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Full text of "History of ancient Woodbury, Connecticut, from the first Indian deed in 1659 ... including the present towns of Washington, Southbury, Bethlem, Roxbury, and a part of Oxford and Middlebury"

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(resent lolMSof Maslnngtan, SmttlrbttrD, letI]UI]£m, f cxburg, 
anlj a prt at i^forir anli piiiijU&urs. 


" I love thee, oh ! my native land ! 
I love thy sons, a brother band ! 
Thy rocks, and hills, and vales, to me. 
Are temples of the truly free 1 " 





Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1872, hy 


in the Office of the Librarian of Congress. 




JOYFULLY do I bring this history to 
a close — a work of most arduous labor, 
— long-continued, — and heartily can T 
join in tlie aspiration; — "Oh! that 
mine enemy had written a book " — 
especially a book of Town History I 
The work has grown upon my hands to a volume more than twice 
the size contemplated and promised. It became inevitable. We 
have made history faster, and more voluiriiinously, during the last 
twenty ye.irs, than for the preceding one hundred A faitliful and 
minute account of these years has been attempted. At tlie same 
time, the careful inquiries and researches of the last twenty years, 
have added to the ancient history of the town an amount almost 
equal to that contained in the former volume, of most valuable 
and interesting matter. In -this part of his work the author has 
been most ably aided by several antiquarian friends, and especially 
by the Rev. Benjamin L. Swan, of Oyt^ter Bay, N. Y., a most care- 
ful and successful antiquarian scholar. Due credit has been given 
to each assistant in the pages of the volume. 


No work so elaborate, extended and complete, has been atteraiDt- 
ed in this country, and it will remain for the reader to decide, 
whether the author has accomplished his purpose of making it a 
model of its kind. Neither time, arduous labor, nor expense has 
been withheld by him. 

A large addition has been made to almost every chaptei- of the 
foi'mer work. The statistics of the several towns have been 
brought down to date, and include the results of the last election. 
As a book of statistics, it must remain for all time invaluable to 
all. In the genealogical part of the work, not only lias all addi- 
tional information in regard to the families, in the former volume 
been added, but the genealogies of a large number of other fami- 
lies have been included. 

Woodbury has been celebrated for its Bi-Centennial Celebra- 
tions. A full history of all these has been included in the work- 

A new feature in the work is exhibited in the illustrations. Mi'. 
Henry Clay Curtis, an excellent artist, residing, in Hartford, has 
profusely illustrated the work, so that the two volumes now con- 
tain about one hundred and sixty-seven cuts, of all kinds, inserted 
at g'-eat expense, contributing immensely to the attraciions and 
and permanent value of the work. 

The question of the "Church dissensions in Stratford," resulting 
in the settlement of Woodbury, has been seriously mooteil. Ev- 
ery recorded item in the records has been carefully collected, and 
])i-inted entire in the wc.rk, vviih such leraarks and ehu-idntions as 
seemed called for, placing the controver>y, as it would seem, for- 
ever at r(;st. As the theoiy maintained in the former work had 
been adopted by all subsequent historians, State and Ecclesiastical, 
it seemed necessary to thoroughly examine the subject, and vin- 
dicate the " truth of history," 

A leading feature of the work is a minute history of the ett'orts 
of the several towns in the ancient ten-itory to suppress the late 
Rebellion. The author has treated this subject in a maimer en- 
tirely different from that pursued l)y the various historians of the 
war. The latter have written general histories. The authors 


were obliged to say such a General did this — such a Colonel did 
that. The author of this work has attempted to write Pin individal 
history of tlie war. Private A. did this — Sergeant B. did that. 
He has attempted to reveal the nerve and sinew wliicli did most 
to accomplish the great result. He has given a complete list of 
all the soldiers from the ancient town, with particular incidents in 
regard to many of them. About 400 pages of the work are de 
voted to this history. It is believed that it will be one of the 
most satisfactory accounts of the incidtnts of the Rebellion to the 
private soldier. 

Finally, this work is no*w passed over for the examination of a 
discriminating public, upon its merits, and the author awaits its 
j'^dgraent with calm composure, believing it will be just. 

Woodbury, May 1, 1872. 





First Impressions, 

. 842 

Nonnewaug River, 


Bestowal of names, 


Sliepaug ' ' 

. 846 

Quassapaug Lake, 

. 844 

Orenaug Park, 


Weraumaug " 


Shepaug Falls, 

. 847 


. 845 

Nonnewaug " 


Kissewaug " 


Bacon's Pond, 

. 849 

Village Plain, 

. 845 



Indian Names, 


Jack's Brook Legend, 

. 852 

Pootatuck River, 

. 846 

Mine Hill, 


Pomperaug " 

846 i Helicon Spring, 

. 859 


Who were the Indians ? . 861 

Their character, . . . 863 

Indian Regulations, . . 865 

Indian Watches, . . . 869 

Definition of Indian names, . 876 

Indian Relics, '. . . .878 

Indian God, 
Pomperaug's Grave, 
Nonuewaug's " 
Bethel Rock Legend, 




General Ecclesiastical Review, 890 
" Stratford View " of the religious 
dissensions, . . . 892 

The " Woodbury View " re-stated, 
re-affirmed, and proved, . 8 


Accuracy of American History, 929 i Fundamental Articles. . . 932 
Free Home-Ixjts, . . . 930 | Lower Nonnewaug Falls, . 935 



Old Mill-stonea ... 936 
Bethel Rock cliurcli meetings, 939 
First Meeting House, . . 94 
Second " ... 942 

Sabbath Day Houses, . . 942 
Church Customs, . . .942 
Bear Hill and Rag-Land Sheep 

Pasture, . . , .942 

Church Drum, 
Wooden Shoes, . 
Going to Church, 
Iron Kettle, 
Quassapaug Scene, 
The Parson and Lawyer- 
mauff Lake. 






Town Bi-Centennial of 1859, 951 

Ode of Invocation, . . 958 

N. Smith's Welcome, . . 959 

William Cothren's Address, 960 

Rev. Wm T. Bacon's Poem, . 965 
Rev. A. S. Atwood's Speech, 970 

Bi-Centenniel Ode, . . .973 
Hon. Seth P. Beers' Speecli, 973 

Dr. D. B. W. Hard's " .975 

Mrs. Ann Stephen's Ode, . 977 
Hon. Charles Chapman's speech, 978 
Hon. I. W. Stuarts' Letter, 980 

Mrs. L. H. Sigourney's Ode, 9S1 

Geo. H. Clark's Centennial Poem, 982 
Hon. Henry Dutton's Speech, 988 

Samuel Minor's " 988 

Mrs. Ann S. Stephens' Poem, 
Rev. Philo Judson's Speech, 
Masonic Centennial, . , 
AlonzoN. Lewis' Address, 1000,1011 
Rev. Curtiss T. Woodruff's Ser- 
mon, .... 1008 
William Cothren's Address, 1011 

E. A. Judd's Address, . . 1018 
Fjrst Church Bi-Centenniel. 
Covenant of 1670. 
Rev. W. T. Bacon's Poem, 



Rev. John Churchell's Speech, 1020 
List of Deacons, . . . 1026 
Dedication of the Fathers' Monu- 
ment 1040 

Rev. T. L. Shipman's Prayer, 10-H 
W. Cothren's Dedicatory Ad- 
dress, . .' . 1042 
Rev. W. T. Bacon's dedication 

Poem, . . . .1046 

Rev. Mr. Noyes' Bi-Centenniel 

Sermon, . . . .1029 
Communion Exercises, . 1038 

Dedication Hymn, . . . 1048 
Rev. Horace Winslow's Greeting, 105 1 
Rev. Wm. K. Hall's Speech, 1052 

Rev. A. B. Smith's " . 1056 
Rev. Geo. W. Banks, " . 1058 

Dr. Bellamy's Letter, . . 1059 
Rev. Willis S Colton's Speech, 1062 
Rev. A. Goodenough's ' 1065 

Rev. H. S. Newcomb's •' 1 066 

Rev. John Churchill's " 1067 

Rev. Thomas L. Shipman's " 1 070 

Rev. C. E. Robinson's Letter, 1071 
Rev. Chas. Little's " 1072 

Rev. Philo Judson's " 1073 

Miss C. E. Andrew's '• 1074 


Causes of the War, 

Events of 1860, . 

Rev. Noah Coe's Buchanan 
Prayer, .... 

Parson Champion's Revolution- 
ary Prayer, 

Events of 1861, . 

First Union Meeting, 

" Woodbury Reds," 


Events of 1862. . 

Amusing War Stories, 1149, 1157 


Woodbury War Notes, 



Farewell to Co. " I," 

. 1191 

March to Alexandria, . 



Scenes at " 

. 1209 

James C. Policy's death, 



Convalescent Camp, 

. 1213 


Col. Elisha Kellogg, 



Lt. Fred. Whitlock, 

. 1214 


H. H. Fox's Death, 



Alexandria Alarm, 

. 1219 


Events of 1863, . 


War Notes of 1863. 

. 1226 


Events of 1864. . 




Battle of Cold Harbor. . .1230 
Battle at Winchester, . . 1230 
Battle of Cedar Creek, . . 1238 
War Notes of 1864. . . 1254 

War Letters 1259 

Events of 1865, . . . 1266 

Soldiers' Welcome Home, . 1283 
Welcome Ode, . . .1284 

Dea. P. M. Trowbridge's Address, 1285 
Woodbury " Secesh " Flags, 1280 

Rev. A. N. Lewis' Poem of Wel- 
- come, . . . 1286,1607 

Wm. Cothreii's Address of Wei 

come, .... 1287 

Woodbury Contributions, 1291 

List of those who sent Substitutes, 1293 
Decoration Day, . . . 1294 
W. Cothren's Address, . 1294 

Soldiers' Monument Meeting, 1296 
Dedication of Soldiers' Monument,1299 
W. Cothren's Address at same, 

1300, 1308 
Col. A. H. Fenn's Speech, . 1304 
Complete List of Woodbury Sol- 
diers, .... 1304 
Woodbury Roll of Honor, 131C, 1313 
Andersonville Prison, . 1324 
Final Remarks on the War, 1343 


Rev. Lucius Curtis dismissed, 1347 
Religious Revivals, 1347, 1357 

Rev. Robert G. Williams Settled, 1347 
Rev. Chas E. Robinson " 1351 
Rev. Chas. Little, . . 1352 

Rev. Horace Winslow, . . 1353 
Rev. Gurdon W Noyes Settled, 1353 

Rev. Samuel R. Andrew — Life 

and Character, . . 1354 
Mr. Andrew's account of his Set- 
tlement, . . . 1357 
Dea. Matthew Minor's Biography, 1365 
Minor Jubilee, . . 1369 
Hon. Noah B. Benedict's Will, 1369 


Tories, .... 

. 1372 

Moll Cramer — the witch. . 1380 

Local School Fund, 


Break Neck Hill, . . 1381 

Remember Baker, 

. 1373 

Parson Wildman's Donati'n Visit, 1383 

Col. Seth Warner, 


Natural Curiosities, . . 1382 

Parson Stoddard and the 


Walker Headstone, . . 1383 


. 1375 

Ram Pit Hill. '. - .1383 



Parker Academy, . . 1384 

Ancient Burial Ground, . 

. 1377 

Woodbury Bank, . . .1384 

New Burial, " 


" Building Association, 1384* 

New County Proposition, 

. 1378 

King Solomon's Lodge, . 1385 

Ancient Tea Party, 





Murder of Bennet Ward, . 1390 

" Matthew M. Morriss. 1390 

" Lucius H. Foot, 1392 

Suicide of Ralph Li na, . 1396 

Suicide of Columbus W. Randall, 1397 
Thefts, . . . . 1397 

Burlaries in Curtiss' Factory and 

Walker's Store, . . 1 3,97 




Southbury Society, 
Rev. Jason Atwater, 
Rev. A. B. Smith, 
South Britain Society, 
Rev. John W. Wolcott, 
Rev. Homer S. Newcomb, 
Southbury War Votes, 
Southbury Volunteers, 
Rev. Eph. M. Wright, 
Rev. Greo. W. Banks, . 
Bethlehem War Votes, . 
Bethlehem Volimteers, 
Rev. Ephraim Lyman, 
Rev. Wm. H. H. Murray, 
Rev. Willis S. Colton, 


New Preston Society, . 1407 

Washington War Votes, . 1407 

Washington Volunteers, . 1408 
Frederick W. Gunn's Boarding 

School for Boys, . . 1410 

Roxbury, . . . . 1413 

Rev. Austin Isham, . . 1413 

Rev. Oliver S. Dean, . . 1413 

Rev. J. H. Varce, . . . 1414 

Rev. A. Goodenough, . 1414 

Revivals, . . . .1414 

Roxbury Volunteers, . . 1415 

Roxbury War Votes, . . 1415 
North Congregational Church, 1416 

St Paul's Church, . . 1416 

Centennial of Same, . . 1417 


Rev. Garrett G. Brown, 


Edward J. Hvibbard, 


Hon. Seth P. Beers, 

. 1423 

Hon. James Huntington, 

. 1433 

Hon. Chas. Chapman, 


Willis Lambert, 

. 1433 

William Cothren, 

. 1426 

Henry Minor 


Hon. Samuel G. Goodrich, . 


Rev. Dr. Elisha Mitchell, 

. 1435 

Hon. Orlando Hastings, . 

. 1428 

Hon Simeon H. Minor, 


Hon. Joel Hinman, 


Hon. Wm. T. Minor. 

. 1444 

Rev. Benjamin C. Meigs, 

. 1444 

Hon. Chas. B. Phelps, 


Rev. John Purves, 


Hon. Henry S. Sanford, . 

. 1450 

Dr. Avery J. Skilton, 

. 145U 

Dr. Azariah B. Shipman, 


Mrs. Mary Ann W. Smith, . 


Dr. Parson G. Shipiiten, 

. 1458 

Rev. Bennet Tyler, . '' 

. 1461 

Hon. Isaac Toucey, 


Arthur B. Warner, 


Col. Seth Warner, 

. 1465 

Hon. Warren W. Guthrie, 

. 1366 

In Alphabetical order. 




Oolton Family, . . .1605 

Curtiss Family, . . 1P05 

Hon. David F. Hollister, . 1606 

Rev. Alonzo Norton Lewis, 1606 

Rev. Alonzo Norton Lewis' Poem 

to Returned Soldiers, . 1607 

Rev. Wm. T. Bacon's Reunion 

Poem. . . . .1609 






FiEST Impressions ; Bestowal op names ; Village Plain ; Middle Quarter ; 
White Oak ; Indian names ; Quassapaug ; Weraumaug ; Bantam ; Kissewaug; 
PooTATUcK ; PoMPERAUG ; NoNNicTVAUG ; Shepaug ; Orenaug ; Bethel Rock ; 
NoNNEWAUG Falls ; Shepaug Falls ; Bacon's Pond ; Kettletown ; Divers 
Localities ; Jack's Brook ; Mine Hill ; Helicon Spring. 

FTER a lapse of seventeen years, during 
which history has more than " repeated 
itself," in great and stirring events, in the 
progress of living ideas, in the advance- 
ment of literature and science, in the 
spread of Christianity, and in the clear 
understanding and final establishment of 
the true principles of civil liberty, and the 
enfranchisement of the human race, it would seem wise to review 
the whole ground-work of our history as a nation, and as civil 
communities, that we may learn the true lessons of the recent 
past, and take prudent and judicious departures for the scenes and 
events of the future, through which we are yet to pass. We have 
been so overwhelmed with the tumultuous events which have oc- 
curred in the last few years, that we shall be astonished, on a 
calm retrospect, to observe Avhat strides we have made in human 
progress, and how totally unconscious we have been of the mag- 
nitude and importance of the history we have been making, and 
of the share each little hamlet has had in producing it. It is from 
the careful examination of the elements, that go to make up any 
desirable event, or result, that we are able to understand and duly 
appreciate it, and derive from it the lessons desirable for future use 
and improvement. 

It will be our pleasing duty, then, to review the history of our 
ancient and honorable town, and gather for the use of ourselves, 
and those who shall succeed us in our pleasant abodes, in this val- 


ley of valleys, and on these rejoicing hills, so favoi'ed of Heaven, 
the " remnants, that remain" of the treasures not discovered be- 
fore the completion of our former enterprise, and to preserve 
them in the archives of our local history, " that nothing may be 
lost." To accomplish this, the plan of the former work will be 
followed, recording, step by step, all further facts obtained, under 
the several heads employed before, sometimes repeating facts 
found in the first volume, for greater clearness of statement, and 
to save reference to another volume, so inconvenient in the read- 
ing of any work. 

Although our country is so young, and our experience so recent, 
it is yet very difficult for us to picture to ourselves the novelty 
with which this wilderness must have struck the early gaze of our 
forefathers, as they came here, " bearing the ark of their covenant 
into the wilderness." The land was all before them. They had 
full authority to enter and possess it, by solemn conveyance from 
the Indian proprietors, and by the full consent and endowment of 
the General Court, encumbered by no conditions, except to receive 
as many other " honest inhabitants " into proprietorship with them, 
as the plantation would " conveniently entertain " — a matter of 
prime necessity in new and feeble communities. How does our 
most fertile imagination fail to grasp and comprehend the mingled 
emotions which must have struggled in the bosoms of our sturdy 
forefathers, as, after a weary wandering in the deep forests and 
beside the " great rivers," they stood upon the summit of " Good 
Hill," first local name selected and pronounced by their lips, in the 
new home, and gazed into the wild and beautiful valley, divided 
by its lovely, meandering river,' seeking with the eye, even in this 
first moment of enraptured vision, the sequestered nooks in which 
they would build their happy, moi-al abodes, and erect their family 
altars, first offerings to their adorable God and Master. Like the 
land of Canaan to the Israelites of old, the new land was all be- 
fore them, with its woods and rocks, and hills and streams — name- 
less as yet. Here were a thousand hills, valleys, streams, and beau- 
tiful local objects of every form and style of loveliness, with no 
names by which they might be called ; no appellation by which 
they might be described. They had bought land at " Pompe- 
raug ; " they had been granted liberty by the General Court to 
found a new plantation there, and that was all there was of de- 
signation. Every thing betokened that the silence of nature had 
remained unjbroken by human voice, since those early days, when 


" the morning stars sang together," save by those of nature's own 
uncultivated children, the red hunters of the forest. Nature, in 
all its grand magnificence, met the enchanted view of the pale 
face in these sweetly fertile plains, and mountain fastnesses. The 
grim chiefs of the woody wilds alone roamed over these retired sol- 
itudes, save the wild beasts, that growled upon a thousand hills. 
The whole face of the country was one vast Avilderness, uncheered 
by the benign rays of civilization. 

Such was the scene, and such were the circumstances that greet- 
ed the eyes of Capt. John Minor, the intrepid surveyor, and his 
sturdy companions, as they entered this territory, Avhich was then 
the farthest point from our coast and larger rivers, that had been 
explored, two hundred years ago. This wilderness must be re- 
claimed; human habitations must be erected; the church of God, 
with its accompanying school-house, must be builded from these 
over-arching forest trees, and all objects must receive names and 

We may imagine the first surveyor, like a second Adam, with 
every living and inanimate object before him, awaiting the bestow- 
al of an appellation. And right royally did he and his associates 
fulfill this duty of necessity and convenience, as they scattered 
among the hills and valleys, and reclaimed the waste lands. Per- 
haps no town anywhere has so successfully preserved its early de- 
signations as this. Everywhere we meet the "old landmarks." 
We will mention some of them, that they may be recorded, as 
well as remembered forever. 

It was natural that they should then and there name the place 
whence they had had the pleasure of beholding, their "land of prom- 
ise ; " their future homes. They called it Good Hill. It was good 
and pleasant for them, in more particulars than one. It was the place 
of good hopes and anticipations. It was the place of good views. It 
was the place of good lands, and, afterwards, became the location of 
their " Good Hill Division," in the proportionate distribution of the 
lands of their new territory among the proprietors. The place where 
the present village stands, which was, at that date, with the adjoin- 
ing intervales, cultivated by the Indians, and planted with scant 
crops of corn, beans, and some few other productions, was called 
by preeminence The Plain, and the designation has been handed 
down to the present day, in the conveyance of lands. The fertile 
plateau where the pioneers spent their first night, a little south of 
the village, they named Middle Quarter. It was so named, prob- 


ably, because they deemed it nearly midway between the plain 
land, which they named Judson Lane, and on which the iirst framed 
house was built, and White Oak, a place so designated by them, - 
in the upper part of Southbury, nearest the present town of 
Woodbury, the place where they spent the second night of their 
explorations. This spot has always been one of interest. The 
old oak long since passed away, as is stated on a preceding page, 
but the interest still lingers around the ancient locality, and our 
artist has given a sketch of it for a future chapter. 

These few names sufficed their first wants, as they builded their 
cabins amid these vales and hills, keeping as nearly together as 
possible. As the settlement extended its limits, they learned and 
appropriated the good old names, which had been used by the 
original native proprietors, and they have been carefully handed 
down to the present. No town of equal dimensions within the 
writer's knowedge has retained so many of them, and they are of 
far greater euphony, for the most j)art, than those preserved in 
other parts of the State. Many of our towns long since forgot 
the local names of the former occupants of the country. In the 
the neighboring town of Watertown, for instance, it is said that 
not a single Indian appellation, or name of local objects or places, 
now remains. This is the more singular, as there must ever be a 
lingering interest or curiosity in all the remaining traces of the 
aboriginal race, which preceded us, even in the least observant 

Quite different from this was the care with which our fathers 
gathered up, and applied the beautiful Indian names which abound 
in our territory. This may, in part, be accounted for by the fact, 
that Capt. John Minor, the leading man among the colonists, had 
been educated as missionary to the Indians, understood well their 
language, and seemed to take a delight in fixing forever the abo- 
riginal names to the various localities, as he, in his office of sur- 
veyor, parcelled out the lands among the pioneers. To the lovely 
lake on our eastern borders he applied the name of Quassapaug, 
or The Beautiful Clear Water. This pleasant sheet of water, so 
cosily nestling among the verdant hills, furijished one of the first 
fishing places to the new settlers, cut off as they wei"e from the 
seaboard by the boundless forests lying between them and the sea. 
This is an enchanting little water retreat among the hills, where 
one may while away an hour of pleasant thought and rest, seclu- 
ded from all obtruding care, or may unite with friends in sailing 


over its limpid waters, enjoying the " feast of reason and the'flow 
of soul." It has ever been a location of interest, and is yearly- 
becoming the place of resort for those who admire the loveliness 
of nature secluded in its deep solitudes. Weraumaug is another 
lake of about the same size, one mile by two in dimensions, loca- 
ted in the north-west corner of the ancient territory, to which the 
same reniarks will apply. It has now become the popular resort 
of the city-heated denizen, who seeks, for a brief space, rest and 
relaxation during the hot months. Like the former, it has be- 
come the place of sweet romance and many a flirtation, while 
reverend doctors of divinity and learned doctors of the law, " pass 
stately by," and form a solid back ground. Bantam, in the north- 
ern bounds, north of what was, at a later day, called " Woodbury 
Farms," is another beautiful sheet of water, and point of much 
attraction. It is one of the principal boasts of the present town 
of Litchfield, the County seat, which is now in somewhat pleasant 
repute as a "summer resort," claiming attention, principally, for 
the life-invigorating air of its breezy hills and extended country 
views. The name of Bantam has usually been considered by his- 
torians as the aboriginal name of this lake, together with its river, 
and surrounding country. But there is every reason to doubt the 
correctness of this opinion. It has neither the look nor sound of 
any other words in our native Indian dialect.^ The only 
place called by this name, now recollected, is Bantam in the 
Island of Java. ISTo reason can be assigned for the transfer of the 
name to this locality, except, perhaps, the fanciful one, that " like 
the Bantam of the old world, this was a wild and almost unknown 
region, inhabited by a race of barbarians." It is hardly probable, 
however, that our ancestors, in the necessitous circumstances of a 
new settlement in the unbroken wilderness, had time to make, 
even if they had the necessary geographical information, such far- 
fetched and philosophical, not to say poetical comparisons in 
diverse localities. Kissewaug is the name bestowed upon a long 
and narrow pond below Quassapaug lake, in the southern part of the 
present town of Middlebury. It also bears the more modern name 
of Long Meadow Pond. There is a somewhat apocryphal legend 
connected with this little lakelet, from which it is said to have 
derived its name, Kissewaug. But it is by no means certain that the 
first syllable of that name, used as as separate word, has the same 

' Kilbourn's History of Litchfield, p. 24. 


meaning in the native tongue as in our own, and consequently it 
becomes unnecessary to relate it here. 

Nearly all the rivers and streams of the territory have retained 
their Indian names. The principal river, called by the early set- 
tlers at Stratford, the Great River, was called in the eai'ly Indian 
conveyances, the Pootatuck river. In later years, it was called by 
another Indian name, the Housatonic, which name it now bears* 
The central river of the ancient territory still bears its oi'iginal 
Indian name of Pomperaug, which was also the name of the last 
powerful chief of the Woodbury Indians, who flourished before 
the advent of the whites in the territory. This beautiful stream 
is fed and formed by the Nonnewaug river, coming in from the 
north-east, and joining it near the central village; the " Wecup- 
peme " river, as it is called in one of the earliest Indian deeds, 
which rises in the northern part of the present town of Bethle- 
hem ; and the West Sprain river, which rises in the south-easterly 
part of the present town of Washington. In the western portion of 
the territory flows the Shepaug river, taking its rise in Bantam lake, 
as one of its sources. This river runs through a wild, romantic and 
mountainous region, to its junction with the Housatonic. All the 
streams of Ancient Woodbury flow southerly, and empty into the 
Housatonic. The Quassapaug river, taking its rise in Quassapaug 
lake, flows south and joins the Housatonic below Quaker's Farms. 
In later years, this stream has been called the Eight Mile brook. 
Quanopaug is the name of a brook that flows into the Nonnewaug 
river, near the north end of the village. On this stream, which 
flows through what was early named the East Meadow where the 
settlers had desirable divisions laid out to them, is a very beautiful 
cascade, w^hich was much visited by people years ago, but which 
has been greatly injured, of late, by diverting the water for irri- 
gating purposes, upon the adjacent lands. Yanumpaug brook 
flows into the Housatonic river, from its Newtown side, neai'ly 
opposite the mouth of the Shepaug river, Pootatuck brook flows 
north, into the same river, from the same side, nearly opposite to 
the " Pootatuck Wigwams," about two miles above Bennett's 
Bridge, A little below is Cockshure's Island, in the Housatonic 
river. This has, in a later day, been known as Hubbell's Island, 
from Peter Hubbell, who owned it, and to whom the General 
Court granted the right to " keep a ferry," at the north end of the 
Island, May session, 1730. This Island was owned by an Indian 
Sachem, of the name of Cockshure, at the time our fathers moved 


•into the wilderness, and long after. He did not convey it away 
till June 18, 1733. His name figured in several of the later In- 
dian conveyances. Paquabaug is the name of a small island in 
the Shepaug river, above Mine Hill, in Roxbury. At the south- 
west corner of Roxbury, at the mouth, and west of the Shepaug 
river, is the place called Promiseck, bought of the Indians by Dr. 
Ebenezer Warner, in 1728-9. Aurangeatuck Plain is situated 
southerly of the present village of Southbury. 

Orenaug is the name of the beautiful trap-rock clifls, which 
bound the village on the east. The front cliff has been recently 
purchased and improved by the writer, as a mountain park. Oak, 
maple, hickory, chestnut, and cedar trees are scattered over the 
mountain-top, and in the beautiful ravine beyond, while the crest 
is covered by a beautiful grove of pine trees, in the midst of 
which a tower, thirty feet in height, has been erected, from which 
views of six surrounding towns may be obtained. It has been 
named the Orenaug Park. Here one can always catch a delight- 
ful breeze, and enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of the village, 
valley and meandering river below, while the whispering pines 
above his head sooth the perturbed, wearied and overworked 
mind. The beautiful evergreens suggest thoughts of peace, and 
the beatitude of the eternal rest on high : 

"As the softened laud-breeze marches, 
Through the pine's cathedral arches." 

A few moments walk to the south-east, through a pleasant 
grove, over the second cliff, brings the visitor to the celebrated 
''Bethel Rock," in the bosom of these cliffs, of which more will 
be said hereafter. A more lovely and romantic spot, even with- 
out its sacred associations, cannot easily be found. 

On the Shepaug river, about two miles from its junction with 
the Housatonic, is the " Falls " of that river. The river, at this 
place, has forced and worn its way through the rocks of the pri- 
mary formation, in a hill of considerable size. The channel cut 
through these rocks is, in some places, very narrow, and often only 
a few feet in width, hemmed in by precipitous rocky banks, 
covered with evergreen and other trees, rising a hundred or two 
feet, from the bed of the stream. In time of floods, the view of 
these falls has been magnificent, with the madly rushing and roar- 
ing waters. Below the falls has always been, both in the abori- 
ginal days, and now, a favorite and abundant fishing place. Shad 
have rarely ascended as high as this place. But trout, suckers 


and lamprey eels, of enormous size, are caught in great abundance. 
Occasionally, even in these later years, a trout of very great size, 
and of the true speckled variety, strays • into the pools below the 
falls. A few years ago, Mr. Thomas Tyrrell, who i)wns the land 
and mill at the falls, captured in a brook- pool near the river, by 
using a shad seine, a trout of large dimensions, for these waters. 
It was 37^ inches in length, measuring 16 inches around the body 
in front of the fins, being the largest part, and weighed 17:^ pounds. 
This account is vouched for by several witnesses, and is no doubt 
correct. But the beauty of these falls has just been destroyed, 
by blasting down the cliffs, to make way for the road-bed of the 
Shepaug Valley Railroad, leading from Litchfield to a junction 
with the Housatonic Railroad at Hawleyville. The rocks have been 
skillfully and ruthlessly blasted out, and thrown into the river, 
and across it, cutting down large trees two feet in diameter, and 
far into the fields beyond. The rock is thrown down the side of 
the mountain in large masses, some of them weighing a hundred 
and thirty tons to the boulder. It is a fine display of the power 
of man in his war with nature. The building of this Railroad, 
which runs the whole length of the ancient territory, from north 
to south, through the Shepaug valley, with terminus at Litchfield, 
is a remarkable result^^f the enterprize of our people. If one had 
been asked a year ago to name a locality which was least likely 
to be traversed by a Railroad in this region, the unhesitating an- 
swer would have been, one through the Shepaug valley. And yet 
such has been the indomitable spirit displayed, that the cars will 
be running on the road by August, 1871, a little less than a year 
from the time when the first spade full of earth was thrown out 
to grade the way. 

At the upper end of Nonnewaug Plain, in the deep recesses of the 
forests, are located the Nonnewaug Falls. These falls are quite 
fully described on page 92, but are referred to here for the pur- 
pose of collecting all the references and descriptions of places to- 
gether. Since the publication of the former edition of this work, 
this beautiful retreat of nature has been more and more a place of 
resort for pleasure parties, and for those who delight to retire from 
the busy haunts of men, and commune with nature in her sacred 
solitudes. And yet, as has often been observed in other cases of 
the wonderful works of nature, like the falls of Niagara, for in- 
stance, people in their vicinity have never seen them, and more 
singular still, have never heard of them. In this very case, an old 



gentleman, aged 87, living within half a mile of these falls all his 
life, and in fall ear-shot of their roaring in flood-time, had never 
known, or heard of them, up to the issue of the former edition of 
this history, in 1854, This is one of those peculiar instances 
where the grand and the sublime objects in nature, which always 
attract the attention and the admiration of men, and sway the 
heart with great emotions, have been unheeded by those who 
have readiest access to them, while a view of them has been 
sought by pilgrims from the most distant parts. 

Such were some of the Indian names retained by the first set- 
tlers, and handed down to the present time. As their families 
increased, and new inhabitants were admitted, they continued to 
apply new names to the diflerent localities. The hill south of 
Good Hill was called Grassy Hill, from its abundant grass, which 
made a good grazing, or "Pasture Division." The valley east of 
Grassy Hill, they called Transylvania. The hill at the south end 
of the village, across the river, west, was called Castle Rock, from 
the fact that Pomperaug, the last sachem before the advent of the 
whites, had there his principal wigwam, or castle. Beyond is 
Bear Hill and Ragland, a rugged country. North-east of the Ore- 
naug Rocks, is a small artificial pond, covering an area of six or 
eight acres, .which was formed by damming up a small stream 
that empties into the Nonnewaug river. This was done by the 
late Daniel Bacon, long years ago, and continues to bear his name. 
Until three or four yeai's ago, it was owned by his son. Rev. Wil- 
liam T. Bacon, the celebrated poet of our ancient territory, who 
had a strong reverence for the old homestead, and all its appurte- 
nances and surroundings. To this romantic, quiet lake, embo- 
somed among the rugged hills, and to the pleasant groves around, 
has he often retired for meditation, and here has he composed 
some of his best verses. A road passing near this sheet of water 
leads quite around the Orenaug group of clifls, from and to the 
main street, making a pleasant and convenient drive, which is 
often taken by citizen and stranger. East Meadow lies north of 
the village on the Quanopaug stream, and was much esteemed 
for its fertility by the fathers, insomuch that it was divided into 
small parcels among them. Steep Rock is a romantic hill some 
two miles south-west of the village of Washington, on the She- 
paug river. The Shepaug Valley Railroad, to which reference has 
already been made, runs through this hilL A tunnel some thirty 
rods long has been excavated for its accommodation, and its for- 


mei" romantic beauty has been somewhat marred by the ceaseless 
energy of man. Moose Horn Hill, so-called, from the large quan- 
tity of the horns of the moose found in that locality, lies about 
two miles north-west of Roxbury center. Cat Swamp, so-called, 
from the numbers of wildcats that lurked in that vicinity, is about 
a mile and a half north-east of the village, and the White Deer 
Rocks are about two miles farther on, near th^ head of Quassa- 
paug Lake, These were so named from the numbers of white 
deer that made these rocks their hiding place, and found their 
way cautiously to the lake, to obtain water. Wolf Pit Hill is sit- 
uate near the junction of the Weekeepeemee and West Sprain riv- 
ers, at Hotchkissville. The place in South Britain near the junc- 
tion of the Transylvania Brook with the Pomperaug river, is 
called "The Bent." Kettletown lies in the south-east part of 
Southbury, and was so named from the fact that the consideration 
of its lirst purchase from the Indians was a brass kettle. But this 
consideration did not last long, for the proprietors were obliged 
to purchase it over again several times afterwards, to prevent con- 
troversies with the numerous claimants. There seems to have been 
a fatality connected with this locality, for it has been pre-eminenly 
a place of dissensions, and conflicting opinions, and it has always 
been more prolific in senseless lawsuits than any similar extent of 
square acres within the writer's knowledge. And, although there 
have been " prophets " in that land, yet they must have been 
" without honor," or influence in " their own country," if we are 
to judge by the fruits which have come from that region, or the 
heart must have been more desperately wicked there than else- 
where. Salt Tooth Rock Hill lies in Southbury, and twenty-five 
acres of land there was set out to the wife of Col. Ethan Allen, 
from the estate of her father, Cornelius Brownson, previous to 1781, 
when they sold it. 

Transylvania lies in the south-west part of the town, and Flan- 
ders in the north, bordering on Bethlehem. Weekeepeemee is a 
little hamlet in the north-west part of the town, on the river of 
that name. Carmel Hill lies still further on, in the edge of Beth- 
lehem, and is noted for its excellent laud. Hazle Plain lies west 
of Hotchkissville, on the West Sprain, and Hell Hollow still fur- 
ther on, near Washington line. Making an inquiry for the reason 
of {his name, many years ago, the writer was informed, that it 
was so called from the peculiari'.y of its appearance, as viewed 
from the village and surrounding country. That as it lay sunk in 


its gorge among the hills, "it always had a smoke rising from or 
hanging over it, as if ascending from the bottomless pit." Non- 
newang lies in the northeast, on the river of the same name. The 
lower part of this locality, at Burton's mills, has, in later years, 
been called Minortown, from the large number of Minors residing 
in that vicinity. West Side is the street beyond the river, running; 
parallel to the main street of the village. Quassapaug is a small 
settlement at the outlet of the Quassapaug lake. Break Neck 
Hill lies near the north end of the lake, in Middlebury. It is not 
known how the hill became thus named. It could hardly come from 
the rapidity of its descent, for it is not more steep than a multi- 
tude of other hills in Ancient Woodbury. At the date of the 
former edition, there was a rumor current among the old people, 
that it was so named from an occurrence which took place when 
Rochambeau's French army passed through our town during the 
Revolutionary war ; that it was so called because an ox broke his 
neck while descending the hill, drawing heavy cannon. Such an 
accident may have occurred, buf it was called by this name, in the 
ancient conveyances, more than eighty years prior to the Revolu- 
tion. The Purchase, so-called, because it was among the last 
purchases from the Indian reservation at Pootatuck, lies in the 
western part of South Britain. White Oak Plain is the level land 
by the river below the Whitlock place, in which was the old 
White Oak, to which reference has been so often made. Bullet 
Hill lies east of Southbury village. Pork Hollow, where large 
quantities of provisions were concealed in the Revolution, is a 
ravine in the hills beyond. The Lightning's Playground lies east 
of Orenaug Rocks, west of Quassapaug Lake, and is so called be- 
cause no thunder-storm has ever been known to pass over the 
town without one or more bolts of lightning descending in that 
locality. Alder Swamp lies between Woodbury north, and Hotch- 
kissville. Hooppole is a hill south-west of the latter place. Scup- 
po is a hill in the south-easterly part of Woodbury, opposite the 
village of Pomperaug, and is so called from its having been the 
location of the cabin of an Indian of that name, living there long 
after the fathers settled in this village. Puckshire is in the eastern 
part of the town. The Poorhouse is located there. The street 
west, and running parallel with the main street, in Southbury, is 
called Poverty; for what reason is not now known. Jeremy 
Swamp lies east of Kettletown. George's Hill lies north-west of 
Kettletown. Horse Hill is south-east of Shepaug Falls. Tousey 


lies north-west of William Hayes' house, in the south-east part of 
Bethlehem, and is so called from a Christian Indian, who lived 
there for a time. His full name was Hachet Tousey. A further 
account of him will be found on page 101. South and west of 
Good Hill, in Roxbury, lies a large tract of land called Rucum. 
South-west of that is Wildcat Rock. Still further to the south- 
west is Flag Swamp, lying between Roxbury and Southbury. 
West of Flag Swamp runs Brown's Brook. The mountain north 
of Good Hill is called West Mountain. West of Good Hill lies 
a deep and long ravine, called Tophet Hollow. It was a dark, 
damp, heavily wooded, dismal place, and hence its name. West 
of this is Josiah, or Booth's Hill, and north of the latter is Pain- 
ter Hill ; all in Roxbury. Moosehorn Brook rises in Ptiinter Hill, 
and flows intp the Shepaug, near Treat Davidson's. West of 
this brook is Center Hill, and in its rocks is a cave, called Gama- 
liel Den. Bottle Swamp Brook runs through the north-western, 
part of Roxbury, into the Shepaug river, and west of this brook, 
West of James Wakeley's house, is Raven Rock. Jack's Brook 
rises in Tophet Hollow, flows southerly through Pulford's Swamp, 
and then westerly to the Shepaug, near Warner's Mills. This 
stream is said to have received its name from a native African 
slave, who committed suicide on its banks, by hanging, at a place 
south-east of the residence of Hon. Harmon B. Eastman, of Rox- 
bury. He pined in his servitude, and, like all of his race, was 
very superstitious. He longed to return to his native land, and, 
having become possessed of the idea that he should immediately 
return to his beloved Africa at death, he took this means of rejoin- 
ing his fathers, and revisiting his native shores. Hedgehog 
Swamp is east of Warner's Mills, and is said to have been so 
named from a canine contest with a porcupine there. This state- 
ment may be taken " with many grains of allowance." Hop 
Brook, so called from the enormous quantities of wild hops found 
growing on its banks, in the early days, rises in Second Hill, in 
New Milford, and flows south-easterly, to the Shepaug, near the 
house of Charles Trowbridge. North of this is the Pine Cobble, 
and east of the latter is situate the village of Chalybes, at the 
foot of Mine Hill. This name was given to the village a few 
years ago by Rev. Dr. Bushnell, of Hartford ; is derived from a 
Greek word, and signifies something " pertaining to steel." It 
was so named from the steel works located there. 

Mine Hill, which is situated here, along the New Milford line, 


and is about two miles in length, north and south, by one mile in 
width, east and west, bounded west by New Milford line, and 
east by the Shepaug, is at present, and indeed has always been, 
from the early days, a most interesting locality, from the mineral 
wealth concealed in its bosom. The hill was known to contain 
minerals of some kind almost from the first advent of the settlers. 
But although it has been alternately worked and litigated for more 
than one hundred and fifty years, its true character as a mine, has 
been but vaguely understood, till quite recently. Its chief attrac- 
tion for more than a century was as a silver mine. Its reputation 
was highest, ia this respect, while it was worked by a German 
company, for a few years, previous to the Revolutionary war. 
When that company broke up, it was believed that the superin- 
tendent, named Feuchter, carried away for his own use a large 
amount of silver in bars, which he had smelted in secret, while 
pretending to be running the mine for iron ore for the company. 
The mine has been thoroughly worked for the last four or five 
years, by the company which now owns it, and although they find 
small quantities of silver lead of considerable richness, in various 
parts of the vein, yet they do not find it sufiiciently abundant to 
pay the expense of working the mine for that ore. And yet they 
have driven their drifts more than twenty feet lower 'than the ■ 
main shaft left by the Germans, and drained the water from it, 
making its total depth nearly one hundred and fifty feet. The 
vein increases a little in width as it descends into the mountain, 
and there is a slightly perceptible increase in the quantity of the 
silver lead ore. There is no j^robability that this mine will ever 
f rove valuable for its production of silver, for the main shaft, 
above alluded to, is the one in which the superintendent, Feuch- 
ter, was supposed to have amassed his heavy silver bars. 

But in spathic iron ore, this mine is the richest in the United 
States, and as good as any elsewhere on the face of the earth, so 
far as discovered. A very full account of it will be found on 
pages 15 to 19, inclusive, and a further account on page 155. It 
is, in all the details of its history, a most remarkable mine for 
steel-bearing ore. It becomes steel in one operation from the pig. 
It is of such tenacity and purity, that the manufacturers cannot 
afibrd to use it alone for common brands of steel, but are obliged 
to mix it with other less valuable ores, or with scraps of various 
sorts, to bring it down to the desired grade. Although the works 
for manufacturing this ore into steel have not been in operation 


more than two years, yet it has acquired the very highest rank in 
the market for fineness, tenacity, temper, and all the other desira- 
ble qualities in the best brands of steel, and is being rapidly in- 
troduced into the various manufactures requiring the purest qual- 
ities of steel. 

In the month of May, 1865, Mine Hill, with all its minerals, was 
purchased of Mr. David J. Stiles, whose title thereto had now be- 
come quieted and perfected, after a series of bitter lawsuits, reach- 
ing through the period of thirty years, in the State and United 
States Courts, by the present owners, who had procured a special 
charter from the Legislature of Connecticut, under the name of 
" The Shepaug Spathic Iron and Steel Company," with a capital 
of $350,000. The price of the hill was |100,000, The company 
proceeded to build an extensive smelting furnace, and the neces- 
ssiYj dwellings for workmen. The point of failui'e in all the pre- 
ceding efforts to smelt this ore, was in the explosive gases which 
it contained. When smelted in the common blast furnace, the 
gases would accumulate, and the first thing the men would 
know, the furnace would " blow out," and all their labor would be 
lost. The present company has overcome that difficulty, by means 
of " sweating the ore," previous to smelting. This is accomplish- 
ed by placing alternate layers of the ore and charcoal, in large 
open circular vats, which are much the largest at the top, like a tea- 
cup, and igniting the mass, thus heating the ore, and throwing off 
the explosive elements. The ore is then smelted in the ordinaiy 
way, as readily and safely, as any other ore. In making all these 
improvements, the company must have more than expended its 
original capital. They have mined and smelted large quantitias 
of the ore into the pig, employing, for that purpose, men brought 
from Prussia, who were skilled in the working of spathic ore, and 
the making of steel after the Prussian method. Finding the iron 
adapted to the making of a superior quality of cast-steel, the 
company decided, in 1 86*7, to erect complete works for its manu- 
facture, at Bridgeport, Conn., having made an application to the 
Legislature for power to increase its capital to one million dollars, 
and for a change of name to that of the American Silver Steel 
Company, which was granted. These works were finished and 
put in operation in 1869, and have steadily increased their produc- 
tion of steel of various kinds, some of which are claimed to be 
superior to any steel of foreign manufacture. 

l3liJDlji:^^iiX I^DjNj^J. 

•fliiMs/ur i !{niiiio -?»? Ml) iUih.Qi. nHwn/. M r 


Mining in the hill has been progressing for several years, night 
and day, until openings have been made more than two thousand 
feet in length, in the aggregate, the lowest of which is about 
twenty feet below the bottom of the old shaft, or 145 feet below 
the surface of the hill. The quality of the ore continues quite 
satisfactory, and some thousands of tons of it are now (June, 
1871) ready for smelting, in addition to all that has been smelted 
before. A cut of the works at Bridgeport accompanies this ac- 
count. They consist of three buildings, located on a point of 
land jutting out into the harbor, making a very conveniut place 
for loading and unloading their heavy freight. The larger build- 
ing contains the furnaces, rolls, lathes and all the machinery for 
making and finishing the steel ; the next is the house covering the 
engine, which furnishes the motive power to the works ; and the 
third is the gas-house, in which they manufacture all the gas used 
in the production of the steel. All the heating operations required 
in making the steel, is accomplished by this gas, which has greater 
heating with less lighting power than ordinary coal gas. It is 
made by a process of their own, and, in its manufacture, they can 
use not only the ordinary coal for making gas, but refuse coal, fine 
coal, coal dust, and coal " siftings," or cinders, and every thing 
combustible in the coal is made into gas, leaving no coke — nothing 
but ashes. 

The Bridgeport site was purchased for $40,000, and was a good 
bargain. It would now readily bring $60,000. The works have 
cost $1 70,000,' including $30,000 worth of machinery removed 
from the works at Mine Hill, making an outlay of $210,000. It 
is a great pleasure for one who delights in seeing the operation of 
perfect machinery, to go through these works, and observe the 
several processes from the melting of the pig iron, to the turning 
out of the same in the perfect article, ready for the market — all 
being accomplished in a brief space. 

The legal history of Mine Hill is very interesting. In the va- 
rious litigations that have grown out of conflicting interests, in 
the title to it, for the last 150 years, many of the most eminent 
lawyers in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, have been 
employed, and there have been many able and brilliant forensic 
contests. As has been stated, the existence of mineral treasures 
there, of some kind, has been known from the first settlement of 
the territory. It was owned by Hon. John Sherman, ancestor of 
the General Wm. T. Sherman, the present head of our armies, be- 


fore 1724, and was by him leased to Thomas Cranne, of Stratford, 
and others, May 16, 1724, for a term of years, reserving to himself 
one- sixteenth part of all the ore which should be there raised. John 
Crissey, and his wife Mary, also had some rights in the hill. Still 
later, Thomas and John Wheeler, Doctor Jonathan Atwood, and 
Doctor Thomas Leavenworth, acquired rights, by lease, or other- 
wise, to said mine. The mining tract, at this time, was supposed 
to contain six acres, and that is the number of acres mentioned in 
the various deeds and mining leases that were then executed. It 
was at this early day worked to some extent, but with what suc- 
cess, is not now known. The next digging at this place was by 
Hurlbut and Hawley, but the history of their operations is sub- 
stantially lost. 

The next company was organized by the Messrs. Bronson Broth- 
ers, about the year 1764, and many persons became interested in 
the mining right. This right, at that date, was supposed to cover 
forty acres. Col. Ethan Allen purchased two and a half acres of 
land on Mine Hill, or one sixteenth part of the mining title, in 
1764, and was interested in the Bronson operations. It was this 
company that sunk the " old shaft "125 feet into the mountain, and 
another lateral one for the purposes of ventilation. The working 
was carried on under the direction of the German goldsmith, 
Feuchter, to whom reference has been made, who conducted his 
processes of pretended separation and refining with great secresy, 
occasionally producing small quantities of silver, which kept the 
hopes of his employers alive. But after several years this under- 
taking collapsed, like the others before them. Still later, the mine 
was worked by a company organized in New York, which ob- 
tained a lease for 42 years. This eifort failed. Later still, Asahel 
Bacon tried the experiment, with no better success. Finally, 
David J. Stiles, of Southbury, began to collect the scattered titles 
in 1824, and then the legal contests broke out afresh, and there was 
no " rest for the sole of his foot," till after he had repeatedly passed 
through the highest Court of Connecticut, and the Circuit Court 
of the United States, when his title was finally quieted, and no 
enemy any longer wagged his tongue in all the Mine Hill Moun- 

But perhaps the history of this long warfare, and the state of the 
title, cannot be better elucidated, than by giving an epitome of 
the findings in the last legal decision before the Circuit Court of 
the United States, held by the late Hon.. Charles A. Ingersoll, at 


New Haven, at the April term of the Court, 1856, wliich was ar- 
rived at after a closely contested trial, running through nine days. 
Certain parties in New York, claiming fitle under the old mining 
leases, sued Mr. Stiles in ejectment, and thus the title to the prem- 
ises became the only issue. Stiles being in undoubted possession. 
The case, from its antiquity and complications, had consumed 
months in its preparation, on each side. Hon. Ralph I. IngersoU, 
of New Haven, Hon. Norton J. Buel, of Waterbury, Henry S. San- 
ford and John M. Buckingham, Esqrs. of New Milford, appeared 
as attorneys for the New York claimants, and ex-Gov. Roger S. 
Baldwin, of New Haven, and the writer, appeared as attorneys 
for Stiles. To state it in vnlgar phrase, it was a " tiger-fight," and 
Stiles succeeded in fully and forever establishing hi.s title to the 
spathic mine. 

As a result of the trial, it was found that the plaintiff", the New 
York party, claimed title by a series of conveyances from one 
Sampson Simson, a Jew in New York, who was the nephew of a 
man of the same name, and who, with his brother; Solomon Sim- 
son, and brother-in-law, Myer Myers, worked the mine on said 
premises as early as 1764. This Simson supposed he had some 
title to convey, the other two being dead, but on the trial of the 
case it was discovered that his interest was never any other than 
that of a lessee. 

The disputed premises contain a very rich mine of spathic iron 
ore, the richest, and perhaps, the only mine of that valuable ore 
for the manufacture of steel in the United States. It also con- 
tains a vein of silver, yielding a small quantity of silver, with a 
large per cent of the pure metal. The extent of this deposit has 
not been sufficiently tested to pronounce upon its value as a silver 
mine. The title to the mine has been more or less litigated since 
the year 1*724, and large sums of inoney have been expended, both 
in litigating and working the mine. 

It was proved to the jury that the raining tract was laid out as 
as common land, on the original proprietors' rights in Woodbury, 
and that it was thus laid out because it was discovered that there 
was a mine there. It was laid out to Moses Hurlbut and Abel 
Hawley, in 1751. Previous to 1762, Hurlbut and Hawley sold it 
to Abram and Israel Bronson, who laid out an addition to it, 
making the whole tract sixty-seven acres, in the early part of 
1764, Soon after this, Abram and Israel Bronson leased seven- 
eighths of the mine to Sampson Simson, Myer Myers, and George 


Trail, of New York, for the term of forty-two years, ending in 
1806. They entered into possession under the lease, and worked 
it from 1764 to 1766, when, from some unknown cause, they 
abandoned the enterprise, and returned to New York. The title 
to the premises continued to be bought up in fractions by various 
parties, till 178], when Cyprian Collins and others, of Gosherf 
Conn., who were then owners of a considerable interest in the 
premises, commenced working the mine, the main shaft of which 
had been sunk by the Sampson Simson company, to the depth of 
125 feet, and continued it two seasons, when, meeting with bad 
luck, they in turn deserted the enterprise. In 1792, Sampson 
Simson & Co, underlet the remaining portion of their forty-two 
years' lease to Israel Holmes, of Salisbury. He commenced work, 
had bad luck, and after staying two years, abandoned the under- 
taking in the same manner as his predecessors had done before. 
About 1780, Jabez Bacon, of Woodbury, commenced buying up 
the shreds of title which were scattered, and before his death, in 
1806, had succeeded in perfecting the title to the entire premises 
in himself, and the same descended to his seven heirs, through the 
Probate Court, Asahel Bacon, one of the heirs of Jabez, bought 
out all the rest of the heirs, took possession of the premises, 
and maintained the exclusive possession thereof, until he sold it to 
the present defendent, David J. Stiles, in 1824. Immediately 
upon his purchase, Stiles took possession of the premises. He 
cut wood and pealed bark all over them, experimented with the 
ores, enclosed the whole hill with fences, built a road all over and 
around the place in dispute, and built a small barn directly by the 
main shaft excavation. From the day of his purchase till the day 
of the trial, he had kept one or more men near the premises, to 
watch and warn off trespassers, and had exercised every act of 
ownership, that a man could exercise over forest property. Yet, 
at three several times, had Stiles been put out of the possession of 
this property by trespassers, and had been as often restored by writ 
of forcible entry and detainer. Since 1824, he had thus kept 
strict possession of the premises. Meanwhile Simson and his as- 
sociates never returned to make any claim to the property, nor 
any claim to use it under their lease, till 1850, forty-four years 
after it had expired by its own limitation, when said Sirason's 
nephew, Sampson Simson, deeded to one Josiah K. Sturges, his 
supposed interest, as heir of his uncle. Sturges received his deed 
from Simson, when he was in possession under Stiles, and for thi^ 


reason, could not receive a title even though Simson had one to 
sell. The same objection existed against all the deeds of the 
plaintiff. He could not, therefore, "show a better title," and the 
jury rendered a verdict for the defendent, Stiles, thus establishing 
his title forever. So that Stiles, when he sold to the American 
Silver Steel Compaiiy, was able to give them a warranty deed. 

Thus have we recorded the various items in the physical history 
of our ancient town. A single item remains. A few rods south 
of the "Old Stoddard Parsonage" of lYOO, is a boggy piece of 
water, covering, perhaps, an acre of ground, filled with bushes, 
bogs, turtles and frogs. Twenty-five years ago, a young man 
passed by this pond, which is called Cranberry Pond, and noti- 
cing that the frogs were very musical, the odd fancy of the mo- 
ment suggested to him, that he should name it the "Helicon 
Spring." Acting upon the thought, he immediately wrote a sol- 
emn, classical poem, calling this the true fount of poesy, and its 
musical inhabitants, the veritable Muses, the goddesses and in- 
spirers of song. This little effort attracted some attention at the 
time, and has, occasionally, ever since, been the subject of jocose 
remark among friends, from the odd conceit. And, in truth, this 
conceit is not more whimsical, or illy-applied, than some other 
names, that have been given to the other localities. An extract 
from the enthusiast ran thus ; — 

Fair spring within wliose sweetly gushing fount 
The Goddesses of Song are wont to dwell. 
And nightly siog in notes harmonious. 

When all's &er«ne around, and quiet reigns, 
Thou mind'st me of those olden ■days in whicb 
The poets all of high and low degr«« 
Came forth from places far remote and near 
To drink thy soul-inspiring water e'er. 
And breathe th« air poetic, which always, 
Then as now, bestowed the vital power 
MelodioTis, that ever movea th« world. — 

Hark 1 there's music h-ere, and m-elody hath 
Charms for mortal ears with which, on earth. 
There's nought that can compare. Sweet harmomy, 
And chauats unearthly, rise on every hand. 



The very atmosphere is filled with sounds 
Of concord sweet. List the tuneful lyres, that 
Strike their joyful notes in highest glee 
While all conspire to fill the chorus grand. 




Who weee the Indians ; Their cHARAOTEa ; Comparison with modern nations ; 


grave ; Pomperaug's grave ; Legend of Bethel Rock ; Anecdotes ; Reflec- 


HE history of the aboriginal occupants 
of our hills, and vales and waters, in 
New England, will always be one of 
sad though pleasing interest to the 
thoughtful and truthful historian, [t 
is now a long time since their "light 
went out on the shore," and the white 
actors on the stage of life, in the early 
days, in the order of nature, also passed 
away with them, and we can now form 
a true estimate of their character, and 
the right and wrong of their conduct, 
since all passion ^nd prejudice have 
long since been buried in the grave of 
years. Still, there is yet great diver- 
sity in the views of writers upon this 
theme, shaded and tinged, perhaps, by 
the savage enormities, ever recurring 
between our people and the powerful 
tribes in our western borders. But in 
New Eogland, the bitterness of the 
early days has passed away, and histo- 
rians, and, educated people generally, 
take a kindly interest in each faintest 
trace of authentic history of the for- 
mer wild children of the forest. And 
it speaks well for our common humau- 
ur advance in knowledge aud true civilization, 
history of the Indians of Woodbury was contained 

ity, and 
A ver 

for o 

y f u 


in the former edition of this work, but the interest that will ever 
linger around all that pertains to the dim and shadowy days, in 
which the red man was sole " monarch of all be surveyed," will 
warrant the record here of the remaining fragments, that have 
come to band since the former issue. In a letter received by the 
writer from the late most gifted poetess of Connecticut, who has 
done so much for humanity, and for the honor of her native State, 
Mrs. Lydia H. Sigourney, of Hartford, referring to the chapter on 
Indian History in the former edition, she writes: — 

" I was particularly pleased with the space and spirit you have 
devoted to our aborigines, who, in my earlier days, seemed sub- 
jects of romance, — as in later ones, they have been of sympathy.'* 
This thought touches the key-note of the subject in our hearts. 
The wasting away, and final extinction of the race within our 
borders, is a meet subject for sympathetic contemplation. 

And who were the strange people that occupied these pleasant 
dwelling places in the woods, when tbe white man reached these 
shores ? They were, indeed, a strange race, beginning in mystery 
and ending in annihilation. Their origin and mission on earth 
seem to be one of the secrets of the Great Creatoi-. The race 
found inhabiting these new regions, did not live in comfortable 
dwellings, surrounded by verdant fields, which they cultivated, but 
semi-nude, or clad in the skins of wild beasts, they wandered ia 
small clans, in the dense forests, among the lofty mountains, by 
the murmuring streams, and along the meandering rivei-s. They 
were destitute of the arts of civilized life j had strange rites, and 
unheard-of customs. They engaged in fierce conflicts and exter- 
minating wars. They were men of iron will, who knew no fear^ 
had strongest fortitude, and whom severest tortures could not 
move. They never forgot a kindness, nor forgave an injury. They 
were idolaters, and, on our now peaceful and happy plains, they 
oflered human sacrifices to appease the God of evil, created by 
their own superstitious imaginations. This rude and barbaroua 
people was scattered all over our extended continent, and yet they 
had hitherto been unknown — insulated from the rest of the world. 
Our fathers tried to civilize and Christianize them with little suc- 
cess, though they granted them the privilege of attending their 
schools and religious assemblies. Some of them, indeed, profited 
by these privileges, gained the rudiments of knowledge, put them- 
selves under the care of the ministers, and became appi-oved mem- 
bers of the churches. But the great majority adhered to their 


dark and cheerless faith, and cruel rites, believed and practiced by 
their forefathers. Let it be taken for granted, then, as many 
have asserted, that the Indian was fierce, vindictive, cruel, immor- 
al, uncultivated, and untamable, copying the vices rather than the 
virtues of our jDeople; yet with all his faults and failings, he stood 
erect, in the midst of nature's leafy temple, God's original free- 
man ! He believed in the existence of the Great Spirit. He could 
never be enslaved. No superior intelligence, or cunning, c(»uld 
make him wear the bondsman's chain ! 

But the great complaint of those who denounce the character 
of the Indian, is his cruelty, and relentless ferocity. Now nothing 
can be said in favor of this habit in the red man — scarcely any- 
thing by way of mitigation of judgment, save the ignorance with 
which he had been enveloped — the legacy of long, dark ages. 
But should not we, who live in the nineteenth century, and boast 
loudly of our civilization, our progress, our intelligence, our 
Christianity and our- humanity, hide our faces in very shame in 
the light of recent events, instead of casting odium, or sharp crit- 
icism upon the memory of the poor, departed denizen of the for- 
est? In what page of authentic history do we read of the Indians 
of this land being guilty of deeds so dark, cruel, malignant and 
damning, as the horrors inflicted by the white men of the south, 
in the late civil war, upon their brethren of the north — who were 
bone of their bone and flesh of their flesh. Talk you of tortures ? 
What torture was ever inflicted by the Indians upon their ene- 
mies that could, for a moment, compare with the slow, malignant 
tortues of filth, starvation, disease and death, inflicted by those 
who claimed to be of the highest chivalry of civilization, educa- 
tion and refinement, in those loathsome, open sepulcres, the prison 
pens of Belle Isle, Salisbury and Andersonville? Too inhuman 
to be content with the swift vengeance of the Indian — the run- 
ning of the gauntlet, the poisoned arrow, the scalping, or flaying 
process, or death at the stake, all of which brought speedy death 
and the end of their torments, the heroes of our boasted civiliza- 
tion, in these latter, efi'ulgent days, could be satisfied with nothing 
less than the tortures of demons, long drawn out before their 
gloating eyes and remorseless hearts. And what are we now be- 
holding, as these pages are passing through the press, in these 
pleasant, May days, in the face of the world, under the eye of 
Heaven, in the vaunted metropolis of the world, which pride itself 
on the perfection of its civilization, refinement, reason and hu- 


manity — in Paris? Churches, dedicated to the worship of God, 
are sacked, their sacred implements taken away or destroyed, and 
the officiating priests, bishops and arch-bishops are slain at the 
altar, or shot like dogs in the courts, and carried away to Potter's 
field in carts. Not content with the carnage produced by the 
most ingenious, effective and dendly of modern weapons of war 
in legalized combat, prisoners are collected by the thousand, and 
either shot on sight, or gathered in groups, and mowed down by 
revolving cannon, or cast into prison pens, that vie in horrers with 
our Andersonville. Splendid works of art, that have been for 
long years the pride of the nation, are ruthlessly thrown down 
and destroyed. The palaces and public buildings are burned to 
the ground. Furious, mad men and women ply the torch every- 
where, indiscriminately. A city of two and a half millions of 
souls is in flames — mined and fired by the most deadly, explosive, 
and destructive of substances. Fiieudship has fled the earth/ 
No man trusts his brother. Life is utterly insecure, and society 
seems dissolving into utter chaos. Less religious and reverent 
than the Lidian, in addition to these untold horrors, they say in 
their liearts, as well as by their acts, there is no God! Hence- 
forth, let there be no prating about the ferocity and cruelty of the 
Lidian. In comparison with such acts of the two foremost civil- 
ized nations, the character of the benighted red man, in his native 
forests, stands redeemed ! 

So far as the Lidians of Woodbury were concerned, they were 
always the friends of our fatliers, and maintained with them a 
a perpetual peace. None ever kept the faith of treaties better 
than they. There were some Indian conflicts here, but they arose 
from the incursions of the Mohawks, who, previous to the arrival 
of the settlers, held the Indians of this territory as tributaries, by 
superior prowess. As early as 1675, during King Philip's war, 
they made a treaty with the pioneers in these valleys, in which 
they covenanted to continue in "friendship with the white settlers, 
and be enemies to their enemies, and discover them timely, or de- 
stroy them." This treaty was ever kept, as a perpetual league, 
with entire good faith, by both the contracting parties, and many 
were the mutual offices of kindness they performed for each other. 

Notwithstanding this treaty, and the aid of the native Indians, 
our fathers were not able to maintain their settlement during 
King Philip's war, but were driven back to Stratford, as we have 
seen, on pages 46-47, and were kept there for some two years, or 


imtil King Philip's death. In all the subsequent Indian and 
French wars, Woodbury, as a frontier town, far removed from 
succor, was exposed to continued dangers. It was obliged to 
maintain pallisaded, or fortified houses, for more than fifty years 
after the first settlement. These, be it remembered, were not 
erected for fear of the native Indians, but for fear of the French 
and their Indian allies, at times, and of the Mohaws, at all times, 
on their own accoimt, as long as they existed as a tribe. In 1690 
there was another war alarm, and it was enacted by the General 
Court, " For the better maintenance of the military watches 
throughout this Colony in times of danger, which is of so great 
importance, this Court doe order, that all male persons whatsoever, 
except negroes and Indians, upwards of sixteen years of age, 
shall serve and doe duty equally on the military watch, whoe are 
resident on the place where such watches are to be kept, and that 
all male persons aforesaid, inhabiting in this Colony, being absent 
at sea, or elsewhere, shall, by those of their family left at home, 
provide a person to watch, instead of the absent person, or per- 
sons, and also that all widowes whose estates in the publique list 
amounteth to fifty pounds, shall each of them provide a man to 
watch in their steads, and, if there be any old or impotent men, 
that by such disability cannot watch, if there estates in the pub- 
lique list amounteth to fifty pounds, they shall find a man to watch 
in their steads, provided this order shall not extend to the Assist- 
ants, nor ministers, nor such impotent men as the respective com- 
mission oflicers of the sayd town judg incapable of it, and who 
have not estate of fifty pounds in the publique list, and that all 
defects on these military watches, shall be punishable by the com- 
mission officers, or any one of them, in the same measure and 
manner, as is by law provided in the constable watches, and the 
commission oflicers in the exercise of their offices by commission 
are by this order freed from watching." 

"This Codrt appoynts the commission officers in each towne to 
list and appoynt every seventh man in each company to be a fly- 
ing army of dragoons, to be listed under the officers appoynted by 
this Court in each county, to lead them forth against the enimie, 
if any occasion shall be. Derby, Danbury, Woodbury, Water- 
bury and Sirasbury, are exempted from this order."* 

We cannot, at this day, in our peaceful communities, picture to 

'Conn. Col. Rec, 4 vol. 18. 


ourselves the urgency for the public safety which must exist to 
force the wise men of the General Court to order, not only every 
person who was present, to take his place as sentinel, and his share 
of the common danger, but the families of the absent, and even 
widows and impotent old men, to furnish their sentinel in turn, 
by substitute, unless they were so poverty-stricken that they had 
not the means wherewith to hire one. After all, there is a mani" 
fest equity in this distribution, and comports well with a late legal 
decision by our Supreme Court, in Booth vs. Town of Woodbury. 
It is not certain but that the Court obtained light from this old 

A very curious order was issued at the same session, showing 
that the early colonial legislators were careful and " troubled 
about many things." They left little to the discretion of the com- 
mon scout. Perhaps this was the more necessary, because the 
watch did not consist of enlisted men, set apart and educated for 
the purj^ose, but every able bodied man must take his turn, while 
earning his daily bread, and might well be considered less likely 
to be judicious and skillful in the various emergencies that might 
arise in the irregularity of savage warfare. The order runs thus : 

" This Court orders, that the charge, that shall be given to the 
military watch, shall be as follows, viz : — that they shall charge 
the watch in his Ma «e» name, that they faythfuUy attend the watch, 
by walkeing or standing in such place or places where they may 
best discover danger by the approach of an enemie, or by fire 
which, if they discover, they are to give notice thereof by crying 
Fire, Fire, or Arme, Arme ; they are allso to examine all such per- 
sons as they meet with unseasonably, and they are to command 
them to stand twice, and the third time, to command them to 
stand on their perill, but if they will not stand, but oppose 
them, or fly from them, they may shoot at them, but to shoot low, 
unless they judg him to be an enemie, and then they are to shoot 
as directly at them as they may, and all such persons as they find 
out unseasonably, they are to examine them, and if they give no 
good occasions, they are to return them to the Court of guarde, to 
be secured till the morning, and then they are to carry them to 
the next authority, to be examined and disposed of according to 
law, and they are to give the next watch notice to watch them 
the night following." 

It is to be feared that if the town should now be placed under 
the care of such a " watch," with power to examine all persons 


who are out " unseasonably," and require them to " give a good 
account of their occasions," that the magistrates wotild have more 
to do each morning, on the report of the " watch." than they 
would be able to perform well, and the parties themselves would 
be as little able to give a satisfactory account of themselves, as the 
lurking " tramps " of the early days. . In this time of general 
alarm and danger, it was further ordered by the General Court, 
" that soldiers in all plantations bring their arms and ammunition 
to meeting on Sabbath days, and days of publique worship, when 
and as often as the County major, or chief military officers in any 
town shall appoint, upon the ^^enalty of five shillings, to be paid 
to the town treasury by every soldier convict of neglect hereof 
before authority, to be levied by distress upon their estate.'" 

Some twelve years had elapsed since the dispersions and alarms 
occasioned by King Philip's war had ceased, and it would seem, 
from the above order, that the former custom of carrying arms to 
the church had fallen into disuse, and it had become necessary to 
cause its resumption by the somewhat sharp general enactment 
just cited. The first church, being located on the site now occu- 
pied by Hon. IST. B. Smith's carriage house, was admirably situated 
for the purpose of being guarded against surprise. Sentinels 
placed on Lodge Rock, were in full view of the approaches in 
every direction, while a large fortified house was near by, on the 
homestead of the late Erastus Minor, a little south of his dwel- 
ling house. 

In Feb. 1693-4, a unique order was promulgated for the im- 
pressing, making and storing of what the soldier of the j^resent 
day would call "hardtack." It shows vividly with what anxious 
care the authorities guarded the safety of the plantations. It 
enacts : — " Whereas it is a time of warr, and there are fears of sud- 
dain surprizalls of the enemie, which may occasion suddain march- 
es of the soldiery to repell the enemies of their Maj "", and a 
provission of biskit to that end is necessary, this Court doe there- 
fore order, that in each of the countyes of this colony, fifty bush- 
ells of good winter wheat be forthwith empressed by warrant 
from some of the majestraies of the respective countyes, and that 
the same be by their order made into biskit as soon as is possible, 
and kept by their order in convenient places, to be used as occa- 
sion and lawfull order shall require the same, and the wheat so 

* Hoadley's Conn. Col. Rec, p. 41. 


impressed to be repayd in specia out of the country rate as soone 
as may be."^ 

After the treaty of 161 5 with our Woodbury Indians, they seem 
to have been close allies in time of war, and to have been under 
the entire direction of the whites. This is shown by an act passed 
by the General Assembly, at its October Session, 1703. It also 
gives us an idea of the labor and care of fortifying the frontier 
towns. It enacts : " that the civill and commission officers of 
each towne shall take all due care concerning the friend Indians 
belonging to their townes, and assign them their limitts, to the 
intent that none of them be exposed, or the enemies escape under 
pretence of being friends ; and that said officers doe strictly charge 
said friend Indians, not to move out of their respective limitts, or 
bounds assigned them, without order in Avriting under the hands 
of such officers, as they tender their own safetie and at their per- 
ill ; and all friend Indians are hereby forbidden to hold any com- 
munication with, harbour, or conceal, any of the enemie Indians, 
requiring them to seize and secure all such as may come among 
them, and to deliver them up to justice; and for their incourage- 
raent, they shall have ten pounds for every Indian enemie, they 
sliall so seize and deliver up. And what extraordinarie charge 
there shall be about Wiantonuck and Potatuck Indians shall be 
born by the Colonic, and that Capt. Ebenezer Johnson have the 
care and ordering of the Paugassuck Indians." 

" It is ordered and enacted by this Court : That the inhabitants 
of every town in this Colonie shall be called together with as con- 
venient speed as may be, to consider what houses shall be fortified, 
and if the towne do not agree to fortifie any house or houses, 
then it shall be in the power of the civill and militarie officers in 
commission, with the selectmen, or major part of them, if they 
thinke it necessaire, to order what house or houses shall be forti- 
fied ; and what they do order to be fortified, shall be done forth- 
with, and shall also order on whose charge; and if any persons 
doe refuse or neglect to make their proportions, they shall pay a 
fine answerable to their prc^portions, to be levied by the constable 
by warrant from civill authority. The proportion of each person 
to be ordered according to their estate in the common list of es- 

"It is ordered and enacted by this Court: That there shall be 

> Hoadley's Conn. Col. Rec, 119. 


constantly eight men upon the scout, untill the grand scout be 
settled, viz: two from Syrasbnry, two from Woodbury, and two 
from Waterbury, and two from Danbury, to be ordered by the 
discretion of the civill and militarie commission officers in each 
towne, as also a scout from Windzor, to meet with the scouts from 
Newroxbury, to be ordered by the councill of Warre." ' 

It was, very properly, the constant care and anxiety of the 
founders of the colony to protect and maintain the frontier towns, 
as the best and most reliable defence to the remaining towns. If 
an enemy met with stern and effective resistance on the borders, 
he would have less hope of successful invasion and victory over 
the whole. This thought was forcibly stated in the letter of Rev. 
John Bowers, of Derby, and Rev. Zechariah Walker of Wood- 
bury, in their letter of 1676 urging the protection of their respec- 
tive towns, as printed on page 49, " The securing of those two 
plantations," they say, " of Woodbury and Darby, will, according 
to second causes, be one of ye most considerable securities, in a 
time of such dangers, unto ye two western counties, viz : of New 
Haven and Fairfield : for it can hardly be expected y ' any strength 
of Indians will adventure to set upon any lower plantation, till they 
have attempted ones above, and if they fail, they will be ye more 
shy of poujiding themselves by coming lower." Acting upon this 
theory, we find our colonial legislators, at their May session, 1704, 
enacting as follows : — 

" Forasmuch as the maintaining and defending of the frontiers 
in time of warre is of very great importance, and in regard it 
would greatly ijrejudice her Majesties interest and encourage an 
enemy, if any of the outposts should be quitted, or exposed by 
lessening the strength thereof, — 

"It is therefore ordered by this Court: That the frontier towns 
hereafter named are to be so accounted, that is to say, Symsbury, 
Waterbury, Woodbury, Danbury, Colchester, Windham, Mans- 
field and Flainfield, and should not be broken up, or voluntarily 
deserted without application first made by the inhabitants and 
allowance had and obtained from this Court ; nor shall any inhab- 
itant of the frontiers mentioned, having an estate of freehold in 
lands and tenements within the same, at the time of any insurrec- 
tion or breaking forth of warre, remove from thence with intent 
to sojourn elsewhere, without liberty as aforesaid, on penalty of 

* Hoadlej's Conn. Col. Rec. 1 vol.455. 


torleiting all bis estate in lands and tenements lying within such 
township, to be recoveied by information of and proof made by 
the Selectmen of such towne." 

'* And it is further enacted : That no male person of sixteen 
years old and upwards, that should be an inhabitant of or belong- 
ing to any of the to'wnes aforementioned at the time of such warre 
or insurrection, shall presume to leave such place on penaltie of 
ten pounds, to be recovrred as aforesaid; all which penalties to be 
improved towards the defence of such place, or places whereof 
such person or persons were inhabitants." 

" It is ordered by this Court : That ten men shall be put in gar- 
rison in each of these townes hereafter mentioned, that is to say, 
Danbury, Woodbury, Waterbury and Symsbury, and that the rest 
of the men to be raised out of the Counties of New Haven and 
Fairfield, with such Indians as can be procured, shall be put under 
sufficient commanders, and have their chief headquarters at West- 
field, uniesse otherwise ordered by the Councill of Warre in the 
Countie of Hartford ; and said company of English and Indians 
shall, from time to time, at the discretion of their chief command- 
er, range the woods to endeavour the discovery of an approaching 
enemy, and iu an especial manner from Westfield to Ousatuu- 

" It is ordered by this Court, that as many of our friend In- 
dians as are fit for warre and can be prevailed with, and furnished 
with all things suitable, shall goe with our forces against the com- 
mon enemie; and Major Ebenezer Johnson is hereby impowered 
and ordered to imploy suitable persons to acquaint the Indians in 
the counties of New Haven and Fairfield, of this conclusion con- 
cerning them, and to furnish such of said Indians as shall offer 
themselves for the service as abovesaid, with arms and ammunition, 
and what else may be needful to fitt them out for warre, and 
cause them forthwith to repair to Derby, to march with our Eng- 
lish forces under the command of the chief officer for the said 
service. The like to be done with respect to raising Indians in 
the Countie of New London by the may of said Countie. And 
this Court allows the wages to such Indian volunteers as those 
have that are gone to the eastward. And the superiour offi- 
cer of the forces now to be raised shall have power to release so 
many English from the service as there are Indians added to them, 
so that the whole number be still four hundred. And for the in- 
courageraent of our forces gone, or going against the enemy, this 


Court will allow out of the public treasurie the sum of five pounds 
for every man's scalp of the enemy killed in this Colony, to be 
paid to the person that doth that service, over and above his or 
their wages, and the plunder taken by them.'' ^ 

The people of our day have little idea of the mode or the ardu- 
ousness of the service of our forefathers in those early aboriginal 
wars. The savages had no rules of war — no recognized code of 
dealing death to their enemies, as modern nations have — no rule 
requiring them to proclaim war before making it. But they made 
secret and sudden irruptions upon peaceable communities, when 
all was apparently peaceful and harmonious, by deadly ambuscades, 
or by the midnight torch, in the deep snows of mid-winter, in 
these northern lands, where there were no roads and marching 
was impossible. Though they had few arts in their savage igno- 
rance, they were yet provided with means of attack and annoy- 
ance, and at the same time with avenues of escape when over- 
matched, or overpowered, not open to the whites. The early 
white settlers had to learn these, and prejjare themselves to meet 
them. With our present ideas of warfare, after our late great 
civil conflict, it would be difiicult for us to conceive of a army on 
snow-shoes, whether it were large or small. If the early soldiers 
thus provided, kept step, their march must, indeed, have been ma- 
jestic, and their line of battle impressive. But the line of battle 
was not much in vogue in those days, when it became necessary 
to fight an enemy that did not stand up in open field, but sought 
every shelter and protection, and where it was necessary for each 
man to select his particular tree, rock, or other protection, behind 
which to fight, and pick off his unwary foe. The inhabitarfts 
early learned to fight the Indians, and later, the French with them, 
after their own fashion. Accordingly, we find the following order 
passed at the October session of the General Court, 1704 : — '' It is 
ordered and enacted by this Court; That every towne and plant- 
ation in this Colonic shall be provided with a number of snow- 
shoes and Indian shoes, no less than one pair of snow-shoes with 
two pair of Indian shoes for every thousand pounds in the list of 
estate in such towne, which snow-shoes and Indian shoes shall be 
provided at or before the tenth day of December next, by the 
selectmen in every towne, at the charge of the Colonic, and shall 
be kept by them in good repair and fit for service when there may 

' Hoadlej'a Cohd. Col. Records, 1 vol. 462. 


be occasion to make use of them. And the selectmen of the sev- 
eral townes who shall neglect to provide such a number of snow- 
shoes and Indian shoes, and to keep them in good repair as above- 
said, shall each of them pay a fine to the Colonic treasurie, the 
sume of ten shillings." ' 

In these early days of frequent ahtrm, the General Court found 
it necessary, in order to avoid the too frequent meeting of their 
whole body, to appoint a number out of it to meet as occasion 
might require, for instant action in cases of emergency, and their 
orders were as binding as though enacted by the full. Court. In 
the early part of 170*7, there was a special alarm sounded through- 
out New England, and the ever-vigilant officers of the frontier 
town of Woodbury, were quick to take action, for the protection 
of this most north-western town in the colony. 

The record of the Council, held at Hartford, Feb. 6th 1706-7, 
runs thus : — 

"A letter from Deputy Governour Treat to the Governour's 
Council, and also a letter from Colonel Schuyler, signifying that he 
was informed that the French and enemy Indians were preparing to 
make a descent upon the frontier towns of New England ; also a 
letter from Capt. John Minor and Mr. John Sherman, to the Dep- 
uty Governour, signifying their suspicion that the Pohtatuck and 
Owiantonuck Indians, were invited to joyn with the enemy; as 
also the examination of the Owiantonuck and Pohtatuck Indians, 
before his honour our Deputy Governour, and other gentlemen, 
with divers other writings relating to the matter, with the opin- 
ion of our Deputy Governour, what might be needful to be done 
t(f prevent the defection of those Indians, and to secure their 
fidelitie, and for the preservation of the small frontier towns. — 

Resolved by the Hon" the Governour and Council, in order to 
prevent the defection ot the Pohtatuck and Owiantonuck Indians 
to the common enemy and to secure their fidelitie, that order be 
sent to Capt. John Minor and Mr. John Sherman, of Woodbury, 
with all convenient speed to remove the said Indians dow-n to 
Fairfield or Stratford, or both, as should be judged most conven- 
ient. But if, by reason of sickness prevailing among them, 
they cannot at present be i-euioved, then to take two of their j)rin- 
cipal persons, and convey them to Fairfield, there to be kept safely 
as hostages, to secure the fidelity of those that remain at those 
inland places." 

' Hoadley's Conn. Col. Records, ] vol. p. 486. 


'■'■ Resolved, for the preservation of the frontier towns of Syms- 
bury, Waterbury, Woodbury and Danbury, that order be sent to 
the inhabitants of those towns to provide with all possible speed 
a sufficient number of well fortified houses for the safetie of them- 
selves and families in their respective towns. The houses for for- 
tification to be appointed by the vote of the major pan of: the 
inhabitants of each respective town assembled, if they can agree; 
in case of their disagreement, to be appointed by the commission 
officers of the town." 

" Resolved, that the inhabitants of Woodbury, Waterbury and 
Danbury, do every of them maintain a good scout out every day 
from their respective towns, of two faithful and trusty men, to 
observe the motions of the enemy. The scouts in Woodbury and 
Waterbury to be appointed and directed by the commission offi- 
cers in each town. The scouts in Syrasbury to be appointed and 
directed by the major of the countie. The charges of the several 
scouts to be borne by the countrie, as by law provided." ^ « 

Till the peace of I7l3, our fathers in the frontier towns were 
kept in a state of continual worry from fear of attack and am- 
buscade on the part of the foreign Indians, and their allies, the 
French, who had early imbibed all the evil and irresponsible modes 
of warfare and revenge, for which the Indians have been criticised 
by all historians. There was a constant hurrying forth of the 
"grand scout" and the town scout, watching, fighting and forti- 
fying. Orders were continually proclaimed by the General Court 
and by the Council. In Oct., 1707, Woodbury was granted 
*' seveu pounds, to be paid out of the country rate, in considera- 
tion of their charge of fortifying." In Oct. 1708, the Deputy 
Governor was ordered to " cause to be erected such and so many 
garrisons at Woodbury-, Danbury and Oweantinuck (New Mil- 
ford) and support them with men and provisions, as he shall judge 
necessary, at the Colony's charge. Provided there shall not be 
any other than two garrisons at Woodbury, and one at Danbury, 
erected at the Colony's charge." At the same session it Avas 
enacted " that there should be allowed and paid out of the pub. 
lie treasury of this Colony, the sum of fifty pounds, in pay for the 
bringing up and maintaining of Dogs in the Northern frontier 
towns in this Colony, to hunt after the Indian enemy." ^ So great 
was the fear that weapons would get into the hands of hostile 

^ Hoadley's Conn. Col. Records, 2 vol. 15. 
^ Hoadley's Conn. Col. Records, 2 vol, p. 86. 



Indians, that it was ordered that no person whatsoever, upon any 
pretence whatsoever, should "furnish, lend or sell to any of our 
friend Indians, any gun, for any time, longer or shorter." In May, 
1709, an expedition against the French and Indians, for the reduc- 
tion of Montreal and Quebec, was organized by New York, New 
Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. The latter colony fur- 
nished 350 men, and of this number, Woodbury sent its quota of 
nine, the quota of Hartford, in the same expedition, being but 
twenty-two. So that this frontier town, besides attending to its 
own " watching and warding," sent nearly one half as many men 
as the pioneer town and capital of the colony. This fact shows 
the importance of our town to the colony, even at that early day. 
Two of this quota of Woodbury, viz: — Sergeant Thomas Skeel 
and John J. Johnson, died a few days after their return home, of 
disease contracted by exposure in the camp. 

Long before these several enactments, requiring the erection of 
fortifications in the frontier towns, our fathers had proceeded to 
the erection of defensive structures, called pallasaded houses,. 
Indeed, they were coeval with the first settlement of the town. 
Houses were pallasaded by digging a ditch around them, and 
placing logs, sharpened at the top, perpendicularly in the ditch, 
and firmly securing them there. The logs were from twelve to 
fifteen feet in height, and, with a strong, well fastened gate, fur- 
nished a very good protection against a sudden attack of the In- 
dians, with such weapons as they had, previous to obtaining the 
arms used by the white men. The location of these fortified 
houses has been well preserved. Capt. John Minor's house, being 
the first one completed, and built of logs, was located six or eight 
rods south of the late Erastus Minor s residence, on a little knoll. 
The well used by him was discovered at this place in the spring 
of 18G9, its walls being still in pretty good preservation, though 
it had been covered over and its exact location unknown, for 
more than one hundred years. By the tradition handed down 
in the family, the pallasades about this house were fifteen feet in 
height above the surface of the ground after being set in place. 
The fortified house of Isaac Judson was located in Judson Lane, 
on the opposite side of the highway from Nathan Warner's resi- 
dence. Another pallasaded house stood on the site now occupied 
by the dwelling house of Horace Hurd, in West Side. A later 
fortified house, occupied by one of the Bronsons, in Transylvania, 
is still in existence. It had a look-out, for the purpose of obser- 


vation, on its to]), by the cliininey. The old Stoddard Parsonage 
House, built in IVOO, now occupied by George W. DeWolf, and 
still in a good state of preservation, was the most thoroughly for- 
tified house in the plantation. One ot the bounds in a deed of 
land next north of this, dated Marcli 31, 1702, was laid within a 
foot of "y^ pallasadoes in Mr. Stoddard's fence." 

When, in 1707, the order came to fortify the town, the people, 
with great alacrity, set about the work of preparing the defences. 
They repaired the fortified houses of Capt. John Minor and Isaac 
Judson, the one at Horace Hurd's, and the Bronson house, in 
Transylvania. They also strengthened the defences of the par- 
sonage. So great was the promptitude and zeal displayed by the 
town, that the General Court made them a liberal compensation, 
as we have seen, as a due acknowledgment of their services for 
the common defence. It will be seen by one of the preceding 
votes, that the colonial authorities, the next year, furnished, or 
paid for a small standing garrison, in addition to the alternate 
watch furni;shed by the inhabitants. It was in this year (1708) 
that a body of Indian"^ appeared in West Side, and drove the peo- 
ple, by their sudden and formidable appearance, into the fortified 
houses. What was their intention in coming is not known, as 
they made no demonstration beyond showing themselves. If the 
design of their demonstration had been a hostile one, no doubt 
the watchfulness of the little garrison and of the people, together 
with the strength of their fortifications, showed them it was bet- 
ter for them to desist and depart, which they accordingly did. It 
was during the continuance of these hostilities that Parson Stod- 
dard is related to have killed two Indians in the bushes by Cran- 
berry Pond, near his house, as detailed on page 79. During the 
war with the Maine Indians, in 1723 and 1724, the inhabitants 
were obliged to keep garrisons for protection against such attacks, 
several of which occurred. Our limits had by this time extended, 
and one of these garrisons was located on the Shepaug river, 
where six men were stationed. In Oct., 1726, the General Court 
resolved to station five men under Lieut. Ebenezer Warner, for 
" the defence of the village of Shepaug." 

It will have been seen, by the acts and orders quoted, that the 
military officer ? of the town were of great importance and author- 
ity. Their powers, subject only to the letter of their instructions, 
were autocratic. Not only was the safety of the town, but, in 
some sense, the welfare of the colony, was entrusted to their cour- 


age and sagacity. If the savages drove in the inhabitants of a 
frontier town, the central towns were placed in still greater jeop- 
ardy. Accordingly, these officers were held in high esteem, and 
military offices, even of the grade of corporal, were sought with 
great avidity. Only the most deserving could obtain any military 
position, even the lowest. 

During all these troubled years of Indian wars and depreda- 
tions, the first forty after the outbreak of King Philip's war in 
1675, the officers bearing the military offices, the heavy burdens 
and responsibilities of the times, were, first and foremost, Capt. 
John Minor, who held the office more than thirty years, his suc- 
cessor, Hon. John Sherman, having been appointed in 1711. Jo- 
seph Judson was Minor's 1st Lieutenant, till Israel Curtiss was 
appointed to the place, in 1690, with Samuel Stiles as ensign. 
Stiles was promoted 1st lieutenant in 1705, with John Mitchell 
as ensign. Titus Hinman was appointed lieutenant in 1710, and 
promoted Captain in 17 14. Joseph Minor was appointed ensign 
in 1710, lieutenant 1714, with John Curtiss as ensign, and was pro- 
moted rapidly, for those days, through the regular grades, till he 
rose to the dignity and importance of a Colonel, in 1728. 

In the preceding chapter a large number of Indian names of 
local objects were given. Tliey are beautiful in themselves, and 
worthy of the pi-eservation which they have received for their 
intrinsic value, as proper names. But there is a still greater inte- 
rest attached to them from another circumstance. They are all 
words of the language, possessing a definition and meaning ap- 
plicable to the objects to which they are attached. In the Eng- 
lish language, such is not the case. "A proper name has been 
defined to be, a mere mark put ujjon an individual, and of which 
it is the characteristic property, to he destitute of tneaning. But 
the "Indian languages" tolerated no such 'mere marks.' Every 
name described the locality to which it is affixed. The description 
was sometimes topographical ; sometimes historical, preserving 
the memory of a battle, a feast, the dwelling place of a great 
sachem, or the like; sometimes it indicates one of the natural 
products of the place, or of the animals which resorted to it ; oc- 
casionally, '\\j% iposition or direction from a place previously known, 
or from the territory of the nation by which the name was given." ^ 
So that each of the aboriginal names of places in these regions 

' Vol. 2 Collections of Conn. Hist. Soc. 


had a definite meaning, such as seemed called for by tlie object 
named, or the circumstances surrounding it. As the Indians had 
no written language, and our fathers had to learn the names by the 
sounds, and represent them by our cliaracters, each according to 
his own fincy, or tlie way in which he caught the sound, and as the 
same words sounded dilierently to different ears, nobody at that 
day caring what they meant, it is a matter of great difficulty to 
give even an approximate translation to the Indian names still 
preserved in our territory. But after giving the known meaning 
of certain words, sounds, or particles, we shall hazard a transla- 
tion of our local names, which may at least suffice to engnge our 
curiosity and interest, till some moi'c authoritative interpretation 
shall come to hand. 

Ohke, Auke, signifies Land, Place, country. 

TuK, denotes a river, whose waters are driven in waves by 
tides and rivers. This may be the origin of the name of the river 
Naugatuck, and others, though not tidal rivers. 

Paug, Pog, Bog, denote water at rest. But in New England, 
in some instances, it is applied to brooks, rivers, and running 

Amaug, denotes a fishing place. 

QussuK, means rock, stone, or stony. 

PoHQUi, means open, clear, and in connection with — 

Ohke, cleared land, or an open space. 

Pahke, means clear, pure. 

Peiii, Peeme, means sloping, aslant, twisted. 

From these particles, and others, out of which the local names 
of our territory were constructed, as well as from local tradition, 
we may, perhaps, translate our Indian appellations as follows: — 

PoMPERAUG, the great or noble river. 

Shepaug, the rocky river. 

Paquebaug, the clear or pure water place. 

Weeaumaug, the crooked fishing place. 

QuASSAPAUG, the beautiful clear water, or rocky pond. 

Kissewaug, the laughing water. 

QuANOPAUG, the roaring water. 

Nonnewaug, the fresh pond or fresh fishing place. 

Weekeepeejiee, or Wecuppeme, the twisted river. 

Orknaug, the sunny place. 

Such were the names given to the rivers, hills, and lakes of the 
territory we now inhabit. Such were the appellations so fitly ap- 



plied by the nnoiiltivated mind of the children of nature. Wild 
rovers of Pootatuck, Wyantenuck, Pomperang, Weraumaug, Ban- 
tam; ye have passed away! Your lights have gone out on the 
shore ! Your thin smokes no longer curl faintly amid the thick 
woods ! Well do we love your good old Indian names, and 
would that more of them, almost the sole relic of your once pow- 
erful people, had befn adopted by our fathers to designate the 
places where your lights went out forever! 

A few relics of the departed race are occa- 
sionally found,to tell us that here a former peo- 
ple flourished, scarce sufficient, so transient is 
their nature, to arrest our attention. Arrow- 
heads, stone-chisels, hatchets, axes, gouges, 
knives, mortal's and pestles, are found in the 
ancient territory. One of these localities is 
on Mr. Anthony Strong's land, where they had 
a hunting village, and another very prolific one 
on Mr. Frederick M. Minor's land, in Transyl- 
vania, a few rods in the rear of his dwelling 
house. All these are more particularly descri- 
bed on page 109. Some very perfect speci- 
mens of these relics are now the property of 
the author. He has a large quantity of arrow- 
heads, of various sizes, of flint, quartz, and oth- 
er kinds of stone, showing a widely difierent de- 
gree of skill in the workmanship He has a chisel 
from near Frederick S. Atwood's, another fiom near Stephen S. 
Galpin's, and a very excellent specimen from near F. M. Minor's ; a 

[Chisel, 1-4 size.] 

[Knife, 14 size.] 

slate knife for skinning wild animals ; a very fine specimen of 
gouge from near Quassapaug lake; a slate choppingknife, or 



*' cleaver," found at Jack's Brook, in Roxbury, in 1852; a very 
skillfully wrought tomahawk, made of serpentine rock, found 


[Gouge, 1-4 size.] 

[Pestle, 1-4 size.] 

while digging a ditch, near the factory of the American Shear Co., 
at Hotchkissville; and an Indian axe, of the size of a common axe 
of the present day, only more blunt. This was also made of ser- 
pentine rock, and may be said to have been imported by the In- 
dians, if such a word is allowable in this connection, as there is no 
rock of this kind in all these regions. But by far the most curious 
and interesting relic that has been found in the ancient territory, is 



also in the writer's possession. 
It is no less than an Indian idol 
or charm, artistically cut from a 
piece of rock, which appears to 
have been originally a piece of 
petrified walnut wood. It was 
found in 1860, on the lot near F. 
M . Minor's, before mentioned as 
the place where the most perfect 
specimens have been found. It 
was discovered while hoeing corn. 
It evidently represents some ani- 
mal, but it is difficult to divine 
what. It has a pretty well form- 
ed head and body, with large, 
round ears, and holes lor the in- 
sertion of four legs, but the latter 
are missing. It looks as much 
like the representative of an 
enormous lizard, as any thing. It 
can hardly repi*esent the Good 
Spirit. It is not of a sufiiciently 
attractive conception for ihat. It 
may, therefore, be presumed to 
be the likeness of Hobbamocko, or 
their Spirit of Evil, whom they 
feared, and worshipped more as- 
siduously than tlie Good Spirit, 
whom they supposed lived quite 
at his ease, caring little for the 
actions or affairs of his red child- 
ren, after having given them their 
corn, beans and squash, and taught 
them the mode of their cultiva- 
tion. Some of these relics our 
artist lias endeavoi'ed to make 
plain to the " mind's eye." 

It is not known when Pompe- 
raug, fiom whom this valley was 
named, became sachem of the Po- 
otatucks. At the date of the set- 



tlement of Milford and Stratford, in 1639, he was a chief of 
note amon,sf the western chin?, his tribe at that time being the 

[Tomahawk, 1-4 size.] 

most considerable of them, and had a strong fortress on Castle 
Rock, whence the name to this day. His reign was a long one, 
being sncceeded by Aquiomp, in 1G62. Although the principal 
seat of this tribe was at the Pootatuck Village, on the east 
side of the Housatonic, about two miles above Bennett's Bridge? 
in the present town of Sonthbury, yet, from some cause, he chose 
to be buried by a large rock, on the west side of the main street, 
just south of Plon. N. B. Smith's carriage house. The Indians 
always laid out a trail, or path, from village to village, by the 
graves of their chieftains. 

