the war ended ; the list which fol- 
lows is, however, necessarily incomplete; in 
fact, an absolutely correct list is no doubt hope- 
lessly impossible. 

Major James Q. Rice, who was killed at Win- 
chester, was a member of the class of 1850 at 
Wesleyan, and received from that institution 
the degree of Master of Arts in 1855. At the 



time of the regiment's formation he was con- 
ducting an academy in Goshen, and was en- 
listed as captain of a company which he had 
been active in recruiting. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Nathaniel Smith of 
Woodbury entered the Yale Law School in the 
class of 1853, but did not graduate. Ill health 
forced him to relinquish his commission early 
in 1864, and until his death in 1877 he was a 
leading citizen of the county. 

Judge Augustus H. Fenn, Major and Brevet- 
Colonel, came back from the war, having lost 
an arm at Cedar Creek, to take a course in the 
Law School at Harvard, and Yale made him a 
Master of Arts in 1889. His prominence for 
many years in public life and as judge in the 
highest courts in the state is well known. At 
the time of his death in 1897, he was a lecturer 
in the Yale Law School, and member of the 
Supreme Court of Errors. 

Rev. James Deane, Captain and Brevet- 
Major, was a graduate of Williams in the class 
of 1857. He was pastor of the Congregational 



church at East Canaan when the regiment was 
organized, and was one of its recruiting officers. 

Adjutant Theodore F. Vaill, the historian of 
the regiment, was a student before the war at 
Union College, but did not graduate. 

Captain George S. Williams, of New Mil- 
ford, was a member of the class of 1852 at Yale 
for a time, and received a degree from Trinity 
in 1855. 

Surgeon Henry Plumb, and Assistant-Sur- 
geons Robert G. Hazzard and John W. Lawton 
were all graduates of the Yale Medical School, 
in the classes of 1861, 1862, and 1859. Assist- 
ant-Surgeon Judson B. Andrews graduated at 
Yale in 1855. He was captain in a New York 
regiment in the early part of the war, and be- 
came afterward superintendent of the Buffalo 
State Hospital, and a recognized authority on 
insanity before his death in 1894. 

Chaplain Jonathan A. Wainwright gradu- 
ated at the University of Vermont in 1846, and 
after the war was for some years rector of St. 
John's Church in Salisbury. He was later con- 



nected with a church college in Missouri, where 
he died in 1898. 

Captain William H. Lewis, Jr., studied after 
the war at the Berkeley Divinity School, and 
has been for many years rector of St. John's 
Church in Bridgeport. 

Lieutenant and Brevet-Captain Lewis W. 
Munger, graduating at Brown in 1869 and later 
from the Crozier Theological Seminary, entered 
the ministry of the Baptist church. 

Corporal Francis J. Young entered the Yale 
Medical School before the war, and returned 
after its close to take his degree in 1866. 

Hospital Steward James J. Averill also grad- 
uated at the Yale Medical School after the war. 

Sergeant Theodore C. Glazier was a graduate 
of Trinity in the class of i860, and was a tutor 
there when he enlisted. He was later made 
colonel of a colored regiment, and served with 
credit in that capacity. 

Corporal Edward C. Hopson, a graduate of 
Trinity in 1864, was killed at Cedar Creek. 

Sergeant Garwood R. Merwin, who had been 


a member of the class of 1864 at Yale, died at 
Alexandria in 1863. 

Sergeant Romulus C. Loveridge, who had 
been entered in the class of 1865 at Yale, re- 
ceived a commission in a colored regiment. 

Colonel Mackenzie graduated at West Point 
in 1862, but he was never a resident of the 
county, or of Connecticut, and his only connec- 
tion with either was through his commission 
from Governor Buckingham. 

There are not a few other names upon the 
rolls of the regiment which upon more thorough 
investigation than has been possible in the 
present case would certainly be added to the 
list. A complete history of the organization 
would also give a large place to the association 
of its veterans formed shortly after the war, 
whose frequent gatherings have more than a 
superficial likeness to the reunions of college 
classes. Memorable among these meetings was 
the one held on October 21, 1896, the occasion 
being the dedication of the regiment's monu- 
ment in the National Cemetery at Arlington, 



with a pilgrimage also to the scenes of its battles 
and marches in the Shenandoah Valley near by. 

As a whole, the regiment was a body thor- 
oughly representative not only of the army of 
which it was a fraction, an army as has been 
often said unlike any other the world has 
known, but also of the population from which 
it was drawn. It was made up of men of almost 
all conditions of life and of widely different 
ages, though naturally with young men in a 
large majority; of mechanics from the Housa- 
tonic and Naugatuck valleys, and farmers' boys 
from the hills; of men of education and men of 
none. Though the large addition to its num- 
bers which the increase in size necessitated made 
it perhaps somewhat less homogeneous than at 
first, it did not greatly alter its essential charac- 

The records kept by the association referred 
to, furnish suggestive revelations as to the 
various elements that composed it. The names 
of men of every sort and kind are found upon 
the rolls. There were veterans of the Mexican 



War; there were refugees from the revolution- 
ary uprisings in Europe of 1848; there were 
some who had served under compulsion in the 
armies of the South; there were men whose ob- 
viously fictitious names concealed stories which 
could be guessed to be extraordinary; there were 
names which have been for years among the best 
known and most honored in this state ; and there 
were those of outcasts and wrecks. 

A large part of these men came back after 
their service ended to resume the peaceful life 
of citizenship, and every town among us has 
known some of them ever since among its lead- 
ing figures, while some in quarters far distant 
have also attained to honors and responsi- 
bilities, as the records show. Connecticut has 
known for many years no small number of them 
as foremost in all lines of activity, and knows 
to-day, in official station and in private life, 
men of many honors, who count not least among 
these the fact that they were enrolled among 
the soldiers of the Second Connecticut Heavy 



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