[Pomperaug's Grave.] 

The Indians had a very beautiful custom of honoring their dead 
chiefs, when laid in their last repose. As each Indian, whether he 
was on his hunting expeditions or the war-path, passed the grave 


of his honored chief, he reverently cast thereon a small stone, se- 
lected for that purpose, in token of his respect and renaembrance. 
At the first settlement of the town, a large heap of stones had 
accumulated in this way, and a considerable quantity yet remain, 
after the tillage of the field in its vicinity for the long period of 
two hundred years. These stones, thus accumulated, were of 
many different varieties, a large number of them not to be found 
in this valley, nor within long distances, showing clearly, that 
there was a purpos'e in their accumulation, and verifying the " tra- 
dition of the elders," that they were gathered there as a monument 
of respect and honor to a buried chieftain. There can be no doubt 
of the correctness of the statement as to where Pomperaug, Non- 
newaug, Wecuppemee and Mauquash were buried. Pomperaug had 
been dead only about tea or twelve years, when our fithers came 
hither. Nothing is more natural than that his grave should be 
pointed out to them. Their first church Avas built within eight 
rods of the place, and the first minister's house was not more than 
twenty rods away. Nonnewaug lived for more than forty years 
after the first 'settlement, and Mauquash, the last sachem of the 
Pootatucks, died about 1758. 

The latter was buried under an apple-tree, in the " old chimney 
lot," so-called, now belonging to Amos Mitchell, a short distance 
east of the old " Eleazur Mitchell House," and a short distance 
from the elevated plain on which stood the principal and last vil- 
lage of the Pootatucks in our territory, the last sad remnant of 
them having removed in 1759, and joined the Scaticooks at Kent, 
where there are still a few individuals, now (1871) remaining, on 
their reservations in the mountains, under the care of a white 
overseer, appointed by the State. There was still quite a mound 
remaining over him a few years since. His burial place is near 
" Tummaseete's old orchard." There are a dozen of these trees 
still remaining, seeming to flourish quite well, there being apples 
now (June 187l) growing on them. Several of them are more 
than three feet in diameter, and were disposed around the area or 
plaza of the village of wigwams. This orchard was called an 
"old orchard," in several conveyances, dated more than ]50 years 
ago, and was no doubt planted by the Indians soon after the ad- 
vent of the whites within the bounds of Stratford, in 1639. 

It is not known when the death of Wecuppemee occurred. He 
was a witness to a deed (p. 24) dated July 14th, 1673, His mark, 
or totem, was the representation of a snake — a pretty good imi- 
tation — and his name was spelled Wecuppemee, instead of Wee- 


cuppeemee, the modern spelling. The former mode of spelling, 
used by Capt. John Minor in this deed, is believed to be the cor- 
rect one, because he so spelled it, and because it truly represents 
the sound of the name as uttered to this day. Wecuppemee was 
buried on a little knoll, near the river called by his name, a little 
west of the residence of the late Willis Lambert. Several small 
mounds mark the spot to this day. In the adjoining meadow, 
numerous and quite perfect flint and quartz arrow-heads are plow- 
ed up yearl)'. The same is true of a meadow near the residence 
of Mr. Theodore Judson, in Harle Plain, a mile or two distant. 

The Indians were more particular than our fathers in the selec- 
tion of their burial places. They always selected the most attrac- 
tive places for their villages and burial grounds, and took great 
pains in arraying the corpse and preparing it for the necessities of 
the long journey before the deceased, on his way to the happy 
" hunting grounds." This chief, as was often the case, was buried 
at a place removed from the beautiful burial place on the plain be- 
low, by the murmuring waters of the Housatonic. From the vil- 
lage above, and the spot where the sachem was buried, is obtained 
some of the most delightful views, south and west. A series of 
hills, with vales between, and now and then a cultivated field, as 
in the early days, rise, one above another, in every direction, mel- 
lowed and softened by the varying tints of the ever-changing sky. 
Below, the noble river ripples on, in haste to join the ocean-tides. 
Uncultivated as was the savage, he had a mind to appreciate the 
loveliness of nature, and an eye to select the most romantic places. 
Said a young lady, while contemplating this enchanting scene, on 
a recent occasion, " the Indians found out all the most beautiful 
places." None need wonder that the poor native left this most 
lovely spot with sad, lingering steps, to make room for the steady 
advance of the pale face. 

Nonnewaug, the last chief of the clan of his name, conveyed 
to our fathers the territory of Nonnewaug, belonging to his peo- 
ple, in lYOO, and joined with others in a confirmatory deed in 1706. 
Though on friendly terms with his white neighbors, he had till 
then sternly resisted all advances towards the purchase of his 
lands, yet he now yielded, giving as one reason for so doing : — 

" Y® desire y ' is w '•• in us of a friendly correspondency w "" y® English in- 
habitants of Woodbury." 

After the sale of all his possessions, reserving only the right to 
fish and hunt over all of the granted lands, his haughty spirit 
seems to have become humbled, and his ambition after any worthy 



object to have been lost. It could not be otherwise under the 
disheartening prospects before him — the waning of his race — the 
loss of his wealth and hopes in life. The Indians now remaining 
within the territory, after this sale, became fully amenable, with 
other inhabitants, to the laws of the whites. Without other so- 
lace, the dispossessed sachem occasionally wandered to the village, 
and partook too freely of the "fire-water," which was even, in 
those early days of apple-orchards, to be obtained, despite a some- 
what rigorous law against the vending, or drinking of intoxica- 
ting liquors. On one occasion, being '^ overtaken in a fault "of 
this kind, he was arrested therefor, and taken before a magistrate. 
But he was so thoroughly intoxicated, his trial was put off till the 
next morning. He was then brought before the Court for exam- 
ination. The magistrate informed him, that all the plea he could 
induce him to make the preceding day was, " Your Honoi*'s very 
wise, very wise." " Is that so ?" said the dilapidated chief, in true 
Yankee phrase of the modern .stamp. The magistrate assured 
him he so said. "Then," responded the fallen sagamore, " I mttst 
have been drunh, very drunk f'' This was a somewhat unique 
way of pleading guilty, and the stern tribunal was so much pleas- 
ed with the witty retort, that he dismissed him with an injunction 
to " sin no more." 

And Nonnewaug, too, at the appointed time, slept with his fa- 
thers, and the small remnant of his people buried him in the beau- 
tiful plain at the foot of the musical falls that are called by his 
name, where his fathers' people had been buried before him, true 
to their instinct of selecting the most beautiful places by the river- 
side, by the silvery cascade, or in the verdant plain. An apple- 
tree was planted at the head of his grave, 
which still stands there, the faithful guar- 
V,r— S ^^"^^ of the ashes that repose beneath its 
^^ AsP^^ grateful shade. It is a venerable tree, 
^^^rvm, some ].50 years old, but does not bear the 
marks of so great an age, though there 
are several decayed places in it, so per- 
^ fectly shown in the accompanying cut of 
the grave and tree, taken by the artist on 
the spot during the last summer. When 
the writer fii'st visited it, twenty 
;^ years ago, there was a large hillock, 
' *\ or mound, raised over the grave, 
u,^ which remained, distinguishing the 


sachem's, by its size, from the other graves around him, till a few 
years ago, when the present owner of tlie field committed the 
sacrilege of plowing it down, saying he was not going to have 
such an old "hummock in his field," much to the regret of every 
true antiquarian, and lover of ancient things. The mound thus 
destroyed was some ten feet long, six feet wide, and four feet 
high, having been gradually formed, in the same way, as in the 
case of Pomperaug's grave. 

Two events will ever render the vale of Bethel Rock memora- 
ble ; one, because it was the meeting place, or Bethel of our fa- 
thers during the first few years after the settlement : and the other, 
because it is the locality of a sorrowful legend connected with it. 
It is a tale of sad romance, told and believed by many from the 
earlier days of the town. The rock is situated in the bosom of 
the Orenaug cliifs, and is the point of much attraction. Beneath 
the overhanging crag, a hundred feet below, in the deep dell, is 
space sufficient to screen two hundred people from storm, and 
danger from a lurking foe. At its woody top is a delightful 
place, to which we may wander through the pine grove, at twi- 
light hour, for contemplation, rest, peace. In the rapture of the 
moment, well may we exclaim, — 

" How sweet the mooniiglit sleeps upon this bank. 
Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music 
Creep in our ears ; soft stillness, and the night •* 

Become the touches of sweet harmony !" 

This legend of Bethel Rock is somewhat minutely told, and the 
reasons given why it may receive credence, on page 90, and is 
alluded to again here, to introduce the vivid conception of the 
scene by the artist, who has visited the place since the former ac- 
count was written. The picture gives a very accurate view of 
the scene as related in the universally received legend. Referring 
to the former account for full details, a brief stateujent only will 
be inserted here. 

Some ten years after, the return of the inhabitants to Woodbury 
from their enforcecl residence at Stratford during King Philip's 
war, it is related that Waraumaukeag, a young Pootatuck sachem, 
fell in love with Sarah Walker, a young girl of seventeen years, 
a niece of the venerable pastor, who was in Woodbury on a visit 
to her uncle, of some months duration. He was a youth of manly 
proportions, of graceful figure, and finely moulded limbs. He was 
far in advance of the other Indians in intelligence and in all the 
manly virtues, and, from their return from Stratford, an unwaver- 



ing friend of the white settlers. It seemed to be his ambition to 
adopt their habits and costumes, and in the end, as it turned out, 

he sought matrimonial con- 
nexion with thetn, aiming 
to bind in firm alliance and 
mutual good offices and in- 
terests, llie two races, 
whose lots in life then 
seemed oast together. He 
erected for himself a cabin 
of unusual elegance, and 
adopted many of the arts 
of civilization. He sought 
the acquaintance of the old 
pastor, and of the other 
leading citizens, and seem- 
ed fully inaugurated in the 
ways of civilized life. 

The young lady was the 
possessor of great personal 
beauty, and womanly at- 
tractions. She seemed the 
" rare ideal of feminine love- 
liness, such as often haunts 
the dreams of the imagin- 
ative and young, but sel- 


dom me(jts us in the walks of life." She was the type of innocence 
and purity. She was possessed of unaffected piety, and loved to 


wander in the beautiful sylvan retreats in the vicinity of the vil- 
lage. For the quiet contemplation of nature, and private devo- 
tion, she often, at sunset hour, retired by the shady path from 
her uncle's house to the over-hanging, mossy cliff, of Bethel 
Rock. It was natural for the romantic and religious child to 
wander to the place of prayer frequented by all the people, at 
stated intervals. 

Warauraaukeag was often at the pastor's house, and became 
more and more enamored of his niece. Not yet having forgotten the 
aboriginal custom of wooing, he brought many a rich and rare 
present, and lay at her feet to win her favor, but she, understand- 
ing their import, and being unimpressed by the fervor of his pas- 
sion, declined them all, with dignity and kindness, desiring to give 
no offence, to arouse his anger. Meeting with no success with 
the maiden, he pressed his suit upon ihe uncle, desiring his good 
offices on his behalf. The old pastor tried to show him the impro- 
priety of the alliance, and declined to influence his niece to accept 
the marriage proposed. Yet he did this with great kindness, as 
well as firmness, for it was a matter of first importance to all the 
settlers, to be on friendly and intimate terms with the Indians. 

Thus failing, on all hands, in the prosecution of his suit, he de- 
parted, and was seen no more at the parsonage. His proud na- 
ture could not endure the slight put upon him, the leader of the 
red men. No offer of violence followed, and the pastor's house- 
liold was for some time in doubt as to what might result from this 
unfortunate attachment on the Indian's part, though i'evenge was 
feared. One delightful evening in the gorgeous " Indian summer," 
the young girl left her home, as usual, for Bethel Rock, just as the 
" sun set behind the western hills," to engage in her evening med- 
itation and devotion, but failed to return. Next morning, after 
diligent search had been made, her dead body was discovered, at 
the foot of the rock, mangled by the fall, but with her limbs de- 
cently arranged, her hands folded, and her clothing wrapped 
carefully about her. Beside her was the lifeless body of the 
chieftain, evidently lying just as he had fallen from the cliff. It 
is supposed that after she reached the top of the rock, she saw 
Waramaukeag, who had followed her to tliis retreat, and, sup- 
posing him still angry, and coming to wreak his vengeance, started 
back in alarm, falling from the great height upon the jagged rocks 
below, and was killed by the fall. By a secure path the chief 


reached the scene below, and finding her dead, lie adjusted the 
form and dress in a comely way, re-ascended the rock, and sought 
death by casting himself from the dizzy height upon the rocks 
by her side, thus atoning his responsibility for the occurrence by 
sharing her fate. 

Let us pause a moment to drop a tear over the obliterated 
graves of a buried race. They arc all gone to meet the Great 
Spirit, and, perhaps, as they desired while in life, to revel in 
" happy hunting grounds." By the romantic falls of his own 
ever-murmuring stream, is the grave of Nonnewaug. In his own 
orchard, at Pootatuck, near the noble Housatonic, rest the re- 
mains of Tummaseete. Within the fertile meadows of Wecup- 
pemee reposes the brave of that name, in his last quiet sleep. 
And there, by that rock, in our very midst, they buried Pompe- 
raug, the renowned chief of our valley, who gave his name to 
our beautiful meandering river. There, too, shall remain, perhaps 
for ages yet, the little hillock of stones which now mark the spot, 
dropped there, one by one, with a tear to each, by his remaining 
braves, as they sadly passed the hallowed spot on their hunting 
and fishing excursions. The children of the forest have passed 
away — faded from the view, and almost from the memory of man. 
In their low, unnoticed and unknown graves, they sleep well! 
Their existence has become a matter of antiquarian research, and 
oft told legend. Their history has been written in desolation. 

" The moon, methinks, looks witli a watery e3'e, 
I And when she weeps, weeps every little flower." 

We may look on this sad history with sympathy, for, in the 
" fullness of time," a similar fate will be ours. Our nation will 
leave more enduring " foot-prints on the sands of time," but with 
all that is noble and hopeful, it may not last forever. As individ- 
uals, at least, our heads shall lie as low in the dust as theirs. 
"Generation after generation," says an eloquent writer, " has felt as 
we now feel, and their lives were as active as our own. Tiiey 
passed away like a vapor, while nature wore the same aspect of 
beauty, as now, and loveliness crowned the hour. The heavens 
shall be as bright over our graves, as they are now around our paths. 
The world will have the same attractions for our offspring yet un- 
born, as she iiad for us when children. Yet a little while, and all 
will have happened. The throbbing heart will be at rest. Our 



funeral will wind its way, and prayers will be said; and then we 
shall be left alone, in silence and darkness for the worms ; and, it 
may be, a short time we shall be spoken of, but the things of life 
will creep in, and our names will soon be forgotten. Days will 
continue to move on, and laughter and song will be heard in the 
room in which we died ; and the eyes that mourned for us will be 
dried, and glisten again for joy; and even our children will cease 
to think of us, and will not remember to lisp our names." 



General ecclesiastical review ; The " Stratford vikw " of the Woodbuet 
Church organization ; The " Woodbury View " re-stated, re-affirmed, and 


LTHOUGH the history of the immediate 
causes that led to the settlement of Wood- 
bury, were very fully set forth in tlie first vol- 
ume, yet it has been deemed advisable to 
reour to the subject again, carefully review 
the evidence in the case, and see if any er- 
ror has intervened, or any inaccurate infer- 
ence has been drawn. Almost immediately 
after the former edition was issued from 
the press, the author learned that his state- 
ments and conclusions in relation to the 
Church difficulties at Stratford, were not deemed to be entirely cor- 
rect by our good friends of the First Church in that town, and, on 
several public occasions, allusions have been made to the matter, 
and the opposite opinion has come to be known as the "Stratford 
View" of the church difficulties which led to the division of the 
church, and the settlement of Woodbury. 

It was stated in the first volume, p. 32, that "the settlement of 
Woodbury was the i-esult of diflerence in religious opinions among 
the inhabitants of Stratford. The first ministers of the colony 
being dead, and a new generation coming on the stage of action, 
alterations in respect to church membership, baptism, and the mode 
of church discipline, were imperatively demanded. Great dissen- 
sions on these subjects accordingly arose in the churches at Hai't- 
ford Windsor, Wethersfield, and other places, and continued in 
various parts of the colony from 165C to about 1070. The discord 
not only afi'ected all the churches, but it " insinuated itself into all 
the affairs of societies, towns, and the whole commonwealth.'' 
About 1664, while these contentions were going on at Bartford, 


and other places, the people at Stratford fell into the same un- 
happy divisions and controversies in regard to the same sub- 
jects." And on page 113, it was stated, that the " principal cause 
of difference Avas in regard to church merabersliip, baptism, and 
the discipline of church members. What the precise nature of 
the controversy was could not be distinctly understood by the 
most learned and pious, even of that day. It was the same as 
that which existed at Hartford, Wethersfield, and other places. 
One would say, at this distance of time, that the question to be 
decided was, whether the " Half-way Covenant Practice should be 
introduced into the church, or not. Upon this question, there 
was the most grave difference of opinion among the best and most 
distinguished men in New England." 

It is not denied that the foregoing, taken together, is a substan- 
tially accurate statement of the differences among the people of 
Stratford at that date. But the writer, from all the evidence then 
at his control, and brought to his attention, inferi-ed, that the 
"Half-way Covenant" doctrine was the principal cause of the 
dissension, and his history of the matter proceeded on that theory. 
The "Stratford Yiew " does not admit that the "Half-way Cove- 
nant " practice had much, if any thing, to do with the controversy, 
for two reasons. First, because that system was practiced in the 
first church, fiora the earliest records of the church now extant, 
till after the commencement of the eighteenth century. The town 
was planted in 1639, and the church was no doubt coeval in date, 
as all the early towns had an ecclesiastical foundation. It was the 
first thing attended to. But, unfortunately, the records of the 
church were burned in the meeting-house, which was struck by 
lightning, in 1'785, and all the records previous to 1675 were de- 
stroyed, while the records of the town, to the year 1650, are also 
not extant. This is a great misfortune, for if the records of the 
church from its foundation had been presei'ved, the question now 
under discussion could not have arisen. So fiir as the history of 
the Second church of Stratford, now the First church of Wood- 
bury, is concerned, its records have been preserved from the day 
of its organization. May 5th, 1670. No dispute has arisen, or can 
arise on them, and they have the advantage over those of the 
First church, in reaching back to a date five years earlier. It has 
always been a matter of wonder to the writer that there should 
be any sensitiveness on the part of any in Stratford in regard to 
the view taken by him, as he gave the First church the credit of 


having adhered to the " old landmarks," set up by the fathei'S in 
the colony, and as the "Half-way Covenant" plan has been gen- 
erally repudiated as unsound for nearly three-quarters of a cen- 

But to those who are interested in tracing the ancient records, 
the truth of history is a more controlling consideration than mere 
pride of opinion, or indeed any other. While an opinion, once 
deliberately formed, on due examination of all the facts, should 
not be lightly thrown aside by an opposing opinion, yet it may 
often furnish the occasion for a re-examination of the matter, as 
well as for the search for additional facts and further light. With 
this view, the writer has carefully re-examined the question, in all 
its bearings, and has decided to introduce here the "Stratford 
View," as well as all other documents and information which have 
been any where preserved, that throw any light upon the subject, 
with such observations as occur to him. 

The sole aim of every writer should be to discover and perpetu- 
ate the truth, especially in matters religious and historical. There 
can be no inducement to follow any other course. 

In order to carry out this design, the writer applied to Rev. 
Benjamin L. Swan, of Oyster Bay, N. Y., who was for five years 
pastor of the First church in Stratford, who gave great attention, 
during his stay there, to antiquarian, archaeological and genelogi- 
cal inquiries, and who is, withal, a most careful, thoughtful, and 
judicious investigator of the "ancient ways," — to furnish him the 
" Stratford View " of this subject. Mr. Swan very kindly consent- 
ed, and it is as follows : — 

" On the part of the Church in Stratford, a different view is taken of the con- 
troversy, that issued in the settlement of Woodbury, from that given in the His- 
tory of Ancient Woodbury'. That the " Half-way Covenant," as being held by 
one party and rejected by the other, was not the ground of dispute, we feel as- 
sured for several reasons." 

" It appears by Town Record in Stratford, that 1. Mr. Chauncey was not set- 
tled as minister of the parish in 1665, but on April 20th of that j'ear, 'the 
town did consider of giving Mr. Chancie a call to help Mr. Blakeman in the min- 
istry for a year' and voted so to do. Mr. Blakeman died Sept. 7, 1665. In 
March, 1665 *, upon the question of a parsonage lot and house, the vote of the 
town was divided, ' not that they were against the ininutry.' i. e. of Mr. Chauncey. 

"Junel, 1666. At a lawfull Town meeting, the inhabitants generally pres- 
" ent, a paper was offered containing divers propositions to Mr. Israel Chauncey, 
*' in order to a mutual agreement for his settling among us in Stratford." " It 
*' was voted and agreed, that the said papers should by the townsmen of Strat. 
"ford be subscribed in the name of the town, and presented to Mr. Chauncy." 
Signed, John Minor, Recorder. 


"The foregoing extract, verbatim from the Town Record, is of vital import- 
ance, because the paper and agreement to which it relatas is that given on page 
119 of Hist, of Woodbury, as prepared May 13, 1669, by the dissentient towns- 
men, not members of the church ; whereas it was the original overture of the 
town (for all the ecclesiastical business was then done town-wise, so far as re- 
lated to the settlement or dismission of a minister) to Mr. Chauncy, in June, 
1666, and follows immediately, on the record, the foregoing vote, and is entitled 
both 'Town propositions to Mr. Chauncy,' and 'Church Covenant' with Mr. 
Chauncey. He accepted the propositions, and was settled as pastor, remaining 
such till his death, in 1*703. 

" A copy of tin's ' Call ' is on file in Hartford State Archives, where it is en- 
dorsed as filed by Secretary AUyn, May 13, '69. Some one, mistaking this for 
the date of the paper itself, copied it for Mr. Cothrcn as belonging to a period 
after Mr. Chauney's settlement, and as being an overture from those aggrieved 
by his settlement. On the Town record, it dates June 1, 1666, and was recorded 
by John Minor, Recorder, June 25, 1666. The church and town of Stratford 
voted together, parish-wise, in town meeting in all things relating to the minis- 
try, until Episcopacy was established, after 1700." 

" It is not disputed that these " Town propositions " embrace the principles of 
the half-way covenant. That, therefore, could not have been the ground of dis- 
sension. Moreover, the earliest records now extant of Mr. Chauney's ministry 
show that he did practice on these principles.," 

" Again, uniform tradition in Stratford, even in families of important men in 
Mr. Walker's party, (such as Joseph Jiidson, of whom the late Dea. D. P. Judson 
was a descendant,) denies that the half-way covenant made the difficulty. 

"Again, in none of the papers extant, which passed between the parties, is 
that measure set forth as in dispute. There is, however, frequent allusion to 
principles of church government, discipline, &c., in which, beyond doubt the 
mystery lies. Too much space would be required for exhibition here of the evi- 
dence in point. 

"The papers on pages 115 — 117 of Hist. Anc. AVoodbury, bearing dates in 
old style, belong to January and February, 1866, and with the next ensuing pa- 
per, pp. 117, 118, preceded the parish call of June 1, 1666, on Mr. Chauncy to 
settle. The remark, therefore, on page 118, "Mr. Chauncy had been settled by 
a majoritj' of the members of the church alone," is doubly incorrect, for, at that 
date, April, 1666, he had not even been called to settle, and his call, when given in 
June, was given by a large majority of the whole parish acting in town meeting. 
Indeed, by inspection of the list of inhabitants, it would seem that Mr. Walker's 
adherents polled but nineteen votes out of eighty-three, who were freemen of 
Stratford. There is no instance, during the whole discussion between the two 
parties, of a majority in town meeting adverse to Mr. Chauncy. 

"It appears, by a vote Dec. 18, 1666, that the opponents of Mr. Chauncy la- 
bored, at first, to obtain his brother-in-law. Rev. Peter Bulkley, for their pastor, 
and, only after he declined, settled on Mr. Walker. 

The differences between the two churches are declared by Mr. Chauney's peo- 
ple, June 14, 1669, ' to be not doctrinal.' If it is said, what are our diflerences? 
' We conceive they are matters of civil concernment.' If our differences are ec- 
clesiastical, what are they ? Mr. Walker's statement, May, 1670, 'nothing had 


appeared of any such great distance in our apprehensions as might be inconsist- 
ent ' witli ' an union,' and his adlierents in their letter to the church, Feb. 9» 
1665®, distinctly point at the chief cause of dissension in specifications, which 
involve the controversy between Presbyterian and Congregational schemes of 
church order. These protestants insist, that examination for church membership 
should be by the minister and elder only. They also strenuously object to the 
re-examination of persons already professors of religion, when i-eceived to other 
churches. They desire 'not to be further troubled with any imposition of that 
nature.' The controversy about church government and discipline seriously dis- 
turbed not a few of the oi'iginal New England churches. 

'' An error occurs on page 115, in representing the letter there given as the 
opening of the case, whereas it is entitled, in (he Ecclesiastical Documents at 
Hartford, ' An Answer to Mr. Chauncy's' letter.' That letter seems to have been 
lost. This letter is itself a reply to a previous letter from Mr. Chauney, by 
order of the church of which he was then only a ' stated supply.' 

" Two statements regardihg the pulpit in Stratford need correction. 1. The 
Walker and Reed story. This is a re-issue of a Scotch anecdote about two can- 
didates iu Edinburg, and belongs to a period a hundred years later than the 
Chauney and Walker times. 2. Mr. Chauncy's ordination. The current story 
of his ordination in the independent mode, and with the laying on of Elder 
Brinsmade's mittened hand, is, doubtless, pure fiction. As Mr. Chauney, having 
already preached a year, had his call in June, it is not credible that mittens were 
were worn in the season of his ordination. Moreover, there was no such person 
as 'Elder' Erin^n.ade. Philip Grove was the only elder of Stratford church- 
Nor is it conceivable that the church in Stratford disowned or neglected the fel- 
lowship of the churches in this ordination, for as early as 1645, the church had 
been in a council called by the Milford church for the ordination of a ruling elder, 
and had otherwise cultivated that friendship." ' 

Such is the " Stratford View," and such the reasons for holding 
it. The fact that it is the theory held by some friends, for whose 
sincerity and general correctness of judgment and of information 
the writer has the highest respect, has led him to a full and care- 

' The Hist, of Woodbury is not responsible for either of these stories, nor has 
the author ever credited them, as will be seen, in part, by note to page 133. The 
statement, that " there was no such person as Elder Brinsmade, however, is in- 
correct. In a list of the Freemen of Stratford, reported pursuant to the Statute 
to the General Court, " 8 mth., 7 d., '69," recorded in 2 Trunibull's Records of 
Conn. Col., p. 521-2, appears the name of John Brinsniead, elder. This list of 
Freemen was taken in October, 1669, and Mr. Walker was ordained over the 
Second church in May, 1670. It contains sixty-four names, and is the legal and 
accurate list of Freemen iu the town, at the date of the organization of the 
Second church. The "Stratford View " is therefore mistaken in stating the 
number sf Freemen to be eighty-three, and the part voting with the Second 
church at nineteen. The Second church organized with twenty-seven members, 
and four more males were added the folloM"ing year, thus embracing nearlj' hal 
of the Freemen of the town. 


ful review of all the fjicts in the case, actuated by the sincere de- 
sire to "discern tlie truth" of the matter. And upon such care- 
ful review he has become more fully confirmed in the substantial 
correctness of the " Woodbury View," which is set forth fully in 
the former edition of this Avork. There are some minor errors of 
statement, but that the " Half-way Covenant" system and cognate 
theories were the substantial and overshadowing cause of the dis- 
sensions among the people of Stratford, he is most fully persuaded. 
Nothing short of something most vital in doctrine — something 
that concerned the spiritual welfare of the soul to all ages — some- 
thing, the abandonment of which involved a loss eternal, can fur- 
nish an explanation for that long, earnest, intense dissension which 
resulted in the formation of t'^e Second church in Stratford, now 
the First church in Woodbury. Trivial differences, as between 
the Congregational and Presbyterian modes of Church govern- 
ment, while both parties Avere imbued with the same faith, and 
acknowledged the same covenant of grace, theoretically and for- 
mally, could never be the occasion of a dispute so heated, in a 
new and feeble community, struggling for existence, surrounded 
by external dangers and difficulties, in a wilderness land, — among 
Christians as earnest and conscientious as were the fathers of 
Stratford and Woodbury. Spiritual pride, or pride of opinion, 
could not go so far as that among a people so strictly conscien- 
tious. It was also quite too early in the ecclesiastical history of 
the colony for the laity, with whom these questions began, to be 
so thoroughly conversant with the systems of chui-ch government, 
and so well grounded in the "fundamentals," or Christian author- 
ity for their views, as to induce them to run the risk of such open 
opposition to the polity or order of the Puritan churches, as to 
involve their excision from the church and deprivation of all the 
church ordinances for themselves and their children, for the enjoy- 
ment of which, in every recorded word and act of theirs, they 
showed so earnest a solicitude. Presbyterianisra, as such, had not 
at that date a place for the "sole of its foot," in all the colonies. 
Dissatisfied individuals were, indeed, in various places, waiting a 
safe occasion to introduce Presbyterian and Episcopalian views of 
church discipline and government. But their efforts were " with- 
out form and void," to a period long after this date, so far as Pres- 
byterianism is concerned. Says Dr. Sprague, in an srticle on 
Presbyterianism in the New American Encyclopaedia, vol. 13, p. 
557 : " The Presbyterian church of the United States is undoubt- 


edly to be reckoned as a daughter of the Church of Scotland. 
Presbyterians begun to emigrate from Scotland and the North of 
Ireland, to the American Colonies, as early as 1689; and they 
quickly manifested a disposition to reproduce here, their own pe- 
culiar institutions. The first and largest churches were established 
in Pennsylvania and Mai-yland, two colonies distinguished from 
the earliest times for their notions of religious liberty. The Pu- 
ritan element early found its way into the body from New Eng- 
land, and the reformed churches on the continent have, from time 
to time, made contributions to it; but the original organization 
has always remained substantially the same." So Presbyterianism 
was introduced into the States south of us some twenty years 
later than the time of the Stratford troubles, and into New Eng- 
land later still. Yet by the " Stratford View," we are called to 
believe, that differences as between Presbyterian and Congrega- 
tional church order and discipline, was the true cause of the "un- 
happy " dissensions at Stratford. It is quite inconceivable that this 
church should be disputing about " non-essentials," and rending 
the peace of the colony, as well as their own, Avhile they were quite 
at peace, and in loving accord on the " Half-way Covenant " theory, 
and views connected with it, which were at that very time shaking 
to their centres, and to the loss of their usefulness, the churches 
at Hartford, Windsor, and, indeed, all churches throughout the 

It will also be readily noticed on a careful inspection of the 
records introduced into the former volume, and those which fol- 
low iu this, that the form of church government and discipline is 
no where insisted on. It is nowhere claimed by either party, that 
the " ancient way" of independent and individual church govern- 
ment should be abandoned, and a " system of church government 
by presbyteries, or associations of teaching and ruling elders," 
should be instituted in its stead. From the beginning they had 
had their Elder Grove, a leading man in the colony, " Deputy 
and Assistant," against whom no complaint seems ever to have 
been brought, who remained said elder to his death, in 1676, a 
period some years later than this. And yet this church, like the 
first three churches of the colony, was a strictly Congregational 
church. It was a "law unto itself" It never ceased to be a 
Congregational church, and never had even a ruling elder after 
Elder Grove's death. The Second church of Stratford ever was 
and now is, as the First church of Woodbury, a purely Congre- 


gational church. It never had a ruling elder. Where then do we 
discover the faintest traces of Presbyterianisni ? Something caused 
the division of the church, and the formation of the new one. 
Neither ever practised Presbyterianisni. Both, in their original 
organization, and in their subsequent history, were and are, lite- 
rally, " a church Avithont a bishop, and a State without a King." 
They oi-ganized as civil, as well as religious communities, and for 
long years the towns acted parish-wise in the calling and settling 
of ministers, and in all arrangements for their support, while all 
the conditions of baptism, communion and church government 
were decided within the circle of communicants, subject only to 
appeal to the General Court. In 1665, (about the commencement 
of these troubles,) the Commissioners of Charles II. reported, of the 
people of Connecticut, "that they had ?i scholar to their min- 
ister in every town or village." They were independent, and 
Avere well supplied with scholars to lead them. In view of 
all this, could disputes concerning the introduction of Presbyte- 
rian church order have been the cause of these Stratford disputes ? 
We think not. 

If, then, the "Stratford View" be not the true one, is the 
"Woodbury View" any more reliable? Let us examine, and 
weigh well every recorded word on the subject, and determine, as 
best we may. And, in the beginning, we must bear in mind 
throughout the discussion, that the First church of Stratford was, 
in its church government purely Congregational, and in its doc- 
trine purely Calvinistic. It was precisely the same, in all its fea- 
tures, as the churches at Hartford, Windsor and Wethersfield. A 
history of the one, with a change of names, would be a history of 
the other. \\ hat was this organization? No better answer can 
be given to this question, nor to the question as to what caused 
the divisions in the church at Stratford, than those given in an- 
swer to the same questions in relation to the church at Hartford, 
planted by the sainted Hooker and the Apostolic Stone, by the 
late lamented author of "Hartford in the Olden Time," the Hon. 
Isaac W. Stuart, the accomplished scholar, the industrious anti- 
quarian, the orator of surpassing ability, who was a descendant, 
in the fourth generation, of that worthy and distinguished divine, 
who for more than sixty years ministered to us in Ancient Wood- 
bury — our own sainted Anthony Stoddard. In his truly eloquent 
history he records : — 

" A few words now on the first religious organization of Hart- 


ford. This was purely Congregational, and we may add also, 
purely republican. Non-conformists all to the liturgy, ceremonies 
and discipline of the Church of Engand, though firm believers in 
its faith — feeling that the simplicity of the gospel was ' marred 
by association with the display of surplices, caps, capes and cas- 
socks ' — the settlers claimed the right, independently of all extei" 
nal or foreign power, to choose and establish their own ministers, 
to enact their own ecclesiastical laws, and exercise their own dis- 
cij)line — and so, with a Pastor, Preacher, Ruling Elder, and Dea- 
cons, for officers, in a Meeting House, which th(*se who preceded 
Hooker and his party had already erected, they started the first 
systematized Church of God in this their ' Wilderness town,' 
Their Deacons were as Deacons now, but their Pastor and their 
Teacher were somewhat peculiar in their functions. Exhortation 
chiefly was the duty of the former — it was his province to work 
on the will and the affections. The latter was Doctor in ecclesia, 
as he is styled — it was his province to teach, explain and defend 
the doctrines of Chiistianity. The Ruling Elder, who was ordain- 
ed with all the solemnity of a Pastor, or Teacher, was, " to assist 
in the government of the church, to watch over all its members, 
to prepare and bring forward all cases of discipline, to visit and 
pray with the sick, and, in the absence of the Pastor and Teacher, 
to pray with the congregation, and expound the scriptures." ^ 

Such was the organization and constitution of the church at 
Hartford, and such was the type of the church at Stratford, during 
what we will call the First Period in the ecclesiastical history of 
the colonj^, which extended to 1650 or later. 

Now let us quote from the same eloquent author in the same 
volume a statement which embodies the " Woodbury View," in 
choicer words than we can express it. 

"Soon after the commencement of our Second Period, a contro- 
versy commenced in the church of Hartford, which, 'for its cir- 
cumstances, its duration, and its obstinacy,' says Trumbull, 'was 
the most remarkable of any in its day — which affected all the 
churches, and insinuated itself into the affairs of societies, towns, 
and the whole commonwealth.' Nor was it confined to Connec- 
ticut. It hung like a cloud over the heart of all New England — 
darkened almost every temple of worship, and kindled baleful 
fires at almost every altar. 

' Hartford in the Olden Time, p. 58. 


"It began with a difference between Mr. Stone and Elder Wra. 
Goodwin, either about the admission of some ijiember to the 
church, or the administration of the rite of baptism, and quickly 
involved many other points also of ecclesiastical polity. Look at 
the leading questions that were raised : 

" What constitutes church membership — admission to full com- 
munion only, or a belief in Christianity and worshipful attendance 
upon its ordinances also? Is the ' matter of the visible church' 
composed of saints exclusively, or of those also, who, not being 
communicants, attend religious services, hold pews, and pay rates ? 
Particularly does it not belong to the whole body of a town jointly 
to call and settle its minister — and may not the adult seed of vis- 
ible believers, not cast out, be true members of the church and 
subjects of church watch? What constitutes baptism — is 'fede- 
ral holiness or covenant interest' its proper ground? Is the 
grace of perfect regeneration vital to its application, or may it not 
be used also as a seal of the covenant initiatory in its nature ? 
Particularly, is it scriptural to baptize the children of any parents 
who are not themselves in full communion ? Whence do minis- 
ters receive their commission to baptize? Does the word of God 
warrant the communion of churches, as such ? Has a Synod de- 
cisive power? How far shall any particular church yield to its 
authority, or to that of any other ecclesiastical council? Must 
every person grieved at any church process or censure, acquiesce 
in it, and if not, where shall he repair? What is the gospel way 
to gather and settle churches ? Does the laying on of hands in 
ordination belong to presbyters, or brethren ? A formidable list 
of questions, truly ! But there were others, too — of minor conse- 
quence, yet all involved in these just stated — and most of these, 
in point of fact, i7i them two salient ones of church membership 
and baptism.^ of which baptism parlicularly was debated with an 
ardor that neither Socinian nor Romanist, Pelagian nor Hermian, 
not Naziandzen, St. Ciril, nor Salmasius, have ever surpassed! 

" We are blameless, as most people, in our lives and conversa- 
tion — we are well disposed — we are sober — argued, according to 
Mather, 'multitudes' of persons — and so, particularly, many in 
the church in Hartford. We are full believers in the doctrines of 
Christianity. We desire to accept Christ for our Redeemer. We 
seek forgiveness of our sins. We are ready to promise that, 
through the aid of the Holy Spirit, we will forsake the vanities of 
this evil world, and strive to act according to the rules of the 


gospel. We wish to submit ourselves to the watch and discipline 
of the church. Particularly, we will promise to bring up our 
children, that may be given i;s, in the nurture and admonition of 
the Lord. We want the distinction and privileges, therefore, of 
church membership for ourselves, and of baptism for our children. 
True, we are not communicants, but we will labor diligently to 
become so. Why then shut upon us, ' hopeful candidates ' as we 
thus are, the doors of church privilege? Is it just? Is it wise? 
Why make no difference, in this respect, between ourselves and 
Pagans? Why, in particular, exclude our offspring, dear as they 
are to our hearts, and partakers, as it is our dearest wish they 
should be, of the kingdom of heaven, why exclude them from the 
baptism of Christianity simply because our own honest doubts 
and fears are such that we cannot ourselves come up to the cove- 
nanting state of communicants at the table of the Lord ? This 
is harsh — it is an unwarrantable strictness. Baptism and full com- 
munion are separate things, and the former, with church watch, 
may be enjoyed without the latter. Seal though it be of the cov- 
enant, baptism is, after all, but an initiatory rite. It does not itself 
absolutely confer, it does not of itself indelibly impress the grace 
of regeneration, nor is salvation so inseparately annexed to it, as 
that without it, no person can enter heaven. 'The Lord hath not 
set up our churches,' be it remembered, ' only that a few old 
Christians should keep one another warm while they live, and 
then carry away the church into the cold grave with them Avhen 
they die ; no, but that they might with all care, and with all the 
obligations and advantages to that care that may be, nurse up 
still successively another generation of subjects to our Lord, that 
may stand up in his kingdom when they are gone.' So pleaded, 
so demanded one large party in the church of Hartford." * 

So pleaded, so demanded one large party in the church at Strat- 
ford, in 1665 and 1866. Let us see if we are right. Let us refer 
to the vote of' the town, parish-Avise, passed June 1, 1666 — for, it 
will be remembered, that the whole town voted parish-wise in the 
settlement of ministers till after 1*700 — which vote is recorded on 
page 119 of this history. By that vote, it is claimed in the "Wood- 
bury View," the liberal, or dissentient party triumphed over the 
church proper in its conservative, close corporation notions, that 
is, the dissentient communicants, added to the freemen who were 

'■ Stuart's Hartford in the Olden Time, p. 221. 


not communicants, but who agreed in their view with the minority 
of the church, made a majority of the whole in town meeting, and, 
in their call to Mr. Chauncy, were able to establish their platform, 
as the condition on which they would settle him, grant him a portion 
of the lands, " set apart for the support of the ministry," and pay 
him an annual salary beyond. Whether we are right in this claim 
will be discussed further on. An extract from that vote seems to 
shine with a clear light upon the subject matter in dispute at Strat- 
ford, They lay down, as the great object of desire, and as the 
prime condition* of settlement, the principles of the Half-way Cov- 
enant. Why so particular, unless the privileges of this plan had 
before this time been denied to them by the church proper, in the 
church meetings, where communicants only were allowed a voice. 
They say : — 

" More particularly we desire y ' all they y ' professe fayth and 
obedience to the rules of Christ, not scandalous in life, and doe 
present themselves in owning y« covenant wherein they have 
given themselves unto the Lord in baptism, may be admitted and 
accounted members of y* church, and under the care and disci- 
pline thereof as other members, and have their children baptized. 
Yet, notwithstanding, we desire not that any thus admitted may 
approach unto the Lord's table till, in and by examination and due 
tryall, they make testimony unto the Judgement of Charity, of 
their fitness thereunto. Moreover, as God owneth the Infant 
children of believers in y® Covenant of Grace, neither doth ex- 
clude y" same children w° grown up from keeping their standing 
in y® covenant, while they soe walk as they doe not reject it, 
God owneth y " and would not have y^ grace of his covenant 
shortened or straitened, nor put y "" from under the dispensations 
of his grace, giving his ministers a solemn charge to take care of, 
and train up sucli a part of their flock : We desire also that 
y* children of church members may be accounted as church mem- 
bers, as well as their parents, and y * they do not cease to be mem- 
bers by being grown up, but that they still doe continue in the 
church, successively, until, according to y^ rules of Christ, they 
be cast out, and y ' they are still y* subjects of church discipline, 
even as other members, and y ' they should have their children 
baptized, notwithstanding their present unfitness for partaking of 
the Lord's Supper." 

This is the " Woodbury View," and it is not questioned but 
that it is a full statement of the Half-way Covenant system. Was 


this the original platform of the Stratford church, or was it some- 
thing new — an innovation '? If it was the old platform, why so 
earnestly proclaim it again, and make it a condition precedent to 
settlement ? Why not say, simply, that they would settle Mr. 
Chauncy upon the ancient platform— in the ancient order, and 
"way of Christ among the churches? " Not a word is said here 
of a different mode of church government from the old one. It 
was the right of church membership and baptism, that was the 
sole and all-absorbing theme. On this they insist — on this solely. 
This vote furnishes the key to the whole controversy. The same 
eloquent writer proceeds to give the views of the first established 
churches from wliich these were a departure. He says ; — 

" On the other hand, it was urged in reply to these claims, that 
they were wholly inconsistent with the rights of the brotherhood 
and the strict principles of the Congregational churches — that 
they were innovations on its practice, and contrary to its purity — 
that they would subvert the very design for which the churches in 
New England were planted. Baptism, said the advocates of these 
views, is a seal of the whole covenant of grace — those, therefore, 
not interested in this covenant of faith, by saving faith, by the 
having of repentance, ought not to have the seal thereof for them- 
selves, nor for their children. If we extend it in the manner de- 
manded, there would be great corruption. It would be a profa- 
nation of the right. It would have a natural tendency to harden 
unregenerate persons in their sinful condition — and to admit such 
to pi'ivileges and membership in the churclies, would at once throw 
the homes of the saints into the power of the worldly part of 
mankind, profane their administration, and pervert their efficacy "' 

Wliicli party at Stratford was it that entertained such views as 
these? Was it the Walker party, who for years insisted on being 
allowed the privileges of the Half-way Covenant, and, when they 
could not fully obtain them, organized a separate church, and re- 
paired to the interior forests to enjoy their faith in peace? Or 
was it the party of the " ancient church," under the guidance of 
Mr. Channcy, as a "stated supply," who, when addressed by the 
Walker party, in Jan. 1G65 * (p. 115) "desiring also that we and 
our posterity may be owned as inunediate rnembers of the Church 
of Christ by you; as Christ owneth us and ours by his own in- 
stitution, taking us into covenant, and solemnly setting his seal 

' Stuart's Hartford in the Olden Time, p, 224. 


upon US," (p. 115,) and again in Feb. 9, 1665 ° (p. 116) desiring "com- 
munion in all God's orrlinances," with the rest of the church, replied, 
April 16, 1666, (p. 117) "These are to give you to understand, 
that our appreliension concerning the order of discipline is the 
same that we have formerly manifested it to bee, both by our 
practice, and answer to your proposalls. And whereas you appre- 
hend you have equal rights with ourselves in all the ordinances of 
Christ in this place. These may certifie you at present that we 
are of a different apprehension from you in that matter. And 
whereas you desire that your posterity may, etc. : we would put 
you in mind, that as yet the matter is in controversie among the 
learned and godly ? " Which party was it tliat demanded they and 
their seed should be "owned as immediate members of the 
church ? " Which party refused this before the ordination of Mr. 
Chauncy ? It was the Walker party that demanded. It was the 
church tliat refused, acting as a church, entitling and embalming 
its actions as " Church Answer to the Men." Are we wrong, then, 
in saying, that the cliurch, when acting as an associated body of 
communicants, rejected the Half-way Covenant dogma, and that 
on the following June 1, 1666, the Walker party, in open town 
meeting, when all, both communicants and freemen, were acting 
together parish-wise, carried the day, and established the condi- 
tion of the Plalf-way Covenant in the ''Town propositions to Mr. 
Chauncy" of that date, (p. 119,) which were afterAvards accepted 
by Mr. Chauncey? Why, if this view be correct, it did not bring 
peace to the town and clmrch, we will consider further on. 

Before we do that, however, !et us examine another considera- 
tion. It is recorded, that the church enjoyed great peace and 
prosperity under the administration of the Rev. Mr. Blakeman, 
the first minister. Now what manner of man was Mr. Blakeman ? 
We find this account of him in the Manual of the old First Strat- 
ford church, printed in 1869 : 

"The Rev. Adam Blakeman was born in Staffordshire, England, 
A. D. 1599, and was matriculated at Christ's College, Oxford, 
May 2&th, 1617. He was a pieacher for some years in Leicester- 
shire and Derbyshire, and in 1638 came to New England. He 
was one of the original company of settlers in Stratford in 1639- 
40, and was minister of tlie church until his death, Sept. 7th 1665. 
Just previous to his death, the 20th of April of that year, the 
Rev. Israel Chauncy became, by vote of the town, his assistant. 
Mr, Blakeman held a prominent position among the colonial min- 


isters. Cotton Mather says (Magnalia, book 3d. chap. 7) that 
many of his people came with him to this country, and that Hook- 
er once remarked, "If I might have my choice, I wonld live and 
die under Mr. Blakeman's minstry." 

This is a satisfactory account of an old Puritan minister, truly. 
He appears in the history of the Colony only four years later than 
Hooker himself, and though he was thirteen years his junior, yet 
he was his coeval in establishing the church of God in this wil- 
derness land, and so well approved himself, as a minister of the 
Most High, in sustaining the good old Puritan doctrines, that 
Hooker, in his love, admiration and enthusiasm, proclaims that he 
fain would, could he have his own choice, live and die under his 
ministrations. Blakeman led his flock, for a quarter of a century, 
in the paths of peace and the ways of pleasantness. Even before 
his death, the questions concerning baptism and church member- 
ship began to disturb the other churches. There is not a particle 
of evidence, that there was a word of dissension in his church 
during his life. Was he a Half-way Covenanter? If so, then 
were Hooker and Stone. The former died, July 7, 1647, before 
these discussions arose to any considerable entent. He, therefore, 
had been converted to no new theory, and Stone was firm as a rock 
against all innovations. May we not then say, in the full assurance 
of its truth, that the Halfway Covenant theory had not a "Name 
to live," — nay, liad not become a disturbing cause of discussion 
during all his holy life, so far as the church at Stratford was con- 
cerned. A.t the date of his death the discussion on these subjects 
had waxed warm in the colony, but such was his influence with 
his flock, it had found no disturbing entrance into his church. 
There is a moral certainty that not a solitary Half-way Covenant 
admission to the church or baptism on that theory, occurred 
during his ministry. 

But the good man was dead ; his place was to be filled, and 
young Mr. Chauncy "just turned of" twenty-one years of age, 
having been born in 1644, was the candidate. New views were 
abroad in the land, the state of religion was low and weak, and 
imbued with the spirit of liberty, which led our fathers to found 
their, homes in the wild woods, they exercised the freedom of 
choice among the conflicting theories. The older communicants 
stood by the " ancient landmarks " so long maintained by their 
sainted Blakeman. The younger conmiunicants and non-commu- 
nicants sought-out what seemed to them to be " a more excellent 


way." Mr. Chauncy had been called to " assist Mr. Blakeman," 
and naturally sustained bis views. He, therefore, represented the 
conservatives. But, as we have seen, he was settled by the con- 
current votes of both parties, after the dissentients had been able 
to engraft the Half-way Covenant theory into the conditions of 
his settlement. Who was it that insisted on this plank in the plat- 
form ? Was it the old communicants, who in April, 1G6G, before 
the adoption of this platform and the settlement of Mr, Chauncy, 
when add|pssed on this subject by those who afterwards became 
Mr. Walker's adherents, replied in their " Churcli Answer to the 
Men," (p. 118,) " We answer in the words of Paul in another case, 
wee have no such custome, nor the Churches of Christ with whom 
we hold communion f Or was it rather those who afterwards 
formed the new church, and practiced the Half-w\ay Covenant 
plan, but did not follow in the least the Presbyterian mode of 
church government? There can be but one answer to these ques- 
tions. If the dispute was what the "Stratford View" affirms — a 
dispute in relation to Presbyterian and Congregational modes of 
church government and discipline, it is the most inconceivable 
thing in the world, that neither of the churches, after they were 
well apart, and had full liberty to do as they chose, practiced any 
thing but pure Congregationalism. If the '' Woodbury View " is 
accounted the correct one, the subsequent history of the two 
churches is consistent. The Woodbury church practiced on the 
Half-way Covenant s) stem for ninety years, ending at the ordina- 
tion of Mr. Benedict, (p. 302,) in 1760. The theory that the 
"' call " of 16(56 was a compromise, receives further confirmation 
from the fact, that two members of the church, viz : Thomas Fayre- 
child and Thomas Uffoote, and two of the minority, (church mem- 
bers,) Ensign Joseph Judson and Henry Wakelyn, were appointed 
by the town a committee to carry the "Town Propositions" to 
Mr. Chauncy. 

But the " Stratford View " insists that the Half-way Covenant 
plan was practiced by the First church in Stratford from the ear- 
liest date to which its present records extends, and that, clearly, Mr. 
Chauncy was settled by the town vote of June 1, 1666, on the 
Half-way Covenant plan. The latter branch of this statement is 
undoubtedly true. The vote of 1666 is a most perfect statement 
of the Half-way plan, and it is also true that Mr. Chauncy accept- 
ed his settlement on that vote. And light here, we apprehend, is 
the key to the whole difficulty. The town, voting parish-wise, 


including in its vote all its freemen, carried the " Half-way condi- 
tion." But the " ordinances of baptism and communion " could 
only be obtained through the church, i. e. the communicants, min- 
ister, ruling elder and deacons. They held "St. Peter's key" to 
these ordinances, for which the minority of the church had so 
earnestly striven. And in this same vote of 1666 (p. 119) they 
had established a condition as to Ihefiiness of candidates for a^lmis- 
sion to the privilege of the Half-way Covenant, i. e. they must 
not be "scandalous in life." Under this exception, any candidate, 
whether for the half-way, or for the full covenant, could be arbi- 
trarily kept out, by the church officers, without a technical breach 
of the conditions of Mr. Chauncy's settlement. And it is believed 
that this power, reserved under the " call," was exercised, and 
that freemen who desired to own their covenant, in full or pai tial 
communion, were rejected, and thus the flames of discord were 
fanned anew, and dissension intensified till the final separation. 

On an examination of the church records at Stratford, we are 
not able to discover a single half-way admission, or baptism under 
that plan, for the first ten years after the formation of the Wood- 
bury church. The practice, by this time, had become general 
elsewhere, and, having lost nearly half their original number on 
this question, and, probably, being threatened with more loss, the 
church succumbed, and we find the following as the first record 
on the whole controversy, so far as the first church is concerned, 
viz : — 

"June 4th, 80." (1680.) "At a chh. meeting. 

" The whole consented that baptism be extended to the Infants 
of tliose qualifyed according to y * 5 * prop. o± Synod 62." 

Immediately following this vote is quite a list of names admit- 
ted under its provisions at various dates, mingled with such en- 
tries as follows, viz : "Jonathan Lura covenanted and was bap- 
tized." " John Bostwick and his wife renewed their covenant 
and y' children were baptized, June 16, '89." Sometimes the en- 
try is " renewed their baptismal covenant." On the margin under 
this vote, against a list of several names, are the words : — " These 
renewed Gov *." 

The " Stratford View " is correct in stating, that there is abund- 
ant evidence of practice under the Half-way plan, after the above 
vote, but we do not find a particle of evidence of the practice of 
this plan at any earlier date. Between the years of 1723 and 
1736, the names of about 150 pex'sons were entered as having 


owned the covenant, and having liad their children baptized. In 
1784, under Rev. Mr. Stehbins'adiuinstration, a quarter of a century 
after the Woodbury church had given up the practice, it seemed 
to have gained a new lease of power, and sucli admissions con- 
tinued at least as late as 1811. Mr. Stebbins styled these, admis- 
sions to "Special Privileges." The first entry preserved in Mr. 
Cliauncy's hand writing on the Stratford clnirch records is — " .Mem- 
bers added to the church of Christ in Stratford since 1675." 

Under this heading are admissions both before and after the 
date of 1680, and so, we suppose, this was the list in which were 
placed those who were received to the full communion. Tliough 
the First church records of Stratford are strangely meagre and 
imperfect, when we consider that they were kept by Mr. Chauncy, 
a finished scholar, who had the honor of bein^ elected "Rector'" 
or "President" of Yale College, yet if any intelligible inference at 
all can be drawn from them, they must mean what we here claim. 

" What now^, it will naturally be asked on reviewing the 'Con- 
troversy we have descibed," says the eloquent Scaeva,'' " what 
m.ade these people of the olden time so warm, and withal so bit- 
ter ?" Prudent, good, forbearing persons, that we suppose them 
to have been — not apt to "let their angry passions rise" — why in 
this matter so quarrelsome and so acrimonious ? 

" Well, in the first place, such, as upon them, is the usual effect 
of all religious dispute. The Odium Theologiaon has grown into 
a proverb ! Religion lies so nearest the hearts of men that they 
find it more difficult for this reason, we suppose, to endure diffe- 
rences of sentiment upon theological, than upon other subjects, 
and anger and pride of opinion, with the best of us, are, after all, 
the hardest passion-horses of our nature to bit and rein in. In 
the next place, a new, and in some important respects a different 
generation, as compared with the First Period of the colony, had 
sprung up. Formerly, there had been great harmony in the 
church. Though strictly Calvinistic in doctrine, and rigid in its 
exaction of duties and in its discipline, it had no sectaries. Its 
clergy walked in the most endeared friendship, like Moses and 
Aaron, with the Legislature. Its influence was rarely questioned, 
and almost unbounded. Now, many of the old ministers were 
dead, as was, particularly, Mr. Hooker, Quite a number had re- 
turned to England. The children of the First Period had become 

1 Stuart's Hartford in the Olden Time, p. 227. 


adults. The stamp of grand-fother, and grand-mother was upon 
most of their parents who survived. New emigrants had arrived, 
less strict in their views than those who preceded them. A new 
spirit was abroad — one in some material features more liberal, less 
submissive, more inquisitive, more progressive, but at the same 
time, under some aspects, less scriptural, perhaps, and less pure. 
It would of course seek, as it did, increased freedom in the ad. 
ministration of religion. Fewer, comparatively, were church 
communicants than formerly. Such, if of sober lives and conver- 
sation, would naturally strive, for themselves and for the sake of 
their children, to relax the rigid claims of the church. Many 
there were also who begun " notoriously to forget the errand into 
the wilderness " — many whom '' the enchantments of this world" 
led " Sensibly to neglect the primitive designs and interests of reli- 
gion as propounded by their fathers." All such would naturally 
look with indifference upon any struggle for the preservation 
of old ecclesiastical opinions and usages, or labor earnestly 
after emancipation from their restraints. Others there were also, 
many, as compared with former times, who were decided sinners — 
who neither sought the influences, nor cared for the duties of 
piety, but who, on the other hand, disrelished its ordinances, and 
even despised its demands. All such would of course like a quar- 
rel which tended to relax the strictness and weaken the force of 
Christian organization — would help it on — would relish the spec- 
tacle of religious parties pitted in the fiield of strife, 

" To prove their doctrines orthodox 
By Apostolic blows and knocks" — 

would rejoice even to see each casting upon the other frowns, 

" As ■when some black clouds 
"With Heaven's artillery frought, come rattling on. 
Over the Caspian." 

"Under all the circumstances now described, it is not strange 
that the controversy upon which we have dwelt, assumed in Hart- 
ford the phase it did. Reasoning doubtless from these circum- 
stances, but in their nascent state — when, like little clouds, they 
were 'no bigger than a man's hand' — Mr. Stone, singularly 
enough, at the very beginning of the Second Period in our histo- 
ry, in a time of profound calm, foretold the controversy and its 
violence. He foretold it deliberately, and in a sermon preached in 
1650. The churches, he s.tid, will ' come to be broken by schism, 


and sudden censures, and angry removes.' — ere they are aware, 
he added, there will be in them ' prayers against prayers, hearts 
against hearts, tears against tears, tongues against tongues, fasts 
against fasts, and horrible prejudices and underminings.' — How 
quick, alas, did his own church become the stage of all these tra- 

A graphic picture, truly, of those melancholy times, but hap- 
pily not experienced to the full in the church at Stratford. De- 
pletion was a sovereign remedy. 

So much in explanation and suppoi't of the " Woodbury View." 
We will now take a rapid review of all the record evidence in 
the case, introducing all original documents throwing light upon 
the controversy, that were not introduced into the first volume* 
and see if our view is sustained by it. The whole colony, and, 
indeed, all New England, was convulsed with these troubles. The 
General Court, even, could not avoid taking cognizance of the 
controversy, tliough it dealt prudently with the questions which 
were raised, and made earnest endeavors for a peaceful solution 
of them. Accordingly, we find the following act: — 

October Session, 1666. 

"This Court doth conclude to consid'' of some way or meanes to bring those 
Ecclesiasticall matters that are in difference in the Severall Plantations, to an 
issue, by stating some suteable accommodation and expedient thereonto, and doe 
therefore order that a Syn(|d be called to consider and debate those matters, and 
that y ^ Questions p ■■ seuted to y « Elders and Ministers that are called to this 
Synod shalbe publiquely disputed to an issue. And this Court doth confer 
power to this Synod, being met and constituted, to order and methodize the dis- 
putation soe as may most conduce, in their apprehension, to atteiue a regular 
issue of their debates. 

"This Court orders that all y ® Preaching Elders and Ministers that are or 
shalbe settled in this Colony at y® time of y* meeting of the Synod, shalbe sent 
to attend as members of y« Synod. This Court orders that Mr. Michel, Mr 
Browne, Mr. Sherman, and Mr. Glouer, shalbe desired, as from this Court, to 
assist as members of this Synod. 

"This court orders that all these Ministers or y® maior part of them meeting, 
shal proceed as a Synod, Provided that y« maior part of y« Preaching Elders 
of y« Churches be present. The Synod is to meet at Hartford, vpon the 3'' Wed- 
nesday in May. The Secretary is to send this order and y« Questions stated to 
each Minister in this Colony. Mr. Sum" Willys and the Sec''y are to write to 
j« Elders in y® Bay to request them to attend what is here desired. 

" This Court doth order that y® Questions stated by this Court shalbe those 
that shalbe considered and publiquely disputed in y« Synod next May. 

" It is desired by this Court and solemnly commended to y® Churches and peo- 
ple in this Jurisdiction, to suspend all matters controversall, and y® practice of 


them not formerly receaved and practised in y« Churches here vntil an orderly 
decision be given by y*" Synod in May next. 
The Questions to be disputed ; 

1. Whethei- federall holines or couen* interest be not y^ propper ground of 

2. Whether Comunion of Chs , as such, be not warrantable by the Word of 

3. Whether the adult seed of visible believers not cast out, be not true mem- 
bers and the subjects of Church watch. 

4. Whether ministerial! officers are not as truly bound to baptize the visible 
disciple of X' providentially settled amongst them, as officially to preach the 

5. Whether setled inhabitants in the Countrey, being members of other 
Churches, should have their children baptized amongst vs wthout themselves 
first ord''ly joyneing in Churches here. 

6. Whether membership in a perticular instituted Church be not essentially 
requisite Vnd'' the gospel to entitle to baptisme. 

7. Whether adopted children and such as are bought with money are cove- 
nant seed. 

8. Whether things new and weight}- may be manadged in a Church without 
concurrence of officers and consent of the fraternity of the same Church ; And 
if things are of conion concern', then how far the consent of neighbouring 
Church is to be sought for. 

9. Whether it doth not belong to y® body of a Towue collectively, taken 
joyntly, to call him to be their minister whom the Church shall choose to be 
their officer. 

10. Whether politicall and externall administration of Abraham's Coven* be 
not obligatory to gospel Ch'. 

11. Vnto whom shal such persons repaire that are grieved at any Church pro- 
cess or censure, or whether they nmst acquiesce in the Churches sentence vnto 
wcb they doe belouge. 

12. Whether the laying on of hands in ordination of Elders belong to Pres- 
biters or Brethren 

13. Whether the Church her invitation and election of an officer or preach- 
ing Elder necessitates the whole Congregation to sit down satisfied, as bound 
thereby to accept him as their Minister, though invited and settled without y« 
Townes consent. 

14. What is the Gospell way to gather or setle Cli*. 

16. From whom doe Ministers receave their comission to Baptise. 
16 Whether a Synod have a decisive power. 

17. Whether it be not justifiable by the Word of God that Civil Authority 
indulge Congregation'^ and Presbiterian Churches, and their discipline in the 
Churches." ^ 

Here is a statement of the various questions in dispute in the 
colony Not all these questions arose in every church. Now, 
how many of them arose at Stratford, and which were they ? 

' 2 Trumbull Conn. Col. Records, 63. 


We, who take the "Woodbury View," think it was the ques- 
tious of church communiou and baptism, that disquieted our 
fathers, somewhat inseparably joined witli questions 9 and 13, 
which inquire whether when a church invites and is satisfied with 
a minister the " whole congregation " of non-communicants are 
bound to accept him and " sit down satisfied " with him " they in- 
vited and settled w^'^out y" Towues consent." We think the 
church at Stratford had [previously chofen Mr. Chauncy in churcli 
meeting as their minister, and when met parish-wise, the town 
raised this issue, by its vote of June 1, 1666, though the church 
would have been better satisfied with its clioice under the old 
close corporation views, untrammeled by the conditions of that 

It is to be particularly noticed, that though the town, by its vote 
of June 1, 1666, gave Mr. Chauncy a " call," and though it w\as 
so far a compromise that two of each party were appointed a 
committee to present the action of the town to Mr. Chauncy, and 
though he accepted said " call," the truce did not last long, but 
the parties, later in the year, were able to " agree to disagree," 
and each have its own minister without offense to any. Accord- 
ingly, at a town meeting held Dec. 18, 1666, (p. ] 20,) the same 
year of the settlement, be it remembered — they voted to appro- 
priate one half of the "sequestered land reserved for the use of 
the ministry," and divide it equally between Mr. Chauncy and Mr. 
Bulkley, or whoever might be obtained by the dissentients. 

The general court at its Oct. Session, 1667, (p. 121,) approved 
of this agreement between the parties, conditioned that "all joynt- 
ly" should contribute to Mr. Chauncy's support, till the other 
party should obtain a minister. Early in 166S, the minority did 
obtain Mr. Walker. It is to be noticed in this connexion, that 
the General Assembly acted with entire impartiality between the 
parties, and treated both with equal consideration. 

As soon as the minority secured their minister, the committee 
appointed by the General Court proceeded, June 8, 1668, to set 
out the portion of land belonging to Mr. Chauncy, under the vote 
of Dec. 18, 1666, and on the 2d day of November, the same year, 
set out a like portion of the ministerial lands to Mr. Walker. Both 
these ministers signed an agreement in identical words, to return 
the lauds to the town, in case they gave up the work of the min- 


istry in the town. A copy of this agreement, taken from the Con- 
necticnt Archives, Ecclesiastical, I., 27, follows;' 

"Apr" 29^^1668: 

Att a lawfull Townsmeeting it was voated and agreed y* y* land 
being layd out according to y® agreem ' of y ® Town nppon Mr. 
Chancey his subscribing t6 y*pap* bearing Date herew^h signify- 
ing his Acceptance of ye s<^ land according to y*^ intent of y® s^ Act 
ye Committee shall surrendr to y® s*^ Mr. Chancey full and fi-ee 
possession of y® same according to ye s<J Act. baring 18*^ De- 
cemb"^ 1666 : And w^as any oth^ Minister is to have and enjoy land 
after ye same mann»' as Mr. Chahcey doth. It is by y^ Towne 
A'oated and agreed ye 29*^ Apr" 1668 y* before hee possess hee 
shall subscribe to y® same as Mr. Chancey doth y® name onlye dif- 

April 29th 1668: 

Whereas ye Oommittee appointed both by ye® Towne and 
Courte have layd out part of ye sequestred land both upland and 
meadow according to y^ Act & agreem* of ye Town bearing date 
Decemb'" 18*'^^ 1666 : Mr. Israeli Chancey taking possession of y* 
part granted to him in ye s* Act hee doth subscribing hereto de- 
clare his Acceptance of ye same according to ye intent of ye s*i Act. 
And wras there is in y* act something as Respecting laying down 
y® work of ye Ministry left dark, ye s^ Mr. Chancey doth hereby 
alsoe ingage y*' in case hee lays down or makes a tot^ll Cessation 
of y^ &^ work in this place then ye land shall by him be returned 
to y^ Town in like mann^' as if hee removed y® 8*^ June, 1668. 


Subscribed in ye p'^esence of 
Tho : Fayrechildb, ^ 

Wm. Curtiss, I 


Joseph Judson ) ' 

Richard Buttler, 
Joseph Hawley, j 

Henry Wakelyn, J 

Exactly Coppied ye 26th Novembr.- 1668. 

John Minor, Recordr- 

'The agreement of Mr. "Walker is dated (or subscribed) Nov. 2, 1668, and 
witnessed by John Hurd, Jeremiah Judson, Robt. Claris, Jolin Minor. 


At the May Session of the General Court, held May, 1668, we 
find it enacted : — 

"May 16th. This Court, in order to the promoateing and es- 
tablishing of peace in the churches and plantations, doe desire 
reverend Mr. James Fitch, Mr. Gershom Bulkley, Mr. Joseph El- 
liott and Mr. Samn Wakemau to meet at Saybrook, if Mr. Fitch 
can come there, if not, then at Norwich, vpon the eighth or ninth 
of June next — to consider of some expedient for our peace, by 
searching out the rnle and thereby cleareing up how farre the 
churches and people may walke together within themselves and 
one w*"^ another in the fellowship and order of the Gospel, not- 
withstanding some various apprehensions amouge them in matters 
of discipline respecting membership and hapttisme, c^c.'" 

We think a careful examination of all the documents in relation 
to the Stratford controversy will show, that its ever recurring 
theme was of matters " respecting membership and baptisme." 
This difficulty was fully stated and often referred to, while no 
other grievance, oi' object 'of paramount desire, was ever distinctly 
set forth. A vote passed at the May session, 1669, seems to throw 
light upon this view of the subject. 

" This Court, having seriously considered the great divisions amongst us about 
Chui'ch Government, for the honor of God, wellfare of the Churches and pre- 
servation of the pLil)hque peace so greatly hazarded, doe declare that wliereas 
the Congregational Churches in these partes for the generall of their profession 
and practice have hitherto been approved, we can doe no less than still approve 
and countenance the same to be wthout disturbance vntill better light in an orderly 
way doth appeare ; but yet forasmuch as sundry persons of worth for prudence and 
piety amongs t us are otherwise perswaded (whose welfare and peaceable sattis 
faction we desire to accommodate) this Court doth declare that all such persons 
being allso approved according to lawe as orthodox, and sound in the fundamen- 
talls of Christian religion, m&j have allowance of their persuasion and profes- 
sion in church ways or assemblies, wtliout disturbance." * 

In view of all that precedes, it may be well to recur to the 
views expressed on page 115, and see whether there be any ma- 
terial error contained in them It is objected in the " Stratford 
View," that the communication which is there recorded, and which 
is the earliest paper passing between the parties that has been 
preserved, is in reply to a former one from the church proper, 
which seems to have been lost. But, however this maybe, it does 
not alter the point in discussion ; for this communication, which 

1 2 Trumbull Conn. Col. Record, 84. 
' 2 Trumbull's Conn. Col. Record, 109. 


preceded the settlement of Mr. Chaiincy, most clearly sets forth 
the matter in dispute, i. e., the conditions or terms of church mem- 
bership and baptism. Language could hardly make it clearer. 
They claim that God " of his free and abundant grace hath taken 
us and our seed into covenant with himself and with his church 
and people, and hath given us an interest in himself to bee our 
God, and taken us to bee his own, giving us his own discipline and 
ordinances for our spirituall and eternall good, and owning us, 
hath given us equall rigid with yourselves in all his ordinances, 
his /trovidence also having settled us together in this plantation, 
that we might Jointly together worshipp him in all his ordinan- 
ces,'''' declaring their " earnest desire to enjoy communion in all 
of God^s ordinances,'''' and further " desiring also that wee and our 
posterity may be otoned as immediate members of the Church of 
Christ by you. At the same time they qualify this statement of 
their claims and desires, by saying " Wee desire that if any man 
be converted according to God's rules, and doe not hold forth re- 
pentance, then no such person so remaining may bee admitted to 
the commu7iion till heboid forth repentance." And again in their 
commuication of the next month, p. 116, they say, "we have for- 
merly made known our minds unto you in writing, as concerning 
our desire of commmiion in all God''s holy ordinances with yoic ; 
holding forth unto you by way of preference, our right unto them, 
from the free Grace of God among us, and externally sealing the 
privileeges of y® Covenant unto us." 

These petitioners want something that the church will not grant 
them. What is it ? Is it that the church shall change its form of 
government from the Congregational to the Presbyterian ? Is 
there a word to countenance this idea? No ! the very cry of their 
hearts is, give us church membership and baptism, for ourselves 
and our children. Give us communion in all of God's holy ordi- 
nances. It is our right. We desire church admission. You re- 
fuse it. We are willing you should examine us " in respect of our 
faytli and knowledge." We admit that the minister should " take 
particular knowledge of all those y* are to have communion in 
the tohole toorship of God.'" But we have " wholly and onely en- 
gaged ourselves to be the Lord's". We have been baptized. 
Therefore, we pray you, admit us as members of the church on 
probation, with no right as yet to come to the table of the 
Lord, subject to the watch, care and discipline of the church, 


and grant baptism to our children. Any other interpretation of 
these two letters would do violence to the language employed. 

What is the answer of the church, which they style " Church 
answer to the Men," p. 117, to such earnest and respectful re- 
quests ? It follows : — 

" Neighbours; whereas we received two writings, the sum of 
both u'JdcJi was, to hold forth your earnest desire as to communion 
in all the ordinances of Christ with us. These are to give you to 
understand that our apprehension concerning the order of disci- 
pline is the same that we have formerly manifested it to bee, both 
by our practice, and answer to your proposalls. And whereas you 
apprehend you have equal right with ourselves in all the ordi- 
nances of Christ in this place. These may certifie you at present 
that we are of a different apprehension from you in that matter. 
And whereas you desire that your posterity may : etc. : Wee 
would put you in mind that as yet the matter is in controversie 
among the learned and godly.'''' 

Thus stood the matter in dispute between the church and the 
dissentients on the 16th of April, 1666. Six week^ later, on the 
1st of June, of the same year, the town in parish meeting assem- 
bled passed the vote giving Mr. Chauncy the " call " of that date, p. 
119, to which allusion has so often been made in these pages. 
This "call" embraced, fully and clearly, all the principles of the 
"Half-way Covenant." Only six weeks before, the church had. 
informed the dissentients explicitly, that they had not an equal 
right in the ordinances of Christ with them, that the right of bap- 
tism for "posterity" was a matter "in controversie among the 
learned and godly," and generally, " wee have no such custome, 
nor the churches of Christ with whom we hold communion." 
Now every thing is reversed. What has caused this change in 
opinion? Have the scales lalleu from the eyes of the Church, 
and have its members become converted to the lately inadmissible 
theories, with a suddenness equalled only by the case of St. Paul ? 
Or, is the " Woodbury View " right, after all, in saying that the 
dissentient members of the church, united to the non-communicant 
freemen, constituted a majority in town meeting? If it is the 
church that has changed, why is it that the " difference" still con- 
tinues, insomuch that in December of the same year, within six 
mouths of such harmonious action, they have agreed to separate 
and divide the ministerial lands between Mr. Chauncy and some 
minister -whom the dissentients should settle over themselves ? 


Why is it, on that theory, that the church, in the face of tlie 
" call " to Mr. Chauncy repudiates the Half-way Covenant system 
till 1680, while the Second church practices it from the moment of 
its organization, in 1670. 

A deposition taken in 1671, concerning events transacted in 
1667, would go to show, by inference at least, that the dissenti- 
ents did not obtain the church privileges they desired, and so they 
refused to pay Mr. Chauncy, according to the terras of the same 
agreement, thus seeming to balance a breach of the contract on 
one side by a breach of it on the other. It will be remembered 
they were, by their "call" of 1066, according to their ability, to 
contribute for the " comfortable subsistence " of Mr. Chauncy, 
The paper is as follows : — 

" At a town meeting a little after the General Courte in May, in the year 1667, 
when Mr. Hawley did present a petition to the said General Courte respecting 
the Towns meeting for the laying out of the lands for the ministers : Joseph 
Judson did say, in one town meeting at that time, when Mr. Hawley did present 
the petition. — Mr. Hawley did make a complaint agaynst the Towne for not pay- 
ing Mr. Chauncey, and he had done the towne great wrong in soe doing. Mr. 
Hawley was absent when Joseph Judson spake these words ; but he being in- 
formed of what he had spoeke agaynst him, Avheu he came in Joseph Judson 

replyed unto Mr. Hawly in these word-s, — did not Mr. Gold say to you, that the 
Towne had not payed Mr. Chauncey, and you answered yes ; then this was ask- 
ed Joseph Judson, is yes a complaint, and he answered, if I make account, it is. 

Joseph Judson further added, at the same time, when Mr. Hawley presented 
the petition to the Generall Courte above said Towns agreement had bine set- 
tled, had it not bine for Mr. Hawley ; for the Secretary had drawn up a wright- 
ingfor that purpose; and he had it to shew and, eayth he, one of the bench said 
to Mr. Hawley, will you be willing that the land shall be layd out to them for 
their minister, as you would have the other part to you, but Joseph Judson closed 
up — with this he answered nothing, but was silent; then the writing was crost 
and the matter was layd aside. Mr. Hawley answered ensign Judson, that is false 
which you say : then Lieut. Curtice asked Joseph Judson yf there was any more 
than one writing drawn up at that Courte by the Secretary, for the settling 
of the Town's agreement, and Joseph Judson answered not that I know of: 
then Lieut, made this return to him, it cannot be what you have sayd now, for I 
was present in the Courts, with many others that are here, when one wrighting 
was drawn for that purpose, and there was noe petition presented there at 
that time, and we know that one of the bench sayd, the naked truth is, yf you 
grant them any thinge, you must grant them a Presbyterian minister ; (hen dep- 
uty Gouvn'' we must forbeare, for we have sent for the Elders to consider about 
that thinge, and the matter was layd aside upon this account. John Briusmead, 
Sen., and John Peat, Jun., have attested upon oath to this testimony. 

Before me, WM. CURTICE, Decemr. 12, 1671. 

This is a true coppie, according to the original. Wm. Hill, Gierke." 

* State Archives, Ecclesiastical, 1 vol. 37. 


From the foregoing it would seem that liigh words passed be- 
tween the parties, and some of the Court were becoming wearied 
with the dispute, and deemed it imi^ossible to heal the differences 
without granting them the right to have a minister of their own 
clioice. Accordingly, the vote passed at the October session 
1667, approving of the town vote to divide the ministerial lands, 
orders tlie freemen to contribute to Mr. Cliauney's support, '■'•till 
there be another minister at Stratford there cohabiting^'' 

Tiie dissentients obtained the services of Kev. Zechariah A\^alk- 
er, early in 1668, and though dissensions and disputes still con- 
tinued, doctrinal ditferences were never again discussed, tliough 
•there were frequent allusions in their papers to the subject matter 
of their former disputes. The papers passing between the par- 
ties after this date, referred principally to union meetings, and 
the way in which they should enjoy their joint property, the meet- 
ing-house. They had scarcely got a iirm foot-hold in the wilder- 
ness, and completed tl;eir house before these dissensions begun 
and it would be an enormous burden, in their then impo\eiished 
state, to build a new house of worship. Hence the earnestness 
with which the Second church insisted on a joint use, or a use in 
common, of their church edifice. Their first proposition to Mr. 
Chauncy's party, therefore, was, that Mr. Walker should preach 
one part of each Sabbath in the meeting-house, and Mr. Chaancy 
the other part, thus joining the two congregations. 

The first church, in its reply to this j^ropositiou, (p. Vll) speaks 
of their " difierent persuasions as to order in the house of God,'' 
and afiirms '' that though our differences be not about " funda- 
mentalls and essenlialls of faith and Christian religion, yet it 
reacheth to the fundamentalls of order in church aclmi)iistrations^ 
which are styled, Ezek. xliv, 5, " The comings in and goings forth 
of the sanctuary ; " and, " we doe account ourselves bound by 
covenant to that order and dispensation of the worship of God 
that hath hitherto been peaceably practiced in this church and 
other churches of Christ holding communion with us ; " that is, 
as we say, the " ancient way " practised under Blakeman, and 
such churches as those presided over by Hooker and Stone, when 
no half-way theory disturbed the Christian serenity of God's peo- 
ple. They further say, "as to Mr. Walker, he is one whom we 
desire to honour and esteem in the Lord ; yet wee cannot see how 
two, though godly, can walke together (especially two ministers) 
except they be agreed." They therefore decide '' to retain and 


maintain those dis2oensations which we have so dearly bonght, and 
so long enjoyed without interruption." 

It was the church administrations that they could not consent 
to change — something connected witli the interior workings of 
the church. They were asked simply to unite services with a 
minister whom they honored and esteemed^ but their theories of 
membersliip and baptism were such, that they could not consent 
to give such slight countenance to the minority view, as would be 
involved in the innocent act of uniting " in preaching and prayer," 
as advised by the General Court. It was impossible, it would 
seem, for the older communicants to unite in adorations and sup- 
plications to Deity, when in an adjoining pew sat an unconverted ' 
man, who had solemnly owned his covenant, and promised to 
strive to become "perfect in the law," and by that means had be- 
come entitled to every church privilege except, that he could not 
come to the communion, nor hold church office. It may seem to 
us, at this day, as illiberal to slam the gates of heaven in the face 
of those who professed to be seekers after divine light and divine 
truth — and force them to seek church room in the wilderness, 
while their own hands had helped to build a commodious church, 
large enough to contain an assembly of all the inhabitants. 

In their next communication, dated Dec. 7, 1668, (p. 123,) the 
church uiges, as a reason against joint services, that though Mr. 
Walker is " hired, accommodated and settled, and in all resj^ects 
equally privileged with Mr. Chauncy, and preaching part of his 
worke for which hired," yet " wee rather tremble to thinke that 
we should deviate from any rule of Xt and our ancient pattens, • 
and undervalue our ancient Lawes and Law-makers, then as some 
tremble to thinke .what will be the end of separation." Besides, 
they say, " rule forbids us, which gives a church poioer to choose 
her own feeders. Mr. Walker was never chosen by us to be our 
feeder ; " and " how each minister can vindicate his own persua- 
sion, and differend Administrations be cari-yed on together, and 
no disturbance, each to other, but peace be preserved, we see not." 

Different administrations is here referred to, which are, we think, 
their ''federal holiness" and half-way covenant plans. 

In reply to this, Mr. Walker's party speaks of " former differ- 
ences," (p. 124,) and of the provision, by the agreement, for each 
party to enjoy without disturbance the " ordinances of God ac- 
'cording to s"" different persuasions," avowing their inability to 
understand how " meeting or sitting together in ye same house, or 


seat," or "conjunctiou in fifFection " could in any way interfere 
with their " different persuasions " iu relation to 'f ye ordinances of 
God," They close by giving notice that they shall occupy the 
house one part of the next Sabbath, and hear their own minister, 
giving Air, Chauncy's party the choice of the part of the day they 
would prefer for their own service. The consequence of this no- 
tice was, that Mr. Walker was allowed two hours for his services, 
between the two services of Mi-. Chauncy. 

In their statement of claims to tlie General Court in May, 1669, 
Mr. Walker's party says, (p. 128,) "wee have, at least, an equall 
interest in y® publick meeting-house, with our present ojjposites, 
'and desire no other improvement of it than what religion and law 
aUoweth us." This would hint toward the relative strength of the 
two parties, while a petition to the same session from the " church 
of Christ at Stratford, with many of the inhabitants," (p. 128,) 
shows a list of forty-five names. At this session, the Court gave 
Mr. Walker liberty to occupy the meeting-house three hours 
each Sabbath, in the middle of the day, between Mr. Chaun- 
cy's two services, till the October session, and advised both par- 
ties to choose, " some indifferent pei'son of piety and learning to 
compose their differences." Their " differences " at this time, so 
far as the record shows, was confined exclusively to the way and 
manner in which they should " enjoy the use of their meeting- 
house." At least, this was the understanding of Mi*. Walker's 
party. It will be seen by the next paper in order, of which a 
copy follows, that the First church endeavored to raise other 
issues, and to deny the only questions that had hitherto been- dis- 
cussed. They allege that the '' diflerences " are " matter of civil 
concernment," Avhen, during all their disputes, the burden of dis- 
cussion had been about enjoying the ordinances of God, and not 
one recorded word appears in legard to civil differences on either 
side before ; — 

" June 13, '69. 
" Neibours : 

" We are so far_from slighting Godlj advice from Godly magistrates, that 
we honour botli, and are as ready as yourselves to attend it, according as we con. 
ceive the full latitude and compasse of it reachetii. Therefore, for the advice 
itselfe, we would consider it: First from the reason of it, and that is differences . 
Secondly, from the end of it, and that is to settle a peace amongst us, and^ 
Thirdl}', it is serious advice, and that appears as from the end, so from ye qualifi- 
cation of ye persons to be chose for this end, viz : indifferent, godly, and learned, 
and then the work for these so qualified is, to compose our differences and to set- 


tie a peace or agreement. Our worke, therefore, we conceive is to to state all our 
diiferences, so as the end may bo attained, and that we conceive is your worke in 
the first place to doe (if you please). But first we will tell you what is not our 
difference nor worke for advice, viz: a full improvement of our minister and ad- 
ministrations ; all our priviledges, and libertyes, formerly settled and now con. 
firmed, are no matter for us to take advice in, and we presume you so believe ; 
therefore we would be as careful to attend the Courts act, as their advice, and 
therefore not slight eyther. 

If it be said what are our differences ? we conceive they are matter of civil 
concernment. We have two reasons from, yourselves. First, that you charge us 
with irregularity in the election of Town officers, as appears by your protest ; we 
confesse if so this is worke for Arbitration. Secondly, from your presentation of 
a paper of testimonyes at Hartford, before some magistrates at the time of the 
Genii Court, these we are willing should be considered, though we had thought 
our former advice had left us ground of agreement, if it had been received. But, 
3dly, as to ourselves, (we conceive,) we have cause to desire that we may agree 
to choose meet Arbitrators, according to advice, that may judge of our damages 
and determine a reparation of them, which you cannot but know are great, and 
occasioned by your unjust molesting of us; this being the worke, (and if you 
will not slight the Courts advice,) we d sire you would name your men, and then 
agree upon time and place, and so shall we." ^ 

The Second church denies that "civil concernments" have an)'' 
thing to do witli the case, and insist that it is their " ecclesiastical 
differences" which they desired to have settled by the arbitrators, 
though if there is any thing else to be adjusted, they are willing 
that too shall be decided. They propose as follows : — 

"Beloved neighbours: we persuade ourselves j-ou cannot be altogether insen- 
sible of ye uncomfortable differences yt have been so long among us, and still re- 
main uncomposed ; nor can you be unmindfuU of ye serious advice of ye Hon._ 
Gen. Court, recommended to us, viz : yt that in order to ye healing of our differ- 
ences, we should jointly make choice of some indifferent persons of learning and 
piety, to indeavoui (at least,) to reunite us, and to compose and issue our present 
differences : We therefore, in compliance with the advice and with respect to ye 
end therein proposed, do declare our readiness to join with you in ye attending 
of such a hopeful and probable meanes, for the healing of our so imcomfortable 
breaches, and do earnestly request your concurrence with us therein y*' (if it be 
possible there may be a renewall of peace and love among us). You may (per- 
haps) persuade yourselves that your case is so clear that you need not any advice 
concerning it, and we on the other hand may as readily believe yt both reason 
and equity are ingaged on our side ; but this we can easily be convinced of, yt 
persons not interested in a case, are in a greater capacity of a right judgment con- 
cerning it; than those that are on ye one hand or on the other so nearly con- 
cerned. As for any difference among us about civill affaires, which ye honoured 
court hath never had any thorough inspection into, we cannot think it to be 

^ State Archives, Ecclesiastical, 1 vol, 


mainly, if at all respected or intended in your advice, (though some of yourselves 
in some former discourses between us, have wholly restrained your advice there- 
unto,) for who can rationally conjecture, yt ye worship would advise us to make 
use of a councell, and that of such persons as yy describe, for yy knew not what ? 
Yet, nevertheless, we are content yt any such difference among us shall be sub- 
mitted to the judgment of such a councell; but the main things, which we sup- 
pose were aimed at by ye court, and wherein we desire ye help of a councell, are 
our ecclesiasticall concernments, and particularly our differences about the car- 
rying on of ye worship of God among us ; though we desire not to exclude 
anything yt may be thought of. which is causall to disturbance and difference 
amongst us. If, therefore, you so far respect the advice of ye court, or ye at- 
tainment of peace among ourselves, as to comply with us in such an indeavor, be 
pleased to signify your minds unto us as soon as convenience will allow, yt we 
may mutually apply ourselves to the prosecution thereof: if otherwise you con- 
clude, we request you by y® seasonable communicating of your conclusion, to 
discharge us from further expectation. July 28, 1669. 

Zachariah Walker, 

Joseph Judson, 

John Minor, in ye name of ye rest concerned with us. 

Stratford Towue proposal." ^ 

The next jjaper is from Mr. Chauncy's party, and only shows 
that the two parties were not agreed as to what " differences " 
the General Court had advised them to leave to arbitration. The 
Chauncy party claimed it was " civil dilferences," while the Walk- 
er party claimed it was " Ecclesiastical difierences." The paper 
explains itself: — 

" To ensigne Joseph Judson, to be communicated to the rest. 
" Loving Neibours : 

" "We have received a paper in the name, but know not whither with the 
consent of the rest. The names and consent of them that are called the rest, we 
judge rational that we should be acquainted with, and shall expect it before any 
further treaty with you. In this your paper you signify your desire of our con- 
currence with you in seeking to counsel, in order to the attendance of the Hon''. 
Gennll courts advice for the healing of our differennes, and ye renewal of Love 
and peace amongst us. But when we consider the further contents of your pa- 
per, together with what hath bin propounded unto you by some of us, (of which 
you might have had a copy,) it seemeth our greatest difference is what is 
difference ? "We say it is our civil concernments, not ecclesiastical, and have 
given our reasons. — You say not civil, but ecclesiastical — about the carrying on 
the worship of God amongst us : If you please, we would consider your rea- 
sons as they present themselves to us in your paper. The first, Negative ex- 
prest, the second, aiSrmative implyed. The Negative hath two parts; first, sight; 
secondly, knowledge. And so your sense is this — the Hon''. Genii court would not 

^ State Archives, Ecclesiastical, Vol. 1. 



advise us to put our civil differences to the judgment of indifferent, pious, learn- 
ed men, because they had not a through inspection into them, and knew them not. " 
An. True, they knew them not throughly; yet in part they did. And so, (ac- 
cording to your manner of arguing) no prudent man seeing two neighboures at 
differences, and knowing but part of y'' difference, can rationally advise them to 

put their matters to references and not goe to Law. Tou know how to apply 

it. 2. Affirmative strongly implyed, the court did not know our civils therefore 
not advise us, the court did know our differences as to ecclesiastics, therefore at 
them they aimed in their advise. An. It is true, indeed, they did hear a great 
deal, and knew our differences, and (yourselves know) provided a Law for the 
peace of you and us, therefore could have no aim in their advise to ecclesiasticks : 
unlesse you will say the Court indeed hath made a Law, and hath given out to 
this Church a particular charter or grant; but have advised us to leave it to a 
counsel to alter it. But we say further, the court could have no aime in their ad- 
vise that we should leave our ecclesiastical concernments to the judgment of a 
counsel, when themselves have given liberty to yourselves as to us, to enjoy our 
own persuations; for would yourselves be willing to leave that liberty to the ad- 
vice of a counsel, if they should advise you to be of our persuations. If so we 
understand you had that advice already ; and for our parts in the matters of 
God's worship (wherein you say our difference lyes) our desires are to take the 
counsel of him who is called Wonderfull, and, if you can, we cannot be so shght 
in them as to put them to Arbitration : But we mind one thing more in your 
paper to which we adhere, viz : persons not interested in a case, are in a greater 
capacity of a right judgment concerning it than those that are on the one hand 
or the other so nearly concerned, and such for our civil differenses we hope to 
meet you with : And if still you say our difference is in the worship of God, 
shew us iu what particulars, and wherein we misse the rule, and so by discharging 
your duty, you will engage our affections, and have greater peace in the enjoy- 
ment of your own persuasions by yourselves, which we desire not to hinder you 
of Neibours, we must needs tell you, tliough we had almost forgot to tell you, 
that the paper we received from you neither reacheth your promise (as we tooke 
it up) nor our expectation, viz: a stating our differences in order to counsel 
And therefore we adde the following questions which we desire a plain answer to, 
that we may not be always beating the ayr, but come to some conclusion. 

Q. 1. If your differences be Ecclesiastical, then what are they? 

Q. 2. If such differences be found from whom doe they arise, or who acca 
sioned them. 

Q. 3. Of what standing or continuance are they ? 

Q. 4. Whether have you found such men as are uninterested in such differ- 
ences ? If so, 

Q. 5. Who are they ? 

Q. 6. Whether if advise should lead to the laying down of your persuasions, 
and acting contrary to them, you could submit to it ? Upon a plain answer fo 
these questions we shall come to a conclusion. 

5th, (6th,) '69. Israel Ghauncy, 

Philip Grove. In the na-ne 
and with the consent of the church and several of our Neibors." ' 

' State Archives, Ecclesiastical, 1 Vol. 


The next paper, from the First church party, explains itself: — 

" For ensigne Joseph Jud8on, to be communicated to the rest : 

Sept. 10, '69. 
Loving Neibours: 

Wee are informed of a meeting of Revd. Elders at New Haven, upon the 
sLxteenth day of the Instant, September; and have thought good seriously to ac- 
quaint you thei'ewith, it being so good a providence to reach the end advised un- 
to, which yet hath not bin attended ; though for our parts we have shewed our 
readiness. Now, if you please to make use of the opportunity, in presenting 
anything relating to our differences, we desire you will please to let us under- 
stand your mindes, that so we may have some to goe along with you, where we 
doubt not but you and we shall have counsel that may be suitable to our con- 

Israel Chauncey, 
Phillip Grove." » 

The next communication, and, so far as has beea preserved, the 
last but one between the contestants, is from the Walker party, 
addressed to the General Court at its Oct. Session, 1669. It ex- 
plains itself, and gives a full resume of the matters in dispute, 
since they had liberty from the Court to have their own minister. 
No epitome can do it justice, and it is given entire, that all may 
see the statement of fact and style of its reasoning : — 

" Whereas it hath pleased ye Hon. Genii Courte to propound ye advice to y« 
Inhabitants of Stratford yt for the healing of the differences yt are amongst us, 
there should be a councell mutually chosen of pious and learned men ; And we, 
in observance of yr s'^ advise have proffered our concurrence with our neibours 
in, improveing of such a councell, but have had no such return from them, as in 
reason wee might expect; but instead thereof, a positive rejection of our motion • 
wee thought good to present to the Hon. Courte some animadversions uppon the 
return we have received from them. 

'■ As for yr introduction, wherein they acquaint us yt they have received a pa- 
per in the name, but know not whether with the consent of the rest — we cannot 
but wunder yt our neighbours should make so great a distinction when there is so 
little, or rather no difference. When God separated ye tribe of Levi, to bless in 
his name, Deut. 10, 8, and 20, 5, was it then a rationall question whether ye ben- 
ediction was with divine consent? When David sent his messenger to greet Na- 
ball in his name, hee thought it not needful to adde yt it was with his consent ; 
nor was Naball such a churl as to object ye want of it : 1 Sam. 25, 5. When 
David blessed the whole congregation of Israeli in ye name of ye Lord, there 
was not a man amongst them yt moved the question whether it were with the 
Lord's consent, 2 Sam. 6, 18. When our blessed Savior tells us, in Matt. 18, 20, 
that were two or three are gathered in his name, he is in the midst of them, who 

' State Archives, Ecclesiastical, 1 Vol. 


can think that his consent is not therein understood ? Many such like Scripture 
instances might be given to prove y* these are consonant expressions and of like 
import. But they proceed, and tell us yt they think it rationall yt they 
should bee acquainted -with your names, and consent of them that are called the 
rest, and that they shall expect it before any further treaty with us, <fec. But is 
it rationall yt we must give them each of our names, and produce a letter of at. 
torney impowring such as act in behalf of the rest : And is it not at the same 
time as rationall that they which demand that of us, should do the like them- 
selves? are two names subscribed to yours sufficient, with your bare word that 
it is with the consent of the Church, and are not three, these subscribed to ours 
as suflScient, with as much assurance that they were imployed by the rest ? Are 
you all soe notable, or so notorious, yt you neede no mention of your names, and 
we, on the other hand, so obscure and unknown that we must bee imagined to 
be, unless they have our names in writing: But not to stay here. They further 
acknowledge our manifestation of our desires to attend the courts advice in seek- 
ing to counsell, in order to the healing of our differences, what then hinders, yt it 
should not be attended? The reasone you give to the contrary, are the conside- 
ration of first the contents of our paper, (wherein we declare ourselves willing to 
submitt any differences amongst us to the Judgment of a councell, and, 2nd, 
of what had been propounded to us by some of yourselves, viz : to make choyce 
of a councell to Judge our civill differences, and lett alone our ecclesiastical dif- 
ferences, which were the main things upon which we disagreed : uppon these 
considerations they are pleased to inform us yt it seemeth (we suppose to none 
but themselves) yt our greatest difference is what is difference: if yr were guilty 
of any good reason it might deserve a rationall answer, but it is as good as it will 
bee, onely by the way it is worthy the noting, yt ye same persons yt have by 
word of mouth professed yt they know of no ecclesiastical differences amongst 
us, and yt in the writing doe affirm yt their greatest difference amongst us is 
what is difference, or in other words what it is to differ, doe yet with all profess 
that our differences are such that they cannot joyn with us in any act of worship, 
how they will reconcile those we may soon inquire : then they can rationally an- 
swer. Whereas they subjoin their and our opposite apprehensions concerning 
the differences amongst us intended in the courts advise ys yt onely civil affayres 
are therein intended, and thot ecclesiastical concernments were maynly respected. 
It may remain with the Hon courte to give the sense of their own advice. As 
for the antick analysis of our reasons for our apprehension in the above sd re- 
spect, it will not be worth inck and paper to write out an answer thereunto, onely 
one thing therein must not be wholly omitted, viz: yt aspertion they cast uppon 
us, yt after our manner of our arguing, (in our reasons so prove that our ecclesi- 
astical concernments were maynly intended in yt courts advise). No prudent 
man seeing two neibours at difference and knowing but part of their difference, can 
rationally advise y^to put the matter to reference, and not goe to law ; in answer 
whereunto, lest it be considered whether none but pious and learned men are 
competent judges of ordinary differences betwixt neibour and ueibour, we are 
ready to think that civill honest men, though unlearned, might serve their turn. 
Whereas they are pleased to argue yt the courte, in their advice, could have no 
aim that we should leave our ecclesiastical concernments to ye judgment of a 
counsell, seeing they have given liberty to us as well as our neibours to injoy our 
own persuasions, and wee (as they suppose) would be unwilling to leave yt lib- 


berty to the advice of a councell, if they should advise us to be of the same per- 
suasion with them, our neibours. As to the first pretense of argument herein 
imployed, we answer, that though the court hath given hbberty to them in our 
different apprehensions, yet we persuade ourselves that it would be no unwell- 
eome news to the court to hear, that our differences were well issued, and we 
united. As for the latter argument, from our unwillingness to leave our libberty 
to a councell, if they should advise us to be of different persuasions, wee cannot 
think that it was the thing aimed at by the court in propounding a councell, that 
they should tell us of what persuasion we should he, but rather yt they should 
advise how we might manage our different persuasions so as, notwithstanding 
them, to mayntain love and unity amongst us. And whereas they further adde 
yt we have bin allready advised to be of your persuasion, we must profess yt we 
never yet knew the man yt was so absurd and irratiouall as to give us yt advice : 
Whereas they furttier inform us of their desires to take the councell of him who 
is called Wonderful, let it be considered whether that be wholly inconsistent with 
taking advice from pious and learned men ; if so, the courte is more to blame 
than we, for advising thereunto, nor can their worships be excused in the next 
clause, wherein our neibours tell us, that if we can, they cannot be so slight in 
matters of worship as to put them to arbitration ; for we have desired nothing 
of them but which the courte advised unto. So if we are guilty, slightness for 
offering to attend the courts advice, vV is the courts for propounding it? But 
they further tell us of one thing in our paper to which they adhere, viz : that 
persons not interested in a case are the fittest judges concerning it ; but if they 
adhere to this, as they pretend, what means the following expressions : that such 
for our civill differences they hope to meet us with, but why not for our ecclesi" 
astical differences likewise? Are not men as lyable to pride, self-love and par- 
tiality, in ecclesiastical as in civill differences ? But their will is sufficient. 
They go on, that if we affirm, (what they know to be true,) yt our grand differ- 
ence is about the worship of God, we should show them wherein they miss their 
rule, but what shall we gett yt ? They tell us we shall thereby discharge our 
duty, engage 'their affections and have the greater peace in ye injoyment of our 
own persuasions, by ourselves ; but it seems we shall not attayn their company 
in conjunction with us, notwithstanding : no, though should most convincingly shew 
them that wherein they differ from us, they miss their rule, yet still we must not 
hope for any more, but a peaceable injoj^ment of our own persuasion by our- 
selves: as for them, it seems they are resolved in their way, hit or miss, and 
will rather separate from their rule, than conjoin with us. But to proceed, they 
further inform us (as a thing by no means to be omitted) that our writing did not 
answer their expectation, nor our promise as they took it up: as for their ex. 
pectation, we must let it alone to themselves to explain what it was. As for any 
promise they had from us, we know not that in the least we have fayled to ac- 
complish it. But for a conclusion, they are pleased to propound an halfe-dozen 
of questions, uppon our answer to which they promise to come to some conclu- 
sion. But let it be remembered yt they have denyed us any further treaty till 
they have a list of our names, and something to manifest the consent of all our 
party with any imployed by them: so that unless we will answer their insolent 
demands, uppon that account, an answer to their questions will be of little value* 
And farther, lest it be considered yt if our proffering to attend the courts advice, 
in submitting our differences to the judgment of a counsel!, doth ingage us to 


answer those questions of yours, certainly the courts advising us to so doe doth 
much more ingage them to make their responsive part of the catechize unto y' 
worships ; therefore we shall wholly refuse it. Some time after our receipt of 
yours, we received another paper, inviting us to a counsell or meeting of Elders at 
New Haven. But how much reason, ingenuity, or verity y"" paper contayns, is 
worth y'' inquiry. First, they tell us they thought good to acquaint us with such 
a meeting, as a good providence in order to the attaynment of the end aimed at 
in y« courts advice, and yet themselves have before, once and again, peremto- 
rily refused to submitt any ecclesiastical differences amongst us to the judgment 
of a counsel!. Again they desire, if we will make use of that opportunity, that 
we should acquaint them. 

This is a true copy according to the originall, examined by me. 

Mr. Wm. Hill, Clarke." 

The result of tliis application to the October Session, 1669, was 
a resolution advising the First church to comply with the desire 
of Mr. Walker's party, to have union services, allowing Mr. Walk- 
er to preach one part of each Sabbath. The church did not heed 
this advice, but excluded them from the church entirely. No 
more appears of record till Sept. 29, 1670, following the organiza- 
tion of the new church, by consent of the neighboring churches, 
May 5, 16*70, when a communication was addressed to the First 
Church, (p. 130,) sadly complaining of the treatment they had re- 
ceived, by which they had been made such " causeless sufferers," 
and the " house of God and religion suffered as well as we " — 
asking " that you would so far 'bethinke yourselves what injury 
you have done us in excluding us from the place of publick wor- 
ship, wherein you know our right to be as good as yours, and how 
unwilling yourselves would have beene to be so dealt with, — as to 
suffer us, without any molestation or disturbance, to return to the 
enjoyment of that our right in the meeting-house, therein to have 
the improvement of our minister one part of each Sabbath." If 
they wished " to oppose and resist so rationall and just a propo- 
sition as this," then they proposed to divide the town, and sepa- 
rate, " that so, by the removall of one party, there may at length 
be a cessation of those so long lasting troubles that have been 
amongst us." They also gave notice that they should, in case no 
arrangement was made, apply to the General Court. They did so 
apply, at the Oct. Session, 1670, and a committee was appointed to 
*' view the lands desired, and consider the proposition, but nothing 
was effected by the committee, nor was any report made. There 

' State Archieves, Ecclesiastical, 1 Vol. 


is no record of any other action in the matter, on the part of the 
autfiorities of the Colony, til] May, 1672, when, as we have seen, 
on the advice of Gov. Winthrop, Mr. Walker and his church were 
granted lands, and allowed to found a new town at Pomperaug. 

The Second church of Stratford was organized under Rev. Zech- 
ariah Walker, as pastor, May 5, 1670. A clear light is thrown 
upon the nature of the dissensions for the last three preceding 
years, when in Oct. 1667, the dissentients had been granted au- 
thority to have a minister for themselves. He says, in the open- 
ing of his history of the Second church : — 

" After great indeavours for an uaion wth ye former chh., and much patience 

therein, wn long experience had too plainly evidenced yr irremovable resolution 
to oppose an union wth us, though nothing had appeared of any such great dis- 
tance ill our apprehensions, as might be inconsistent y'with : All hopes of suc- 
cess in our indeavours being at length taken away, we thought ourselves bound 
to seek after ye injoyment of ye ordinances of God in a distinct society, finding 
ye door shut agst. or attaining it in any other way : we did yrfore, first more pri- 
vately (by reason of ye great opposition wi'wth we were attended) set apart a 
day of solemn humiliation, (fee." 

Mr. Walker says, (p. 131,) that nothing of any "such great dis- 
tance " between their several opinions existed, as might prevent 
" an union." We should also think not, for since the Oct. Session 
of the General Court in 1667, there had been no matter of discus- 
sion between them, except to determine whether they could agree 
on joint services in " preaching and prayer," in their joint prop- 
erty, the meeting-house, and failing in that, to see if they could 
agree on separate hours of the day in which each party might attend 
the services of its own minister. The First church was unbending 
throiighout. They would not have union meetings. They would not 
consent that Mr. Walker should occupy the meeting-house either 
part of the Sabbath. By the order of the Court they must not dis- 
turb the First church. They must obtain their rights peaceably. 
The First church insisted they would be disturbed, if the Second 
church occupied the house either part of the day, and so they kept 
them out. There was no matter of" great distance" at issue, but hav- 
ing the advantage, they would not accord them even their just rights. 

It is to be noted, that the 7ieio Stratford church was organized 
by " y® approbation of ye chhs. of Fairfield, Killingworth and 
ye neio church^X Windsor," What was this new church at Wind- 
sor ? Was it formed on the Hooker and Stone plan, or was it 
formed as a result of the differences there in regard to " church 
membership and baptism ?" 


Thus have we carefully examined, and discussed each recorded 
trace of the facts connected with the church dissentions at Strat- 
ford, with calmness, and with the earnest desire to arrive at the 
truth. As the accuracy of the former conclusions of the writer 
had been called in question, after they had passed into several his- 
torical works, and become embedded, so to speak, in the history 
of the State, the duty to re-examine the subject became imperative. 
The reader now has before him, in the two volumes of this work, 
every thing now extant that has been recorded concerning this 
controversy, so far as we know or believe, as well as the differing 
theories of the " Stratford " and "WoodUury Views," and each 
one can form his conclusions for himself While the writer, from 
his renewed examination, has only become more confirmed in the 
theory, that the subject matter of the disputes at Stratford re- 
lated principally to the Half-way Covenant system and cognate 
theories, and not to simple differences about adopting the modes 
of Congregationalism or Presbyterianism, he will in no wise be 
disturbed if others should come to a different conclusion. The 
truth of history required him to present the evidence, and that 
being done, his responsibility in this regard is ended. 



Accuracy of American History ; Characteristics of the Fathers ; Free 
Home-lots ; Comments on the " Fundamental Articles ;" Lower Nonnewauo 
J'alls; Old Mill-stones; Bethel Rock; The First Meeting-house; Sec- 
ond Meeting-house; Sabbath-day Houses; Church Customs ; Bear-hill and 
Ragland Sheep Pasture ; Drumming for Church Meetings ; First Arti- 
zans ; Wooden Shoes ; Ride and Tie ; Going to Church ; Iron Kettle ; 
Quassapaug Scene ; Reflections. 

HERE is one peculiarity in the his- 
tory of our nation which applies to 
no other. We go back to the ear- 
liest days, and record all the mi- 
nute events of our own origin. 
There is no nation except, perhaps, 
the Jewish, that undertakes to do 
this. We record the annals of our 
time, step by step, noting every 
event as it occurs, with great particularity and accuracy. " No one 
of the present nations of Europe can tell a word of their earliest an- 
cestors ; or even specify the century in which their territory was 
first taken possession of by them ; but all is as involved in obscurity 
as are the years before the flood." Scarcely more is known of them 
than of the location of the Garden of Eden. All their early history 
is a mithical period, and one scarcely knows where their authentic 
annals begin. But it is far different with our early history as a na- 
tion. We know the men who said they would be free, and who laid 
the foundation of this mighty republic. We know whence they 
came, the spot to which they came, the object for which they 
came, and the year, the month, and the day they took possession." 
They began at once to make, and require of their officers the 
keeping of records of all events of interest in their independent, 
civil communities. Neglect was punished with severe penalties. 
" Our nation owes a lasting debt of gratitude to our ancestors, 
for their fidelity in recording tfie incipient steps taken by them in 


settling this new world." We have seen, in the preceding pages, 
with what care our fathers preserved the history of the events, 
painful in themselves, which resulted in the settlement of our 
town. We respect them for it. If they had faults, they dared 
confess them, and meet such retribution as properly attached to 
them. It is the great, apparent trait in our ancestors, one on which 
they seemed to pride themselves, that they studied deeply the 
questions that interested them, formed their opinions deliberately, 
and, having become assured that any particular course or theory 
was right, they dared avow and defend it, whatever might be the 
consequences of such avowal or action. It is to be remembered, 
always, that they were cut oft' from nearly all the privileges which 
we possess. They had fled to a wilderness inhabited by savages 
and wild beasts. They were poor. They had but the bare neces- 
saries of life, forced from an unwilling soil. They had neither the 
daily nor weekly newspaper, bringing them intelligence and 
useful information from the whole civilized world. Books were 
rare, and of schools there were none, till they were able to " set 
them up " amid the forests. Laborious days and nights were con- 
tinually required to eke out the naked requirements of humanity, ■ 
and to reclaim and cause the desert lands to bud and blossom as 
the rose, and make possible the introduction of a more refined 
civilization. Yet they had, thanks to the old Puritan care, the 
rudiments of an education. Most of them could read and write, 
and search the holy Scriptures. Many were from the more intel- 
ligent classes and higher walks in life in the old world, who had 
fled to this new land for opinion's sake. And, above all, they 
" had a scholar to their minister " — a learned man — " in every 
town and village." Their religion was intellectual and doctrinal, 
rather than emotional, and the consequence was, that while they 
felled the forests and tilled the stubborn soil, they thought deeply, 
were imbued with the importance of the conclusions to which 
they arrived, and the inspirations that glowed in their hearts, 
while an overwhelming sense of the "justice and majesty" of 
God, whose servants they were, to shew forth his glory on earth, 
made them tully persuaded, that each important act of theirs 
should be recorded, and have its controlling influence on the gen- 
erations. Hence the care they took of their records. Hence the 
fact, that we are so perfectly informed of all the past of our country. 
In looking over the early acts of our fathers, another thing at- 
tracts out attention, and that is the care with which they selected 


their associates in founding their new town. With their first as- 
sociates they were well acquainted. They had battled with them 
side by side, in their contests with the First church, for six yeai"s. 
They knew how reliable they were, and they simply covenanted 
with each other, that they would make the new plantation " their 
dwelling place four whole years after y* such y' removal, before 
they shall have liberty to dispose of their Accommodations y'* 
granted them. Granted to any other person iu the way of sale, 
or alienation, to prevent discouragement to y® s'^ plantation." And 
even after this time had elapsed, the owner could sell or let his 
property to no person, " but such as y^ town shall approve of." 
But that there should be no hardship in the matter, the town, on 
its part, agreed either to purchase the lands of any person who 
desired to sell and remove, or approve of purchasers who were 
"blameless men in their conversation, with certificates according 
to law." They not only desired to plant and establish the right 
institutions, but to make it certain that they should be preserved 
to all time. 

It will be remembered that in removing to the wilderness, therfi 
was no expense for land. The town lands were free, so far as any 
colonial charge was concerned. There were expenses in clearing 
the territory of the rights of the original proprietors, expenses of 
removal, and various other joint charges, which miist be defrayed. 
Though all our fathers were poor on their first entrance on these 
western lands, yet there were distinctions even among them in 
their worldly possessions. For this provision was made, that 
every thing might be done according to the rules of equity and 
justice. The charges mentioned constituted the indebtedness of the 
new colony. The lands constituted their capital, or wealth, which, 
pursuant to their grant from the General Court, and their own ar- 
ticles of association, (p. 39,) they were to divide in proportion to 
the amount they severally contributed to the expenses of estab- 
lishing the plantation. Meanwhile, they reserved liberal quanti- 
ties of land for the support of the ministry, the establishment of 
a school, and for the accommodation of such new settlers as they 
should approve and admit to become inhabitants, which newly 
received inhabitants were allowed a proportion of the lands on 
paying into the town treasury a sum sufticient to make them 
equal with the " first removing proprietors." They granted " ac- 
commodations," without a pecuniary payment, to skilled artizans 
and professional men, as an inducement to settle with them, and 


enable them to avail themselves of their educated skill. Accord- 
ingly, we find that they thus endowed the town miller, blacksmith,* 
fuller and a physician — but not the lawyer — that was reserved to 
a later and more luxurious period. This mode of land division 
was not very dissimilar to the present " homestead law," for the 
encouragement of settling our western lands. After the settle- 
ment each inhabitant was to pay his share of the public expenses, in 
proportion to the amount of his land received from the common 
stock, without regard to the amount of personal property. To 
effect this purpose, "Adjusters' Books" were kept, and lands sold, 
or purchased, or set out in their land divisions, were added to, or 
subtracted from their land accounts, and thus a perfectly certain 
basis for taxation was furnished. There was no chance for the 
concealments which are now so abundantly furnished by our mode 
of assessments and taxation. 

Another particular in the Fundamental Articles is to be noticed, 
(p. 40). It is the condition by which all engaged, "each for him- 
selfe not only, that wee will not any way disturb y® peace y'in, 
but also, that we will personally subject ourselves to that Ecclesi- 
astical Government that shall be there established, or practised 
agreeable to j^ Word of God," and agreed to forfeit their lands, 
and all interest in the plantation, in case of a breach of this con- 
dition. They had just issued from a religious dissension, which 
ran through several years. It had become necessary, on this ac- 
count, to remove into the wilderness, and they resolved that they 
would so order their affairs, that there could never be a similar 
occurrence in their day and generation. Doubtless from this con- 
dition, in some measure, may we attribute the fact, that there was 
no schism in the church, involving a division of its membership, 
for more than one hundred and forty years. Six Societies had, 
meanwhile, been permitted, in brotherly love, to set up for them- 
selves, made necessary by the increase of the inhabitants, and the 

'May 13, 1706, the town voted a ten acre accommodation, with the accompa- 
nying interest in all the land divisions, to "Mr. Samuel Bull, of Farmington," 
provided he should reside in town for the space of six years, and carry on the 
"trade of a Smith in the town." Mr. Bull was a deacon in the church and a 
man of note in Farmington, before his removal to Woodbury. He did not exer- 
cise the functions of a deacon after his removla here. He married Elizabeth, 
only daughter of Rev. Zechariah Walker, and died without children. 

A ten acre accommodation (p. 73) was also granted to Abraham Fulford, in 
1700, being "a well accomplished person for carding wool, weaving and fulling 



good crops the year of their removal. While building their 
houses near together for protection against Indian incursions, they 
pushed out their working parties in all directions. All the river 
lands were at once appropriated. East Meadow was esteemed by 
them as very desirable, and they quickly overrun all meadow land 
quite to Nonnewaug Falls. These falls have been fully described 
on pages 92 and 847. They consist of a series of three cascades, 
making a total fall of about one hundred feet. The artist has 
given a vivid sketch of the two principal ones. 

[Lower Nonnewaug Falls.] 

It is one of nature's loveliest nooks retired in the dim solitudes, 
where the silence is broken only by the roar of the sweetly falling 
waters and song of solitary bird. 

After the settlers had made their first crop, and erected their first 
rude cabins, they laid out other divisions of land from their com- 
mon stock, and cultivated the same, extending their borders mean- 
while. But they were thirty miles from the old home. They had 
neither saw nor grist-mills. They were, in fact, forced to be about 
as primitive in their habits as the natives of the forests. At the 
same time there were no roads to connect them with the mother 
town by the sea-side. The only means of conveyance was on 


enable them to avail themselves of their educated skill. Accord- 
ingly, we find that they thus endowed the town miller, blacksmith,* 
fuller and a physician — but not the lawyer — that was reserved to 
a later and moi'e luxm-ious period. This mode of land division 
was not very dissimilar to the present " homestead law," for the 
encouragement of settling our western lands. After the settle- 
ment each inhabitant was to pay his share of the public expenses, in 
proportion to the amount of his land received from the common 
stock, without regard to the amount of personal property. To 
effect this purpose, "Adjusters' Books" were kept, and lands sold, 
or purchased, or set out in their land divisions, were added to, or 
subtracted from their land accounts, and thus a perfectly certain 
basis for taxation was furnished. There was no chance for the 
concealments which are now so abundantly furnished by our mode 
of assessments and taxation. 

Another particular in the Fundamental Articles is to be noticed, 
(p. 40). It is the condition by which all engaged, "each for him- 
selfe not only, that wee will not any way disturb y® peace y'in, 
but also, that we will personally subject ourselves to that Ecclesi- 
astical Government that shall be there established, or practised 
agreeable to y® Word of God," and agreed to forfeit their lands, 
and all interest in the plantation, in case of a breach of this con- 
dition. They had just issued from a religious dissension, which 
ran through several years. It had become necessary, on this ac- 
count, to remove into the wilderness, and they resolved that they 
would so order their affairs, that there could never be a similar 
occurrence in their day and generation. Doubtless from this con- 
dition, in some measure, may we attribute the fact, that there was 
no schism in the church, involving a division of its membership, 
for more than one hundred and forty years. Six Societies had, 
meanwhile, been permitted, in brotherly love, to set up for them- 
selves, made necessary by the increase of the inhabitants, and the 

"May 13, 1706, the town voted a tea acre accommodation, with the accompa- 
nying interest in all the land divisions, to "Mr. Samuel Bull, of Farmington,'' 
provided he should reside in town for the space of six years, and carry on the 
"trade of a Smith in the town." Mr. Bull was a deacon in the church and a 
man of note in Farmington, before his removal to Woodbury. He did not exer- 
cise the functions of a deacon after his removla here. He married Elizabeth, 
only daughter of Rev. Zechariah Walker, and died without children. 

A ten acre accommodation (p. 73) was also granted to Abraham Fulford, in 
1700, being "a well accomplished person for carding wool, weaving and fulling 



good crops the year of their removal. While building their 
houses near together for protection against Indian incursions, they 
pushed out their working parties in all directions. All the river 
lands were at once appropriated. East Meadow was esteemed by 
them as very desirable, and they quickly overrun all meadow land 
quite to Nonnewaug Falls. These falls have been fully described 
on pages 92 and 847. They consist of a series of three cascades, 
making a total fall of about one hundred feet. The artist has 
given a vivid sketch of the two principal ones. 

[Lower Nonnewaug Falls.] 

It is one of nature's loveliest nooks retired in the dim solitudes, 
where the silence is broken only by the roar of the sweetly falling 
waters and song of solitary bird. 

After the settlers had made their first crop, and erected their first 
rude cabins, they laid out other divisions of land from their com- 
mon stock, and cultivated the same, extending their borders mean- 
while. But they were thirty miles from the old home. They had 
neither saw nor gi'ist-mills. They were, in fact, forced to be about 
as primitive in their habits as the natives of the forests. At the 
same time there were no roads to connect them with the mother 
town by the sea-side. The only means of conveyance was on 


horseback, following a bridle-path, guided by "blazed" trees. 
Trees were " blazed " by scorching their bark with torches, at 
convenient distances, and these constituted very good guide- 
boards. But committees were appointed as early as 16*75, to lay 
out a road from Woodbury to Derby, and from Derby to Strat- 
ford, and provision was also made for a ferry. The committee, 
however, did not report till 1677, and the road was probably not 
built till several years later. Meanwhile, the people must have 
mill privileges. They accordingly procured a set of stones, and 
transported them on horseback, or, rather, slung them between 
two horses, and took the weary way of their bridle-path to Wood- 
bury. They set up their mill-shed on a little brook a short distance 
east of Deacon Eli Summers' house, in Middle Quarter, and 
though but about a bushel of grain per day could be ground at 
this mill, yet it was all the accommodation of the kind that the 
inhabitants had, till 1681. These mill-stones were of small dimen- 
sions, being not more than thirty inches 
in diameter. One of these is still pre- 
served, and has been attached to the base 
stone of the "Fathers' Monument" in 
the south, or ancient burial ground, for 
[First Mill-stones.] preservation, after having done service 

for more than a hundred years as a door-stone to the house in 
Middle Quarter lately occupied by Miss Lucy Sherman. Traces 
of the first mill-dam still exist. The second mill was built in 
1681, near the Pomperaug river, about fifty rods westerly from 
the dwelling-house of Hon. N. B. Smith, immediately under the 
hill, the water with which to run it being brought from the river, 
about one hundred rods distant. Faint traces of the old dam still ' 
remain. Some of the timbers of this second mill-dam still remain 
imbedded in the river, in a state of perfect preservation. It was 
much troubled by the freshets, had to be frequently repaired, or 
re]>laced, and the town was obliged to make other arrangements 
for a stable mill. In 1691, Mr. Samuel Stiles Avas appointed town 
miller ; mill accommodations were granted for its " encourage- 
ment," and the mill located near where the mill of D. Curtiss & 
Sons now stands, where it has ever since been maintained. 

As soon as the pioneers had fairly settled themselves in their 
new homes, they took measures to build a meeting-house for the 
worship of God, and a school-hodse, that " leai'ning might not be 
neglected to children," As we have seen, they had their grant of 


conveniences of location, which became the nucleus of towns, 
that have since been incorporated. It was a wise provision, and 
brought forth good and abundant fruits. 

These articles were made and signed in Stratford. Every thing 
was prepared and fully agreed upon, before they buried themselves 
in the depths of the wilderness. It was a great undertaking, in 
those early days of want and privation. It is difficut to imagine 
that overwhelming sense of duty which could impel them to this 
step, when there was room enough and to spare in the beautifully 
shaded Stratford, on the pleasant shores so gently laved by the 
ever-murmuring sea waves. Speaking of this removal of the 
Second church of Stratford, this thought was very eloquently ex- 
pressed by Rev. William K. Hall, of Stratford, pastor of the First 
church, in a speech at the Bi-centennial of our church, in May, 

" The daughter, with her chosen spiritual leader and guide, left 
the old homestead, and in choosing her new home wisely turned 
northward, preferring the clear, bracing air of the north to the 
damp and fog and malaria of the shore lands. The record of 
these two hundred years, and these festivities to-day, testify to 
the wisdom of that separation and of that choice. 

That setting forth from the old home was under circumstances, 
and amid scenes, which, if we could reproduce them in our imagi- 
nation to-day, would aid us in rising to the full significance of this 
occasion. The Plantation was only thirty years old. These years 
had been years of toil, of hard work in subduing the wilderness, 
and in making for themselves comfortable homes. They had been 
spent in almost constant fear of the depredations and attacks of 
the Indians. One generation was about passing away, and a new 
generation had already begun to take up and carry on the ever 
unfinished work. They were just beginning to enjoy the fruits of 
their hard pioneer toil, were just beginning to realize the benefits 
of a social life, well ordered, properly systematized as to govern- 
ment, adequately equipped and adjusted by the experiences of 
those thirty years. Those years had been years chiefly of prepa- 
ration. The settlement was now assuming the appearance and the 
character of a thrifty agricultural town. It must have required 
a resoluteness of purpose, backed by a firm, conscientious regard 
for duty, for that little band to go forth at such a time, and strike 
out an entirely new path for themseles, to begin over again that 
same laborious work of making new homes in these wild wood- 


lands of jthe north. The prime motives that led thera to take that 
step were wholly of a religious nature. Their rights as church 
members they would maintain. Spiritu al interests must be held 
paramount. They felt that they could not remain in the old 
church home, though it was large enough to contain them, if the 
course they deemed right and scriptural was not pursued, so they 
left it. They had pluck, nerve and energy— stood their ground 
firmly until they were convinced that it was for the good of both 
parties that they should secede. I apprehend that at the last, the 
spirit that prevailed was not far diiFerent from that exhibited in 
the Patriarch brother, after variances had arisen in the family : 
"Let there be no strife, 1 pray, between me and thee, and between 
my herdsmen and thy herdsmen ; for we be brethren. Is not the 
whole land before thee : separate thyself I pray thee from me. 
If thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right, and if 
thou depart to the right hand then I will go to the left." 

" Fortunately there was land enough, and that too not far distant 
from the old home. Could those bold spirits who planned and 
achieved that work of settlement, whose names shine out upon 
these tablets before us to-day, see what we of this generation see, 
could look upon these well tilled, well fenced farms, this attractive 
thoroughfare, bordered by this cordon of cottage and homestead, 
indicative all of such comfort, and plenty, and taste, could behold 
what would be to them of by far greater value, and in their 
estimate the largest proofs of their success, and the highest earthly 
reward of their sacrifices and toil, these marks of church life and 
church progress which have been commensurate with the growth 
of the outreaching population, they might well believe that the 
Lord went up with them and before them, and marked out for 
them the goodly heritage which was to be theirs, and their 

" All honor and praise from us be to that devoted band. The un. 
fiinchiug fidelity to honest convictions, the uncompromising spirit 
of attachment to what was to them the truth of God, which they 
exhibited at the sacrifice of so much they held dear, were the 
rightful issue of the Puritan blood that flowed in ther veins. Let 
us emulate their spirit, and prove ourselves worthy of such a 
godly ancestry." 

Our fathers were now fairly embarked in their new enterprise. 
They quickly placed the open lands under cultivation, securing 


the township of Woodbury in 1672, made a small crop the same 
year, lost it by wild beasts the following winter, and removed 
their families here in the spring of 1673. In two years they were 
driven back to Stratford by King Philip's war, and began to re- 
turn again in 1676, not fully regaining their foothold till the next 

Previously and subsequently to Philip's war, our fathers wor- 
shipped, in summer, at Bethel Rock, which has been so often al- 
luded to in these pages, and in winter they gathered in their own 
rude houses. But the question may be asked, why did the people 
at any time of the year leave their homes, and retire from the vil- 
lage, (for it was almost as much of a village in the early years as 
now, the houses being built near each other for protection) to the 
rock for their devotions? The answer is obvious. Their num- 
bers were, from the beginning, considerable. They came with 
about twenty families, and their numbers increased rapidly for a 
new plantation. In contrast Avith the present generation, they 
had large families in those days, obeying the divine command- 
ment, and every household constituted quite a little colony in it- 
self. It was with them a law of conscience, as well as of the col- 
ony, that all should attend divine service, and there was no one 
of their log huts that could contain a tythe of the inhabitants for 
the purpose of Avorship. They had no meeting-house. They were 
never for a moment free from the danger of the incursions of the 
hostile Mohawks. It was the object of their coming into the wil- 
derness, that they should not " forget the assembling of them- 
selves together " to worship the Great Creator. What should 
they do ? A beautiful dell, secure from hostile attacks and the 
buffet of storms, in the bosom of the cliffs, of the mountains, fur- 
nished with sufKcient audience room, and a rude stone pulpit, was 
at hand. It was nature's church, built and fashioned by the Holy 
One of Israel, as though a miracle had been performed for the ben- 
efit of this band of Christians. It was conveniently near, and 
" guarding rocks," to be picketed by the men of the match, or flint 
lock, lined the way. Three minutes walk from the house of their 
pastor, where Levi S. Douglass now lives, by the south cliff, or 
five minutes walk from Judson Lane, by the north cliff, brought 
them to this place of prayer, and of " hopeful security." What 
more appropriate or pleasing, than to resort t9 the beautiful fast- 
nesses of nature, in the holy stillness of the Sabbath morn, to join 
in adorations of the Giver of all a:ood ? 



That they did meet there for this purpose, in the feeble state of 
their'new colony, is proved by the universal voice of the most reli- 
able tradition from the early fathers, and by much circumstantial 
evidence. It is a fact to be doubted by none. The sons of the 
pioneer, Capt, John Minor, who died Sept. 17, 1719, had their 
home lots on the hill where the family of the late Erastus Minor 
resides. Capt. Matthew Minor succeeded to the homested of his 
father, Ephraim, which was identical with that of Capt. John, 
and lived in a house under the hill south of Erastus Minor's pres- 
ent dwelling house. This was the pallasaded house of which we 
have spoken. This son, Ephi*aim, was born in Stratford, Oct. 24, 
1675, after the return from Woodbury to Stratford, at the com- 
mencement of King Philip's war. He returned to Woodbury 
with his father, a child of two years, after the war, and of course, 
as he grew up, knew the history from the beginning. He died 
Sept. 16, 1762. His son, Capt. Matthew, was born Sept. 2, 1708, 
and died Nov. 21, 1778. His son, Dea. Matthew, was born Feb. 
11, 1753, and died in 1835. His son, Erastus, was born March 27, 
1796, — died in 1870. Capt. Matthew Minor was, therefore, eleven 
years old when his grand-father, Capt. John Minor, died, and fifty- 
six years old when his father, Ephraim, died. Dea. Matthew 
Minor, son of Capt. Matthew, was twenty-five years old when 
his father, died, and the late Erastus Minor was thirty- 
nine years old when his father, Deacon Matthew, died. This 
brings us to the present day, and the tradition that Erastus Minor 
gives us, brings us to the very days of the services at Bethel 
Rock. There can be no question of a tradition that can trace itself, 
by sure steps, to its truthful origin. The tradition handed down 
through this family, as well as others, is very simple and direct. 
It is that the fathers worshipped at Bethel Rock till the building 
of the first Church. The Orenaug cliff, near Bethel Rock, is 
owned by this family, to this day, having descended from father 

to son, through the Probate Court. 
The first church was a simple 
structure. The seats were raised, 
on each side of the center aisle, so 
that the sexes could sit on opposite 
sides. The pulpit was at one end. 
It had no steeple, and was alto- 
gether an unpretending building, 
but it served the purpose of a con- 
venient place of worship for sixty- 

[Fu St Church, 1681,] 


six years. After the second church was finished, in 1Y47, it was 
used as a " Town-House," for the transaction of public business. 
In lYo4, the town voted to build a new town house where the old 
church stood, but contented itself with repairing the old church. 
It was used thus a good many years, (p. 156). After the Episco- 
palians began to get a foothold in the town, they used it for a 
church. Finally, it was moved, by Mr. Tallman, a little way, and 
used for a butcher's shop and barn, during some years. It was 
afterwards used for a barn by Judge N. Smith, and later still, by 
his son, N. B. Smith, till about ten years ago, when it was pulled 
down, and passed into the oblivion of past things, that have out- 
lived the day of their usefulness. Perhaps no other building 
has had a longer career of usefulness, since the founding of the 

This meeting-house was located on the site now occupied by N. 
B. Smith's carriage-house, some six rods from Pomperaug's grave, 
and twenty from Rev. Mr. Walker's house. A road run by it to 
the intervale, a short distance below where the second corn-mill 
was located. The site of the first school-house was immediately 
opposite the meeting-house, where Mr. George Hitchcock's shop 
now stands. The meeting-house, the school-house, the minister's 
house, and the corn-mill — all necessaries of prime impertance to a 
new Settlement — w'ere thus grouped together. 

In process of time, a new church edifice became necessary, and, 
on the usual application to the General Assembly, in May, 1744, 
a committee was appointed to determine the location, and, on the 
26th of September, 1744, the house was located on the site now- 
occupied by the Soldiers' Monument. The location was approved, 
work upon the building was at once commenced, and pushed as 
fast as the means of the people would permit. It was completed 
and dedicated in 1747, This house was a large one for those 
days, and its " Bigness, Strength and Architecture," (page 139,) 
was much admired by our fathers, and a number of societies took 
it for a model in building meeting-houses in their several localities. 
It had doors for entrance on the west, south and east sides. The 
pulpit was on the north side, with a deacon's seat beneath it, in 
the fashion of those days. It continued to be used as the place 
of public worship till the dedication of the present church, Janu- 
ary 13, 1819, a period of seventy-two years. It was then sold at 
auction in sections. The house now occupied by Ralph N. Betts, 



dentist, was constructed out of the materials of one of the galle- 
ries. Thus passed away the 
last " house of the sounding- 
hoards " in this society. 

Near the meeting-house, 
about where the mile-stone 
now stands, was a long, low 
Sabbath-day-House, a place in 
which to take refreshments 
between the two church 
services, and for social and 
religious worship, as the oc- 
cupants might be inclined. 
It was built in two divisions, 
"one for males and the other 
for females. A man made it 
his dwelling, and had it rent- 
free, in consideration of hav- 
ing it well warmed for the 
use of the owners during the 
cold weather. One or two 
individuals liad smaller hous- 
es of their own, for private 
[Second Meeting-House.] use, On the east side of the 

way, running by the church. It will be remembered that these 
houses were necessary, because the church was not warmed. 

It was a custom of the early days, when the pastor entered the 
meeting-house to conduct divine service, for the people on the 
lower floor, to rise and remain standing till he had ascended the 
pulpit, where he made a bow, and the people in the galleries rose, 
and remained standing till he sat down, when the audience did 
likewise. Similar respect was shown him, on meeting him in the 
street or elsewhere. He was always invited to open with prayer 
all the business and freemen's meetings of the town. These were 
generally held in the church, and were fully attended. It was, 
emphatically, the age of respect for seniors and superiors. A 
tythe of such customs would not hurt us of the present age. 

It may surprise us, at the present day, to learn that nearly the 
whole of Bear Hill and Ragland was laid out by the town, more 
than a hundred and sixty years ago, as a sheep-pasture, and made 


forever free for the use of aU the inhabitants of the town, for the 
purpose of pasturage. But such is the fact, as will be seen by the 
following vote : — 

"At a lawful town meeting the 8th March, 1705, It was voated and agreed 
that all the barehill and ragland, from the highwaj' to the westside, through 
poplar meadow, down to the highway, from whiteoak through the Sawteeth, we 
say, all that is now common land unlaid out, is and shall be sequestered land for 
common, for the feed of sheep and other cattle forever, for the use of the inhab • 
itants in genl." ' 

This is a pretty extensive pasture. It must be a tract of land 
two miles long, by more than a mile in width. How long it was 
used for this purpose is not now known. Farmers still use the 
land for this purpose, iu their separate enclosures. 

We may well imagine that, in the tirst settlement of the towns, 
the meeting-houses were without bells. Our first house was also 
without one. But the second meeting-house was provided with 
this convenient appendage. The first house of the mother church 
at Stratford, for some unexplained reason, had a bell, but ours, in 
common wuth other early churches, had none. The Stratford Man- 
uel says : — " This fact in reference to it is of interest, and deserves 
to be remembered. It possessed a bell, with which the people 
were summoned to worship. How it came to be thus favored is 
not known, for it was the only church in all the colonies, where 
the people were not called together by " drum, the blowing of 
shell or horn." In the case of many churches, the people built a 
high sentry-box, and this answered the double purpose of a place 
of "look-out" for the sentry, who nightly, and sometimes daily, 
guarded the town against the incursion ol the Indians, and a con- 
venient place to drum for church on Sunday, for town meeting, 
and for the assembling of the train-band. Happily, there was no 
need, in our case, to build either a belfry, which was in the first 
age deemed rather a " device of Satan," or a sentry-box for the use 
of the inevitable drummer, for nature, in the convenient blufi", now 
occupied by the Masonic Lodge, had furnished a most convenient 
and beautiful substitute — being within a stone's throw of the 
meeting-house, the parsonage, and the then center of the town. 
Accordingly, we may well imagine the drummer upon the rock, 

^ Woodbury Town Records, 2 vol., page 1. 



vigorously and skillfully plying his enormous drum, by the requi- 
site beats called for in his triple 
capacity of civil, ecclesiastical 
and military official. For this 
matter was not left to volunteers, 
or chance, but like all other mat- 
ters concerning- the general inte- 
rest, the affair, as M'ell as the offi- 
cer, was " well ordered." 
«lKtaiill(,yW\W,(((ll(lRlll!^^^^^^ We have seen that the first 

' blacksmith " called " by the town, 
was Deacon Samuel Bull, of Fav- 
[Drummer on Rock.] mington, and the first clothier 

here, and the first in the colony, for that matter, was Abraham 
Fulfoid, afterwards a leading citizen of the town. The first wheel- 
wright was Samuel Munn, who had a home-lot granted him by 
the town in 1681. The first regularly appointed town miller was 
Ensign Samuel Stiles. Lieut. Joseph Judson, or Henry Hill, was 
the first ferryman over the Housatonic river. Doct. Butler Bedi- 
ent was the first physician. But what was the name of the first 
shoemaker is not now known. Our grand-mothers could make 
the clothes of our grand-fathers, but they were not skillful enough 
to fabricate the enormous wooden shoes " of the period." That 
required a skill of which they could not boast — in fact, it required 
educated skill to make these enormous wooden afiairs, a few of 
"which remain in historical rooms to the present day, as interesting 
antiquarian debris of our youthful country. It is difficult for us 
to imagine how they contrived to accomplish the process of loco- 
motion with such ungainly contri- 
vances. But a little of the " van- 
ity of this life " invaded the breasts 
of some of our stern and sturdy 
fore-fathers, and they even fell into 
the sin of indulging in " French falls," and, it is barely possible, 
they sometimes — the younger ones — even yielded to the seduc- 
tions of enjoying, on stolen occasions, feats of the " light fantastic 
toe," 7^ery lights as will be seen in the truthful cut, taken from a 
pair of "French Falls" still in existence. 

As the farms were pushed out into the valleys, and over the 
hills, beyond convenient walking distance, the proper means of 
locomotion became a subject of inquiry. Of wagon roads, there 



were none worthy of the name, down to the date of the Revolu- 
tion. There were no carriages, and with so much else to do, the 
early fathei's were excusable for not giving their attention to arti- 
cles — to them — of luxury. Locomotion on horseback in the nar- 
row roads and bridle-paths, was the only mode of passing any 
distance, except on foot. It is always well to take the best ad- 
vantage of any conveniences we possess. Our fathers, accord- 
ingly, used saddles with a pillion or saddle-pad contrivance, hitched 
behind the saddle, by means of which, while the man bestrode his 
steed, his wife, or lady-love, sat securely behind, upon the pillion, 
her arm confidingly and lovingly encircling his waist foi protec- 
tion, and security from falling. In the poverty of the early days, 
not every family could own a horse and accoutrements, and so 
two neighboring families availed themselves of the services of one 
horse. One couple would mount and ride an equitable distance 
towards the sanctuary, dismount, tie the horse, and proceed on 
foot. A second couple, on foot, would come up and ride the re- 
maining, or proportional distance, 
and so all finally arrived at church 
in time, and with hearts attuned 
by the exercise for the service 
that was to follow. It must have 
been, or rather would now be, 
an interesting and suggestive 
sight to see these devout worship- 
pers thus hasting to the " hill of 
the Tabernacle," to unite in the 
service of God. 

While the more remote wor- 
shippers thus proceeded to the place of devotion, those who re- 
sided within walking distance of the meeting-house, repaired 
thither on foot with their families, accompanied by the ever faith- 
ful musket, while sentinels paced before the church door, and at 
a specified distance in either direction from it. It must have been 
a picturesqe sight, to behold armed men witli their families repair- 
ing to church, sentinels at each approach, with arms stacked be- 
fore the church door. It was because of this danger from sudden 
incursion and attack, it is supposed, that the custom was initiated, 
of having the able-bodied men of the household sit, during ser- 
vice, at the head of the pews. In case of attack, the men could 



the more readily rush out to their stacked arms, for defence. But, 
sj^j;i!^' f in the most dangerous times, 

they did not run even this risk. 
Each man took his trusty weap- 
on into church with him. 
^^ Although there are no relics 
in town, so far as we are aware, 
that were brought over in the 
!^/^^^^P'°'_- ""^^^^ May-Flower, in which, if tra- 
dition is to be believed, almost 
every ancient thing now in 
'ii''^'f'^^.M ^^^H A^^l:, this country was brought over, 
yet there is in our bounds a look- 
ing-glass '250 years old, two 
paintings of about the same 
age, and one over 300 years 
old ; a small brass tea-kettle, brought from Holland, about the 
year 1656, a gun made and dated in 1624, the " Pequot-gun," now 
held as an heir-loom in the Minor family, so-called from the alleged 
fact,' that it had, during the French and Indian wars, been the in- 
strument of death to forty red-skins, and an iron kettle, which is 
now in the possession of Treat Davidson, of 
Roxbury, and was brought to this country in 
1660. It descended to the present owner from 
Nathan Botsford, one of his ancestors, who 
himself brought it from England. This is, no 
doubt, the oldest culinary vessel in the terri- 
^p to^T' ^'^^t sad to relate, it is no longer used for 
i a culinary purpose. It has for some years been 
degraded to the sordid use of a hog- trough, by 
its irreverent owner! 

For long years after the first settlement of the town, the fore- 
fathers were obliged to take their fresh fish principally from the 
Quassapaug Lake. Nor has it been disused for that purpose even 
to the present time. But, in these later years, it has become a 
place of great resort for pleasure parties of both sexes, who de- 
light to visit its limpid waters, and sail over its fair bosom, gath- 
ering mosses on the shore, and lilies near its banks, breathing 
words of affection, of thought, and of deathless secrets, and utter- 
ing vows of eternal fidelity. A sweet serenity settles over the 



spirit, worn by life's turmoils, as one rocks listlessly and dreamily 

over its pellucid depths. 

In these days of civilization 
and refinement, surrounded 
by the comforts, conveniences 
and luxuries of life, we can 
little estimate the hardships 
and difiiculties encountered 
by the sainted men and wo- 
men who first trod these smi- 
ling valleys, subdued the un- 
compromising wilderness, and 
made the howling wastes to 
" bud and blossom as the 
rose." Here they came, in 
their lofty trust, having no 
^p cover for their heads but the 
over-arching heavens, no lodg- 
ings for their weary and travel-worn bodies but such as nature 
afforded. The men of the present day may carelessly smile at the 
idea of our fathers' thinking so much of a journey to or from the 
sea-coast, or even from Woodbury to Bethlem, as we are told they 
did. But they forget the obstacles and dangers they had to en- 
counter. They forget there were no public roads, and no vehicles, 
that could be employed for the transportation of their goods. 
There were no railroads, nor steamboats, running in all directions 
with the swiftness of the wind. The first females, as well as the 
males, went on foot, or on horseback, through a trackless wilder- 
ness, guided by marks upon trees, or feeling their way, wherever 
they could find room to pass. In the midst of the first drear 
winter their provisions gave out, and some of the settlers were 
obliged to .take their way through the pathless forests to the older 
settlements for food to sustaira them during the remaining wintry 
months. Some of those sturdy men went to Stratford, a distance 
of twenty-five miles, with hand-sleds, and returned laden with corn 
for their pressing necessities. We can have but a faint idea of the 
dangers that surrounded those early founders, on ?uch a journey, 
exposed to all the perils and privations of these interior forests. 
They were surrounded by numerous red men, fierce and cruel, who 
could havfe destroyed them at any hour, in their isolated and fee- 
ble condition. Added to their lack of bread, the pioneers had 


neither dwellings, nor clothing sufficient to prevent suffering. 
Should any emergen6j happen, they were cut off from any succor, 
or effective retreat. What a sad beginning had these now fair 
and opulent towns on the Poniperaug and Shepaug. ! 

It has been seen that all the ideas of our fathers were essen- 
tially religious, and that the pious sentiment entered into every- 
thing. Even in the exhibitions of the tender emotions, and in 
the preliminary ceremonies of a matrimonial alliance, they ever 
exhibited the same gi'ave countenance, and air of devotion, as 
when going to a prayer-meeting. Perhaps they were the only 
people who treated the subject with the consideration due to that 
most important and indissoluble union of " Kindred hearts." But 
the " course of true love" was usually urgent. There was no 
time for " billing and cooing," much less for vain flirtations ! As 
an instance of the way in which the thing was done, take the follow- 
ing characteristic example: John Minor, Jr., being seriously in- 
clined, by the state of his affections, unto the blooming and comely 
damsel, Sarah Judson, immediately mounted his horse, and with a 
deer-skin for a saddle, rode over in front of the house of the 
fair Sarah's father. Without dismounting, he sent for her to come 
out to him, and on her complying with the request, he informed 
her plainly, that the Lord had sent him to marry her. At this 
startling announcement,' the sensible maid, neither fainting in the 
present fashionable mode, nor asking time to consult her mamma, 
replied with hearty good will, "Here is the handmaid of the Lord 
— His will be done ! " What else could the maiden do ; for John 
was a good man, and she believed both him and his message ! 
There was nothing more to be done, than to get on horseback the 
next Sabbath eve, and sitting on a pillion, behind her messenger 
from the Lord, ride to the parsonage, and be duly joined in the 
holy bonds of wedlock. Of the fruits of that primitive marriage, 
there are many representatives here to-day ! 

Doubtless the qiaestion has often occurred to each bt us, how 
did our fathers and mother's dress? What were their costumes 
and fashions ? By the indefatigable exertions of our " Antique 
Committee," at the Bi-Centennial celebration, in 1859, this ques- 
tion was very satisfactorily answered, by their actual, not " coun- 
terfeit presentment." We saw an " early father," a fine old Eng- 
lish gentleman, in small clothes and coat of brown silk, white 
plaited ruffles, powdered hair, and cocked hat. We sa\^ an " early 
mother," in ash-colored brocade, with white damask skirt, open in 


front, high-heeled shoes, with large buckles, and an eaormous bon. 
net. We saw the Puritan costume contrasted with that of the 
Cavalier of the same age. But these were the holiday suits, 
brought from old England, and belonging only to the more opu- 
lent citizens. After the first settlement here, such rich articles 
for long years were " rarities under the sun." All the garments 
of both sexes were of homespun, of their own manufacture, from 
the raw material to the perfected garment. The small clothes, 
and even the coats of the men, were often made of deer-skins and 
leather. Nothing is more commonly mentioned in the early in- 
ventories of estates. And yet, amid all this rigid simplicity, the 
General Court, four years after the settling of Woodbury, passed 
an act against the excess of apparel among the people, as " unbe- 
coming a wilderness condition, and the profession of the gospel ;" 
ordering, that any person who should wear any clothing, that 
should be " apparently beyond the necessary end of apparel for 
covering, or comeliness^'' should, on due conviction, forfeit ten shil- 
lings for every oiFence ! How great a commotion would be made 
by the passage of such a law, in these days of expanded crinoline, 
and of lengthened Shanghai coats ! 

One of the few luxuries of the early fathers was the fruit of the 
orchard, and the beverage made from it. The apple-tree was the 
constant attendant of the early founders of towns, and followed 
them in all their wanderings. They made haste, not only to " sit 
under their own vine," but as soon as possible, with equal satis- 
faction to sit under their own apple-trees. Nor, with all their 
stern morality, does it appear that they had the fear of a '* Maine 
Law " before their eyes, for they freely granted the privilege of 
erecting " cyder mills," even in the highways, the place of great- 
est notoriety and temptation. These privileges were doubtless 
granted as a sort of set-ofli" against their prohibitory law, which 
■ enacted that if any " Barbadoes liquors, commonly called Rum» 
Kill-Divell, or the like," should be landed in any part of the col- 
ony, it should be confiscated. There had been a still earlier law 
among the Pilgrims, abolishing the " vain custom of drinking one 
to another," assigning as reasons for the act, that " it was a thing 
of no good use," was an inducement to drunkenness, " occasioned 
much waste of wine and beer," and forced masters and mistresses 
" to drink more often than they would." I believe that the rea- 
sons given hold good to the present day, but our sage legislators 
never give a reason for their legislation. 



. And thus we draw to a close ouv account of some of the lead- 
ing events of the first hundred years in the history of the town. 
We have lingered over them, because they are fraught with 
great lessons for all the coming generations ; because of their unique 
interest, and because their like will never come again. Well will 
it be for us and the inhabitants of the future times, if we shall 
labor as earnestly and worthily, and if we shall leave behind us, 
when we too, as we hope, shall have ascended to that " rest that 
remaineth to the people of God," — work and results that shall 
equally embalm our names, and secure the like filial reverenc'e of 
our posterity. 




Town Bi-Centennial Celebration of 1859; Masomc Centennial Celebration 
OF 1865 ; First Church Bi-Cente\nial Celebration of 1870. 

HE town of Woodbury has become 
celebrated for its centennial cele- 
brations. No town in the State 
has so thoroughly looked up its 
own history, and with becoming 
pride celebrated its leading events, 
and put its history on enduring 
record for the benefit of posterity. 
It has set an example, in this re- 
gard, worthy of the imitation of 
all our old towns. It arrests the attention of the young, sets be- 
fore them all that is glorious in the past, and stimulates to a 
healthy emulation of right action. 

On the 5th of July, 1858, a mammoth Pic-Nic was held upon 
the Oreuaug Cliffs, at which were assembled some two thousand 
persons from the several towns of " Ancient Woodbury." The 
Hon. Samuel G. Goodrich (Peter Parley) delivered an oration 
and the professional men of the town followed with short speeches. 
At the close of the day's entertainment, it was moved by William 
Cothren, and seconded by Rev. John Churchill : 

" That a Committee of two from each of the towns once in- 
cluded, in whole or in part, in the ancient town of Woodbury, be- 
appointed by the meeting, with power to add to their own num- 
ber, and to appoint all necessary Assistant Committees, for the 
purpose of making efficient arrangements for the Historical Cele 
bration of the Second Centennial Anniversary of the first Explo" 
ration of the Town, and the reception of the first Indian Deed, at 
Bethel Rock, on the 4th day of July, A. D. 1859, and also to in- 


vite gentlemen to deliver the various addresses, &c., of the occa- 

The motion was unanimously adopted, and the following named 
gentlemen were appointed such Committee : 

William Cothren, C. B. Phelps, W. T. Bacon, P. M. Trow- 
bridge, Woodbury ; 

R. W. Frisbie, S. H. Mitchell, Washington ; 

T. B. Wheeler, A. B. Downs, Col. C. Hicock, Southhury ; 

Abraham Beecher, H. W. Peck, Bethlehem ; 

H. B. Eastman, F. W. Lathrop, Roxbury ; 

N. J. Wilcoxson, Alfred Harger, Oxford ; 

Dr. Marcus DeForest, Jr., Leonard Bronson, 3Iiddlehury. 

This Committee made all the necessary arrangements for the 
celebration, and adopted the following: 


July 4th and 5th, 1859. 

First Day— 10 A. M. 

Antique Procession, escorted by the Band and Roxbury Guards. 
Ode, by the Choir — tune " Briice's AddressP 
Prayer, by Rev. R. G. Williams, of Woodbury. 
Short Introductory Address, " Welcoming the Emigrants from 
Woodbury home again," by Nathaniel Smith, of Woodbury. 
Music by the Band. 

Historical Address, by William Cothren, of Woodbury. 
Music by the Band. 

Recess of one Hour for Refreshme)its. 

Music by the Band. 

Song— "The Pilgrim Fathers," by G. S. Minor. 

Poem, by Rev. William Thompson Bacon, of Woodbury. 

Ode, by the Choir — tune, '•'' Aidd Lang Syne.'''' 

Benediction, by Rev. Thomas L. Shipman, of .Jewett City, 

SECOND MORNING,— 8 o'clock. 
Prayer Meeting at Bethel Rock. 

SECOND DAY,— 10 o'clock, A. M. 

Music by the Band. 
Centennial Hymn. 


Prayer, by Rev. Friend W. Stnitli, of Woodbury. 

Sermon, by Rev. Henry Beers Sherman, of Belleville, N. J. 

Speech: — "The early Clergy of Ancient Woodbury," by Rev. 
Anson S. Atwood, of Mansfield, Conn 

One Hour for Refreshtnents. 

Music by the Band. 

Ode, by the Choir — tune, " Sv^eet Homey 

Speech : — " The early Lawyers of Ancient Woodbury," by 
Hon. Seth P. Beers, of Litchfield. 

Music by the Band. 

Speech : — " The early Physicians of Ancient Woodbury." by 
David B. W. Hard, M. D., of Bethlehem. 

Music by the Band. 

Speech: — "The Founders of Ancient Woodbury," by Hon, 
William T. Minor, of Stamford. 

Ode, by the Choir — tune, " America.'''' 

Speech: — "The early Schools "of Ancient Woodbury," by T. 
M. Thompson, of Woodbury. 

Speech ; — " Grand-children of Ancient Woodbury," by Hon. 
Chas. Chapman, of Hartford. 

Speech : — The Cousins of Ancient Woodbury," by Hon. Henry 
Dutton, of New Haven. 

Volunteer Speeches, by distinguished sons of Ancient Wood- 
bury from abroad. 

Reading of Letters and Odes prepared for the occasion. 

Concluding Prayer, by Rev. C. T. Woodruff, of Woodbury. 

Benediction, by Rev. Philo Judson, of Rocky Hill. 

Hon. Nathaniel B. Smith, President of the Day. 

Hon. D. B. Brinsmade, of Washington, 

" Joshua Bird, of Bethlem, 

S. W. Baldwin, Esq., of Roxbury, , tt- n -j^ 

^ Ttr. , .1 -r^ ^ r, , , \ Vice Fresidents. 

Cyrus Mitchell, E,sq., oi Southbury, 

Nathaniel Walker, Esq., of Oxford, | 

Leonard Bronson, Esq., of Middlebury, j 


Henry Minor, Chief Marslial. 
Assistant Marshals : 

R. I. Tolles, Elijah D. Judsoo, 

George Camp, Elisha P. Tomlinson, 

Robert Peck, James Stone, 

Benjamin Doolittle, Truman S. Minor, 

W. C. McKay, George P. Crane, 

George Saxton, James H. Minor, 

This programme was carried out in full, as laid down. The 
Committee had sent out circular invitations all over the Union, 
cordially inviting the sons of Woodbury to return home and join 
us in the commemorative services. Notices had also been insert- 
ed in many newspapers, so that the invitation was widely and 
thoroughly disseminated. 

The following action, which was decided upon in April, 1859, 
will explain itself, viz : 

The Indian Deed given to the founders of Woodbury, in 16S9, 

JS^ " A parcell of Land, hounded as folloioeth ; Potateuk 
Miver jSouthtoest ; Naugatunck River northeast ; and bounded 
on ye northioest with trees mai'ked by me and other Indians^ 

Potateuk river was the Housatonic, and the " marked trees " 
extended across South Faims west to the Housatonic river. All 
north of Derby then to this line was oomprised in this deed, in- 
cluding Ancient Waterbury west of the Naugatuck, part of 
Litchfield and New Milford. The committee, therefore, consider- 
ing these towns and the towns formed out of them, to be of near 
consanguinity to us : 

Voted: " To invite our cousins, the towns of Waterbury, 
Naugatuck, Seymour, Watertown, Plymouth, Litchfield, New 
Milford and Bridgewater, to unite with us in our approaching 
Centennial Anniversary." 

A committee appointed by the citizens of Woodbury, changed 
the place for the exercises selected by the vote passed a year ago 
on Orenaug Rocks, and secured the field of Mr. T. M. Thompson, 
directly east of the First Congregational Church in Woodbury. 
It was an exceedingly fine location for the celebration. The large 
tent of Yale College was procured and supplied with seats, 
speakers' stand, &c., and the still larger tent belonging to the 



Litchfield County Agricultural Society, was procured for the Pic- 
Nic provided by the Woodbury Ladies. A large tent was also 
provided for invited guests, besides a table set out under the 
apple trees, loaded with the various articles of the Antiquarian 
Pic-Nic proper, such as bean porridge, baked beans and pork, 
Indian pudding, &c., served up in the old style, in old pewter and 
wooden platters, with old pewter spoons, and other antique 
articles to match. Besides these, the General Committee fur- 
nished a tent for each of the other towns in which to hold their 
Pic-Nic, except Washington, which chose to furnish its own tent- 

On the first morning of the celebration, the Chief Marshal, 
Henry Minor, Esq., made out the order of procession, as follows, 

A single Fifer and Drummer. 
Antique Procession. 


New Milford Band. 

Warner Light Guards. 

President of the day, 


Orator of the day and Poet. 


The various Committees of Arrangements. 

Emigrant Sons, &c., of the Territory. 

Citizens at large. 

The Chief Marshal wore the Revolutionary military undress of 

a Major-General, and Dr. Davi?, of Bethlem, wore a military suit 

worn by Col. Bellamy in the war of 1812. 

A cloudless sun rose over the fair valley of Woodbury, on the 
morning of the fourth, and the weather was cool and most de- 

The day was ushered in by the 
booming of cannon and the ringing 
of bells, in the various parts of the 
town, in the most spirited and joyous 
manner. At an early hour the peo- 
ple began to fill the town, and at 10 jff 
o'clock, A. M., the streets were 
almost impassable. The people of -" 
Washington came under the direc- 



tion of Sherman Havtwell as Marshal, in a procession of more thau 
a mile in length, escorted by the New Milford Band. In it were 
one six-horse team, loaded with fifty persons, ten four-horse teams^ 
sixty two-horse teams, and fifty one-horse teams, with flags, ban- 
ners, and some antique costumes. Much credit is due to Russell 
W. Frisbie and Thomas F. Brinsmade, for this fine turn out. Rox- 
bury came out in her ancient strength. Her procession consisted 
of two hundred and seventeen teams, under the direction of CoL 
Philo N. Hodge, as Marshal. This processisn was rich in antique 
display, and contained several things worthy of special mention. 
Among them was a cart, bearing for a motto, " Days of Home- 
spun," drawn by six yokes of oxen, the team of Ira Bradley, con- 
taining a flax-breaker, hetchell, flax cards, double flax spinning 
wheel, and quill wheel, all in operation, worked by ladies in 
antique costumes. The driver was Le Roy Bradley, in corres- 
ponding dress. Another wagon bore John A. Squire, of Roxbury, 
and twenty-two of his grand-children, while another still loaded 
with people in antique dress, bore a flag with the motto, " Times 
and Seasons continue- — Manners and Customs change." This 
section was escorted by the Warner Light Guards of Roxbury, in 
a new and elegant uniform, under the command of Capt. Lewis 
Jndd, who performed escort and sentinel duty during both days, 
and by the excellence of their military evolutions, the strictness 
of their discipline, and the gallantry of their bearing, might be 
favorably compared with many a veteran company, which had seen 
years of drilling. Southbury, also, turned out more than one 
hundred teams, under Charles Whitlock, as Marshal. All the 
other towns came with very creditable processions, besides the 
numerous conveyances crowded with people, who did not join any 

After the several delegations had arrived, the General " Antique 
Procession " was formed at about 11, A. M., on' the green in front 
of Hon. N. B. Smith's dwelling house, at the location of the First 
Meeting House in the town. Under the effective arrangements 
made by N. Smith, Esq., and H. W, Shove, M. D , aided by Rev. 
Messrs. R. G. "Williams and C. T. Woodruff", it became the marked 
feature of the occasion. It extended, while on its march towards 
the grounds, at least an eighth of a mile in length, exhibiting all 
the varying costumes of the last two hundred years. It was 
headed by an ancient drummer and fifer. Next came the clergy 
of the several towns, in bands and gowns, the clerical costume of 


clergymen of all denominations, less than two centuries ago. 
Among the clergy, Rev. R. G. Williams was particularly noticea- 
ble for the perfection of detail in his costume. Then came the 
Puritan costumes of two hundrtd years ago, worn by the Minors, 
the Judsons, the Curtisses, the Stiles, lineal descendants of the 
early settlers of Woodbury, succeeded and contrasted by ladies 
and gentlemen in the cavalier costumes of the same period. Some 
ot these costumes were magnificent, and all attracted much atten- 
tion. Succeeding the couples on foot, came others on horseback, 
the ladies on pillions. One couple attracted particular attention. 
They were Capt, Judson Hurd, aged 85 years, and Mrs. Harvey 
Atwood, aged 72, both dressed in ancient costumes, and riding a 
horse thirty years old. Then followed old chaises with couples 
clothed in the quaint fashion of other days. And here it should 
be noticed, that some of these antique costumes and dresses were 
bona fide relics of the olden times, descended as heir-looms from 
father to son. Nothing could be more curious than this proces- 
sion of ladies and gentlemen ; the latter gallanting the former in 
all the styles, from that of two centuries ago, down to the present 
time, the former displaying huge bonnets, high head-dresses, and 
gowns ranging in size from three breadths in a skirt to the ample 
dimensions of modern crinoline. The Masons and the general 
procession followed the antique, making a very imposing display. 
If the various processions as they entered the town, had been ex- 
tended in one line, they would have reached the distance of three 
miles. Nothing in the whole course of the day's proceedings ex- 
cited such general curiosity, conferred so much real pleasure, or 
gave so clear an insight into the past. 

The procession moved directly to the speaker's stand, arriving 
there about half-past 11 A. M. The assemblage was, in all proba - 
bility, the largest ever gathered together in Litchfield county, and 
far the greatest ever convened in the state on a similar occasion, 
numbering not less than fifteen thousand persons. Not less than 
five thousand of these were within hearing distance of the speak- 
er's stand, part of them within, but more without the tent, which 
was open on all sides. The most effective arrangements had been 
made by the Chief Marshal for the preservation of order, and to 
his tact, and the aid of his excellent assistants, great credit is due. 
Everything was under perfect control. This vast multitude 
observed the strictest order, and there was no accident of any 
kind to mar the pleasure of the festive occasion. 


The exercises of the day at the stand where Hon, N. B. Smith 
presided in his dignified and excellent manner, were opened by the 
choir's singing to the air of " Bruce's Address," the 



" Spirits of our sainted dead, 
Heroes to these valleys led, 
Sages of the hoary head, 

Kindly o'er ug bend ; 
Smile upon this classic hour, 
"y"'' To U3 children, give your power, 

In this consecrated bower. 

Us your glory lend. 

" Pioneers of Pomperaug, 
Dwellers near the Quassapaug, 
By meandering Nonnewaug, 

Hasten ye along ; 
Brothers near the Weraumaug, 
By the cliffs of Orenaug, 
By the falls of old Shepaug, 

Help to swell our song. 

" From the pines on Bantam's shore, 
Softly whispering evermore, 
Weekeepeemee's verdant plain. 

And from Polatuck, 
Come we with our offerings, 

All our dear and holy things, i 

From each side the chorus rings, 

E'en from Naugatuck. 

" Here we come with earnest zeal, 
Mindful of our ancient weal. 
Memories bright to us appeal. 

On this glorious day ; 
Here where Freedom's banner waves. 
Here above our father's graves, 
We, as erst the native braves. 

Glad our honors pay. 

" We revere those holy men. 
Soon returned to heaven again. 
But their works with us remain. 
On this festive day ; 


Thankful to our God above, 

For their deeds of matchless love, 

Their example let us prove, 

While on earth we stay." 


A fervent and impressive prayer was oftered to the Throne of 
Grace, by Rev, Robert G. Williams, pastor of the Fii'st Congre- 
gational Church of Woodbury. 

The Emigrants from Woodbury were then " Welcomed Home 
again," by Nathaniel Smith, Esq., of Woodbury : 

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen, who are here as 
Returned Emigrants : 

We have learned, as the preparations for this our Bi-Centennial 
Celebration progressed, that many of you would to-day revisit the 
scenes of your childhood ; and have feared that among you there 
might be some whose old homesteads no longer echoed to familiar 
voices, — whose relations had gone out from among us, to a newer 
or a better land. Lest, therefore, any here should be sad for the 
lack of kindly greeting in their native valley, the citizens of 
Ancient Woodbury have directed me to bid you in their name, a 

" We have invited you to unite with us in reviewing a history 
which is our mutual inheritance, — a past whose story is written all 
over these hills and valleys. Around us, smiling m-eadows and 
cheerful homes speak of the patient, unobtrusive toil that has 
wrought this " Dwelling in a Wood." Moss, gathered and gath. 
ering on the tomb-stones in our grave-yards, tells how long ago 
the eai'ly builders began to fixll asleep. Their homes are our pos- 
session — their memory a legacy to all. 

" We are happy to see you here, not only on account of the 
pleasure your presence adds to the general enjoyment ; but more 
especially because your coming assures us that our history, and 
song, and services, are not the result of mere local pride, but that 
you esteem them, as we do, a proper tribute to departed worth, 
an expression of gratitude justly due from us on such an anni- 
versary, to the noble and the good who have gone before. We 
commemorate no ordinary struggles and necessities of frontier 
life. We rehearse the fortitude and success of no common 
adventurers. Were those whose memory we are here to honor, 


mere first settlers, actuated by no higher motive than usually leads 
such into the wilderness, our theme would perhaps be unworthy 
of this occasion. The pioneer is rarely a man of exalted virtue. 
Hardy, courageous, and uncouth, he resembles those lichens, 
which, forerunners of vegetation, fix themselves on the barren 
rock, by their acids disintegrate its surface and assimilate its sub- 
stance, till the soil adheres, the grasses grow, and waving flowers 
succeed them. Not such were the Puritan fathers. They were 
holy Pilgrims, and the place they sought became a shrine. 

"To such a spot you return to-day — return to meet cheerful faces 
and hospitable dwellings. How difierent was their coming ! 

' The rocking pines of the forest roared, 
7%zs was their ' welcome home.' ' 

" They followed God's guidance into the wilderness, and brought 
His worship with them. Hai'dships were before, dangers around 
them : but tliey encountered all in that spirit, which instead of 
choosing castles, towers, or beasts of prey, the emblems of con- 
quest and pride, for armorial bearings, placed three vines upon a 
shield, and wrote beneath, 

" Qui Transtulit Sustinet." 

" Behold to-day how He has ' sustained !' See it in these fruitful 
valleys ! Read it in this happy throng ! Truly it is not wondei*- 
ful that a past thus begun and thus resulting, should move us to 
unite in public rejoicing. Let other and older nations do homage 
to conquero;'s and triumph in their battle-fields. New England 
celebrates her centuries, which bring down the Puritan's blessing 
to ever increasing thousands in her land of peace. 

"^Welcome, then, sons and daughters of Ancient Woodbury, who 
return as emigrants to-day — welcome to the land of your fathers, 
to the scene where we unite to do honor to their memory ! How 
longsoever you have been absent, though you meet with few 
familiar faces, we greet you as old acquaintances, as near relations. 
And knowing that the child of New England never forgets his 
birth-place, though you have your habitations elsewhere, return- 
ing here, we bid you welcome HOME." 

A historical address was then delivered by the author of this 
work, who introduced his subject as follows : 

" We stand this day upon the grave of two hundred years. 
We have come with solemn awe and reverent tread to commune 
with the long buried past. We are assembled, on this anniversary 


morn, for the first time, in the long lapse of two centuries, to 
commemorate the deeds of our departed sires. We are come, 
after years of absence from the old firesides, to recall the memo- 
ries and renew the associations of former days. Some of us come 
to look upon the old homesteads among the hills, and breathe a 
sigh over the moss-grown graves of ancestors long since gone to 
their rest. Some of us come to view the hallowed spot on which 
our eyes first saw the light; where we, in the hours of innocent 
childhood, received a father's and a mother's blessing, and where 
we, could we have our wish, at the^ close of a well-spent life, 
would yield our tired spirits up to the Giver of all good. We are 
this day surrounded with the results of all the labors of the past, 
and occupy the proud positions long years ago so nobly adorned 
by the sainted fathers and mothers who planted this fei'tile terri- 
tory, and who, having ceased from their labors, have 'ascended 
into glory.' They have passed away to the laud of spirits like the 
dissolving of a sunset cloud into the cerulean tints of heaven — 
stealing from existence like the strain of ocean-music, when it dies 
away, slowly and sweetly, upon the moonlit waters. We do 
well, on this glad day of liberty, to celebrate their lofty achieve- 
ment s, and do meet honor to their deathless names. If those re- 
vered spirits, who have so long enjoyed their sacred repose, can 
look down through the veil that obscures our view of Heaven, 
they will approve, with a smile of love, the design of our assem- 
bling here. And when, on the morrow, you shall leave this place 
to revisit it no more forever, you will feel that it has been good 
for you to have been here on this glad occasion." 

Then followed a rapidly sketched epitome of the history of the 
town. The old first mill stone of 1681, being placed on a table, 
was used for a reading desk — rude memorial of the early days 
which has escaped the ravages of " time's efiacing finger !" 
During the progress of this address various ancient articles were 
exhibited to the audience, some of which were thus described ; 

" Here is the ball which buried itself in the groin of Col. Hin- 
man, where it remained for the long period of thirty-three years, 
when it was extracted by Dr. Anthony Burritt. On its passage 
it hit a bayonet by his side, cutting and flattening the edge as you 
see. And here is another Revolutionary relic, aye, a relic of the 
first days of the colony, two hundred years ago. It has been 
handed down from father to son, from its first known owner, Capt. 


John Minor, the Indian interpreter, and is known to be at least 
220 years old. By closer inspection, I see the manufacturer's 
date upon the barrel is 1624. It was used in the Pequot war, in 
all the French and Indian wars, and in the war of the Revolution. 
It is said to have caused, first and last, the death of forty red menr 
and from this circumstance has been familiarly known as the 
'forty Indian gun.' And here is still another relic of two centu- 
ries ago — the old arm chair of Col. Benjamin Hinman, brouglit 
from Stratford, and formerly the property of Francis Stiles. 
Here, too, is his pipe of peace, presented to him at the peace of 
1783, with a request that he would smoke it as often as the 4th of 
July should return — a request with which he faithfully complied. 
Here, too, is a chair used by Gen. Washington at New York." 

Alter recounting the various historical events in the proud 
history of the old town, the address closed with some reflections 
growing out of the circumstances attending the occasion : 

"Thus have we wandered through the flowery fields of the past, 
plucking here and thei'e a sweet garland of wild flowers by the 
wayside, and another in the cultivated gardens of advancing 
civilization, as best suited our purpose. We have endeavored, in 
our humble way, duly to reverence and honor the past. We have 
traced with pious toil the varying tints, the lights and shadows of 
the pioneer life of our sainted fathers, who occupied these seats 
before us. We have rendered them a willing and a filial tribute 
of love, duty and recollection. There is a pure and unalloyed 
pleasure in wandering amid the scenes and incidents of the long- 
buried past. There is a sad, though ennobling interest in seeking 
the faintest recorded trace of the early fathers. The eye has 
kindled at the ancient glories, and the soul has been warmed with 
a placid flow of tender heart sympathies. In the wealth of the 
past, full well have we traced ' God's hand in history.' No inqui- 
ries can be more interesting to the intelligent student seeking 
guidance from the light of former days, and desiring above all to 
emulate that sublime intermixture of the true principles of sta- 
bility and progress, so happily blended in the history of our fore- 
fathers. The feelings that promjot these filial inquiries are just 
and natural — they give birth to some of the dearest charities of 
life, and fortify some of its sternest virtues. The principle that 
prompts them lies deep within our nature. 

" While rendering, therefore, due liomnge to the past, and 


profiting by all its honored maxims, we wonld not blindly worship 
it. In the proud consciousness of manhood, we should not fear 
the present, or its bold and startling issues, nor should we be dis- 
trustful of the future, and of the hidden mysteries it may have in 
store. We should not fear the rapid march of events across the 
stage of life. We would not build a fair superstructure on the 
ruins of former times, nor wonld we 'bind down the living, 
breathing, burning present,' to the mouldering though honored 
relics of the past. We would rather imitate all that was glorious 
in the acts and example of the ' men of seventy-six, the boldest 
men of progress the world has ever seen.' We would emblazon 
their great principles of conservative progress with a pencil 
dipped in fire. We are proud of the past, glory in the present, 
and look hopefully forward to the future. We do not even tear 
enthusiasts and ultraists, as from the collision of extremes comes 
the ever truthful mean. We would so mingle them that there 
'should flow in harmonious procession the cadence of a history 
chiming on through the centuries, full of faith and praise.' We 
would fearlessly meet the issues vv^e cannot avoid, while the past 
impels and the future summons us to prompt action, occupying as 
we do the great middle ground between the early age of planting 
and the bright harvest of the future, which stretches towards us 
its hands laden with ripened fruit. We would hasten to the 
golden fields and bright realizations of the days to come. Our 
acts are not for an age, but for all time. 

" Glorious, thrice glorious is the day we celebrate ! It is the 
two hundredth anniversary of the exploration of this valley, the 
one hundred and eighty-ninth of the gathering of the First 
Church, and the eighty-third of our national independence. Ou 
this glad day of liberty, what sacred emotions arise in the patri- 
otic breast ! How shall we rightly honor a day consecrated by 
the deeds of the noble men of all the past — not more the patriots 
who fought in the gloomy days of the revolution, than those who 
struggled amid the dangers of defenceless and remote forests. It 
has taken all the labors of our fathers, from tlie first hardy pio- 
neer, to make the glorious present. We enjoy the fruits of all the 
toil and blood of our fathers for two hundred years. It is meet, 
then, that we greet with enthusiastic joy the smiling morn of the 
anniversary of that last, most daring and sublime of all the acts of 
our forefathers, the Declaration of Independence. It is well that 
we hail its annual return with the ringing of bells upon ten 


thousand hills ; by the booming of innumerable cannon and smaller 
arms ; by rockets, fire-works and illuminations ; by solemn pro- 
cessions and grateful prayers to God ; by stirring orations and 
patriotic songs ! May the hymns of liberty never die out from 
our breezy mountains, nor the lofty sentiment of patriotism from 
our happy valleys ! Let the glad echoes be repeated from the 
Eastern to the Western Ocean, and from the icy regions of the 
North to the sunny climes of the ever-blooming South ! 

" What shall be the developments and improvements in our 
highly favored territory, a hundred years hence ? The answer to 
this question must depend mainly upon ourselves. Of all this 
vast concourse, not one will be here to celebrate the next centen- 
nial. Long ere another centennial sun shall rise over this lovely 
valley, we shall have experienced the ' last of earth,' and passed 
to join the innumerable company of the dead ! ' The dead of old 
Woodbury ! Lost, yet found forever — absent, yet present now 
and always — dead, but living in that glorious life, which, com- 
mencing on the confines of time, spreads onward and ever 
onward through the endless ages of eternity.' Then let tis, by 
the nobleness of our conduct, and the purity of our lives, eschew- 
ing all low delights and jarring discords, strive to add our mite 
to the great and good history of our sainted fathers, who have 
* ascended into glory.' Then will our cliildren, as they shall, with 
wet lids, assemble here, a hundred years hence, to commemorate 
our history, be enabled to say of us, ' they wrought well, and 
have received the reward of their labors,' Then shall our fame, as 
well as that of those glorious men who have already entered into 
their rest, be perennial with our noble language, in which it is re- 
corded, now ' spread more widely than any that has ever given 
expression to human thought.' " 

At the close of the address, after music from the Band, the 
vast multitude repaired to the tents, provided with an abundance 
of eatables by the good ladies of the several towns, where they 
were hospitably entertained. In a brief space, the people were 
again summoned to the stand, and the exercises were opened by 
music from the Band, followed by the well-known song, " The 
Pilgrim Fathers," sung with fine efiect by Gilbert Somers Minor, 
an aged man of silvery locks and long white beard. Then fol- 
lowed a Historical Poem by Rev. William Thompson Bacon, of 


Mr. Bacon is a native of Woodbury, and the chief poet of all 
the ancient territory. He has written much and well, but no 
effort of his pen ever did him more credit than his poem on this 
occasion. We will quote a passage or two, applicable to this 
history, which may serve as a sample of the whole. Describing 
the advent of our fathers in this valley, to found a new town, he 
says : 

"It is a thought of beauty and of fear, 
To look upon those lonely wanderers here, — 
The first white men that ever stood upon 
This ancient soil, or look'd upon the sun, — 
And try an instant to call up the power, 
That lay upon their souls in that still hour ! 
Was it not solemn, as they paused to view 
The embracing hills, or look'd upon the blue 
Broad heaven, that, like a canopy, came down. 
And rested on the circling mountains' crown, 
They all alone, alone, amid the scene, — 
A solemn, silent, wilderness of green ":' 
O, had some power, one little moment then, 
Flashed through the minds of these heroic men. 
The mighty future, from the distance caught. 
With all its splendid wealth of soul and thought, 
It's strength and beauty, innocence and truth, 
And reverend age. and loving dreams of youth. 
Each age successive gatliering up the past. 
Till the bright present on their souls was cast, — 
Would there been wanting to that spot and time. 
One single element of the grand sublime? — 
And would they not have trembled, in each sense. 
At God's unfolding, mighty Providence ? 

'• These brave men scoured the region all around. 
Sought every spot, and all its promise found, — 
The gentle valley and the rounded hill. 
The winding stream and solitary rill ; 
Each opening vista through the forest glade, 
And every charm by freak of Nature made, — 
From the cool grotto, where the brooklets run. 
To splinter'd peak, tall black'nii g in the sun; — 
At last, discovering what they came for, pleas'd 
With what they'd purchas'd, not, like robbers, seized, 
Back 10 old Stratford's strand they turn once more, 
And tell the wondrous story o'er and o'er. 

" RcU back the tide of time ! and let us stand 
Two hundred years ago, with that brave band. 


Who, from the hill, that, westering, skirts this scene, 
Looked down upon its rolling forests green. 
And, gazing, as they might, with strange surprise, 
Let the whole mighty landscape All their eyes! 

" Roll back the tide ! and let us, as we may, 
Group, in our thought, the picture of that day, — 
Of that brave band along the forests' led, 
Now climbing steeps, now whore the waters spread,— 
Startled, how oft, to catch that sound of iear, 
The bark of cat, or yell of mountaineer, — 
Till where you mountain rising to the blue. 
Gave all this glorious landscape to their view ! 

"Far to the north, hills over hills survey, 
Till their blue tops are mingled with the day ; 
Far to the south the widening vale extends. 
Whose wealth of splendor every beauty lends; 
Far to the west, in wide succession spread, 
Valley and hill, and jutting mountain head; 
While right before them, 'ueath the morning sky. 
Nature's wide wonders all, were in their eye ! 

" I wonder much, if those broad-breasted men. 
In that rough age — (it will not come again — 
Should not perhaps)— I wonder if they view'd 
As we, this mighty stretch of wave and wood ! 
The Spring's first bird was whistling in the skj-, 
The fragrant birch its tassels flaunted nigh ; 
Through the moist mould, in beauty ever young, 
Tall ranks of flowers on every bank were flung; 
Far by the streams, as here and there they view'd, 
The classic willow, by the brook-side stood, 
Trembling all over in the morning's beam, 
Or playing with its shadow on the stream ; 
The young winds bore their fragrance all about, 
Mingled with hum of bee and torrent's shout, 
And the wide air with all those sounds was filled, 
That fancy ever dream'd, or heart has thrill'd ; — 
I wonder how those men, of stalwart mien, 
In that sweet morn looked forth upon the scene j 

" One mighty purpose all that age had fired. 
One mighty aim each swelling soul inspired ; 
One truth, fast lock'd, in every soul was kept, 
That conscience guarded, and that never slept ; — 
Man came from God, in his own image made, 
And by that charter certain rights conveyed; — 
Those rights long trampled by an hireling throne. 


Had sent them forth, to ways and wilds unknown; 
Here on bleak shores, soft breezes seldom press'd, 
Here mid rude scenes, gay fancy seldom dress'd, 
Alone, raid death, in want of all but worth, 
They battled for the noblest prize on earth, — 
Man in his native dignity to stand, 
Himself a prince and ruler of the land ! 

" Small time had they then for the mere ideal, 
Their love was truth, their present life all real ; 
They walked the world, faith's vision never dim, 
Saw not God's works, they only gazed on Hmi ! 

" Tell me, ye sons of that imperial race. 
Imperial only, as their truth ye trace ; — 
Those brave men, scorning courts, and kingly cr©w. 
And only daring less than angels do ; — 
Tell me, if prince or nobleman there be, 
Can boast a prouder ancestry than we !" 

At the close of the poem, which occupied an hour and a half in 
the delivery, the assemblage united in singing an original congrat- 
ulatory, and reminiscient ode, furnished by the writer of this. 
Then followed the benediction, by Rev. Thomas L. Shipman, of 
Jewett City, Conn., formerly Pastor of the Congregational 
Chnrch in Southbury. The invited guests then scattered among 
the hospitable homes of our town, and never was their hospitality 
taxed to so great an extent before or since. Happy greetings of 
friends, and long deferred reunions were the order of the hour 
that will never be forgotten while life remains. 

On the morning of the second day, at eight o'clock, about one 
thousand persons convened in that sacred dell in the thick woods, 
on the east side of the Orenaug Rocks, half a mile from the vil- 
lage, which was consecrated by the prayers and praises of the 
early fathers, and by them called Bethel Rock. This meeting was 
held for the special purpose of commemorating this most interest- 
ing fact in the history of our revered ancestors, and the occasion 
was one long to be remembered by every devout heart. 

Rev. Robert G. Williams, pastor of the old Pioneer Church, 
opened the meeting by giving out one verse of the hymn com- 
mencing — 

" Be Thou, God, exalted high," 
which, being sung with great solemnity, in the ever welcome air 


of " Old Hundred," Dea. Eli Summers was called upon to lead in 
prayer, which he did, after making some feeling and appropriate 
remarks. Then followed the reading of portions of the 28th and 
35th chapters of Genesis, which contain the account of Jacob's 
setting up a stone to indicate the place where God had talked with 
him, and naming it his Bethel ; Avhich passages occasioned the 
giving by our falhers of the name of Bethel Rock to this beauti- 
fully wild and secluded place of prayer and communion with God. 
Then followed, in rapid succession, appropriate remarks by Mr. 
B. H. Andrews, of Waterbury, Rev. Anson S. Atwood, of Mans- 
field Centre, Dea, Truman Minor, of Woodbury, and Rev. Philo 
Judson, of Rocky Hill, Mr. Judson became much affected while 
giving reminiscences of the great and good men with whom he 
had communed in prayer in this sacred retreat, in former years, 
and who now rest from their labors till the " Great Day of Ac- 
counts." Then followed the hymn — 

" Once more, my soul, the rising day,'"' &c. 

Rev. Benjamin C. Meigs, late missionary to Ceylon, where he 
had labored for more than forty years, now led in a beautiful and 
impressive prayer, after having made the following remarks : — 


My Friends ! I feel that it is good for us to be here. Here is 
the place where our Puritan fathers assembled to worship God, 
before they had any sanctuary built for this purpose, and while 
their savage foes roamed in these forests. In this beautiful ravine, 
under these sheltering rocks, by setting a watch on younder point, 
they could worship in comparative safety. Hence the name by 
which this place is known — " Bethel Rock." Surely the God of 
Bethel is here this morning, " This is none other but the house 
of God, and this is the gate of heaven." May we not suppose 
that our pious forefathers are now looking down upon us, while 
we are gathered together in this consecrated place of worship ? 
With what delight will they behold this assembly, while we pour 
out our hearts before God in prayer '? 

A few appropriate remarks by Dea. Judson Blackman, were fol- 
lowed by a prayer from Rev. Anson S, Atwood, and the singing 
of a verse from the ninetieth Psalm, The regular exercises being 
now closed, a few moments were spent in hearing volunteer 


remarks, when the audience united in singing the verse, com- 
mencing — 

" Lord, dismiss us with thy blessing," 

Then followed the brief concluding prayer, by Rev. Philo Jud- 
son, and the benediction by Rev, Austin Isham, of Roxbury, and 
this solemn and interescing occasion was numbered with the events 
of the past, an event never to occur again during the life of any 
soul present at the revered spot. Many lingered, as if unwilling 
to separate, and many more procured and carried away portions 
of the rock and moss, to be treasured as sacred mementoes of a 
hallowed spot and a sacred scene. 

At ten o'clock, a procession was formed in the same order as 
the first day, with the exception of the " antique " portion of it, 
which was omitted, and marched to the Tent, escorted by the 
Band and Warner Light Guards. 

The services were opened by music from the Band, followed by 
reading of the following 



Supposed to be sung on the spot where the Pilgrim Settlers held their first Sabbath 


Here, then, beneath the greenwood shade, 

The Pilgrim first his altar made ; 

'T was here, amid the mingled throng. 

First breathed the prayer, and woke the song. 

How peaceful smiled that Sabbath sun, 
How holy was that day begun, 
When here, amid the dark woods dim, 
Went up the Pilgrims' first low hymn ! 

Look now upon the same still scene. 
The wave is blue, the turf is green ; 
But where are now the wood and wild. 
The Pilgrim, and the forest child ? 

The wood and wild have passed away ; 
Pilgrim and forest child are clay ; 
But here, upon their graves, we stand, 
The children of that Ckristian band. 


An exceedingly eloquent, fervid, and appropriate prayer was 
then offered by Rev. Friend W. Smith, Pastor of the Methodist 
Church in Woodbury. 

Then followed a sermon by Rev. Henry Beers Sherman, of Belle- 
ville, New Jersey, a native of Woodbury. It was a labored and 
finished production, and gave great pleasure to the friends on the 

At the close of the sermon, short speeches, in reply to previ- 
ously prepared sentiments, was the order of the day, and consti- 
tuted one of the most interesting features of this most memorable 

The first sentiment was, — " The early Clergy of Ancient Wood- 
bury," and was responded to by Rev. Anson S. Atwood, of Mans- 
field Center, Conn., a native of Woodbury. A passage or two 
will show the character of the effort, and will be read with 
pleasure : — 

" Zechariah Walker was the first Pastor of Ancient Woodbury. 
It is a good name — Zechariah — it is a Bible name, and he was a 
Bible man. The church was organized in 1670, and he assumed 
the pastorate. And if tradition tells the truth, and the little of 
history that has come down to us, may be credited, he is not to 
be numbered among the tyiinor prophets of his day and placed on 
the last leaves of the Bible. He was not an ordinary man, but 
made of sterner stuff — a man for the times and the work Provi- 
dence had for him to do ; every way worthy to be the minister of 
that little adventurous band, who came from Stratford to explore 
and seek a home in the wilderness of Pomperaug ; and when they 
reached the elevation of that western summit, and had gazed and 
gazed again upon the valley, the object of their search, reposing 
at their feet in all its primitive beauty and loveliness, they fell on 
their knees in gratitude to return thanks to God, and John Minor 
offered that memorable prayer, which your own historian has re- 
corded — a prayer for a divine blessing on their enterprise, and that 
they might have an upright and godly posterity in all coming gen- 
erations. A prayer- that has proved well nigh prophetic for ten 
generations of the descendants of some of these pioneers. 

"Yes, Zechariah Walker was fitted for such an enterprise, casting 
in his lot with theirs, comforting and cheering them on in their 
toils, labors, sacrifices and perils in the wilderness, in laying the 
foundation of a new order of things. 


" For a few of the first years of his ministry, the place of worship 
in the winter was the log cabins of his parishioners ; in the sum- 
mer, the Bethel rock was his sanctuary and altar, the beat of the 
drum his bell, the heavens his sound-board, his chorister unknown, 
but perched on a rocky eminence might be seen the sentinel watch- 
ing the approach of danger, while they bowed the knee of devo- 
tion before God. There, in the solitude of the forest, the glad 
tidings of the gospel were heard by attentive ears, and the songs 
of Zion were sung by strong and joyful hearts. 

'' History says of him, that he had a sound mind, was a powerful 
and pungent preacher, that he lived in harmony with his people 
thirty years, died beloved, and sleeps in death with those to whom 
he ministered. 

"Anthony Stoddard followed in the pastorate in 1702. A part 
of his name Roman, but all the rest of him was Stoddard, from 
the crown of his head to the sole of his foot ; and he had a brave, 
strong, Christian heart, that beat full and clear, as it sent out its 
pulsations through all the channels of the duties of his sacred of- 
fice. Who was his father ? Whence came he ? W^e have the 
answer. He had an enviable descent, from one of the ablest di- 
vines New England had raised on her soil. Solomon Stoddard, of 
Northampton, Mass., was that father, who had few equals, if any 
superior, in the ministry of that day. He was of a liberal heart, 
and he gave to the cause of Christ some large donations. He had 
a daughter, Esther, much beloved, and he gave her away to be 
the wife of the Rev. Timothy Edwards, of East Windsor, Conn., 
and the mother of the immortal Jonathan Edwards. He had a 
son, Anthony, equally beloved, and he gave him to Ancient Wood- 

"This son honored his parentage. His intellect and furniture of 
mind were of a high order; and one would think from the amount 
of labor he performed, his mind must have been kept from rust- 
ing. He must have had almost a giant's strength, to have, in no 
unimportant sense, discharged the duties oi three professions: that 
of a pastor, a physician, and a counsellor or judge, while, it is said, 
he neglected no part of the duties of the ministry. It was from 
a necessity of the times that all these labors devolved upon him. 
It must be remembered, that education was almost entirely with 
and in the hands of ministers in the early infancy of our colonial 
State. Hence, they had to do many things that belong to other 
professions. To teach school-masters, and fit them for their work 


draw deeds, wills, keep records, and even be judges, in some cases ^ 
of probate. Many of these burdensome duties pressed upon Stod- 
dard, but he met them cheerfully, manfully devoting soul and body 
and every energy of his being to the advancement of the best in- 
terests of his flock, temporal and ^ternal, and not without blessed 
results. A long, prosperous and happy ministry of sixty years 
crowned his labors. The divine approbation set its seal to his 
ministry, in permitting him to see almost constant additions to 
the church through the whole period of his ministry, numbering 
in all four hundred and seventy-four persons. 

" At an advanced age, having served his generation faithfully, 
he came to the grave, " as a shock of corn fully ripe," and his 
record is on high. 

" Noah Benedict, the third pastor of Ancient Woodbury, was 
ordained October 22, 1760. We now come within the recollection 
of living witnesses, to speak of a man whose name is hallowed in 
the memories of many who have gone before me. You remember 
him well — remember him as you remember no other minister you 
ever knew, and loved him as you never loved any other man. Nor 
can I think you wrong in it. My earliest years were impressed 
with the godliness, purity and excellency of his character, as I 
beard it from parental lips with so much adoration and venera- 
tion, that I came to feel, long before I knew him, that he was 
something more than a man. I am not alone in this impression. 
I have heard grave and venerable men, in the profession and out 
of it, say of him, that " he was born a minister, lived a minister, 
died a minister, and could not, if he would, be any thing else but 
a minister ;" a minister at all times, in all circumstances, in 
the pulpit and out of the pulpit — a 7iol)le minister — a Nathaniel 
indeed, in whom there was no guile. 

" There are three men, of the good and the great that I have 
known, that I would like much to hear pray again, of all men I 
ever heard pray, if they might come back to the world for a brief 
space. Noah Benedict, his Deacon, Matthew Minor, and Azel 
Backus. They are better employed. I recall my impertinent wish, 

"The venerated pastor of whom I am speaking, and Benjamin 
Wildman, of Southbury, were near neighbors, and long tried and 
intimate friends; very different were they in natural temperament 
and ministerial gifts and graces. I remember an anecdote I heard 
in ray youth, illustrative of the two men. Said one of their breth- 
ren, who well knew them both and their different gifts, in a circle 



of Christian friends on a certain occasion, " Give me Benedict to 
pray, Wildman to preach, and I get as near to God and Heaven 
as I ever expect to while in the body." 

Next followed vrell approved speeches by Rev. Thomas L. Ship- 
man, of Jewitt City, Conn., on the " Departed clergy of the present 
generation," and Truman Minor, a deacon of the First church, on 
the " Pioneer Church " of Woodbury. 

After another re-union at the refreshment tents, the booming 
cannon, and the music of the Band, again called the delighted 
multitude to the Speakers' tent, where the exercises of the last 
afternoon were opened, on the part of the choir, by singing with 
hearty joy, the following 



Air — " Sweet Home.'" 

Thrice welcome the day which now brings to the mind. 
The deeds of our fathers, so noble and kind ; 
An incense of sweetness breathes out on the air, 
The incense of welcome,- the incense of prayer. 
Home, home, sweet, sweet home, 

No place like our firesides, 

No place like our homes. 

The earth has grown old for full many a year, 
Since the people of God came to worship Him here ; 
And the graves are moss-grown of the sturdy old stock, 
\Yho prayed in their Bethel, the shade of the Rock. 
Home, «&c. 

Oh ! shades of the mighty, most faithful of men, 
Will the meed of your virtues e'er greet us again 'i 
A halo of glory surrounds each fair brow. 
Which shall shine in yon Heaven forever as now. 
Home. <fec. 

Then followed a speech in reply to the Sentiment, "The Early 
Lawyers of Ancient Woodbury," by Hon. Seth P. Beers, of Litch- 
field, Conn., a native of Woodbury. 

He spoke with much feeling, having been absent from the home 
of his birth nearly sixty years. A few passages of his speech are 
appended, of biographical interest, now that he has passed away 
to his great reward : — 


"I go back to seventy-eight years ago ; and from that stand- 
point glance over the succeeding time. 

"In yonder mansion, late the residence of the much lamented 
and Hon. Charles B. Phelps, on the fourth day of July, 1781, was 
found puling in its nurse's arms, a child — now, the humble indi- 
vidual who addresses a generation that knew not Joseph. 

" My coming hither to-day, seems a completion of the circle of 
my life. It brings me round to the point whence I started, and 
connects the termination of the line with its beginning ; amid the 
scenery of my early days the experiences of my early life come 
back to me. 

" And now while here, a reminiscent, with the aid of objects 
around me, which call to mind the early events of a life which must 
soon terminate, and of which the present generation possesses lit- 
tle if any knowledge, my thoughts naturally linger upon that early 
portion of my life, which was passed in this my birth-place. 

" Whatever opinions may be entertained by others on this sub- 
ject, so far as it respects myself, there is no part of my life to 
which I recur with greater satisfaction, or of which I am more 
proud, than the first chapter of my history. It would deface the 
rest, if that were obliterated from the account. Some person has 
said, (I don't remember who — but am willing to stand sponsor to 
the sentiment,) " the heat and most important section of every 
man^s life is its first.'''' I go back, therefore, to my best, and be- 
gin with the beginning. 

"I can say of myself, that I am ' native and to the manor born ;' 
and if I am entitled to indulgence anywhere, for lingering upon 
personal details, I may fairly claim it here. As no person will be 
likely to undertake my biography, I may as well, perhaps, do it 

" I can answer as to my own family, who were all here in force 
when I emigrated, that the name of Beers has become extinct in 
the town ; and all that now remains here of the Beers blood has 
flowed back into a branch of my mother's family, and the name is 
lost in that of Preston. 

"The annals of my father's family are for the most part to be 
found upon the monuments in yonder grave-yard. With the ex- 
ception of myself, the solitary remainder of a generation that has 
passed away, and a few descendants of my sister, all are gone. 
Having reached that extreme point in human life which is close 


upon fourscore years, though still in the enjoyment of health and 
strength, and hardly feeling in its full weight the burden of my 
years — for which I bless God, and am thankful, — I cannot but feel 
that my coming hither on this occasion is as a bringing together 
the two ends of the line, and a making up of the circle of my his- 
tory. Farewell. 

An extended and studied speech by David B. W. Hard, M. D., 
of Bethlehem, followed in answer to the Sentiment, " The early 
physicians of Ancient Woodbui y." 

The next Sentiment, " The founders of Ancient Woodbury," 
was most eloquently and appropriately responded to by Ex-Gov. 
William T. Minor, of Stamford, a grandson of Woodbury. In 
opening, he said : — 

" It has given me great pleasure that I have been able to accept 
the invitation of your committee and be present with you to join 
in these commemorative services. Since my arrival here last Sat- 
urday afternoon, from what I have seen and heard, I have been 
somewhat disposed to doubt my own identity. I am inclined to 
the opinion that I ought to have been " Deacon Minor." I rather 
think I ought to have been. I am certain that if I had been, and 
discharged faithfully the duties appertaining to that office, I should 
have been a much better man than at present ;. but as I am, it has 
long been a cherished wish of aiy heart, to visit the home of ray 
ancestors; to look at the spot which gave them birth, at the play- 
grounds of their childhood, at the old school-houses in which their 
education was commenced, and in many instances, finished, at the 
fields cultivated in their middle age, at the houses which sheltered 
their old age, at the churches where they ever worshipped, and at 
the grave-yards where now rest all of their mortal remains. Un- 
til now the active business of life has prevented the accomplish- 
ment of that wish. I only regret now, as I look upon your beau- 
tiful hills and valleys, and partake of your generous hospitality, 
that duty has been so long neglected. One of the most obvious 
reflections forcing itself upon the mind, as the eye passes over the 
immense concourse here assembled, is, what numbers of the de- 
scendants of ancient Woodbury, have come together here, from 
all parts of our common country ; the merchant from his counting- 
room, the mechanic from his work-shop, the farmer from his field, 
the professional man from his office, the authoress from her study, 
bringing with her poetical garlands all green and fresh — all leav- 


ing behind the active, stirring scenes of life, some to clasp the 
hand of living friends, fondly welcoming them ; others, to drop a 
tear over the graves of departed ones — all to commemorate the 
virtues of the founders of Woodbury. 

" Although I mingle with you but as a grandchild, of this good 
old town, yet I doubt not my appreciation of its growth and pros- 
perity will be as true, and my relish for these exercises as keen 
and hearty, as of the children and immediate heirs ; from all of 
us a tribute of admiration and respect is equally due to the vir- 
tues, the true nobility and the undying energy of its founders." 

In closing, he gracefully alludes to the fathers : — 

" If the spirits of those good old men, who, two hundred years 
ago, stood on Good Hill, surveying the prospect before and about 
them, could be brought back to-day, and placed upon the exact 
spot where first they looked upon the valley of Woodbury ; if 
they could look upon these side hills, all luxuriant with vegetation, 
these valleys all dotted over with beautiful residences ; if they 
could hear the hum of industry from mountain top and valley, 
and above all, could they look upon this immense concourse of 
their descendants, prosperous, happy and contented ; if their view 
could be extended over the thirty-three States of this confederacy, 
teeming with a population everywhere busy and active, just now 
engaged in commemorating the birth-day of the government 
whose protecting power guarantees to all its citizens life, liberty, 
and the pursuit of happiness, they would feel that their first prayer 
ofiered up in this then wilderness, had become prophecy, and that 
their great faith had been more than realized in its results. Such 
were our ancestors, the founders of Woodbury ; they did well the 
work alloted for them to do, each in his own sphere. Erect for 
them the monumental stone! Cherish well their memory in your 
hearts ; above all, guard with fidelity their principles which you 
have inherited, that on our government maybe inscribed "^s^o 

" A word more, and I have done. It is said that communities, 
as individuals, when thej^ commence to exist, commence to die. 
With reference to this, I will close with ofifering the sentiment — 

" Woodbury. — Its head-stones in 1659, may its foot-stones be in 


The whole audience then united in singing, with great enthusi- 
asm, tlie following 



Tuae — " America^ 

All hail our brothers, friends ! 
Each heart a welcome sends — 

Come neighbors, come ! • 

Meet where your fathers dwelt ; 
Kneel where our mothers knelt ; 
Think how they toil'd and felt, 

In the old home. 

Two hundred years ago, 

Old men, with heads of snow, 

Bared to the breeze, 
'Mid a wild Indian band — 
By the red council brand — 
Grasped the proud chieftain's hand. 

Under the trees. 

Soon the log cabin stood, 
Deep in the hemlock wood, 

Hid by its green ; 
Sons rose to aid the sire. 
Red shone the " fallow fire," 
Up rose the rustic spire. 

Peaceful, serene. 

As forest leaves are shed, 
All round a silent bed, 

Under the sod ; 
There foUow'd sire and son. 
Each when his race was run, 
And all his work was done. 

Going to God. 

If angels wander by, 

When hearts beat warm and high, 

Our sires are here ; 
Thankful that liberty 
Has set their children free — 
Smiling with sympathy. 

Gladness and cheer. 


Sons of that pilgrim few ! 
Souls that are firm and t rue ! 

Hail ye the day ! 
Our union is glorious, 
Our strength all victorious, 
God reigneth over us. 

Praise Him alway ! 

Hon. Charles Chapman, of Hartford, a grand-son of Woodbury, 
next responded to the sentiment, "The grand-children of Ancient 

We have looked this speech through carefully, to see if we 
could make an extract, which would accomplish at once the pur- 
poses of this volume, and, at the same time, do justice to one of 
the most valued, warm-hearted, and genial friends, the author has 
ever possessed. He has now passed the " bourne whence no trav- 
eller returns," and no more beautiful and graceful garland can be 
placed upon the grave of the gifted and eloquent speaker, than to 
present his offering of friendship and love entire. He said : — 

" Having been called to respond to the toast last announced, I 
ought perhaps to imitate the example of the politicians, and ' de- 
fine my position.' The nearer we can approach to the common 
grand-mother, on this occasion, the better pleased we are ; but, 
truth to tell, I am but a great-grandson of ' Ancient Woodbury.' 
The difference, h#wever, may be of minor importance, (if the 
Governor^ will excuse the use of the word in that sense,) inasmuch 
as all the grand-children are great grand-children to-day. 

" There is in the human heart an instinctive love for the place of 
one's nativity. The youth who leaves the paternal roof to seek 
his fortune elsewhere, keeps the old homestead in view, toils on to 
acquire a competency, and when he has achieved the end for which 
he has labored many years, returns to the place of his birth, re- 
purchases the paternal acres, which have passed into other hands, 
and rears a more expensive edifice upon the spot where the old 
mansion stood. He adorns and beautifies the old farm, enriches 
the old fields, plants hedges where the old walls stood, and calls 
the place by a fancy name. 

" Of a kindred character is the regard which one feels for the 
home of his more remote ancestors, the spot where the family took • 
root in the then new world. This sentiment will show itself in 
various ways. It ' crops out,' (in the language of the miners, I 


mean the tuiners in metals,) from time to time, and on this occa- 
sion may be observed i;pon every hand. The remote descendants 
of the early settlers in this lovely valley are here in great num- 
bers, and others residing in distant regions have sent their con- 
tributions to this festival in letters, relics, and touching senti- 

*' I have been commissioned by one of these descendants to pre- 
sent to the town of Woodbury some tokens of his regard, which 
I trust you will carefully preserve in the archives of the town. 
I will read to you my " Power of Attorney," (excuse the language 
of the profession,) and when you hear that, and the name of the 
man from whom it comes, you will regret with me, that he can 
not be heard from this stand, upon an occasion so w^ell suited to 
his tastes as this is. You will recognize in him the historian of 

"Hartford, July 1st, 1859. 
" Hon. Charles Chapman : 

Dear Sir: — In compliance with your solicitation, I take 
pleasure in sending, through you, some memorials for the forth- 
coming celebration of the settlement of Ancient Woodbury. They 
are, a piece of the wood of the far-tamed Charter Oak, a view of 
this Monarch Tree as it looked in life, and a view of it as it looked 
in death, the morning after it fell. It was within the period of the 
birth of Woodbury — but a few years only after the Stileses, and 
Curtises, and Judsons, and Minors, tirst settled there — that Sir 
Edmund Andros made his impotent attempt to seize and inval- 
idate that noble Charter under whose folds Samuel Sherman and 
his associates obtained liberty from the General Court "to erect a 
plantation at Pomperauge " — and those, the early dwellers there — 
in common with the Colonists of Connecticut at large — rejoiced, 
then in the olden time, in that gnarled old Oak, which protected 
their Constitution of government, and saved their liberties — liber- 
ties which have never since been overthrown — but which — conse- 
crated by the sacrifices and services of her sons in the councils 
and on the battle-fields of the Union — are now, thank Heaven, 
"imperishable and impregnable." 

" Pleasant, therefore, I have thought it would be to the descend- 
ants of the first settlers of Woodbury, to receive the particular 

^ Gov. Wm. T. Minor, who was sitting on the stand. 


memorials which I commit to your charge. A thousand interest- 
ing historic associations cluster around them. They vividly renew 
the Past. They point to an heroic age for Connecticut. They 
should incite patriotic emotion. They should teach us all to love 
and honor our State as it has loved and honored us. 

" I am myself, Sir, a descendant, in the fourth generation, of 
that worthy and distinguished divine, who, for nearly sixty years, 
ministered in Ancient Woodbury — the Rev. Anthony Stoddard — 
and I therefoi'e feel a special gratification in the fact that the birth 
of this town is to be duly celebrated, and that you, Sir — one of its 
grand-sons — are to mingle, actively, in the " high festival." Few 
municipalities in Connecticut can point to a more historic past 
than Woonbury. Its Indian, civil, ecclesiastical and Revolutionary 
life — so admirably portrayed by its historian, Wm. Cothren, Esq. 
— place it among the first of our towns, and justify its good re- 
pute. That the celebration in which its citizens propose to in- 
dulge, may prove gratifying to themselves — may call up gladden- 
ing memories — may glow with the spirit of patriotism — and aug- 
ment their love for their venerable and happy home, is the hearty 
wish of, Yours truly, 


[Then Mr. Chapman exhibited the block from the Charter Oak, 
the picture of the tree as it appeared when standing, and after it 
was prostrated by the storm.] 

There are others, and many others, who are neither inhabitants 
of Woodbury, nor descendants of those who were, who feel a deep 
interest in its history, and in these festivities, which mark the two 
hundredth anniversary of the exploration of this valley. Your 
industrious and talented fellow-citizen, William Cothren, Esq., has 
done much to create and foster this interest, by his carefully 
prepared work — a work that does honor to him and to you, and 
which is a most valuable contribution to the history of our State. 

Our own poetess, who is the poetess of Connecticut, ^>ar excel- 
lence^ has committed to my hands a little " gem of purest ray se- 
rene " from her casket of jewels, which she has authorized me to 
present to you on this occasion. She rejoices in your history, as 
you do in her well-earned fame. Like another eminent lady who 
went from among you in her youth, [JSIrs. Ann S. tStephens,) and 
who has contributed to this Festival by her presence and by her 
pen, she has risen to her enviable position in the world of letters 


by her own merit. Long may she live to entertain us by her 
works, and teach us by her example. 


Back to the hills by summer-breezes courted, 

Back to the ancient roof, the shaded plain, — 
Back to the play-ground where their fathers sported, 

The summon'd children turn their course again. 

And as the Fountain loves the tuneful voices 

Of her far streamlets, whereso'er they tend, 
And at the echo of their fame rejoices 

When nobly with the ocean-tide they blend, — 

So this fair Region— rich in vales and waters. 
Swells with maternal pride her flowery zone, 

At this re-union of her sons and daughters, — 
And in their well-earned honor finds her own. 


Hartford, June 28th, 1859. 

There is another of the other sex, who is bound to you by no 
tie, but Avho has yieldefl to my request, and sent a sparkljng con- 
tribution to this intellectual banquet. He may be known to some 
of you as a regular contributor to the Knickerbocker, and as an 
occasional correspondent of some of the journals in this State. He 
would enjoy this scene, were he present, and for his sake and yours, 
I regret his absence. I suppose I ought to tell you who he is. He 
is one of my fellow-citizens, who deals in iron for gain, and courts 
the muses for fun — brimful of mirth and with a wit that is keener 
than a Damascus blade. He is a living refutation of the truth of 
a paragraph in Hudibras, to the effect that 

" A man of quick and active wit 
For drudgery is more unfit. 
Compared to those of duller parts, 
Than running nags to draw in carts." 

Alike a man of business and a poet, success attends his efforts in 
both departments. 

"Our friends, the Clergy, who have figured so largely and so suc- 
cessfully in these exercises, will pardon the spice of levity which 
may, by a careful examination, be detected in the verses which I 
am about to read. Yes, I know they will. I see it in their be- 
nevolent faces, and I remember, too, that the holidays of the 


Clergy are " few and far between," and I am persuaded that they 
enjoy this to the very " top of their bent." 

" But it is time I should tell you the name of my friend who 
has been so kind to ns all. It is George H. Clark, and here is what 
he sends " greeting," as the Lawyers say : 

Geo. H. Clark's Woodbury Centennial Poem. 

Mysterious notes were abroad on the air — 
Significant hints of some weighty affair : 
Rumors increased till they rose to a shout, 
And now we all see what the stir was about. 

Ye modest admirers, who've nothing to say, 
Make room — for spread eagle is coming this way, 
We stand, as it were, in our forefathers' shoes. 
And the time for tall talking'^ too precious to lose. 

Here frolicsome age shall grow young at the core, 
And youth shall strike hands with the boys of threescore; 
Brim full of good feeling — Oh! call it no folly — 
We've assembled on purpose to laugh and be jolly. 

Ye attorneys — turn over a holiday leaf; 

The facts are before you — and here is the brief ! 

So give us as much as you please of your jaw, ' 

But don't, if ycju love us, don't let it be law. 

Ye grave Boanerges — who thunder at sin, 

Let your features relax to a good natured grin : 

Pretermit theological chafing and chat, 

And talk about buttercups, birds, and all that. 

Forget, my friends, in this glorified hour, 

The Parson who vanquished that dreadful pow-wow-er; 

But remember the Backus and Bellamy jokes, 

And up and be merry like rational folks. 

Sink the siiop, O ye trader in di'y goods, to-day, — 
Just look at the prospect right over the way ! 
Don't the sight of the Pomperaug hills and green valleys 
Beat all your gay patterns on muslins and chnliies? 

Ye medical men — whose dreams are of drugs, 
Omit for a while your professional shrugs : 
Give the go-by to boluses, blisters, and nux. 
And think of the dandelions, daisies, and duckss. 


Ye farmers — the nearest to Nature's own breast, 
• Who draw from h"r stores what her children love best ; 

Who irradiate towns with fresh butter and cheese, 
And tickle our palates with lamb and green peas ; 

We remember your haymows so fragrant in June ; 
Your pumpkins, as large and as round as the moon ; 
The green corn we roasted and ate on the sly. 
And the rye 'n 'ndian bread, and the — Oh ! let us cry ! 

It makes my mouth water to talk of such things, — 

The truth is, you farmers are Nature's own kings: 

And the queens ! — would you see the true test of thoir worth ? 

Just look at those boys! arn't they proud of their birth? 

Of course, we'll remember, and speak of with pride, 
Seth Warner, and others who fought by his side : 
And grand Ethan Allen — the hero all over — 
, Who conquered Fort Ti, in the name of Jehovah ! 

Historians assert that you'd only one witch — 
But history makes an unfortunate hitch ; 
For witches still flourish — as witness the groups ! 
Though for halters and faggots you substitute hoops. 

Then a health to old Woodbury — merry or grave — 
And long in the land may her progeny wave, 
Nor forget where their excellent grand -mothers sleep, 
While their own little babies are learning to creep. 

*' Now, my friends, I have disposed of the props upon which I 
have relied to sustain me in the event, that my own thoughts 
should fail. I am left to my own resources, and begin to be ap- 
prehensive that you may be mirthfully inclined when I am seri- 
ous, and seriously disposed when I am gay. Topics were plenty, 
yesterday morning, but in the two days' speaking they have been, 
for the most part, used up. All the leading features in your his- 
tory have been passed in review. Those men who have dlstin- 
guished themselves most among you have also been already noticed. 
Of some of them too much could hardly be said. First and fore- 
most among the intellectual giants in our State, was the Hon. Na- 
thaniel Smith, who was born and lived, until his death, within the 
ancient limits of this town. He was indeed a great man. With- 
out the advantages of early culture, he worked his way to the 
front rank of the legal profession, at a period when the ablest men. 


who have been known in the courts of this State, were in full prac- 
tice. He stood among them primus inter pares. As an advocate^ 
he had great power, and his efforts were attended with marked 
success. At a later period he was an ornament to the Bench, and 
has left a record upon the pages of our Reports of which the 
worthy President here, (his son,) may well be proud. 

"I must be indulged in saying a few words of another member 
of the profession who has recently passed away. He was one of 
the originators of this celebration, and one of the Committee to 
carry out the plan adopted a year ago. The vacant chair upon 
the stage draped in mourning, reminds us of him, who, had he 
lived, would have mingled in these festivities with a keen relish. 
He (the Hon. Charles B. Phelps) was a man of genius, and a 
highly respectable member of the Bar. A ready debater, he was 
always equal to the emergency of an occasion. He had a keen 
wit and overflowed with humor. 


" A merrier man 
Within the limit of becoming mirth, 
I never spent an hour's talk ■withal." 

" He had, moreover, a kind heart, which displayed itself on all 
suitable occasions, and long will he be remembered for his many 
good deeds. You will hardly " look upon his like again." 

" You will pardon me for speaking a word of another gentle- 
man of another profession, who has long since gone to his rest. I 
mean the Rev. John R. Marshall, who was the first Episcopal cler- 
gyman in this town. He was an eminently good man, and much 
beloved by those to whom he ministered in holy things. He plant- 
ed a vine here which he carefully nurtured while he lived, and 
which flourishes now in full vigor. He closed liis ministry here 
with the termination of his life, leaving behind him many blessed 
fruits, "Allured to brighter worlds and led the way." 

"There are many others who have distinguished themselves here 
in the different professions, and many who have gone from among 
you, and distinguished themselves elsewhere, who deserve to be 
mentioned on this occasion, did time permit. There have been, too, 
very many equally worthy and estimable men, who never attained 
to any particular prominence in the eye of the world, men who 
pursued the noiseless tenor of their way, but who have done their 
share in building up your institutions, and in making this valley 
bud and blossom. They were the fathers and the grand-fathers 


of many whom I see before me, and this gathering attests the in- 
terest which their posterity feel in their memory. While the 
blood of some of them courses in the veins of their descendants, 
their names have become extinct among you. This is true of the 
names of my maternal grand-father and grand-mother, (Perry and 
Beers,) names once well and favorably known here. One of the 
latter name {Hon. S. P. Heers,) has addressed you to-day, but he 
has resided elsewhere for more than half a century. From his 
account of himself, nearly seventy years ago he had the ambition 
to sit cross-legged upon a tailor's bench, but because perhaps (in 
the language of the old song,) " the money came slowly in," he 
concluded to pursue the legal profession, supposed by some to be 
more productive. It would seem from his statement that he is 
now an old man, which, from his full head of brown hair, (which 
I envy,) and his youthful appearance, we should all doubt, had we 
not confidence in his veracity, and did we not know that he had 
been the popular commissioner of the School Fund, since the ear- 
liest recollection of the " oldest inhabitant." The sons of many 
have emigrated to other portions of the country, and thus have 
their names become extinct here. The daughters, although emi- 
nently worthy of trust in all other particulars, cannot be relied 
upon to bear up a name. In this particular, however honest they 
may be, they resemble the most practiced rogues. They are, with 
now and then a solitary, (not to say melancholy exception,) in 
search of an alias, and are quite sure to find and adopt it. I have 
always wondered why they mark their linen with their maiden 
names. Nearly two days have been spent here in glorifying our 
grand-fathers. But there has been, as there now is, a " better- 
half " of humanity, of whom I have heard nothing said. I mar- 
vel that such an omission could have occurred in such a presence. 
A '■'• mutual admiration society," composed exclusively of men, I 
confess is not to my taste. We have heard much about great men 
— good men — valiant men — self-taught men, and about " all sorts 
and conditions of men." It has been from the beginning — men — 
men — men; nothing but men. Had they no mothers — no wives? 
Men have indeed fought the battles of the country; felled the for- 
est trees ; tilled the earth, and toiled in the diflerent professions 
and trades. But woman has toiled too amid dangers which ap- 
palled the stoutest hearts. She has braved suiFering in its count- 
less forms, such as woman only knows, and submitted to priva- 
tions with a patient meekness of which woman is alone capable. 



In the early settlement of the country, the mother nursed and 
reared her own children; was mistress and servant; carded the 
wool ; spun it into yarn, and made it into cloth. She was her 
husband's and boy's tailor, her own and her daughter's milliner 
and mantuamaker ; and in a word, discharged every domestic duty 
unaided. It is not strange that such women should have reared 
such sons as we have been boasting about here for two days. 

" Let us do fitting honors on this occasion to the female charac- 
ter. Every man who has risen to distinction in any of the 
walks of life, is indebted to his mother for those traits of genius 
which he inherited from her, aud those habits of thinking and of 
action, which are the result of her early teaching. 

" The mother in her office, holds the key 
Of the soul : and she it is who stamps the coin 
Of character, amd makes the being who would be a savage, 
But for her gentle cares, a Christian man. — " 

" How dear to us is the sacred name of mother ! She it was 
whose loving care and ceaseless vigilance protected and nurtured 
us in helpless infancy. We learned from her those earliest lessons 
which are most deeply impressed upon our memories, and which 
time does not obliterate. Our recollections of a mother's love, a 
mother's care, a mother's patience, and a mother's forgiveness of 
our faults, freshen and become more and more tender, as our shad- 
ows lengthen upon the dial. It is to her we owe all that we are 
and all we hope to be. 

" I might speak of woman in the relation of wife, and of the 
love, respect, and kindness which she deserves as such. She is 
sought and won, forsakes father and mother, and cleaves unto the 
husband. With an amazing confidence, she entrusts her happi- 
ness, her all, in his hands. She shares his sorrows, participates in 
his joys, labors for his advancement, and occupies the position in 
life in which his success or misfortuae may place her. If we 
loved her when seeking an alliance, how much more tenderly 
should we feel toward her, when she has committed herself to our 
fostering care, and has become the mother of our children. 

" There is still another relation in which I might speak of woman. 
I mean as daughters. None but fathers know aught of the emo- 
tions of a father's heart toward tliem. With what solicitude do 
we watch their growth and development. With what intense in- 
terest do we gaze upon their budding beauty, and varied accom- 


plishments. With what tender affection do we cling to them, and 
how they wind themselves about our hearts. And then, endeared 
to us as they are, and in the flush and beauty of their youth, we 
are called to relinquish them into other hands, as their mothers 
were relinquished to us. Then we know for the first time, what 
the yielding to our request cost some few years ago. 

"Were there time, and were there not some Governors, Lawyers, 
Doctors, and Clergymen yet to speak, and whom you are anxious 
to hear, I should be pleased to enlarge upon this fair topic ; but 
even at the hazard of standing between you and those gentlemen 
for an unreasonable time, I could not say less. When I look upon 
this immense audience, and especially upon this bed of flowers be- 
fore me, in which I see the spring violet, the summer rose, and the 
dahlia of autumn, all in bloom at the same time, as if the three 
seasons had been consolidated, I wish we had another day in which 
we could say what we feel and think. 

" Since my earliest recollection, great changes have been wrought 
in this valley. The stately elms and maples that line the way 
southward to the western limit of the village of Southbury, were 
in their infancy fifty years ago ; but now they spread their giant 
arms in every direction, and are models of strength and beauty. 
This was then a sparsely settled village ; but since that period it 
has undergone such alterations as to change its appearance alto- 
gether. Then it was purely an agricultural town ; but now it de- 
rives its prosperity in a degree from the successful prosecution of 
some of the mechanic arts. 

" The men of that day have been for the most part gathered to 
their fathers ; but I recognize in some of those here, the family 
likeness, and hear on every hand the familiar names. The names 
of Stiles, Curtiss, Hinman, Sherman, Judson, Atwood, Strong, and 
many others, are still preserved, and last, but not least, you have 
' saved your Bacon.' We had yesterday afternoon a taste of the 
attic salt which gives it value. 

"In conclusion, let me congratulate the originators of this cele- 
bration, and all who have been interested in it, upon the singu- 
larly fortunate circumstances attendant upon this Festival. The 
heavens have smiled upon us— no accident has occurred to mar the 
festivities of the occasion — and the re-union has been one of un- 
mixed enjoyment. We can be present but upon one si'.ch occa- 
sion in a life-time. Here we have renewed old friendships, and I 
trust have formed new ones of an enduring character. Many a 



history will date from this occasion, for it would not be strange if 
som.e, who have met here for the first time, will pursue life's jour- 
ney hand in hand — will ' climb life's hill together,' and when the 
journey is concluded, will ' sleep together at the foot ' the sleep of 
death. The youth of both sexes here present, will excuse this 
public allusion to a delicate subject, which may have found a place 
in their private thoughts. 

'* Now, my friends, I must take my leave of you. There is a 
small army of orators behind me, who are waiting for turns, as the 
old settlers waited at the old mill ; and there are many here whose 
thoughts, radiant with beauty as they are, will not find vent in 
words. We part with pleasant recollections of this memorable 
interview, which we shall cherish while we live." 

Hon. Henry Dutton, of New Haven, a native of Watertown, 
within the limits of the Woodbury deed of 1659, responded to 
the sentiment, " The Cousins of Ancient Woodbury." 

Mr. President : — An incident has occurred since I have been 
on this platform, which has almost induced me to withdraw. The 
distinguished gentleman from Litchfield related an anecdote, which 
seemed to reflect upon the honored practice of *' cousining." Now 
as I am here only under that long established custom, and have no 
right to be heard, except as a remote cousin of Woodbury, had I 
not felt the utmost confidence in the friendship of that gentleman^ 
I should have been disposed to take ofience. I have been some- 
what reassured, however, by the course taken by the eloquent 
gentleman who has preceded me. When that gentleman, 

" Whose head is silvered o'er with age," 

but whose 

" Long experience has [not'] made him sage," 

and whom I have known for many years as a grand-father, comes 
here and palms himself ofi" as a great-grandchild of Woodbury, I 
trust I shall be excused if I claim the relationship of only fourth 

Gov. Dutton then proceeded to give some very interesting re- 
miiiiscenses of the men of the early and the Revolutionary times, 
to the great interest of the audience. 

Samuel Minor, Esq., of Sandusky, Ohio, a native Woodbury, 


then spoke to the sentiment, " The Emigrants from Ancient Wood- 
bury," as follows : " — 

Mr. President : — Under a brief notice, I am desired to make a 
few remarks in behalf of the Emigrants from Ancient Woodbury, 
those who have left these hills and valleys for distant abodes, and 
returned to unite in this festive occasion. In their names, we ten- 
der most cordial thanks, for the invitation we have received, to 
visit our paternal homes — to gather again around the domestic 
hearthstones, and to sit again in the old arm chairs of our ances- 

" Personally, this occasion has a special interest, for around the 
residence near by, and the grounds on which we are assembled, 
are gathered all the associations of a New England Home. Hera 
were spent my childhood and youth, and here were received those 
instructions prized higher than any other legacy earthly parents 
could bestow. The rocks and trees and hills are as familiar as 
household words. When I call to mind those who have fallen 
asleep, and look upon those who live ; when recollection runs over 
the reminiscenses of the past, and then turn to the present, the soul 
is filled with emotions which can not be uttered, and I can only 
exclaim in reference to this loved spot, as can each returning wan- 
derer as to his own : 

' Home, home, sweet, sweet home, 
There's noplace like our old firesides. 
There's no place like our good old homes.' 

Those of us who have removed from among you, observe with pe - 
culiar interest one feature of this celebration, and that is, the 
presence of so many of advanced and maturing years, bo many 
bright links connecting the past to the present, so many Elishas, 
upon whom have fallen the mantles of the Elijahs that have gone 
before ; and when I speak for myself, I speak for all who reside in 
the newer States, and assure you, there is nothing we there so 
much miss as the presence of good old men. Happy is that com- 
munity which is blessed by many of them. It is for you, my aged 
Fathers, to remember, that, as physical strength diminishes, the 
fruits of a worthy character are ripening, and the fragrance of 
useful lives is being shed abroad over the community. Your in- 
fluence, like gravity, is silent, but powerful. To you we look with 
confidence, and respect. We feel that you have imbibed the spirit 


and principles of our Puritan ancestors, and are manifesting these 
principles in your lives, and that you have thus become, not only 
sons of the past, but fathers of the future. 

" But time is passing. Again, we thank you for this occasion ; 
we thank you for the hospitality and kindness received, and for 
the able addresses we have heard. We thank you for the influence 
your character still exerts, and that, as we wander over the earth, 
we are enabled to point with pride to New England, with pride to 
Connecticut, with pride to Woodbury. 

"Permit me, in behalf of my adopted, and also my native home, 
without disparagement to others, to close with this sentiment : 

" Ohio — Noblest of the Western States. 

" Connecticut — Parent of the best part of Ohio." 

Dr. Leman Galpin, of Milan, Ohio, a native of Woodbury, next 
spoke of the early days, and gave pleasing reminiscenses of early 
life, followed by Gen. William Williams, of Norwich, who con- 
gratulated us on our successful celebration, and invited the inhab- 
itants of the town to be present at a like celebration, to be held at 
Norwich in the succeeding September. Gen. Williams' remarks 
were followed by the reading, by Rev. Robert G. Williams, of an 
interesting poem by Miss Hortensia M. Thomas, now Mrs. Elam 
B. Burton. 

Rev. C. Trowbridge Woodrufi' then read, with admirable effect, 
the closing poem of the occasion, Avritten by Mrs. Ann S. Stephens, 
the distinguished authoress of New York, a native of Ancient 
Woodbury : — 

" We have met — we have met, by the graves of our sires, 
Where the forest once reddened with war council fires, 
"Where the smoke of the wigwam, while curling on high, 
Left its bloom on the hemlock, — its cloud on the sky. 

"Let us turn from the brightness of this happy hour. 
Two centuries back, when the savage held power. 
From the Naugatuck, sweeping through gorges and glen, 
To the bright Housatonic and onward again. 
Here a wilderness spread in its wildness and gloom. 
Revealed by the starlight of dogwood in bloom, 
And the broad rivers ran in the flickering shade. 
Which the pine trees and cedars alternately made. 
Here the chiefs gathered wild in their gorgeous array, 
And their war-path was red at the dawning of day 
Along the broad plain where light lingers clear, 
Came the crack of the niusket — the leap of the deer. 


" When the leaves of the oak were all downy and red, 
And the wild cherry blossoms were white overhead, 
When the buds and the sap of the maple were sweet, 
And the child lay asleep on the moss at her feet, 
Here the squaw sat at work in the cool of the trees. 
While her lord roamed at will, or reclined at his ease, — 
This — this is the picture all savagely grand, 
Which our forefathers found when they sought out this land. 

" The contract was honest our ancestors made 
When they found the red warriors, lords of the shade; 
They came not to wrangle or fight for the sod. 
But armed with the law and the blessing of God, 
With the gold they had won by privation and toil. 
They purchased a right to the rivers and soil. 
Then their cabins were built, and they planted the corn, 
Though the war-whoop soon answered the blast of the horn, 
And the sound of the axe as it rang through the wood 
But challenged a contest of carnage and blood. 
Still, upward and onward in peril of life 
They planted our homesteads with labor and strife. 
For labor is mighty, and courage is grand, 
When it conquers the foe as it toils with the hand. 
While the war-cry resounded from valley and hill, 
The smoke of the fallow rose steady and still ; 
If a cabin was burnt on the hiUs or the plain, 
A score of stout hearts piled the logs up again. 
If famine appeared, it was not to one roof, 
For charity then had its power and its proof; 
No mortar stood empty while one teemed with corn. 
For of danger and want is true brotherhood born. 
Thus our forefathers worked, and our forefathers won 
The wealth we inherit from father to son, 
Till their heads grew as white as the snow when it lies 
On the pine branches lifted half-way to the skies, 
And they laid themselves down in the ripeness of years, 
While a new generation baptized them with tears. 
While the meeting-house, crowned with its belfry and spire. 
Takes rose tints from dawn — from the sunset its fire, — 
While our homesteads are built, where the log-cabin stood. 
And our fields ripen grain to the verge of the wood. — 
We ask for no trophies to tell of their deeds, 
No thunder of cannon, nor tramping of steeds. 
For each wild flower that springs to the smile of its God, 
Has written their virtues abroad on the sod. 

" We have met — we have met, in the bloom of the year. 
The first glow of summer encircles us here ; 
The sunshine is warm on the ripening fruit. 
And the whip-poor-will sings when the robin is mute ; 


Our mills as they toil through their burden of grain, 

Send over the waters a mellow refrain. 

While the wind whispers low as it whispered to them 

And sways the pale rose on its delicate stem. 

Our souls as they feel the melodious thrill, 

Send up a thanksgiving more exquisite still, 

And our fathers might bend from their heaven of bliss, 

To smile on a scene of rejoicing like this. 

Rev. C. T. Woodruff, Rector of St. Paul's Church, Woodbury, 
then said the concluding prayer. 

Rev. Philo Judson, an aged clergyman of Rocky Hill, Conn., a 
native of Woodbury, after making the following remarks, pro- 
nounced the benediction, and the great assembly broke up, to meet 
no more on a similar occasion, within our beautiful valley .* 

" Me. Presieent : — This is a glorious and interesting day to 
Woodbury. I am proud to say that I am a descendant' of the 
Pilgrim fathers. 

"I have attended celebrations before, but never one equal to 
this. It excells all that have been held in this State. 

" This morning we met for prayer at Bethel Rock. My friends, 
my feelings and emotions were such as language cannot describe. 
We stood on sacred and holy ground. There our Pilgrim fathers 
and mothers worshipped on the Sabbath for about eight years, 
during the summer season. The over-hanging rock, as you saw, 
is perhaps 300 feet long, and very high. Our fathers, seated by 
this rock, would to some extent be shielded from the storms. Sen- 
tinels were placed on the top of the rock, so as to give the alarm 
if the Indians approached. There was a stone pulpitj as you saw. 
O ! what prayers were there offered by our fathers. Prayer-meet- 
ings have been held there, more or less, ever since. In 1811, 1 at- 
tended a prayer-meeting there with Dr. Azel Backus, Dr. Bennett 
Tyler, Dr. Lyman Beecher, Rev. Messrs. Clark, Harrison, and others. . 
It was one of uncommon interest and solemnity — we wrestled with 
God in prayer. 

" Woodbury has produced more great and eminent men than 
any other town of equal size. Dr. D wight, of Yale College, re- 
marked, that Hon. Nathaniel Smith's native talent was superior to 
that of any man he ever met. He had not his equal in this State 
— some say, not his equal or superior in New England. 

" This has been a glorious celebration. Even our friend, Hon. 
Charles Chapman, of Hartford, comes here to share in the glory, 


trying to claim some relationship here. "We had supposed he had 
popularity and glory enough in Hartford for any one man. 

"But he labored very hard, as you have seen, to make out that 
he was the great-grandson of somebody in Woodbury ! I do not 
know but he made it out, because he will make out anything he 

" But while listening to his spicy, eloquent, and able speech, I 
believe we should have been willing to adopt him as a grandson . 
At the next centennial celebration, they will probably be willing 
to adopt him as a son ! " 

" The Historical address by William Cothren, your able historian, 
was very learned, interesting, eloquent, and instructive. He is 
<3eserving of much credit, and has done immense service to the 
community, in giving us the History of Woodbury. It is an able 
work, and must have required much persevering research. It is 
read with deep interest by those away from Woodbury. Many 
lay it on their tables, next to their Bibles. It is read by those 
that are not descendats, with great interest. It is a very popular 
work among intelligent and literary men. Its interest will increase 
as time passes on. In fifty or one hundred years from this time, 
it will be read with tenfold more interest than now, even in Wood- 
bury. It will go down to generations yet unborn, and be consid- 
ered as one of the most interesting of histories, Cothren's name 
will be immortal — remembered as long as time shall endure. 
Many will rise up and call him blessed ! 

" Woodbury has sent forth more ministers than any other town 
within my knowledge. Nearly eighty heralds of the cross have 
descended from the loins of the first William Judson. Many of 
them have borne his honored surname, and many others have 
borne the honorable names of the female alliances. They have 
preached the Gospel far and wide, and their labors have been 
greatly blessed. None can estimate the great and good results 
which have arisen from the labors of the ministers who have gone 
out from Ancient Woodbury, Eternity alone can unfold them." 

Very interesting letters were received from numerous sons and 
descendants of Woodbury, for the occasion, which, for want of 
time, coiild not be read, but they were all published with the pro- 
ceedings of the celebration. Among these contributors were, Hon. 
John Lorimer Graham, of New York, Hon. Charles J. Hill, of Ro- 
chester, N. Y., Hon. John Sherman, of Ohio, Hon. Royal R. Hinman, 


of Hartford, Rev. Samuel Fuller, D. D., Col. Henry Stoddard, 
Q,f Dayton, Ohio, Hon. Thomas B. Butler, Chief Justice of Con- 
necticut, Col. John E. Hinman, of Utica, N. Y., Jonathan Knight, 
M. D., of New Haven, Prof. Harvey P. Peet, of New York, Hon. 
Henry Booth, of Poughkeepsie, N. Y., Rev. Rufus Murray, of 
Detroit, Mich., Hon. Hiland Hall, ex-Gov. ot Vermont. 


The weather, during the two days devoted to the exercises, was 
clear, cool, and delightful. It was a general remark that Provi- 
dence seemed to smile on the celebration. The immense concourse 
of people exhibited very great interest in the proceedings, which 
never flagged during the extended exercises, and constant sittings 
of the two days. There was a generous and intelligent apprecia- 
tion of the intellectual feast prepared for them on this occasion, 
never excelled at any similar celebration. Although the labors of 
the Committee were severe and painful, beyond the comprhension 
of many, and might exceed the belief of all, yet its members felt 
fully compensated for all their pains and toil, by the expression of 
entire satisfaction and approbation, on the part of the people, 
which greeted them on every side. So far as we know, every hear- 
er, whose voice was heard, declared the celebration to have been 
an unbounded success. 

On the Sabbath preceding the 4th, allusions to the approaching 
celebration were made in several of the Churches in town, and 
an appropriate welcome to the returned emigrants from the old. 
town extended. In the First, or old Pioneer Congregational 
Church, the oldest by many years in this county, the pastor. Rev. 
Robert G. Williams, read a sermon, preached by Rev. Anthony 
Stoddard, its second minister, on the 6th of July, 1754, to the 
same Church, in presence of the levies, raised to march against 
Crown Point, in the old French War. The sermon was written 
on leaves about three inches square, and showed evident traces of 
the patriarchal age of one hundred and five years. The historical 
associations which clustered around it, the place, the identical man- 
uscript, the very presence in which we were assembled, listening 
to the same words which our fathers, who have been slumbering 
for generations in the old church-yard, heard on that occasion, so 


momentous to many hearts, wrought up the imagination to a tem- 
porary companionship with the silent shades of the spirit land. 
It was a fitting introduction to the exercises of the celebration^ 
that was so soon to occur. 

It was not a small matter to feed and shelter the vast multitude 
assembled at the celebration. But the most ample provision to 
meet the exigencies of the occasion had been made by the ladies. 
Tents had been prepared by the Committee, for each of the towns 
once included within the limits of Ancient Woodbury, " with en- 
signs flying," to direct the people to the proper places. There 
was also a tent appropriated to the use of invited guests from 
abroad. In these the multitudes united in a mammoth Antiqua- 
rian Pic-Nic. No price was demanded, but like the sunshine, all 
was free. But the antique pic-nic proper was celebrated beneath the 
deep blue sky, within the shade of some large apple-trees, spread 
on old tables, covered with pewter platters, wooden trenchers, pew- 
ter and wooden spoons, and all the antiquarian articles that had been 
preserved, and handed down to us from " former generations." The 
viands consisted of bean porridge, baked pork and beans, Indian 
pudding, hominy, rye and Indian bread, and numerous other primi- 
tive dishes. Mrs. N. B. Smith presided over the table arrangements 
for Woodbury, with that ease and grace for which she 4s so much 
distinguished, aided in the most effective manner by nearly all the 
other ladies of the town. In all the tents the tables groaned with 
abundance, and were set out with a taste in arrangement, and ex- 
cellence of viands, rarely equalled on any similar festive occasion. 
Great praise was awarded to the ladies for the indispensable aid 
they furnished at the joyous festival. 

Among the many pleasing incidents of the celebration, was the 
reading of the beautiful and thrilling poem, in the preceding 
pages, of Mrs. Ann S. Stephens, a native of "Ancient Wood- 
bury." There was a soul, and an emotion, pervading the whole 
of the production, that showed the heart of the writer was in the 
subject ; and so striking was its effect on an audience wearied by 
the almost uninterupted exercises of ten hours, that when the 
reading was concluded, and the writer advanced to the front of 
the stand, and moved three cheers for the " Poetess of Ancient 
Woodbury," it was responded to by the great assemblage, with 
an enthusiasm which must have been grateful to the distinguished 
authoress, who was, at the moment, sitting quietly upon the stand. 

An attempt was made to keep a Register of the names of all 


who attended the celebration, with a view to preservation. The 
request that every person would register his name, was announced 
from the stand. But owing to the great multitude, and to the 
fact that every moment was occupied with interesting public ex- 
ercises, very few complied with the request. 

Among the distinguished persons in attendance, besides those 
already named, we noticed the following named persons ; and 
doubtless there were many others, whom we did not see in the 
crush and hurry of the occasion ; — Hon. John Boyd, of Winches' 
ter, Secretary of Connecticut ; Hon. Origen S. Seymour, of Litch- 
field, Judge of the Superior Court, with his son, Edward W. Sey- 
mour, Esq., ; Jonathan Knight, M. D., of New Haven, Professor 
in Yale College ; Hon. Ralph D. Smith, of Guilford, a native of 
Southbury ; Hon. William B. Wooster, of Birmingham ; E. B- 
•Cooke, Esq., Editor of the Waterbury American ; Rev. J. M. Wil- 
ley, of Waterbury ; Hon. Judson W. Sherman, Member of Con- 
gress, of Angelica, N. Y. ; Hon. Green Kendrick, of Waterbury ; 
Nathaniel A. Bacon, Esq., of New Haven ; William Nelson Blake- 
man, M. D,, a distinguished physician of New York, and a native 
of Roxbury ; Charles Nettleton, Esq., of New York, a native of 
Washington ; Hon. Samuel G. Goodrich, of Southbury, late Con- 
sul at PariSj the well-known " Peter Parley ; " C. S. Trowbridge, 
Esq., of Auburn, N. Y. ; R. F. Trowbridge, Esq., of Syracuse, N? 
Y. ; Rev. Charles W. Powell, of Middlebury ; Alexander Frazer. 
Esq., of New York ; Rev. C. S. Sherman, of Naugatuck ; Rev. 
Abijah M. Calkin, of Cochecton, N. Y. ; Rev. Ira Abbott, of South- 
bury; Rev. Jason Atwater, of West Haven; Rev. J. K. Averill, 
of Plymouth ; Rev. E.Lyman, and Hon. Charles Adams, of Litch- 
field, Editor of the Litchfield Enquirer. 

Among the venerable men of other days, we noticed on the 
stage, Capt. Judson Hurd, 85 years of age, so active and vigorous, 
that he had ridden on horseback in the morning, with his " lady 
love" of 72, on a pillion behind him. We also noticed Dea. Da- 
vid Punderson, of Washington, aged 86, Nathaniel Richardson, 
of Middlebury, aged 85, and Mr. William Summers, of the ripe 
age of nearly ninety years, a resident of Woodbury, and the old- 
est man in town. 

The extended and efficient arrangements of the General Com- 
mittee, for providing strangers with accommodations and protec- 
tion, were thoroughly carried out. Perfect satisfaction and quiet 
reigned throughout the celebration. More than fifteen hundred 


visitors were lodged in the town the first night, and in the other 
towns of the ancient territory, at least twice that number. All 
the inhabitants threw open their doors, and from ten to seventy- 
five persons to a house found quarters for the night. Even our 
least opulent citizens displayed an anxiety to add to the general 
enjoyment of the occasion. As an instance, Mr. Harry H. Fox, 
who, certainly, is not much blessed with this world's goods, fed 
twenty-six persons, and lodged twelve. We have not yet heard 
of an individual who was not provided with reasonable accommo- 

A very pleasing feature in the "Antique Procession," not before 
noticed in these pages, was the fine turn-out of King Solomon's 
Lodge, No. 7, of Free and Accepted Masons, of Woodbury, in 
the splendid regalia of its mystic brotherhood. This is not only 
one of the oldest lodges west of Connecticut river, having received 
its first charter in 1765, from the Provincial Grand Lodge of the 
Colony of Massachusetts, but it has been one of the oldest and 
most respectable in the State, both for the number and character 
of its members. It was with becoming pride, that they joined in 
the antique portion of the proceedings of the festival, celebrating 
at once the antiquity of the town, and the establishment therein 
of their own ancient, benevolent, and honorable fraternity. 

The music of the occasion was furnished by the New Milford 
Band, in a highly creditable and satisfactory manner. During the 
evening of the first day, it serenaded the orator of the day, and 
other residents connected with the active exercises of the occa- 
sion. In short, every part of the programme was well performed, 
and the whole celebration was pronounced by all present to be a 
perfect success. As it was the largest, so it was more perfect, in 
all its arrangements, than any similar celebration in this country. 



the 19th of July, 1865, King Solomon's 
Lodge, No. 7, of Free and Accepted Masons, 
celebrated the one hundredth anniversary of 
its organization. 

At a meeting of sundry brethren of King 
Solomon's Lodge, held May 10, 1862, at 
the residence of the late Bro. Ckarles B. 
Phelps, assembled upon the invitation of Past 
Master Alonzo Norton Lewis, Past Master 
Charles H. Webb was called to the Chair, and 
A. N. Lewis appointed Secretary. 

" On motion of Bro. Lewis, it was voted that a Committee be 
nominated to the Lodge, to take in hand the celebration of the 
approaching Centennial Anniversary of King Solomon's Lodge. 
The following brethren were appointed : — 

" P. M. Alonzo Norton Lewis, 
" William Cothren, 
" James Huntington, 
" Charles H. Webb, 

P. M. Benjamin Doolittle, 

" Nathaniel Smith, 
Bro. G. Platt Crane. 



Aug. 15, A. D., 1862, A. L., 5862. 

" A Communication from a meeting of Masons, nominating 
Bro's Lewis, Cothren, Huntington, Webb, Doolittle, Smith, and 
Crane, a Committee to arrange for the Celebration of the Centen- 
nial Anniversary of this Lodge, was received, the Committee 
appointed J and the Communication ordered on file." 

The committee immediately entered on the performance of the 
duties of preparation for an event so interesting to the brethrenj 
and, in due time, every thing was " made ready." 

The appointed day, Wednesday, July 19, A. D., 1865, A. L,, 
5865, dawned bright and fair, as if Nature herself smiled npon 
the occasion. 

At half past 10 o'clock, A. M., the procession was formed, 
under the direction of Past Master Benj. Doolittle, Chief Marshal, 


assisted by his Deputies, Bro's Eli Sperry aad G. Eugene Betts, 
in the following 


Two Tylers, witli drawn Swords. 

Tomj^kins' Brass Baud. 
Two Stewards, with White Rods. 
Monroe Lodge, Monroe. 
Eureka Lodge, No, 83, Bethel. 
* George Washington Lodge, No. 82, Ansonia. 
^ Wooster Lodge, No. 79, New Haven. 

S * Shepherd Lodge, No. 78, Naugatuck. 

^ Meridian Lodge, No. 11, Meriden. 

St. Andrews' Lodge, No. 54, West Winsted. 

Seneca Lodge, No. 55, Wolcottville. 

St. Luke's Lodge, No. 48, Kent. 

* Morning Star Lodge, No. 47, Seymour, 

Harmony Lodge, No. 42, Waterbury. 
* Rising Sun Lodge, No. 36, Washington. 
St. Peter's Lodge, No. 21, New Milford. 
^ Harmony Lodge, No. 20, New Britain. 

g. Federal Lodge, No. 17, Watertown. 

p Frederick Lodge, No. 14, Plainville. 

* St. Paul's Lodge, No. 11, Litchfield. 
* King Solomon's Lodge, No. 7, Woodbury. 
St. John's Lodge, No. 3, Bridgeport. 
Pliram Lodge, No. 1, New Haven. 
Royal Arch Masons. 
Council Masons. 
Knight Templars. 
A Junior Deacon . \ ^^^ ^oly Writings, ) ^ g^^.^^ ^^^^^^ 

( Square and Compasss, 3 
g A Steward. ] ^^^ Worshipful Master of ) ^ g^^^^^^ 
^ ( Kmg Solomon s Lodge. ) 

S^ 1 Officers of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge. 

£. The Clergy. 

* Lodges marked by a star, were present as Lodges. 

1 The following were present : — The M. W. Grand Master, Eli S. Quintard, o 
New Haven; Past Grarid Master Howard B. Ensign, of New Haven; Past 
Grand Master D. E. Bostwick, of Litchfield, and Grand Lecturer G. M. Hatch, of 


The procession marched to the South Congregational Church, 
and entering in reverse order, when all were seated, the acting 
W. M., A. N. Lewis, introduced the Most Worshipful Eli S. 
Quintard, of New Haven, Grand Master of Masons in Connecti- 
cut, who took the Chair, when the following Order of Exercises 
was proceeded with ; 


Ode by the Woodbury Mucisal Association, under the leader- 
ship of P. M. Trowbridge, Esq., and accompanied by Tompkins' 


Reading of the Scriptures (1 Corinthians, xiii) by Rev. C. T. 
Woodruff, Rector of Christ Church, Ridgefield. 



Prayer by Rev. John Purves, Rector of St. Paul's Church, 



Past Master Alonzo Norton Lewis then delivered an eloquent 
and interesting address, from which we select a few passages, our 
limits forbidding more extended quotations : 

" W. M. Officers and brothers of King JSolomon's Lodge : 

"You stand, to-day, upon the hither coast of a seemingly 
boundless ocean. You strain your eyes, in vain, to catch one 
faint glimpse of the other shore. At last, as you are about to 
turn away in despair, a small boat heaves in sight. You gather 
around the weary voyager as he steps from his tempest-beaten 
craft, upon the strand, and anxiously inquire if he has brought 
any tidings or relics of those who have gone down upon the 
deep. The solitary navigator, who has crossed the trackless 
waste, exhibits a few moth-eaten books and MSS., and informs 
you that these are all that remain of the gallant mariners whose 
loss you deplore. To drop the figure ; you, my brethren, are the 
anxious inquirers by the sea-side ; the speaker is the ' weary 


Toyager ' who has crossed the sea 'in search of that which was 
lost,' and returned 7iot without tidings. 

" An historical address furnishes but a narrow field for the 
flowers of rhetoric, or the graces of oratory. Facts, dates, rec- 
ords, names, and details are the wares of the historian. If I do 
not fatigue you in the story of my communings with the past — if 
I present you, in the brief period assigned me, with an epitome ot 
the history of King Solomon's Lodge, from its foundation, one 
hundred years ago, to the present time, I shall have fulfilled the 
duty with which I was entrusted. Leaving, therefore, to my 
reverend brother, who is to follow, the more pleasing task of 
moving your hearts with the strains of eloquence, I set out at 
once upon the journey before me. 

"King Solomon's Lodge was constituted upon the 17th of July,, 
in the year of our Lord 1765, and ot Masonry 5765. I hold ia 
my hand the original charter, beautifully engrossed upon stamped 
paper, in the plain round hand of the olden time. 

"To the uninitiated it may be proper to say, in explanation of 
the almost sacred reverence with which a mason regards his 
charter, that no lodge can be held without its presence at the 
place of meeting ; and if lost or destroyed as by fire, a dispensation 
must be obtained from the Grand Master before lodge-meetings- 
can be again held. If revoked by the proper authority, the lodge 
ceases to exist until it is leguUy restored. The charter, there- 
fore, is most carefully preserved in the lodge archives. 

" While the lodge was located in Waterbury, the regular cotn- 
munications (which is the masonic term ^ov meetings) were holdert 
monthly in the house now occupied by Bro. James Brown, then 
the residence of Capt. Geo. Nicholls. The hall was an upper 
room, running the whole length of the house, with ' gambrel^ 
roof and windows, it being a dancing-hall, such as were often 
found in the private residences of that day. 

" Of the doings of the lodge, while it sat in Waterbury, we 
have no record, save the paper which I hold in my hand. It is the 
original draft of the ' Bye-Laws,' enacted and approved on Christ- 
mas Day, 1765, which I beg leave to read, as a relic of ' ye olden 

" At the period of which I am speaking (1765 to 1775) Wood- 
bury exceeded Waterbury in population and importance. After 
a few years it is probable that the members of the lodge, dwelling 
in the valley of the Pomperaug, began to outnumber those residing 


in Mattatuck, or Waterbury. The lodge was, therefoi'c, in 17*75 
(or previously) removed to Woodbury, where the tabernacle has 
ever since rested. The names of Joseph Perry, James Raynolds, 
Hezekiah Thompson, and other of the Waterbury brethren, 
appear upon the records as in attendance upon lodge meetings, 
the weary distance of twelve miles through woods and swamps, 
over hills and streams, not being sufficient to keep from them the 
monthly reunion with the ' Sons of Light.' 

"The Records from 1*765 to 1775, are missing. In that valua- 
ble work, by a brother who sits before me to-day, the ' History of 
Ancient Woodbury,' we read, that ' all the records, except the 
charter, from its first organization to 1782, are no longer in exist- 
ence.' This paragraph was written in 1854. Three years later, 
while 'searching among the rubbish' of the lodge-room, the 
speaker had the good fortune to discover this ancient record book, 
containing minutes of all the 'communications,' or meetings, 
from St. John's Day, Dec. 27, 1775, to Sept. 7, 1780. The first 
-entry is as follows : 

" Att a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons held att the house of Br. Peter 
Gilchrist, in Woodbury, Dec. 27th, 1775, 

R. W. Bro. Joseph Perry, Master, 

" Peter Gilchrist^ Senior Warden, 
'• Mitchell Lampson, Junior " 
" Delucena Backus, Treasurer, 
" Aaron Mallort, 
" ZiMRT Moody. 

•' The same evening the Lodge was Led to the Choyse of a Master for the 
year ensuing, when they unanimously mad choyse of R. W. Bro. Joseph Perry to 
fill the Chear. 

" The Lodge likewise mad choyse of Bro. Peter Gilchrist, S. W,, and Bro. 
Mitchell Lampson, J. "W., Bro. Delucena Backus, Sec, and Bro. Aaron Mallory, 
Treas., very agreeable to the Lodge. 

Expense of the night - - - £0 11 

Paid - , - - " " " 

^'From 1775 to 1797, a period of twentj'-two years, the lodge 
met in an ' upper room,' or ball-room of Peter Gilchrist's house, 
now the residence of Geo. B. Lewis, Esq. Bro. Gilchrist seems 
to have been a prominent mason, and was for many years Secre- 
tary of the lodge. 

"In Oct., 1796, the lodge voted to remove to a room to be pre- 


pared for their use by Bro, David Tallman, in the house of widow 
Damaris Gilchrist, now the ball-room of Kelly's hotel. 

"This room was finished in due time, with ' suitable pews for 
the Master and Wardens,' and the lodge voted Bros. Tallman and 
Fabrique a further allowance of 18 and 12 dollars respectively for 
' stock extraordinary furnished.' Masonic tradition informs us 
that this hall was fitted up in magnificent style : Upon the ceiling 
over head, were delineated the ' starry decked heavens,' with the 
' All-Seeing Eye,' and other emblems well known to the craft. 

"Sept. 18th, 1823, the lodge removed to a new hall in the build- 
ing lately occupied by Bros. Ghapin and Lathrop (more recently 
perverted into a barn by Bro. H. W. Shove) where the meetings 
were held for some fifteen years, when they again removed to the 
old lodge-room over Kelly's hotel, in 1837, where they continued 
to meet until the dedication of the present lodge edifice in 1839. 

" Aug. 29th, 1838, at a regular communication ot the lodge, it 
was voted 'that Bros. Benj. Doolittle, Ghas. B. Phelps, Edwd. 
Hinman, and Edgar Botsford, be appointed a committee to obtain 
subscriptions to build a lodge room.' This committee reported at 
the next meeting that one could be built at a cost not to exceed 
the sum of $700. They were, therefore, instructed ' to commence 
the building when half the amount should be subscribed, in addi- 
tion to the existing funds of the lodge.' The mone}^ was raised 
by dividing the stock into shares of $10 each, some of which 
were taken by persons not members of the fraternity. For many 
years after, candidates for initiation paid their fees by purchasing 
the requisite number of shares at a low rate. In this way, and 
from the natural anxiety of the brethren to extinguish the out- 
standing shares, some were inducted into the mysteries of Mason- 
ry, -who have since proved anything but ornaments to the lodge 
and institution. At last, in the year 1857, the last share and a 
half was cancelled, being held by our late Bro. Mitchell S. Mitch- 
ell, of New Haven. 

"The new lodge edifice was solemnly dedicated to the 'Holy 
Saints John,' by the Grand officers, upon the festival of St. John 
the Baptist, 1839. The ofiicers and brethren of King Solomon's 
Lodge, were present at the exercises, and many visiting brethren 
from other lodges. In the language of the records : 

" The marshalls (which were Bros. W. H. Hunter and Bethel Castle) formed 
the procession, and proceeded to St. Paul's Churcli, to hear an oration by Rev. 
Bro. Burhanns, after which the procession fopmed and marched to Bro. Chas. S 



Peck's, where the brethren partook of a sumptuous feast prepared for the occa- 
sion. After toasting, ' ifec.,' and ' parting upon the level,' (it is to be hoped 
the latter phrase is not to be taken literally,) the lodge closed in due and ancient 
form. Henry A. Huli,, Sec." 

" Lodge meetings were anciently held on the Tuesday preceding 
the full of the moon, from five o'clock, P. M. to nine in the 
evening, from September to March, inclusive ; and from six to 
nine the remainder of the year. At seven, or thereabouts, the 
lodge was ' called from labor to refreshment,' when a bounteous 
supper was served by the ' Boniface,' at whose inn the lodge was 
sitting. After supper followed toasts and masonic songs. Labor 
was resumed at about eight, and the lodge ' closed in peace and 
harmony ' at nine. The meetings Avere held uj^on the week ' pre- 
ceding the full of the moon,' that the brethren who came from 
a distance might have light on their homeward ride. 

" The general spirit of conviviality, which at one time disgraced 
even ministers' meetings, ordinations and funerals, was also felt in 
the lodges at their meetings. Many lodges had decanters and 
glasses in their ante-rooms, and the members sometimes partook 
too freely at the ' hour of refreshment.' The anti-masonic storm 
which swept over New York, and a portion of the New England 
States, though it checked the progress of Masonry, and at one 
time bid fair to overthrow the institution, had one good result. 
The M. W. Grand Lodge of Connecticut recommended the sub- 
ordinate lodges to discontinue the use of ardent spirits at lodge 
meetings, and King Solomon's Lodge, in a resolution offered by 
our late Bro. Charles B. Phelps, was one of the iirst to banish 
tippling from the lodge-room, 

For several years prior to 1841, the lodge had enjoyed great 
and continued prosperity. From that time to 1846, from re- 
movals and various causes, it rapidly declined in numbers and 
efficiency, and having failed to make its returns to the Grand 
Lodge for three years, the charter was vacated and surrendered 
to the grand officers in October of the latter year. The inter- 
regnum was but of short duration. In December of the same 
year, a dispensation was applied for and granted, empowering the 
brethren to resume their labors as a lodge, and on the 6th of Jan- 
uary the charter was returned, officers elected, and a new era 
begun. The craft are now (1865) in possession of a fine lodge 
edifice, unincumbered by debt, and have in their treasury the 


* wherewith ' to reheve ' poor distressed master masons, their 
widows and orphans.' 

" A few extracts from the records may not be inappropriate to 
the time and occasion. 

"Aug. 1st, 1780, it was voted that 'the treasurer send to Bro. 
David Wooster, 200 continental dollars out of the Box.' 

"Feb. 4th, 1800, 'Bros. J. Clark and Wm. Moseley were 
appointed to confer with the Committee of Arrangements for the 
22d insti, and to procure the aprons trimmed with black,' as a 
token of respect for the memory of their illustrious Brother 
George Washington. 

" I have thus, "Worshipful Master and Brethren, endeavored to 
trace, in an imperfect manner, the history of King Solomon's 
Lodge. 'Tis a solemn thought that here, in these few volumes, 
lie the records of a hundred years ! How ' swifter than a weav- 
er's shuttle ' is the flight of time ! ' We spend our years as a tale 
that is told !' This day should ' furnish food for serious reflection ' 
to us all. 1765—1865—1965 ! Who, of all this company, will be 
present at the second centennial of King Solomon's Lodge? 

"Eight years ago, I enrolled my name as a member of the 
Woodbury fraternity. As I cast my eye over these seats, I see 
many new faces, but, alas ! not all of the old ones ! I miss the 
genial face and portly form of one who twice filled the Oriental 
Chair, dispensing light and knowledge to the craft. He was made 
a mason in 1812, and, at the time of his decease, had been for 
neavly fifty years a valued and respected member of this lodge. 
But a few weeks before his death he was present at an installa- 
tion service, and delivered an address approj^riate to the occasion. 
In two short months you stood around his open grave, and with 
streaming eyes, dropped your sprigs of acacia upon his coffin, 
sighing in tremulous accents, ' Alas ! my brother P 

" Any eulogium upon his character, to those who knew him, 
would be to ' gild refined gold, or paint the lily !' Those who 
knew him best, loved him most. For more than two years the 
speaker was most confidentially and intimately associated with 
him, and he has no hesitation in affirming that " he was a ruan, 
take him all in all, we shall not look upon his like again !' Born 
soon after the revolution, and familiarly acquainted with many of 
the actors in that great drama ; educated in the celebrated Litch. 
field Law School of Judge Reeve, with such men as John M 
Clayton, and John C. Calhoun for fellow students, he was a con. 


necting link between the generation of '76 and the present. In 
his tastes and habits, a ' gentleman of the old school ;' with a 
high-toned sense of honor that is too rarely found in these modern 
times ; his mind unusually well stored with that knowledge which 
only habits of observation can acquire ; a never-failing flow of 
wit, and anecdote, and keenest irony and sarcasm, if the occasion 
demanded ; of great power as a public speaker and an advocate ;' 
full of ' wise saws and modern instances,' and quaint sayings and 
comparisons, which convulsed the listener with merriment ; a kind 
and unselfish neighbor ; an ever faithful and sympathizing friend ; 
strong in his likes and dislikes ; a man who read character at a 
glance ; hospitable, charitable, and generous to a fault, 

" ' As many a beggar and impostor knew ;' 

though a knoyer, a peace-niaker ; (his proudest boast being that 
he * had settled more cases than he had tried ') ; to those who 
knew him, in the sanctity of his home, (whatever he may have 
seemed to the world), a man of deep religious feelings and yearn- 
ings ; in the language of another, 

" ' Not, like too many, worser than he seemed, 
But always better than himself had deemed :' 1 

Charles B. Phelps, 'the Old Judge,' as we loved to call him, will 
never be forgotten, so long as there is one who knew him left to 
cherish his memory ! 

" ' The iipright judge, the wit, the mind intent, 
With the large heart, that always with it went : 
Passing his years among us, softened, sage, 
Almost the feature of another age ; — 
In one dread moment sent to that far shore 
Where praise, nor blame, shall ever reach him more. '2 

There is another brother, whose hoary head and Christian 
character deserves a passing notice. The oldest member of the 
fraternity, initiated jnto Masonry in 1813, fifty-two years ago, he 
still lingers among us, at the good old age of three score and ten, 
and eighteen years. Though he has come to realize by sad expe- 

1 Rev. Wni. Thompson Bacon, in his Woodbury Centennial Poem, July 4, 
1859, . 


Tience the iafirmities of age, ' when the keepers of the house 
tremble, and the strong men bow themselves, and the grinders 
cease because they are few, and those that look out of the 
windows be darkened ; and the doors are shut in the streets 
when the sound of the grinding is low; when fears are in the 
way, and the almond ti*ee flourishes and desire fails :' — though all 
this is come upon him, he still retains his first love for the Insti- 
tution, before whose altar his youthful knees bowed in fealty and 
prayer. Need I say that I refer to our venerable Brother James 
Moody ? 

"It may seem invidious to speak of the living, where so many 
are worthy of praise. When the anti-masonic tempest of 1828 
had well-nigh extinguished our ' three lesser lights ;' when ' the 
love of many waxed cold,' and to acknowledge one's self a Mason 
required more courage than to storm a battery ; when mobs pro- 
scribed, and churches excommunicated the known or suspecied 
Mason ; prominent among a faithful few, a brother who sits before 
me, was untiring in his efforts to keep the masonic flame a-light 
upon the altar of King Solomon's Lodge. Unlike too many, he 
never 'renounced Free Masonry' at the bidding of party or sect. 
Filling, as necessity required, every ofiice, from the chair in the 
East to the Tyler's station ' without the door ;' for many years the 
faithful and eflicient Treasurer ; twice elected Worshipful Master ; 
present at nearly every meeting of the lodge since his afliliation, 
more than forty-tour years ago ; King Solomon's Lodge is in- 
debted for its present existence, to no brother, living or dead, 
more than to Brother Benjamin Doolittle ! i 

"My task is done! My communings with the past, though 
tinged with sadness, have been pleasing and profitable to myself; 
I trust the result, even if somewhat tedious, has not been without 
interest and instruction to my hearers. 

" Finally, Brethren op King Solomon's Lodge, let us strive to 
grow wiser and better for our masonic associations. Let us never 
confound Masonry with Religion, nor Religion with Masonry. 
Let us ever remember that Masonry, though 7iot religion, is her 
handmaid: and that he who would be a true Mason must also 
aspire to that higher name, a. follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, 
Thus, at the last, when the grim tyrant Death shall alarm for us 

1 Brot Doolittle passed to the Lodge on high about three years ago, at the age 
of 70, and this eulogy is not overdrawn. 


'the inner door' of the lodge — we may welcome him as a kind 
messenger, sent to translate ns from this imperfect to that all- 
perfect, glorious, and celestial lodge above, where the Supreme 
Grand Master of the universe presides !" 

The address was succeeded by a very eloquent and instructive 
sermon, by Rev. C. Trowdridge Woodruff, of Ridgefield, for- 
merly rector of St. Paul's Church, Woodbury, From this sermon 
we make a few brief extracts : — 


I. KINGS VI. 1. 

" And the house, when it v/as building, was built of stone, made ready before 
it was brought thither ; so that there was neither hammer, nor axe, nor 
tool of iron, heard in the house while it was building." 

" Wonderful record ! record, made of no other building in the 
history of our world ; record, worthy of Him who planned the 
building, and of him who sought the " understanding heart," that 
he might work out the woundrous design ; record, significant of 
the mighty Past, whose history it was to embody, and of the Fu- 
ture, whose prophetic analogies were to cluster around it ! The 
work then going on, the massive stones then I'ising into walls, in- 
dicating no ordinary work, nor yet the usual architecture of the 
time. No ! in the centuries by-gone, upon the rugged and scarred 
brow of awful Sinai, amid lightnings and thunders, with the huge 
mountain shaking beneath the overshadowing presence of the 
great Jehovah, Moses was showed the pattern of that majestic 
Temple, which, with all its sacred rites, afterwards stood, the joy 
of the whole earth, on Mount Moriah's stately brow. The Tab- 
ernacle, set up in the wilderness, and carried along with the Israel- 
ites as they journeyed to the Promised Land, was but the finished 
model of the vast and magnificent edifice, whose foundation stones 
of costly worth, reached down as deep as Kedron's shadowed 
glen, and whose pinnacles towered to heights too dazzling ftr the 


For many years had the pious David been carefully gathering 
the varied materials for the sacred house, and now his illustrious 
son, Solomon, with all the aid of native and foreign artists, was 
consummating the grand design. The forests resounded to the 
stroke of the woodman's axe ; the quarries of Zeradathah echoed 
to the ring of the hammer and maul; the smitheries glowed; 
carpenters, and carvers, and cunning workmen went in and out, 
intent upon their mighty work, and, day by day, the ponderous 
beams, the perfect ashlers, the polished cedar, and the olive, and 
the golden plates, came by the hands of the seventy thousand 
Apprentices, from the eighty thousand Fellow-Crafts, till the co- 
ping was finished, pilaster and column were set, the burnished 
roof thrown over all, and the great Temple, from foundation to 
dome, stood the fairest and the noblest structure that greeted the 
sun in his daily course. 

" So stands the Temple to the view of every true and enlighten- 
ed Mason ; at once, the first and highest type of the Masonic art 
in opei'ative Masonry, and the sacred historical symbol of all that 
is dignified and ennobling, and purifying in speculative Masonry. 
It embodies the great principles of our order ; — charity and unity ; 
— around it cluster the emblems, and from it are derived the cer- 
emonies and the working tools of the craft, 

" It is a singular fact, and, aside from the belief of its high ori- 
gin, an inexplainable fact, that, while thrones of earth have crum- 
bled, while orders and systems of men have passed away, — des- 
potic, patriotic, benevolent, and religious, — while opposition has 
fiercely assailed, backed by influence, wealth and power ; while 
persecution has flamed, and driven into the wildeajiess ; while po- 
litical fanatics have denounced and religionists have anathema- 
tized, and false friends sought to betray ; while barbarians have 
demolished the grand monuments of the Order; and all that mal- 
ice could invent, and man perform, has been combined against it, 
still, Masonry lives ! Yes, and will live till Time itself shall be 
no more ! Nothing else, save Christianity, has stood the test of 
the ages ! It stands to-day, adorned with life and beauty, simply 
because its great Light, the Bible, shines full upon and irradiates 
its throbbing heart ! Its chief corner-stone, its central idea, like 
that of the symbolic Temple, and like Christianity itself, is Love, 
love to God supreme, love to our neighbors as ourselves. The 
golden chain which links us to the Past, to each other in the Pres- 
ent, and which shall join us indissolubly with the Future, is that 


heaven-born Charity, which is the ' bond of peace and the perfec- 
tion ol every virtue.' 

" In the great struggle through which the nation has so success- 
fully passed, Masonry has come out as grandly as the nation, tested 
as in no other age, glorious as never before. Under its almost 
magic influence, foemen have been made friends in rifle pits, on 
skirmish lines, at bayonet points, and at the cannon's mouth. 
Rebel and loyal, each, have learned on bloody fields, wounded and 
captive, in ambulance and hospital, that brothers ever answer to 
the sign, and fly, at the mystic cry for help, with comfort and suc- 
cor such as needed. And all this is full of richest promise for the 

Go forward, then, ye faithful sons of faithful craftsmen gone! 
By all that is sacred in the antiquity of the Order, by all that is 
tender in the bond of brotherly love, by all that is affecting in the 
condition and wants of your erring and needy brethren, by all the 
resources which heaven has poured into your lap, by all the pre- 
cious memories of those beloved in the lodge on high, and by all 
the motives addressed to you in every degree in which you have 
wrought, I say, go forward ! And, when all the bonds of earthly 
circumstances, the outward conformations of ministries and ordi- 
nances, have passed away forever, then, the whole body of Ma- 
sons, true and faithful Masons, who have adorned the divine prin- 
ciples of the Order by a godly life, shall stand up together in an 
imperishable fellowship, known by one name, animated by one 
spirit, and combined together in one glorious employment for 

After the exercises at the Church, the procession was again 
formed, and marched to the site of the building recently occupied 
by Bro's Chapin and Lathrop, where the Lodge was held for fif- 
teen years, — from 1823 to 1837. Here a halt was made, and the 
" grand honors " given, in honor of the fraternal dead. The march 
was then continued to the residence of Geo. B. Lewis, Esq., for- 
merly the Inn of Peter Gilchrist, where the Lodge was held, from 
1*775 to 1797, where the "grand honors" were again given. 
Thence the procession moved to the Hotel of F. Kelly, where the 
"grand honors" were given in front of the "north chamber," 
where the Lodge held its meetings, from 1797 to 18i2;3, and again 
from 1837 to 1839. 

The vast concourse of Masons, Masons' wives, daughters, and 


invited guests, then entered the large Tent of the Litchfield Co. 
Agricultural Society, where they partook of a bountiful Collation. 


After the " cloth had been removed," the assembly was called 
to Oder by Past Master A. N. Lewis, who announced the regular 
toats, and on giving the sentiment, " Our Sister Lodges," re- 
marked : — 

"I see before me those who, as Entered Appentices, have delved 
and hewed in the quarries ; have wrought upon the Temple as 
Fellow-Crafts ; and learned lessons of fortitude and fidelity at the 
grave of the widow's son — others who have received the " white 
stone," in which a " new name is written, which no man knoweth, 
save him to whom it is given ; " who have been inducted into the 
" Oriental Chair," and learned lessons in government from earnest 
and practical instructors ; who have assisted at the dedication of 
the Temple, " when the glory of the Lord filled the house, so that 
the priests could not stand to minister,' but bowed themselves 
upon the pavement, exclaiming, 'for He is good, and His mercy 
endureth forever ; and, ' at the peril of your lives,' searched for 
and brought to light those valuable secrets, which lay buried and 
hidden from the craft, for the space of four hundred years ; — oth- 
ers, who have ' wrought in the secret vault, when prying eyes were 
closed in sleep.' — Otbers who, as valiant and magnanimous Sir 
Knights, have worshipped upon the Island, at the Sepulchre, and 
in the Temple. And if there be any other and higher than these, 
I bid you all an earnest, a heart-felt, a Masonic welcome!" 

This was followed by the third regular toast ; " The Fraternal 
Dead of King Solomon's Lodge, — Their failings are hidden by the 
sod that covers them ; their virtues are on perpetual record upon 
living tablets, the hearts of their brethren !" 

Past Master William Cothren responded in the following words : 

Brothers and Friends : — 

In rising to respond to the toast just read in your hearing by 
our worthy presiding officer, I seem to be addressing some five 


hundred living, sentient beings, — a company of friends and broth- 
ers. And yet, as I firmly believe, not only am I doing this, bnt I 
am addressing an equal number of the " faithful dead," whose 
mortal remains sleep peacefully in this beautiful valley, the home 
of the honored, and the resting place of the tried worthies who 
have gone before us to the " echoless shore." I take pleasure and 
consolation in believing, that that large company of the good and 
" great lights " of our beneficent Order, look down from their se- 
rene and happy abode upon us, their children, who, with filial 
hearts, unite in celebrating their virtues on this happy hundreth 
birth-day of our beloved Lodge, which they did so much to " adorn 
and beautify." Secure, themselves, from the perils of life, they 
smile benignantly upon the noble actions of their descendants. 
They speak to us from every lowly and sacred mound, — they 
speak to us from their high abode in Heaven. 

A sacred feeling comes over us, as we remember the character, 
and recount the noble deeds of our revered brethren, who lived 
and acted during the century which has now gone to "join the 
former ages " in the world's history. We look around us, and note 
the resting-places of those sainted men, in the pleasantest nooks 
of this most beautiful of valleys. We tread lightly, as we ap- 
proach the sacred dust, that silently reposes till the resurrection 
morn. Their ashes are all around us, as their spirits are above us. 
I firmly believe that the faithful dead take cognizance of things 
pertaining to the welfare of friends below. They smile on us from 
their high seats to-day. " Their crown is secure, and their mem- 
ory precious forever ; to us the strife yet remains." Errors they 
had, like all the human race ; for the Book of books declares, that 
«/? have gone astray. But their errors are "hidden by the sod" 
that covers them. They have "reached that silent home of all the 
living, which buries every error, covers every defect, extinguishes 
every resentment." 

They lived in " days that tried men's souls." They lived in 
times that required great and heroic deeds. They lived in a 
period when moral courage, as well as manly hearts, was re- 
quired, — the great demands of history, the great urgencies of life 
in perilous periods. Even one of our Ministers, bearer of good 
tidings to men, was obliged, right there, two hundred yards from 
our place of meeting, to take, two savage, lurking lives, and send 
their guilty spirits to their dread account. Like courage was re- 


quired of other men, in that period of violence, a hundred years 
ago. ' 

Look through the history of our State during the century that 
is past, and the part that our good old town has borne in all its 
great events, and you will find the worthies of our Order preemi- 
nent in every good and great work. In the deadly struggle of the 
American Revolution, which gave us our nation's life, and planted 
the germ of freedom forever ; — in all the wars and struggles which 
have increased and shown our nation's strength ; and now, in the 
last, most momentous and greatest civil war in the history of the 
ages, which has signalized itself over those of all the past, in giv- 
ing freedom to* an entire race, the brethren of the craft have ever 
been conspicuous, — foremost in every great undertaking. In the 
history of the Revolution, their names are radiant on every page, 
both in the crash of battle, and in the steady support of the breth- 
ren at home, giving more aid and comfort, with the other patriotic 
citizens, to the brave boys in the field, than came from any other 
interior town known to your speaker. Time would fail me to 
give a list of those brave men, or to speak of the deeds and vir- 
tues of the Hinmans, the Perrys, the Ortons, the Curtisses, the 
Osbornes, the Chapmans, the Prestons, the Shermans, the Hic- 
ocks, the Brinsmades, the Beers, the Nichols, and a host of others, 
who did great service in that memorable conflict. In our later 
civil struggle, our fraternal band has oftered up of its numlbers, 
and has increased the concourse of the " fraternal dead." In these 
early hours of our grief, need I speak, (while I say nothing of the 
living brothers who have done good service to our country) of Pol- 
ley,' and Orton, who have delivered up their lives, a willing sac- 
rifice, to the great cause of freedom, and of our country. Need 
I speak of their gentle, home virtues ; their orderly walk and con- 
versation, their unwavering fidelity to friends ? Of Sergeant 
Walter J. Orton, dying by a shot through the breast, received at 
the battle of Winchester, I speak with more than ordinary friend- 
ship. He was more than a sincere friend. He was at once a devoted 
and efiective one. Well do I remember that summer Sabbath, three 
years ago, when the members of Co. I., 19th Regt. Conn. Vols. 

' Reference here is made to Rev. Anthony Stoddard, who was for sixty-one 
years pastor of the First Church in Woodbury. His house, built in 1700, is 
still standing. 

^ James C. Policy, of Company I. 2d Conn. Artillery, who died in service, o^ 
fever, at Alexandria, Va., 19th Nov., 1862. 


were called to leave in haste for the tented field, to " dare and do " 
for their country ! We all remember how the churches were 
closed, and the people assembled to speed the brave boys on their 
way, for the salvation of the country, — heroic hearts all! — On 
that occasion of throbbing hearts, and hasty and sad farewells, 
well do I remember the words of Orton, as he talked with his 
friends, and bid adieu to his wife and children ; that he should 
never more be a citizen of Woodbury. Something told him he 
should not survive the war, but that he thought it his duty still 
to go and fight in the defense of his country. How prophetic were 
his forebodings! He died a true soldier, from wounds received 
in the heat and shock of battle. The memory of. such a soldier, 
such a brother, will be forever enshrined in the hearts of his liv- 
ing brethren of the "mystic tie." 

I have already intimated, that, in all the civil and social virtues, 
and in all the great events in the history of our State during the 
past century, the members of King Solomon's Lodge have been 
prominent. Let us name a few of the more celebrated, for time 
would fail me to mention all who have done the State good ser- 
vice, and done honor to our ancient fraternity. John Hotchkiss, 
the first Worshipful Master, appointed by the Grand Master of 
the Provincial Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, and residing " at or 
near Waterbury," assembled the first members of our Lodge, and 
appointed the Wardens. The records of our Lodge, from 1Y65 
to 1775, are lost, and we know not who those Wardens were; but, 
in the latter year, the Lodge began to be permanently held in 
Woodbury, a town then older, and considerably more important 
than Waterbury. The history of the Lodge since then is com- 
plete, even through the dark days of the miserable political Mor- 
gan excitement, when many other Lodges yielded to the fury of 
that relentless storm of reasonless indignation. Of John Hotch- 
kiss, little is now known, save that he was a prominent citizen of 
our Colony, trusted by the Massachusetts Grand Master, and the 
founder of the Hotchkiss family in this part of Connecticut. 

Among the early Masters of the Lodge, was Hezekiah Thomp- 
son, Esq., the first practicing lawyer in the present limits of Wood- 
bury, and a leading citizen. Beginning as a saddler, by trade, he 
won his way to distinction as an advocate and jurist, a magistrate, 
a legislator, a soldier, a genial friend and an honest man, and died, 
leaving descendants who, in this and the adjoining States, have 
continued to take a leading part in public affairs, and to exercise 


a powerful influence in the places of their residence. From 
the founding of the Lodge, for near forty years, he was one of its 
most active and efficient members. 

Associated with Mr. Thompson, were several other leading spir- 
its of those early days, in the history of the Lodge. Among these 
was Dr. Joseph Perry, who, for nearly half a century, adorned the 
profession of Medicine, and for three-fourths of that time, greatly 
contributed to the prosperity of the Lodge, and the spreading of 
the benefits of Masonry. He was conspicuous in aiding the sol- 
diers in the Revolutionary struggle, and in curbing the impetuos- 
ity of the rampant tories in our midst. And in this place, I have 
the pleasure to say, that the name of no tory disgraces the fair 
historic pages of our ancient Lodge. He died an honored citizen, 
at a good old age, leaving his son. Dr. Nathaniel Perry, tit repre- 
sentative of his father's virtues, to follow with reverence in his 
footsteps, in every great and good work. Well did he bear up 
his father's reputation, as the kind and skillful physician, the firm, 
considerate, and efl:ective friend, the fi'iend of all, the Mason's 
champion, the friend of charity and all good works, and that no- 
blest of God's works, an honest man. For nearly fifty years did 
these worthy men labor with the workmen, and for half that time, 
directed them in their labors. 

In the galaxy of talent, worth, and ability, which adorned the 
Lodge in these early days, was Hon. Ephraim Kirby, a native of 
Washington, and, for a long time, a resident of Litchfield ; after- 
wards dying in Mississippi, while on his way to assume his duties 
as Judge of the territoiy of Orleans, by the appointment of Jeffer- 
son. He served during the whole of the Revolutionary war; was 
present, and participated in, nineteen battles and skirmishes, among 
which was Bunker Hill, Brandywine, Monmouth, and German- 
town, and received thirteen wounds. In war, in civil and profes- 
sional life, he greatly distinguished himself. He had the high pro; 
fessional honor of being the author of the first volume of judicial 
decisions ever published in this country. He was a fit representa- 
tive of our Order, — a man of highest moral as well as physical 
courage, warm, generous, and faithful in his attachments, and of 
indomitable energy, 

Associated with Past Masters Thompson and Perry, was Dr. 
Anthony Burritt, of Southbury, then a parish of Woodbury. He 
was a leading spirit in the Lodge, and in the events of his time. 
During a part of the period of the Revolution, he acted as Sur- 


geon's-mate, was taken a prisoner, and carried to Long-Island, but 
was afterwards liberated by the intercession of his friend, Jabez 
Bacon, of this town, the richest man that fiver resided here. His 
son, Daniel Bacon, Esq., and General Chauncey Crafts, his son-in- 
law, were afterwards honored and acceptable members of the 
Lodge, generous friends, and useful citizens of the town. 

The last of the Past Masters who assenabled at the grand re- 
union Lodge Meeting in the Hollow, with those before mentioned, 
in 1T82, was Hon. Nathan Preston. He was a soldier of the Rev- 
olution, serving in the ranks, and in the Commissary Department. 
He was a lawyer of ability, with a full practice. He was Town 
Olerk for thirty-nine years, a member of the General Assembly 
twelve Sessions, and Judge of Probate fourteen years. He was 
often Master of the Lodge, and thoroughly identified with its in- 
terests, as well as those of the town. 

Among the " early lights," serving in the South and West, was 
Elijah Sherman, familiarly known as " Father Sherman," fi*om the 
fact that he was the father and founder of the Methodist Church 
in this town. An Elder in his Church for twenty years, with 
some few companions, worshippers in his faith, he held religious 
services in his own house, but lived to see the erection of a Meth- 
odist Church on a part of his own homestead, and a devout com- 
pany of believers worshipping there. He was gathered to his 
fathers at the advanced age of ninety, in 1844 ; a useful citizen, 
an accepted Mason, and a Christian man, who adorned his pro- 
fession. In the very early history of the Lodge, was another dis- 
tinguished man and Mason, Col. Joel Hinman, who did much 
honor to the Lodge, by his earnest zeal and brotherly charity. 
Before 1800, Rutgers B. Marshall, Benjamin Stiles, Esq., an early 
lawyer in Southbury, Capt. Timothy Hinman, of Revolutionary 
fame, Dr. Samuel Ortou, a physician of great eccentricity, but of 
rare ability as a physician, and an honest man ; Deacon Scovill 
Hinman, for many years the oldest member of the Lodge, and 
dying at the age of more than ninety years ; Jesse Minor, Esq., 
father of the respectable family that bears his name ; Bartimeus 
Fabrique, and nearly thirty others of the best inhabitants of 
Woodbury, during the years of 1797 and 1798, were received as 
Apprentices, passed as Fellow Crafts, and raised to the sublime 
degree of Master Mason. 

Previous to 1787, Rev. John R. Marshall, the founder of the 
Episcopal Church (St. Paul's) in Woodbury, was received into 


the benevolent bosom of our honored Order, and well did lie 
fulfill the sacred duties committed to his trust. He went to 
England in 1771 ; was ordained Deacon and Priest, returned to 
Woodbury the same year, entered upon his ministrations, and 
at a period between that and 1775, when the preserved records of 
the Lodge commence, he received the benevolent initiation of the 
" mystic tie." In the measures connected with the establishment 
of the Protestant Episcopal Church in America, after the war, 
Bro. Marshall bore a conspicuous and effective part. Nor was his 
influence less in the Lodge. Of him we may say, he " wrought 
well, and his works do follow him." 

Of all the members of our venerated King Solomon's Lodge, 
now hoary with years, perhaps, all things considered, the most 
noted, revered and celebrated, by his works in the ministry as well 
as by his writings, was the Rev. Dr. Azel Backus, then of the 
Woodbury Parish of Bethlehem, celebrated as a theologian of 
great force and power, revered as a teacher of youth for the min- 
istry and the colleges, and a devout, undeviating Christian ; he 
was no less a decided and honored Ma?on. At the festival of St. 
John the Baptist, in 1794, he preached a sermon to the Lodge, in 
its private assembly, of great power, pathos and beauty, and the 
influence of this eminent man was ever felt in the honor, useful- 
ness and success of the craft. Sweet flowers of memory bloom 
over the graves of such immortal members of our beloved Lodge. 

Near the beginning of the 19th century, other conspicuous 
names begin to greet our vision, of whom time fails me to speak. 
In 1812, among other noble men, were Hon. Curtiss Hinman, and 
the late Judge Charles B. Phelps. And there are many living 
members whose masonic modesty would not allow me to speak of 
their enduring merits. Judge Phelps has too lately passed to the 
spirit land to allow us to forget the great gifts and noble traits 
which he possessed. His eulogy has been fittingly spoken by, 
the orator of the day — one who knew them well, and had the 
right to speak them. His kindly, genial and charitable acts are 
enshrined in many hearts. 

In 1826, we find two respected members, father and sou, occu- 
pying respectively the "East" and the "South" in the Lodge. 
They passed long ago to that " bourne whence no traveler re- 
turns," and have gone to join the numerous band of worthies who 
had passed before them into the spirit land. Need I mention the 
names of Dr. Samuel and Roderick C. Steele, to bring to the re- 


membrance of this presence the brothers to whom I refer? They 
were lovely in their lives. Too soon for earth they passed to the 
mansions above. The father was, in his generous natnre, a father 
to all whom he knew. The true hand of masonic charity was 
stretched forth to all who were in need, in the Order and out of 
it. Genial, social and benevolent to the core, he charmed all with- 
in the circle of his influence, and died beloved as he had lived re- 
spected, having gained the affections of all. An honest man, a 
true friend, an honored citizen, a sincere Christian, he has left be- 
hind him the grateful incense of an affectionate remembrance. 

Such are a few of the names of which our ancient Lodge has 
the right to boast, and which will ever be held by the fraternity, 
in honorable and aflectionate remembrance. Their characters and 
noble actions will rise to view when the memory of others will 
have sunk in oblivion. "The good never die; to them belongs a 
double immortality, they perish not on earth, and they exist forever 
in heaven. The good of the present live in the future, as the good 
of the past are now with us and in us to-day." 

I close with the finale of the sentiment to which I am respond- 
ing : " The virtues of the Masonic dead are indellibly recorded 
upon living tablets, the hearts of their surviving brethren." 

The next toast, " Harmony Lodge, No. 42, of Waterbury, 
the eldest daughter of King Solomon's Lodge. May she live to 
celebrate the one thousandth birth-day of her venerable mother," 
was well responded to by Bro. E. A. Judd, Worshipful Master of 
Hai-mony Lodge. Among other things he said : 

"We are gathered here to-day, brethren, to celebrate the Cen- 
tennial Anniversary of King Solomon's Lodge ; and I feel as if 
Harmony Lodge had a peculiar interest in the ceremonies. In the 
words of the toast, she is the 'eldest daughter of King Solo- 
mon's Lodge.' We are, therefore, but children, come home to the 
family gathering — come home to join in the festivities of the one 
hundredth birthday of our mother Lodge. 

" We find by an examination of the records, that in October, 
179Y, 'permission was granted by King Solomon's Lodge to the 
brethren residing in Waterbury and Salem, to apply to the Grand 
Lodge for a charter for a Lodge to be located in Waterbury or 
Salem, as the Grand Lodge might direct.' A charter was accord- 
ingly granted for a lodge ' to be holden alternately in Waterbury 


and Salem,' and on the festival of St. John the Evangelist, on the 
2Vth day of December, 1797, the first officers of Harmony Lodge 
were installed by Bro. Jesse Beach, of Derby, then Deputy G. 
Master. Harmony Lodge then and there commenced her work ; 
a work that she has carried on for 68 years, adding, we humbly 
trust, some good square ' ashlars ' to the great temple of Masonry. 

" Previous to this time, many of the brethren had been com- 
pelled to go from ten to fifteen miles to attend Lodge ; and per- 
mit me to say that their regular attendance, as it appears upon 
the records, should put to shame some of our modern Masons, who 
can not make it convenient to attend lodge, though living almost 
within the shadow of its portals. 

" During the terrible convulsion through which our country has 
passed, churches have been rent in sunder, societies have been 
scattered to the four winds of heaven, social relations between the 
two sections have been destroyed ; but Masonry has stood firm 
and immovable, repelling every attack that has been made upon 
her, like some vast New England rock which the waves bufiet in 
vain ! While the strife lasted, Masonry could do but little. She 
can never gain laurels upon the tented field, or in the wild havoc 
of war. She can only protect the fallen, comfort and I'elieve the 
wounded, and gently bury the dead. Now that Peace once more 
waves her olive branch over the nation, it is for Masonry to do her 
work. The day of noble deeds and manly daring is not yet closed. 
There are still broad fields in which we can work and win crowns 
that shall never decay, laurels that shall bloom in fadeless beauty 

Rev. William T. Bacon, though not a member of the Order, was 
present as an invited guest, and being called on to reply to the 
toast " Charity," responded : — 

" The speaker, en route to the east 't'other day 
Met his friend, " Master " Lewis — yes, right in his way ; 

" You sir — all th' elitv — have express invitation 
To be present with us at our grand celebration ; 
Where sermons, historic addresses, and toasts, 
And last, tho' not least, Mr. Kelly's good roasts, 
Are expected — believed too — if anything can, 
To fill full, and satisfy every man." 
And he added, (you all know his genteel persuasion,) 

" You'll give us a word, just to grace the occasion." 

Now my friend Lewis knows mankind has its weak side ; 
Would he tickle my vanity, or touch ray pride? 



Or resoi't to that other power which so far reaches, 
Would he snare me with dear Mrs. Kelly's good dishes 

Well, whatever his motive, he caught me, that's certain>- 
And he's got me here under this wide-spreading curtain. 
And demands that I give, in response to his whim, 
This sentiment, song, or 


Beside the Galilean flood. 

With those He loved so well, 
The earnest Christ at evening stood. 
And words of blessing fell. 
"Go forth," — the voice rang loud, yet sweet — 
" Go to earth's farthest bound, 
And where one sorrowing soul ye meet, 
There let your love be found." 

Upon this spot our sires have stood, 

One hundred years or so, 
And heard that voice roll down the flood 

Of ages long ago; 
Here their warm hearts were joined as one 

In holiest charities ; 
Commending thus from sire to son, 

This message from the skies. 

Down the far future, stretching forth. 

We send our earnest gaze. 
Where children's children, in their worth 

Exalt their fathers' ways : 
be they first upon the list. 

Earnest in heart and hand, 
To hold aloft this sign of Christ, 

Long as the world shall stand ! 

Rev. Jno. Churchill, Pastor of the North Congregational 
Church, Woodbury, replied to a call from the Brethren : 

" Officers and Members of King Solomon's Lodge: 

" It was the custom of Dr. Dwight, when lecturing to his 
classes, to inveigh in good set terms against the use of tobacco, 
somewhat in this wise: 

" * Young gentlemen, [taking a full pinch of ' rappee ' from his 
vest pocket] never be guilty of using [applying it to both aper- 
tures in his nasal organ] tobacco [repeating the dose] in any 


form. It is a very [applying pinch nxmiber three as aforesaid] 
deleterious i^ractice !' [Finishing the balance between his thumb 
and two fingers]. So I am about to recommend to all the young 
men present to do what I have never done, which is to send in at 
once to King Solomon's Lodge their applications to be made 
Masons. Should anyone here suggest that I ow^X, to practice 
what \ preach, I reply, that were I not somewhat advanced in life, 
I would most certainly petition, myself, for initation. 

" In making this recommendation, I do it, I think, for good and 
sufficient reasons. As I remarked upon a former occasion,^ I saw 
the open Bible borne before you in procession. That act assured 
me that Masonry teaches a respect and reverence for the Scriptures. 
If there were nothing else to recommend the institution, that 
alone would be sufficient to convince me that the aims and objects 
of Masonry are good. 

" But this is not the only argument which commends Masonry 
to the approval of my judgment and conscience. If I understand 
its cardinal principle, it is charity, which is declared by St. Paul 
to be the ' greatest of these three.' I cannot but conclude, there- 
fore, that an institution which inculcates a reverence for the Bible, 
as * God's most inestimable gift to man,' and which is built upon 
charity as its chief corner-stone, is entitled to the esteem of every 
man who loves his race. 

" There is yet another reason that makes me a friend to Free 
Masonry. An institution which has stood, as I am credibly in- 
formed, since the building of King Solomon's Temple, surviving 
the wreck of dynasties, and empires, and nations, must be estab- 
lished upon a good and worthy foundation — must be a promoter 
of good and worthy objects. 

"For these and other reasons, which to me seem incontroverti- 
ble, I have no hesitation, here, in this public manner, and before 
this assembly, in giving your fraternity the humble endorsement 
of my honest esteem and confidence. 

"Again, I recommend every young man who hears me to apply 
for initiation into the mysteries of the Order, who have celebrated 
^-his joyous anniversary in so decorous and becoming a manner, 
if it be good, to support and advance its interests ; and if it be 
had, to right or restrain the evil. 

1 In an address at the funeral of Merritt Thompson, a member of King Solo- 
mon's Lodge. 



" I thank you, gentlemen of the Masonic society, for your flat- 
tering invitation to speak upon this pleasant occasion, and for your 
kind attention to the unpremeditated thoughts which I have offer- 
ed for your consideration." 

Thus ended the celebration of the Centennial Anniversary of 
King Solomon's Lodge. More than five hundred Masons were 
present, from different parts of the State, and, according to esti- 
mates made by those accustomed to large gatherings, more than 
fir^e thousand persons were in the streets to witness the imposing 

May the brethren who in 1965 celebrate the tioo hundredth 
anniversary of King Solomon's Lodge, have as pleasant an occa- 
sion as their forefathers, of this year of Grace, one thousand 
eight hundred and sixty-five, and of Masonry, five thousand eight 
hundred and sixty-five. 

So Mote it Be ! 

E now come to the next, and, to this date, the 
last celebration in Woodbury, that of the First 
Congregational Church, held May 5th, 18Y0^ 
Although the change between the old and new 
styles has made eleven days difference in 
dating, and so the celebration should have 
been on the 16th of May, to be accurate in 
the present mode, instead of the 5th, yet it 
was thought advisable for various reasons 
to hold the celebration on the 5th of May ; 
thus corresponding with the record, though 
' the precession of tlie equinoxes, and "man's 
devices," had' made a change in the way of dating. A succint 
report was made by the writer of the proceedings in said celebra- 
tion, and he has carefully examined it to see if he could in any 
way condense it for the purposes of this history, and yet do 
justice to the occasion. But he has been unable to see where it 
could be judiciously curtailed, and so it is here introduced almost 
entire : 


For several years past it had been a matter of consultation and 
agreement between the writer and Dea. Philo M. Trowbridge, 
that when the Bi Centennial year of the existence of our Church 
approached, they would suggest to the brethren the desirability of 
a proper observance of its natal day. It was thought to be appro- 
priate to celebrate so joyous an anniversary. It was belived to 
be well to set up a monument to mark the passage of the ages. 
It was thought fitting that the Church, which had for two hundred 
years acknowledged the same confession of faith, and " owned the 
same covenant," written and adopted by the fathers by the shores 
of Long Island Sound, taken " from out the Word," should, with 
devout joy and thanksgiving, render praise to Almighty God for 
all His wonderful mercies toward it. We could do no less than 
to render thanks to the Lord. It seemed to redound to His glory 
and our great good. 

In accordance with these views, the subject was brought before 
the Church, and the following action was taken by it and the 
Committee of its appointment : 

" Annual Meeting of the First Congregational Church, 

Sept. 16, 1869. 

" Voted, That Deacons Trowbridge and Liusley, and Brother 
William Cothren be a Committee with power to make full arrange- 
ments for a public observance, on the 5th day of May next, of the 
Two-Hundredth Anniversary of the orgauizution of this Church." 

The Committee held its first formal meeting February 22, 1870, 
and, after due consideration, 

" Votedf That the Mother Church, at Stratford, and the six 
daughters of this, be invited to be present, and participate in the 

Voted, That the Pastor be invited to deliver the sermon, and 
that he invite the Pastor of the Church at Stratford to assist him 
at the Communion. 

Voted, That Brother Cothren be instructed to prepare senti- 
ments for responses from each of the churches invited." 

At the same meeting, various sub-committees Avere appointed to 
carry on the work of preparation. 

All the committees, under the inspiration of the general com- 
mittee, performed their several duties with alacrity, fidelity and 


ability, and every thing was " made ready " for the successful in- 
auguration of the interesting ceremonies of the approaching ju- 

With the aid of the ready hands and executive ability of the 
ladies, the church was most beautifully decorated by Mr. Plenry 
C, Curtis, a special artist, of Hartford. A more striking and ap- 
propriate mode of decoration could not have been devised, than that 
adopted by Mr. Curtis, whether considered historically or artisti- 
cally. It is a remarkable fact that the first four pastors of the 
church occupied the pulpit, in the aggregate, the long period of 
172 years, out of the two hundred celebrated. We think this a 
length of time unparalleled in the history of the churches in this 
country. This fact was beautifully represented by introducing 
the four names ; Walker, Stoddard, Benedict and Andrew, into a 
large cross composed of six circles, the names occupying four of 
the six circles, " 172 years " the center, and a cross and anchor, the 
lower circle. This was placed in the recess behind the pulpit. 
Beneath the cross were two tablets, the one containing the " cove- 
nant of 1670," and the other the names of the original signers. 


'* We, whose names are hereunto subscribed, being (by y ® all- 
disposing providence of God, who determines y® bounds of men's 
habitations) cast into co-habitation on wt^ another, and being sen- 
sible of o'^duty unto God, and one to another, and of O'liableness 
to be forgetfull, and neglective of y® one and y® other, do hereby 
(for y* further incitent of o'selves unto duty in either respect) 
solemnly give up o''selves & ours unto y^ lord, engaging o'^selves by 
his assisting grace to walk before him, in y® religious observance of 
his revealed will, as far as it is or shall be made known unto us. 
We do also in y® presence of God solemnly ingage o^selves each 
to other to walk together in church-society, according to the rule 
of y' gospell, jointly attending ally® holy ordinances of God, as far 
as it shall please him to make way thereunto, and give opportunity 
y" of: and walking on w*'^ another in brotherly love, & chtian 
watchfullness for ©"^mutual edification, and furtherance in y® way 
to salvation. And jointly submitting o'selves & ours toy® govern- 
ment of Cht in his church, in y® hand of such church governours, or 
officers as shall be set over us, according to gospell institution. 
The good lord make us faithfull in covenant with him & one w*"^ 
another, to walk as becomes a people near unto himself, accept of 



y« offering up of o'selves, & ours unto him and establish both us 
and y" to be a people unto himself in his abundant mercy through 
cht jesus, who is o"^ only mediato' in whom alone we expect ac- 
ceptance, justification and salvation : to him be glory & praise 
through all ages. Amen." 

"The names of y* persons y' subscribed this covenant, & again 
publickly owned it, May 5th, viz : y* day of my ordination were 
as foUoweth : 

Zechariah Walker, 
Samuel Sherman, Sen-^, 
Joseph Judson, Sen', 
John Hurd, Sen", 
Nicholas Knell, 
Robert Clark, 
John Minor, 
Samuel Sherman, Jun'., 
John Wheeler, 
Samuel Stiles, 

Hope Washborn, 
Hugh Griffin, 
Ephraim Stiles, 
John Thompson, Jum, 
Theophilus Sherman, 
Matthew Sherman, 
John Judson, 
Samuel Mils, 
Benjamin Stiles, 
Edward Shermond. 

Persons since added . 

John Skeeles, 
Israel Curtiss, 
Thomas Fairechilde, 

Richard Butler, 
Robert Lane, 
Moses Johnson, 

Richard Harvy. 

Between the tablets was the name of the present jjastor, Rev. 
■Gurdon W. Noyes, in golden letters. At the apex of the recess 
above the pulpit was an elegant golden cross and crown. At the 
top of the pillars on either side ot the pulpit, was a large golden 
" C," on which appeared the years 1670 — 1870, under which, res- 
pectively, was a list of the deacons of the first and second centu- 
ries, on tablets upon the pillars : 



Deacons of the \st Century. 

Hon. John Minor, 
Samuel Miles, 
Matthew" Sherman, 
Hon. John Sherman, 
Matthew Mitchell, 
Z. Walker, Jr., 
Samuel Sherman, 
Samuel Minor, 
Jehu Minor, 
Hon. Daniel Sherman, 
Gideon Stoddard, 

Deacons of the 2d Gentury. 

Clement Minor, 
Josiah Minor, 
Matthew Minor, 
Daniel Huntington, 
Nathan Atwood, 
Ens. Seth Minor, Jr., 
Benjamin Judson, Jr.» 
Judson Blackman, 
Eli Summers, 
Truman Minor, 
P. M. Trowbridge, 
J. H. Linsley. 

On the panels of the gallery face were the names of the mother 
church at Stratford, and the six churches which have gone out from 
the first church, with the date of their organization, viz : Stratford, 
1639 ; Southbuiy, 1731 ; Bethlehem, 1739 ; Judea, 1741 ; Roxbury, 
1743 ; South Britain, 1766 ; and North Woodbury, 1816. On the 
two panels nearest the pulpit were the names of the pastors succeed- 
ing the first four, viz : — Wright, Sti'ong, Curtis, Williams, Robin- 
son, Little and Winslow. A beautiful white dove was suspended 
from the pulpit desk beneath the bible, which, wdth outstretched 
wings seemed to be alighting upon the communion table below. The 
pulpit was splendidly decorated. Festoons extended from the corners 

of the church to the center orua* 
ment in the ceiling, whence de- 
scended a large anchor, beauti- 
fully wi'eathed in evergreens and 
flowers, while wreaths ran along 
the galleries, over and below the 
recess, and to the letter " C " at 
the caps of the pillars, above 
which appeared two century 
- =.^^-,^ plants. The whole was com- 

pleted with the mottoes "Welcome," and "We Greet You." 
Throughout the house, in the lamp brackets, were vases and bask- 
ets of flowers and drooping plants, producing the finest and most 
artistic eflTect. 

The clearest and balmiest day of the year heralded the coming 


exercises. We could but feel and see the favoring smile of that 
good Providence, who has so wisely and tenderly watched over 
this church during the two centuries of its existence. At an early 
hour, the people of this and the neighboring towns began to assem- 
ble, the sti-eets were lined with vehicles of every description which 
had come from the hills and valleys of the " ancient town," and 
the church was almost immediately filled to its utmost capacity- 
Settees and chairs were carried into the aisles above and below. 
The vestibule and every place where standing room could be found 
were immediately filled, while there was a large crowd without, 
which could gain no admission. There must have been more than 
1,500 people in attendance. As a test of this estimate, it may be 
remarked, that 1,000 collation tickets had been issued, and yet it 
became necessary for the committee to admit large numbers, Avho 
had not been provided with tickets. 

Pursuant to the admirably arranged programme of Dea. P. M. 
Trowbridge, chairman of the general committee, the exercises com- 
menced precisely at 10 A. M., by the great congregation rising and 
singing " Praise God from whom all blessings flow." The reading 
of an appropriate selection of scripture, and prayer by the pastor 
next followed, after which the congregation sang the old, familiar 
hymn, — "Ye tribes of Adam join," &c. This was followed by a 
carefully prepared historical sermon by the pastor, of great beauty 
and excellence, briefly narrating the history of the church and its 
pastors for two hundred years. 


O Lord, Thou alone art great — glorious — good ! Hence we 
would adore and serve Thee. Our fathers worshipped in this moun- 
tain ; but the fathers, where are they ? And the Prophets — do they 
live forever ? Alas ! Alas ! We do all fade as a leaf. Thou earnest 
us away as with a flood. We spend our years as a tale that is told. 
But Thou art the same and of Thy years there is no end. Thou 
hast been the dwelling place of Thy people in all generations. 
Before the mountains were brought forth or ever thou hadst formed 
the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting Thou 
art God ; and Thou hast ever had thoughts of mercy and love 
toward the children of men. We praise Thee for their early mani- 
festation in the prediction of Thy word and in the advent of Jesus 
Christ Thy Son and our Saviour. We adore Thee for the Church 
set up in His name and which is graven upon the palms of Thy 


hands, guarded by Thy power, guided by Thy wisdom and against 
which Thou hast said the gates of hell shall never prevail. We 
especially praise Thee at this time for Thy guidance and care of our 
ancestors in planting a branch thereof in this place. Thou didst 
cause them to go forth like a flock. Thou didst cast out the heathen 
before them and divided them an inheritance by line. The wilder- 
ness and solitary place soon became glad for them, and the desert 
rejoiced and blossomed as the rose. They trused in Thee and 
Thou didst deliver them from fears and foes ; didst prosper the 
work of their hands. Yea, Thou didst cause the little one to 
become a thousand and the small one a strong nation. In conse- 
quence of their faith, forecast, labor, the lines have fallen to us in 
pleasant places,. and we have a goodly heritage. We have pleas- 
ant and fruitful fields, quiet and happy homes, rich and rare, civil, 
educational and religious privileges. Gathered here in Thy Sanc- 
tuary after the lapse of centuries to review the history of Thy deal- 
ings, Ave find that goodness and mercy followed our fathers and 
have followed us. We Avould therefore recall their virtues and 
catch anew impulse from all that was noble and Ohrist-like in their 
example and strive to perfect and perpetuate their work. We 
know O Lord that it is Thy will, that one generation should praise 
Thy works to another and abundantly utter the memory of Thy 
great goodness that men may set their hope in Thee. We praise 
Thee for our free government and beneficent institutions, with the 
righteous peace vouchsafed unto us. We entreat Thy blessing 
upon our President and all in authority in State and Nation, that 
we may lead quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and honesty. 
We pray Thee to bless our Colleges, Schools, Churches, that the 
Gospel may permeate the land and drive out from it, all ignorance, 
error, vice, irreligion, and make us a people to Thy praise. And 
we beseech Thee to send the disenthralling life-giving Gospel 
over the Globe, that Jesus may speedily have the heathen for his 
inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for his posessions- 
And now, O Lord, we humbly invoke Thy presence and blessing 
during this sacred Jubilee, Smile upon the associated Churches 
here represented, and those who are to take part in these exercises, 
that they may utter fitting and forceful words, for our pi'ofit and 
Thy Glory, O Lord, shine Thou upon us from Thy throne of light 
and love. Yea, grant us the favor which Thou bearest unto Thy 
people, through Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Redeemer. Amen, 





To many in this age there is little enchantment in the distant 
past. The present is so full of duty and enjoyment, and the future 
is so bright with hope and promise, that they readily forget " The 
days of old, the years of ancient times." Hereby they lose much 
of help and cheer in their life-work. It is, as we trace our connec- 
tion with departed worthies, and realize our indebtedness to them 
for present privileges and blessings, that we are incited to emu- 
late their virtues, and fitly labor for posterity and Heaven. To- 
day this church completes a history of two hundred years. With- 
in this period great events have transpired on this globe in rapid 
succession ; events which have changed the entire face of human 
society. Empires have been built up and cast down ; nations have 
been born and buried; modes of government, and systems of opin- 
ion, have flourished and decayed, and yet amid all these changes, 
this church has continued steadfast in its faith and worship. Its 
founders ere long passed away, but they left behind a godly seed, 
and so from generation to generation this candlestick of the Lord 
has been kept in its place, and from it has ever shone forth the 
pure light of the Gospel. It is a fitting time to trace its course, 
recall the bright names identified with it, and note Heaven's favor 
toward it. The church and congregation of to-day, on whom has 
devolved the duty of arranging this celebration, do here and now, 
through, me, most heartily welcome to these sacred festivities all 
who are drawn hither by filial or fraternal affection. Let us to- 
gether scan the Mdsdom and love of God in planting this goodly 
vine near the Indian wigwam, and keeping it in such vigorous 
growth down the ages, and join our earnest petitions that it may 
continue to flourish in the future, ever covering the hills with its 
shadow, and extending its boughs like goodly cedars. 

The church has been signally fortunate in receiving one from 
another State, William Cothren, Esq., who, in filial love, and with 
great skill and fidelity, has written her history, and that of the 


town as well. In this, her records, and kindred sources, I have 
found such rare and rich materials for a historic sketch, as to be 
puzzled in deciding what to leave out, so as to bring it within 
proper limits, and have it symmetrical and just. Aiming only at 
impartiality, pertinence, accuracy, I frankly submit my work to 
your kind and Christian consideration. 

In 1650 the churches of New England began to be agi- 
tated by what was termed the half-way covenant system. By 
this system persons of good moral character, recognizing bap- 
tism, assenting to the creed, and signifying their intention of 
becoming true Chi-istians, were admitted to all the rights and 
privileges of church members, except partaking of the Lord's 
Supper. Controversy rose to such a pitch upon the matter, 
that a council of leading ministers convened in Boston, in 
1647, to deliberate upon it, and they decided in its favor. The 
church in Stratford did not believe in the practice, and would 
not adopt it, even after the decision. A respectable minority, 
however, clung to it, and were uneasy at its disregard, and the 
more so as they felt that it was largely owing to the influence of 
Mr. Chauncy, who had been recently settled against their wishes. 
By earnest argument, and fraternal remonstrance, they sought to 
secure accordance of views, or if not that, an arrangement by 
which each party could have its own minister, and worship at dif- 
ferent hours of the Sabbath in the same sanctuary. According to 
the custom of the day, the aid of the general court was called in. 
The discussion was keen and spirited on both sides, though digni- 
fied and courteous. As the result, early in 1668, the minority had 
the civil sanction to obtain their own minister, and had three 
hours of the Sabbath to worship in the Sanctuary. They soon 
engaged Rev. Zechariah Walker, a licentiate from Jamaica, L. I., 
to act as their pastor. But their position was still unpleasant and 
unsatisfactory, as the other party would allow them no use of the 
church, and spoke of their unordained minister to his and their 
disparagement. So, despairing of any agreement, they detei'- 
mined to set up for themselves. They appointed a day for the 
purpose, and spending most of it in prayer for the Lord's guidance 
and blessing, they entered into solemn covenuat with God, and 
one another. Then calling neighboring churches together, and 
renewing that covenant, which is a model for brevity, scriptural- 
ness and beauty, they were constituted the second church in Strat- 
ford, on May 5th, 1670, and Mr. Walker was ordained their pastor. 
Twenty males comprised the church at its outset. Some of them 


forcasting separation as the probable relief from their difficulties, 
had made provision for a new sphere for growth and enjoyment, 
by applying to purchase lands of the Indians, as early as 1667. 
Accordingly, at the suggestion of Gov. Winthrop, who deemed 
the course best for the churches and the colony, the court, in May, 
1672, granted them the privilege of erecting a plantation at Pom- 
peraug. Early the next spring twenty-five families migrated to 
this place, then a wilderness. Mr. Walker divided his ministra- 
tions between this Hock and that at Stratford until June, 1678, 
when he moved here. Seventeen more had been added to the 
church, and so it started as the first church of Woodbury, with 
thirty-seven members, six of whom were females, and full one-third 
of the half-way covenant type. Yet, few as they were in numbers, 
busied as they were in procuring food and houses for their fami- 
lies, beset as they were with difficulties of every kind, beyond our 
conception, they cheerfully undertook the sustainment of the Gos- 
pel in their midst. They sequestered lands for the use of their 
pastor, and freely taxed themselves for his support. At first reli- 
gious services were held in each other's houses in winter, and in 
summer on the east side of the Orenaug Rocks, with sentinels 
stationed on their summits, to guard against sudden attack from 
hostile Indians. On this account the name of Bethel Rock has 
been given to the spot. In later times, good men, their descend- 
ants and others, have repaired thither for meditation and prayer. 
Hence, though beautiful in itself;, with its surroundings of tree, 
shrub and flower, and for its clear out-look upon the charming 
valley, it is more so for its historic incidents and hallowed associa- 
tions. For several years, during King Philip's war, the people 
were so absorbed in erecting fortified houses, furnishing soldiers 
for the colony, and providing guards for their own safety, that 
they could do nothing toward supplying themselves with a place 
of public worship. But early in 1681, when the stress of care and 
peril had passed, they took the matter up, and after some little 
difference of opinion as to the site, they came to a pleasant agree- 
ment by leaving the decision to two prominent and disinterested 
outsiders. The house was at once erected, and stood just below 
the present residence of Hon. Nathaniel B. Smith. It was large and 
plain, with pulpit opposite the entrance, and with elevated pews 
and high-backed seats. The people were called to worship therein 
by the peculiar tap of a drum upon the high rock nearly opposite. 
.Here Mr. Walker preached the word until his death in 1700, at 63 


years of age. His papers in the Stratford discussion evince hi& 
learning, ability and piety. His thirty years' hold upon the atten- 
tion and regard of the people, as well as the harmony and growth 
of the church, evince his power as a preacher, and his wisdom as a 
pastor. During his ministry he received one hundred and eight to 
the church, and baptized three hundred and seventy-six. The 
church sincerely mourned him as their heroic leader and faithful 

In the same year they invited Mr. Anthony Stoddard, then just 
licensed, to preach to them. They soon became so interested in 
him, as to desire him to settle. As an inducement to this end, the 
people in lawful town meeting voted as a salary seventy pounds 
per annum to be paid in wheat, peas, Indian corn, pork, as also 
firewood, at the following prices " not to be varied from, extraor- 
dinary providences interposing being excepted," to wit; Wheat, 
4s. 6d. per bushel ; pork at 3 cents per pound ; Indian corn, 2s. 6d. 
per bushel ; peas, 3 shillings per bushel. They also voted to build 
him a house of specified dimensions, he only providing nails and 
glass, and also a well, and to furnish him with 115 acres of land, 
properly divided into lots for tillage, pasture, meadow, wood, and 
conveniently situated. He accepted the call, and was ordained in 
May, 1702, and moved into the house built for him, and which 
still stands in the lower part of the village, in a good state of pre- 
servation, after the storms of ITO years. It was built in the old 
lean-to style of the time, with a small room projecting at the front 
for a portico, which Mr. Stoddard used as his study for 58 years- 
May its historic character long keep it from vandal hands, as its 
palisadoes once kept it from the assaults of the Indians, to remind 
coming generations of the Christian forecast and self-denial of their 
fathers ! Mr. Stoddard possessed great versatility of mind ; had 
enjoyed the best classical and theological culture of the day, and 
had been favored with the counsels and example of his eminent 
father at Northampton. And though retiring to this then obscure 
parish, he found room and verge enough for the exercise of his 
rare powers. He soon took rank among the leading ministers of 
the colony. He was chairman of the committee to draft the origi- 
nal rules of the Litchfield Consociation, and was chosen to preach 
the election sermon at Hartford, in 1716. He was also as much at 
home in medicine and law as in theology. According to a custom 
then quite common, he prepared himself in these departments that 
he might be useful to his flock when physicians and lawyers were 


not at hand. He was probate clerk of ancient Woodbui'y for 40 
years, and all the records are in his handwriting. He drew most 
of the wills of his parishioners ; he was also one of the largest 
farmers in the town. And yet it would seem that he did not sufTer 
these secular labors to interfere with his higher work as the Lord's 

Under his ministry the church was harmonious and prosperous, 
while othei's in the colony experienced dissensions and drawbacks. 
Though losing many to form churches at Southbury, Bethlehem, 
Judea, Roxbury, yet through frequent revivals it filled up again. 
In the great awakening of 1740, it received 97. Indeed admis- 
sions were made during all the years of his ministry save two, 
amounting to 616 — 142 of these being by the half-way covenant, 
most of whom, however, subsequently entered into full com- 
munion. He baptized 1540, and ordained five deacons. In the 
latter part of his ministry he was privileged to preach in a new 
and finer edifice, built in 1747. With remarkable retention of 
mental and physical 2Dowers, he labored on until his 88d year, 
when, after a two days' illness, he died, esteemed and lamented by 
the children and grandchildren of those whom he had followed to 
the tomb, and in the midst of whom they reverentially laid his 
body to await the general resurrection. Just before his death the 
people had called the Rev. Noah Benedict to settle as his col- 
league. He had accepted, and the day was fixed for his ordination. 
He was accordingly ordained Oct. 22, 1760. Mr. B. originated in 
Danbury ; graduated at Nassau Hall in 1757. Though a Barnabas 
in temperament and manner, bearing consolation and cheer unto 
all with whom he came in contact, yet in preaching and debate he 
could rise to somewhat of an ApoUos in might and eloquence. 
The main grounds of his success, however, lay in his remarkable 
discretion, his eminent goodness, and his rare fidelity. At the 
very outset of his ministry he devised a plan to get rid of the half- 
way covenant, without any jar, and with good efiect, though to it 
the church had tenaciously clung for 90 years, and that, too, when 
neighboring churches had dropped it long before. He also secured 
some slight changes in the covenant, thereby giving it such excel- 
lence that for 110 years no one has attempted its improvement. 
Rev. Worthington Wright was settled as his colleague in 1811, 
but in consequence of some disease of the eyes, preventing study, 
he was dismissed at his own request early in 1813. Mr. Benedict's 
pastorate, like that of his predecessors, was long, prosperous, and 


peaceful, until near its close, when an unpleasant controversy arose 
about locating the third and present edifice. He received 272 to 
the church, baptized 758, and oi'dained eight deacons. He re- 
tained the confidence and aifection of his people until his death 
in 1813, at 76 years of age, and the 53d of his ministry. Here and 
there an aged one in the parish and vicinity has a pleasant remem- 
brance of his jDerson and work, and through them his influence 
gleams gently out on the present generation, as the sun's rays 
gleam upon the sky after his setting. 

And here, in passing, I would call attention to the fact that the 
united pastorates of the three first ministers of this church cov- 
ered the remarkable period of 143 years, probably the only instance 
in the country, and one alike creditable to both parties. Fortu- 
nate as this ancient church may be in the future there is now little 
prospect that it will ever have a pastor who, in this respect, will 
attain unto either of the first three. After a year's vacancy. Rev. 
Henry P. Strong, of Salisbury, was settled over the church in May, 
1814, and was dismissed in January, 1816. Rev. Samuel R. Andrew, 
of Milford, became his successor in October, 1817. From Mr. Bene- 
dict's death to his settlement, the church had received 38 additions. 
The party too, disaffected by the location of the new church edi- 
fice, had withdrawn and formed themselves into a strict Congre- 
gational church. He entered upon his work with forecast and tact, 
and prosecuted it with earnestness and efficiency. Over his rich 
endowments and fine culture there was cast a kind, devout, loving 
spirit, which gave him great power as a preacher and pastor. So 
exemplary was he in his daily walk and conversation, that a quaint 
and captious neighbor once said that, " He had watched him for 
25 years to find something inconsistent with his profession, but 
must give it up." This speaks volumes as to his discreetness and 
piety. Hence, no wonder that the church was united and success- 
ful under his care. He was blessed with three revivals, received 
263, baptized 243, and ordained three deacons. Finding his health 
failing, he resigned, and was dismissed in 1846, about 29 years 
from his settlement. He removed to New Haven, Avhere he died, 
May 26th, 1 858, at the age of 71. Rev. Lucius Curtis, of Torring- 
ford, was immediately installed as Mr. Andrew's successor in July, 
1846, and was dismissed in 1854, at his own request. He led 
the church forward, adding 70 to its membership, baptizing 36, 
and leaving it harmonious and hopeful. In April of the ensuing 
year, Rev. Robert G. Williams was installed, and remained until 


July, 1859. In 185Y, the second year of his ministry, some $4,000 
were expended in modernizing and improving this church edifice. 
He also received 32 persons into this visible fold of Christ. Rev. 
Charles E. Robinson began to supply the pulpit early in 1861, 
and was ordained pastor in June, 1862. He received IV to the 
church, and was dismissed at his own request, in the spring of 
1864. Rev. Charles Little began to supply the pulpit in 1865, 
and after two years retired, having added 30 to the church. Rev. 
Horace Winslow, as his successor, supplied the pulpit one year, 
and added to the church 24. In vacancies, from time to time, 10 
persons were added. Rev. Gurdon W. Noyes, of Stonington, the' 
ninth and present pastor, began his work on November 14th, 
1869, and was installed on the 8th of December following. He 
has received 6 to the church. From its origin, this church has 
received into its fold 1526; placed the seal of the covenant 
upon 2999, and ordained 23 deacons, only three of whom sur- 
vive. Its present membership is 192. Six churches have been 
formed entirely out of it, and two others have received a goodly 
number of members from it, to say nothing of its contributions 
to other denominations within its ancient limits, and to the 
churches of its own faith in the cities of the East and West. 
From it have sprung 13 ministers, seven by the name of Judson, 
one the father of Adoniram, the pioneer missionary, and another, 
Philo, distinguished as a revivalist. It has also been favored with 
a line of deacons of such rare worth and long continuance in 
oflace, as to deserve a passing notice. 

Hon. John Minor, the pioneer who at the first view of this 
place from Goodhill, with bended knee, craved heaven's bless- 
ing upon the little company, and asked for a godly posterity, was 
in ofiice 49 years, and seven of his descendants filled it after him, 
the last dying in 1865. Of these, Matthew and Truman (the last 
one) were distinguished for Bible knowledge, piety and usefulness. 
The first was in oflice 42 years, and several of the others of like 
merit were in ofiice from 25 to 45 years ; and one, Eli Summers, 
still remains with us who has been in office 40 years. To the wise 
effort, bright example, fervent prayers, of these men, the church is 
greatly indebted for its unity, stability and success. Society has 
received more marvelous modifications in these two centuries than 
in any other two since the Christian era. In this period, printing, 
steam, machinery, electricity, have been exerting their magic and 
civilizing power. In this period, too, gradually, indeed, church 



edifices have improved in style and comfort. Square pews, eagle- 
nest pulpits, with sounding-boards, have disappeared. The wor- 
shippers rent their seats, and are not seated as formerly, accord- 
ing to age and rank. The cold, humid air, which our fathers and 
mothers endured for hours is rarified by the heat of stove or fur- 
nace. About the sanctuary no Sabbath-day houses appear ; and 
instead of coming to church on foot, or upon saddles or pillions, 
as of old, the people now come in spring wagons or covered car- 
riages. And then at its origin, this church was one of 18, in the 
Connecticut colonies. Now there are 290 in the State, and 3,043 in 
"the United States, with other evangelical denominations as strong 
or stronger. Then a few hundred colonists were struggling for 
a foothold in this wilderness, against the rigors of the climate, the 
assaults of savages and the interferences of the mother country. 
Now, there are 37 States, scattered over a vast and fertile area, 
with some forty-five millions of inhabitants, under one free and 
beneficent government, and with almost every conceivable facility 
for materia], intellectual and spiritual advantage. With few helps 
and many hindrances, our ancestors kept the flame of worship 
burning on the altars of this Zion. Though the church has 
been weakened by wars, wasted by pestilence, thinned by emi- 
gration, endangered by prosperity, yet it still lives and in much 
vigor. It is a glorious thing that it has thus held right on its 
way through ten generations. It has rendered acceptable service 
to its Head and Lord, and been a rich boon to this community. 

And now, how interesting this transitional point when it is to 
pass over its great legacy of good to the keeping of another series 
of generations. Our fathers cast up stepping-stones for our ad- 
vancement ; not arbors wherein to take our ease. We may well 
glory in their work ; but if we rest upoti it, the Lord will raise up 
children to them from the stones of the street. We should rather 
feel that the church is to go forward in numbers, beauty, achieve- 
ment, influence. 

As we leave this cycle of years, lined with Christian heroes 
and heroines behind us, we must needs cast the horoscope of the 
future. We who gladly join in this jubilee, will, ere long, pass 
away ; but others will take our places, and the tide of afiairs will 
sweep on. When the next century comes round, and posterity 
gathers for commemoration, what shall be the aspect of the place, 
and the character of the people ? We can decide with certainty, 
as to some things that will greet our descendants then, as they 


do US now. They will be hailed by the same spring, with its 
birds and flowers. They will pass up the same broad and shaded 
street, and look out upon the same gem of a valley, with its pic- 
turesque setting of hills. The rude monument of Pomperaug 
will remain and will be visited by the curious, as to-day. But will 
the people be wiser, better, happier ? Will most of them be in 
Christ's visible fold, as burning and shining lights ? Christian 
friends, the answer to these queries depends largely upon us. 
Our faith, zeal, fidelity, with heaven's favor, may fill the lips 
of posterity with glad hosannas at the tri-centennial. Gazing 
backward, I seem to see the great cloud of witnesses for Jesus 
here clasping hands along the flying years, and as they pass on, 
the blessed results of their sacrifices, toils and tears, I seem to 
hear them say : " Freely ye have received, freely give." " Take 
the triumphs we have gained to cheer you ; gaze upon the tro- 
phies we have gathered and hung around you, then press forward 
from conquest to conquest, until called to lay your armor down, 
and receive the Master's well-done." Amen. 

The concluding prayer was uttered by Rev. John Churchill, 
and after this a recess of five minutes occurred to give opportu- 
nity for such as chose to retire. 

During the services of the forenoon, the deacons of the mother 
church, our own, and those of the North church, sat about the 
communion table after the manner of " ye olden time." After the 
recess came the administration of the Lord's supper to some 800 
communicants, filling the seats above and below, Rev. William 
K. Hall, of Stratford, and our own pastor, officiating. It was a 
solemn and interesting occasion — never before enjoyed here — never 
again to be enjoyed by us below, — when a mother church, with 
its own mother and six children sat down together at the " Earth- 
ly marriage feast of the Lamb." The remembrances of that hour 
will go with us through the eternal ages. 

The exercises at the communion were opened by singing the 
following verses, beautifully rendered by "William Cothren, James 
H, Linsley, Mrs. Enos Benham, and Mrs. Horace D. Curtiss, as a 
quartette : 

'Tia midnight, and on Olive's brow, 
The star is dimmed that lately shone ; 
'Tis midnight; in the garden now, 
The suffering Saviour prays alone. 


" 'Tie finished," — so the Saviour cried, 

And meekly bowed his head, and died ; 
"'Tis finished," — yes the race is run, 
The battle fought, the victory woq ! 


Fathers, Brethren, Friends : — We approach this sacramental 
table to-day under circinustances of peculiar interest. The "com- 
munion of saints " is changed from a dry dogma of our creed into a 
blessed reality of our experience. The mother church sits down 
in this heavenly place in Christ Jesus, with her daughter, grand- 
daughters, cousins, and many of the remoter kindred and others of 
different denominations. No idea of the Church in the Bible is 
more common or beautiful than that of a family or household. 
God is the Father, Jesus is the elder brother, and all true believers, 
brothers and sisters in Him. The Savior once said that whosoever 
should do his will, the same was his brother, sister and mother. 
And Paul gathers into one family the redeemed on earth and in 
heaven. Ah ! the hundreds who have preceded us in caring for 
this Zion, must be near to-day in sympathy and gratulation, though 
we feel not the pressure of their hands, and hear no word of cheer 
from their lips. And through the knowledge we have of their 
career and of their blest estate in glory, we can commune with 
them, and gather inspiration to press on in our Christian course. 
Friends, our time for holy fellowship and achievement here is fast 
passing by. The Lord help us to go down from this mount of 
glorious privilege with a fuller conseci'ation to his service. Then, 
when called to rest from our earthly labors and cares, we shall be 
niimbered among those who die in the Lord, and whose works 
folloio them! 

The service was continued by Rev. "William K. Hall, in the fol- 
lowing remarks : 

Brethren in Christ : — Our thought has been directed to the 
blessed truth of the unity of all believers in Christ, of the family 
relation in which all who are Christ's are found, a relation which 
death itself cannot sever. 


This truth is made most vivid and real to us by this Supper of 
our Lord, and by these memories of our fathers, which as a sister- 
hood of churches we have come together to-day to revive. We 
love to contemplate this truth. It produces a deep, quiet, joyous- 
ness of spirit, thus to keenly realize that we are one with those 
who have gone before us to the home above, one with that godly 
ancestry who jjlauted these Churches of Christ and bequeathed to 
us these religious institutions. There is, it is true, this invisible, 
indestructible unity. 

But what does this imply ? That we have the same faith, the 
faith " once delivered to the saints," that we are sustained by 
the same hopes and the same promises ? Most surely ; but is there 
not more than this ? There is a unity of tlie spirit, a spirit of devo- 
tion to the truth, a spirit of consecration to the Master and His 
service. Through much self-denial, through much self-sacrifice, they 
labored to secure for themselves and for those that should come 
after them, these blessings of the Christian family and the Christ- 
ian state. Fidelity to the truth, a firm, unyielding devotion to 
the interests of religion among them, marked their character and 
their lives. We may not, my brethren, be called to practice 
the same kind of self-denial, and may not find the same kind of 
sacrifices in our path of duty, but if we are true, devoted 
Christian men and women, loyal to the Master and His kingdom, 
we shall find ihat we need the same spirit that actuated them, and 
we shall moreover find that our path of duty is the path of self- 
denial and self-sacrifice. That teaching of the Savior, which was 
in so large a manner exemplified in their lives, is for us also. "If 
any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his 
<;ross daily and follow me. For whosoever will save his life, shall 
lose it ; and whosoever will lose his life for My sake, shall find it." 
This supper which calls to remembrance the sacrifice of our Lord, 
His self giving for us, ever brings to mind afresh that root-principle 
of all Christian living, self-giving for Christ, self-losing in Christ. 
We are here brought into communion with Him. Shall not this 
communion bring us into a closer sympathy with His spirit V 
Shall we not, by this communion, possess more of the mind of 
our Lord ? As we take this cup to our lips, and by faith behold 
the blood that was shed for us, shall we not take into our hearts 
more of Christ that we may take into our lives more of Christ ? 
If we here renew our covenant vows, let us remember that these 
vows are vows of allegiance, by which we devoted ourselves and 


our all to the service of Christ. If we here re-consecrate our- 
selves to Jesus, let us recognize the truth, that it is a consecration 
to the cross — that the cross is to be henceforth more deeply im- 
printed in our souls, and that we are to bear it more steadfastly 
and faithfully in our lives. 

May we all to-day be so baptized by the Holy Spirit into the 
spirit of the Lord Jesus, that " denying ungodliness and worldly 
lusts," we may " live soberly, righteously and godly in this present 
world ; looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing 
of the Great God and our Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself 
for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto 
Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." 

It was now "high noon," and the final hymn being sung, the 
" great congregation " moved to the Town Hall to partake of the 
collation, which had been prepared by the church and congrega- 
tion, aided by the voluntary and acceptable contribution of eat- 
ables and assistance from the ladies of the North Church, and the 
churches of Judea and Roxbury. We shall not soon forget their 
kindness, and shall be only too happy to assist them on any simi- 
lar occasion. All were amply supplied, and when all were " filled " 
there were " many baskets full taken up." 

At 12.45 P. M., the bell gave warning of the services at the 
cemetery, where the Fathers' monument was to be dedicated. 
This is a structure hewn from native boulders, of massive propor- 
tions, 33 feet high, erected at a cost of more than $1,500, more 
than one-third of which was contributed by a single individual. 
There is no similar monument in this country, so far as known to 
the writer. The principal stone is a granite block of great beauty 
found on a farm at a distance, and prepared for the place of honor 
on the base of the monument. On the front it bears the inscrip- 
tion in prominent letters, " Presented by William Cothren and 
Lyman E. Monrijie, July 4th, 1861." This inscription refers to the 
block, and not, as some supposed, to the entire monument. 
Just above, on a brown stone block, are the names of the gentle- 
men at whose expense the monument has been erected. The in- 
scription is, " Erected in honor of the Fatherg, by Rev. W. T 
Bacon, Hon. Thomas Bull, David S. Bull, Esq., George H. Clark, 
Esq., Hon. William Cothren, Hon. Julius B. Curtiss, Hon. Henry 
C. Deming, Hon. Henry Dutton, Charles G. Judson, Esq., Wood- 
bury Lyceum, Walter P. Marshall, Esq., Rev. Benjamin C. Meigs,^ 


Deacon Truman Minor, Rev. Geo. Richards, Rev. James Richards, 
D. D., Hon. Thomas H. Seymour, Edward W. Seymour, Esq., Rev. 
Henry B. Sherman, Rev. Thomas L. Shipmau, Hon. Nathaniel B. 
Smith, Chas. A. Somers, Esq., Hon. Henry Stoddard, Rev. J. B. 
Stoddard, Rev. Robert G. Williams, Gen. William T Sherman." 
On the shaft above is the name, David J. Stiles. On the east 
side is the inscription, "Rev. Zechariah Walker, first pastor of 
ancient Woodbury, died Jan. 20th, 1699, in the 63d year of his age, 
and in the 36th of his ministry." At the foot of the monument is 
the ancient headstone, with this record : 



AGED 63, 

DYED JAN. 20, 


On the north side is the epitaph of Rev. Anthony Stoddard, the 
second pastor, who died Sept. 6th, 1760, in the 83d year of his 
age, and the 61st of his ministry ; and on the west side is that of 
Rev. ISToah Benedict, the third pastor, who died April 20th, 1813, 
in the '76th year of his age, and the 53d of his ministry. At the 
base, on the north side, is an old mill-stone, one of two small ones 
taken to Woodbury on horseback, two hundred years ago, from 
Stratford, with which they ground corn and meal for the whole 
settlement at the rate of one bushel per day. 

The dedicatory exercises were very interesting and impressive . 
Rev. Thomas L. Shipman, of Jewett City, one of the contributors, 
opened the exercises with the following 


O Thou, whose we are, and whom we would glorify in all our 
works begun, continued and ended ; may Thy presence be with 
us and Thy blessing upon us on the occasion which has convened 
us in this place of graves. Thy servants have erected this monu- 
ment before which we are assembled, to the memory of the fore- 
fathers of the ancient church whose history we have to-day recalled. 
Accept Thou this work of their hands and offering of their hearts. 
May this shaft long stand in remembrance of the men whose names 
are engraven upon it — though dead, they yet live by the influence 
of their ministry upon coming generations. Time may efface their 


names from tliis monument of stone, but nothing shall ever efface 
their memory from the hearts of a grateful posterity. As we 
stand surrounded by the dead, impress upon our minds the thought 
that we shall soon be of them, and give us grace so to live and so 
to die, that to each of us the end of earth shall be the beginning of 
Heaven. Bless those who are to take part in the further services 
of this occasion. May what they shall speak be for Thy glory 
and for our good, and in all the solemnities and services of the 
day, may we be accepted through Jesus Christ our strength and 
our Redeemer. Atnen. 



Ten years ago, as the curious antiquarian searched with rev- 
erent tread among the mossy mounds which surround us, on this 
consecrated hill, "beautiful for situation," in this loveliest of val- 
leys, parting here and there the lank grass and tanglecl briars, he 
would have discovered that little head-stone of native rock, with 
its rude inscription, telling us the simple tale, that here rested all 
that remained on earth of the first father of the town, " ye faith- 
full, worthy, l^eloved Minister of the Gospell, and much lamented 
pastor of the Ch'' of Christ." One hundred and sixty times had 
the " dark brown years " passed over this consecrated spot, and 
this was all that remained to tell the numerous posterity of the 
fathers, who had been enriched and blest during all that long 
period by his faithful teachings, labors and sufferings — that here 
the ever-to-be-revered W-^lker had laid his armor down — that here 
he awaited in tranquil rest the final trump of God. Then, as now, 
grouped thickly around him, in like noteless graves, his faithful 
people were gathered — a hardy, noble race, that has, in the last 
two centuries, and especially in the living, whirling present, 
brought forth great and abundant fruit. There lies Deacon John 
Minor, the tried, the true, and the brave, ancestor, in the maternal 
line, of Gen. Grant, President of the United States. Connecticut, 


through her Deacon Grant, of Windsor, and Deacon Minor, of 
Woodbury, claims a proud share in the fame of this distinguished 
man. Near Deacon Minor reposes all that was mortal of Deacon 
John Sherman, ancestor of the General of our armies, and Senator 
Sherman, of Ohio. Gen. Sherman's name appears on this monu" 
ment as great-grandson of the immortal Stoddard, second pastor 
of this ancient church. The Mitchells, the Wheelers, the Cur- 
tisses, the Hurds, the Judsons — ministerial race — all the early 
revered names lie slumbering near, a goodly company, in their 
lonely, neglected graves — alas ! too long neglected by their 
numerous descendants. Befbre me stands at this very moment so 
great a company of the lineal descendants of the first John Minor, 
deacon of the church, captain of the train band, interpreter to the 
Indians and justice of the quorum, that by contributing a mere 
trifle apiece, a greater and more expensive monument could be 
erected than this, which we now dedicate to the memory of the 
fathers. I charge you to-day to take immediate measures to erect 
a monument fit to commemorate the virtues of one of the most 
remarkable men in the early history of the colony. It is the duty 
of the hour for you. 

'No nobler company of men ever removed in a body into the 
solitudes and dangers of the wilderness, than these early fathers, 
who left their dwellings by the sea, to dare the perils and priva- 
tions of th'e dim woods. They sought to plant here a pure and 
sublime faith. They labored to extend the kingdom of God. Is 
it wonderful, then, that their descendants should desire to erect 
an enduring monument to the sacred memory of such immortal 
ancestors, that it may stand forever as a remembrancer to their 
children to imitate the virtues and graces of their long buried 
sires, who have " entered into the rest that remaineth to the peo- 
ple of God ?" 

A little farther to the north stands the modest and dilapidated 
head-stone of the venerated Anthony Stoddard, second pastor of 
the church, who rests in the hope of a bright resurrection amid 
the faithful flock to whom hft ministered in "things spiritual " for 
the long period of more than sixty years. A step farther, and we 
are at the grave of the sainted Benedict. These three, a trio of 
worthies, full of prudence, piety and purity unsurpassed, " went 
out and in before the people " for the long period of one hundred 
and forty-three years. Such were our fathers, and such their 
claims on the reverence and the afi'ections of their posterity, and 


yet no monument had arisen to perpetuate a remembrance of their 
virtues — ten years ago ! 

But the filial heart of the people could not endure a farther 
neglect of the reverence due the names of their sacred dead. 
Measures were taken for erecting a fitting monument to their 
memory. Starting with the theory that no material could be 
more fitting than the rugged native boulders from their oxon lands^ 
among which they had wandered in life, the work went on with 
zeal. Good progress had been made, when the war of the re- 
bellion broke out, and for more than seven dark, gloomy and 
bloody years, the work was suspended. In 1868, noble men came 
forward with their contributions, at home and abroad, and the 
work was commenced again with renewed vigor, and pushed to 
successful completion. It now stands before you, a rugged struc- 
ture, 33 feet in height. It is like the character of our fathers, not 
artistically beautiful, but massive and immovable. It was erected 
at an expense of moi-e than $1,500 — and more than one-third of 
that amount was contributed by one individual. 

A single duty yet remains, and we are here to perform it. We 
are here, a filial band, to dedicate it to the memory of the fathers. 
We come to this pleasing duty amid the joyous exercises of our 
bi-centennial jubilee, and in the two hundred and fiftieth year of 
Congregationalism in this country. The time is propitious. The 
skies are bright above us. The awakening vigor of Spring is 
apparent on every side. It is the fourth jubilee of our church, 
and the fifth of our order. And now, in such an auspicious hour, 
when our hearts are filled with joy and congratulations, we dedi- 
cate this monument to the memory of the fathers — to the memory 
of the noble men and women who lie sleeping in the moss-grown 
graves beneath our feet, resting sweetly and securely in the hope 
of a blessed immortality in the beautiful land beyond the far 
etherial blue, " where the wicked cease from troubling, and the 
weary are at rest." We dedicate it to the memory of that pilgrim 
company, who left the father-land for the enjoyment of a purer 
gospel — who chose to endure all the privations of a pioneer life 
amid the perils of the wilderness, to establish freedom of thought 
for themselves and their children. We dedicate it to the heroic 
men, who could sing " amidst the storm," 

" And whom the stars heard and the sea! 
While the sounding aisles of the dim woods rang 
To the anthems of the free ! " 


We cheerfully dedicate it to the fathers who chose this beautiful 
resting-place, so like that of the Pilgrim Fathers at Plymouth 
Rock, pioneers and partakers in a like faith, and a like appreciation 
of the beautiful in nature. We dedicate it to those lion-hearted 
men, who have left us a glorious inheritance — who, while 

" The heavy night hung dark 
The woods and waters o'er," 

and often over their dearest hopes, still sang the songs of Zion, 

And prayed in their Bethel, the shade of the Rock. 

We dedicate it with full souls on this 

" Holy ground, 
The spot where first they trod! 
They have left unstained what here they found, 
Freedom to worship God." 

We dedicate it to them for their toils and labors for the estab- 
lishment of "the faith once delivered to the saints," for their pure 
lives, for their earnest zeal, for their pious teachings, for their 
shining examples. We dedicate it as a sacred memento of them — 
as a solemn duty to ourselves. We dedicate it, that our children 
and children's children ruay learn to follow in the way of the holy 
dead. We dedicate it, that it may be'* a rule unto ourselves," 
inviting us to pursue " the things that make for peace," and pleas- 
antness, so that when we shall have entered into our rest, and 
another century shall have rolled its ceaseless round, our descend- 
ants may revere our memory as we do that of the fathers so long 
ago translated. 

Spirits of our fathers, long since ascended unto glory at the 
right hand of God ! Spirits of the just made perfect ! Do you 
hear us in your blest abodes on high ? Do you note our filial 
aspirations to-day ? Are you hovering over us as our guardian 
angels ? Tell us not that when good men carried your bodies to 
the burial, and wept over these graves, you knew not, heeded 
not — the tears of affection ! Are yoii pleased with our tribute of 
love? Are you not smiling upon us this very hour, soothing our 
spirits, as we offer to you this memorial our hands have made, and 
lift to you our filial hearts ? Were you ever, while here below, 
afflicted with trivial contests and bitter recriminations — or, rather 
did not your great hearts always glow with love and kindness to 


all? Do you look in pity upon us, when discord arises, and 
brethren disagree ? Do you love us in your far-away paradise ? 
Oh! we believe, yes — we believe in the beautiful doctrine of 
guardian angels! "In heaven their angels do always behold the 
face of my Father ? " 

" You're with us yet, ye holy dead ! 

By a thousand signs we know ! 
You're keeping e'er a spirit watch 
O'er those we love below ! 

Next followed the Dedicatory Poem, of which the following is 
a copy, with slight omissions : 


As I sat in my study one eve, grim and gru m, 
Came a rap at the door : 

" Is the poet at home ? " 
•' Well sir, what is wanted? " 

"Why, one Cothren is here, 
And says he wants brains." 

" Ah, how doth that appear ? 
That a lawyer lacks brains, is what often may be, 
Though I had not supposed that such lawyer was he." 
"Nay, 'tis your brains he wants." 

" Ah, that alters the case — " 
Hence I stand here to-day in this reverend place, 

Ah, Home, search the world round, go east and go west, 

Take all that is purest and sweetest and best ; 

Take the world's wealth, its grandeur, it's strength, and it's fame, 

And, if other good is, fling in all ye can name ; 

For one hour in that spot, one glad thrill of the boy, 

We would willingly give all the world calls it's joy. 


" What shadows we are, and what shadows pursue," 
Just go back forty years, let them pass in review ; 
Scarce one family's head, that stood here in its worth, 
But the last forty years have consigned to the earth ; 
Our homes have changed owners, our farms too, till now 
Scarce one gray head ye meet of that brief long ago. 



Take one fact to this point. Just go bacli eighty years, 

What a power was that name which the singer now bears ? 

What a wealth of wide acres '? What strange business skill ? 

Each thing that he touched, changed to gold at his will ; 

'T would take ten modern men to make up his one mind, 

Half the wealth of the town was in his name combined. 

— Scarce two years since this hand signed the deed that conveyed 

The last foot of land that great name once obeyed. 

Yes, what shadows we are, and what shadows pursue. 

We stand here to-day with the fathers in view — 

The far-away fathers, and pastors, who led 

Their flocks round these hills, on these pastures to feed ; 

Guarded well each approach, kept the fold from all harms, 

A.nd, like Christ of old time, "bore the lambs in their arms." 

We stand on their ashes ! methinks as we gaze, 

That they rise up ! — confront us! — and ask of our ways ! 

There was Walkek, the gentle and meek — yet the shrewd. 

There was Stoddard, the austere and plain — yet the good ; 

There was Benedict, solemn and slow, with an eye 

That looked out like a star from its cavernous eky ; 

And a crowd of bright worthies, hover thick in their rear, 

And all gaze, with bowed forms, on this pageantry here ! 

Is it nothing to stand on the graves of such men ! 

Come no thoughts up? no pictures of scenes stirring then? 

Come no voices, loud ringing in every ear, 

To tell us of life, throbbing life that was here ? 

Come no shadows, that fall down on every path 

God appoints for each soul, in his love, or his wrath ? 

Aye, and fancy finds pastime in scenes such as these, 

And weaves into voice what she hears, or she sees. 

'Tis a beautiful part, as we stand here to-day. 
And our thoughts travel off to that dim far away. 
To call up that scene, and those forms, and those eyes, 
That once looked around here on this new Paradise ! 

There was reverend age with its locks white and thin, 

There was beautiful childhood, unsullied by sin, 

There was vigorous manhood so stalwart and bold. 

There were beautiful maidens so sweet to behold ; 

And they had all those cares, and those dreams, too, perchance, 

That light up the world with the hues of romance. 


There were some sad eyes there, that the hot tears had burned, 
There were pale, gentle faces, whose hearts were in-urned 
There were souls with dead hopes, that, still withering cling 
Round the heart they had broke, and then left with their sting ; 
And other eyes there, with no smile any more, 
Unless faith brought it down from that sunnier shore. 

Yet a beautiful faith, that they brought here that day, 
They came not for gold, let men say what they may ; 
They came not for power for no power was there here, 
Save the power of meek patience, that dwells in a tear ; 
But they came with their souls, to this far-away wood, 
To work out an approach to the all-perfect Good ! 
Have we, their descendants, departed from them ? 
Can we now, as they could, the world's currents stem ? 
Can we, as could they, break off that bond and this, 
And alone rest the heart where its true treasure is ? 

As we stand on their dust, let our hearts go once more, 
To that far away land, to that far away shore ; 
Let us try to draw down into each throbbing breast, 
One tithe of that worth that the fathers possessed ; 
And transmit to our children, till earth cease to move, 
Their courage, their patience, their sweetness, their love! 

Then followed the 



Air — Tenting on the old Camp Ground. 

We're standing to-day on the holy sod — 

With reverence draw near — 
Whence our fathers' souls ascended to God — 

Their sacred dust lies here. 

Chorus — Many are the years since ye hasted away, 
Eager for the golden strand ; 
Many are the voices calling you to-day 

To hear our filial Band. 
Hear as alway, hear us alway, 
Hear us in your happy land. 


Ye are happy to-day in your home above, 

Your hearts are all aglow; 
Ye are smiling now with a look of love, 

On us who toil below. 

Chorus — 

We greet you to-day, ye sturdy old stock. 

Who rest from your labors here — 
From your prayers and praise at the Bethel Rock, 

To shine in a brighter sphere. 

Chords — 

This hymn was sung as a quartette by Messrs. William Cothren, 
James H. Linsley, William A. Gordon, and William B. Walker, 
in a most elfective and beautiful manner. 

The exercises closed with a Benediction by Rev. Austin Isham, 
of Roxbury. 

At a quarter to 2 P. M., the bell called to the afternoon exer- 
cises. These were of a social character. Hon. N. B. Smith, 
grandson of the third pastor, the Rev. Noah Benedict, who had 
presided at the monument, also presided here, ably aided by the 
pastor, and Deacon Trowbridge, Chairman of the General Com- 
mittee, acting as Vice-Presidents. 

After singing, the Opening Prayer was made by Rev. Austin 
Isham : — 

Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, halloM^ed be Thy name, Thy 
Kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is done in Heaven. 
We hear Thy voice speaking to us on this deeply interesting 
occasion, saying " Seek ye My face." May all our hearts respond, 
" Thy face, Lord, will we seek." 

We would approach Thy throne of grace with profound rever- 
ence and deep humility. When we consider the greatness of Thy 
majesty, and our own exceeding great vileness and unworthiness, 
we are led to exclaim " What is man that Thou art mindful of him, 
or the son of man, that Thou visitest him ? " 

We feel that we have forfeited every claim to Thy favor and 
justly merit Thy displeasure. And yet, Thou hast not dealt with 
us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniqui- 
ties ; but as high as the Heavens are above the earth, so great has 
been Thy mercy toward us. We humbly thank Thee for all Thou 


hast done for our guilty and ruined race ; especially that Thou 
didst so love the world, as to give thine own and well-beloved 
Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have 
everlasting life. We thank Thee for the many blessings, tem- 
poral and spiritual, which Thou hast conferred upon us. The lines 
have indeed fallen to us in pleasant places, yea, we have a goodly 
heritage. We feel that it is a goodly land which the Lord our 
God hath given us. We bless Thee for a godly ancestry, whose 
steps Thou didst guide to these beautiful hills and valleys, and that 
here, by Thy blessing, they planted those institutions, civil and 
religious, which we to-day enjoy. 

We render thanks to Thee for extending Thy fostering care to 
the churches our fathers planted ; that Thou didst greatly increase 
the number and moral power and strength of these churches ; thus 
showing to us how precious in Thy sight is Zion, dear as the apple 
of Thine eye, and graven on the palms of Thy hands. O Thou 
great head of the Church, we pray for Thy blessing still. God 
of our fathers, we beseech Thee never to leave nor forsake these 
churches. Be as a wall of fire round about them and a glory in 
the midst of them. Pour out Thy spirit upon them ; may they be 
udeed the light of the world and the salt of the earth. Give 
them pastors after thine own heart. 

Bless the churches throughout the land and throughout the 

Finally, we invoke Thy blessing upon all the exercises now 
before us. In all that may be said or done, may Thy glory and 
our spiritual good be promoted. We ask and offer all in the name 
and for the sake of Christ, to whom, with the Father and Holy 
Spirit, be rendered ceaseless praises. Amen. 

By special invitation. Rev. Horace Winslow, of Willimantic 
Conn., the last preceding pastor of the church, next gave the ad- 
dress of greeting to the assembled churches, and continued during 
the afternoon to read the sentiments addressed to the churches, 
which had been prepared by Bro. William Cothren, and to intro 
duce the speakers in response thereto, in an exce edingly happy 
entertaining and eloquent manner: 


Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen ; 

lu the name of this Church, I am requested to welcome with 
joyful greebing, her Daughters, with their Grand-mother, (who is 
fresh and fair, as one who has not passed the marketable age of 
twenty-five), to a home gathering here to-day. 

To these many children, with their children's children, I may 
say : Your Mother is not young, and still those who do not know 
her age might think so, for she is hale and hearty, elastic of step, 
and buoyant of heart, as a girl of sixteen. If you would observe, 
you can see that her eye is not dim, nor her natural force 
abated; that in her voice, dress, and bearing, she has all the 
appearance of youth — and yet she is two hundred years old to- 
day. Indeed, a simple consideration of the fact of her numerous 
family, would suggest the thought that she does not belong to the 
present generation. I may not be able to state just what it is 
which has kept her so fresh and fair, for she has not been sleeping 
for two centuries, nor half of them. She has been a personal 
actor in all the great and interesting events which have transpired 
in our country during this long period. She was in the field* 
boldly defending the frontier, in King Philip's war, giving her 
sons full to the quota all through the French and Indian war, and 
she was among the foremost of the forward in the grand struggle 
which achieved the American nationality. The sons of Woodbury 
marched to glory and to victory under the leadership of Wolfe, 
Putnam and Washington. And the fact that there is an occasion 
for it, and that there is a will to erect here a monument to the 
memory of the heroes who fell in the national defense and the 
crushing out of the great rebellion, is proof that your Mother has 
not been asleep for these years, but awake, and loyal to all the 
great interests of humanity. 

She has also kept up with the times. She is as much at home 
in the progress of the age, as any of her children's children. She 
holds to those fun4amental truths which made her grand old 
Puritan ancestry illustrious, and their fame immortal, but she 
believes in progress. She knows that the world moves, and she 
moves with it, without the help of a railroad. 

It is because of this hearty sympathy with the present, not 
mourning over the dead past, but rejoicing in the grand march of 
to-day, that she takes a peculiar pleasure in this family gathering. 
She is rejoiced to meet her children, who have long been of ao-e, 



and have made their mark in the field of thought and action, and 
with reminiscenses of the past, talk over the affairs of to-day. 

We stand in a grand period of the world's history. We behold 
here a nation grown to vigorous manhood, — developed in all noble 
qualities, — at once respected and feared by the governments of 
the world, and loved by -all peoples whose hearts are in accord 
with the interests of humanity. We see here the fruits of those 
vital principles of Christianity and rights of man, which our Puritan 
ancestors held and taught, and to realize which, in a social state, 
they left their pleasant homes in the old world, and began in this 
wilderness of the west, to build, from the foundations, a free 
church and a free state. 

For these noble deeds we honor those men. But we stand in 
no stagnant past. We look forward and upward, and are particu- 
larly joyful to-day in the wasting away of hoary wrongs, — in the 
advance upon public opinion of broad Christian doctrines of human 
equality and human rights, and in the hold which the Gospel has 
upon all earnest minds of our day. 

Thus chei'ishing, with you, a common sympathy with these vital 
interests, the church here delights to honor her Bi-Centennial 
Anniversary by this gathering. It is with hearty good will that 
she welcomes you to your birth-place — your early pleasant home 
in this green valley. And it is a special occasion of joy to us all 
that w^' can have with us the venerated Grand-mother. She is 
very old, and yet we should know it only by her title. Her resi- 
dence is on the sea shore, and in former years, fishing, I conclude, 
was an occupation with her. However, judging from her present 
elegant homes, surrounded with the adornments which wealth and 
art furnish, that business must be given up, but by way of amuse- 
ment she now and then puts her hand in, and takes a good Hall, 
as you will see in the reply to the sentiment which I will read ; 

Stratford! — Mother revered! thou that dwellest by the sea! 
Called in a green old age to celebrate the birth-day of this, thy 
first born daughter, with filial reverence and' great joy, we greet 
thee, and welcome thee to the goodly heritage which the Lord 
our God has given us ! 

Response by Rev. Wm K. Hall, of Stratford. 


Mk. Chairman and Friends : 

Such a venerable parent, with such a numerous and honored 
posterity, would seem to demand a more venerable person than 
myself to represent her upon this occasion. The incongruity was 
certainly apparent, even before those humorous references with 
which my friend has been pleased to introduce me, were made. 
Appreciating the difficulty of performing such a role, I have been - 
endeavoring, as best I could, to accumulate and appropriate to 
myself such a stock of the past, as at least to feel old. I have 
been attempting, under the influence of these suggestive emblems 
and insignia, with which these walls and panels are decorated, to 
forget the present, and to throw myself back into the past. This, 
however, were comparatively easy to the task of arousing those 
feelings of sell-pride and self exaltation, which they are expected 
to have, and which they are wont to have, who are privileged in 
their green old age to celebrate the birth-day of their first born 
daughter, honored and blessed, and surrounded by a happy family 
of her own. This eflbrt to feel like a dear old grandma, whose 
heart swells with joyous pride, and overflows v/ith gratitude, and 
whose tongue is garrulous, as she recounts the virtues and honors 
of the family, is altogether too much for me. Just this, however, 
the sentiment proposed expects of me. Even your Committee of 
Arrangements, kindly considering the failings of old dames thu^ 
happily, and taking for gx-anted that my own pleasure upon this 
occasion would be found largely in exercising the right to be 
loquacious, accorded me the privilege of occupying all the time I 
might desire, not limiting me, as in the case of the children, to ten 

But I promise not to go beyond the stated limit, if in your 
indulgence you will pardon me if I do not succeed in toning up 
my youthful feelings to the high pitch of this poetic sentiment. 

The historical sermon and address, to which we have with so 
much pleasure listened, have given us what are supposed to be 
the facts concerning the birth of this daughter. Some of you are 
aware that a slight variance of views exists, relative to the causes 
which led to the formation of this Church, and the colonization ot 
this town of Woodbury. Not particularly interested myself in 
antiquarian pursuits, I have never been disposed to make a critical 
investigation of the subject. But if the family record is corrc 


that, I mean, which we keep at home — there is a somewhat different 
explanation to be given, from that which we have heard to-day. 
It appears that the daughter, dissatisfied with the way affairs were 
conducted in the household, determined to have them according 
to her mind. The mother did not propose to yield to the revolu- 
tionary spirit of her rebellious child. And as the child inherited 
the disposition of the mother, each persistent and unyielding in 
her own views of what was right and best, the prospects of an 
amicable life together beneath the same old roof seemed exceed- 
ingly doubtful. At this juncture a young man appeared, who 
succeeded in winning the heart, and as a natural consequence 
sought to possess the hand of this daughter. Matters became 
complicated. Councils of friends were summoned to give advice. 
Even the interference of the civil authorities was invoked. These 
were warm times. But what was to be done ? The troubles 
came to an end in this way : the young man, whom the mother 
could not and would not abide, succeeded in obtaining the hand 
of the daughter, and then, as we might suppose from his very 
name, if for no other reason, vmlhed off with her. This play upon 
the name WalJxer recalls a story that is still current in the old 
home, and I may be permitted to drop, for a moment, the thread 
of my story, to repeat it, after the habit of loquacious old ladies. 
Those old controversies were carried on, not without consid- 
erable bitterness. The General Court had interfered to adjust the 
Matters in dispute between the two Church parties. It decided 
that the Walker party should have the use of the Meeting-House 
a part of the Lord's Day. Upon one occasion, Mr. Walker had in 
a sermon made some declaration which Dr. Chauncy had con- 
strued as unjust, and as reflecting upon himself. In the afternoon, 
or upon the next Sabbath, Dr. Chauncy took for his text this 
passage : "Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, 
as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." 
His first point was, " You see, my Brethren, that the devil is a 
great walker.'''' 

How much of this is fact, and how much merely legend, or the 
gossip of the period handed down, much exaggerated, to the 
present, I cannot say, but it may serve to remind us, what his- 
torical facts amply teach, that the ecclesiastical disputes of those 
days engendered warm party feelings, and rendered absolutely 
necessary an entire separation. 


The daughter, with her chosen spiritual leader and guide, left 
the old homestead, and in choosing her new home wisely turned 
northward, preferring the clear, bracing air of the north to the 
damp and fog and malaria of the shore lands. The record of 
these two hundred years, and these festivities to-day, testify to 
the wisdom of that separation and of that choice. 

That setting forth from the old home was under circumstances, 
and amid scenes, which, if we could reproduce them in our imagi- 
nation to-day, would aid us in rising to the full significance of this 
occasion. The Plantation was only thirty years old. These years 
had been years of toil, of hard work in subduing the wilderness, 
and in making for themselves comfortable homes. They had been 
spent in almost constant fear of the depredations and attacks of 
the Indians. One generation was about passing away, and a new 
generation had already begun to take up and carry on the ever 
unfinished work. They were just beginning to enjoy the fruits of 
their hard pioneer toil, were just beginning to realize the benefits 
of a social life, well ordered, properly systematized as to govern- 
ment, adequately equipped and adjusted by the experiences of 
those thirty years. Those years had been years chiefly of prepa- 
ration. The settlement Avas now assuming the appearance and the 
character of a thrifty agricultural town. It must have required 
a resoluteness of purpose, backed by a firm, conscientious regard 
for duty, for that little band to go forth at such a time, and strike 
out an entirely new path for themselves, to begin over again that 
same laborious work of making new homes in these wild ^vood- 
lands of the north. The prime motives that led them to take that 
step were wholly of a religious nature. Their rights as church 
members they would maintain. Spiritual interests must be held 
paramount. They felt that they could not remain in the old 
church home, though it was large enough to contain them, if the 
course they deemed right and scriptural was not pursued ; so they 
left it. They had pluck, nerve and energy — stood their ground 
firmly until they were convinced that it was for the good of both 
parties that they should secede. I apprehend that at the last, the 
spirit that prevailed was not far diflerent from that exhibited in 
the Patriarch brother, after variances had arisen in the family : 
" Let there be no strife, I pray, between me and thee, and between 
my herdsmen and thy herdsmen ; for we be brethren. Is not the 
whole land before thee ; separate thyself I pray thee from me. 


If thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right, and if 
thou depart to the right hand then I will go to the left." 

Fortunately there was land enough, and that too not far distant 
from the old home. Could those bold spirits who planned and 
achieved that work of settlement, whose names shine out upon 
these tablets before us to-day, see what we of this generation see, 
could look upon these well tilled, well fenced farms, this attractive 
thoroughfare, bordered by this cordon of cottage and homestead, 
indicative all of such comfort, and plenty, and taste, could behold 
what would be to them of by far greater value, and in their 
estimate the largest proofs of their success, and the highest earthly 
reward of their sacrifices and toil, these marks of church life and 
church progress which have been commensurate with the growth 
of the outreaching population, they might well believe that the 
Lord went up with them and before them, and marked out for 
them the goodly heritage which was to be theirs, and their 

All honor and praise from us be to that devoted band. The un- 
flinching fidelity to honest convictions, the uncompromising spirit 
of attachment to what was to them the truth of God, which they 
exhibited at the sacrifice of so much they held dear, were the 
rightful issue of the Puritan blood that flowed in their veins. Let 
us emulate their spirit, and prove ourselves worthy of such a 
godly ancestry. 

The old mother church, whom you have so cordially welcomed 
to your feast of remembrances and rejoicings to-day, most heartily 
enters into your spirit of devotion to the fathers, and would, even 
as yourselves, seek to be animated anew for the work of the 
Divine Master, for the glory of the Redeemer's kingdom in the 
earth. May the blessing of the Great Head of the Church rest 
upon all these Churches represented here, endowing them with a 
larger measure of the Divine Spirit, whereby they may be more 
thoroughly consecrated to God and His service. 

SouTHBURY ! — First pledge of our afiections, and offspring of 
our heart of hearts, dweller in the fertile plains beside the beauti- 
ful river, the Jordan of our ancient inheritance, with maternal joy 
we greet thee I 

Response by Rev. A. B, Smith. 


Mb, Chairman : — In responding to the aftectionate maternal 
greeting of this church, we, the eldest offspring, rejoice in being 
thus welcomed to the home of our childhood on this interesting 
and joyous occasion, and with true filial affection in connection 
with our younger sisters, we would to-day seek to gladden .the 
heart of her from whom we had our origin. Venerable in her age, 
on this two hundredth anniversary of her existence, we would 
render to her all due respect and honor. 

It is a joyful occasion where all the scattered children, after 
years of separation, gather together at the old family home. Such 
is the occasion we enjoy to-day, and few in these degenerate times 
can boast a like numerous family. It reminds us of the olden 
time, when a numerous offspring was counted a blessing, and it 
was really felt, that " happy is the man who hath his quiver full of 
them." I doubt not the joy to-day is in proportion to the number 
of " olive plants " gathered around the parental table. 

But when the scattered members of the family, after long ab- 
sence, gather at the old home, it is natural that they should review 
the past, and talk of their varied experiences. The mother is sure 
to rejoice in the prosperity of all her children, and to grieve over 
and sympathize with them in all their adversities. 

As the oldest of this goodly family, having now attained to the 
respectable age of 138 years, we have, as has been here hinted, 
received the fairest natural inheritance of the whole ancestral 
domain. Our lot has been cast on " the fertile plains, beside the 
beautiful river, the Jordan of our " venerable mother's " ancient 
inheritance " — a land in which Lot himself might have looked 
with eager, wishful eyes, and chosen in preference to the hill 
<;ountry. But the fertile river bottoms always possess their tempt- 
ations and their dangers. Though they give promise of an imme- 
diate prosperity, and for this reason are often chosen in preference 
to the hill country, yet they are liable to foster luxury, ease, and 
consequent idleness, with all their attendant evils, and so tend ulti- 
mately to degeneracy. Such locations, therefore, are not usually 
the most favorable to the progress of true religion, and tlie 
spiritual prosperity of the church. As the vine flourishes the 
most luxuriantly in the rocky glens and on the sunny slopes of 
the hill country, so the church, the vine of God's own planting , 
has usually found its greatest prosperity in the rural districts, and 
among the hills, where there were few temptations to luxury, ease 
and indolence. Consequently, our younger sisters among the hills 


have far outstripped us in numbers, and we have become the 
smallest and weakest of them all, already showing signs of decrepi- 
tude and decay. But as God has hitherto had " a seed to serve 
Him " in this church of the valley, and many have been trained 
up under its nurture for a heavenly inheritance, we trust that it 
will continue to be so in all time to come. The ministry com- 
menced by Graham, the learned Scotch divine of noble birth, and 
continued by Wildman, the compeer of Bellamy, and by Daniel 
A. Clark, the great sermonizer, though better preacher than pas- 
tor, has been sustained with occasional interruptions to the present 
time, though latterly on a less settled and permanent foundation. 
We hope that on a field where so much good seed has been sown,, 
and watered by the tears and prayers of rich, eminent men, a 
brighter day will ere long dawn, when a new impulse shall be 
given to everything good in this beautiful valley — where these 
tendencies to decay shall be arrested, and enterprise, and virtue, 
and true piety shall be on the increase, and the church shall arise 
with renewed strength and vigor, and " put on her beautiful gar- 
ments," and " look forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as 
the sun, and terrible " to her enemies " as an army with banners." 

Bethlehem! — Thou "house of bread," situate like the Bethle- 
hem in the Holy Land, about six miles from thy Jerusalem — nur- 
tured, enriched and adorned by Bellamy and Backus — we greet 
thee, second child of our love ! 

Response by Rev. Geo. W. Banks. 

Mr. Chairman : — It is exceedingly unfortunate for me that I 
am not a believer in the doctrine of apostolic succession, for it 
would be comfortable, to say the least, to have a consciousness of 
some mysterious power or grace descending to me from my pre- 
decessors, which would enable me to do justice to the sentiment 
and the greeting which have just been offered. But lacking all 
such power or grace, I must express, as best I am able to you, sir, 
and through you, to our venerable and venerated mother, the con- 
gratulations of the second daughter, the church in Bethlehem. 
Though more than a century and a quarter have passed since she 
left the parental roof, yet I trust that the home instinct is not 
dead, but that she cherishes and would have expressed to-day, a 
warm affection for the mother church. 

The church in Bethlehem is one hundred and thirty years old 

HISTORY OF ANCIENT \\' O O I) B U K Y . 1 059 

to-day. Its beginnings were weak in material things, but strong 
in faith. Fourteen families living on the hill-tops in " the East 
part of the North Purchase of Woodbury," finding their six miles' 
walk to their ancient Jerusalem through winter's storm and sum- 
mer's heat, inconvenient, determined to have a Mt. Zion of their 
own, and with a faith and self-sacrifice that we cannot too much 
admire, this handful of poor but heroic settlers, organized them- 
selves into a church of Christ, and made provision for the perma- 
nent support of the gospel ministry among them. When a daugh- 
ter makes an advantageous settlement in life, the mother's heart 
is made glad. So, when this daughter on the hills gave her heart 
to a young man by the name of Joseph Bellamy, tlie mother 
church in the valley no doubt rejoiced. Under Dr. Bellamy's min- 
istry of half a century, " the handful of corn on the top of the 
mountains began to shake like Lebanon." Its name proved to be 
no misnomer, for if ever a church received abundance of spiritual 
food, the church in Bethlehem did, from its first pastor. 

Of one, concerning whom so much has been written and so well, 
it Avould be impossible for me to speak with justice in the few mo- 
ments allotted me at this time. I may however briefly allude to 
the affection he bore to the church over which he was placed. It 
may serve to set in strong contrast the lack of interest with 
which the pastoral relation is now viewed by many, and the ease 
with which it is broken. When Dr. Bellamy was at the zenith of 
his power as a preacher, being regarded as second only to Jona- 
than Edwards, and by some of his cotemporaries as superior to 
him in many respects ; when his fame had spread all over the 
country, and even to England, he received a flattering invitation 
to become the pastor of the 1st Presbyterian Church in New York 
City. To the Consociation called to advise upon the subject, he 
addressed the following characteristic letter : 

" Bethlehem, Jan. 25th, 1754. 

" Reverend Gentlemen : — My people give me salary enough ; 
are very kind, too ; I love them, and if it be the will of God I 
should love to live and die with them. There are many diflicul- 
ties in the way of my going to New York, They are a diflUcult 
people; don't like my terms of communion, and some of their 
great men are against ray coming ; I am not polite enough for 
them ! I may possibly do to be minister out in the woods, but am 
not fit for a city. I may die with the small-pox, and leave a widow 


and fatherless children in a helpless condition. My people Avill be 
in danger of ruin. It breaks iny heart to think that the interests 
of religion must sink among my people, and the youth run riot, 
and the little children be left without an instructor. I humbly de- 
sire, therefore, nothing may be done without the utmost delibera- 
tion ; and that whatever advice you shall see fit to give me, you will 
let me and my people know what grounds you go upon. Behold 
my life and all the comforts of my life, and my usefulness in the 
world, and the temporal and eternal interests of my people lie at 
stake ; and you, reverend gentlemen, must answer it to God, if you 
should give me any wrong advice for want of a thorough and 
most solemn and impartial weighing ot the affair. May the in- 
finitely wise God direct you. I pray you to consider me as one of 
your unworthy brethren, almost overwhelmed with concern, and 
just ready to sink under the weight of this afiJ'air, and quite broken- 
hearted for my kind and dear people. Joseph Bellamy." 

There exists in his handwriting a memorandum of an imaginary 
dialogue on the subject of his "declaring" as it was technically 
called, i. e. saying that he felt it his duty to go to New York. 
Coming at length to the supposition that he has " declared," he 
writes : 

"The news flies through the country, and through all New 
England, and spreads far and wide ; and every one has his say — 
nor are they silent in hell ! " 

" Carnal People — Aha ! Aha ! Here comes the man that pre- 
tended to so much religion! They are all alike — a pack of 
rogues ! " 

" Godly People — Alas ! Alas ! What has he done ? A dread- 
ful aftair ! We must give him up, without pretending to vindi- 
cate his conduct ! Alas for him that was once our guide and 
friend ! " 

'• JVeio York — Aha ! Aha ! He cares not for his people, nor is 
moved by iheir tears, nor touched by their cries and pleadings ! 
He has torn away ! Right or wrong, he's resolved to come though 
his church is ruined ! Aha ! Aha ! Dollars ! dollars ! dollars !" 

'■'■The Devil — Hurrah! I'm right glad ! Now the old fellow 
will never do much more hurt to my kingdom!" 

" All Hell—B.m-vsih ! hurrah ! " 


It is needless to state that Dr. Bellamy retnained " in the woods " 
with the church of his first love, and "his sepulchre is witli us 
to this day." Of his scarcely less illustrious successor, Dr, Backus, 
time forbids me to speak. The ministry of these two men of God 
reached over a period of 70 years, more than half the history of 
the church. Under Dr. Bellamy, nearly two hundred and fifty 
united with the church, and under Dr. Backus, one hundred and 
forty-eight. Then followed the shorter ministries of Mr. Langdon 
of nine years, who received one hundred and three into the 
church; Mr. Stanton of four years, who received twenty-two, and 
Mr. Couch of five years, who received fifty-two. 

These were sound, godly men, whose labors resulted in much 
good. The church received as its next pastor, from a sister church 
(Roxbury,) Mr. Hari'ison, whose ministry^'was long, peaceful and 
prosperous. He received into membershij) one hundred and nine 
persons. Of the two later pastors — known to you all — still labor- 
ing in other fields, I may not speak. Mr. Loomis received seven- 
ty-three into the church; Mr. Wright, fourteen. Under the pres- 
ent pastorate, fifty-seven have united with the church. 

Favored with such a ministry in the past, this daughter has been 
sound in the faith, a spiritual-minded church, and often refreshed 
with heavenly blessings. In such a family gathering as this, it 
may not be immodest for her briefly to state some facts in her 
history of which she feels justly proud. She was among the first 
churches in the land to see the folly and abandon the practice of the 
" half-way covenant." She is a temperance society by a vote of the 
church. She has never indulged in what has come to be a mod- 
ern luxury to most churches — a stated supply. She believes in the 
holy ordinance of ecclesiastical marriage. In all her history there 
have been but four years in which she has been without a pastor. 
Finally, she claims to have the oldest Sabbath School (in the 
modern form of that institution) in the country, if not in the 
world. Forty years before Robert Raikes ever thought of such 
a thing, the first pastor of this church, with his deacons, was wont 
to gather on Sabbath noon, the youth of the congregation into 
classes for instruction from the Bible and the Catechism. That 
Sabbath School has maintained an unbroken organization down to 
this day. The daughter on the hills has never been and probably 
never will be a large church. She is located in a sparsely settled 
agricultural community, whose high hills and deep vales no railroad 
will dare look in the face. Emigration constantly drains oflT her 


young people. Two churches of other denominations have grown 
up by her side, and to a great extent out of her materia!. But 
she trusts that she has a mission in the future as she has had in 
the past. That mission will be to endeavor to sanctify the stream 
of young life that flows out from her as natui'ally as the waters 
run from her hills, that it may prove a blessing to the church of 
Christ and to the world. If slie shall send forth in the future any 
" streams that shall make glad the city of our God," she will not 
live in vain, even though she continue to be " among the least of 
Princes of Judea." May the daughter on the hills never be 
mothertheless, and may the mother in the valley never mourn the 
loss of her daughter, until we are all taken to our Father's home 
in the church triumphant. 

Judea ! — Thou " praise of the Lord," seated on thy hill like the 
ancient hill of Zion ; beautiful for situation, fit place for a new 
temple ; " Unanymously and Lovingly Agreed upon," third pledge 
of our afiections, we greet thee ! 

Response by Rev, W. S. Colton. 

Mr. President : — I should almost have imagined, but for the 
address of the last speaker, (Rev. G. W. Banks), that I was in a 
Woman's Rights Convention, so much has been said about Grand- 
niother^ and Mother, and Daughters, in the remarks already made. 
But as I looked around me, and caught sight of various beards 
and mustaches, and other evidences of the presence of the mas- 
culine persuasion in the audience generally, and remembered that 
we had just been attending the dedication of the Fathers' Monu- 
ment, and saw from the programme that the speaking on this 
occasion was to be by nien^ I felt reassured of the character of the 
event which has convened us here. 

I ought, in passing, to notice the observations of my good 
brother from Southbury, (Rev. Mr. Smith), who has informed us 
in glowing terras how delightfully his Church is situated on " the 
Jordan," and has dilated on the pleasantness of the region there- 
aboiit, in language highly wrought and very jubilant. But ac- 
cording to my studies in Sacred Geography, the Jordan runs 
through Judea, and I feel quite disposed to claim a part of that 
same river and the lovely valley adjacent, for that third daughter, 
which I represent, in my response to-day. I have also read in an 
old prophet, words like these: "Thou Bethlehem in the land of 


Judah {Judea ?) art not the least among the thousands of Israel," 
— so I think we on the hills may fairly share in the honors as well 
as territory of some of our neighbors. 

Speaking of Bethlehem, sir, reminds me of the story Dr. 
Taylor used to tell of Drs. Bellamy and Backus, the famous j)as- 
tors of that Church, foi'raerly. Some one asked an old negro, who 
had sat for many years under their preaching, which of the two 
he liked the best ? " Massa Bellamy, sir." " Why so. Sambo ? " 
" 'Cause, Massa Backus make God big — but Massa Bellamy make 
God bigger! " 

May it be the aim and lot of him, the now pastor of this 
Church, so to magnify God to the people by his preaching, that 
some witness will in future time testify of him, that he also " made 
God bigger ! " 

Now, as to the occasion that has called us together, I have to 
observe, that whenever the children are invited home to Thanks- 
giving, the first thing they wish to find is, that the old lady, their 
mother, is toell. If they discover her eye undimmed, her cheek 
still unfaded, and the old vigor in her step, then are they glad. 
The times of yore seem to come back. And this is what we 
discover about our mother here to-day. Certainly, no signs of 
decrepitude or decay are visible in her appearance. I remember 
once taking tea with an old lady of nearly one hundred years of 
age ; and, on asking the honor of escorting her to the table, and 
remarking admiringly how nimble was her step, and vigoi'ous her 
appetite, she observed, as she was helped to biscuit and cake, and 
other things : " Old folks like good things as well as young folks ! " 
She had, as I said, a good appetite, but she died about a week or 
two afterwards ! 

And so our old lady here in Woodbury, two hundred years old, 
has a quick step, and looks well, and for aught I have observed to 
the contrary, has shown as hearty an appetite in the town hall at 
the table to-day, as any of her daughters. Certainly she has 
shown the old hospitality. 

Another thing children want to know when they come back to 
Thanksgiving, is, xohether their mother is keeping house in the 
same old place. If they found her in a boarding-house or hotel, 
how difierently they would feel ! The old feeling of the fireside 
and the table would be gone, and they, would not, as of old, seem 
to be at home. 

Now we are happy to find that our venerable mother here is still 


housekeeping. This goodly house, especially fair internally, gives 
satisfactory evidence of her good condition, and of her future 
prospects as well, and we are quite comforted on that score. 

And. then again, since this is a Thanksgiving Jubilee, the 
children are always eager to know if theii- old mother^ s love for 
them still remains. 

Should there be any falling ofl" of afl'ection, how grieved they 
would be! The home would seem home no more, if the mother, 
as well as father, should be found to be changed in the quality of 
their feeling for their children. 

We are happy to find no such change of affection in the hearty 
welcome we have all received here to-day. The mother church 
keeps the old love alive, and for that we thank God and are 

One thing more the children want to know when they come 
back, as we now do, to the ancient homestead, and that is, if the 
old mother keejys the flame of piety alive a?id ptire, as in the days 
of their youth. Is the Bible still in the same familiar place, and 
well worn, and loved, and reverenced, as of old ? 

We are glad to find evidence that such is the fact with our dear 
and venerated mother here, and rejoice that God, in His great 
goodness, has continued so spiritually to bless her in all these 
years, down to this hour. 

In behalf of the church in Judea, therefore, 1, .congratulate our 
mother church on her past and present prosperity. This third 
daughter on the hills, of which 1 am pastor, has outgrown her 
sister churches, and is the only one of them, also, that has ever 
outgrown in numbers the mother herself, having now over 240 
members, more than 60 having been admitted by profession within 
the four years of my ministry, while the Sabbath School embraces 
375 scholars and teachers. 

May these sister churches strive in all the coming times to be 
faithful to God, that, at last, their work on earth being done, all 
the members of the same may hear the voice of the final Judge 
saying : " Well done, good and faithful servants ; ye have been 
faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many 
things ; enter ye into the joy of your Lord." 

RoxBUEY ! — Dweller in the " hill country," and along the river 
of the hills, brave witness for the truth, and companion of the 


faithful, fourth blessing from a Bountiful Hand, we welcome thee 
to the old fireside ! 

Response by Rev. A. Goodenough. 

Mk. Chairman : — Since this occasion naturally invites our 
attention to the past, I feel that it would be more appropriate could 
Roxbury be represented by one who has shared more fully than 
myself in her past history — yet I flatter myself that in one pai-- 
ticular I may have my fitness as a representative. More than any 
other community in which it has been my fortune to live, ours is 
deficient in the gift which finds public expression in words — not 
of course from lack of thought or ability, (which we would not 
for a moment concede), but, as I take it, from excessive diffidence. 
If this brevity should be the soul of my wit, I shall have no doubt 
of the fitness of it, and hope it may be accounted wisdom. 

As has been suggested, we also belong to the " hill country," 
and I think it might truly be said of '(;< as of the chosen nation in 
the older time. " The Lord our God hath brought us into a good 
land ; a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that 
spring out of valleys and hills ; a land wherein we shall eat bread 
without scarceness ; we shall not lack any good thing in it, a land 
whose stones are iron." A land of hills and valleys, and that 
drinketh water of the rain of heaven ; a land which the Lord our 
God careth for ; the eyes of the Lord our God are upon it from 
the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year." 

Perhaps also, so far as it is the home of our choice, we may take 
some credit to ourselves — for, in the prophecy of Agur, the conies 
— a feeble folk — are pronounced " exceeding wise " because they 
make their dwelling among the rocks. 

There is the less need that I should speak in detail concerning 
the history of our church, because we claim a share in. the glory of 
that common history which has been already brought before us. 

Though we claim to be the " heirs of all the ages," we especially 
cherish the heritage which has come down to us through the faith 
and faithfulness of those earnest men and women who first planted 
the Gospel of Christ among these hills. We reverence the 
memory of those who before our time bravely witnessed for the 
truth, and through severe labors and discouragements kept their 
faith to the end, and it is our cherished ambition to hand down to 
our children untarnished the blessed inheritance we ourselves have 


received from ouv fathers. The hearts of many children are turn- 
ing toward the Father to-day, inquiring for the old paths, and 
desiring to walk in them. (Indeed, I sometimes think that not 
only does our reverence extend to the old^j>a/As, but that we are 
occasionally proud to stick in the same old ruts, which were worn 
by the ancient cart wheels). 

We delight to gather to-day around the old fireside, rejoicing in 
the past, yet thankfully recognizing the larger growth of the 
present, and looking forward with joyful confidence to the days 
yet to come, in which the perfect harvest of good shall be gai-nered 
from the sown seed of the past. 

Though allusions to a lady's age are not always welcome, they 
seem to be the fashion to-day, and since our Mother Church seems 
proud of her natural position, and herself invites us to celebrate 
her birthday, we join in congratulating her on bearing her years 
so well, and sincerely hope that she may live long in the land — 
vigorous in perpetual youth, sti'engthening her children by her 
sympathy, and guiding them by her example to the perfection of 
righteousness and faith. 

South Britain! — Dweller in the Southwest, along the banks 
of the " Great River," "beyond the mountains," fifth pledge of 
faith, hope and charity, right heartily do we welcome thee to the 
old family gathering ! 

Response by Rev, H. S. Newcomb. 

Venerable mother in Israel, gladly at thy bidding we have come 
around " the mountains " and up the little river towards its source, 
here to receive thy greeting and to offer thee our warm congratu- 
lations at this happy family gathering. Had the pioneers who 
came before thee, mother, come by the path we came, they would 
not have been under the necessity of clambering over those west' 
ern rocks and hills to obtain their first view of this beautiful 
valley. But it is well for us that they missed their direction, and 
passed by tbe mouth of the little Pomperaug, seeking in vain 
farther up the " Great River " a more promising branch that 
should lead them to their future home ; else this happy gathering 
would not now be enjoying the blessings of Heaven resulting 
from the prayer of the sainted Deacon John Minor, on Good Hill, 
where, after their weary climbing, they first cast eyes on their 
land of promise. 


We feel somewhat abashed in view of the peculiar relations in 
which we stand to this family here gathered. We are thine only 
grand-daughter, ancient mother, the sole offspring of thine eldest 
daughter. We are aware, too, that there is here a more venerable 
pi'esence, thine honored mother, making thy daughters grand- 
daughters also ; but at the same time making us the only little 
great-grand-daughter present. So, though our youth makes us 
bashful, we presume a little on thy tender regard and kind con- 

We lead a pleasant life over there by the " Great River." But 
we would not have thee think that we are come from the ends of 
the earth, for we have heard that there are still higher mountains 
and greater rivers beyond ; and some of our young people have 
even seen them. 

We are enjoying a pleasant and prosperous life over there. We 
ourselves feel somewhat old, mother, having entered one year into 
the second century which thou art just leaving. But years do 
not weaken us. We have renewed our age, having put on the 
habiliments of youth, and we are looking for a prosperous future. 

We think we have kept the pledge. We " hold fast the pro- 
fession of _our faith." We earnestly "contend for the faith which 
was once delivered unto the saints." We have that hope, which is 
" as an anchor to the soul ; " we put on that " charity which is the 
bond of perfectness." We are looking forward to a larger, hap- 
pier, more glorious family gathering than this ; where " they shall 
come from the east and from the west, and from the north and 
from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God." We 
hope to meet thee and thy daughters there ; and to furnish a list 
of honored names written in the " Book of Life ; " and to add 
to the royal diadem of our King a cluster of stars that have shone 
with greater or less lustre here, and will shine still brighter there ; 
among them, first and foremost, Tyler, champion of the faith ; 
Smith, early called to his reward, and Butterfield, embalmed in 
in the memory of many still living. May we all meet there, 
where the distinctions of age shall be done away ; where Christ 
shall be our elder brother, and we, all brethren. 

Woodbury North! — Latest and nearest, the child of our old 
age, co-dweller in this beautiful land of promise, and co-laborer in 
every good word and work in the Loi*d, with motherly pride and 
affection we welcome you to this our glad jubilee ! 

Response by Rev. John Churchill. 


Mr. President : — In responding in behalf of the North Church, 
to the cordial invitation and Avelcome which you have extended 
to us, I beg leave to say that we are exceedingly happy to be 
present, and to be made welcome to participate with you in the 
Christian associations of this most interesting occasion. The 
emotions of the hour rise altogether too high for utterance, and I 
am not able to speak with that calmness and considerateness that 
would seem to be most becoming. 

It is proper, perhaps, that the confession should here be publicly 
made, that as jealousies and disagreements sometime arise among 
the members of the same fliraily, Avho dwell upon the same old 
homestead, so there have been some discord and want of good 
fellowship between us ; yet I am happy to say, that at no time has 
there been any total disruption of Christian confidence and fellow- 
shi]), and that whatever may have existed, of an un])]easant 
nature, at any time, has passed away, and is among the buried 
debris of the Past, and that to-day our fellowship and concord are 
without any barriers or embarrassments. Let us praise God to- 
o-ether to-day, that churches that might seem to have local rival 
interests, are able, through His grace, to maintain the peace and 
" fellowship of the saints." 

I had supposed, sir, that it would be expected on this occasion^ 
as the daughters return to their ancestral home, that they would 
relate their experiences, and tell their motl)er and their sisters 
what had been the dealings of a kind Providence with them since 
their separation. 

We are here, Mr. President, to commemorate the Christian 
resiilts of the planting of this church in the wilderness two hun- 
dred years ago, and we have come by your invitation, not only to 
join in your rejoicings, and to make our courtesy, but to tell you 
how we have prospered in our respective households. I hope I 
may be indulged, therefore, in a brief statement concerning the 
history of your youngest daughter. 

The North Church in Woodbury was organized by a colony 
from this church, in the year of our Lord 1816, on the 25th of 
December. The colony consisted of eleven males and twenty 
females, only tw^o of whom are now living. These, I see, are 
present here to-day. 

The church remained without a pastor until the following July, 
when, on the 2 7th of that month, Rev, Grove L. Brownell was 
ordained and installed the pastor. Judging from the results of 


his labors, it must be allowed that he was a very capable and 
faithful minister of the Gospel. During- the first year of his min- 
istry, fifteen were added to the church by profession ; the next 
year, ten ; during the next three years, thirty-six ; during the next 
three years, thirty-nine were added ; the next three years, sixty- 
three ; and so on at this ratio for the whole period of his ministry, 
which continued for about twenty-three years. The whole number 
received by profession during his ministry is two hundred and 
thirty-eight — a little more than an average of ten pei'sons for each 
year. Forty were of the church when he entered on his ministry, 
and fifty-eight were added by letters from other churches, so that 
there were three hundred and seventy-five persons connected with 
the cliurch during the first pastorate. 

It is due to the men who constitated the church fifty-four years 
ago, nearly all of whom have passed away, to say that they were 
earnest, resolute, capable, Christian men, who shrank not from 
responsibility, who feared not hardship, and who made great per- 
sonal sacrifices to build a church, and sustain the public iusti. 
tutions of religion. They present a noble example of Christian 
enterprise, which it woidd be equally noble and Christian, in their 
children and successors, to emulate. Possibly they constitute a 
portion of that "cloud of witnesses," holding in view the doings 
of those who succeed them. 

Under the ministry of Mr. BrownelPs successor, which began 
in April, 1840, in less than a year after his dismission, and which 
continued for a period of twenty-seven and a half years, there 
were gathered into the church by profession, one hundred and 
ninety-seven. Almost the entire congregation, at the close of 
that ministry, on the last Sabbath in September, 1867, were mem- 
bers of the church. Since then, for a period of two and a half 
years, the church has been without a pastor. 

Such, briefly, Mr, President, has been the success of your young- 
est daughter, the North Church in Woodbury, "Hitherto the 
Lord hath helped us," Our course has been one of uniform pros- 
perity, and we are grateful that we can bring to-day, such a 
record of His goodness and mercy, to the honor not only of the 
Great Head of the Church, but of our venerable mother, as well. 

I beg leave now, Mr. President, to give way, and introduce to 
the audience the Rev, Mr, Shipman, of Jewett City, who, for 
a considerable number of years, was pastor of the Church in 


Rev. Thomas L. Shipraan responded as follows : 

The privilege is accorded me of recalling the name, and lingering 
a moment on the memory of one of your deceased pastors, Rev, 
Mr. Andrews. I made his acquaintance soon after I came into 
the vicinity. He impressed me, upon my first introduction, as a 
man of singular purity, an impression which all my future inter- 
course served only to confirm. He was a man of the nicest sensi- 
bilities ; the cords of his heart vibrated to the slightest touch ; 
his tender sensibilities often filled his eyes with tears. He had a 
look which none who knew him can forget, and which it would be 
vain for any one to imitate. There was that in his tone, when his 
soul was stirred to its depths, which strangely penetrated your 
heart. I remember at the meeting of the Consociation in Har- 
winton, in the summer of 1831 — that year so remarkable for tlie 
outpo rings of the Spirit — he was called to officiate at the admin- 
istration of the Lord's Supper. As he rose, and cast a look over 
the assembly, every heart seemed to be moved, and before he 
closed the first sentence, the house became a perfect Bochim. It 
was not so much what he said, as his manner of saying it. " We 
are about to approach the foot of the Eternal throne, and how can 
we come ?" I was present at the ordination of his son-in-law, Rev. 
William Aitchison, who gave himself to Christ aud to China. 
"My son," was uttered with a tone and a look which thrilled at 
least one heart. His prudence was memorable. At one time the 
regiment of which I was then chaplain met at Woodbury. Mr. 
Andrew was invited to dine with us. He sat^at my side, and 
opposite to us sat a member of the society committee of a neigh- 
boring parish. " Mr. Andrew," said the gentleman, " do you know 

why Mr. was dismissed from ?" He waited a 

moment ; I rather guess he shut his eyes. " I do not think I am 
sufficiently acquainted with the facts to state them correctly." 
Had he replied, " there was some disaflfection toward him among 
his people," the report would have gone over the hills, gaining as 
it traveled : " Rev. Mr. Andrew, of Woodbury, says there was 

great disaffiection at ." He was a man of much culture ; 

he held a polished pen. He often wrote for the Quarterly Christian 
Spectator, and his articles are among the choicest contributions to 
that periodical. I would particularly direct attention to the 
article in the December No. for 1833, entitled, "What is the real 
difference between the New Haven Divines and those who oppose 


them ?" The paper was read at the minister's meeting in South- 
bury, and published at the request of the brethren. The contro- 
versy was at that time very earnest, not to say sometimes bitter. 
Whatever was then thought, or whatever may be still thought of 
the " New Haven Divines," all will agree that Mr. Andrew stated 
their position with great calmness and clearness. His article in 
the No. for September, 1830, entitled, "Review of Advice to a 
Young Christian," and the article ,in the March No. for 1832, en- 
titled, " Assurance of their piety peculiarl}' the duty of Christians 
at the present day," are papers of great excellence. Mi'. Andrew 
was one whom all who knew love to think of when alone. It 
makes us better at least for the moment only to think of him, and 
we love to talk of him when we meet, and one of our most cher- 
ished anticipations is, renewing our acquaintance with him in our 
Father's kingdom. 

Rev. Austin Isham was next called up by the chairman, and 
gave some very interesting reminisceuses, a copy of which the 
editor has been unable to obtain. 

The following letters vrere then read by the pastor: ^ 
Letter of Rev. Charles E. Robinson, of Troy, JSF. Y. 

Dear Brother Linsley : — I vrould greatly like to be with you 
at the celebration of the bi-centennial anniversary of your dear 
old church. I have an interest in, and love for that field which 
can never die. The fresh dewy morning of my ministry dawned 
there. There are souls there either brought to Jesus under vay 
Ministry, or through the goodness of God quickened by it, whose 
Christian lives, characteristics and graces, stand out with crys- 
taline distinctness. There are certain hours and days, which, amid 
the long procession of indistinguishable days, are radiant with 
sacred memories. There are some of those precious Tuesday 
evening Cottage prayer meetings, where the jjosition of indi- 
viduals at the meeting, the expression of their faces, the words 
spoken, and the songs we sang, are as clearly before me as if no 
time had elapsed. 

Faces which we shall see no more. Blessed ones anticipating us 
in the joys of Heaven. 

There are fields over which I strayed, bridges, leaning from 
which, I quieted my disturbed soul in the sweet murmuring of the 


stream. There are certain points on the summit of those Orenaug- 
rocks, from which I took in the unsurpassed loveliness of the 
Woodbury valley, all of which are now, by the power of memory^ 
a part of my life, and which I would not willingly forget. 

There was an impression made upon me in my pastorate there, 
growing out of the old associations which enfolded rae, which, I 
cannot help feeling, must be valuable to any laborer in that field* 
Those three graves of Walker, Stoddard and Benedict, with their 
flocks all folded about them, (for I think that I laid away to her 
last resting place, the last member of the church under Pastor 
Benedict), all seemed to tell me to be faithful. I could not help 
the feeling that those old fathers were looking down with interest 
upon the thread of their work which they had let drop, at death, 
and which, in God's providence, after passing through various 
faithful hands, I had taken up. 

May God continue to bless that old First Church through all 
the years until the bridegroom comes ! 

Present to the friends gathered there ray fraternal greetings^ 
and my sincere regrets, that in this case, I cannot be in two places 
at once. 

Believe me, my dear Brother, to be your attached friend now, a& 
I was formerly your Pastor. 


Troy, N. Y., April 20th, 1870. 

P. S. — Please send rae, if convenient, some account of your 

Letter o/Rev. Charles Little, of NebrasJca. 

Lincoln, Nebraska, April 13th, 1870. 

P. M. Trowbridge, Esq., Chairman of Co7nmittee. 

Dear Brother : — I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt 
of your note of the 4th inst., inviting me to participate in the pro- 
posed observance of the two hundredth anniversary of your church- 
It would give me vei'y great pleasure to be present on that 
occasion, there to renew the friendships of the past. Of the places 
on earth, not few nor very many, to which memory delights to 


return and to recall the sacred associations there formed, one of 
the freshest and most cherished is Woodbury. 

The parsonage, the office-study, the church, the lecture-room, 
the domestic circles, the familiar fiices, the cemeteries, the hills 
and valleys — these all come before me with dear remembrances. 

Though my stay with you was short, yet I expect to enjoy the 
fruits of it throughout eternity. 

That old church — it ought to be greatly profitable for you to 
rehearse its history for two hundred years. 

The good which it has accomplished — there are many in heaven 
who know more fully what that is than the Orators who will 
address you. 

That invisible company — those gone before ; I see no reason 
why God may not commission them to be present ; how much 
more deeply interesting will they "appear to those permitted to 
behold them, than the crowds which in bodily presence will honor 
the occasion. 

Most gladly would I be with you then and there, but to go and 
return would require a journey of three thousand miles, which is 
more than I can perform at present. 

Please present ray love and best wishes to all my friends, and 
accept the assurance of ray earnest desire for the future prosperity 
of the church. 

I remain yours, in the bonds of the Gospel, 


Letter of Rev. Philo Juuson, of Rocky Hill. 

[Mr. Judsou was born in this church, and baptized tlie " eighth 
day." He graduated in 1809; became a successful minister, and 
it is said more than 1600 persons have been gatliered into the 
churches in which he has labored, through his instrumentality. 
He is now 90 years old.] 

Rocky Hill, May 2d. 
Br. Trowbridge : 

Dear Sir : — O, I thank you for your very interesting and talented 
letter. I am feeble, not able to go out ; been confined all winter ; 


do not go out now. I should be glad to be there ; it would do 
my soul good. I hope I may have health to call on you at Wood- 
bury. Your letter did my soul good. Head is much affected ; 
severe cough. 

Your letter took deep hold of my feelings. The Lord bless you. 
Pray for me. Yours truly, 


\E':ii:tract from a recent letter loritten by Miss Charlotte R. 
Andrew, daughter of the late Rev. Samuel R. Andrew of 
JVew Haven.] 

You ask for the date of my blessed father's death, and his age. 
He was seventy-one, and died May 26, 1858. If it ever be per- 
mitted the sj)irits of the departed to revisit their dear old homes 
on earth, will it not be permitted him to unite on that anniversary 
day with his beloved church in their service of praise and thanks- 
giving to God '? I am almost sure he will be invisibly present. 

At the close of reading the letters, a pleasing incident occurred. 
During the collation at the Town Hall, a large and beautiful loaf 
of cake, made by Mrs. Judson, wife of Deacon Truman Judsonj 
bearing a miniature flag, labeled " Stratford," surrounded by 
seven smaller loaves, bearing the names of the other churches 
represented on the occasion, occupied the place af honor at the 
principal table. This loaf was, at this point, presented by Rev. 
Mr. Churchill, with appropriate remarks, to Rev. Mr. Hall, the 
representative of the mother church, as a token of filial regard 
from her daughter. Mr. Hall received the gift with some playful 
and fitting remarks, and promised to be " faithful to his charge." 

The closing prayer of the day was then made by the pastor : 

And now, Gracious God, our Heavenly Father, from whom 


Cometh every good and perfect gift, we bless Thee for casting our 
lot in this land of civil and religious freedom, and for crowning 
our lives with such signal tokens of Thy goodness. We praise 
Thee for wise, virtuous, heroic Christian ancestors, and beseech 
Thee that we may copy their example, and carry forward their 
work. May we remember the word of our Puritan leader across 
the sea, that more light is yet to break forth from Thy book. 
May we realize that for us, greater achievements over self and the 
world are possible — that higher goals of duty may be reached, and 
richer trophies won for Christ. Therefore, forgetting the things 
behind, and reaching forth unto those before, may we press toward 
the mark of our high calling of God in Christ Jesus. May we 
seek to be enrobed in all the virtues and graces of the Spirit, so as 
to shed the purest light and exert the most benign influence upon 
the world. May we all love and serve Thee, rememberiug that Ave 
must soon stand before Thee, since we are strangers and sojourners 
here, as were all our fathers. We thank Thee, O Lord, for this 
bright and genial day, and for the interest and harmony attending 
these exercises. May they conduce to the highest good of all, and 
the glory of Thy name. And when one after another we are 
called away from earth, may we come at last to the general assem- 
bly and church of the fii'st-boru, which are written in Ileaven. 
And to Thy great name, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, shall be all 
the praise and glory forever. Amen. 

At the close of the prayer, the benediction was pronounced, and 
the delighted audience separated for their homes among the hills 
and valleys, never again to meet in this old church on a like mem- 
orable occasion. 

We remark, in conclusion, that the results of a celebration 
such as we have recorded, cannot but be vastly beneficial to the 
Church whose history it celebrates, and the community in which 
it is located. It recalls to the attention of all how taithful 
in His promises to Plis chosen people is the Great Head of the 



Church. Few churches in the land can claim so remarable a 
fulfillment of these " promises " as this revered old church. A 
review of all these wonderful works for the long period of two 
hundred years, brings forcibly to the mind, that we are a " cove- 
nant people," and in the kind care of a " covenant-keeping God." 



Causes of the "War; Events of 1860; Events of 1861; Events of 1862; 
Events of 1863; Events of 1864; Events of 1865; The Return of 
Peace; Reception of the returning braves; Their eagee return to the 
pursuit of the peaceful occupations of private life ; Decoration day ; 
Beautiful Ceremonies; Reflections. 

" Ah never shall the land forget 
How gushed the life-blood of her brave — 
Gushed warm with hope and courage yet 

Upon the soil they fought to save; 

On fame's eternal camping ground 
Their silent tents are spread, 
And glory guards with solemn round 
The bivouac of the dead." 

/MILINGLY arose the sun of 1860 over 
the ever increasing borders of this fair 
land. For two hundred and forty years 
from its first sad beginning amid the De- 
cember bLists of a drear and deadly win- 
ter, at Plymouth Rock, on the sterile 
New England coasts, emerging soon to 
light and prosperity, it had seemed to be the favored of heaven — 
the hope of the world ! From a feeble band of adventurers, nur- 
tured amid great vicissitudes, it had become a strong nation of 
about thirty millions of souls. From a few hardy colonists, strag- 
gling and scattered along a boundless ocean, it had become the 
equal of the proudest nations in the world, occupying a continent 
of limitless resources. Trade flourished, the busy hum of ma- 
chinery was every where heard, agriculture gave rich rewards to 
the toil of the husbandman, the arts and sciences had reached a 
high perfection, and yielded rich fruits to the explorations of the 
learned, while the proud sail of commerce whitened every sea, 


and gladdened every port in the most distant climes. We were 
at peace with all the world, and were honored and respected in 
all lands. At that date, this nation presented a spectacle, never 
before attained, in the lapse of all the ages, in the knowledge and 
intelligence of its people, the respect of the world for its power 
and achievraents, and in all the elements that go to make up a 
prosperous and glorious national life. 

But to this lair picture of peace and prosperity, there was a re- 
verse side. A foul blot stained our fair escutcheon — a festering 
and deadly sore existed on the otherwise healthy surface of the 
body politic. A curse, a blight, unmitigated and cancerous, forced 
upon the feeble colonists by the guilty greed of the mother coun- 
try, while the new land was in its infancy, with ever increasing 
fatality and doom, Avas eating out the national life ; and so dark- 
ening the face of high heaven, that scarcely the prayer of faith 
could pierce the ever deepening gloom, or the pure incense of con- 
trite devotion reach the veiled throne of the Great Disposer of all 
the affairs of men. The curse of Slavery had settled down upon 
the land, and obscured every rational hope of removal, while its 
insidious fangs reached out in the darkness, withering every noble 
hope, and every aspiration after the true, and the beautiful, in all 
our moral heavens. Society succumbed to iffs deadly blast, politi- 
cal parties bent the subservient, suppliant knee, and there was no 
healthy vitality in the churches, erected to the service of the 
Most High God, to prevent their rending asunder, before the all- 
consuming -wrath of the slave-breeder, the slave-trader, and that 
most cruel fiend, who dared to consign his own flesh and blood to 
wicked, damnable bondage, more ghastly and deplorable than 
death itself. So thoroughly had this withering curse poisoned the 
life-blood of the nation, that the whole body politic stood, trem- 
bling in awe before a few thousand slave-holders, so far sunk in 
bestiality, that they could place the beautiful daughter of their 
wicked and unbridled passions, in disgraceful nudity, upon the 
auction block, to be sold into a slavery of soul and body, a thou- 
sand fold more hopeless and loathsome than the condition of 
the field hand, and this, too, almost in sight of her sisters, born 
in lawful wedlock- The good, the true, the beautiful, the wise, as 
well as the wicked and vile, yielded a forced submission to the be- 
hests of this remorseless demon. They yielded to a system con- 
demned by the early fathers of the republic — an institution, the 
contemplation of which had wrung from the slave-holding Jefier- 


son the heart-felt exclamation! "I tremble for my country, when 
I remember that God is justn Well might he, or any other 
thoughtful observer, tremble ; for the whole country since his day 
has trembled, and been shaken, from center to circumference. 

What was this fell institution of slavery ? It was the " old, 
old story" of oppression and wrong, — of a privileged class, and a 
servile class. It was the old struggle between aristocrat privilege 
on the one side, and democratic freedom on the other. Our fa- 
thers had crossed an ocean three thousand miles wide, abandoning 
homes and possessions, exiling themselves to the wilderness of a 
new world, struggling with famine, savage foes, and hardships 
of every kind, to found a republic in which all men under the 
nsgis of the law, should be free and equal. They resolved there 
should be no privileged class. Education was to be diftused 
among all alike. The poor and the rich were to be alike eligible 
to all offices of trust, honor and emolument. 

" Our Constitution, in its spirit and legitimate utterance, is 
doubtless the noblest document which ever emanated from the 
mind of man. It contains not one word hostile to liberty. Even 
now, with the light of three-fourths of a century shed upon its 
practical workings, it requires not the change of a paragraph to 
make it true to humanity. 

"But yet ingloriously, guiltily, under sore temptation, we con- 
sented to use one phrase susceptible of double meaning, " held to 
labor." These honest words, at the North mean a hired man, an 
apprentice. At the South they mean a slave, feudal bondage. So 
small, apparently so insignificant, were those seeds sown in our 
Constitution which have resulted in such a harvest of misery. A 
privileged class at the South assumed that by these words the 
Constitution recognized domestic slavery, and the right of prop- 
erty in man. With persistence never surpassed, the Slaveholders 
of the South endeavored to strengthen and extend their aristo- 
cratic institution, which was dooming ever increasing millions to 
life-long servitude and degradation. All wealth was rapidly be- 
ing accumulated in the hands of the privileged few, who owned 
their fellow men as property. The poor whites, destitute of em- 
ployment, unable to purchase negroes, and regarding labor, which 
was mostly performed by slaves, in their region, as degrading, 
were fast sinking into a state of almost bestail misery. 

" The sparse population which Slavery allowed, excluded church- 
es, schools and villages. Immense plantations of many thousand 


acres, tilled sometimes by a thousand slaves, driven to their toil 
by a few overseers, consigned the whole land to apparent solitude. 
The log hut of the overseer was surrounded by the miserable cab- 
ins of the negroes, and in the workshops of the North all the rude 
implements of their toil were manufactured. The region of the 
Southern country generally presented an aspect of desolation 
which Christendom could no where else parallel. The Slavehold- 
ers, ever acting as one man, claimed the right of extending this 
institution over all the free territories of the United States. Free 
labor and Slave labor can not exist together. The New England 
farmer can not work with his sons in fields surrounded by negro 
bands, where labor is considered degrading, where his wife and 
daughters find no genial society, no education, none of the insti- 
tutions of religion, none of the appliances and resources of high 
civilization which freedom secures. The admission of slavery to 
the Territories effectually excluded freemen from them. The in- 
troduction to those vast realms of a privileged class, who were to 
live in luxury i;pon the unpaid labor of the masses, rendered it 
impossible that men cherishing the sentiment of republican equal- 
ity should settle there. Our whole theory of the emigration and 
settlement in this country was, that the humblest should be as free 
as the highest. That the poor man should be as much entitled to 
the just rewards of his daily toil, as the senator to draw his sal- 
ary for holding a seat in Congress, or the President to draw his 
pay for presiding over the destinies of the nation. 

" How just this democratic principle, over arching, as with a 
sunny sky, all humanity ! This was the contemplated corner stone 
of our Hepublic. This was the democracy, sacred, heaven-born, 
which Jesus taught, and over which our national banner, of the 
Stars and Stripes, was intended to be unfurled. But Satan sent 
the serpent of aristocratic usurpation into our Eden, to wilt its 
flowers and poison its fruit. The execrable spirit, in the most 
malignant form it had ever developed, came over here, demanding- 
that the rich should live in splendor at the expense of the poor. 
The rich man's boots were to be polished, as in old baronial Eu- 
rope, and the poor boy who blacked them was to have no pay. 
The rich man's coach was to roll luxuriously through the streets, 
and his linen to be washed, and his fields to be tilled, while the 
coachman, the laborer and the washerwoman, were to be defraud- 
ed of their wages. 

" The daughter of the rich man, with cultured mind and pol 

H I S T O K Y OF A X C I E N T W O O D B U K Y . 1081 

ished address, was to move through saloons of magnificence, robed 
in fabrics of almost celestial texture, while the daughter of the 
poor man, dirty and ragged, .and almost naked, with one single 
garment scarce covering her person, w^as to toil in the field from 
morning till night, and from youth till old age and death, that her 
aristocratic sister, very probably in blood relationship) her half- 
sister, the child of the same father, might thus cultivate her mind 
and decorate her person.^ 

" This is a very attractive state of affairs to the aristocrat, tread- 
ing velvet carpets, beneath gilded ceilings, and drinking priceless 
wines. But it dooms such farmer's boys as Daniel Webster, Henry 
Clay, Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln, to spend their lives 
in digging in the ditch, when God has endowed them with ener- 
gies to guide the destinies of nations. And they will not consent 
to tliis philosopliy." 

In discussing this question during the first year of the war, be- 
fore the abolition of slavery, an eloquent writer says '} 

I was once walking through the magnificent saloons of Ver- 
sailles, the most gorgeous ol all earthly palaces, with an American 
lady by my side. As we passed through the brilliant suite of 
apartments, three hundred in number, with fresco, and gilding, 
and gorgeous paintings; — as we stepped out upon the parterre, 
and drove through the graveled walks of the park, originally 
S])reading over thirty thousand acres, with groves, lawns, foun- 
tains, lakes, brooks, artificial crags, jets d'eaux, and a wilderness 
of statuary, my young lady friend said : 

" Oh ! I wish we had an aristocracy, and a king, and a court." 
*' Silly girll Had she lived in the days of Louis XV., when a 
nation was robbed to minister to the voluptuousness of the aris- 
tocracy, she would have been a poor peasant girl, barefooted 
and bareheaded, in linsey woolsey fi'ock, toiling with the hoe in 
the field. Her father was a poor farmer's boy, who left the plow 
and went to the city, and there, through the influence of the law 
of equal rights for all, acquired that wealth and position, which 
enabled his daughter, refined in manners and cultivated in mind, 
to take the tour of Europe. 

" This question of a privileged class has nothing to do with 
color. The slavery of the Bible, whatever its character, was not 
Negro slavery. The slaves were, almost without exception, white 
men. The slavery, which it is said our Saviour did not condemn 

1 Abbott's History of the Civil War in America. 


in the New Testament, was not Negro slavery. The slaves of the 
Roman empire were almost universally whites, prisoners of war. 
If the New Testament sanctions this slavery, then would it be 
right to sell into bondage every Southern prisoner taken in this 
war. Many a Southern gentlemen might find himself scouring 
knives in a Northern kitchen, with some devout clergyman preach- 
ing to him affectionately the doctrine, " Slave, obey your master.'^ 
This was Roman slavery. Julius Caesar himself was at one time 
a captive and a slave, and was compelled to purchase his freedom. 

"The slavery of this country is not Negro slavery. A large 
number of the slaves, both men and women, can with difficulty be 
distinguished from white persons. The process of amalgamation 
has, for a long time, been going on so rapidly in the South, that, 
over large extents of country, the great majority of the slaves 
have more Caucasian than Ethiopic blood in their veins. Thou- 
sands of boys and girls, toiling in cotton-fields of the South, are 
the sons and daughters of Southern gentlemen of high position. 
Many a young lady has been the belle of the evening at Newport 
or Saratoga, whose half-sister, the daughter by the same father, 
has earned her laces and brocade, by toiling from dawn to eve in 
the Negro gang. Many of the most beautiful women at the 
South are these unfortunate daughters of aristocratic sires, in 
whose veins lingers but that slight trace of Ethiopic blood, which 
gives a golden richness to the hue. There is nothing but slavery 
which will so debauch the conscience, that a father will sell his 
own daughter, as a " fancy girl," to the highest bidder. 

" The great question which has culminated in this desperate 
war, has been simply this : " Shall there be, in the United States,, 
an aristocratic class, maintained by the Constitution, who are to 
enjoy exclusive privileges, living upon the proceeds of the toil of 
others, while there is a defrauded class of laborers, excluded from 
education, and doomed to perpetual poverty ?" 

This is, in a single sentence, a clear statement of the sole cause 
of the late unhappy and disastrous civil war. The volume.-^ that 
have been written by clergy and laity, and the oceans of argu- 
ment that have been expended upon this subject, have never given 
a clearer idea of all this great woe — this unlimited amount of hu- 
man suffering and wanton waste of the late extended and bloody 
conflict. The people of the south hugged the monster evil in a 
loving embrace. Conscientious people at the north loathed the 
institution, but it was, as they thought, protected by the clause 


in the Constitution to which allusion has been made, and being 
lovers of that great charter of their liberties, they yielded to it a 
wilding obedience, even with this most distasteful and contradic- 
tory interpretation. There were none in the north to suggest in- 
terference with the hated institution where it existed, save a small 
band of abolitionists. But there was violent opposition, and in- 
superabla repugnance to extending slavery into the free territories 
of the Union. Occasional struggles on the subject of extension, 
and a trial of the power of the respective theories, had been car- 
ried on with great bitterness for many years. The slave propa- 
gandists had long been quietly feeling their way, laying all their 
plans with one intent, and waiting only opportunity and sufficient 
strength to burst forth with irresistible fury, and establish a 
great slave empire in the face, and to the astonishment of, the 
civilized world. 

" This is what the slaveholders have demanded. They said that 
the Constitution favored freedom, — free speech, a free press, free 
labor, free soil, and free men, and demanded that the Constitution 
should be changed, to maintain the exclusive claims of an aristo- 
cratic class, and to strengthen their hold upon their slaves. The 
one incessant cry has been, ' Abjure your democratic constitution, 
which favors equal rights for all men, and give us, in its place, an 
aristocratic constitution, which will secure the rights of a priv- 
ileged class.' They insisted that the domestic slave trade should 
be nurtured, and the foreign slave trade opened ; saying, in the 
coarse and vulgar language of one of the most earnest advocates 
of slavery, * the North can import jackasses from Malta ; let the 
South then import Niggers from Africa.' They demanded the 
right to extend slavery over all the Territories of the United 
States, the right to hold their slaves in all States of the Union 
temporarily ; that speaking or writing against slavery in any State 
in the Union should be a penal offense ; that the North should 
catch their fugitive slaves, and send them back to bondage ; and 
that the Administration of the General Government should be 
placed in the hands of those only whom the South could trust, as 
the pledged enemies of republican equality, and the friends of 

" The reply of the overwhelming majority of the people of the 
United States was decisive. ' We will not,' they said, ' thus change 
the Constitution of our fathers. We will abide by it as it is.' 

" ' Then,' replied the slaveholders, * we will dash this Union to 


pieces. From its fragments we will construct another, whose cor- 
ner-stone shall be slavery.' " 

"It will be difficult for future generations to credit the barbar- 
ism into which slavery degraded the human heart in the South. 
In several of the Southern States, laws were enacted declaring 
that all the free colored people who did not leave the State within 
a given time, should be sold into slavery. And how are these 
poor creatures, from Mississippi or Louisiana, to escape their aw- 
ful doom, the most awful that can befall a mortal, — slavery for 
themselves and their offspring, forever ? Here is a little family, 
perhaps a Christian family, with but a slight admixture of African 
blood in their veins. They are poor, friendless, uninstructed. 
They must run the gauntlet of the Slave States, Alabama, Geor- 
gia, the Carolinas, Virginia, where they are evet-y moment liable 
to be arrested as fugitives, thrown into prison, and after being 
kept there for a few months, and no one appearing to claim them, 
they are to be sold as slaves, the proceeds of the sale to be cast 
into the public treasury. Can tyranny perpetrate a more atrocious 
crime? And what is the excuse for this outrage so unparalleled 
in the legislation of Christendom ? It is simply that the enslaving 
of the free is necessary to enable the slaveholders to keep in sub- 
jection those already in bondage. In view of this execrable sys- 
tem of despotism, Thomas Jefferson says, — 

"What an incomprehensible machine is man! who can endure 
toil, famine, stripes, imprisonment, and death itself in vindication 
of his own liberty; and the next moment be deaf to all those mo- 
tives whose power supported him through his trial, and inflict on- 
his fellow man a bondage, one hour of which is fraught with more 
misery than ages of that which he rose in rebellion to oppose." 

In order to secure a full equality, or balance of power, for the 
handful of slaveholders in the United States, Senator Hunter of 
Virginia demanded that there should be " two Pre'^'idents chosen, 
one by the slaveholding South, and the other by the Xorth, and 
that no act should be valid unless approved by both Presidents. 
The number of slaveholders in the United States did not exceed 
three hundred thousand. The whole population of the country 
was about thirty millions. The whole population of the South 
was but about eight millions. Vast multitudes of these were poor 
whites, who could neither read nor Avrite, and were in beggarly 
poverty. These ignorant creatures were almOst entirely at the 
beck of the slaveholders. Thus this amendment to the constitu- 


tion was designed to give three hundred thousand slaveholders a 
veto upon all the acts of the General Government. In the further 
carrying out of this plan, he demanded that the United States 
Supreme Court should consist of ten members, five to be chosen 
by the little band of slaveholders, and the other half by the mill- 
ions of freemen." 

The slaveholders also demanded that their slaves, who, feeling 
the inate desire for freedom planted in the human breast, escaped 
to the free air of the colder North, should be seized by the citi- 
zens of the Xorth, who abhorred the institution, and returiicd to 
eternal bondage, a thousand times worse than death. They were 
to pursue them with the whole community, if necessary, that they 
might thus be returned to torture. Many sad instances of this 
occurred, harrowing the conscientious mind of the whole north. 
In the entire South no man with Northern thoughts of freedom, 
was safe for a moment, in life, or property. There was nothing 
so sacred that a slaveholder was bound to regard, if a fellow- 
citizen thought, in his inmost heart a word against the mon- 
strous demands of slavery. Stripes, lynching and death were the 
only reward for a free thought, in this regard. 

" Future ages will find it almost impossible to believe that any 
enlightened man could be found, in America, to defend a system 
inevitably involving such atrocities. And yet it is a marvelous 
fact, that slavery found no more determined supporters than 
fimong the so-callod Christian ministers of the South ; and the 
women surpassed the men in the bitter and unrelenting spirit with 
which they clung to the institution. Those facts which harrowed 
the soul of the North, seena to have excited not an emotion in the 
heart of the slaveholding Sputh. These Christian ministers took 
the ground, that Slavery was a divine institution. The Rev. Dr. 
Palmer, of New Orleans, one of the most distinguished of the 
Presbyterian clergymen of the South, declared it to be the espe- 
cial mission of the Southern churches, ' to preserve and transmit 
our existing' system of domestic servitude, with the right, unchal- 
lenged by man, to go and root itself wherever Providence and na- 
ture may carry it.' 

"The professedly Christian minister who uttered these senti- 
ments, was familiar with all the atrocities of slavery. The slave 
shambles, where men,' women and children were sold at auction, 
were ever open," almost' beneath the* shadow of his church spire. 
Maidens, who had professed the name of Christ, and whose mark- 


et value depended upon their beauty, were sold to the highest 
bidder within sound of his church choir. Families were sold in 
the slave market of New Orleans, parents and children, husbands 
and wives separated, just as mercilessly as if they were sheep or 
or cows. And yet the Christianity of the South had become so 
degenerate, through the influence of slavery, that a Presbyterian 
minister, and sustained apparently by his whole church, represents 
the institution as one of divine approval, and one which it is the 
principal mission of the Southern church to maintain and extend.'* 

The Hon. A. H. Stevens, of Georgia, vice-President of the Con- 
federacy, said, in a speech made at Savannah, March, 1861 : — 

"The prevailing ideas entertained by Jefferson, and most of the 
leading Statesmen, at the time of the formation of the old Con- 
stitution, were, that the enslavement of the African was in viola- 
tion of the laws of nature : that it was wrong in principle, socially, 
morally, and politically. Those ideas were, however, fundamen- 
tally wrong. Our new government is founded on exactly the op- 
posite idea. Its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests upon 
the great truth, that the Negro is not equal to the white man ; 
that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural con- 
dition. Our Confederacy is founded upon principles in strict con- 
formity with these laws. This stone, which was rejected by the 
first builders, ' is become the chief-stone of the corner in our new 
edifice.' " 

Such is a very imperfect statement of some of the prominent 
aspects and demands of the wicked institution of slavery. It 
poisoned the life blood of its supporters, and eradicated from their 
hearts every vestige of morality and religion. It not only did 
this for its advocates, but it demanded that the pure and untainted, 
the legions of the free North, should become the lovers and de- 
fenders of the hateful and baleful institution, and become more 
meanly the slaves of the aristocrats of this " curse of God," than 
the ignorant, ** dirt-eating poor whites," and the chattels over 
whom they held supreme sway. Of course, educated, intelligent, 
conscientious men would not submit to this, and hence arose the 
inevitable conflict. 

The celebrated writer. Rev. John S. C. Abbott, in discussing 
this subject, has so tersely summed up the remaining causes which 
made the rebellion inevitable, in his admirable " History of the 
Civil War in America," that it is here inserted, as being better 


than any account the author can furnish within the limits of this 
work : — 

" By one of the compromises of the Constitution which slavery 
had exacted, and which, instead of being a compromise, was a 
bald concession, the slaves of the South, though deemed there 
merely as property, were allowed to be counted in the Congres- 
sional representation, five slaves being equivalent to three white 
men. Thus, John Jacob Astor, with a property of twenty mil- 
lions at the North, had but one vote. But the Southern phnter 
had his property represented in Congress. The slaveholder, with 
800 slaves, valued at less than one million, was equal in his repre- 
sentation in Congress to 480 free Northernei's. He held in his 
own hand the votes of these 480 men, who, in his own view, and 
so far as the rights of freemen are concerned, were no more men 
than the horses and the oxen in Northern barns. 

"The North felt the humiliation of this arrangement, and yet 
were not at all disposed to disturb it. They would abide by the 
Constitution. But the) were unalterably resolved that such an 
arrangement should not extend any further. The practical opera- 
tion of this "compromise" was this. The six slaveholding Gulf 
States, by the census of 1860, contained 2,311,260 free white citi- 
zens. The single Free State of Ohio contained 2,339,599 citizens. 
And yet Ohio could send but eighteen representatives to Con- 
gress, while the slaveholders could send twenty-eight. In addi- 
tion to all this, the slaveholders of these States were represented 
by twelve Senators, while the free citizens of Ohio were repre- 
sented but by two. And yet the energies of freedom so infinitely 
surpass those of slavery, that the free North was perfectly willing 
to abide by these "compromises" of the Constitution, being fully 
conscious that, even with all these advantages in favor of slavery, 
freedom would eventually win the day. 

" The slaveholders were equally conscious of the fact. They saw 
the tide of free emigration rolling rapidly over the prairies of the 
West, and new States carved our with almost miraculous rapidity. 
It was evident that, under the natural workings of the Constitu- 
tion, the votes of freemen would soon entirely outnumber those 
of a privileged and aristocratic class, and therefore they resolved 
to dissolve the Union, break up the Constitution, and reconstruct 
the Government upon a basis which should continue the power 
they had so long exercised, in their own hands. 


"By the same census of 1860, the total population of the Free 
States and Territories was 21,816,952. The free white population 
of the eleven States which soon raised the standard of rebellion, 
was 5,581,630. This was the trouble. Slavery had drifted into 
the minority. It was circumscribed and prohibited expansion by 
the votes of freemen. Under these circumstances the South 
would listen to no "compromise," which was not capitulation. 
They demanded the reorganization of the Government, upon a 
basis which would give slavery the preponderating power. 

" Neither was it possible to permit them to depart. Five millions 
demanded that twenty-one millions should surrender to them the 
Capital at Washington, with all its historic associations and treas- 
ures. They demanded the mouths of the Mississippi, which the 
nation had purchased at a vast expense, that the boundless regions 
of the North West, where hundreds of millions must eventually 
dwell, might have free access to the ocean. They demanded all 
the forts on the Southern Atlantic coast, &nd in the Gulf of Mex- 
ico, forts essential to the protection of the ever increasing com- 
merce of the North. They demanded permission to drive, with 
the energies of fire and sword, all loyal men out of the border 
States of Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri, and out of Western Vir- 
ginia, that those States might be forced to unite themselves with 
the Southern Confederacy. They demanded that slavery should 
be considered an equal partner with freedom, and that the Terri- 
tories of the United States, and the Navy, and the Treasury, 
should be divided equally between them. They demanded a 
treaty, by which we should return every slave who should escape 
to our free land. They avowed their intention of establishing free 
trade with foreign nations, by which they could draw all importa- 
tion to their ports, flood the land with goods smuggled across a 
frontier fifteen hundred miles in length, and render it almost im- 
possible to protect any domestic manufactures, or to collect by 
customs our national revenue. 

" Never before in the history of this world, were demands made 
so exorbitant and so insolent. The slaveholder, accustomed to 
plantation manners, and regarding himself as the representative of 
chivalry, ever assumed on the floor of Congress the airs of a master, 
greatly to the disgust of all well-bred men. 

"It was impossible to yield to either of his demands. More than 
twenty millions of people could not, at the dictation of five mil- 
lions, trample their free Constitution in the dust, and accept, in its 


Stead, one framed by the slaveholder, based on the corner-stone 
of human bondage. Neither could such a nation, without self- 
degradation, without meriting the scorn of the world, surrender 
its Capital, half of its Territories, half of its iSTavy, its most im- 
portant harbors and fortifications, the mouths of its most majestic 
stream, which, with its tributaries, drains millions of square miles 
of free soil, and surrender hundreds of thousands of loyal citizens 
in the border States to pillage, violence, and exile. The demands 
of the slaveholders rendered peace impossible, upon any other 
terms than the unconditional capitulation of freedom to slavery. 

" Let us, for a moment, contemplate more fully this demand of 
the slaveholders, that the United States should recognize them as 
a foreign power, and surrender to them the mouths of the Missis- 
sippi, that wonderful river, which, with its numberless tributaries, 
makes the great central basin of our continent the most attractive 
spot upon the globe. In 1763, the ancient province, called Loui- 
siana, was sold by France to Spain. Even then the sparse popu- 
lation of our great Xorth West were intensely excited in view of 
the possibility of a foreign power being able to close the mouths 
of their noble river, and thus cut them off from all access to the 

"Napoleon, with the wonderful foi'esight which marked his gen- 
ius, seeking to establish colonies which would enable France to 
compete with her rival, England, in commercial greatness, pur- 
chased the regal colony in the year 1800. Immediately the enei'- 
gies of the Napoleonic empire were developed upon these shores. 
This greatly increased the alarm of the thousands of settlers who 
were reai-ing their cabins upon the banks of those tributaries, 
whose only outlet was by the channel at New Orleans. The 
power of Napoleon was such, that no force America could use 
would avail to wrest these provii]ces from his grasp. His politi- 
cal wisdom and energy were such, that a vigorous empire would 
surely soon rise, spreading over all those fertile plains, extending 
from the right of the Mississippi to the ancient halls of the Mou- 
tezumas. And thus the boundless North West could only gain 
access to the commerce of the world, by bowing its flag suppli- 
catingly to a foreign power. 

" In this crisis, when the fate of America was trembling in the 
balance, Providence interposed in our behalf England, jealous of 
the greatness to which the arts of j^eace were elevating France, 
rudely broke the piece of Amiens, and renewed the war to crush 


Napoleon. England, with her Navy, omnipotent at sea, would 
have immediately seized upon this magnificent territory. To pro- 
tect it from the grasp of England, and to aid in building up a 
maratime power in the West, which might eventually prove a 
check upon the British fleet, Napoleon opened negotiations with 
America, for the sale of the whole province of Louisiana, with 
boundaries then quite indefinitely settled. Mr. Monroe was sent 
to France, to conduct the negotiation in association with Chancel- 
lor Livingston, then our resident minister at the court of the Tu- 
illeries. The population of the United States was then but 
5,000,000. And yet eagerly we made the purchase at $15,000,000, 
representing a burden upon the population equal to $90,000,000, at 
the present day. 

"Thus we obtained, half a century ago, this majestic territory, 
equal in size to one half of Europe. Many States and Territories 
have already been carved from the acquisition. The tide of emi- 
gration is constantly and rapidly pouring into those fertile plains, 
washed by the upper tributaries of the Mississippi and the Mis- 
souri, and already there is a population there of 10,000,000. Be- 
fore the close of this century, this population will be doubled, 
probably trebled. The whole region between the Alleghanies and 
the Rocky mountains, that almost boundless valley, soon to teem 
with hundreds of millions, finds its only outlet to the sea through 
the mouths of the Mississippi, by the gates of New Orleans. 

" And yet the slaveholders of the comparatively insignificant 
State of Louisiana, with a free white population of but 3*76,913, 
scarcely a third of that of the City of New York alone, and 70,000 
of whose adults can neither read nor write, had the audacity to 
claim the right to secede from the Union, establish themselves as 
a foreign nation, and unfurl over the forts at the mouths of the 
Mississippi a foreign banner; which the millions dwelling in the 
great Mississippi bas in could only pass by the consent of her guns. 
The United States could, by no possibility, stoop to such dishonor. 
The Hon. Edward Everett, in the following words, has very for- 
cibly presented this question in its true light : — 

" Louisiana, a fragment of this colonial empire, detached from 
its main portion, and first organized as a State, undertakes to se- 
cede from the LTiiion, and thinks by so doing, she will be allowed, 
by the Government and people of the United States, to revoke 
this imperial transfer, to disregard this possession and occupation 
of sixty years, to repeal this law of nature and of God ; and she 


fondly believes, that ten millions of the Free people of the Union 
will allow her and her seceding brethren to open and shut the 
portals of this mighty region at their pleasure. They may do so, 
and the swarming millions, which throng the course of these noble 
streams and their tributaries, may consent to exchange the char- 
ter, which they hold from the God of Heaven, for a bit of parch- 
ment signed at Montgomery or Richmond — but it will be when 
the Alleghanies and the Rocky Mountains, which form the eastern 
and western walls of the imperial valley, shall sink to the level of 
of the sea, and the Mississippi and the Missouri flow back to their 

Senator Douglas presented the folly of this pretended right of 
secession in a very forcible light, and with logic which no honest 
mind can resist. 

"The President," said he, '' has recommended that we should 
purchase Cuba. According to this doctrine of the right of seces- 
sion, we might pay $300,000,000 for Cuba, and then, the next day, 
Cuba might secede, and reiinnex herself to Spain !" Volumes 
could not more conclusively show the absurdity of such a notion. 

The Presidential election drew nigh, when the question was to 
be decided, whether the Government of the United States was to 
be administered upon the principle of rendering all possible sup- 
port to the maintenance and extension of slavery, or whether the 
energies of the Government should lend all its constitutional sup- 
port to foster freedom. There were four candidates in the field. 
Mr. Lincoln, the republican candidate, was openly pledged to re- 
sist the extension of slavery. In emphatic utterance, which ex- 
ceedingly exasperated the slaveholders, he said : — 

" The central idea in our political system at the beginning was, 
and until recently continued to be, the equality of men. In what 
I have done, I can not claim to have acted from any peculiar con- 
sideration for the colored people, as a separate and distinct class 
in the community, but from the simple conviction, that all the in- 
dividuals of that class are members of the community, and, in 
virtue of their manhood, entitled to every original right enjoyed 
by any other member. We feel, therefore, that all legal distinc- 
tions between individuals of the same community, founded in any 
such circumstances as color, origin, and the like, are hostile to the 
genius of our institutions, and incompatible with the true history 
of American liberty. Slavery and oppression must cease, or 
American liberty must perish. True democracy makes no inquiry 


about t^e color of the skin, or place of nativity, or any other sim- 
ilar circumstance of condition. I regard, therefore, the exclusion 
of the colored people, as a body, from the eleclive franchise, as 
incompatible with the true democratic principle." 

While stating these as his political principles, he at the same 
time avowed that Congress had no constitutional right to inter- 
fere with slavery in those States where it existed, but that it was 
both the right and the duty of Congress to prohibit slavei'y in all 
the United States Territories. 

John C. Breckenridge was the candidate of the slaveholders, 
pledged to administer the Government, in the most effectual way, 
to nurture and to give increasing political power to the institu- 
tion of slavery. There were two other candidates, Stephen A. 
Douglas, and John Bell, who were supported by those who wish- 
ed to effect some compromise, and who were ready, for the sake 
of avoiding civil war, to make very great concessions to the South. 

" The Presidential election took place on the same day, the 6th 
of November, 1860, throughout all the United States. The polls 
were closed at sundown. The votes were counted by midnight ; 
and in seven hours, through the marvels of the Telegraph, the 
eventful result was flashed through the whole breadth of the land, 
excepting California, embracing points more than three thousand 
miles apart. The ^iopular vote for Electors stood, 1,857,610 for 
Lincoln; 1,365,976 for Douglas; 847,953 for Breckenridge, and 
591,613 for Bell. This vote, according to the Constitution, gave 
seventeen States out of thirty-three for Lincoln ; eleven for Breck- 
inridge : three for Bell ; and one, Missouri, with three-sevenths of 
New Jersey, for Douglass. Though Mr. Douglas had so many 
votes scattered throughout the United States, as in but one State 
he had a majority, they availed him nothing. 

"The Electoral vote of each State, carefully sealed, is conveyed 
to Washington, and there, in the Hall of the House of Represent- 
atives, the members of the Senate being present, the votes are 
counted, and the remit announced. At 10 o'clock in the morning 
of the 15th of February, 1861, Pennsylvania Avenue was throng- 
ed with crowds pressing towards the Capitol. It was a season of 
great excitement, for the day after the election it was perfectly 
known what the announcement would be ; and the slaveholders, 
molding the passions of the masses of the South at their will, had 
uttered many threats, that the announcement should not be made^ 
and that the Government should be broken up in a row. Wash- 

H 1 S T O K Y OF ANCIENT A^' O O D B U K Y 1093 

ington was a slaveholdi ng city, in the midst of a slaveholdiiig re- 
gion, and any number of desperadoes could be summoned there, 
at a few hours' notice, from Maryland and Virginia. 

" James Buchanan, an intimidated old man, was then in the Pres- 
idential chair, having been placed there as the candidate of the 
slaveholders, and the nation could place but little reliance, in that 
crisis, upon his efficiency and reposed but little confidence in his 
patriotism. But, providentially, General Winfield Scott, the vet- 
eran and universally revered head of the American army, had 
drawn to the Capital the batteries which won the field at Buena 
Vista. Their frowning guns, ready to sweep the streets, overawed 
the conspirators. At 12 o'clock, Mr. Pennington, Speaker of the 
House, called the House to order, when the Chaplain, Rev. Thomas 
Stockton, ofl:ered an impressive prayer, closing with the following 
words : — 

"Bless the outgoing Administration. May it close its labors in 
peace, without further violence, and without any stain of blood. 
And we pray for the incoming Administration ; that thy blessing 
may rest on the President elect, in his journey hitherward ; that 
thy good Providence may be around him day and night, guarding 
and guiding him at every step ; and we pray, that he may be 
peacefully and happily inaugarated, and afterwards, by pure, wise, 
and prudent counsels, that he may administer the Government in 
such a manner, as that thy name may be glorified, and the welfare 
of the people, in all their relations, be advanced, and that our ex- 
ample of civil and religious liberty may be followed in all the 

" A message was then sent, informing the Senate that the House 
was waiting to receive them, in order that, in joint body, the Elec- 
toral votes might be opened and counted. As the Senate entered 
the Hall of Representatives, the House rose, and remained stand- 
ing until the Senators took their seats in a semi-circular range 
before the Speaker' s desk. Vice-President Breckinridge, who 
was one of the candidates for the Presidency, and who, by virtue 
of the office he held, presided over the Senate, took his seat at the 
right of the Speaker. As soon as order was restored, Vice-Pres- 
ident Breckinridge rose, and said : — 

" We have assembled, pursuant to the Constitution, in order 
that the electoral votes may be counted, and the result declared 
for President and Vice-President, for the term commencing on 
the 4th of March, 1861 ; and it is made my duty, under the Con- 


stitution, to open the certificates of election in the presence of 
the two Houses, and I now proceed to the performance of that 
duty." He then took the package of each State, one after the 
other, broke the seal, and handed it to the Tellers to be counted. 

"The scene then and there presented, was one which has never 
been paralleled in the United States. The galleries were crowded 
with the most distinguished personages in the land, who had been 
drawn, by the momentous occasion, to the city. Some looked 
cheerful and hopeful ; some, with compressed lips, were pale and 
anxious ; while many notorious conspirators were seen in groups, 
gloomy and threatening. There was deathly silence as the result 
was announced, which was as follows : One hundred and eighty 
votes were cast for Abraham Lincoln. Seventy-two for John C. 
Breckinridge. Thirty-nine for John Bell. Twelve for Stephen 
A. Douglas. This gave Abraham Lincoln a majority of fifty- 
seven over all the other candidates. Whereupon the Vice-Presi- 
dent, rising, said : — 

" Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois, having received a majority of 
the whole number of Electoral votes, is duly elected President of 
the United States, for the four years commencing on the 4th of 
March, 1861. And Hannibal Hamlin, of Maine, having received 
a majority of the whole number of Electoral votes, is duly elected 
Vice-President for the same term." 

" He then announced, that the business being completed, for 
which the two Houses had assembled, the Senate would return to 
their own chamber. The members of the House rose, and re- 
mained standing until the Senators had left the Hall. The five 
thousand spectators crowding the galleries silently retired, and 
Abraham Lincoln stood forth before the world, the constitution- 
ally elected President of the United States. 

By means of the telegraph, it was known throughout the Union, 
on the 7th of November, 1860, the day after the election, that 
Abraham Lincoln had been elected President of the United States. 
This result had been perfectly foreseen and foretold, ever since the 
several presidential nominations. The slaveholders had insisted 
on such a platform and presidential candidate, that no political 
party could yield to their demands, and live as a party, for a mo- 
ment. They deliberately drove the democratic party to a double 
nomination, Douglass and Breckenridge. for the avowed purpose 
of electing the Northern candidate, who was especially nominated 


on the platform of freedom, which at that time contemplated 
nothing further than to prevent the extension of slavery into ter- 
ritory then free. The slaveholders, for a long series of years, had 
laid all their plans, and used their best endeavors to bring about 
a crisis, such as had now arrived, unless they could, inside of the 
general government, mould it to its own views, and make it the 
perpetual defender of the institution of slavery. Yet these un- 
scrupulous upholders of this most inhumanly vile institution, made 
the fact of the election of a Northern man as President, the pre- 
text for secession and the disruption of the government, and for 
commencing the most causeless and cruel civil war, that ever 
afflcted any civilized nation. 

Lincoln was elected in November, but he could not enter upon 
the execution of the duties of his office till the 4th of March fol- 
lowing. In the mean time, the General Government was thor- 
oughly in the hands of the slaveholders. They had still four 
months, in which they could make all their preparations, and 
launch their daring conspiracy upon the startled country. Never 
did villains work with greater zeal, or more effectually. James 
Buchanan, the President of the United States, had been elected 
to office on a platform dictated by the slaveholders, pledging him 
to pursue the general policy required by them. He was surround- 
ed by men of far greater ability than himself, and he dared not 
assert his independence, and stand by the flag of his country. He 
was like a babe, in the fatal embrace of the conspirators. 

The majority of his cabinet were unscrupulous and arrant reb- 
els and knaves. In their hands he was *' like a reed shaken in the 
wind." In his feebleness and vacilation of mind, he was, " as 
clay in the hands of the potter" — they moulded him at will. 
Howell Cobb, a slaveholder of Georgia, was Secretary of the 
Treasury. Wien he entered upon his office, the treasury was full, 
to overflowing, and the nation was in the full tide of prosperity. 
It was very necessary, to the full success of the conspirators, that 
it should be depleted — that the incoming administration should 
find the treasury beggared, and thus it would be without pecun- 
iary means to resist a rebellion. This was accomplished in an in- 
credibly short space of time. When the new administration came 
into power, it found an empty chest. More than six millions of 
dollars were stolen, and no doubt went into the treasury of the 
rebels. The Treasury being thus rendered harmless to the rebel- 
lion, Mr. Cobb resigned his office, and hastened to take office un- 
der the conspirators. 


Jacob Thompson, a slaveholder from Mississippi, was Secretary 
of the Interior. It was his role in the great conspiracy to pre- 
vent the reenforceraent of the fortresses of the nation. If the 
forts should be reenforced, they could protect themselves from 
surprise or capture by the rebels, and could control the commerce 
of the ports, and hermetically seal them, if necessary. Eftectu- 
ally did he perform this ignoble and wicked work. After much 
.consultation, the Star of the West was privately sent with sup- 
plies for the garrison in Fort Sumter, which was on the verge 
of starvation. Mr. Thompson, aware of the fact by virtue of his 
office, immediately notified the armed conspirators in Charleston, 
and this steamer, which was without arms, was driven back by 
the rebel batteries. In a speech which he subsequently made to 
the rebels in Oxford, Miss., he boasted of this abominable act of 
treachery, in the following words: — 

" I sent a dispatch to Judge Longstreet, that the Star of the 
West was coming with reenforcements. The troops were then 
put on their guard, and when the Star of the West arrived, she 
received a warm welcome from booming caimon, and soon beat a 

" We have here the unblushing avowal of a member of the 
Cabinet, that he betrayed, to those who under arms were seeking 
to destroy his country, information derived from his official posi- 
tion. In consequence, that frail vessel was met by hostile batte- 
ries, the lives of two hundred and fifty men, in the service of the 
Government, were imperiled, and the heroic little garrison of 
seventy-five men in Fort Sumter were abandoned to their fate. 
Secretary Thompson, having accomplished this feat, resigned his 
office, and joined the rebels, where he was received with open 

" The subsequently notorious John B. Floyd, a slave master of 
Virginia, was Secretary of War. It was the well-matured plan 
of some of the conspirators, to assassinate , President Lincoln on 
his journey to Washington to be inaugurated. They designed, in 
the panic which would ensue, to pour in troops from the adjacent 
Slave States of Maryland and Virginia, and seize upon Washing- 
ton, with all its treasures, that it might become the capital of their 
new Confederacy. In the accomplishnient of this plan, it was im- 
portant that the army of the United States, but a few thousand 
in number, should be so dispersed, that they could not be rallied 
for the defense of the Government ; and that the arsenals at the 


North should be so despoiled, that the free eitizens could find no 
weapons to grasp, by which they might rusk to the rescue. John 
B. Floyd, Secretary of War, did this work eftectually. The army 
was so scattered in remote fortresses in the far West, as to leave 
all the forts in the slaveholding States defenseless. Thus fortifi- 
cations containing twelve hundred cannon, and which cost over 
six millions of dollars, were seized and garrisoned by the rebels. 
" At the same time Secretary Floyd, by virtue of that power 
which his oftice gave him, and in infamous violation of his oath, 
disarmed as far as possible the Free States, by emptying their ar- 
senals, and sending their guns to the Slave States, where bands of 
rebels were already organized and drilling, prepared to receive 
them. One hundred and fifteen thousand arms, of the most ap- 
proved pattern, were transferred from Springfield, Mass., and from 
Watervliet, N. Y., to arsenals throughout the Slave States. In 
addition to this, he sold to diflferent Slave States, United States 
muskets, worth |12 each, for $2.50. A vast amount of cannon, 
mortar, balls, powder and shells, wern also forwarded to the reb- 
els. Having accomplished all tliis, Floyd sent in his resignation as 
Secretary of War, and, joining the rebels, received the appoint- 
ment of general in their army. Thus General Scott, when the 
hour of trial came, and Washington was threatened with assault 
by a sudden rusli from the slaveholding States, found it difiicult 
to concentrate even a thousand troops for the defense of the Cap- 
ital. Washington was saved from capture only by the almost mi- 
raculous interposition of God. 

" Isaac Toucey, of Connecticut, was Secretary of the Navy. 
Our fleet then consisted of ninety vessels, of all classes, carrying 
about 2,415 guns; and was manned by a complement of about 
7,600 men, exclusive of officers and marines. It was a matter of 
the utmost moment, at this critical hour, that this fleet should be 
in our own waters to aid the Government. It was a matter of 
the utmost moment to the traitors, that this fleet should be dis- 
persed, where it could do them no harm. It was accordingly dis- 
persed. Five of these vessels were sent to the East Indies, three 
to Brazil, seven to the Pacific Ocean, three to the Mediterranean, 
seven to the coast of Africa, and so on, leaving, of our whole 
squadron, but two vessels, carrying twenty-seven guns and two 
hundred and eighty men, in Northern ports.* 

"On the 21st of February, 1861, a select committee of five, ap- 

■■^ Report of Secretary of the Navy, July 4, 1861. 


pointed by the House of Representatives, in a report upon the 
conduct of the Secretary of the Navy, spoke as follows : — 

" From this statement it will appear, that the entire naval force 
available for the defense of the whole Atlantic coast, at the time 
of the appointment of this committee, consisted of the steamer 
Brooklyn, 26 guns, and the storeship Relief, 2 guns ; while the 
former was of too great draft to permit her to enter Charleston 
harbor with safety, except at spring tide, and the latter was under 
orders to the coast of Africa, with stores for the African squadron. 
Thus the whole Atlantic sea-board has been, to all intents and 
purposes, without defense, during all the period of civil commo- 
tion and lawless violence, to which the President (Buchanan) has 
called our attention, as ' of uttch vast and alarming proportions, 
as to be heyond his power to check or controV 

" The Committee can not fail to call attention to this extraor- 
diniary disposition of the entire naval force of the country, and 
especially in connection with the present no less extraordinary 
and critical juncture of political affairs. They can not tall to 
mind any period in the past history of the country, of such pro- 
found peace and internal repose, as would justify so entire an 
abandonment of the coast of the country to the chance of for- 
tune. Certainly, since the nation possessed a navy, it has not be- 
fore sent its entire available force into distant seas, and exposed 
its immense interests at home, of which it is the special guardian, 
to the dangers from which, even in times of the utmost quiet, pru- 
dence and forecast do always shelter them. 

" To the Committee, this disposition of the naval force, at this 
most critical period, seems extraordinary. The permitting of ves- 
sels to depart for distant seas, after these unhappy difficulties had 
broken out at home, the omission to put in repair and commission, 
ready for orders, a single one of the twenty-eight ships dismant- 
led and unfit for service, in our ports, and that, too, while $64«- 
639.70 of the appropriation for repairs of the navy, the present 
year, remain unexpended, were, in the opinions of your Commit- 
tee, grave errors — without justification or excuse." 

*' Thus the Government was despoiled by its own imbecile or 
traitorous officials. Enemies within, opened the door of the for- 
tress for the entrance of the beleaguering foe. The President, 
overawed and nerveless, was a silent observer of the march of the 
conspirators. At last, however, he summoned courage to say to 
Congress, in tones alike of weakness and despair, that the rebell- 


ion liad attained such " vast and alarming proportions, as to place 
the subject entirely above and beyond Executive control." Nay 
more, instead of hurling the thunderbolts he might have wielded, 
into the ranks of the rebels, he acquiesced in their movements, 
and couki hardly be forced to adopt any Hieasure which did not 
meet with their approval. 

"It is difficult to find in all the annals of the past, an example 
of exectxtive power bowing the neck so meekly beneath the heel 
of traitorous arrogance, lli-s Cabinet was mostly filled with slave- 
holding conspirators, who first endeavored to betray their coun- 
try by the most insane measures, and then disclosed to their con- 
federate traitors all that transpired in the Executive counsels. 
President Buchanan was anxious for peace. His political sympa- 
thies were, however, with the conspirators, and bitterly hostile to 
those who were the foes of human bondage. As the storm of 
passion increased in violence, the only measure he could suggest 
was unconditional surrender of the Government to the wishes of 
the slaveholders. This was called a comproinise. The North, 
on its part, was to surrender everything. The South, on its part, 
would consent to accept the surrender. 

" Speaking of this rebelliou and the plan to conciliate the rebels, 
by surrendering to slavery all the United States territory south 
of 36'-'' 30', a concession which the rebels would not accept, Mr. 
Lovejoy, in the House of Representatives, uttered the memora- 
ble words : 

"There never was a more causeless revolt since Lucifer led his 
cohorts of apostate angels against the throne of God ; but I never 
heard that the Almighty proposed to compromise the matter, by 
allowing the rebels to kindle the fires of hell south of the celes- 
tial meridian of thirty-six thirty." 

Mr. Vvigfall, Senator fiom Texas, exclaimed, in one of his char- 
acteristic outbursts, "It is tlie merest balderdasli — that is wiiat it 
is — it is the most unmitigated fudge for any one to get up here, 
and tell men who have sense and who have brains, that there is 
any prospect of two-thirds of this Congress passing any proposi- 
tions as an amendment to the Constitution, that any man who is 
white, twenty-one years old, and whose hair is straight, living- 
south of Mason and Dixon's line, will be content with." 

"One of the most marvelous revelations of history is the phe- 
nomenon, that the most majestic of national movements may of- 
ten be controlled by very small minorities. Brissot de Warville 



says, that tlie French Revolution was caiTied by not move than 
twenty men. The whole number of slaveholders in the South 
did not exceed three hundred thousand. Not more than a hund- 
red thousand of these possessed any larqe amount of this species 
of property. And yet this petty oligarchy, entirely subordinate 
to a few leading minds, organized the most gigantic rebellion 
which ever shook this globe. " The future historian," says the 
Hon. Charles Sumner, 'will record, that the present rebellion, not- 
withstanding its protracted oi'igin,-the multitudes it has enlisted, 
and its extensive sweep, was at last precipitated by fewer than 
twenty men ; Mr. Everett says, by as few as ten. It is certain 
that thus far it has been the triumph of a minority — but of a mi- 
nority inspired, combined, and aggrandized by slavery." 

" While Congress w\as discussing measures of compromise, the 
South was marshaling her hosts for battle. When the news of 
Lincoln's election reached Charleston, S. C, tumultuous throngs 
in the streets received the tidings with long continued cheering 
for a Southern Confederacy. In Washington, many of the people 
boldly assumed the secession cockade, knowing that the insulted, 
humiliated Government of the United States, in the hands of Pres- 
icent Buchanan, was impotent to harm them. The Palmetto flag 
was hoisted and saluted; "minute men" were organized. All 
through the cotton and slaveholding States, the excitement was 
intense, the secessionists striving to overawe the friends of the 
Union, and preparing for the arbitrament of the sword, in the 
success of which arbitrament, they, in tbeir ignorance and self- 
confidence, cherished not a doubt. They had been accustomed to 
regard all men who labored as degraded, as on a footing with their 
slaves. The Northerners they stigmatized as " greasy mechanics," 
and " mudsills," any five of whom could be instantly put to flight 
by one chivalrous Southron." ' 

We have said that the election of Abraham Lincoln was not 
the cause, but only tlie pretext for the rebellion. It was a cry by 
which the leading rebels and life-long conspirators against the in- 
stitutions of the country sought, " to fire the Southern heart," 
and forever destroy our free constitution. It turned out to be an 
admirable expedient for the purpose intended, among the igno- 
rant masses of the South. A single example will show this: — 

The Hon, A. H. Stephens, long a member of the United States 

' Abbott's History of the Civil War in America. 


House of Representatives from Georo;ia, and one of the most in- 
fluential and able nv^n in that State, addressed an immense assem- 
blage of his constituents, in the Hall of the House of Represent- 
atives, at Milledgeville, Ga., November 14, 1860. He then said: 

"The first question that presents itself is, Shall the people of 
the South secede from the Union in consequence of the election 
of Ml-. Lincoln to the Presidency of the United States V My coun- 
trymen, I tell you frankly, candidly, and earnestly, tluat I do not 
think they ought. In my judgment, the election of no man, con- 
stitutionally chosen to that high office, is sufficient cause for any 
State to separate from the Union. It ought to stand by and aid 
still in maintaining the Constitution of the country. To make a 
point of resistance to the Government, to withdi'aw from it, be- 
cause a man has been constitutionally elected, puts us in the wrong. 
We are pledged to maintain the Constitution. Many of us have 
sworn to support it. Can we, therefore, for the mere election of 
a man to the Presidency, and that, too, in accordance with the 
prescribed forms of the Constitution, make a point of resistance 
to the Government, without becoming tiie breakers of that sacred 
instrument ourselves ? 

" I look upon this country, with our Institutions, as the Eden 
of the world — the paradise of the Universe. It ?»«y be, that out 
of it v^e may become greater and more prosperous ; but I am can- 
did and sincere in telling you that I fear, if we rashly evince pas- 
sion, and, without sufficient cause, shall take that step, that, in- 
stead of becomiiig greater or more peaceful, prosperous, and hap- 
py, instead of becoming gods, we will become demons, and, at no 
distant day, commence cutting one another's throats." 

But the words of the wisest statesmen of the South were not 
to be heeded. All union opposition to secession was overborne. 
Even Stephens himself, a few days after making the speech, of 
which the above is an extract, took back his own brave and honest 
words, and made a ranting speech on the other side of the ques- 
tion, and a little later, accepted the Vice-Presidency of the slave- 
holders' confederacy. Several of the Southern States, almost im- 
mediately began to make warlike prejiarations and appropriations, 
and the whole Southern community was in a blaze of excitement. 

On the 20th day of December, 1860, South Carolina seceded, 
or, in the polite phrase of the time, withdrew its original con- 
sent to the Constitution of the United States, and resumed its 
condition as a sovereign State! The news of this action, which 


was unanimous, was hailed with entliusiasra throughout the South- 
ern States. On the 9th of January, 1861, the Mississippi Conven- 
tion passed an ordinance of secession. Florida followed suit on 
the 10th, and Alabama the next day Georgia seceded on the 
19th, and Louisiana on the 26th. The Texas convention passed a 
secession ordinance, Feb. 1st, 1S61, subject to a vote of the peo" 
pie, and on the 4th, declared the State out of the union ! Vir- 
ginia passed an ordinance of secession the l7th of April, Arkan- 
sas, May 6ih, and North Carolina, May 29th. 

Meanwhile, the rebels were rapidly seizing the forts, arsenals, 
navyyards and mints, within the limits of the seceded States, 
while Gen Twiggs, in Texas, traitorously surrendered the greater 
portion of the little array of the United States, it having been 
placed there for this purpose by the Secretary of War. 

But still the meek Buchnnan did nothing but appoint a day for 
fasting and prayer throughout the nation, on the 4th of January, 
1861, which was gencr.iUy observed at the North, and as generally 
disregarded at the South, and to send a messenger or two to the 
South, to beg of them, in piteous terms, to do nothing rash during 
the brief remainder of his official term. His action disgusted his 
political friends in the North, not less than all other parties. 

It was on the occasion of this fast that Woodbury took its frst 
part in the stirring events of the times. Thoroughly law abiding, 
as its citizens always had been, for two hundred years, always at- 
tentive to the suggestion of rulers, they generally attended, 
on this occasion, at their several places of Avorship, to supplicate 
the Lord of Hosts, that the evils which threatened the na- 
tion, and which the governmett seemed utterly unable to success- 
fully 0])pose, might be averted. It was on this occasion that the 
late Rev. Noah Coe, who was then supplying the pulpit of the 
First Congregational church, and who, not being the settled pas- 
tor of the church, and, on account of the (emper of the tinio'^, was 
not afraid of being accused of " preaching politics," uttered his 
memorable prayer, a passage of which follows: — 

"Oh! Lord, we have assembled in Thy presence, in response to 
the call, in his feebleness, of the President of the United Stales. We 
thank Thee that he has becTi brought to see the need of fasting 
and prayer, an«l that he has felt the necessity of asking the pray- 
ers of Thy people. Oh ! Lord, Thou knowest that his sins are 
manifold in Thy sight, and that he greatly needs them. Let him 
still further see the error of hi? ways, and apply his heart unto 


wisdom, that Thou canst see it possible to save him. Oh God, 
Thou knowest he 1ms done evil enough. He has multiplied his 
wickedness. But save him out of Tliine abundant mercy. Oh 
Lord, we thank Thee that his time is short. That he can 
not do much more evil in the land. And we do greatly tha?ik 
Thee, that Abraham Lincoln, that great and good man, a man af- 
ter Thine own heart, is so soon to succeed him, when we devoutly 
hope we shall see a ruler in the land full of riglitcousness, who 
will carry out Thy will, and show forth Thy praise." 

In the sadness, uncertainty and general apprehension of the 
time, this bold, blunt prayer, had a marked effect upon the hearers. 
Tfiough unusual in its terms, and plainness of speech, it was 
deemed to be appropriate to the situation of the country at that 
perilous period. There is but one prayer on record, which has 
ever come to tlie writer's notice, similar lo it. And that was, the 
prayer of Parson Champion, of Litchfield, a red-hot patriot in the 
days of the Revolutionary War.' 

1861. As we have seen, the Great Rebellion of the slavehold- 
ers, foreshadowed, threatened, and foreordained, for many years, 
came into active existence immediately upon the announcement 
that Abraham Lincoln had been elected President of the United 
States. The earliest, most earnest and effective efforts at i'el)ell- 
ion -were made in South Carolina. The election of Lincoln was 
but the merest pretext, but the leaders knew best with what ma- 
terial to "fire the Southern heart." One after another, as soon as 
the several Southern States seceded, or, as they gingerly termed 

* When the whole counti'y was in a state of akrm at tlie intelligence that 
Lord Cornwallis, with a large fleet and armament, was approching the American 
coast. Col. Tallmagc happened to pass through Litchfield with a regiment of cav- 
alry. While there, he attended public worship, with his troops, on Sunday, at the 
old meeting-house, that stood upon the village green. The occasiou was deeply 
interesting and exciting. The Rev. Judah Champion, then the settled minister of 
the place— a man of great eloquence, and of a high order of intellectual endow- 
ment — in view of the alarming crisis, thus invoked the sanction of Heaven : — 

"Oh, Lord ! we view with terror the approach of the enemies of Thy holy re-* 
ligion. Wilt thou send storm and tempest, to toss them upon the sea, and to 
overwhelm iheni upon the mighty deep, or to scatter them to the uttermost parts 
of the earth.- But, peradvenlure, should any escape Thy vengeance, collect them 
together again. Oh Lord! as in the hollow of Thy hand, and let thy lightnings 
play i.poK them" An invocation for the safety and suoces.s of Col. Tallmage's 
command then followed. 

Hollister's Hist, of Conn., — 2 vol. pp. 390, 391. 


it, withdrew their former assent to the Constittition of the 
United States, and resumed their original powers as sove- 
reign, free and independent States, and notice of the ordinances 
of secession was received, their senators and representatives with- 
drew from Congress, with insulting denunciations and threats 
towards the remaining loyal States of the Union. Better speci" 
mens of insolence, braggadocio, and intolerable, foundationless, 
arrogance, was never expressed in any language, than by these 
retiring braggarts, and crime-steeped despots. They had been 
guilty of the meanness, as well as disloyalty of retaining their 
seats as long as possible, to act as spies on the efforts of the gov- 
ernment for its safety, and to thwart every well-directed effort for 
the salvation of the country No such unparalleled conduct was 
ever before witnessed in the transactions of all the former traitors 
of the world. Treason, long projected, and secretly working to 
accomplish its purpose, was rampant everywhere — in the cabinet, 
in the Supreme Court, in both Houses of Congress, in the Array, 
in the Navy — everywliere. Never had traitors less cause for their 
crime. They had the full control ot every department, and could 
carry their plans without '' let or hindrance " No considerable 
party in the union claimed the right, or even desired to interfere 
with their cherished institution of slaveiy in the States where it 
then existed. It had however become repugnant to the great na- 
tional heart, that that accursed institution should be extended into 
territory then free. The free legions of the North were fully de- 
termined to resist its further extension. This was the sole sub- 
ject of dispute. 

Immediately, on the assembling of Congress at its Session in 
Dec. 1860, numerous efforts and plans of compromise were brought 
forward by a large number of Senators and Representatives, and 
the subject of pacification was almost the sole theme of earnest 
discussion during the whole of the Session of 1860-61, and quite 
up to the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln as President, on the 
4th of March. 1861. Committees of thirteen and thirty-three 
were appointed, for the express ])urpose of devising some rational 
means of reconciliation ; but all to no purpose It had been pre- 
determined, on the part of the slave interest, that there should be 
no reconciliation. The slaveholding leaders thought their ])laiis 
were so well laid, that they could disrupt the union, erect a slave 
confederncy, the corner-stone of which should be human bondage, 
foi-m a new constitution, to which the free North would beg ad" 


mission, except, perhaps, New England, which was to be " uncer- 
emoniously left out in the cold," and Washington was still to be 
the capital, but it was to be the capital, not of the nation of the 
stars and stripes, but of a new confederacy, governed by a slave- 
holding aristocracy. 

During these months, there was great excitement throughout 
the South, and seven States had seceded from the union before 
the inauguration of Lincoln. Forts, arsenals, post-offices, custom- 
houses and sub-treasuries were seized, the Indian Fund, of some 
six millions of dollars, was stolen, all the public property in the 
seceded States was confiscated, the traitor. Gen. Twigs, delivered 
up in Texas, the major part of our whole little army, and the 
Northern arsenals were emptied of hundreds of thousands of arms 
by the traitor cabinet officer having them in charge, who caused 
them to be sent South. In every way, the loyal men of the nation 
were crippled, while a well-arranged plan for the captui'e of Wash- 
ington, before the inauguration of the new President, seemed only 
to have been prevented by the special interposition of God. Well- 
raatured plans for the assassination of the President-elect, as he 
should pass through Baltimore on his way to the capital, came 
near a bloody consumation. By a secret and skillful manoever 
only, executed by night, was it possible to avoid the bloody death, 
which came to that patriotic and glorious man a little more than 
four years later. Meanwhile the servile Buchanan looked on in 
helpless imbecility. He wrote a piteous message to Congress, in 
which he argued, that while the States had no right to secede, the 
government, under the Constitution, had no right to prevent them 
by force. And thus the tide of treason rolled resistlessly on. 

" While the excitement was thus rapidly deepening and extend- 
ing, the 4th of March drew nigh, when the President elect was to 
be inaugurated in Washington. Rumors filled the air, that he 
was to be assassinated on his passage through the Slave State of 
Maryland. Great anxiety was felt for his safety, as the desperate 
character of a portion of the populace in Baltimore, through which 
city he would naturally pass, was well known. On the 11th of 
February, he left his home in Sjiringfield, Illinois, intending to 
make a brief visit in the leading cities on his route. In the fol- 
lowing touching address he took leave of his fellow-citizens at the 
railroad depot : 

"My friends! No one, not in my position, can appreciate the 
sadness that I feel at this parting. To this people I owe all that 


I am. Here I have lived more than a quarter of a century. Here 
ray children were born, and liere one of them lies buried. I know 
not how soon I shall see you again. A duty devolves upon me 
which is perhaps greater than that which has devolved upon any 
other man since the days of Washington. He never would have 
succeeded, expept for the aid of Divine Providence, upon which 
he, at all times, relied. I feel that I can not succeed without the 
same Divine aid which sustained him. In the same Almighty Being 
I place my reliance for support, and I hope you, ray friends, will all 
pray that I may receive that Divine assistance, without which I 
can not succeed, but with which, success is certain. Again I bid 
you all an aifectionate farewell." » 

Mr. Lincoln received an enthusiastic ovation from all, without 
distinction of party, in all the cities and towns at which he stop- 
ped on his way to Washington. 

At Philadelphia, Mr. Lincoln's reception was as enthusiastic as 
in New York. He there attended upon the ceremony of raising 
the United States flag over the Old Hall of Independence. After 
appropriate ceremonies, the President raised, hand over hand, the 
glorious banner to the sixmmit of the staff. On this occasion he 
uttered the following memorable and heartfull words ; 

"I have often inquired of myself what great principle or idea 
it was that kept this Confederacy so long together. It was not 
the mere matter of the separation of the Colonies from the mother 
land ; hut that sentiment in the Declaration of Inclejyenclence which 
gave liberty, not alone to the people of this country, hut I hope to- 
the world, for all future time. It was that which gave promise, 
that, in due time, the weight would be lifted fi-om the shoulders 
of all men. This was a sentiment embodied in the Declaration 
of Independence. Now, my friends, can this country be saved 
on this basis ? If it can, I shall consider myself one of the hap- 
piest men in the world, if I can help save it. If it can not be 
saved on that principle, it will be truly awful. But if this country 
can not be saved without giving up that principle, I was about to 
say, I would rather be assassinated on this spot than surrender it. 
Now, in my view of the present aspect of affairs, there need be 
no bloodshed or war. There is no necessity for it. I am not in 
favor of such a course, and I may say in advance, that there will 
be no bloodshed, unless it be forced upon the Government, and 
then it will be compelled to act in self-defense. 

Abbott's Hist, of the Civil War in America." 


"My friends, this is wholly an unexpected speech. I did not 
expect to be called upon to say a word when I catne here. I sup- 
posed that it was merely to do something toward raising the flag- 
I may, therefore, have said something indiscreet. I have said 
nothing but what I am ready to live by, and, if it be the pleasure 
of Almighty God, to die by." 

"In Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania, the same enthusiasm 
greeted the President which had thus far accompanied him through 
every stage of his journey. Again the President nttered those 
conciliatory and peaceful sentiments which constituted so essen- 
tial a part of his generous nature. He was conducted to the hotel 
in a barouche di'awn by six white horses, and accompanied by a 
very imposing military array. In response to the address of wel- 
come, he said : 

"I recur, for a moment, to the words uttered about the military 
support, which the General Government may expect from the 
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in a proper emergency. To 
guard against any possible mistake, do I recur to this. It is not 
with any pleasure, that I contemplate the possibility tliat a neces- 
sity may arise, in this country, for the use of the military arm. 
While I am exceedingly gratified to see the manifestation upon 
your steets of the military force here, and exceedingly gratified 
at your promise here to use that force upon a proper emergency, 
I desire to repeat, to preclude any possible misconstruction, that I 
do most sincerely hope that we shall have no use for them; that 
it will never become their duty to shed blood, and most especially 
never to shed fraternal blood. I promise that, so far as I may 
have wisdom to direct, if so painful a result shall in any wise be 
brought about, it shall be through no fault of mine." 

" To go from Harrisburg to Washington, it was necessary to pass 
through the slaveholding State of Maryland, and through the 
City of Baltimore, where the spirit of secession had manifested 
itself in its most envenomed type. The loyal citizens of Balti- 
more were preparing to give the president a courteous recei)tion. 
The partisans of the slaveholders had formed a conspiracy for his 
assassination. The plan was discovered by the police. It consist- 
ed in getting up a riot, very easily accom])lished in Baltimore, at 
the depot, during which the unarmed and unprotected President 
was to be stabbed or shot. The detectives who ferreted out the 
plot, assumed to be secessionists from Louisiana. The conspira- 
tors were to mingle with the crowd, pretending to be friends of 


the President, when, at a given signal, a great tumult was to 
be raised, and some were to shoot at him with their pistols, and 
others to throw hand grenades into his carriage. In the inevitable 
confusion the assassins expected to escape to a vessel waiting for 
them in the harbor, which would convey them to Mobile, in Ala- 
bama, where they would be safe from all harm. General Scott 
and Senator Seward had been apprised, by the police, of this dan 
'ger, and immediately dispatched Mr. Frederick W. Seward, a son 
of the Senator, to Philadelphia, to inform Mr. Lincoln of his peril. 
After consultation with friends, it was deemed advisable, in the 
then excited state of the country, when even a slight disturbance 
would plunge the country into all the horrors of civil war, that 
Mr. Lincoln should frustrate the plans of the conspirators, by 
taking an earlier express train, and passing through Baltimore 
incognito, as an ordinary traveler. The wisdom of this decis- 
ion ^Qw now, upon reflection, will dispute. Mr. Lincoln receiv- 
ed this information at Philadelphia, but, according to his plan, 
proceeded to Harrisburg. 

"After the public reception at Harrisburg, the President, with a 
few of his confidential friends, retired to his private apartments, 
in the Jones House, at six o'clock in the evening. As he was 
known to be weary with the toils of the day, he was exposed to 
no interruptions. As soon as it was dark, he, in company with 
Col. Lamon, unobserved, entered a hack, and drove to the Pennsyl- 
vania railroad, where a special train was waiting for him. The tel- 
egraph wires were in the mean time cut, so that the knowledge of 
his departure, if discovered or suspected, could not be sent abroad- 
The train reached Philadelphia at 10|^ o'clock that night. They 
drove immediately across the city to the Baltimore and Washing- 
ton depot. The regular night ti'ain was just leaving, at \ past 11. 
The party took berths in a sleeping car, and, without any change, 
passed directly through Baltimore to Washington, where they ar- 
rived safely, and all unexpected, at ^ past 6 o'clock in the morn- 
ing, Mr. Lincoln did not find it necessary to assume any disguise, 
but journeyed in his ordinary traveling dress. 

" The Hon. Mr. Washburn, of Illinois, who had been privately 
informed of the arrangement, was at the station to receive the 
.President. They drove directly to Willard's Hotel, where they 
were met by Mr. Seward, The active agents in this infamous 
plot were of course well known by the detectives; but it was 
deemed, at that time, desirable to avoid everything which could 


add to the excitement of the public mind, ah-eady so sorely agi- 
tated. The President-elect thus silently entered Washington, 
Saturday morning, February 23. The news of his arrival was 
immediately flashed over the land, and the next day his family 
entered the city by the special train designed for the Presidential 
party." • 

"By this time it had become quite evident, that the secession- 
ists wished for no compromise. They felt strong, sure of success, 
and with unflinching determination advanced in their measures to 
break up the Union, form a Confederacy of the Cotton States, 
on a thoroughly pro-slavery Constitution ; then draw in the bor- 
der States, which without any doubt would be eager to follow them, 
and then, through their partisans in the Middle and North Western 
States, draw those States in, and thus thoroughly reconstruct and 
reunite the country, leaving New England out, in a cold corner, 
to be attached to Canada, or, if independent, to be so weak as to 
be quite at the disposal of the great pro-slavery republic, which, 
grasping Cuba and Mexico, would overshadow the whole land. 
The plot of the secessionists to seize defenseless Washington was 
so palpable, and manifestly so feasible, surrounded as it was by 
slaveholding Virginia and Maryland, that even President Buchan- 
an became alarmed. General Scott was there urging him to de- 
cisive measures. During the first week in January, General Scott 
had succeeded, with some difficulty, in collecting about three 
hundred troops in the vicinity of Washington. President Bu- 
chan was excessively averse to any show of power, lest it might 
be reo-arded as a menace, by a foe whom he dreaded, and who 
had gained almost entire dominion over his mind. 

" On the 4th of February, forty-two of the secessionists met in 
Montgomery, Alabama, representing the States of Alabama, Flor- 
ida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and North 
Carolina. They proceeded immediately to organize a new nation, 
the Southern Confederacy, to consist of the above-mentioned seven 
Slates, and such others as might subesequently be added. And 
then these forty two men chose Jefferson Davis, President, and 
Alexander H. Stephens, Vice President of the Southern Confede- 
racy. In all the Southern States there were large numbers op- 
posed to all these measures of revolt, and in some of the States 
there were, undoubtedly, a decided m^'ority ; but the leading 

t Abbott's Hist, of the Civil War, p. 64. 


slaveholders had got the power entirely in their hand.'*, and all op- 
position was overawed. On the 18th, Jefterson Davis was inau- 
gurated Piesident, at Montgomery. 

"These forty two delegates, without the slightest misgivings, 
undertook to revolutionize a nation of thirty millions. They 
deemed themselves umpires from whom there was no appeal. They 
framed a Constitution, adopted articles of Confederation, chose a 
President and Vice-President, confirmed Cabinet and Ministerial 
appointments, and set in operation all the machinery of what they 
believed would prove a powerful and perpetual government. 
History affords no parallel to such an audacious usurpation. The 
people had no voice in the organization of the government. And 
yet so sagaciously was the whole thing managed, that the igno- 
rant masses at the South were led as obediently as slaves on the 
plantations. Those who ventured to utter the slightest murmurs 
were instantly silenced with the most inexorable cruelty. 

''No American can write such nan atives about his own coun- 
trymen without extreme reluctance. But these facts must be 
known, or one can not understand how every voice of opposition 
was silenced at the South. The ap])arent unanimity at the South, 
was simply the silence enforced by the bludgeon, the lash, the hal- 
ter, and the stake. Hume has remarked upon the barbarizing in- 
fluence of slavery in ancient Rome. Its influence has been equally 
debasing in our own land. Its influence upon woman's character 
has been still more mai'ked than upon the character of men. That 
there are noble men, and lovely and lovable women at the South, 
all must gladly aflirm. The writer knows many such, whose mem- 
ory he must ever cherish with affection. But this rebellion has 
proved beyond all dispute, that such aie the exceptions. It is the 
unanimous declaration of our army, that the venom exhibited by 
the secession females of the South was amazing and very general. 
Ladies, so called, would spit upon our soldiers in the streets of 
Baltimore. One clergyman testifies that a woman, a member of 
his church, whom he had always considered a worthy member, 
said to him, that "she would be perfectly willing to go to hell, if 
she could but shoot a Yankee first." Another /wf^y said, to a gen- 
tleman who related it to the writer, that she hoped yet 'to sleep 
under a blanket made of the scalps of Noithei'ners.' " 

While such outrageous proceedings were carried on by active, 
malignant traitors, the })coj)le of the free States were waiting 
quietly, but with intense latent emotion, for the inauguration of 


Abraliam Lincoln as President, Nothing could be hoped for while 
Mr.;Buchanan remained in the Presidential chair. He, himself; 
Avas probably tlie most impatient man in the United States for the 
hour to arrive in which he could retire. But, the secessionists 
had no idea of allowing President Lincoln to be inaugurated. To 
be sure, they had tailed in their plans to assassinate him on his 
journey to the capital. But they were still quite confident of their 
ability to seize Washington, and make it the capital of their new 
confederacy, and they were fully determined to carry out their 
wicked designs. Mr. Abbott, in his history of the Civil War has 
so admirnbly described the state of affairs at the date of the inau- 
guration, that it is thought well to give the account of it in sub- 
stantially his woixls. 

"The week preceding the 4th of March, when Mr. Lincoln was 
to be inaugurated, was one of intense solicitude and excitement. 
The air w\as filled with rumors of conspiracies, to prevent the in- 
auguration by a bloody tumult, and by seizing the Capital. Wash- 
ington was thronged with stranu;ers, many from the South, armed 
with bowie-knives and revolvers. Apparently there would have 
been but little difficulty in a few thousand men, at a concerted 
signal, making a rush which would sweep all opposition before 
them. Gen. Scott and Secretary Holt were in the meantime ma- 
king quiet, bnt effectual preparations, to meet any emergency. An 
important military escort was provided to conduct the President 
to the Capitol, and back again, after the inauguration, to the 
W hite House. 

"The eventful morning dawned propitiously. At an early hour, 
Pennsylvania Avenue was thronged, the center of attraction being 
Willard's Hotel, where, thus far, the President elect had occupied 
apartments. The procession began to form about 9 o'clock. It 
was very brilliant and imposing. One very striking feature was, 
a large triumphnl car, the Constitution, bearing thirty-four very 
beautiful girls, robed in white, as representatives of the several 
States. It was thus manifest that the government had no idea of 
recognizing the Union as dissolved. Mr. Buchanan and Mr, Lin- 
coln sat, side by side, in the carriage. They ascended the steps 
of the Capitol arm in arm. It was noticed tliat Mr. Buchanan 
looked pale, sad, and nervous ; he sighed audibly and frequently. 
Mr. Lincoln's face was slightly flushed, and his lips compressed, 
with an expression of much gravity and firmness." 

The President elect took his stand upon the platform of the 


portico of the Capitol. Tlie Supreme Court, the Senate, the House 
of Representatives, the Foreign Ministers, and a vast crowd of 
privileged persons, soon occupied every seat. A countless throng 
filled the grounds below, a surging mass of friends and foes. There 
were exasperated secessionists, watching for a chance to strike a 
blow, and pure patriots ready to repel that blow, at any hazard of 
life. Senator Baker, of Oregon, introduced the President to the 
people. Mr. Lincoln then, with strength of voice which arrested 
every ear, delivered his inaugural address. Speaking of secession, 
he said : 

" Phj^sically speaking, we cannot separate, — we can not remove 
our respective sections from each other, nor build an impassable 
wall between them. A husband and wife may be divorced, and 
go out of the presence and beyond the reach of each other ; but 
the different parts of our cour.try can not do this. They can not 
but remain face to face; and intercourse, either amiable or hostile, 
must continue between them. Is it possible, then, to make that 
intercourse more advantageous or more satisfactory after separa- 
tion than before? Can aliens make treaties easier tlian 
friends can make laws? Can treaties be more faithfully en- 
forced between aliens than laws can among friends ? Suppose you 
go to war; you can not fight always, and when, after much loss 
on both sides, and no gain on either, you cease fighting, the iden- 
tical questions, as to terms of intei course, are again upon you." 
In reference to the policy to be pursued, he said : 
" To the extent of my ability I shall take care, as the Constitution 
itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be 
faithfully execrated in all the States. Doing this I deem to be 
only a simple duty on my i)art. I shall perfectly perform it, so far 
as is practicable, unless my rightful masters, the American people, 
shall withhold the requisition, or, in some authoritative manner, 
direct the contrary. I trust this will not be regarded as a menace, 
but only as the declared purpose of the Union, that it will consti- 
tutionally defend and maintain itself. In doing this, there need 
be no bloodshed or violence, and there shall be none, unless it is 
forced upon the national authority. The power confided in me 
will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places 
belonging to the government, and collect the duties and imposts; 
but l)eyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be 
no invasion, — no using of force against or among the people any- 


Mr. Lincolji closed his noble inaugural with the following words, 
alike firm and conciliatory : 

"In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in 
mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will 
not a sail you. You can have no conflict witliout being yourselves 
the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy 
the government; while I shall have the most solemn one to ' pre- 
serve, protect, and defend it.' I am loth to close. We are not 
enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion 
may liave strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The 
mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field and 
patriot grave, to every living heart and hearth-stone, all over this 
broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again 
touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our na- 

The oath of office was then administered by Chief Justice Ta- 
ney; the procession was again formed, and Mr. Lincoln was es- 
corted to the White House. 

For several weeks preceding the inauguration, that grand old 
patriot and war-worn hero, Lieut. Gen. Scott, had been quietly 
collecting the scattered fragments of our little regular army, and 
transporting them to Washington. By the 4th of March, he had 
in this way gathei'ed about a thousand effective and reliable men, 
and a few pieces of artillery, for the defense of Washington and 
the peaceable inauguration of the new President. During the 
ceremonies, he was standing by one of the guns, which were 
]>lanted in such a way as to do fearful execution, in case of any 
attempt at violence on the pait of the secessionists, ready to give 
directions in any emergency that might arise. When those glo- 
rious, patriotic and immortal words of the new President rang 
out upon the clear, still air, in thfe ears of the breathlessly listening 
thousands, and were reported to the old veteran, as he stood firm- 
ly, though anxiously at his post of duty : — " You have no oath 
reglstereil in Heaven to destroy the government^ while I shall have 
the most solemn one to '• preserve, protect and defend it,'' "— in spite 
of military rule, he could not help exclaiming: — 'Thank God! 


To the surprise and disgust of the rebels, the President had 
been peacefully inaugurated, they had not been able to seize 
Washington, and many of their fondest calculations had not been 
realized. Thejr remaining plans were, therefore, more desperately 

1114 H I S T O K Y OF ANCIENT ^^" O O D B U R Y . 

carried on all over the South. It was not possible, with their views, 
for the secessionists, after all their long years of preparation, and 
after all their insolent bluster, to come back, and ask for terms of 
arrangement. Nor would it do to delay. Every moment passed 
in inaction was a moment lost to the cause of the rebels. Their 
blows must be sudden and decisive, to avail them anything. Ac- 
cordingly, at half-past four, on the morning of the 14th of April, 
1861, fourteen batteries in Charleston harbor, manned and sustain- 
ed by ten thousand men, opened fire upon Fort Sumter, and the 
flag of the United States, thus inaugurating civil war in all its hor- 
rors, with tremendous energy. This formidable array was op- 
posed by about eighty soldiers of the United States, shut up with- 
in the fort, too few to man a tithe of its guns effectively. After 
a fierce bombardment of about 36 hours, and throwing against 
the beleaguered fort 2,361 solid shot, and 980 shells, it was agreed 
that the gallant little garrison should surrender the fort, on being 
allowed to take away all their individual and company property, 
their side arms, and their war-scathed flag, which they were to 
salute with a hundred guns before they hauled it down. Such 
were the terms demanded by Major Anderson, and accorded to 
him — after he was compelled to surrender. 

"The battle now ceased. The fire was ere long extinguished, 
having destroyed nearly everything combustible, and the wearied 
men had a night of such rest as could be found in the midst of the 
ruins which surrounded them. About half-past 9 o'clock on Sun- 
day morning, the evacuation commenced. The booniing of can- 
non echoed over the bay, as the heroic and indomitable band sa- 
luted the Flag, sinking from its staff, and then, as with the proud 
step of victors, the band playing '' Yankee Doodle" and "Hail 
Columbia," they marched oiit of the main gate, with the Stars and 
the Stripes waving over them, and entered the transport Isabel, 
which conveyed them to the United States Ship Ilaltic, in the 
offing, by which they were carried in trium{)h to New York. 

" Fort Sumter was the Bunker Hill of this Civil War. In both 
cases, a proud aristocracy were determined to subject this country 
to its sway. In both cases, the defeat was a glorious victory. 
This little band of heroes withstood the attack of an army, pro- 
vided with ihe heaviest batteries which Europe and America 
could aftbrd. For thirty-six hours they contined the unequal con- 
flict. And then, when they had not another cartridge to fiie, and 
not anotlier biscuit to divide, they evacuated the ruins, the Stars 


and Stripes still waving over theni, and they stepping proudly to 
the air of "Hail Columbia." The nation regarded it as a victory, 
and welcomed them as heroes. And the people of the United 
States will never cease to regard each member of the intrepid gar- 
rison of Fort Sumter with admiration and homage. 

" The avowed object of the rebels, in their attack upon Sumter, 
was to cross the Rubicon in the actual inauguration of civil war, 
and thus to "fire the heart of the South." It was supposed that 
the South, being thus committed, M'ould be compelled, by pride, 
to continue the conflict, for southern pride would scorn to enter" 
tain the thought of apology and submission. This outrage upon 
our country's flag, this inauguration of civil war, which was to 
cost near half a million lives, to impoverish countless families, and 
to imperil our national existence, was received throughout the re- 
bellious cities, with all the demonstrations of pride and joy. Those 
who still loved their country did not dare to utter a remonstrating 
word, for an iron tyranny crushed them. 

"But the uprising in the North was such as the world never 
witnessed before. The slaveholders at the South had so long been 
threatening blood and ruin, that the North had quite ceased to 
regard their menaces. There was hardly a man to be found in all 
the North, who had any idea that the Southern rebels would ven- 
ture to commence civil war. The bombardment of Sumter created 
universal amazement and indignation. As the news of the insult 
to the national flag, of the battle, and of the capture of the fort 
by the rebels, was flashed along the wires, excitement, perhaps 
unparalleled in the history of the world, pervaded every city and 
hamlet, and almost every heart. All party distinctions seemed to 
be forgotten. There were henceforth but two parties in the land, 
— the rebels with their sympathizers, and the friends of the Union. 
" On the next day, Monday, April 15, the President issued a call 
for three months' service of 75.000 volunteers, and summoned an 
extra session of Congress to meet on the 4th of July. The re- 
sponse of the loyal States to this call for troops was prompt aiid 
cordial in the highest possible degree. Never perhaps were a 
people found less prepared for war, than were the people of the 
Northern States. Accustomed only to peace, and not anticipating 
any foe, many of tlie States had not even the form of a military 
organization. All the energies of tjie people were consecrated to 
the arts of industry, not to those of destruction. We had neither 
soldiers nor officers. The men who had received military educa- 



tioii at West Point, weary of bavins: absolutely notbing to do, 
but to wear away tbe irksome bours, in some fort on tbe sbore or 
in the wilderness, bad generally engaged in otber pursuits. Tbey 
had become civil engineers, railroad superintendents, instructors 
in scientific schools, and thus had become in reality merely civil- 
ians who had studied tbe science and theory of war, but with no 
practical acquaintance with the duties of tbe field. 

" Tl)is was not our shame, but our glory. We were men of peace 
and industy, and of great prosperity. We had not dreamed that 
traitors would rise to plunge this happ\ land into anarchy, and to 
destroy this best government, — best, notwitstanding all its imper^ 
factions, — earth has ever known. Floyd had emptied the arsenals, 
and placed tbe guns in the bands of the rebels. Our little stand- 
ing army, consisting of but 10,755 men, officers and jn-ivates all 
told, he bad scattered at almost illimitable distances over our vast 
frontier. Mr. Buchanan's Secretary of the Navy bad equally dis 
persed tbe fleet; in fact, our neglected navy had fallen almost into 
decay. And more than all this, the majority of the officers in the 
army and in the navy, were men of slavebolding connect'ons, 
many of whom openly avowed their sympathy with the rebellion, 
and they bad become so lost to all sense of honor, that tbe betray- 
al of the Flag which they bad sworn to protect, — a deed which all 
tbe rest of the world called infamous, they deemiid chivalrous. 
Such was the condition of the North, when the war commenced " 

Mr. Cameron thus describes the condition of the War Depart- 
ment, as he entered upon its duties : 

" Upon my appointment to tbe position, I found the department 
destitute of all the means of defense; without guns, and with lit- 
tle prospect of purchasing \\\e materiel oi war. I found the nation 
without an army, and I found scarcely a man throughout tbe whole 
War Department in whom I could put my trust. The Adjutant 
General deserted. The Quartermaster Genei-al ran off. The Com- 
missary General was on his death-bed. More than half the cleiks 
were disloyal. I remember that upon one occasion General Scott 
came to me, apparently in great mental tribulation. Said he, 'I 
have spent the most miserable day in my life ; a friend of my boy- 
hood has just told me I am disgiacing myself by staying here, and 
serving this fragment of tbe government, in place of going to 
Virginia, and serving under ^the banner of my native State; and 
I am j)ained to death.' But the old hero was patriotic, loyal, and 


wise enough to say that his friend was wrong, and he was riglit 
in remaining where he was." 

" The unanimity with which the whole Nortli arose, in this cri" 
sis, all party differences being merged in enthusiastic devotion to 
the Union, is one of the most extraordinary events of history. 
Men who but a few days before had been bitterly hostile, were at 
once standing side by side, upon the same platform, in earnest co- 
operation to resist the audacious rebellion. Senator Douglas, one 
of the candidates for the Presidency, at this crisis, came forward 
with zeal and power, which will forever entitle him to the grati- 
tude of his countrymen. The overflowing mnjority of his party 
followed their illnstrious leader in the magnanimity of his patriot- 
ism. On the 1st of May, Senator Douglas reached Chicago, Illi- 
nois, on his return from Washiugton. He was met at the depot, 
by an immense assemblage of citizens, who conducted him in a 
triumphal procession to the great " Wigwam," where ten thousand 
persons, of all parties, were seated, awaiting him. The Senator 
'addressed them in the following strain, which thrilled the heart 
of the nation, and which will give him ever-duriug and gr-nelul 

"'I beg you to believe that I will not do you or myself the in- 
justice to think that this magnificent ovation is personal to myself. 
I rejoice to know that it expresses youi devotion to the Constitu- 
tion, the Union and the flag of our country. I will not conceal 
gratification at the uncontrovertible test this vast audience pre- 
sents — that, what political diflferences or party questions may have 
divided us, yet you all had a conviction that, when the country 
should be in danger, my loyalty could be relied on. That the 
present danger is imminent, no man can conceal. If war must 
come — if the bayonet must be used to maintain the Constitution — 
I say before God, my conscience is clean. I have struggled long 
for a peaceful solution of the difticulty. I have not only tendered 
those States what was theirs of riglit, but I have gone to the very 
extreme of magnanimity. 

"The return we receive is war, armies marched upon our Cap- 
itol, obstructions and dangers to our navigation, letters of marque 
to invite pirates to prey upon our commerce, a concerted move- 
ment to blot out the United States ot America from the map of 
the globe. The question is. Are we to maintain the country of our 
fathers, or allow it to be stricken down by those who, when they 
can no longer govern, threaten to destroy ? 


" What cause, what excuse do disunionists give us, for break- 
ing up the best Government, on which the sun of heaven ever 
shed its rays? They are dissatisfied with the result of the Presi- 
dential election. Did they never get beaten before? Are we to 
resort to the sword when we get defeated at the ballot box f I 
understand it that the voice of the people expressed in the mode 
Appointed by the Constitution, mast command the obedience of 
every citizen. They assume, on the election of a particular can- 
didate, that their rights are not safe in the Union. What evidence 
do they present of this? I defy any man to show any act on 
which it is based. What act has been omitted to be done? I ap- 
peal to these assembled thousands, that so far as the constitutional 
rights of slaveholders are concerned, nothing has been done, and 
nothing omitted, of which they can complain. 

"There has never been a time, from the day that Washington 
was inaugurated first President of these United States, when the 
rights of the Southern States stood firmer under the laws of the 
land than they do now ; there never was a time when they had 
not as good cause for disunion as they have to-day. What good 
cause have they now that has not existed under every Adminis- 
tration ? 

" If they say the territorial question — now, for the first time, 
there is no act of Congress prohibiting slavery anywhere. If it 
be the non-enforcement of the laws, the only complaints that I 
have heard, have been of the vigorous and faithful fulfillment of 
the Fugitive Slave Law. Then what reason have they ? 

" The Slavery question is a mere excuse. The election of Lin- 
coln is a mere pretext. The present secession movement is the 
result of an enormous conspiracy formed more than a year since, 
formed by leaders in the Southern Confederacy more than twelve 
months ago. 

"But this is no time for the detail of causes. The conspiracy 
is now known. Armies have been raised, war is levied to accom- 
plish it. There are only two sides to the question. Every man 
must be for the United States or against it. There can be no neu- 
trals in this war ; only patriots — or traitors. 

"Thank God, Illinois is not divided on this question. I know 
they expected to present a united South against a divided North. 
They hoped, in the Northern States, party questions would bring 
civil war between Democrats and Republicans, when the South 
would step in, with her cohorts, aid one party to conquer the oth- 


er, and then make easy prey of the victors. Their scheme was 
carnage and civil war in the North. 

"There is but one way to defeat this. In Illinois it is being so 
defeated by closing up the ranks. War will thus be prevented on 
our own soil. While there was a hope of peace, I was ready for 
any reasonable sacrifice or compromise to maintain it. But when 
the question comes of war in the cotton-fields of the South, or the 
corn-lields of Illinois, I say the farther off the better. 

" I have said more than I intended to say. It is a sad task to 
discuss questions so fearful as civil war ; but sad as it is, bloody 
and disastrous as I expect it will be, I express it as my conviction 
before God, that it is the duty of every American citizen to rally 
around the flag of his country. 

" I thank you again for this magnificent demonstration. By it 
you show you have laid aside party strife. Illinois has a proud 
position — united, firm, determined never to permit the Govern- 
m'ent to be destroyed." 

Such is a brief account of the origin and successive events in 
the opening of our great civil war. It remains for us to recount, 
in the succeeding pages, the part which Ancient Woodbury took 
in the Great Rebellion, giving the names and deeds of the heroic 
men who went forth to battle from our midst, at the call of our 
imperiled country, some of whom lie peacefully sleeping on many 
a glorious battle-field, all over our union, or within the honored 
and sacred enclosures of our beautiful National Cemeteries. 

In the very opening of this foithful record of Woodbury's pat- 
riotic doings, in the great war of the ages for the immortal prin- 
ciples of liberty, the author has the happiness to say, that this 
ancient town, which has been true and faithful in all the confiicts 
which have arisen since 1(370, in maintenance of the true princi- 
ples of a free government, wei'e, in this final conflict of ideas, 
with some few solitary exceptions, in the cases of men with minds 
diseased, — an unit in defense of the glorious old flag, and the con- 
stitution of our fathers. This is well to be said by tlie author, 
who, from the first liour of the conflict, felt the great issues of the 
hour in the marrow of his bones, and was sensitively jealous of 
every exhibition of weakness, of faltering, or the slightest taint 
of treachery, under any circumstances, to the flag of the free. 

As soon as the news arrived in town, that the rebels had opened 
fire upon Fort Sumter, and thus inaugurated a war against the 
honor and integrity of the Union, a patriotic ardor and wild en- 


thusiasni seized every heart. At the suggestion of leading citi- 
zens, the town eoraraittees of" the Republican and Democratic par- 
ties issued a joint call for a mass meeting of all citizens, irrespec- 
tive of party, to take counsel in regard to the perils of the hour, 
and the proper measures of defense to be taken in common with 
the patriotic citizens throughout the land. 

The following brief account of this meeting is taken from the 
Litchfield Enquirer, printed at the time, and shows the unanimity 
that prevailed among us. 

" Union Meeting. — The crisis in our national affiiirs, caused j 
the citizens of Woodbury to assemble en masse, on Tuesday eve- ■ 
ning, the 2.Sd instant. Hon. N. B. Smith was called to preside^ 
assisted by C. H. Webb, M. D., C. W. Kirtland, Lewis Judd' 
Henry Minor, William Cothren, James Huntington, Nathaniel 
Smith and G. H. Peck, Esquires. Vice-Presidents; R. J. Allen and | 
G. P. Allen, Esquires, were appointed Secretaries. | 

" A committee, consisting of Wm. Cothren, James Himtington ] 
and C. H. Webb, was appointed to prepare resolutions for the 
consideration of the meeting, and, during their absence, A. N. 
Lewis, Esq., sung " The Star Spangled Banner," with thrilling ef- | 
feet; and Nathaniel Smith, Esq., with his usual eloquence — in a 
stirring speech — caused the cord of patriotism to vibrate with un- 
wonted vigor. The Committee on Resolutions reported the fol- ■ 
lowing : — 1 

"■ JResolved, That this meeting, assembled irrespective of party 
affiliations, under a deep sense of our duties as citizens of a common 
country, do hereby declare that we have a deep and abiding trust 
in the jirinciples of our fathers, in the constitution and laws of the 
United States, and the benign influence of our institutions. 

" Besolved. That the present is not the time f<>r political discus- 
sion or abstractions ; for our country is in danger, to perpet- 
uate and sustain it is the duty of every good citizen ; and to up- 
hold and support the President in his patriotic endeavors, no man, 
who is not an alien to all that makes our government dear to us, 
will hesitate to pledge his life, his fortune, and his sacred honor in 
this our greatest peril. 

'■' JResolved, That, as we have prospered under the old flag of 
the Union, ive cannot and will not desert it now, but that we are 
ready, if need be, to lay down our Ywes in its defence. 


"These Resolutions, after a full and truly patriotic discussion, 
iu which Messrs. W. T. Bacon, Jas. Huntington, Wm. Cotlircn, 
A. N. Lewis, C. H. Webb and Lewis Judd, paiticipated, were — 
with the enthusiasm which now marks New England — unani- 
mously adopted. 

" Wm. Cothren, Jas, Huntington, Charles S. Dayton, Sidney 
Hurd and William C. Beecher, were chosen a committee to solicit 
volunteers for the defence of our National Flag. 

"G. P. Allen, Nathaniel Smith and R. I. Tolles were designated 
a committee to solicit aid for the families of the volunteers. A sub- 
scription paper was immediately circulated, but when our repoiuer 
saw it, only two names appeared on it, namely, Wm Co;liren and 
Daniel Curtiss, each having subscribed $500. Mr. Cothren, in ad- 
dition to his subscription, pledged the nett income of his business 
during the war. ' 

" The volunteers were organized on Saturday, the 2'7th inst., 
and the following officers were appointed : — 

" Captain^ — Josiah G. Beckwith, Jr. 

'•^'ist Lieut^ — Wilson Bryant. 

" 2cl Lieut.,— Gao. E. Harris. 

" Orderly Sergeant, -Heni'y M. Dutton. 

" Sergeants, — DeGrasse Fowler, Wm. H, McKay, Chas. N, New- 
ton, Richard Spring. 

" Corporals, — Burton Downs, Calvin A. Hubbard, Albert Win- 
ton, Geo. A, Chatfield. 

"Tlie name taken by the Company is the ' Woodbury Rifle Co.' " 

Before this meeting closed, thirty-two young men had volun- 
teered for the defence of the country. Woodbury was in advance 
of the neighboring towns in its patriotic outburst, and men in 
the latter, impatient to obey, with alacrity, the call of duty, 
came in from all quarters, to join our brave volunteers. 

The subscription paper, alluded to in the foregoing report, was 
as follows, being drawn amid the excitemevit and noise of a crowd- 
ed public meeting. It shows the forethought, as well as the pat- 
riotism of the citizens: — 

" We, the subscribers, agree to pay the sums set against our 
I'espective names, to Thomas Bull, Esq., from time to time, as they 
shall be called for, for the purpose of fitting out one hundred sol- 
diers fioni this town, for the LTnited States' service ; and more par- 

' This promise was carried out to the letter. 


ticularly, for the purpose of supporting the families of the soldiers 
who shall enlist, during their absence in the service of the United 
States. If one hundred soldiers volunteer, then we are to pay the 
whole of the following sums:— if a smaller number, then we are 
to pay pro rata, according to the number who shall enlist. 

Woodbury, April 23, 1861. 


William Cothren, .... $50000 

Daniel Curtiss, ..... 500,00 

— and a multitude of others. 

Within a few days, by the judicious efforts of the enlistment 
committee, a company was gathered to go to the succor of imper- 
illed Washington. But such was the ardent uprising in the 
State, that the three Regiments called for by the Governor, were 
much more than filled before notice of our patriotic contribution 
was received. These three regiments were enlisted, as was our 
company, for three months. Immediately, there was a call for 
men to enlist for three years, or during the war, and our noble 
company, which had enlisted only for the former term, with undi- 
minished ardor, signed enlistment papers for three years. They 
were to join Colt's Revolving Rifle Regiment, but as that organ- 
ization was afterwards given up, they finally became Co. E. of the 
5th Regiment Conn. Vols., under Col. O. S. Ferry. This change 
gave the volunteers time to drill here for a time, instead of 
marching at once, without drill, or experience. They drilled here 
several weeks, and became quite proficient for raw recruits, and 
finally were ordered to Hartford. 

Daring these hurried days, it wais gratifying to see with what 
zeal all the inhabitants entered into the spirit of preparation, and 
hastened on the glorious volunteers. Contributions, in various 
sums, came in from all sides; alike, from the humblest and from 
the highest. All, priest and people, entered into the great work. 
As an example, the Committee, while urging on their work of re- 
cruiting and collecting supplies for the soldiers and their families, 
(there were no bounties, then, family, or other bounty,) received 
the following letter from Rev. Charles E. Robinson, D. D., now 
pastor of a church in Troy, N. Y. : — 


" Hon. William Cothren, Dr. C. H. Webb, and others of the Com. 
mittee for recruiting in the town of Woodbury : — 

Gent: — Enclosed you will find |30, which I desire you to use 
for the best interests of our volunteers^ with the most earnest 
prayers, and sincere, good wishes of their friend, and yours, — 

Charles E. IIobinson." 

During the five weeks succeeding the patriotic meeting referred 
to, the volunteers were busy drilling, the Committee in recruiting, 
and the citizens, particularly the ladies, in soliciting contributions 
of every thing useful for the soldiers, who were to go in haste to 
the front. Havelocks for the head, needle-books, towels, clothes, 
shoes, and red-flannel shirts, were prepared and distributed to the 
brave boys, who exhibited in turn a grateful recognition of their 
zeal and kindness. At length, the company was called to go to 
Hartford, to join Colt's Regiment, as they supposed. On Satur- 
day, the 18th day of May, the company, which had, from the color 
of the flannel the ladies had given them, gained the sobriquet of 
the " Woodbury Reds," but who called themselves the Woodbury 
Valley Rifle Company, "fell in," and after marching through the 
principal streets of the village, partook of refreshments in the 
grounds of the writer, where a large portion of the inhabitants 
of the town had assembled, to cheer them, on their departure for 
the unknown results of their patriotic .venture. They were es" 
corted, by some of the leading citizens, to Hartford, preceded by 
the Woodbury Drum Corps. The streets were crowded with cit- 
izens, who made themselves hoarse with enthusiastic cheering. 
Flngs floated everywhere, while every window was crowded with 
patriotic ladies, waving handkerchiefs, and in every way manifest- 
ing their respect and approval of the departing braves. At Water- 
town, the reception was no less enthusiastic, and as to the recep- 
tion in Waterbury, the following is taken from the American of 
that date : — 

"The Woodbury Troops. — The Woodbury Valley Company 
C. in Colt's Revolving Rifle Regiment, left Woodbury for Hart- 
ford on Saturday last, accompanied by some of the principal citi- 
zens of that place. At Waterbury, the Co. was received by Mayor 
Bradley, and was escorted by the Union Spear Co. and a large 
body of citizens, to Brown's Hotel, where refreshments were serv- 
ed. The Co. was then escorted to the depot, where eloquent and 


pitriotic addresses were made by Mayor Bradley, H. B. Graves, 
S. W. Kellogg, and Win. Colhren, Esqrs., and by Dr. J. G. Beck- 
with, of Litchfield, who furnishes two sous for the Company, one 
of whom is the Captain. 

"The Company arrived at Hartford about 5^ o'clock P. M.. and 
after marching through the principal streets, went to their quar- 
ters in Colt's sleambo it depot, a commodious and excellent place. 
The Company was highly complimented by the citizens and sol- 
diers in Hartford, and were pronounced to be one of the finest 
companies that had yet arrived, in drill, appearance, and good be- 
havior. They will give a good account of themselves. 

"Previous to their departure for Hartford they passed the fol- 
lowing resolutions : — 

'•'•Resolved^ That our best thanks are due to, and are hereby ten- 
dered to the ladies of Woodbury for their indefatigable labors in 
fitting out our soldiers for the service of the United States in Col. 
Colt's Revolving Rifle Regiment. 

'■^ liesolved, That onr thanks are hereby tendered to those of 
Woodbury who have aided in fitting us out for said service, and 
we are determined to do them honor under the flag of our 

" Resolved, That we are under especial obligations to William 
Cothren, Esq, who has been untiring in his efforts to promote our 
welfare, and has shown himself to be an honest man, a most libe- 
ral friend, and a patriot in the highest sense." 

The gathering, subsisting during the weeks of drill, and fitting 
out of this first com]iany furnished by the town, though there 
were no bounties in this early stage of the war, cost not less than 
a thousand dollars. It is only by considering these ever-accruing 
small items of expenditure of the war, in every town and hamlet 
in the entire North, that we ai-e able at last to grasp an idea of 
the vast total that the late rebellion cost our government and 

This " first offering " of our old town, as they marched away 
from their homes in our beautiful borders, officers and men, were 
as follows : — 

Captain, — Josiah G. Beck with, Jr. 

\xt iiew.^.,y- Wilson Wyant. 

Id Lieut., — George E Harris. 

Orderly Sergeant, — Henry M. Dutton. 


Sergeants, — DeGrasse Fowler, William H. McKay, Richard H. 
Spring, and Charles N, Newton. 

Corporals, — Burton Downs, Calvin A. Hubbard, Albert Win- 
ton and George A. Chatfield. 


Philip H. Wells, Joseph Marshal!, 

Wm. II. Cone, James L. Warner, 

John Ledger, Frank Martin, 

Purnet Bronson, Franklin Newton, 

Gardner Stockman, George S. Beck with, 

Seth M. Reynolds, Wilhelmo Sommers, 

George McCan, Philo A. Hamlin, 

DeWitt C. Curtiss, Arnold Haymaker, 

Dodge, Andrew Budge, 

John M. Quinn, Ransom P. Tomlinson, 

Trueworthy IMunger, William Barton, 

Robertson, Edward Knickerbocker, 

Edward A. Root, Joel F. Sellick, 

Wm. C. Barry, Myron G. Bishop, 

Edwin D. Bishop, Wm. Kensilor, 

Henry Booth, Charles A. Squire, 

John Gordon, Richard Condon, 

Hugh S. Gosley, Charles Gosley. 
Henry M. Dawson, 

After the arrival of the Company at Hartford, it was recruited 
to the full standard, and Col. Colt's organization having been given 
up, it joined the 5th Regiment, under Col. Ferry, and was after- 
wards known as Co. E. of that organization. As such it partici- 
pated in all tlie arduous campaigns in which that Regiment was 
engaged, crowning its glorious record by participating in Gen. 
Sherman's grand march to the sea! 

Subsequently to the disastrous battle of Bull Run, and others in 
the spriiig of 1861, there was a lull, and an apparent unwilling- 
ness on both sides of the fight to risk more than was necessary in 
actual conflict, while they both were leisurely engaged in collec- 
ting, arming and drilling their numerous legions. Col. Ferry was 
ordered, with his Regiment, in July, to guard the Upper Poto- 
mac in Maryland. This was a dry, distasteful, dull duty, quite 
ditferent fi'om the stirring scenes which the soldiers expected, 
when they " left for the front." When the "Woodbury Reds" 
left Woodbury, it was still judged injudicious to march our 


troops through Baltimore, but tliey were sent round by An- 
napolis. Not yet had Gen. Butler taken possession of that rebell- 
ious city, which had massacred some soldiers of the glorious Mas- 
sachusetts sixth, as it was hastening to the rescue of the capitol 
of the Nation. The writer will ever have a vivid remembrance 
of that foul deed, as a near relative was among those who shed 
this first blood to preserve the integrity of the Union. Wood- 
bury, too, has an abiding interest in this first glorious act of Gen. 
Butler, in silencing the traitorous city, and opening the way to 
Washington for the passage of the loyal troops of the North to 
the capital of their country ; for he is of Woodbury origin. His 
grandfather, Capt. Zephaniah Butler, who fought under Wolflfat 
Quebec, was a native of Woodbury. 

At the Waterbury ovation to our Woodbury Boys, on their 
way to join their Regiment at Hartford, frequent allusion was 
made by the speakers to their "marching through Baltimore," 
and at every such mention, the air rung with their cheers, and 
with the stern avowal, that they would " march through Balti- 
more," and they did, — thanks to the Avise and vigorous action of 
Gen. Butler. Being assigned to patrol duty, it was not much to 
their liking, and they pined for more active duty. In their rough, 
soldier way of expressing it, they were "spoiling for a fight," and 
the squelching of the rebellion. Their letters from camp at this 
time, to friends at home, were full of this complaint about their 
enforced inactivity. A few extracts fiom letters received by the 
author at this time, will show this more fully. They will also 
show how the soldiers felt in regard to that small number of per- 
sons, who somewhat faintl} clamored for peace. It is these out- 
pourings of the heart, written on the spot, and with all the feel- 
ings of the supreme hour, that give us the clearest pictures of the 
soldier-hearts, that were in the great contest. 

The first letter is from Capt. Robert G. Williams, of Co. G., 4th 
Conn. Vols, afterwards the 1st Conri. Heavy Artillery. He was 
the last pastor of the 1st Congregational Church in Woodbury, 
and the people had a great interest in his movements, when it was 
known that an irresihtible, conscientious impulse compelled him to 
enlist in the armies of the Union. 

" Camp Abercrombie, ) 
Hagebstown, Md., July 31st, 1861. ) 

"William Cothren, Esq — My Dear Friend, — Yours of the 
6th of July was received by due course of mail. I was very soon 


detailed, with a portion of my Company, to do escort duty for a 
train of baggage wagons to Martin-^burg, which occupied two 
days. The next day after my return I was taken sick, and re- 
mained so for two weeks, and have not yet fully recovered. 

"On the 4th of July, the left wing of the Regiment was ordered 
to Williamsport, to protect stores and provisions there, the Divis- 
ion under Gen. Patterson having been ordered forward. The day 
was very hot, we marched slowly for us, and only reached Camp 
at dark. We bivouaced. T ate my supper just at 12 P. M. At 
2 A. M., an alarm raised us all, but it was only an alarm. In the 
morning we moved Camp and remained there more than a fort- 
night, expecting to move every day. We had orders to hold our- 
selves in readiness to march at a moment's notice. Detachments 
of our Companies were continually sent over to Virginia, and 
made several captures from the rebels, of various value. One 
party wont ten miles and back, during the darkness of one night, 
and took a rebel Captain (Mr. Geary) whom they found hid be- 
tween two feather beds. 

" On Saturday last, I was ordered to report, with my whole 
Company, at this place in the A. M. — We left the camp at Wil- 
liamsport at 5 A. M., and reached this place at 6-20 A, M., a dist- 
ance of six miles. I was obliged to ride, and the Company came 
on under the 1st Lieut., who remained in the rear, and allowed 
the men to come as they pleased. I overtook the Company just 
as it reached here. We are highly complimented for cur march 
it being really before breakfast. 

" I advised the men to stop at a spring about half way, and eat 
the breakfast they brought with them. They had their knap- 
saks, haversacks, canteens and arms. I am happy to report, that 
Company G. is at the head of the Regiment for discipline and 
drill. Some of the rest do not like it very well, but such was my 
aim and purpose. 

"I am writing now in front o^ my tent, and also witnessing 
their gymnastics. They are forming a pyramid, five men at the 
base, four in the next tier, three in the next, and one or two in the 
next. With the tiers they easily march around the street. Often, 
one take.^ another on his shoulders and marches all around the 
Camp. Many of them turn somersets, handsprings, &c , and with 
the musket are equally ready. 

" Our Regiment is doing nothing but guard duty, which is not 
so actively military as we had hoped, but we have obtained a good 


reputation among the people of Ilagerstown and Willianispovt, 
who have sent a petition to Head Quarters, asking that we be de- 
tailed to remain at these two places in preference to any other 
Regiment. Some of the Pennsylvania and Maryland Regiments 
have behaved rudely, and even cruelly to the inhabitants. 

"Two of my Company have been discharged. I wish you to 
say to Perry Lake and Walter Wliitcock, that I have places for 
them. I wish they would wi'itc to me. 

Very truly yours, 

R G. Williams." 

" Camp Wooster, 
Hancock, Maryland, Aug. 13, I861- 

Dear Cothren : 

I have just received your welcome letter. I sincerely thank 
you for your interest in oui- " Woodbury Boys," and in return will 
write you as often as I have an opportunity. There is but little 
news here at present. We expect marching orders every day. 
Our boys are all eager for fight, but I do not think we shall have 
much of it to do at present. I thiidv we shall be called to Point 
of Rocks, about eight miles northeast of this place, soon. The 
rebels are trying to cross the river at that ])lace, but we do not in- 
tend to let them do it. Leave tliat to the Connfcticut boys. 
Never fear but I shall do my duty. I shall never flinch in the 
hour of battle. Never will I cease to fight against the traitors, 
that would destroy our beloved Union, and that Constitutional 
liberty which Washington and our forefathers fought and bled for. 
I do not wish to return home till truth and justice triumph over 
cruelty and oppression, and not till the name of every lead- 
ing traitor shall be blotted from every page of decent history, to 
be enrolled on the roll of iufmiy. 

'■ Yesterday, six of us went out on a scouting expedition, and we 
captured an old man and his son— both rebels. The son has for 
the past two weeks been acting as a spy. 

"I read your letter to the " boys" in my tent, and at its close 
they gave three cheers for " old Woodbury " and three more for 


you. You see we do not forget old friends. The "boys" often 
speak of you, I wish you were here with us. 

"We hear there are some secess;ionists and "peace men" in 
Connecticut. We cannot understand this. How there can be 
traitors in our good old State we cannot conceive. It strikes with 
a deadening force our brave and enthusiastic soldiers. They 
ought to have our experience with the rebels for a little while. 
Notliing can so much injure the success of our army as to have 
the impression prevail among the men that their toils and dangers 
are ill-appreciated at home, or that there is any considerable party 
there which would glory in our defeat. 

''Jack Ledger and James Warner are both with our Company, 
and are doing well. Capt. Wyant is well and thanks you for the 
interest you take in his men. Military life suits me exactly. Our 
men are improving in drill every day. I will inform you of all 
our movements. 

Youi's ever for the Union, 

William H, McKay." 

"Hagarstown. Maryland, 
Aug. 16th, 1861. 

Dear Friend: — I thank you for your very excellent letter, 
which came to hand evening before last. It was filled with more 
news tiian any I have had since I left Connecticut, and contained 
what I wanted to know — the common incidents of Woodbury 
life. It brought up the pt ople before me as in review, and their 
familiar faces passed before me with all the distinctness of former 
years. With the names came also old recollections ; scenes, as 
you say, very different from my present surroundings. But &uch 
is life! change is written on the whole of it. I have for years 
feared civil war would overtake this country, but did not expect 
it so soon. I supposed my course would surprise my fi-iends, es- 
pecially as few of them knew the steps by which I was led to take 
it. My blood almost boUed when reading the accounts of South- 
ern treason, and 1 felt a growing desire to do something myself 
to punish it. It was very easy to read and cry — " Wliy do not 
they rise and put it down ? " — I could not satisfactorily answer the 


question — "Why do not I join the rising hosts?" Passing 
through New Haven, to and from Berlin, where I supplied the 
pulpit six Sabbaths, and seeing the troops there marshalling to 
defend the best government the world has known, and finding 
among them many old friends and companions-in-arms, of my early 
days, I could no longer restrain myself. I supposed all that I 
could do would be to go as Chaplain, and made application accord- 
ingly. But no Chaplains were to be appointed, at least then. And 
when the students from Middletown came to me and said they 
wanted me to go with them as Captain, and chose me partly be- 
cause I was a Minister, and when for weeks every former and re- 
cent acquaintance (besides my wife and children) said I ought to 
go, I could not refuse. And so here I am. I have thrown myself 
into the service of my country. If my life is the price of her sal- 
vation, I freely offer it. It is too good a country, too good a gov- 
ernment, to be allowed to be overthrown without the must despe- 
rate efforts to maintain it. 

All the troops of our regiment leave for Frederick, Md., this 
P. M. You will, therefore, please direct to that place. We have 
made a long stay here, and the people are very unwilling that we 
should go. They say the place has .not been so quiet and orderly 
for fifteen years, as since we have been here, and they have twice 
sent in petitions to have us remain, but we obey orders and leave. 
" I should like to close this as Paul does some of his epistles, es- 
pecially to the Romans, requesting yon to salute all my friends 
by name, but I have not time. Please give ray kindest regards 
to all my friends and all the patriots of Woodbury. I give you a 
special commission to do this to our very kind friends, Mrs. Whit- 
lock and family. I expect Walter to come on and join my Com- 
pany soon. — I would like to have two or three more from Wood- 
bury — true men and faithful — come into my Company, as I have 
a few vacancies. 

" Last, but not least, I send my best regards to your good wife, 
and again to all, and remain. 

Yours most truly, 

R. G. Williams." 


'* Sandy Hook, Maryland, [ 
Aug. 16th, 1861. i 

" Dear Friend , — I received your letter in due course. The 
war news here is favorable for our side. We have gained a sub- 
stantial victory in Missouri, though we have had the misfortune 
to lose General Lyon. Old Connecticut may be proud of the 
early distinguished martyrs she has furnished in this war. Ells- 
worth, Ward, Farnham and Lyon, constitute a company of distin- 
guished names not to be excelled by those of any State, who have 
in this war yielded up life for the principles of freedom. 

" Since I wrote you, I have been out scouting, with some men 
from our Company, and we were quite successful. We wished to 
capture a spy living three miles over the mountain. We went 
well armed with our rifles. I had also a revolver which our Cap- 
tain lent me. This, with our sabres, made us hard fellows to fight 
against. We had arrived within half a mile of the place when 
we met an elderly man. We questioned him closely, and as his 
answers did not prove to be satisfactory, we tied his hands and 
took him along with us. We had proceeded but a short distance, 
when we discovered the trail of a horse. We followed it, and 
soon found both horse and rider. I ordered him to "halt," or I 
would shoot him. Thi^ had the desired effect; he evidently did 
not like our looks. We found him to be the old man's son, and 
the spy we were after. After looking around for others, we start- 
ed for camp with our prisoners, proud of capturing two armed 
men. We delivered them over to our oflicers, and they will be 
tried as traitors on the 16th inst. So, you see, we are making a 
small beginning in executing the duties we came here to perform. 
Yours truly, 

• Wm. H. McKay. 

" Harper's Ferry, Aug. 24, 1861. 

" Dear Friend : — We arrived safely at Harper's Ferry after 
many delays. We could not go by the direct rouie, because the 
rebels had destroyed all the bridges. We went from New York 
to Elizabethport, and thence to Baltimore. At Baltimore we were 



received very cordially. A large number of the citizens of both 
sexes congregated at the Depot, and about the cars, and greeted 
us with cheers, assuring us that their sympathies were enlisted in 
our behalf. I received many little tokens from the ladies of Bal- 
timore — some of which I mean to send you. 

"All we at present have to do, is to go on picket duty, and on 
guard. I think we shall go out scouting in a few days. We have 
already taken four of the enemy. All that we have seen have 
proved to be very cowardly. The reports about the battle of Bull 
Run arQ very much exaggerated. I have seen quite a number of 
men that were in the battle, and our loss was comparatively small 
to that of the rebels. As to our position here, we are so strongly 
fortified, that it would be impossible for the whole Southern force 
to take us. There are thirty Regiments encamped within one 
mile of us — in fact, all of our best troops, under Gen. Banks, are 
here. Regiments are coming in daily. We are in possession of 
all the batteries this side of the river as far as you can see. Four 
of them I can see as I write, I have, this morning, a fine view of 
Maryland Heights, where one of our strongest batteries is located. 
These batteries are so located, that they can sweep the river as far 
as one can see. The woods are full of game of all kinds. We 
have plenty of good spring water here close by our camp-ground. 
We have a plenty of tents, but I prefer, in this hot climate, 
sleeping on the ground, my rubber blanket under me, and 
my woolen one over me, with my knapsack for a pillow. 

"There is no chance for a fight, and I think it is the intention 
of General Scott to concentrate as large a force as possible, and 
wait until cooler weather before he gives the rebels battle. If he 
should do this, you may expect me home in the spring. 
Yours truly, 

William H. McKay." 

"Frederick, Md., Sept., 1861. 
"Dear Friend Cothren: — Your favor of the 30th ult. came 
to hand yesterday. I will write a letter soon for the public, giving 
my views of " peace '' meetings. It will make war for our people 
at home to cry iox peace till treason is punished and rebellion sub, 
dued. I came to save our country from a Cataline conspiracy, 


whicli aimed to destroy our liberties, and the best government the 
world has ever known. And now, for timid do-nothings and dol- 
lar-lovers to crouch around the kitchen corners and cry — " Don't ! 
— let them alone ; war will ruin us ; better give up," will make 
the war closer home, for I cannot see how a true patriot can allow 
the country any other basis than that upon which our fathers 
planted it. And I hope there are patriots enough left to fight all 
traitors, even if near neighbors and own relations. If the wiping- 
out process must begin in New England, so be it. If this gov- 
ernment is overthrown, the light of the world is extinguished, and 
human liberty is put back into the dark ages. Self-government 
will be proven impossible, might Avill make right, and the weaker 
everywhere must serve the stronger. 

" I should like to hear some of those " peace meeting " speeches, 
and I should like to have the privilege of answering them. The 
makers and approvers ought to be consigned at once to the posi- 
tion and service of the slaves whose chains they would forever 
rivet, and whose bondage they are perpetuating, as well as extend- 
ing the area of slavery. 

"These States can never be occupied by two governments. 
One or many will be the governments of this country. If niany^ 
how long will peace exist between them? With custom-houses 
and police at every State boundary, traveling will be delightful, 
and commerce, now the life-blood of nations, will gradually dry 
up, and the petty Republics of the United States will be in one 
constant ague of fear of the power of all their neighbors. 

" What do these *' j^eace men" propose? Submission to Jeff. 
Davis? Let them go and wear his collar a little where he now 
rules. He has driven off a sister of mine and her husband from 
the home where they have always lived, and from the chui'ch and 
congragation to which he has preacliedfor txoenty years ?^\\^ more, 
because he loves the government Jeff. Davis once and again swore 
to sustain. 

*' Will they divide the country with him ? Show me the farmer 
who says yes, and I will go and squat on his farm, and if he ob- 
jects, I will cry — " All I want is to be let alone," and if he wants 
peace I will divide his farm with him, and be very peaceful till I 
become strong enough to take the whole. 

'"Perhaps you have thought me too phletmatic to become much 
excited, but my blood fairly boils when I think of this rebellion, 
and the ends sought by its authors, and I cannot think o'l peace 


till they who have disturbed our peace are so punished that they, 
nor any one else, will attempt to do it again while the earth re- 

Truly yours, 

R. G. Williams." 

" Camp Sherman, Frederick, Md., 
Auff. 29, 1861. 

" Dear Cothren : — I will improve the few moments I have to 
spare in giving you a little history of what we are doing at pres- 
ent. How long we shall remain here I cannot tell. The whole of 
Gen. Banks' Division has removed from Harper's Ferry, and at 
present we are but a few miles from Frederick city, near a little 
village called Hyatville. — Why we have removed here I cannot 
tell, unless the locality is better for sending the troops to any place 
where they may be wanted, at the shortest possible notice. We 
can send men to Washington or Harper's Ferry in a few hours. 
We are thirty miles from Washington ; twenty eight from Balti- 
more ; and thirty-one from Harper's Ferry. So you see our posi- 
tion is a good one. There must be as many as 40,000 men here 
under Banks, and we are so concealed by being encamped in the 
woods, that the enemy, or a stranger, would not suppose we had 
more than three or four regiments. We are encamped about sixty 
rods from the main road to Washington, and at the least alarm, 
could call together a sufficient force to destroy any force the reb- 
els could send against us. 

*' I see by some of the northern newspapers, that there are men 
who talk about a compromise with the South. Such a comprom- 
ise 1 sincerely hope the North will never make, till the rebels lay 
down their arms and cry for " peace " themselves. They neither 
offer or desire any peace, I say for one — "no coniprom,ise with 
traitors ! '''' I know it may cost the lives of many, but it is far 
better to sacrifice the lives of thousands of our men, and crush 
rebellion at once and forever, than to compromise with traitors, 
who, as soon as they could regain their strength, would renew 
their attempt more successfully than ever to destroy our beloved 
Union. I see some think this war will be a long one, but I do not. 
The government is prepared indeed for a long struggle, but what 
is to be done will be done speedily. The little reverses we have 


received at the commencement of the war have been a good lesson 
to us, for they have caused a reorganization of the whole Northern 
army on diiferent principles. Johnson with his army is in a des- 
perate condition. He is nearly surrounded by McClellan on one 
side and Banks on the other, ready to follow up any advantage 
that may be found. We feel sure of him. We may have march- 
ing orders at any moment. — The health of our Regiment is good. 
— only seven in the hospital. Tell our friends we will do our best 
for the honor of " Old Woodbury." 
Truly yours, 

R. G. Williams. 

"Camp Muddy Branch, ) 
Oct. 28th, 1861. \ 

"Dear Cothren; — I received yours this morning. Our regi- 
ment returned here last night, after a hard day's march. Gen. 
Bank's division was ordered to Edward's Ferry, where some of 
the Union troops were engaged with the enemy. We immedi- 
ately struck our tents and commenced our march. On arriving at 
the scene of action, we learned that the 15th and 21st Massachu- 
setts Regiments, under Col. Baker, had crossed the river and at- 
tacked the rebels. Before the arrival of our troops the rebels re- 
treated back towards Leesburgh, which is considered one of their 
strongholds. Our troops re-crossed the river and pitched their 
tents along the banks, and erected our batteries. I suppose this 
was done in order to have the rebels advance upon us. Gen. Mc- 
Clellan was here and had an interview with Gen. Banks. We re- 
mained here the whole of the next day and night, and on the 
next morning were ordered to march to our present camping 
ground. Gen. Williams is here, the commander of our brigade. 
What the object of our leaders is I do not know, but I think the 
fight at Edward's Ferry, and the large force we had occupying the 
position they did, was a ruse to mislead the rebels and have them 
withdraw their forces from some other position to defend this. 
It is evident they expected a hard fight, for they brought in their 
reinforements all night on the cars. It is reported here that we 
have gained a victory at Springfield. Whether this is so or not I 
do not know, but it is evident that some general movement is to 


be made soon. Gen. McClellan has so arranged his plans that the 
Generals under him can act in concert with him. To-day our com- 
pany are out on picket duty. We are placed along the lines of 
the Potomac for miles, and are within hailing distance of each 
other. We shall return to our camp to-morrow, when we are in 
hopes that we shall soon he called to join the whole Northern force 
in one glorious struggle for the Union. 

" When I was in Connecticut, I heard many say that when they 
were needed they would enlist (to all such I say come, we want 
you). If they could be with us and see the bodies of their dead 
comrades, and see how terribly their bodies were mutilated by 
Southern rebel cowai-ds, it would fan the little spark of patriot- 
ism within their breasts into a flame, and they would come out 
nobly and boldly unite with us in putting down one of the most 
accursed of rebellions the world has ever known. As we daily 
see more and more of the rebels, and witness their bitter hatred 
towards us, and their barbarous mode of warfare, which they 
manifest in thrusting the bayonet into the bodies of our wounded 
and dead, that fall into their hands, it destroys the feeling of sym- 
pathy that we have always shown, even to an enemy. I sincerely 
wish that every Northern man capable of bearing arms would 
unite, heart and hand, with us in putting this rebellion down, and 
restoring our beloved country to its former happy and prosperous 

*' The Woodbury Valley Rifle Company all send their regards to 
you and to our other friends. 

From your friend, 

William H. McKay." 

"Camp Lyon, Bank's Division, Sept, 1861. 

" Friend CoTHREN : — I have just received your letter. We 
left Frederick, Md., on Saturday last, at short notice, at daylight, 
knowing only that we were going towards Washington. We 
marched about thirteen miles over a rough Maryland road, and 
halted in an open lot at the foot of "Sugar Loaf Mountain," on 
which Gen Bauks has his observatory. We arrived here about 
dark, built some fires, and as we had no flag in sight, we were 


taken for a rebel Regiment. I was on gnard that night, as I al- 
ways happen to be when we are on a march. Signals were sent 
np for two or three hours, when, I believe, General Banks recol- 
lected there was a Fourth Connecticut Regiment coming down to 
join his Division, which saved us from an attack from our friends. 
On Sunday we marched thirteen miles more, over the roughest 
and poorest land in Maryland. We continued our march next 
day, and here we are now, nineteen miles from Washington. I 
think we are on the eve of a great battle. For two days past, 
there has been a constant stream of army wagons passing towards 
Washington, with provisions, clothing, &c. 1 am told 1,700 teams 
have passed in two days. 

" We have become well drilled, and are still drilling five hours 
per day. We think ourselves fully equal to any Regiment in 
these regions. A beautiful flag has been presented to our Regi. 
ment by Connecticut citizens of California, as being the first Con- 
necticut Regiment for three years in the war. I have a good deal 
of interest in this flag, as our Company is the flag Company of 
the Regiment. We shall, therefore, probably have a chance, par- 
ticularly, to defend this flag, and no rebel band will ever take it, 
as long as one man in our Company is left to defend it. 

" I should like to be in old Woodbury for half a day, but do 
not know as I shall ever see the town again, though I hear that 
General Banks thinks it will be but a short war. We are one mile 
from the Potomac. Johnson's army is on the other side of the 
river, a little below. We can see a plenty of the rebel Cavalry, 
and Avill have a brush with them if they cross the river. Let them 
come, if they think they have any business here — they will have 
a warm reception. Write often. It relieves the tedium of camp 
life to hear from friends. 

Yours very truly, 

William H. Proctor," 

"Camp Near Darnestown, Oct. 1861. 

Dear American. — I have been waiting for some new move- 
ment in our Brigade, or I should have written you before. There 
has been no new movement yet, though the various regiments 
have been concentrating near each other. The object of Gen- 


Banks is to have the men under him in the right place at the right 
time. The great trouble with most of our leaders has been, their 
men have been so scattered they could not be brought as reinforce- 
ments in time to be of any use. Our loss at the battle of Lex- 
ington does not discourage us. It is thought by all of us soldiers 
that Gen. Fremont will retrieve the loss, by re-taking all we have 
surrendered to the enemy. I sincerely hope it will prove in the 
end to our advantage. 

" All the men place great confidence in Gen. Banks. The strict 
discipline which he enforces in his Brigade only increases our con- 
fidence in him as an able leader. I think this month will make a 
great change in the aifairs of our government. We are thorough- 
ly prepared for battle, and ready to strike a blow at any moment. 
I think the people of good old Connecticut will soon hear news 
that will rejoice their hearts. I see that Connecticut is doing no- 
bly in raising troops for this war. Let all those who wish to take 
a part in the defence of our country, enlist immediately, and unite 
with us, who have preceded them in this most righteous contest. 
To the patriotic citizens of Woodbury, who have sent their sons, 
and used their money and influence for this war, to our friend, 
Mr. Cothren, the father of our Company, we send our sincere 
thanks, and hope in the day of battle to prove ourselves worthy 
of their kindness. 

Yours, ever, 

Wm. H. McKay." 

" Camp Ellswoth, Md., Sept. 14th, 1861, 
" Friend Cothren : — I have to plead guilty for not writing 
you, our best friend, before this time. You will have to pass sen- 
tence upon me for the utmost the law will allow, as I have no ex. 
cuse except the exigencies of the service in defence of our com- 
mon country. 

Almost all the men of Company E are well — there are a few 
cases of measles. The Woodbury Company has made great im- 
provement in drill since it left Hartford. It cannot be beat by 
any Company in the 5th Regiment. The whole Regiment is ready 
for a fight, or for any duty. They hold themselves ready to march 
at a moment's notice, night or day. We will, in any event give 


a good account of ourselves. We should be glad to have you 
give us a call at camp at any time. You would receive a warm 
reception from your Woodbury Company. — We have had several 
false alarms. I think that the great battle will be fought at the 
Chain Bridge, and if so, you will hear a good account from Coth- 
ren's Woodbury Rifles. 

Very truly yours, ^ 

Wilson Wyant, Captain Co. E., 
Fifth Regiment, C. V." 

"Camp Ellsworth, Md., Sept. 16, 1867. 
" Dear Cothren : — I have received some papers from you to- 
day, and by them I see that old Connecticut is not thoroughly 
purged from traitors yet, but the promptness with which all such 
sentiments are put down, shows that the people of Connecticut 
are true in their love for the Union. I can not but compare re- 
bellion at the North with that of the South. Rebellion at the 
North and South should be placed on a par. The strength and 
baseness of the one equals that of the other. — Every day we see 
the weakness of the South in her struggle with the North. Every 
day the South diminishes in strength in the same ratio that the 
North gains. Rebellion has been at its height — its end is near. 
The war news at present is not very exciting. In my last I told 
you we were expecting a battle every minute. We were told 
that the rebels, in considerable force, were making an attempt to 
cross the Potomac. The captains of each Company immediately 
gave their men 70 rounds of ammunition, and in a short time we 
were ready for battle. We soon found the report untrue, and all 
the men were disappointed in not having a chance at the rebels. 
We expect marching orders every day. I will write you as soon 
as we make another move, which we hope will be soon. Tell all 
the " Woodbury Boys " to hurry up, if they expect to take part 
in this struggle. 

Yours very truly, 

William H. McKay." 


1140 history of ancient woodbury. 

"United States Ship Savannah, 
Newport News, Virginia. 

Dear Friend: — I thought you might like to hear from the 
seat of war on the water, I have addressed several letters to my 
friends, but have received no reply. I am now hard at work pre- 
paring mess for eleven men, but that is not half they require of 
us. They wish us to do about six things at once; so I mast write 
in a hurry. I even sleep so fast, that I have no time to dream. 
"When we are at sea, the sleeping is done with our eyes open, ac- 
companied with pulling ropes at all hours of the day and night, in 
all kinds of weather. In the forenoon, at 10 A. M., our officer 
drills us, and you had better understand he drills us, too. After 
that we drill at the big guns. This ship carries twenty-five large 
guns, and two small Dahlgren guns. We have often been as far 
as Cape Hatteras, on the North Carolina shore, chasing Privateers, 
but, so far, they have proved too fast for us. We stopped a 
schooner on Sunday night, which claimed to be from Ireland. 
Our Captain let it pass, but a few days after, one of our Steam 
Frigates overhauled the same craft, and she proved to be a Pri- 
vateer, valued at $98,000, — too had for us to lose her. We might 
have had so valuable a prize if our officers had been a little 

I will now tell you about our first fight with a Rebel steamer. 
She came down about midnight from Norfolk, and gave us a fair 
challenge to fight by raising a red flag. She fired two shots at us 
before we could get our guns to bear on her. I am 2d Captain of 
the after pivot one inch gun. We put in a ten second shell, but 
it fell short of her, bursting in the air. We then used fifteen 
second shells, and those came near striking her. She was nearly 
four miles distant from us. You Avill think this a great distance 
to be fighting with an enemy, but great as it is, the Privateer 
made the best shots. She had a rifled canon, and fired nineteen 
shots, ten of which whistled through our mizzen rigging, directly 
over our heads. One ball struck the mainmast about forty feet 
from deck, cutting away the iron band and about one-third of the 
mast. I tell you the boys began to look wild as the splinters flew 
about their ears. At every shot we fell flat on our faces, and held 
our breath as the balls struck on the other side of the ship. Ev- 
ery moment we expected the balls to crash through the bulwarks, 
and send us to the other world. One shell exploded under our 


ship, and it made everything tremble. As soon as the men could 
get the ship around broadside, we opened our port battery upon 
them, throwing shot and shell in quick succession. The Union 
troops on shore fired their rifled cannon, and it soon became so 
hot that the rebels left. The next day a flag of truce came down 
from Norfolk, sending a dispatch to our Captain, asking him how 
he liked their shots, and saying, that they would take or 8i!)k all 
the ships we could bring here, as they were coming down with 
three steamers to take us to Norfolk in less than three days. Our 

ships here are the Yorktown, Germantown and . We have 

not seen their ships yet. We doubt very much whether they can 
do that little job! Our Captain sent back word to them, that he 
had the best men that had ever shipped on board ship. He said, 
before they took the Savannah, there would not be enough left of 
it to carry ofi". 

" We hold ourselves ready for instant action, sleeping on our 
arms ; our guns are sighted and primed, and ready for any ship that 
approaches us. I shall ever try to do my duty in the great cause 
in which I have enlisted, hoping to see you again when " war's 
dread blast is over. 

From your friend, 

James H. Manville." 

" Camp on the Potomac, near Muddy Branch, ) 
Sunday, Nov. iVth, 1861. ) 

"Friend Cothren; — Sunday in New England and Sunday in 
Maryland ; in one the deep toned bells are calling its quiet, church- 
going inhabitants to their accustomed places of worship ; rough 
visages are clean shaved, dirty ones are washed, clean collars? 
clothes-brushes, boot-blacking, &c., are in great demand. In the 
other, rattling drums are furiously sounding the hour of inspec- 
tion, knapsacks are being packed, ramrods are continually jingling 
in burnished guns, careless fellows, who never know where their 
accoutrements are, are rummaging around for haversacks, cart- 
ridge-boxes, canteens, &c. Orderlies are loudly calling for their 
respective Companies to " fall in ; " lazy ones, at the eleventh hour, 
are hurriedly rubbing a rusty gun, or scouring a corroded belt- 
plate ; regimental bands are roaring Yankee Doodle or Hail Co- 


lumbia, the signal for guard mounting ; such is Sunday on the 
Potomac. — Company A, returned from picket on the river late 
last night. We slept none during our twenty-four hours' picket 
duty, and consequently myself as well as the rest do not feel very 
wide-awake to-day. But your letter of Nov. 11th is by me un- 
answered. McKay is unable to write you, and it devolves upon 
my dull comprehensiveness to keep you posted. There is not 
much news outside of our own camp. 

"The favorable accounts of our naval expedition spreads a 
gleam of satisfaction on almost every countenance, and furnishes 
a theme of conversation and speculations as to what will be done 
next, to occupy our minds during leisure moments. 

" Col. Ferry has returned to us safe and sound. He appeared 
quite suddenly among us last Thursday afternoon. He came in 
wrapped up in a large rubber overcoat, but despite his disguise he 
was recognized, and cheer upon cheer rent the air, greeting him 
with the warm welcome of soldiers who love and respect their 
commander. But the enthusiasm with which he was received was 
redoubled when it became known that he brought the paymaster 
with him. And to crown all, in the wake of the paymaster fol- 
lowed the sutler's wagon, returning from Washington, laden with 
cakes, candies, oysters, and all the available good things he could 
lay hands on in Washington. 

" We received our two months' pay, 126.00, with an additional 
belief in the unbounded i-esources of Uncle Sam's pocket. We 
have got an eye open for Col. Irish, who promised to visit us in 
November. He will find the 5th as eager to do business with him 
as they ever were. 

" But among all that is pleasant, I must also write the reverse. 
Friend McKay is seriously ill. He has a severe attack of neural- 
gia and rheumatism combined. He is now in Captain Wyant's 
tent, where everything for his comfort is done. I see him three 
or four times a day. To-day he is a little better. Should any 
change for the worse take place, I will immediately write you. 

" Hoping this will find you in as good health and spirits as my- 
self, I remain, 

Yours truly, 

Gardiner Stockman." 

history of ancient woodbury. 1143 

" Camp Trumbull, Nov. 18, 1861. 

"Friend Cothren; — Yours of the 12th came duly to hand 
and I was glad to hear from you. The 6th Regiment boys are 
making good progress in their drill. We expect that we shall go 
into winter quarters in a few days at Rockville, Md. It is getting 
rather cold here to stay in our tents much longer. Our Colonel 
has recovered from his sickness and rejoined his Regiment. The 
5th has received its two months pay, and our boys will send home 
to their friends some eight thousand dollars, which speaks well 
for the 5th Regiment. Your friend McKay is some better ; I took 
him to my tent and am doing all I can for bira. My duty, or the 
duty of the Regiment, is mostly picket guard duty on the Potomac 
river. We guard some six miles of the river. I had the pleasure 
of being a witness to some fighting or skirmishing on the Virginia 
side of the river at Edward's Ferry. I think if the 5th Regiment 
has a chance, it will give a good accout of itself. We should like 
to see the light of your face down here. William sends you his 
best respects. I don't think that the 5th Regiment can be beat 
by any volunteers that have been in the field no longer than it has 
been. Spring, Dawson, Raymaker, Root, and all the Cothren Ri- 
fles are doing well except McKay, and he will soon get well. I 
have a stove in my tent. So you see that McKay will be taken care 
of. I shall do all I can for him, not only on your, but on his own 
account, for William is a good boy. Please to write often. The 
" boys " all like to hear from you, for you are a good friend to the 
" boys," and we all thank you for what you have done for us. 
Yours truly, 

Wilson Wyant, 
Capt. Co. E., 5th Regiment." 

*' Camp Burnside, Annapolis, Md., ) 
Dec, 26tb, 1861. ) 

" Friend Cothren : — I promised to write you often, and I have 
waited a long time, hoping to have something important to write 
you, or, at least, to inform you we had arrived at some important 
place, and were ready to serve our country effectively. It has 


seemed as though we should never be ready to start, but it is most 
probable that we shall go in Gen. Burnside's expedition, some- 
where, the first or second week in January. There are some 
twenty-five or thirty transports here to take us off. A new dock 
is being built to facilitate the loading of military storesr It has 
been a very poor place for landing. 

The city is a very old looking phice. The houses are poor and 
look deserted. We see now and then a white person, and plenty 
of pretty good looking " darkies," but we have no intercourse 
with the people here. 

" The Woodbury boys in Capt. Smith's Company are all very, 
well, fat and hearty, with enough to eat and that which is good. 
We like Uncle Sam's business first-rate, and are ready at all times 
(as are all of Capt. Smith's company) for a fight. In fact, " we 
are " t-;piling for a fight," and we hope to arrive at the lower end 
of Dixie pretty soon. We drill 4|^ hours each day, and are as well 
drilled as any regiment in the field. When it comes to fighting, 
give us the Woodbury and Waterbury boys, say we. We have 
had three or four division reviews. There are twelve Regiments 
of infantry, one of cavalry, and one of artillery already here in 
readiness for the expedition. The 11th Regiment, C. V., arrived 
here last Friday, and i, were we to see some more of the Con- 
necticut boys. Roderick Freeman and Daniel Taber came amongst 
the rest. Rod, though he is colored and cannot go in the ranks, 
chooses to go with the Woodbury boys, as cook and waiter. 

"We have lost one man in our Company and there is another 
man out of A. dead at the hospital. Our Regiment is pretty 
healthy — only fifteen or twenty in the hospital. 

" The news has just come into camp that England is going to 
help tlie rebels. Let her come on. The North is ready for her. 
I am ready and willing to spill my blood, if necessary, to help 
teach her to mind her own business, and such is the determination 
of all the boys/ 

" Our division, which is the largtst yet organized, is all eu 
camped in sight. The transports are being loaded rapidly, and 
we shall soon be off to some important point, when you may ex- 
pect to hear a good account of us. 

Yours truly, 

John E. Tuttle." 

* This brave young soldier fell at the Battle of Antietatn, pierced by a bullet 
through the heart — a modest but noble sacrifice for the salvation of his country. 


Hancock, McL, Jan. 21, 1862. 

" Dear American : — It is a long time sinae I have heard from 
the vicinity of home, or seen a copy of your paper, so I write you 
a few lines in this time of general army inaction. The 5th Kegi- 
ment is encamped at Hancock, some sixty miles north of Frede- 
rick City, Maryland. The rebel general, Jackson, is about six 
miles from our lines, and has under his command some fourteen 
thousand men. Our third brigade, with that of Gen. Kelly, num- 
bers about fifteen thousand men, and as soon as the Potomac shall 
fall so that our men can get across, I think we shall give him bat- 
tle. The Potomac has risen some twenty five or thirty feet during 
the late rains, and it is impossible to cross at present. 

" The cry of both men and officers is ' over to Dixie's land.' 
V\ e are all tired of inactive camp life. We had much rather en- 
ter on active duties, finish up the business, and come home, than 
to be loitering here. For some months, we have not understood 
why we did not fight, and whip out the rebels, but suppose it is 
all right, and that there is some good reason, though we 'do not 
see it.' The duty of the soldier is to obey, and we do that cheer- 

"The most of the 'Cothren Rifles,' Company E., are in good 
health and spirits ; Raymaker, Root, McKay, Spring, Dawson, the 
brothers Bishop, and rdl the rest send their kind regards, I have 
been sick of late, and am boarding with a private family till I am 
better. Am improving slowly, and hope Lo be 'all right' soon. 

"Our Regiment has just been paid its two months' wages, and 
a large part of the whole is being sent to friends at home. 

"About the first of the montli-, we heard our fiiend and father 
of our Company, Mr. Cothren, of Woodbury, was on his way to 
visit us, and were very much disappointed when he failed to reach 
us. Our regret was greatly increased when we learned that he 
was unaV)le to continue his journey to us from Washington on ac- 
count of his illness. We greatly hope he will ' try again ' to see 
us, soon. 

Yours truly, 

Wilson Wyant, 
Capt. Co. E., 5th Reg't C. V." ' 

This letter was written to the editor of the " Waterbury American." 


The foregoing letters, written in the spirit of the hour, while 
the influence of the vast conflict which had been inaugurated was 
strong upon the hearts of all, have been introduced to show how 
the enthusiasm of the time transformed the humblest in our com- 
munities into heroes, and how those who had received only a com- 
mon school education, and had perhaps never been called to write 
a specimen of English composition in their lives, were enabled? 
under the inspiration of patriotic fervor, correctly to appreciate 
the great principles involved in the contest, and to correctly, elo- 
quently and forcibly express them in these communications to 
friends. Not one of the writers of the preceding letters had re- 
ceived any thing but the advantages of our common country 
schools, except the Rev. Mr. Williams, and it is submitted that 
these productions compare favorably with those of men who have 
received the honors of our Universities. They show, too, how the 
events transpiring at the North struck these brave young hearts. 
The President and the entire North, loving their country, and lov- 
ing the arts of peace, hesitated long in this first unlucky year of 
the war of the rebellion, to strike at and extirpate the great root 
of all this evil — the omnipotent curse of slavery. The all-perva- 
ding wish was to see how peace could be restored, and slavery 
remain unscathed. All possible devices to this end were entered 
upon, but without satisfactory result. And thus the year of 1861 
came gloomily to a close. 

1862. The year 1861 had closed, while the affairs of the nation 
were enveloped in gloom. The results of the year, so far as the 
union arras were concerned, had not been, on the whole, a success. 
Great preparations had been made, and great expectations had 
been raised, but there had been but a moderate share of success, 
and a plentiful harvest of disaster. Many a devout Christian 
somewhat irreverently began to think that *' the Devil reigned," 
or perhaps it is more charitable to suppose, that they merely 
thought the time spoken of in Revelations, when Satan was to be 
" loosed for a season," had arrived. But the time for inaction 
seemed, with the opening of the year, almost to have passed away. 
Vast movements were on foot, and the war appeared to be taking 
a decisive turn. 

"On the 11th of January, 1862, a strange and heterogeneous 
assemblage of vessels filled Hampton Roads. Gen. Bui*nside had 
been ordered to fit out an expedition to proceed against a certain 
point on the Southern coast — but where that point was it was re- 


served for time and events to announce. Accordingly, by dint of 
unwearied exertion, Gen. Burnside had collected this mass of one 
hundred and twenty-five water-craft. Utterly regardless of the 
appearance of this fleet, and with a single eye to utility, he drew 
upon all the resources of the steam merchant service, from the 
Kennebec to the Chesapeake. 

" The land forces, under the command of General Burnside, 
amounted to sixteen thousand men, with an ample supply of field- 
pieces and batteries, and all the material of war. T e troops 
were divided into three brigades, under the command of Generals 
Foster, Reno and Parke, all experienced and able officers of the 
regular army." 

Burnside's expedition, after experiencing all the perils of furi- 
ous storms, arrived near the island of Roanoke, on the early days 
of February, 1862, and on the 7th the fleet opened its heavy guns 
upon the rebel fortifications on the island. The bombardment by 
the fleet continued all day with unabated fury. 

" It was just three o'clock in the afternoon when the Uniic-d 
States flag was raised at Ashley's Harbor. The cannonade was 
still raging at the battery. It continued unabated all day, and as 
the night was clear and the range was perfect, it did not cease 
with the going down of the sun. Nothing can be imagined more 
sublime than a bombardment by night. The glare of the guns, 
so passionate and spiteful in expression ; the roar of the explo- 
sions ; the shrieks of the shells, as if demons were howling through 
the air; the explosion of the shells, with meteoric brilliance and 
thunder peal ; the volumes of smoke rising into the darkened sky 
— all these, blended with the gloom of night, present a scene, 
which, once witnessed, can never be forgotten. About one hour 
after dark the fleet drew off, and was silent and motionless for the 
remainder of the night. The land forces had indeed a cheerless 
prospect before them. Thoroughly dienched and chilled by tlie 
cold winti-y waves, they were compelled to bivouac on the shel- 
terless shore, without tents, exposed to a cold north wind, and a 
heavy rain. Their discomfort, through the night, was extreme. 
Still they were in good spirits. A landing in force had been ef- 
fected with the loss of but four men killed and eight wounded. 
The fleet had been severely handled, by the heavy shot of the bat- 
teries and the rebel gun-boats. Round shot and shell passed 
through several of the National ships, killing and wounding a 
few of their crews. Still no damage was done to interfere with 



the efficient action of the fleet, and all on the island and in the 
ships waited impatiently, cheered with hope, for the opening of 
another day." 

The morning of Thursday, the 8th, came. It was still cold and 
dismal, but the loyal troops pressed bravely on, fought a desperate 
battle, and were successful beyond the expectation of the most 

"A victory had been won, second to none since the national 
forces took the field. It was a victory to thrill every loyal heart 
throughout the land with joy. As the sun went down on that 
SiUurday evening, Feb. 8, it closed a week of glorious work for 
God and humanity. Even with a spy-glass, ffom the central bas- 
tions of Roanoke, no rebel flag could be seen. The national ban- 
ner floated everywhere. Nothing now remained to be done, but 
to pursue the rebel steamers to their lurking-places, and to re- 
establish the national authority in all the important towns, washed 
by the two Sounds and their tributary rivers. Six forts, 2,500 
prisoners, forty-two heavy guns, with a large number of smaller 
arms and mubitions of war, fell into the hands of the victors. 
The Union loss consisted of 40 killed and 200 wounded. Among 
the killed was Col. Russell, of the Connecticut 10th, a gallant 
officer, a genial, generous man, a fearless soldier, a warm-hearted 
Christian. He died universally lamented." 

Gen. Burnside was not the man to delay, and with commenda- 
ble promptness he inaugurated the Battle of Newberne, March 
14th, 1862. The gallantry of the Connecticut troops was con- 
spicuous in this battle — Col. Rodman's charge was highly com- 

" This charge by Col. Rodman, leading the 4th Rhode Island 
Regiment, was one of the most heroic deeds of the day. They 
were in front of a battery of five guns ; while there was another 
battery close by its side of nine guns, protected by rifle-pits. At 
the double-quick they ran upon the muzzles of these five guns, 
pouring in a volley of bullets as they ran, rushed through the 
parapet, and instantly, with the precision of veterans, forming in 
line of battle, with a bristling array of bayonets bore down upon 
the other guns, thus capturing both batteries with two flags. The 
8lh and 11th Connecticut and the 5th Rhode Island, followed 
closely in their tracks, to support them. The enemy fled precip- 
itately, and the stars and stripes floated proudly over this small 
portion of the enemy's extended line. A grand charge was now 



made upon the enemy's left, aided by the troops who were already 
established within the ramparts. The enemy could stand it no 
longer, and in great confusion they fled. With exultations and 
shoutings which none can appreciate but thoee who have passed 
through such terrible scenes — perhaps the most ecstatic joy of Mi- 
en humanity — the National troops clambered over the ramparts, 
discharging their guns at the retiring foe, and with huzzas re- 
peated again and again and again, raised the glorious old 
of National integrity over all the bastions which had just been 
degraded by the flaunting flag of rebellion. It was a hard fought 
fight and a glorious victory. Every regiment and almost every 
man behaved heroically. The olst New York performed deeds 
of valor, which will induce every man of the regiment to look 
back upon that day with pride, so long as he shall live." 

The colored population were rejoiced beyond measure at the 
triumph of the North. The slaves throughout the south, univer- 
sally, regarded the coming of the Northern armies as the signal 
for their patriotic deliverance. No language can express the sat- 
isfaction with which they received the loyal troops, and the eager 
willingness they manifested to serve them. " They could hardly 
believe the evidence of their senses, and 
could not possibly restrain their delight, 
when they saw their afiirighted masters 
running before our troops. They had nev- 
er before dreamed that there could be any 
earthly power superior to that which their 
dreaded masters wielded. A slaveholder, 
breathless with terror, spurred his horse 
to his utmost speed, by his own d©or, not 
venturing to stop. Just then a shell, with 
its terrific, unearthly shriek, rushed through 
the air, over his head. A poor slave, a 
man of unfeigned piety and fervent prayer, 
In uncontrollable emotions of joy, ran into 
his humble cabin, shouting, " Wife ; he is running ; he is running, 
and the wrath of God is after him.^' 

Another devout old negro fell on his knees and prayed, saying 
"God bless these d — d Yankees." It was the only name he had, 
ever heard his master give them. 

On the 17th of September, 1862, Gen. McClellan fought the 
desperate battle of Antietam, sometimes called the battle of Sharps- 


burg, as it was fought on the Antietam-creek, over against the 
village of Sharpsburg. This was the bloodiest day, perhaps, that 
America had ever seen, and yet the battle closed indecisively. The 
blood of some of Woodbury's bravest boys saturated the soil of 
those hotly contested fields. The next great battle in which the 
Woodbury soldiers received a bloody baptism, was the battle of 
Fredericksburg, which was fought on the 13th of December, 1862. 
Our limits do not allow a general description of the battle. A 
few passages from Greeley's "American Conflict," follow : 

" Braver men never smiled at death than those who climbed 
Marye's Hill that fatal day ; their ranks were plowed through and 
torn to pieces by rebel batteries, even in the process of formation; 
and when at heavy cost they had reached the foot of the hill, they 
were confronted by a solid stone wall, four feet high, from behind 
which a Confederate brigade of infantry mowed them down like 
grass, exposing but their heads to our bullets, and these only 
while themselves firing. Never did men fight better, or die, alas ! 
more fuitlessly, than did most of Hancock's corps, especially 
Meagher's Irish brigade, composed of the 63d, 69th, and 88th New 
York, the 28th Massachusetts, and the 116th Pennsylvania, which 
dashed itself repeatedly against those impregnable heights, until 
two-thirds of its number strewed the ground ; when the remnant 
fell back to a position of comparative safety, and were succeeded 
as they had been supported, by other brigades and divisions ; each 
to be exposed in its turn to like pitiless, useless, hopeless slaugh- 
ter. Thus Hancock's and French's corps were successively sent up 
against those slippery heights, girdled with batteries, rising, tier 
above tier, to its crest, all carefully trained upon the approaches 
from Fredericksburg; while that fatal stone wall — so strong that 
even artillery could make no impression on it — completely shel- 
tering Baiksdale's brigade, which, so soon as our charging col- 
umns came Vv'itlii!i rifle-shot, poured into tlielr faces tlie deadliest 
storm of musketry. Howard's division supported the two in ad- 
vance ; while one division of Wilcox's (9th, late Burnside's) corps 
was detached to maintain communication with Franklin, on our 

"Hooker's grand division was divided, and in good part sent to 
reenforce Franklin ; while Hooker himself, believing the attack 
hopeless, required repeated and imperative orders from Burnside 
to induce him to order an advance ; but Humphrey's division was 
at length thrown out from Fredericksburg, and bore its full part 


in the front attack, losing heavily. And thus the fight was main- 
tained till after dark — assault after assault being delivered by di- 
visions advancing against twice their numbers, on ground where 
treble the force was required for the attack that sufiiced for the 
defense ; while a hundred rebel cannon, posted on heights which 
our few guns on that side of the river could scarcely reach, and 
could not effectually batter, swept our men down from tlie mo- 
ment that they began to advance, and while they could do nothing 
but charge, and fall, and die. And when night at length merci. 
fully arrested this fruitless massacre, though the terraces and 
slopes leading up to the rebel works were piled with our dead and 
our disabled, there was no pretense that the rebel front had been 
advanced one foot from the ground held by it in the morning. 
We had reason enough for sorrow, but none for shame. 

" Thus closed what the exulting correspondent at Lee's head- 
quarters of The Times (London) calls ' a memorable day to the 
historian of the Decline and Fall of the American Republic' Not 
so, O owl-eyed scribe ! but rather one of those days of bloody 
baptism, from whose regenerating flood that Republic was divinely 
appointed to rise to a purer life, a nobler spirit, a grander, more 
benignant destiny ! " 

A considerable number of Woodbury soldiers were engaged in 
all these great battles, scattered through all the Connecticut regi- 
ments engaged in them. A local historian, confined to [)rescribed 
limits, cannot give a connected history of the war. He can only 
be expected to allude to the prominent events in which the people 
of the town took a commendable part. It is, therefore, thought 
best to introduce here letters from the soldiers of Woodbury, de- 
scribing the part they took, in all these events, and in the several 
battles, and, it is believed, that it must be far more interesting to 
our people, coming from their own sons, written on the spot, when 
the "inspiration was on," and when there could be no temptation 
to misstatement, than anything that the general historian could 
write, who is forced to condense all the incidents of a battle into 
a single statement, showing only general results. In these indi- 
vidual statements, we feel the pulse-beats of the heart. Besides, 
it is of absorbing interest to know what share our immediate 
neighbors had in achieving the glorious results described. The 
account given in these letters will be all that our space will allow 
for an account of several of the battles. 

1152 HI STORY 'of ancient WOODBUBY. 

" Headquarters Provost Guard, ) 
Martinsburg, Ya., March 7th, 1862. ) 

" Friend Cothren : — When I last wrote you, my determina- 
tion was (as I then intimated) not to write you again until I could 
date my letter from Virginia. And now, embracing the first op- 
portunity after arriving here, I appropriate some " secesh " pen, 
ink and paper, left in the hurried departure of the owners from 
this place, on Saturday last, to the laudable purpose of informing 
as worthy a person as yourself in regard to the appearance of the 
recent home of the rebels. 

"Gen. Williams left Hancock, with his brigade, on Saturday 
morning of last week. He reached Williamsport that night, and 
Sunday and Monday were occupied in transporting the brigade 
across the river. The 5th Connecticut crossed about 9 o'clock on 
Monday morning, and with a good road before them, and pleasant 
anticipations of soon having a fight, they gladly hailed the order, 
*' Column, forward ! " in the well-known thunder tones of Col. 
Ferry. By 3 o'clock they were quartered in the churches and 
public buildings of Martinsburg, and the curious ones having de- 
posited their knapsacks and accoutrements, were making tours 
through the town, and picking up little mementoes to send home 
and to keep as relics of the capture of Martinsburg. 

"Being detached from the regiment to serve in the office of 
the Provost Marshal, it was necessary for me to remain in Wil- 
liamsport until the Provost Guard crossed the river, which did not 
take place until about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. No sooner had 
we stepped from the ferry-boat on to the Virginia lauding, than 
the sky, which for some hours had been growing dark and omi- 
nous with black, watery-looking clouds, began to let fall copious 
doses of the Hydropathic remedy. I was soon tired with the 
slow traveling of the guard and prisoners, and with a friend start- 
ed on ahead. We reached Martinsburg about 8 o'clock, com- 
pletely drenched. We found the town jammed full of soldiers. 
The houses were crowded with men and the streets with wagons, 
mules, gun-carriages and horses. After considerable hunting, 
blundering and stumbling around, we found a hotel, the landlord 
of which, with abundant excuses for his poor accommodations, as 
he termed them, said he could provide for us through the night- 
Over a hearty supper of warm biscuit, ham and secesh cofiee (bar- 
ley), our host gave us a history of the state of affairs which had 


existed since the blockade. A man could not get a file to sharpen 
a saw ; a piece of" calico large enough to make a child an apron ; 
tea, salt — scarcely any sugar —and spices of all kinds were not to 
be had ; coffee was sometimes obtainable at $1.50 per pound. Such 
were some of the deprivations rehearsed to us, that the people of 
the South are obliged to undergo. 

To say nothing of squads of the semi-barbarous rebel Boldiery- 
who intrude into every household which rumor breathes conserva, 
tism or a particle of Union sympathy of, and who order the in- 
mates to set a table, partake of a repast, and walking out, w'iih 
oaths and insult, tell them to c'^arge it to Jeff. Davis, I never shall 
forget the scene which met my eyes on looking out at the window 
the next morning. The place where we stopped was close by the 
railroad, and directly opposite was the raih'oad depot and engine- 
house, both once large and fine-looking edifices, now partially de- 
molished. — The broad surface in front and around them, interlaced 
with its labyrinth of tracks and switches, as you always find in 
connection with a railroad stopping-place of any importance, w^as 
covered with crisped, rugged fragments of broken-down locomo- 
tives. In one place I should think there were at least forty pon- 
derous locomotives piled one on the other, some on their side, 
some bottom up, and others standing on end. It looked as if two 
or three score of railroads were laid down so as to cross each other 
at the center, and from the outside of the wheel-like concern a lo- 
comotive was started with full steam on, one on each track, and 
all had met in the center. Certainly, if such was the case, a more 
promiscuous confusion could not have been produced. A high 
bridge over a small stream was loaded with all the engines that 
could be crowded on it, and then set on fire. Among the stone 
pillars, which are all that is left of the bridge, lay the ruins of the 
wantonly destroyed engines. 

"The town itself presents rather a dreary, exhausted appear- 
ance. Many of the houses are deserted ; the stores are empty, 
their show-windows and cases presenting tobacco cut and twisted 
in every conceivable shape, to supply the want of anything else to 
make them attractive. I am informed that the population of Mar- 
tinsburg ranged from 3,000 to 4,000, in times of peace, and before 
these troublous times it was a thriving, growing village. 

Gen. Williams' Brigade left here Wednesday morning, and pro- 
ceeded as far as Bunker Hill, a small place ten miles from here, on 
the Winchester road, where they still remain. Gen. Banks was 


at Charleston yesterday. Col. Sullivan arrived here last night, 
with the advance of the late Gen. Lander's forces, 7,000 strong. 
The main body, about 15,000 of them, are expected to-night. A 
concentration of the forces under Banks, Williams, and Gen. 
Shields, who succeeds Lander, appears to be the object in view 
now. When this is done, then Winchester look out. 

" The boys all wish to be rem embered to you. Hoping to hear 
from you soon, I am 

Sincerely yours, 

Gardner Stockman," 

"Friend Cothren: — The old political motto, to the "victors 
belong the spoils," is a favorite one with you of the legal profes- 
sion. Believing you are not an exception to th6 general rule, I 
take the liberty of sending you this addition to your stock of legal 
text-books. The volume is one provided by the late State of Vir- 
ginia, for the benefit of the Circuit Court of Berkley County, and 
was left behind in the hurried evacuation of the Town and Court 
House by the rebels, on the approach of the troops a few nights 

" Although it may never be of practical use in any cases in which 
you may be employed, I thought, perhaps, you might value it as a 
relic of the once proud State, whose enactments the highest in 
the land were bound to respect — but now brought so low, 
that " none are so poor as to do it reverence." Although a 
" dead letter'''' now, I know you will unite with me in hoping, that 
the day is not far distant, when the letter of the law will assume 
the dignity to which it is entitled ; — and then^ perhaps, the book 
may be useful for reference. 

Gardner Stockman. 
Court House, Berkley County, 

Martinsburg, Va., 
March 8, 1862. 


" Edinburgh, Virginia, April 8, 1862. 

" Friend Cothren : — As the rain, which is driving so monoto- 
nous a tune on the roof of the tent, precludes the possibility of a 
drill this forenoon, I propose to devote the leisure drill hour to 
the troubling you again with our little troubles. 

" The first grievance of which we have to complain is this : A 
certain few of us (Woodbury boys), upon discovering among the 
local items of Woodbury, in a Litchfield Enquirer, lately sent us 
a brief mention of Wm. Cothren's illumination (the only one in 
the place), on the night of the anniversary of Washington's birth- 
day, electrified the entire camp by three such rousing cheers, that, 
some one, who thought that such a noise could not be made on 
any ocoasion of less importance, speedily set afloat the report that 
Kichraond was in possession of Burnside, the stars and stripes 
were waiving over New Orleans, the whole South were throwing 
down their arms, and the paymaster had come — all this, of course, 
elevating the spirit-^ of the regiment only to let them fall again, 
and vent their disappointment in wrath upon our innocent heads, 
for making such a hooting, over some Woodbury celebration way 
up in Connecticut, as they termed it. 

" We are to soon lose our much loved and respected Colonel. 
He leaves us this week for Washington. It is hard for us not 
to express a little selfishness by saying that we hope he will not 
go. But Col. Ferry merits his promotion. The country needs 
him to act in a more extended field than his lot has hitherto fur- 
nished him. We must part with him and allow the future of the 
regiment to look dark — why, you shall know in good time. I am 
not at liberty to say just now. 

" Since I last wrote you, which I think was from Martinsburg, 
we have advanced by easy marches some fifty-five miles towards 
the interior of the State, and probably as soon as the bridge over 
the north branch of the Shenandoah, which the rebel Jackson 
burned in his retreat, is rebuilt, we shall continue our onward 
movement — that is if Jackson has no objections. — He will be 
obliged to bring forward some very forcible arguments in order 
to prove to our satisfaction that it is not advisable for us to pro- 
ceed on our Southern tour, for we are full of the spirit of the en- 
terprise. We have started, and would be very much disappointed 
should we 1 e obliged to retrace our steps, or even to remain where 
we are. 


" Since we have passed the Rubicon Potomac, and been travel- 
ing in the land of ' Dixie,' the favorite pastime of jayhawking 
(you being of the legal persuasion of course understand the im- 
port of the term,) has been extensively indulged in. You would 
enjoy it with us could you form one in our battalion of jayhavvk- 
ers, as we fall in with the estate of some F. F. V., ingloriously de- 
serted upon our approach. — Quickly deploying, what thorough 
searches are instituted for bee-hives of honey, chickens, turkies, 
geese, &c. Smoke-house doors are battered in with musket butts, 
and from them emerge whole sides of bacon, sausages, beef and 
hams, which seem to have suddenly caught the evacuation spirit 
so lately prevalent in this vicinity. While through the lofty, de- 
serted halls of the proud old mansion rings the muffled footfall of 
grim visaged warriors, crowding to the " banquet hall " to search 
in its cupboards and closets for jars of jelly, pickles, butter, &g. 
Secesh emblems, and everything of curiosity or utility to a soldier, 
are teken care of, and in time many center-tables and mantel-pieces 
of Connecticut will receive additions to their stock of curiosities, 
mementoes and relics. 

" One little incident I must relate to you. The orders against 
pillaging or jayhawking are very stringent. All who are detected 
in it are most severely punished. On the day after our entrance 
into Martinsburg, Col. Knipe, of the 46th Penn. Vols., met one of 
the members o his regiment, of Hibernian origin and wit, who 
was carrying a fine, large goose towards camp, whose head, by 
being turned around two or three times, was *' hanging perfectly 
loose," as the boys say. The fellow knew the penalty attached to 
his offense. He also knew that his Colonel was aware that the 
paymaster had not been seen for a long time — so any story about 
purchasing the goose would not be swallowed by Col. Knipe, 

" ' Where did you get that goose, sir ? ' was the Colonel's first 

" * Back on the road a bit, your honor.' 

"' Well, sir, you know what the consequences are — you have 
disobeyed orders. What is your name, and what company do you 
belong to ? ' 

" ' Arrah now, Colonel, be aisy till I tell me story to you. Yer 
see. Colonel, as we marched up the town, yesterday, with our gal- 
lint flag a stramin, out comes a party of dirty, blackguarding, se- 
cesh geese, and hissed at the flag, yer honor. It made the blood 


of me bile, sir, to see the dirty oraythcrs hissing at the flag we're 
all fightin for, and I marked the foremost one, sir — I marked him 

till I'd know him agin, it being against orders to lave the ranks. 
And to-day I went back and hunted him, and broke his head off 
for him, the same as I would any secesher that would hiss down 
me country's stars and stripes. And I thought, yer honor, it was 
a sin to cast him away when he was killed, so I brought him 
along.' " 

" Col. Knipe could not refrain from indulging in a hearty laugh 
at the fellow's wit. So telling him to let things alone that did 
not belong to him, in future, the Colonel sent him along to roast 
his goose, and think, while eating it, of his narrow escape from 
the clutches of the court martial. 

" The paymaster arrived at headquarters yesterday. We are 
all happy to see him, having heard nothing from him since the 1st 
of January. 

" The country here is full of shin-plasters, from three cents up- 
wards. They pass quite readily between our soldiers and the cit" 
izens, but our sutlers, who procure their goods from the North' 
' can't see it ' if we offer it to them. 

" From the Potomac to way south of Winchester, the country 
is now well supplied with coffee, salt, sugar, and in fact all groce- 
ries, as well as cotton and woollen goods, which one month ago 
the inhab'tants were suffering for. All the necessaries and luxu- 
ries of life are pouring, like a fast-rising tide, into the western 
portion of the State, following up the line of blockade, as it moves 
steadily and surely onward to meet its counterpart extended along 
the gulf. 


"The weather for the past week has been quite mild and pleas- 
ant. The peach and appletrees are budded, the meadows look 
fresh and green, and the lazy languor with which we lounge 
around, in the warm, sunny days, under the trees and along the 
grassy banks of the winding Shenandoah, makes us feel that Spring 
has really come again. Our thoughts wander back to where we 
were a year ago. How much we would have then given to have 
known where we were to be this Spring. And Oh ! how we 
would like to know beside what streams we shall I'oam a year from 
now. A waggish tent-mate, peering over my shoulder at what I 
am writing, suggests that very likely some of us will be going up 
Salt River. — Shouldn't wonder a bit if we were. 

" We expect that in a day or two, " Head of column, forward ! '' 
will rouse us from our listless life in camp, to again resume, for 
the weary march, our knapsacks and three days' rations, which 
last, with a poor fellow who is gifted with a good appetite, is no 
small consideration in way of freight. 

" Ashby, with his rebel cavalry and some light batteries of ar- 
tillery, is continually showing himself along our advanced lines. 
More than once have our workmen on the bridge been surprised 
by a shower of bullets whistling among them from a heavily- 
wooded knoll, just a good rifle shot in front of them. Fre- 
quently are they startled by the demon screech of a spherical 
shell, drawing most uncomfortably near, from some flying battery 
which our wiley foe has stealthily drawn up and opened upon 
them. Fortunately, scarcely any of the secesh shells burst — not 
more than one in a dozen. — They are some purchased from English 
agents, so I am informed. I guess that shells are not the only 
English things that the C. S. A. are taken in on. 

" There goes the dinner signal, and as I am habitually prompt 
in responding to all noises of the kind, and as I have some scru- 
ples in regard to being late to dinner, I must close by remember- 
ing all the boys to you, and hoping you will not forget your inten- 
tion of visiting us. 

Truly yours, 

G. Stockman. 


" Camp at Williamsport, Maryland, ) 
May 29th, 1862. ) 

"Friend Cothren: — I suppose you are anxiously waiting for 
a word from us, to learn what part your Valley Rifles bore in the 
stirring incidents which have transpired in this department during 
the past few days. In the first place let me dispel any concern 
you may have for our welfare. I am happy to be able to state 
that out of the eighty men lost from the regiment by the battle 
and retreat from Winchester, none of the Woodbury boys are 
numbered, With the more general details of the battle you are 
undoubtedly well acquainted, through the official reports which 
have been published ; but believing that a short chapter of par- 
ticulars will not be uninteresting, I will describe a few scenes in 
which the 5th bore a part. 

"Saturday morning, May 24th, at daybreak, the bustle and 
stir of bi'eaking up camp was over, and the reduced but gallant 
body of troops under the immediate command of Gen. Banks, 
were on the road towards Winchester. The efforts made to hurry 
us up, the anxious appearing countenances of Gen Banks and staflT, 
as they dashed by us on to the head of the column, and the sad 
fate of the First Maryland Regiment, one of the four composing 
our brigade, caused a depression to hang over our sj^irits, ominous 
of we knew not what. One thing was evident — the rebel Gen, 
Ewell, after utterly annihilating the force at Fort Royal, was 
making his way, fast as possible, to reach Winchester before 
Banks, thereby cutting off" our retreat. 

" It was, therefore, a race for life — our legs were our only sal- 
vation. Fortunately we were a little in advance, and about 8 
o'clock in the evening we arrived at Winchester. Our brigade 
was stationed that night about a half a mile outside the city, on 
the Front Royal road. — Gordon's brigade took up a position in 
line of battle horizontal to the road leading to Strasburg. Our 
regiment filed into a clover field — we stacked our arms, and with 
the rest, wearied out, I lay down, and praying, as I heard the rat- 
tling musketry of the distant pickets, and gave one last glance at 
the Southern sky, all aglow with the blazing camp-fires of the 
enemy, that we might not be called up before morning. With 
the whole earth for a bed, and the star-studded heavens for a cov- 
ering, I fell into the welcome sleep that ever awaits the tired 


" Sunday morning dawned serenely bright and beautiful, seem- 
ing to invite man, by its calm peacefulness, to partake of its spirit 
and^desist from making it a day of blood. I was startled from 
my slumber, under the lea of a stonewall, by the terrific screech 
of a shell as it passed over my head and burst a rod or two from 
me, in the center of the field in which we were bivouaced. Not 
half the regiment were awake, but this early intruder, and his 
dozen quick successors that followed, plunging into the ground all 
around and among us, making the dirt and stones fly in clouds' 
started them, and such a getting up never was beat. Our battery 
had opened its return fire, from a hill just in our rear, and the 
whizzing, banging, and thundering going on over and around us, 
was truly terrific ; added to all this was the terror in hearing from 
one to another the repoit that the enemy were advancing up the 
other side of the hill, in line of battle — rather trying circum- 
stances for a regiment that had never been under fire to get into 
line under. But we did it, just did it, when Major stone shouted 
— " Look out, boys — look out here — they are right on to us! " I 
just had time to glance up (we Avere just under the brow of a hill,) 
and see the top of the hill swarming with the devils coming on a 
"double-quick." The order was given to lie down. Down we 
went into the high grass, just in time to escape a few scattering 
shots that were sent for us. 

"The 46th Pennsylvania, which was posted on our right, on a 
higher piece of ground, drew their fire and promptly returned it, 
but did not check them. A moment more and they would have 
been on top of us, when Major Stone jumped up and shouted — 
" NoWgis your time, boys ! Up and give it to them ! " Up sprang 
every man, with his rifle leveled — along our line blazed a sheet of 
flame, and down like ten-pins went the front ranks of the rebels. — 
They returned our volley with fearful efiect, particularly on the 
right of our regiment, which was nearei to them than the left. 
Our lire was rapid and steady — theirs slackened not — and for a 
moment or two it was doubtful which would whip, the 25th North 
Carolina or the 6th Connecticut. But our boys, true to their 
Northern natures, were growing cool, and many, realizing the 
value of every shot, were stepping to the front to take more de- 
liberate aim and obtain better shots. All of a sudden the rebels 
turned and broke for a stonewall about a rod in their rear. Our 
boys, wide awake to seize every advantage, held their fire for an 
instant, until the rebels were on the wall. Many of them went 



over that wall with the impetus of a bullet in the rear. The sur. 
vivors left for down the hill, and we fell back behind a stonewall, 
where we waited fifteen minutes for another regiment to try us. 
But the intention seemed to be to shell us out, for we were under- 
going a regular bombardment. Gen, Williams, who was watching 
us, said — " Look at that 5th Connecticut — they are the boys to 
fight ! " Since the fight I have heard many speak of the gallantry 
of our regiment. 

'• We now heard along our right wing a furious cheering — not 
the three distinct hearty cheers of our Northern boys, but a con- 
fused mingle of hoots and yells, which was all we wanted to in. 
form us that the enemy had succeeded in forcing back our right 
wing. And according to instructions we withdrew from the field 
and commenced our retreat, passing in good order through the 
town, though a murderous fire was kept up upon us from doors, 
windows, and behind corners and fences, by the citizens, and in 
many cases women were seen shooting down our wounded as they 
staggered out of the ranks. It was hard treatment to receive at 
the hands of those we had tried so hard to please. We shall re- 
member you, Winchester. Our retreat was well conducted — Gor- 
don's Brigade crossing the river at Williamsport and Donnelly's 
at Dam No. 4, six miles below. The march was a tough one — 
over forty mil(>s — but we are now recruited and ready for another, 

" Hoping that the next time we are in the field we may have an 
enemy only twice our own number. 

I remain as ever yours, 

Gardner Stockman." 

"Newbern, N. C, March 18, 1862. 

" My Dear Friend : — I wrote you hastily just before we left 
Roanoke, that our regiment was to accompany the next expedi- 
tion. Since then stirring events have taken place about us. I 
have but little time at present, and can give you but a brief ac- 
count of what has transpired during the interval. The fleet set 
sail on the morning of the 11th, I think. Our steamer, the Loui- 
siana, got aground, through the carelessness of her Captain. He 
has previously caused a great deal of trouble, both at Old Point 


and Hatteras, and, at the latter place, his steamer was aground for 
a long time. He is strongly suspected of disloyalty. It took as 
many as a half dozen small steamers to pull it off. General Burn- 
side came alongside on the Alice Price, and ordered him in irons. 
Once afloat, and our voyage was delightful ; it seemed more like 
a pleasure excursion than a military expedition. We came to an- 
chor on the 12th inst., several miles below Newbern. The next 
morning, the troops began to land, many of them in small boats. 
The morning was beautiful, and the sight was most magnificent. 
It reminded me of pictures of the evacuation of Boston by the 
British The gun-boats began shelling the woods along the shores 
of the Neuse, early in the morning. The last of our regiment land- 
ed about the middle of the afternoon, and before we slept, we 
had marched a distance of thirteen miles. The roads were in an 
exceedingly bad state ; in some places the mud was almost knee- 
deep. The first object of interest we passed was some rebel bar- 
racks, but recently deserted by a company of Cavalry. We reach- 
ed the railroad about dark. Here the rebels had erected extensive 
earthworks. They were incomplete, however, and if occupied at 
all, were soon abandoned, on our approach. During the after- 
noon, the weather had become damp, and it was now raining, but 
on we went, with commendable zeal and good spirits, little dream- 
ing of the joxirney we were performing. Quite late in the eve- 
ning, we came up with the main body of troops, and bivouaced 
in a piece of wood only a mile and a half from the battle-ground. 
I am told that a company of cavalry lay within a few hundred 
yards of us all night. I eat a cracker and an orange ; then, lame 
wet and exhausted, folded myself in a blanket, and slept until 
morning. We were ordered to fall in, early next morning, and 
relieve the 51st Pennsylvania, in dragging howitzers. Our men 
took hold of it with a hearty good will. Soon after we started 
the iii'ing commenced — .it first, by only driving in the enemy's 
picket, but soon after, the roar and boom of musketry and artil- 
lery, which indicated that the action had commenced in good ear- 
nest. By the time' we a^-rived, the firing had become terrific. The 
right wing advanced with the howitzers, and planted them to 
bear upon the enemy, iinder the direction of the marines, who 
worked the guns. Then, by order of Gen. Parke, the companies 
joined the 24th Massachusetts and other regiments, which were 
then under heavy fire, but soon after joined the rest of us. Theleit 
wing filed to the left, into a piece of woods directly in front of 


the enemies' works. As we were advancing, a canon ball struck 
just ahead of our company, taking off a man's head — a second af- 
ter, one struck a few feet behind us, and took off a man's leg. 
Shortly after, Capt. Lee, Co. T>, was killed, and several of his men 
wounded, by a shell. The firing countinued about four or five 
hours — only one of our company was wounded. The stars and 
stripes were planted on the enemies' breastwork about 11|^ o'clock 
And then. Oh ! such cheering and shouting! I shall never forget 
it. It must have penetrated even further than the roar and din of 
battle had, but a few moments before. The rebels fled in great 
confusion and haste ; in some of their camps food was still cook- 
ing, or spread upon the tables. They burnt the bridge command- 
ing the approach to Newbern, and set the city on fire. Their 
force must have been about 12.000 men. All their camp equipage 
baggage, &c., &c., was left. Their works about Newbern are im- 
mense. They have been worked upon for twelve months. In 
point of numbers engaged on our side, and the position of the en- 
emy, I consider this battle second ouIt/ to Donaldson, in the glo. 
rious achievements of the war. Our killed and wounded were as 
follows : — 91 killed, 463 wounded. Of the wounded, some twenty 
are mortally so. I know nothing of the loss of the enemy; pre. 
sume it was equally as heavy. We have taken quite a number of 
prisoners ; among them are some important persons. The rank 
and file are the most wretched looking set of men I ever saw — 
regular tar burners — their clothes were very ragged, and of all 
the colors and styles you can imagine. Some carried old bits of 
carpets for blankets. A large number of the rebel killed were 
shot through the head — showing the deadly aim of our men. Our 
men, with a few individual exceptions, acted nobly in the fight. I 
can hardly say enough in praise of the brave men — they lay down 
when not firing, otherwise, many would have been killed. I am 
told by persons who have been over the ground since the action, 
that the trees all around the place we lay are filled full of shot. I 
am now enjoying the satisfaction of having done my duty, and 
loiped out Bull-Run. The country for miles around us is almost 
entirely deserted. The boys were busy for a day or two in secur. 
ing prizes, &c , I can assure you. One of our men has a splendid 
gold watch and pencil. I have a splendid, genuine secession flag, 
which I would not swap for all the rest. I intend to send it to 
Norfolk, the first opportunity I have. Won't it excite a sensation 
there, though?— The men have been allowed to go out a foraging 



qniie freely. It would amuse you to see them come in. Some 
will have a pig or sheep slung over his shoulder, and some come 
with a mule or horse loaded down with poultry. Several splendid 
horses have been brought in. I w^nt out with a squad, and 
brought in quite a fine carriage, a set of silver plated harnesses, 
two bushels of sweet potatoes, twenty-five lbs. of honey, a pot of 
lard, three hens, and a splendid hair matrass. I took them all 
from the house of a secesh Captain, named Netherby, I think. 
Among other things which have come into our possession, is a 
large number of letters, which have amused us very greatly. 
Some of them are love matters, of the most exquisite nature. You 
may expect to see some of them in the Connecticut papers. 

" The slaves here seem overjoyed at our success, and avow that 
they never shall call any man master again. I presume one hund- 
red of them have come into our camp. I visited Newborn to-day ; 
it is a very pretty place. It looks more like home than anything 
I have seen since I left Connecticut. I enclose some C. S. A. 
stamps. They may be a curiosity to you. Excuse my envelope; 
it is secesh and the only one I have. 

Yours affectionately, 

Samuel C. Barnum. 

To. P. M. Trowbridge, Esq." 

*' Head Quarters 5th Conn. Vols., ) 
Culpepper Court House, Va., Aug. 13th, 1862. ) 

" Dear Father : — I hasten to improve this, the first opportu- 
nity since the excitement and confusion of the battle of Saturday, 
to drop you a line, assuring you of my safety, as well as that of 
Ames. Poor Alvord is missing. He was in the charge, and was 
last seen in the woods, fighting like a good fellow. I think he is 
a prisoner — many of our men were taken. I was on the field, 
helping take care of the wounded and bury the dead. I looked 
along the track of our regiment, but could not find his body. 
Our brigade, (Crawford's,) it is conceded by all, made a more 
desperate charge than has hitherto been recorded ia the war. 
Our regiment is all cut to pieces. Col. Chapman is wounded, and 
a prisoner. Major Blake is dead. Adjutant Smith was shot 


through the head. The Quartermaster is wounded, and a prisoner. 
Most all of the line officers are either killed, wounded, or prison- 
ers. Lieut. Daniels was shot through the hip, Lieut. Dutton, 
old Gov. D.'s son, was killed instantly. Co. A. lost twenty-three 
men — went into the battle with forty. I had several very narrow 
escapes, A shell burst close beside me, wounding a friend seri- 
ously in the head. 

Yours aifectionately, 

Gardner Stockman" 

"Washington, D. C, Sept. 6, 1862. 

"Dear Friend; — Our regiment arrived here night before last, 
at midnight. We are bivouacing on the very identical spot upon 
■which the 2d Conn, were encamped. How curious the coinci- 
dence ! and how little I thought when I left it, over one year ago, 
to advance into Va., that after a year of marching, voyages, bat- 
tles, privations, &c., &c., I should come back to the old camp 
ground, to begin anew — for it seems that our forces are but little 
advanced, comparatively, of what they were at that time. Still I 
have hope that all will yet be well. We evacuated Fredericks- 
burg on the 31st of August, burning the bridge behind us. Our 
regiment was a part of the rear guard, and did not arrive at Ac- 
quia Creek, until the morning of the 3d, We then embarked, and 
came to Alexandria, where we arrived the same day. On the 4th, 
we marched from Alexandria to this place, arriving here on the 
4th, at midnight. The men are all well and in good spirits. Do 
not know how long we shall remain here ; probably not long, as 
we are under marching orders. I do not know where we are 
going. I am still in command of Co, K, alone. Rod Freeman is 
my servant, and a most faithful fellow he is, too. He wishes to 
be remembered to all the friends in Woodbury. I am rejoiced to 
hear that the North are at last wide awake. My love to all. 
Please write me soon. Direct to Washington. Excuse blunders. 
Yours affectionately, 

Samuel C. Barnum. 

To P. M. Trowbridge." 


"Frederick City, Md, Dec. 2d, 1862. 

'Dear Sir: — On my return from duty at "Monocacy Junc- 
tion," where I was sent some d ys ago — and since which time I 
have received no mail — I found your kind letter of November 
20th, inquiring about the Woodbury boys. It was necessary for 
me to make some inquiry in regard to the persons you mentioned, 
before I could give you the desired information. I have lost no 
time in doing so, and proceed to give you the result. 

"Albert Winton, Myron Bishop, Edwin Bishop, Henry M. Daw- 
son, Richard Spring, and James Warner, are with the regiment, 
and well. 

" George McCann was wounded at Cedar Mountain — how se- 
verely I do not know. The last time I heard from him, he was in 
hospital in Alexandria. I understood, at the time, that his wounds 
were in the foot, and not serious — probably his friends have heard 
from him before this time. 

" John Ledger was detailed on signal service some time since, 
and is now, probably, with the advance. 

" The complimentary manner in which you speak of our behav- 
ior is duly appreciated by all the boys, and we hope still to merit 
your approbation. We have tried, so far, to do our duty manfully, 
and whether we are permitted to remain in our present compara- 
tively comfortable quarters, or are ordered to our old place in the 
battle front, Woodbury shall have no occasion to complain of 
her boys, 

"In regard to your kindly proffer of assistance, I would say, 
that a pair or two of woolen socks would not come amiss to any of 
the boys, as they are an article not to be obtained here for money, 
even if we were supplied with that ; but, owing to the dilatori- 
ness of the Paymaster, neither " green-backs " or postage- 
stamps are very plentiful just at present. 

" In behalf of the boys and myself, I beg you to accept our 
heartfelt thanks for the kindly interest manifested in our welfare, 
and assure you that it will not be forgotten when we have the op- 
portunity to show our appreciation of it. Our regiment is at 
present quartered in the city of Frederick, and there is a proba- 
bility of our remaining here for some time. 

"I am too busy just now to give you further particulars in re- 
gard to our situation, but circumstances permitting, (which must 
always be a consideration in a soldier's promise,) I will write our 


mutual friend, Cothren, to-morrow, and he will of course give you 
the benefit of' any information I may be able to furnish him. 

" Hoping that this hurried answer to your kind letter may not 
discourage you from writing again, I remain 
Yours truly, 

Gardner Stockman. 
P. M. Trowbridge, Esq., Woodbury, Conn." 

" Belle Plain, Dec. 2d, 1862. 

"Mr. Trowbridge — Dear Sir: — Your letter of the 18th was re- 
ceived one week ago, and, I assure you, I was glad to hear from 
you. It was just such a letter as I like to get now — a little sym- 
pathy, a little encouragement, and a considerable news. I was 
sorry to learn that so many of our Woodbury boys are sick, but 
do not think it strange. I saw a man to-day who left the hospital 
at Harper's Ferry last Tuesday. He says Seth is doing well — that 
my brother-in-law from Waterbury had been to see him. I had 
learned from him that he had started to see him, and would try to 
procure him a furlough. But, since Seth was at the hospital Fri- 
day, I conclude he did not succeed in getting him one. I am 
sorry, for I doubt if he will be able to do much duty this winter. 
Our brigade was detached from the division the next day after 
we arrived opposite Fredericksburg, and sent to this place, which 
is on Potomac Creek, a small bay on the Virginia side of the Poto- 
mac, and is about six miles from Acquia Creek and twelve from 
Fredericksburg. Supplies for the army are landed here, and we 
act as guard, and also unload the boats. I think we shall stay 
here a while longer, but it is nothing certain. The army at Fred- 
ericksburg seems to have come to another stand still, but I hope 
Burnside knows what he is about. I have considerable confidence 
in him, and presume he has good reasons for delay. He has been 
down here several times, and goes away on the boat to Washing- 
ton, I think. 

Yours truly, 

F. J. Percy." 

1168 history of ancient woodbtjkt. 

" Camp Opposite Fredericksburg, ) 
Wednesday, Dec. 24th, 1862. [ 

'• Mr. Trowbridge — Dear Sir : — I have received two very wel- 
come letters from you since I wrote you last. One I received on 
Monday, and as we were changing our camp that day, and yester- 
day we were fixing our tents and on extra duty, I could not find 
time to answer it until to day. I was very glad to hear from you, 
as I always am, for you write such cheering news, and show such 
a spirit of confidence in God to support our arms, that it does me 
good, especially after getting defeated, as we did in the battle at 

Our army suffered terribly in that battle and did not accomplish 
a great deal after all. The papers try to smooth it over now, but 
I tell you it was manslaughter in earnest. Our men were mown 
down in heaps, and many a home is now left desolate, and many 
a heart left broken and sad to mourn for loved ones now moulder- 
ing in a soldier's grave. 

" Perhaps it was best to attack them here, where they wei'e so 
strongly fortified ; God only knows. But all is for the best. Our 
regiment was not in immediate action, but we lay under fire, more 
or less, for four days and nights. But one has died from wounds, 
but some were wounded slightly from stray bullets and shells that 
burst in our ranks. I came near losing my head, but God in his 
mercy spared me. I wish I could write you a full detail of the 
battle, but time will not permit to-day. 

" All the boys are well and send their best respects to you. I 
appreciate your kindness to me in the past, and I pray God to re- 
pay you. 

Yours truly, 

John B. Bunnell. 

"Camp near Falmouth, Va., Dec. 21st, 1862. 

" My Dear Friend : — I beg pardon for not writing you sooner 
after the battle, as, perhaps, you have been anxious as to my safe- 
ty I am well and in good spirits. 

" Our regiment crossed the Rappahannoc to Fredericksburg on 


the afternoon of the 12th inst., and that night bivouaced in the 
streets of the city. On the morning of the 13th, we were detailed 
to support the pickets in front of the 3d division, which were sta- 
tioned just beyond the outskirts of the city. Col. Stedraan re- 
ported the regiment for that purpose to Col. Donoho, 10th N. H. 
Vols., commanding the pickets, at about 9^ o'clock ; up to this 
time there had been a desultory firing of pickets, although 
Franklin was, at the time, hotly engaged on the left, but it grew 
more brisk until at about 10 A. M., the engagement became gene- 
ral. The picket headquarters were at a small house on an emi- 
nence near the railroad, considerably to our left, and within 800 
yards of the rebel breastworks. From this position we could ob- 
serve every movement on each side. We were out of the general 
range of fire, and comparatively safe, although, if too much ex- 
posed, the zip of a bullet from some sharp shooter's rifle was sure 
to remind us that, under the circumstances, '* Discretion was the 
better part of valor." One poor fellow was hit by one of them, 
and lost his leg in consequence. The position of the enemy was 
one of great strength, not only by nature, but by all the appli- 
ances of military science. 

*' The ground in rear of the city forms a plateau, or open plain, 
about a third of a mile deep, and then rises in a range of hills, 
which abuts at a deep ravine on the left. At the foot of this range 
of hills runs a road flanked by a stone wall, behind which the 
sharp-shooters and infantry of the enemy were posted. On the 
crest of the hill above were heavy intrenchraents, behind which 
powerful cannon are planted, in such a manner as to bring an enfi- 
lading fire upon our troops, who must advance to the attack over 
the open field in front, and still behind these works other lines of 
infantry are concealed. 

" As soon as our men emerged from the city, they were opened 
upon with shell, and as they came nearer, by the infantry. The 
first to advance was a portion of Couch's corps, Hancock's divis- 
ion, I think. The shell made awful havoc among them. We 
could see the men fall, and flags go down and come up again, and 
count the dead and wounded behind them, as they swept on, by 
dozens. I noticed that the enemy were careful of their ammuni- 
tion : they would reserve their fire until our men were within 
short range, and then deliver it with terrible effect. 

" At about noon, the Irish brigade made an attempt to dislodge 
the enemy from their breastworks. It came across the plain in 


splendid style, and charged upon the works most gallantly ; but, 
besides artillery, they were met by two lines of infantry, one 
above another, and were repulsed. They fell back in some con- 
fusion, but were soon rallied, at a depression in the ground, where 
they held their own. The first brigade of our division were en- 
gaged about sunset. It was under fire only about half an hour, 
and lost 400 killed and wounded. On the 14th, there was no gen- 
eral engagement, but picket firing and occasional cannonading 
was kept up all day. On the morning of that day it was announ- 
ced that the 9th army corps was to charge upon the enemies works 
in column by regiments. The 11th was to go in advance of the 
column, and do the skirmishing. But Sunday passed, and no fight- 
ing took place ; why, I do not know. I believe it would have 
been successful, although attended with an immense loss of life. 
On the night of the 15th, we recrossed the river, and reached our 
old camp, which had been left standing, before midnight. 

" I am rejoiced to see that the public do not blame our beloved 
General Burnside., for we think that he did everything that lay in 
his power, and that too, with a vigilance, piomptness and gallant- 
ry, which reflect great honor upon him. It is said that he did not 
want to advance at the time he did, and thought that to do so 
would result only in slaughter, but was ordered to do so by the 
President. The sequel proved his superior wisdom. Oh ! when 
will citizens learn to mind their own business and leave military 
matters to military men ? This has been a drawback to our cause 
ever since the rebellion commenced. I believe we should have 
conquered the rebels ere this, if we had had a straight out and out 
military dictator. For my part, I am tired of this useless sacri- 
fice of life. I feel a strong devotion to my country. I am wil- 
ling to undergo any privation or sacrifice, even to that of my life, 
to establish its union and maintain its honor, but I do not like to 
throw my life away at the caprice of those who do not under- 
stand the movements and welfare of any army. 

"The right grand division was reviewed by Gen. Sumner this 
A M. Our regiment was especially complimented by the Gen. 
for its neatness and soldierly appearance. 

Yours afiectionately, 

Samuel C. Barnum." 

To P. M. Trowbridge, Esq." 

history of ancient woodbury. 1171 

" Camp op 1 1th Conn. Vols. ) 
Dec. 11th, 1862, 7 o'clock P. M- f 

" My Dear Friend : — Just as I predicted last night, we awoke 
this morning to the music of cannon. At precisely 5 o'clock A. M* 
the sullen boom of a heavy gun sounded out upon the morning 
air, and opened the ball. 

Our troops are in Fredericksburg, and the city is in ruins and 
burning. At an early hour this morning our Engineers commen- 
ced throwing a pontoon bridge across the river at a point near the 
city, and were fired upon by the rebels from houses and breast- 
works. It was found impossible to accomplish the work, as our 
men were picked off by sharp-shooters as often as they came in 
sight. Consequently, our batteries opened upon the city, to dis- 
lodge the rebels, and continued it, with intervals, until sundown. 
The cannonading has been the most terrific and rapid I have ever 
heard. It seemed to be, sometimes, by volleys, which would jar 
the ground for miles. Considerable difiiculty occurred in dislodg- 
ing some rebel sharp-shooters from rifle-pits on the opposite side 
of the river, as our gunners could not depress their guns enough 
to touch them. It was accomplished, however, by a most daring 
and heroic exploit of some fifty brave soldiers of the 7th Mich., 
who went across on two pontoons, lying on their backs in the bot- 
tom of the boats, and exposing only their hands in rowing, and 
who charged upon the pits on reaching the opposite shore. The 
last plank of the bridge was laid at about 4 o'clock P. M. I pre- 
sume others will soon be laid. Our troops are now passing over. 
We have been under orders all day, and are now ordered to be 
ready to move early in the morning. 

'' This is the first instance of the shelling of a city during the 
war. Everybody is pleased with the way in which Burnside con- 
ducts affairs. It seems as if war was being waged sternly and in 
earnest. I admire him, too, for demanding the removal of Gen. 
Meigs. I believe McClellan's failures have been occasioned more 
by such blunders, as for instaace the delay of the pontoon, &c., 
and his failure to remedy matters, than his own incompetency. 
Yours affectionately, 

Samuel C. Baknum. 

To P. M. Trowbridge, Esq." 


"Camp 11th Conn. Vols., ) 
0pp. Fi-edericksbug, Va. ) 

"My Dear Friend: — Yours of the 28th inst. came to hand 
this A. M. I imagine that your mail facilities must be rather 
poor, as I have written you at least two letters, and one to Rod., 
since the battle. I am quite well, and very busy, as it is now the 
end of the year, and there are several reports to be made out — 
which involves a good deal of labor. 

" You ask what I think of being whipt. I confess we were. 
We TTiust try again ! I am not disheartened, but, on the con- 
trary, feel more like fighting and dying than ever. I don't care 
to live to see my country succumb to rebels. I amire Gen. Burn- 
side most ardently. I love him. I think, with a smaller force, he 
would be much more brilliant and successful. With his present 
army he nobly coafesses his want of capacity. I am inclined to 
the belief that "Little Mac" is the man. 

Yours affectionately, 

Samuel C. Barnum. 

To Philo M. Trowbridge, Esq." 

" Camp of 11th Conn. Vols., ) 
Opposite Fredericksburg, Va., Nov. 27th, 1862. ) 

My Dear Friend : — It is Thanksgiving in Conn, to-day, and I 
have been thinking of you constantly, and I need not say how 
often I have wished I were with you to enjoy it. There are so 
many pleasing associations clustering about the day, that it has 
always seemed to me one of the happiest of the year. Bright 
visions of your festivities have flitted before me to-day, until I 
have almost imagined myself there in reality. And thus it is I 
often derive great satisfaction in the thought of the happiness of 
friends at home. You must not imagine, however, that I am want- 
ing in the comforts of life ; on the contrary, I have enjoyed a 
sumptuous dinner to-day, prepared by the cook of our mess, and 
at which Col. Harland (our Brigadier) and Surgeon Warner of the 
16th were guests. I enjoyed it, but felt almost guilty at the 
thought, that the men of the regiment had nothing but hard crack- 


ers and " salt junk." The rank and file are the ones who make 
the greatest sacrifices, after all. 

" Our army has been lying here for more than a week. No one 
knows when or where it will move next. The rebels are in con- 
siderable force on the other side. Their camps are jilainly visible 
from a point near our camp, and the pickets of the two armies 
often converse with each other, on the banks of the Rappahannock. 

"Poor Rod. has been quite sick with a fever, and has suffered 
much. He is now better, and I hope will be well soon. If he is 
not, I shall try to send him home to recruit. 

"You wish me to tell what position I occupy, &c. I am at 
present acting as Adjutant. The Adjutancy is a Staff appoint- 
ment, and a very desirable situation. His business is to make all 
reports, <fec. of the regiment, write, publish, and copy all orders, 
attend to the officers' correspondence, and in the field to form the 
regiment and assist in maneuvering it ; also, to mount the guard. 
I am entitled to a horse, and many other privileges, which I could 
not otherwise have. Besides, I very much enjoy the society with 
which it brings me in contact. Col. Stedman has told me that he 
should be pleased to have me remain where I am, but, at any time 
I wish to go in the line, I can have a captaincy. My present rank 
is that of 1st Lieutenant. 

Yours affectionately, 

Samuel C. Barnum. 

To P. M. Trowbridge, Esq." 

"Camp of 11th Conn. Vols., Dec. 10th, 1862. 

" My Dear Friend : — I received your kind letter of the 4th 
inst. last evening. I am surprised to know that you have received 
but one letter from me since the battle. I am confident of having 
written more. 

" I am very sorry that my silence has occasioned you any anxiety 
on my account, for, I assure you, my health was never better than 
now, and although exposed to the fatigues and exposures of the 
march through Virginia, I not only survived it, but really quite 
enjoyed it. If a person is in good health, there is always some- 
thing to interest one on a march. 


" I am still with the field and staff, aud enjoy it very much, not 
only as it is just in my line of business, (writing,) but it brings 
me into a very refined circle ot society, under the influences of 
which I feel that I am improving. I can give you no definite direc- 
tions about the box of which you write, as it is announced this af- 
ternoon that the troops will move to-morrow morning, at daylight. 
Stirring scenes are ahead. While I write, the rumbling of wagons, 
&c., betokens preparation for the coming contest. We may awake 
to-morrow morning to the music of cannon. Pontoon bridges 
have, I understand, been thrown across the river at points below 
this place, and one is being, or is to be thrown across at a point 
near Falmouth. Over these bridges I suppose the troops are to 
make a simultaneous attempt to cross. Of course opposition is 
expected ; the battle may be severe and critical ; I am inclined to 
think it will. The 9th army corps are the first to attempt a cross- 
ing at Falmouth. 

" This seems to me a critical period. Great events may be 
hanging on the issues of the next few days. God grant that our 
cause may triumph this time. A good deal of curiosity is felt 
here in regard to the destination of Banks. I hope it will be as 
you suggest, to operate with us in another direction. 

"May be you would like to know what my feelings are in re- 
gard to the prospect of a fight. I assure you they are nose of 
those ever described as *' spoiling for a fight." I would much 
rather the thing be accomplished without the shedding of a single 
drop of blood, but if it is to be otherwise, I desire to meet it 
squarely, coolly and bravely. 

" The experiences of " Newberne," " South Mountain," and 
" Antietam," have taught me that there is an awful reality to be 
sternly met. 

Yours affectionately, 

Samuel C. Barnum. 

To P. M. Trowbridge, Esq." 

A few extracts from the diary of Ammi F. Hall, Co. G., 1st Conn. 
Heavy Artillery, are here given, in lieu of a description of the 
Seven Days Battles and retreat of Gen. McClellan. 


"On the 27th of June, at two o'clock in the morning, in a cold 
rain storm, we formed a line ; sixty rounds of cartridges were 
given to each man, and one days rations. We immediately start- 
ed on a forced march to Hanover. We had gone twelve miles, 
when we halted long enough for the engineers to build a rough 
bridge over a small river. This being accomplished, the order 
'Double-quick,' was given, and away we hastened, with our ac- 
customed vigor, for the scene of action, which the booming can- 
non told us had already commenced. On our approach to the 
battle-field, we found a part of Gen, Porter's Division, which had 
marched by another road, and was nearly an hour ahead of us, 
had engaged the rebels. Our regiment was immediately deployed 
to attack the enemy in the woods on the Hanover Court House 
Road, but they retired on our approach. Then we gave three 
Yankee cheers, and commenced the pursuit on the turnpike to 
Hanover, when orders to countermarch were given, in order to 
repel an attack of the enemy on our left and rear. The advance 
of the brigade was much impeded by the artillery and ambulance 
trains, and the column thus became broken. For a few minutes 
all was confusion and excitement, and the left became the front. 
Our regiment was deployed and entered the woods on the right, 
to prolong the attacking line in that direction. At this moment^ 
Col. Robert Tyler sprang forward and said, ' Now boys, you that are 
not afraid of blood, follow me.' Instantly, a line of shining bayo- 
nets were leveled, and we charged through the woods like a deadly 
avalanch. The enemy were swept from before us, and were ut- 
terly routed and dispersed. We took hundreds of prisoners, and 
the victory was complete. The red sun sank below the horizon, 
retiring from that scene of horror and devastation, as if in sor- 
row for the fallen dead. The picture of the cold and lifeless bod- 
ies of the slain will ever remain a perpetual vision. The low, 
mournful cries of the wounded, and the penitent confessions of 
the dying rebels, as they prayed for mercy at the hands of God, 
will forever ring in my ears. It was a painful task to labor with 
those sufferers, to hear their penitent confessions, and witness 
their sad gratitude. But the saddest thought of all was, that af. 
ter all their brave fighting, they could not have the consolation of a 
heroic death in the defence of the right, but must lie down in a sol- 
dier's grave with the brand of traitors upon their memories. Dark- 
ness soon covered the field, and the men were so weary that many 
sank down on the field, unable to keep their places in the ranks. 


When the order ' Rest,' was given, each sought his chum, his 
dearest friend and comrade, and they together sank down upon 
the cold, wet, bloody ground, without food, without covering, and 
without other shelter than the broad canopy of Heaven ! Once, 
during the night, I awoke, but only to withdraw my feet from a 
puddle of water, benumbed, and nearly frozen. In a moment, I 
was asleep again, and did not awake the second time, till the sun 
had long been looking down upon us, 

"Foraging parties were sent out in search of food. They returned 
at noon, with several of the enemies' waggons loaded with meal 
and bacon, which was equally shared by the whole regiment. In 
the afternoon we buried the dead. Twenty-five North Carolina 
soldiers we buried in one grave. At three o'clock Gen. McClel- 
lan appeared upon the field, and was greeted with great enthu- 

" On the 29th we went towards Ashland, on a reconnoisance, — 
found the enemy in force, and returned to camp at noon. At sun- 
down we took up the line of march for camp at Old Church. The 
night was very dark, the road rough and muddy, and the regiment 
was scattered along a distance of six miles. I reached camp at 
one o' clock in the night, and sought my tent for repose. 

"On the 31st we started for Cold Harbor, marched five miles, 
when the order to countermarch was given. We had nearly 
reached Old Church, when the order to countermarch was again 
given, and we reached Cold Harbor at twelve o'clock. At one, 
the constant roar of cannon, and the fierce rattle of musketry, 
told us a terrible battle was in progress. Orders came to 'fall in.' 
We stacked arms, and awaited further orders. The battle contin- 
ued during the afternoon, and was renewed next day. Still nearer 
and nearer sounded the roar of artillery, bringing to our practiced 
ears the sad and silent foreboding of defeat. Between us and the 
combatants lay a dark, deep, rapidly flowing river. The bridge 
had been swept away by the late fresliet. It was madness 
to attempt to cross it, and rush to the rescue of our defeat- 
ed and retreating army. We did not know, at the time, that this 
was the great battle of Fair Oaks, Avhicb, recorded on the page of 
history, fills the hearts of loyal people with shame and indigna- 
tion. On Monday morning we marched to Banes' Mill, and re- 
mained there till the 25th of June, doing picket duty in the Chick- 
ahomany swamps. The pickets were in no wise friendly. A con- 
tinual fire was kept up on both sides, and not an hour passed, in 


which some of our soldiers did not fall by the enemies bullets. 
We were often compelled to stand in water up to our waists, and 
behind trees, to avoid the bullets of the hostile riflemen. Al- 
though suffering from constant exposures, the bites of musquitoes 
and other poisonous insects, in these dismal swamps, still we were 
not discouraged, for we well knew the value of every inch of 
ground we then occupied. 

"On the 1.3tli of June, we had a chase after Stuart's cavalry, 
which I shall not soon forget. It was four in the afternoon when 
we started, leaving everything behind that would impede a rapid 
march. At 11 o'clock we halted at Old Church, where we slept 
upon our arms for the night. Early in the morning we were on 
their track. Baggage and Sutler's wagons were left smoking all 
along our route. At one in the afternoon we reached Tunstall's 
station. On our approach the rear guard of the enemy could 
easily be seen disappearing over a high hill. The schooners in 
the river were all ablaze, and the cars at the station were on fire. 
Our cavalry advanced in rapid pursuit, but the enemy succeeded 
in safely crossing the Chickahommany, having gone entirely 
around McClellan's army, which event caused not a little com- 
ment throughout the camps. We returned next day to camp, 
nearly starved, and quite disgusted with our long and fruitless 

'' On June 25th, we marched to Seven Pines, over the battle- 
field of Fair Oaks, which had not lost the traces of the late fierce 
conflict. The smell of human blood was sickening in the ex- 
treme. Unburied bodies of friend and foe lay in the woods and 
swamps around us, and from the long, shallow trenches, where a 
portion of the dead were buried, heads, hands, and feet protruded 
sad relics of hideous war. We immediately took position in Gen 
Hooker's division, with our cannon, 150 yards from the enemy's 
picket line. It was evident that more work was near at hand. 
Whole brigades and divisions stood in battle array — horses in. 
harness, and baggage wagons loaded, ready for pursuit or retreat. 
Here we stood by our guns four days. In one day and night, the 
enemy, in feeble force, charged ten times upon our battery. At^ 
night, I stretched myself upon one of the guns, and had a long, 
sweet rest. A shell bursting over my heard, brought me to my 
feet. This was a signal for a night attack — mest dreaded — 
most feared by the soldier. But the rebels were drawn back to 
their works, after a short, but fierce conflict. This was, with us. 


the commencement of the Seven Days Battle. The heavy boom- 
ing of cannon on our right told too plainly, that the anticipated 
and dreaded hour had arrived. 

" Saturday night — and the battle fiercely rages. The soldiers 
look around on each other in silence and solicitude. Half an hour 
later, we wei'e marching with all our guns and baggage, in the 
darkness, and on an unknown route. ' This,' said a comrade jo- 
cosely, ' do'nt look much like the road to Richmond,' as we strug- 
gled on over stumps and holes, through swamps, and over sleep- 
ing comrades by the way, till we halted at Savage Station. We 
stretched ourselves upon the ground, and slept, for the remainder 
of the night. In the morning, a long, dull, heavy report, brought 
us to our feet. Hundreds of tons of ammunition were being de- 
stroyed. Everything that would burn was all in flames. Infantry, 
cavalry, artillery, ambulances and baggage wagons, were all hur- 
rying along at the top of their speed. 'Retreat,' whispers one. 
' Retreat,' says another. ' Retreat,' sounded through the faltering 
ranks, and at once the horrible truth flashed upon us, that Mc- 
Clellan and all his army were in full retreat. 

" We marched ten miles that day, and halted at White Oak 
swamp, where the various parts of the regiment met together. 
We placed our sixty siege heavy guns in line, fearing the pursu- 
ing enemy. Then we had a few hours in which to rest our stif" 
fened limbs. Most of the men were lying on the ground, sleep- 
ing, eating, reading or writing, when the startling cry — ' The reb- 
els are coming,' rang through the camp. A wild rush of soldiers 
followed, and in twenty minutes the regiment stood by its guns 
in battle line- No rebels appeared, however, and the men broke 
ranks again. 

'' On Monday morning we resumed our march again. But be. 
ing somewhat fatigued, and the trains being urged on at an unu- 
sual speed, we liad the privilege of riding on the guns. The ex- 
citement grew more intense, and soon we found ourselves whirl- 
ing through the air for some destination unknown to us, where 
we could find protection. At length we emerged from the dark 
pine forests, into a large field of wheat. Far off" in the distance 
flowed the James, rolling on in all its majesty, and through its 
murky waters plowed our gunboats, the terror of the rebel Con- 
federacy. Food, water, rest awaited us, as we struggled through 
the tangled wheat. The order, ' Halt,' wa^ given, and ' gopher 
like,' we made a fierce attack upon the wheat fiell. I filled ray cap 


with wheat, which I boiled, and, in less than twenty minutes, sat 
down to a repast, which has seldom if ever, during my soldier ex- 
perience, been excelled. 

" Next iu the programme of the Great Secession Rebellion, oc- 
curred the memorable battle of Malvern Hill. Three hundred 
cannon in three lines of battle hurled their deadly missiles through 
the mad columns of the advancing foe. The long, fearful, dread- 
ed yell, the wild shout, the roar of musketry, and the sharp clash 
of glistening steel, as the columns surged to and fro in the bloody 
charge, in this battle, can never be appreciated except by those 
who heard and saw them. The rebel charge was terrific, but by 
the aid of our gun-boats, they were driven back, and we quietly 
settled down on the banks of the James. But we were not 
to remain here long. A cold, drizzling rain was descending, 
when, in silence and thick darkness, we hurried along the river at 
twelve o'clock at night, and halted at Harrison's Landing. I was 
very weary, and threw myself under a gun, my knapsack for a 
pillow, and settled down in the deep mud. The enemy also took 
advantage of the darkness, and returned, disappointed and de- 
feated, to their capital, leaving a sufficient force to deceive our 
array, and compel it to act on the defensive. 

" The "Woodbury boys represented in this ' Retreat,' in our re- 
giment, were Walter Whitlock, William H. Proctor, Daniel 
Banks and myself. William Whitlock and Perry Lake, were in 
hospital — elsewhere.' " 

Woodbury pluck was well displayed during the battle of Fred- 
ericksburg, under Gen. Buruside It became necessary to lay 
pontoon bridges across the Rappahannock river, to "reach the city. 
The boats had been successfully secured across the river. Volun- 
teers were wanted to lay the plank upon them, so that the sol- 
diex's could cross, and a hundred volunteers were called for from 
the regiment. Rebel sharp-shooters from rifle-pits directly in 
front, made it almost certain death for men to engage in this un- 
dertaking. But, instantly, upon the call to undertake the hazar- 
dous enterprize, four Woodbury men stepped from the ranks to 
express their willingness to go, were accepted, and went with the 
one hundred, more than half of whom never returned from their 
patriotic hazard, but neither of the Woodbury boys were harmed, 
though 150 of our cannon, and a greater number of the rebels 
were playing over their heads during the time occupied in this 
duty, and the bullets of the sharp-shooters fell like rain upon them* 



Several times they were obliged to desist, but they persevered, 
laid their bridge, and the union army passed over to deadly com- 
bat. A more sublime picture than the heroic undertaking of 
these brave men, could not be portrayed to the apprehensions of 
the least imaginative. The names of these heroic young men de- 
serve an honorable place in history. They were John E. Juttle, 
Charles S. Buell, John Bunnell and Charles Cosier. 

The soldier's life is one of hardship, suffering, pain and death, 
never to be appreciated by the civilian. But it has its bright 
spots, its enjoyments, and its ludicrous incidents. The history of 
a soldier's experience would not be complete, nor would a history 
of the incidents of the war be complete, unless some of these 
were recounted, A few specimens, therefore, of this sort of ad- 
venture will be inserted here. 

Among the early volunteers of 1861, in the Rev. Capt. William's 
Co. G. 4th Conn. Volunteers, afterwards the 1st Heavy Artillery, 
were Ammi F. Hull and Walter Whitlock. All through their 
four years' service, they were the most intimate of friends. They 
were always together in camp or in battle. Hull tells the follow- 
ing incident in regard to Whitlock, which occurred early in 1862, 
— before the regiment had seen much service. 

" One night when the enemy were keeping up a continual fire 
on us, several of their shell struck in our battery. No one was 
seriously injured, but one man, an intimate friend of mine. Corpo- 
ral Walter Whitlock, got such a fright as he will never forget. 
It was past midnight, cold, and dark, and we were sitting on the 
ground, around a large fire, trying to warm our stiffened limbs, 
when we were suddenly disturbed by the gruff command — ' Fall 
in, G, Co. detail ; Fall in I The Major will come, and find we 
have done nothing. Fall in G.' At the last command to fall in, 
a large bomb shell came crashing through the woods, and burst 
directly over our heads. When all was over, we arose from the 
ground, which we had been hugging pretty closely, and looked 
around for our worthy corporal. But nothing could be seen of 
him except his head, rising above the mud and water in the creek. 
We pulled him out, carried him to the fire, and he soon recovered 
so that he could recall his last command to fall in. But he never 
would confess how he came in the creek. If he willingly chose 
that for a hiding place, he would be perfectly secure from harm 
— except his head. But we could not with consistency obey his 
oora g and Xofall in as he did. A better, or a braver soldier, how- 


ever, never marched in the ranks of the Union Army, In camp, 
in sieges, in battles, amid the ocean's terrific storms, on long and 
weary marches, he was ever my firm, true and constant friend." 

" One night," says Corporal Hull, " we were on picket duty, 
and captured a rebel spy. He was on horseback, and attempted 
to run by our picket-post. But a bullet whistleing past his ears, 
brought him to his senses, and he wisely concluded that ^ discre- 
tion was the better part of valor,' and exclaimed — ' Now, Yanks, 
you uns won't kill me if 1 halt^ will you ?' At that moment a 
bullet in the horse's leg brought horse and rider to the ground — 
and there was an end of the parley." 

When the Massachusetts 8th Regiment, under command of 
General Butler, marched to the defence of Washington, after the 
brutality practiced on the 6th Massachusetts, in Baltimore, it will 
be remembered it went by water around that city. At this time 
a " curious" phenomenon occurred. Some men in the regiment, 
who had fine voices, and there were many such, had been singing, 
with all that delicious efiect that music at sea produces, several of 
the finest psalms in the liturgy. The ocean softens and delicately 
repeats sound, and those airs trembled along the almost unrippled 
surface of the sea. While they were singing, the moon swung 
clear into the air, and round her white disk were seen three cir- 
cles, clear and distinct, red, white and blue ! The omen was 
caught by common instinct, and a thousand cheers went up to that 
heaven that seemed, in its visible signs, to manifest the approval 
of the cause in which they who witnessed it were engaged. 

For the first year or two of the war, there was a peace party, 
so called, in the North, of considerable numbers. An amusing 
adaptation of sacred poetry, in this connection, is told of a good 
old lady. She had been for sometime listening to a discussion 
between two gentlemen on this question of peace. Finally, one of 
them, somewhat excitedly, insisted, that the salvation of the 
country depended upon the efforts of this small peace party. The 
old lady instantly held up both hands, and exclaimed 

" Oh Lord! on what a slender thread 
Hangs everlasting things I " 

While ene of our Woodbury soldiers was serving in Arkansas, 
he was one day doing picket duty. While thus engaged, a silver- 
haired old man, some eighty-five years of age, addressed him, and 
desired to pass his post. The soldier at once asked him where he 



was going. "I am on ray way to Heaven," solemnly replied the 
old man. '' Well," said the soldier, much amused, " If you have 

been on your way to Heaven all the 
time till you have reached your 
])resent age, and have got no fur- 
ther on your journey than Arkan- 
sas^ yon may pass ; I would not like 
to hinder you. But I shall try some 
other rovteP'' 

When the war broke out, our en- 
tire people were engaged in the arts 
of peace. Though people of all con 
l^ ditions rushed into the military ser_ 
^p=- vice, at the call of their country 
they had no knowledge of the arts 
of war, nor the demands of military discipline. It took conside- 
rable time for the privates to learn that respect for a superior offi- 
cer, that the exigencies of the service required. They did not 
readily see why their neighbor, who at home was in no wise their 
superior, in wealth, social standing, or intellectual acquirements, 
should, by merely having a commission, " lord it " over them. An 
amusing incident, illustrating this idea, occurred in the service, 
which we will relate, omitting names. A Captain, one day, deci- 
dedly under the influence of intoxicating liquor, met a private in 
the same condition. The captain ordered to him to "halt," and, 
endeavoring in vain to assume a firm position on his feet, and to 

talk with dignified severity, exclaimed, " Private , I'll giv' 

X^'Wfour o'clock to gissober in." 

" Cap'n," replied the soldier, " as 
you're (hie) a d — d sight drunker 'ni- 
am, I'll give you t'll five (hie) o'clock 
to gissober in." 

Harper's Magazine has a very good 
story on the rebel side, which illus- 
trates one phase of our human nature. 
" A gentleman who was on the 

Southern side during our late little 

misunderstanding, relates the following : '_' Roe," of our company, 
used to stammer fearfully, and while having a judicious admix- 
ture of prudence in his valor, was still one of the best and pluck- 
iest of all. One of our guns had been captured by the Yankees, 



and the order came down to recapture it if possible. It was a 
fearful task ; and as we stood drawn up, awaiting the word to 
move forward at the double-quick, we felt instinctively that many 
of us would stay around the spot where the lost gun was. It 
scarcely seemed worth the price we were about to pay, and " Roe" 
seemed to be more thoroughly impressed with this idea than any 
one else. Suddenly an idea entered his mind ; stepping out of 
the rank^j, he stuttered, wildly, as he always did when excited "I 

say, kick-kick-captain, 1-1-1-let us gig-gig-get up a s-s-s-s-subscrip, 
tion and pip-pip-pay for the cussed old gun." 

Long before the middle of 1862, it had become apparent to both 
government and people, that the war would assume enormous pro- 
portions, and that preparations for the defence of the country, on 
a far larger scale than had heretofore been supposed necessary, 
would become imperative. The President made repeated calls 
for additional troops, and the "note of preparation," on a grander 
scale, was sounded throughout the land. Bounties for enlistments 
began to be offered by towns, and other communities, and the 
Legislature made ample provision for the families of the soldiers, 
who were serving in the Union armies. Each little town and 
hamlet seemed as if actuated by one impulse, and steadily the 
preparations went on. 

On the 24th of July, 1862, Woodbury, in legal town meeting, 
first took action in the way of granting bounties to the patriot 
volunteers, when the following votes were passed without dissent ; 

" Voted^ That pursuant to a statute law of tkis State, the town 
of Woodbury will pay to each new recruit from said town, who 
shall enlist with our recruiting officers, the sum of one hundred 
dollars, as soon as he shall be mustered into the military service 
of the United States as a private soldier in the ranks of any Re- 
giment of Connecticut Volunteers."^ 


" Voted, That the Treasurer of the town of Woodbury be au- 
thorized to borrow, from time to time, such sums of money as 
shall be necessary to pay the soldiers who shall be recruited from 
this town, to an amount not exceeding, in the whole, the sum of 
Three Thousand dollars, and that he be authorized to give a town 
note or notes for the sums so borrowed, at the legal rate of inte- 

" Voted, That it shall be the duty of the town Treasurer to pay 
said soldiers, so enlisted, said bounty, upon their being mustered 
into the service of the United States, and that he shall keep a 
true record of all soldiers so paid by him, that the number receiv 
ing said bounty may apply on our quota of troops for the service 
under the last call of the President of the United States." 

" Voted, That the said Town Bounty shall be paid only to the 
volunteer, or to his order, and shall not be paid on any factorizing 
or other legal pi'ocess." 

" Voted, That a committee of five be appointed by this meet- 
ing to acquire and keep intelligence of the location of all the sol- 
diers that have gone or may go to the war from this town, learn 
their wants, and solicit such aid, from time to time, of our citi- 
zens, as shall be necessary." 

The following named gentlemen were appointed said Committee, 
viz : — William Cothren, Philo M. Trowbridge, Calvin H. Downs^ 
George Saxton and William A. Gordon. 

On the 12th of August, 1862, the following votes were in like 
manner, passed in legal town meeting ; — 

" Voted, That whereas the late appropriation of this town for 
the encouragement of enlistments into the United States service 
has proved inadequate to pay the volunteers which have been 
found necessary to fill our town quota on the President's several 
calls, not including the last call for nine month's militia men ; pur- 
suant to a statute law of this State, the town of Woodbury will 
pay to each new recruit from said town, or who shall enroll him- 
self on the quota of said town, both on the deficit in our former 
quotas, and in our quota of the three hundred thousand nine 
months men last called for, the sum of one hundred dollars, as 
soon as he shall be mustered into the military service of the Uni- 
ted States, as a private soldier in the ranks of any regiment of 
Connecticut volunteers." 

" Voted, That an additional bounty of ten dollars shall be paid 
to each such recruit, to make him equal with the first thirty re- 


cruits from this State, who are to receive said sum as a bounty 
from Charles G. Judson, Esq., of New York," 

" Voted, That the thanks of this town be returned to Charles 
G. Judson, Esq., of New York, for his very handsome gift of 
three hundred dollars to encourage enlistments in his native town, 
and that the Town Clerk be instructed to forward a certified copy 
of this vote to him, at New York." 

" Voted That the Treasurer of the town of Woodbury be au- 
thorized to borrow, from time to time, such sums of monev as 
shall be necessary to pay the soldiers who shall be recruited to 
fill the quota from this town, to an amount in the whole not ex- 
ceeding the sum of Five Thousand dollars, in addition to the for- 
mer appropriation of Three Thousand dollars, and also be author- 
ized to give a town note or notes for the same." 

" Voted, That it shall be the duty of the Treasurer to pay said 
soldiers said two bounties on their being mustered into the ser- 
vice of the United States ; and he shall keep a true record of all 
soldiers so paid by him, that the number so paid may apply upon 
our several quotas for the service." 

" Voted, That the Town Bounties shall be paid only to the vol- 
unteer, or to his order, and shall not be paid on any factorizing, 
or other legal process, it being intended to put the town bounty 
on the same footing as the State bounty." 

" Voted, That the committee appointed at the last special toAvn 
meeting, be authorized and requested, in addition to their other 
duties, to learn from time to time the condition of the families of 
our volunteers, and relieve their wants by subscription, as shall to 
them seem necessai*y." 

'' Voted, That the Treasurer of the town pay the Recruiting 
officer, or his assistant, the sum of three dollars for each recruit, 
to meet the expenses of transportation and recruiting men for our 

Previous to the 10th of September, 1862, a draft bad been or- 
dered, but volunteering had been so active, under the vigorous 
action of the recruiting committee, and the earnest patriotism of 
the citizens, that on that date, but five recruits were lacking to 
fill the town's quota on all the calls to that time. Two more volun- 
teered in that meeting, so that it became necessary to draft only 
three, and the tow^n voted to pay them, on the spot, a bounty 
sufficient, with the State bounty, to make the whole sum three 
hundred dollars, as will be seen by the following votes : — 


" Voted, That whereas on the 10th clay of September, A. D. 
1862, there remained five vacancies, necessary to be filled to fill all 
the quotas of Woodbury under all the calls of the President of 
the United States for military service to that date, and whereas 
the said town of Woodbury desires to be generous with its sol- 
diers, and whereas, at a large meeting of the inactive militia of 
said town, on said 10th day of September, 1862, it was immedi- 
ately recommended that the said town of Woodbury pay the sum 
of one hundred and sixty-seven 50-100 dollars bounty, in addition 
to the present bounty of one hundred and ten dollars, to every 
volunteer, and drafted men, who volunteered or was drafted on 
said 10th day of September, 1862, or who shall hereafter volun- 
teer or be drafted, or become a substitute for any drafted man, to 
count on all the quotas yet ordered by the Governor or President 
of the United States, up to said 10th day of September, 1862, till 
said quotas are full, after all requisitions are made up, making, 
with State bounty for nine months, the sum of three hundred dol- 
lars to each man who volunteers, or is drafted, sufficient to fill our 
quota to said date. And this bounty is given under the conside- 
ration, that it shall be paid only to the soldier himself, or to his 
order, and shall not be paid or given on any factorizing or other 
legal process whatsoever, the intent of this vote, like the prece- 
ding bounty votes of this town being, to present the town gift to 
the soldier himself, or to whom he shall direct, and to no other 
person — placing the town bounty on the same footing as the State 
bounties by statute are placed — said bounty to be paid as soon as 
the said men shall be mustered into the service of the United 
States, and that the drafted men and substitutes be paid three 
hundred dollars, instead of the sum herein named." 

" Voted, That the Treasurer of the town of Woodbury be au- 
thorized to borrow an amount of money sufficient to pay the 
bounties under this, the last vote. 

At the annual town meeting on the first Monday in October, 
the action of the special meeting held in September was ratified, 
with additions, as will be seen by the following action : — 

" Voted, That it shall be the duty of the Treasurer of this town 
to pay the volunteers who have enlisted for nine months, under 
the last call of the President of the United States for 300,000 
men, and who have been, or shall hereafter be credited to this 


town's quota of seventy-four men, the sum of one hundred and 
ten dollars; when they shall have been mustered into the service 
of the United States, as private soldiers." 

" Voted, That an additional bounty of one hundred sixty-seven 
50-100 dollars be paid by the Treasurer to Elisha Tuttle, who en- 
listed on the 10th day of September, 1862, when the aforesaid 
bounty of one hundred and ten dollars shall be due him, on bein<v 
mustered into the United States service." 

" Voted, That the Treasurer be directed to pay the men who 
Avere drafted in this town for nine months on the 10th day of Sep- 
tember, 1862, or to their substitutes, the sum of three hundred 
dollars each, when they shall have been mustered into the service 
of the United States." 

" Voted, That the above named bounties be paid only to the 
volunteers, or drafted men, or to their order, and not on any ftic- 
torizing or other legal process, putting this gift on the same foot- 
ings as the State and United States bounties." 

" Voted, That the Ti-easurer of Woodbury be authorized to 
borrow, from time to time, such sums of money as shall be neces- 
sary to pay the aforesaid bounties, and to give a town note or 
notes therefoi-, at the legal rate of interest." 

" Voted, That the record of the last vote, previous to adjourn- 
ment, passed at a legal town meeting, Aug. 12th, 1862, be altered 
and amended by the Town Clerk, by the insertion of the word 
* hereafter,' in the 4th line after the word 'recruit.'" 

The various bounty votes were right in themselves, and w^ere 
beneficial in their effects. It was right that those who remained at 
home should contribute of their substance to assist those who 
Avere going to the front. To say nothing of the hazards of the 
service, they were doing more, in a ^^ecimiccry Tpo'mt of view even, 
than their neighbors at home. For there was scarcely an enlisted 
man who was not earning more money at home than the small 
wages paid by the government. So that a good share of praise 
should be awarded to every faithful volunteer, above any conside- 
ration that could be reckoned to the credit of the bounty, however 
large, for the patriotic conduct of leaving family and home, and 
daring the chances of perilous war. 

But the volunteers of 1861 did not much relish the fact, that 
the new volunteers were receivimg liberal bounties, and praise on 
every hand. The subjoined letter from Lieut. Henry W, Loomis, 


fovmerly of Woodbury, in one of its passages, gives utterance to 
this feeling : — 

'"'Fort Scott, Va., Oct. iVth, 1862. 

"Friend Cothren; — It has been sometime since I received 
your last kind and very welcome letter, and I have often proposed 
to myself to answer it, but various causes have hitherto compelled 
me to defer it till now. Removed from the active duties of the field, 
to the more quiet, though somewhat monotonous routine of gar- 
rison life, we have now leisure for correspondence, reading, &c., 
which our boys are not slow to improve. 

"The 1st Connecticut occupies the same forts that they did last 
winter, (Scott, Richardson and Barnard,) with the addition of 
three others. Ward, Worth and Blenker. These are all in excel- 
lent condition, and the men prepared by their Peninsular cam- 
paign and recent drill, feel competent to defend them against 
any attack that may be made upon them. Perhaps it will not be 
uninteresting to you to know how we fill out our time here. Well 
then, Reveille at 5 A, M., followed immediately by breakfast, 
which used to mean, while on the Peninsula, " coffee and hard 
bread," unless on the march, when it was oftener poor water with 
hard bread if we could get it — now however it means coflTee, soft 
bread, and often some substantial dish along with them, while the 
boys supply themselves with all the luxuries the Sutler's " Store,''^ 
or the markets of Alexandria afford. After breakfast we have 
Infantry drill from V to 8, then "Guard Mounting" at 9, a good 
hearty dinner at 12, Heavy Artillery drill from 2 to 3, Dress Pa- 
rade at sundown, preparatory to which, if you should step into 
our quarters, you would see a most vigorous polishing of brasses, 
shoes, equipments, &c., which has won for our Regiment, the en- 
viable position it holds for neatness, and clean guns — in which 
respect we are the wonder of all the new regiments, whose con- 
stant inquiry how we contrive to keep so clean, meets us on every 
side. Roll call again at 8 1-2, followed by ' taps ' a half hour later, 
when the lights are put out and all are expected to be still — so 
passes day after day, with the usual details necessary to do the 
labor, &c., incident to garrison life. 

" Many of the men are becoming tired of this sameness, and 
long to be led once more to the front, preferring the active duties 
of the field, with the consequent excitement, to the easier life we 
lead here. And McClellan, God bless him, would not be averse to 


having us again with him in the field. For at the battle of Antie- 
tam, when reinforcements were called for, he exclaimed, ' would to 
God I had the 1st Connecticut hei-e.' 

" There are one or two things, friend Cothren, we should hardly 
have heeded while in active service, which now — when we have 
so much time for the discussion of the varied scenes of the difier- 
ent acts in the drama of the war, rather displease us. First — -The 
enormous bounties paid to the new regiments, either to buy them, 
or stir up their patriotism — do not know which. Second — That 
these same new regiments, after having been dragged into the Held 
by love of money or fear of a draft, should be styled the cream of 
the State, the best men who have left the State, and other appel- 
lations equally flattering to them. 

" Now, we cannot see why these new men should receive a 
higher rate of compensation for their servic es, than we who have 
been out through all the previous campaigns. If the bounties had 
been voted to all, old as well as the new, there would have been 
some show of fairness about it, since we shall be obliged, those of 
us who ever go back, to help pay these same bounties, which seem 
to have been given as a reward for holding back till fear that a 
draft would compel them to go, Nolens, Volens. This seems to 
us a piece of injustice, whether right or not judge you. Again, 
as to these new regiments being called the cream of the State, &c- 
Now to me, this seems an imfortunate comparison, for I have al- 
ways been led to look to the top of milk for the cream, and to the 
bottom for the dregs. But if the friends of these new regiments 
adapt their comparison to a'diiFerent time, viz: the drawing of the 
milk, and claim in their favor the old maxim, the nearer the bot- 
tom the richer, I would just suggest that when one is so near the 
bottom, the force necessary to extract it would naturally drag in 
much of refuse, which would not only be of no use, but a positive 
injury to the cream. 

Yours as ever, 

H. W. LooMis. 

While Woodbury furnished volunteers for nearly every Connec- 
ticut organization, its particular interest always centered in the 
5th Regiment, for which it raised Company E, a history of the 
organization of which has already been given, and in the 19th Ke- 
giment, afterwards changed to the 2d Connecticut Heavy Artille- 


ry, to which it contributed Company I, vphich Company was ever 
the pet of the town. 

The Regiment was a Litchfield County Regiment, and had its 
birth in a County Mass Convention, held at Litchfield, July 22, 
1862, at which nearly every town was represented, and over which 
Hon. Seth P. Beers, a native of Woodbury, presided, and made a 
stirring and patriotic speech. Immediately after tlie close of Gen. 
McClellan's disastrous Peninsular campaign. President Lincoln 
called for 300,000 volunteers. This call was seconded by a stir- 
ring proclamation from Gov. Buckingham, dated July 3, 1862' 
urging the people of Connecticut to raise six or more regiments 
at once. Li response to these proclamations the County meeting- 
was held, and a county regiment was resolved on, Woodbury re- 
solved to raise one out of the ten companies composing it. The 
town, by its bounty votes, had encouraged the undertaking, and 
the old war recruiting committee entered into the work with a 
vigor never before equaled. 

To give added zeal and encouragement to the patriotic under- 
taking, Charles G. Judson, Esq., a patriotic merchant of the city 
of New York, a native of Woodbur}--, offered an additional bounty 
of ten dollars each for the first thirty who should volunteer for 
the honor of his native town, in addition to the national, State and 
town bounties. 

Meanwhile, the citizens generally encouraged and cheered on 
the work. Under all these favorable influences, though the pros- 
pect "at the front" looked dismal, volunteering proceeded very 
rapidly, and sixty-one men, about one twenty-fifth of the entire 
population, were enrolled in a very short time. Men of all ages, 
from 16 to 61 years of age, volunteered.^ 

Li the early part of these efforts at enlisting, and preparing sol- 
diers for the service, in pursuance of a call issued by Messrs. 
Charles H. Webb and Willis A. Strong, Representativs from 
Woodbury; Almon B. Downs, Representative from Southbury ; 
Henry J. Peck, Representative from Bethlem ; and Truman A. 
Warren, Senator from Watertown ; the people of Woodbury and 
adjacent towns met at the Town Hall in Woodbury, on Friday 
evening, the 17th August, to devise and adopt some plan of con 
certed action for raising men and money in this district, for the 

^Mr Ira Tho'iias, sixty-one years of age, was seized with the patriotic fire, 
dyed his grey whiskeisand enlisted, appearing to be at least twenty years 


Tlie attendance was very large, and the meeting enthusiastic. It 
was organized by calling Hon. Thomas Bull to the Chair. Robert 
Peck and Natlianiel Smith were appointed Secretaries. 

Dr. Charles H. Webb, on the part of the members of the 
Legislature who had issued the call, then stated that it was de' 
sirable that a Committee should be appointed by the citizens of 
Woodbury and neighborhood, charged in a special manner with 
the duty of enlisting volunteers, raising money, and correspond- 
ing with the Slate authorities, and such organizations as are exer- 
cising the same functions in other districts. He therefore moved 
that a Committee of three be appointed by the chair to confer to- 
gether and report to the meeting the nanaes of five oitizens to con- 
stitute that committee, which motion, being put, was carried, and 
the chair appointed Daniel Curtiss, Henry Dawson and Robert 
Peck, as such committee of conference. 

Addresses were then made by Abel Benedict, Rev. Charles E. 
Robinson, Rev. Mr. Silverthorne, Rev. John Churchill, Messrs. W. 
Cothren, James Huntington, Nathaniel Smith and Dr. S. B. Fair- 
child, interspersed with songs from Messrs. W. F. and F. A. 
Walker, and W. A. Gordon, assisted on the raelodeon by Miss 
Cornelia J. Betts, the accomplished organist of St. Paul's. 

The committee of conference then reported a list of five names 
to constitute a standing committee charged with correspondence, 
enlisting and the raising of money for volunteers, which was unan- 
imously adopted by the meeting, as follows : — Doct. Chas. H. 
Webb, W. Cothren, Esq,, James Huntington, Esq., Nathaniel 
Smith, Esq., Reuben J. Allen, Esq. 

Whereupon, after voting that a town meeting be held in Wood- 
bury to lay a tax to support the families of such as vohmteei" from 
the town, the meeting adjourned. 

The Litchfield County Regiment was soon nearly full, and our 
company was in daily expectation of being called to enter camp 
at Litchfield, for instruction in the art of war, and, perhaps, to go 
immediately to the front. The ladies of the town therefore de- 
cided to give them a farewell banquet before they should be called 
away. The following, from the Waterbury American, printed at 
the time, gives a brief account of the proceedings on that inter- 
esting occasion : — 

" Woodbury. — The ladies of Woodbury, with but a few hours 
previous notice, gave the volunteers of the town a splendid and 
bounteous farewell supper, at the Town Hall, last Thursday eve- 


ning. Three tables, reaching the whole length of the Hall, were 
loaded down with edibles, and many bushels more were held in 
reserve. A finer collation was never served up in old Woodbury. 
The ladies excelled themselves. 

" At the request of the ladies, W. Cothren, Esq., presided, and 
made a short and touching address to the soldiers, and to the cit. 
izens, who were to remain behind and do their duty in caring for 
the families of our country's defenders. The crowd was so great 
inside and outside of the house, as well as in the second story of the 
building, that it became necessary to remove a window, and the 
President and Speakers were obliged to speak from the window- 
sill. It was estimated that more than half of the adult population 
of the town, of both sexes, was present, 

"After the President's address, eloquent and patriotic speeches 
were made by James Huntington, Esq., Rev. Mr. Silverthorn, Rev, 
Mr. Churchill, Deacon T. Minor, and Mr. J. C. PoUey, one of the 
volunteers ; who, after alluding playfully to the fact that neither 
he nor his friends considered himself a public speaker, nor a 2^oli- 
tician, but simply a 2^olley-citizen, made a feeling address to his 
comrades, who were going forth to the war with him. 

*' The Woodbury Quartette Club and String Band discoursed 
eloquent music during the evening, under the direction of Mr. 
Wm. Walker. Rev. Mr. Robinson, of the 1st Church, who was 
unable to attend on account of illness, sent in a kind note to the 
volunteers, enclosing thirty dollars for the war fund. The ladies 
offered a series of resolutions, which were unanimously adopted 
by the meeting, with ' three cheers and a tiger ' by the volunteers. 
Thus passed the largest and most enthusiastic meeting ever held 
in Woodbury, composed of its own citizens alone. 

" The following Resolutions were offered by the Ladies of 
Woodbury, on the occasion : — 

" Hesolved, That in this great emergency of our country, our 
hearts, hands and voices shall unite in aiding the (700c? cawse for 
which our true-hearted men are struggling, and that though our 
hearts shall beat turaultuously as we bid our cZear 07ies 'farewell, 
(for awhile,) that they shall still beat time to the music of the Un- 
ion ; and though our hands do tremble, they shall be firm M^hen 
they point to the ' Starry Flag,' and that should our voices be 
faint, they shall gather strength as they cry ' God speed and God 
bless the volunteers.' 


" Resolved, That while we remember those who are departing, 
we will not forget those who remain behind. That the lame, the 
halt and the Mind shall be tenderly cared for, and that we pledge 
ourselves to do our utmost to check the alarming epidemic which 
has invaded these hitherto healthy regions ! 

Resolved, That to those who, through real inability, or for some 
allowable reason, cannot go forth to do battle for their country, 
we respectfully suggest that the Lord loveth a free giver, and that 
their purses should grow lean in the service of such as are leaving 
families, who must depend upon Woodbury for aid. Greatest 
favors thankfully received. Postage Stamps a legal tender. 

" Resolved, That we form ourselves into a Home Guard, and 
that we will frown upon all expressions of /Secession sentiment ; 
that we will hold ourselves insulted by a sneer at our Country, 
her Flag, or against those who are rising in her defense ; that we 
will comfort the afflicted, care for the infirm, clothe the poor, send 
our volunteers substantial reminders of home, and, in short, turn 
our hands to whatever may be needful ; even to gathering the 
crops, foddering the cattle, or protecting ourselves. 

" Resolved, That, with a firm faith in God's goodness, and in 
the belief that ' He doeth all things well,' we commit to His care 
and keeping, our Country, and these her brave defenders who 
meet with us to-night ; that our prayers shall ever ascend in 
their behalf; and that we will petition that those who wear His 
armor may keep it untarnished, and that such as are going forth 
without, may, through His grace, receive it ere long, burnished, 
and without a flaw. 

" Resolved, That to such as are about to leave us in so holy a 
cause, we offer our sympathy, respect and thanks, and that our de- 
sire is, that in camp or battle-field, when God, their country and 
their loved ones are in their thoughts, we, too, the Ladies of Wood- 
bury, may find a place amongst the remembered and the loved.''"' 

"At 8 A. M., on Sunday, Col. Wessells arrived in town, and or- 
dered our volunteers immediately to Camp at Litchfield, pursuant 
to an order from the Governor by telegram. In the space of four 
hours, the volunteers were gathered from all parts of our valley, 
and marched into the grounds of W. Cothren, Esq., where a 
bountiful collation was immediately improvised by the Ladies. 
After this part of the proceedings was concluded, earnest and ap- 
propriate remarks, couched in tender, affectionate and cheering 


words, were made by Rev. Mr. Robinson, of Woodbury, and Rev. 
Mr, Lobdell,of Warren. After prayer by Mr. Robinson, the vol- 
unteers filled the carriages provided for thera, and were escorted 
by many of our citizens to camp. The sound of the fife and drum, 
breaking the stillness of the Sabbath, was a strange sound to the 
ears of the present generation, residing in our quiet old valley." 

It was indeed a strange scene for old Woodbury, that was be- 
held that bright and beautiful Lord's day. Col. Wessells did not 
send, but came himself. He had been notified by a telegram from 
Gov, Buckingham to gather his regiment together at the earliest 
moment, and all supposed that they would be called to the field of 
strife immediately. Special prayers were ofiered in all the church- 
es for the success of the cause, and the safety of the loved ones 
so soon to leave us. In all the churches, also, the afternoon ser- 
vice was omitted, and all assembled at the grounds of the writer, 
to make arrangements for transporting the men to Litchfield, and 
to see in what way they could cheer and speed on the parting 
volunteers. It was indeed a strange scene for that peaceful Sab- 
bath day — the hurrying to and fro to collect the soldiers, who 
were scattered to their homes, not expecting a call so sudden ; the 
shrill sound of the fife, and the rattle of the drum, as the sounds 
re-echoed over the silent hills, the tears of husbands, wives, child- 
ren, now separating to meet they knew not where — all filled the 
mind with inexpressible and unwonted emotions. And thus they 
parted from our beautiful valley, and followed the path of patri- 
otic duty. 

This was on the 24th of August, but, contrary to expectation, 
they were not called to leave Litchfield for the defenses of Wash- 
ington, till Sept. 15th, 1862. While at Litchfield, the regiment 
encamped on a hill east of the village, and called their camp But- 
ton, in memory of Lieut. Henry M. Dutton, who had marched 
with Woodbury's first Company, the Valley Reds, and gave up 
his life in the great cause of his country, at Cedar Mountain. 

"And so the 19th was encamped. In order to raise it, Litchfield 
County had given up the floAver of her youth, the pride and hope 
of hundreds of her families ; and they had by no means enlisted 
to fight for a superior class of men at home. There was no supe- 
rior class at home. In moral qualities, in social worth, in every 
civil relation, they were the best that Connecticut had to give. 
More ih?Ln fifty of the rank and file of the regiment subsequently 

H I S T O K Y OF ANCIENT W O O 1> B U 11 Y . 1195 

found their way to commissions, and at least a hundred more 
proved themselves not one whit less competent or worthy to wear 
sash and saber, if it had been their fortune. It was the intelligent 
obedience, the soldierly bearing, the self respect, the faithfulness, 
the wounds and blood of the enlisted men of the 19th Infantry, 
afterward the 2d Artillery, that averted defeat or secured victory 
for the cause of the Union upon more than one desperate field, 
and that purchased stars for more than one pair of shoulders. 

The raising, fitting out, and marching of the regiments to the 
several positions assigned them in the field, were substantially 
alike, and the history of one is the history of all. Yet, they 
possess a thrilling interest t»j every thoughtful mind in the lan<l. 
The writer therefore believes that he cannot devote a few pages 
of this work to a better use, than by giving an account of the 
march to Washington of our County regiment, containing in its 
ranks the last full company raised by the town during the rebel- 
lion, substantially as related to him by one of the Field officers 
of the regiment. * 

"On the 11th Sept., 1862, the 19th Regiment of Volunteers, 
containing eight hundred and eighty-nine men, in the undress uni- 
fonn of U. S. soldiers, were drawn up by companies, each in its 
own street, in Camp Dutton, Litchfield, Conn. Besides these, 
many hundred, men, women and children, thronged thither, not 
however attracted, as usual, by the stirriiig scenes of military 
duty — the flutter of fiags, screaming of fifes, rattle of drums, ring- 
ing orders quickly repeated, and the swift evolutions of the drill, 
sights and sounds hitherto so unaccustomed to eye and ear in this 
peaceful land — but evincing, by the deep solemnity of their de- 
meanor, a graver purpose than mere curiosity. The spectators 
mostly gather in the vicinity of the Adjutant's tent, on the Field 
and Staff street. There, a slight, young West Point officer, wear- 
ing the single bars of a 1st Lieutenant, and holding in his hand a 
statute-book, stands in the midst of the Regimental officers, closely 
watched by all. At a word from the Colonel, an ordei'ly departs 
with a message, and a moment after Company A is seen advancing* 
At the moment its center is opposite the Lieutenant, it halts, fronts, 
dresses, and from a roll in his possession that officer calls the 
names on his list. Finding the proper number present for duty. 

' Lieut. Colonel Nathaniel Smith, of Woodbury, who went out as Major of the 



at a given sigual, each man removes his cap, and stands with right 
hand uplifted, while the Lieutenant quietly, but distinctly, reads the 
<»ath of service for three years, or during the war, and closes the 
book. Caps are replaced, hands lowered, the command from the 
Captain, Company A, right-face, forward and file left, march. That 
is all. 

"Yet in this short ceremony, as it continues through company 
after company, is that which none can witness without profound 
reflection, deep emotion ! 

"These men were not educated from youth to look on the sol- 
diers,' as the only mauly occupation. Yet, what nation of war- 
riors, by birth, tradition, occupation, ever dared to trust the fidel- 
ity of ranks mustered wit'' such simple forms. 

"Among the Romans, not to be a soldier was not to be a man. 
Yet the legionary took the vow of fidelity in the presence of bleed- 
ing victims, sacrificial incense, and as a part of the solemn wor- 
ship of the sacred standard. Even the poor gladiators about to 
slaughter each other in the mimic contest of the Arena, or the 
lake, first moved by in front of the imperial throne, to receive from 
the divinity thereon a consecrating nod in return for their sad 
salutation, ' Caesar ! we who are about to die, salute thee.' 

"Yet in the Roman ceremonial was involved not one tithe the 
change which this short, military form wrought in these citizens 
of our land. A moment ago, and these men were protected in life 
and limb, as well as restrained from acts involving death, by the 
awful sanctions of vigilant laws. The oath is taken, and now the 
same government commands and obliges them to sufiier mutilation 
and death, or else inflict them. Hitherto, theirs has been unre- 
strained liberty to go and come at will. Now, the attempt to do 
so would involve imprisonment, or loss of life. They have always 
sought happiness in such manner as they preferred. Now at the 
the choice of another, weariness, hunger, thirst, disease, discom- 
fort, awful labor, scenes of horror untold, must be their experi- 
ence. Always, as citizens, they have exercised control in the af- 
fairs of the nation, as participants in the sovereign authority. No 
one might command more than they. So now, in a moment, this 
imperial right is laid aside, and instant obedience, without ques- 
tion or hesitation, even to tlie laying down of life, at the orders 
of authorities whom they have not chosen, is duty not to be 

" These are but a few of many changes that might be enume- 

HISTORY OF A N ( '. I K X I' \T O O D B l* i: Y . 1197 

rated, knowu, foreseen by the men \vlu> came so sadly, company 
after company, and took the vow of service, no one shrinking from 
the irrevocable step ! Nor does the Government feel that any cere- 
mony is necessary to impress on their minds a sense of the sol- 
emn duty undertaken. Where hearts are already consecrated, 
words are of small m(jment. The work is done in the will. These 
nine hundred are here because the Liberty and the land they love 
ai'e in danger, and they are impelled by irresistable impulse to fly 
to the rescue. Only as soldiers can they help, and the oath which 
was made a sacrament to the Roman, that the fear of sacrilesre 
might bind him, may safely be a mere uplifting of the liand, when 
but a mark of admission to a coveted duty, as in the case of these 
nobler hearts and purer souls. 

"But, though short and siinjde, considered as the consummating 
act of self-dedication to the service of mankind — is thei'e, can there 
be — among the vicissitudes of human life, a scene more gloriously 
sublime than this ? Surely not, if we except the one where man 
proclaims his rei)entance towai'd, and trust in God. And eveir 
there we may recall, that the same authoritative voice that said. 
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy 
soul, with all thy mind and with all thy strength, did not separate 
from it the words, ' and thy neighbor as thyself.' 

"That day, then, the 11th of Sept., 1862, which witnessed the 
mustering of the 19th Connecticut, should it not, as year after 
year it recurs, be fragrant with memories of their patriotism and 
devotion ? Shall not all generations hold the sod on which the 
sons of Litchfield County devoted themselves to Liberty, as con- 
secrated ground? And the mighty hill on whose summit, with 
uplifted hands they offered the sacrifice of their lives for their 
countrymen, shall it not thenceforth and forever be deemed a high 
and holy altar? 

"Muster over, the four succeeding days (how swiftly they past), 
aside from drill, were one continuous bidding good bye. Yet 
the morning of the 16th Sept. found thousands gathered in and 
around the camp, for a last and then a final, and yet another fare- 
well. In the tents and in the streets, v/hat swarming of the lov- 
ing that were to remain around the departing loved ones ! I saw 
not a few pale faces wearing a forced smile, that promised tears 
to come — young hearts beating high with excitement and hope — 
grey heads sad with forebodings ! 

" Suddenly, from the Adjutant's tent comee the signal ot prepa- 


ration. Ou all sides a hurried parting, last kisses of wives, moth- 
ers, sweethearts. The fathers or brothers hands grasped firmly for 
an instant, on all sides earnest requests to wi'ite — write as soon as 
you get to — write daily — write everything as it happens at home 
— don't forget to write. -God bless you — Don't fear for me — 
Don't forget me — Be a good boy — Hark I the stern command, 
'fall in Co., tfec' — hurriedly the knapsack is thrown on — never 
again to be so heavy, especially after musket, bayonet, ammuni- 
tion, rations, now wanting, are added — the roll calls resound from 
every quarter, as the Adjutant, our active Deming, swiftly moves 
down to the parade, accompanied with markers, right and left gen- 
eral guides, and band. There is a neighing of horses in the street 
beyond the line officers tents, where Field and Staff are mounting. 
The markers and guides are set, defining the line, at a signal from 
Deming. The music strikes up. From all the company streets is 
heard the cautionary command, followed by the emphatic umrch ; 
then ten Companies issue simultaneously, swiftly, from the camp, 
moving hither and thither, for a moment in seeming, but pictur- 
esque confusion. Suddenly, order comes out of chaos, as each one 
drops into his place in line ; there are successive orders of right 
dress, left dress, front ; then guides, post, and the markers run 
the guides and retire to their posts behind the line. The Lieut. 
Colonel, who is to command, appears in front, is saluted, salutes 
in return, and draws his sword. At a notification from him, 
through the Adjutant, a company accompanied by the color ser- 
geants, marches to the Colonel's tent, receives the beautiful otate 
and U. S. flags, received a few days before from the hands of Hon. 
W. Curtiss Noyes, a gift from his beautiful wife. Meantime, the 
Adjutant has taken his post on the right, the Major acting as 
Lieut. Col., in the rear of the center of the right wing, and a death 
like stillness pervades the long, motionless line. What thoughts 
are crowding those throbbing veins 'i Softened in the dreamy 
haze of a sweet autumnal day, the massive rock-crowned hills and 
lovely valleys of the Switzerland of Connecticut, visible for many, 
many miles, from this lofty camp ground, seem in harmony with 
thoughts of only beauty, peace, repose. Yet who in that silent 
battalion does not foreknow full well that to hundreds now stand- 
ing there, this must be the laslj earthly view of home and native 
land ? Who does not ask himself, 'Is this for me the last? ' But 
fife and drum denote the coming of the colors. A murmur of de- 
light accompanies them, even now, as they pass, and the multi- 


tude notes thfir exquisite beauty. When next, sotnethiug less 
t]ian tliree years from to-day, tliey sluill return to Liielifield, they 
sliall be blood-stained, and their niatehless embroidery slired<led 
and rent by shot and shell. On the lines they mark a thousand 
men of Connecticut are hereafter to shed tlieir blood ! 

"The escort passes in front of the center, and the colors come 
forward and halt. The Colonel commands present arms, and 
turning about, salutes them. The band executes three rolls, and 
then the color-bearers take their place in center and front of the 
color-guard. The escorting company moves swiftly and silently 
to its vacated place in the line, which it occu))ies The iiJial mo- 
ment has come. Col. Kellogg's clarion voice rings (nit, liattalion. 
Right F-a-c-e, Major, Adjutant, Sergeant-Major repeating. Hearts 
beat high along that line ; each holds his breath in anticipation of 
the next order, which is to open the campaign, so momentous to 
those who are to obey, pregnant with honor, wounds, with death 
to so many in that line. — The drummers hold their sticks suspend- 
ed, to strike exactly at the completion of the order. Every ear 
listens to catch the executory order, that all may move simultane- 
ously. The Colonel rides down to the head of the column, (we 
are to move by the right Hank,) and pausing, gives the prelimi- 
nary command, ' Column Forward,' repeated as before. Then, 
after a (piick glance down the line, to see- that all is ready, snaps 
out the 11 A R R, which is military for ' March ' ; instantly, eacli cap- 
tain reechoes it with energy, tlie dnnns and fifes strike up — each 
left foot moves as though the regiment were obeying a single im- 
pulse, and in beautiful order the 19th has entered on that long . 
eventful march, whose last step shall be executed by less than 
300 of these eight hundred and eighty-nine. 

"The march from camp to the depot of the Naugatuck Railroad, 
accomi)lished, the horses placed on cars provided for them, the 
men seated on the train, and all in readiness, the bell rniig its war- 
ning, the whistle gave notice, and amid the cheers of thousands, 
the waving of handkerchiefs and roll of drums, our journey tow- 
ard Dixie began, as gaily as it drearily ended. Each town, each 
village and hamlet, gave us an ovation, dilFering one from another, 
not in enthusiasm, but in size only. The whole line of the road 
seemed to wave and flutter with Hags. At Waterbury, Bridge- 
port, Norwalk and Stamford, thousands assembled to bid us God- 
speed. Ladies ])rought refreshments, or threw flowers, or waved 


handkerchiefs. — Truly, this kind of heroism proved quite a pleas- 
ant thing. 

" But ere we arrived in New York, our eyes were a little open- 
ed to the reality of the change in our circumstances. We were 
used to riding in first-class carriages, on express trains, if we pre- 
ferred it. iV^o?(', however, "'twas little joy, to find " ourselves 
treated ^9. freight! To see free people ride gaily by, while we 
were switched oflT the track to let them pass — to wait an hour at 
an obscure station, expressly to clear the track for an accommoda- 
tion train — truly ours were the vexatious cars! Slower and slow- 
er we crawled along, seeing the afternoon wear on, the sun go 
down, and night shut us in from all gaity, and encouragement, 
until, hungry, weary, and cast down, we landed in upper N. Y. 
city, late in the night. This kind of heroism proved not quite a 
pleasant thing. 

" An incident, showing the kind heart of Hon. Wm. Curtiss 
Noyes, may not be without interest to some. On the occasion of 
the Flag donation at Litchfield, a lady who was asked by him if 
there was anything he could do to assist herself or husband on 
his way to N. Y., replied, 'Thank you, sir, my husband has his 
military outfit complete, but should you happen to see the regi- 
ment when it passes through the City, won't you say another 
good-by to him for me? ' 'Be assured I shall, madam ! ' Avas his 
answer. The regiment had but just descended from the cars, on 
its arrival, and in the darkness was slowly falling into line, when 
the officer referred to was taken l)y the hand, and the farewell by 
proxy, beautifully bidden, as Mr. Noyes had laughingly promised. 

"■ From the cars, a slow, long march, thr()ugh obscure streets, 
brought us to a steamboat so small that her decks were not only 
crowded, but massed, with our met. Soup and coff*ee were pro- 
vided, but the first, seeming made of musty beans, salt junk and 
salt-pork, salted, and the latter, of dried beans, without sugar or 
milk, were scarcely palatable to even our almost famished stom- 
achs. Nor could all get even such fare. We were fastened to 
the dock in .Jersey City, and the order given to march to the cars, 
before much more than half the men could, owing to the crowded 
state of the decks, get access to soup or coftee. 

" All night long we plodded slowly on. Morning, with the 
cheerful sun, and the pleasant fields and orchards of New .Jersey, 
brought also a renewal of the greetings, the cheers, and stirring 
wayside scenes of our departure from Connecticut. The recent 


terrible defeats of Pope, opening as they had the way for invasion 
from the South, liad excited in these regions, as liahle to suffer in 
that case, an interest in each new regiment jounieving toward 
Dixie, which we weVe at a loss to understand, till rertection solved 
the problem. We received not only the greetings of villages and 
towns, but the schools rushed forth to line the track and cheer. 
Each isolated house sent its inmates to Mave tlie Hag, while the 
childroi climbed the fences to wave their hats and aj)rons. 

"Hence we were cheerfully as well as hungrily ready for the 
kind welcome of Philadelphia. Well has that city proved lier 
right and title to that name. ' Brotlierly Lo\-e.' With one \oice 
all of Uncle Sam's boys that, during that period of the war, had 
occasion to pass througli that ' Haven of rest and delight' rise up 
and |>rononnce her blessed. There was rest foi- the weary. There, 
for those who were pressed with fatigue and want of accustomed 
sleep, Ave found cool baths prepared. There were exquisite coffee, 
delicious tea, and food abundant and substantial. After an hour 
or two in that kindly place, the regiment came forth, cheerful^ 
hopeful, restored. City of IJiotherly Love, thy name is fragrant 
in the niemory of a half million of men, who knew from experi- 
ence what thou wert in those days of trial ! 

"After soincwhat of a march, a broad open space was reached, 
traversed in all directions by Railroad tracks, with innumerable 
switches, affording no shelter from the pelting rays of the 
sun, the 'boys ' were halted, and ' rest '-ed, on the unshaded side 
of a high, dead wall, belonging to the enclosure of some great 
manufactory. Facing away from that, immediately in tlieir front, 
was a long line of those unroofed slatted pens, which before the 
intro<bictiou of laws against cruelty to animals, were used to 
transport cattle and sheep. Scattered in confusion over the floor 
f>f each, were a quaiitity of ].lanks. No train of cars for litiman 
h<:iii(/x^ no engine, was visible. 

" Here we waited and sweltered. At length, a powerful engine 
came down the road, and made fast to the cattle train. A con- 
d\u'tor a|»proached, and said that the transportation for the regi- 
ment was ready. Where? Why this train ! A moments pause. 
But must the men stand up ? Oh ! no. There are on the bottom 
of each car planks to put across — let the ends rest on the slats ! 

" As the report passed, from those that heard it, down the line, 
there were many red faces. Tt was hard to be treated like, and to 
the filth of, the beasts ! But they perish, and so shall we, was the 


consoling reinaik of one. We shall have a pensive Journei/. Cheer 
up said one. He who sjjills through will have an expensive turn 
out, said one — and look slatternly, was the reply. 

" But the order came that broke each company by the right to 
the front, and sent it to occupy its allotted pens. No sooner had 
the first step of the march been taken, than, simultaneously, from 
front to rear of the battalion, there broke forth a chorus of roaring 
bulls, bellowing oxen, squeaking pigs. There were the Ba-a-ah's 
of sheep, tlie bleating of calves, and to such like music the 19th 
took up their quarters. The fun of the thing almost made them 
forget the discomfort, and even made the mortified officials of the 
Railroad laugh, in spite of themselves. 

" I may here state, that for the rest of the trip to Washington 
we had covered cars, with permanent seats, — the worst of our ac- 
commodations consisting of freight cars fitted for passengers. 

" Philadelphia to Wilmington, Wilmington to Havre-de-Grace, 
thence to Baltimore. Slowly, tediously, and in the dark, we com- 
menced otir march across this city by the route so sadly known as 
the scene of the attack on the 6th Massachusetts — the ' first blood 
of the war.' No incident served to recall that day of trouble and 
slaughter, save that as we moved silently along, a door was open- 
ed, and two pistol shots were fired into the street when we were 
passing. As no one was hit, the motive for firing was never in- 
quired into. Indeed, so far as the majority of the city was con- 
cerned, its active and kindly hospitality rivalled that of Philadel- 
phia. There was plenty of food and refreshments, provided by 
the city. Nice dishes and tables with white covers, were pro- 
vided ; the wide, broad depot, affording shelter, ventilation, and 
planks for sleeping quarters. 

" But the man who exchanges a soft bed and regular hours for 
sleepless nights, and rest on a board, feels the same soreness of 
the muscles that schoolboys do after the first winter's skate. He 
suffers. He must be pressed by severe hunger before he can eat 
with relish the food which active campaigning can alone afford, 
and hence is weakened. Thirst, too, torments him, for warm wa- 
ter was an emetic, an active one, at home, nnd even coffee and tea 
with no sugar or milk, when he can get them, do not seem to his 
delicate nerves, quite palatable. 

" Hence, those were a weary, and a faint and parched assembly, 
that threw themselves on the hard floor of the sheltering depot this 
night, and felt that to be ' intolerable and not to be endured,' which 


a month later, they would joyfully have voted to be luxurious in 
entertainment, and palatial in accommodation. Now, however, 
many eyes were blood-shot and faces pale. In the sequel we shall 
see this first journey resulting in ranch serious sickness. 

" It had been supposed that New Orleans was to be the scene 
of our first soldiering. But, after several hours delay, the) ' chang- 
ed all that,' at Washington, whither we were ordered to proceed 
and report. 

'• Meanwhile, the Major was left in charge of the l!Hh. No 
guards had been changed since leaving Camp Dutton. Hence, 
Lieut. B( tts (Co. I) and his guard, who,had been on constant duty, 
were almost exhausted. Perhaps some sentinel winked, or was 
not yet acquainted with all his duty. At any rate, whisky found 
its way into the depot, and two men, afterwards well known for 
generous and brave soldiers wiien sober, and very devils when 
drunk, became raving from its eftects. The Major caused their 
arrest by the guard, and after confining them, the whole thing- 
was forgotten. 

"Judge then the surprise of the 19th, when, a week or two af- 
ter, being at Alexandria, papers from home reached them, stating 
that telegrams from Baltimore brought intelligence of a formida- 
ble mutiny having broken out at that place in said regiment, which 
was with difficulty quelled, .after the serious injury of Col. Wes- 
sels, and mortally wounding of Capt. Rice. Any officer or man, 
who knew what manner of soldiers were called by that name, can 
testify that mutiny of a serious character was never a possibility 
under these fiags. 

" There was a long, tedious delay at Baltimore. Then more trials 
of what it was to journey as freight, — which was more tedious 
than marching, to limbs unused to plank cushions and cramped 
seats. Now and then a halt of .an hour or so at some switch in 
the woods, would give the men a chance to learn the task of Chin- 
qua pins, to wonder at fiying twigs, and see the strange, uncouth 
snails, the 'Soothsayer,' the most uncouth of insects. Then the 
train would start, and on, on, on, toiling along, we slowly drew 
near to Washington, and entered there at nine at night — over six 
liours to gain forty miles. 

''Oh! how well all remember the barracks where the regiment 
lay down by companies on the fioor, when fatigue would by this 
time have brought sleep with it, spite of sore joints, had not tin- 
filth made sleep to most impossible. How horrible it was, is sufii- 


ciently shown by the fact that tlie men, faint from hungci-, after 
such long fastings, could not swallow the food provided for them, 
from the nauseous stench. A weary night for beginners that, and 
homesick feelings began to show themselves, in long faces and 
silent broodings. 

" With the hot morning, came directions to the regiment to fall 
in, which it did, loaded with its cumbersome knapsacks, such as 
no old campaigner would think of taking. Some choked down a 
lit,tlo food — most were very hungry — all tired. While waiting for 
the two Colonels, who were engaged witli the war authorities, 
the Surgeon reported over i'orty sick and unable to continue the 
march. It was a poor look out to leave sick men l>eliind in such a 
place, but it had to be. Sergeant McKinney was detailed to take 
charge of them, and do the best he could for them, reporting to the 
regiment as soon as his men were declared able to march, or trans- 
portation could be found. As an instance of how trying that place 
was, Sergt. McK. was, before the next night, left in care of more 
than seventy, by commandants of other regiments. No small com- 
pliment to his observed efficiency. Several of these men were disa- 
bled permanently, and it was three days before the remainder were 
brought into camp, looking, with their officer, like ghosts. 

" At ten A. M. we took up the line of march, down the road 
that leads to Long Bridge — destination, Camp Chase. The 
thought of green fields, tents, fresh air, was inspiriting. Down 
the dusty road we wound our serpentine length, when, arrived 
just where the Arsenal road crossed our route at right angles, 
in the very place of all hot Washinton ! most miserably hot of all, 
where the air simmered over the unshaded avenue, and the feet sank 
above the ankles in burning sand, an aid rode Tip, spoke a word 
to Kellogg — now in Command — and battalion halt — rang out from 
tlie Lieut. Colonel. We were brought to a rest then and there. 
Our destination had been changed! Hour after hour passed on. 
Not till late in the afternoon did we resume the march. Scorched 
and parched, the weary men, this time, were headed toward the 
Arsenal dock, placed on board a government steamer, and just as 
the sun was setting, were landed at the coal dock, in Alexandria, 

" Here again, wait, wait, wait. Some commenced writing home. 
Some stretched out at full length on the sacred soil, hard as ada- 
mant now. Some few tried to amuse themselves by contrabands, 
dancing against each other. The genious who could ape Kellogg's 


voice SO perfectly, several times called out, Attention Battalion I 
when a general rush took place for the ranks, but the men, soon 
seeing the regiment was in other charge, ceased to be hoaxed. 
Darkness came on — dancing and writing ceased — still we waited. 
The men were getting a little taste of real soldiering, in a mild 

" Finally, when it was too late to see a step, Gen. Slough, Mili- 
ta.iy Gov. Alexandria, Va., to whom the Colonels had reported 
the regiment, as ordered, for Provost dut} in his dej)artment, de- 
cided where they should camp. 

"March again, stumbling painfully along, in the pitch darkness, 
for a mile or so, till the halt (tame, wlien, being wheeled into col- 
umn by companies, ordered to unsling knapsack and rest, the li'th 
knew that it was in camp. Tents? None — nothing but bare 
ground, Virginia clay, wet by rains a few days ago, trodden w ith 
the deeji foot prints of cattle and since baked by the sun bard as 
brick. Rations? none. Tliey had to be brought down from 
Camp Chase, ten miles. 

" There was one thing, very decidedly a wonder even t(» our some- 
what accustomed nostrils. Stench! Overpowering perfume! Pah! 
whence coming none could know, till morning disclosed a cordon 
of dead horses, surrounding us nearly half way, remains of Pope's 
disasters, and just ripe for the Turkey-Buzzards. Even those who 
had never seen the bird before, had little curiosity to know fur- 
ther of them, tliougli the creatures were too stupidly blissful from 
gorging, to move more than a step or two when approached ! 

" Wearily, at length, our active Quartermaster came driving in- 
to camp. All night long, with a squad cf men, he had been en- 
gaged in the heroic endeavor to harness unbroken mules to our 
regimental waggons, and bring the rations down. Patience and 
l»er8everance, in which he fortunately excelled, had conquered, 
finally, but not, as it was conlidentially whispered by some of his 
men, till he had been pnt through a series of somersaults and in- 
voluntary antics, too ludicrous for this grave history to note. 

" Moving a mile further on, we took up our permanent location 
on Shuter's hill, foot of King street, overlooking Alexandria, and 
after burying the dead horses and oxen on our plot, commenced 
getting ready to clear our camp. 

"Thus commenced our stay of nearly two years, tWMi weary 
years, in Alexandria, a place poisonous to soul and l)ody. The 


morals of the regiment, fortunately, suflered little, but in health, 
the same could not be said. 

" At ten o'clock this morning, lo ! the trains from Camp Chase j 
The rations ! and one heavy team after another, each drawn by 
four mules, turned out of the highway, and majestically formed 
line by the side of our ' camp.' They advanced to the ' music of 
the mule,' — Who that has ever heard their ' hvgling,^ so strong, so 
melancholy, so energetic, and at the same time so prolonged with 
languishing into a steam engine's whisper, can ever once forget it. 


"Since twenty-six hours we have had no rations. These were 
uneatable. The common remark of the coffee at Washington was. 
' slops collected in the street slop barrels.' There was grease float- 
ing abundantly on its surface. The interior, those that drank, 
looked not at, but tasted less, if they coidd help it ! Food ! there 
is but one word for it — it stank. Now here were our ovm rations 
and all were greatly relieved. 

To expedite matters, the authorities sent down hams packed in 
barrels, and already boiled, — })acked full, each barrel — and neatly 
headed up. A few boxes of hard-tack were also forth coming — 
three crackers to a man. 

" So there was a speedy unloading of iiam casks. The hoops 
of the heads were knocked upwards, and oft'; when, lo ! the heads 
rose up, when no longer held in place by the hoops, of the in selves. 
'Jings, an't they full ! ' says a hungry fellow near by, with de- 

"A lid is lifted oft", when, as McCauley sings : — 

" Was none who would be foremost, 
To lead such dire attack V 
For those behind pressed forenioat, 
And tliose before cried back." 

"'Packed in sawdust!' suggests one, mounted on a wheel 
overlooking others heads. No ! ' Even measure, full, pressed 
down, and rvnning over^ says another — ' Alive again,' said an- 

"There were those who were sickened at the endeavor to eat 
this. Think of those used to wholesome food but four days be- 
fore, becoming so famished as to roll those hams out of their casks, 
and dissect the same to secure for their own use such portion as 

H I S T O K Y OF ANCIENT W O O 1) B U K Y 1207 

was not yet penetrated with the foul vermin, that seemed a seeth- 
ing mass. 

On our camp at Shuter's liill was a gently inclined side-liill, rising 
sufficiently above the plains of Alexandria, to be free from mala- 
rious fogs, and facing the place of duty and drill. The drilling 
took place on a wide plain once a meadow, one hundred paces to 
our front. In about a month's constant work, it became as good 
an exercise ground as need be, in most kinds of weather. No 
place trodden, or driven on in that part of Virginia, is other than 
intolerably dusty, or equally muddy, as the weather approached 
extremes. Almost all the knolls and intervening ravines ' south 
of the Potomac,' have clay on the surface varying from eight to 
twenty-five feet in depth. Under this lies a bed or strata of vary- 
ing thickness, say one foot to 5 feet, of something resembling red 
gravel mixed with pebbles, the whole so far fuzed that the gravel 
has been 'wholly melted. After this, suppose the pasty result of 
the melting process to have been hardened gradually, around and 
inclosing the pebbles so slowly as not to crack in the process, and 
you have an approach to an idea of what Arlington Heights and 
the rear of Alexandria are in respect to soil. Kain caimot pene- 
trate the conglomerate, and be carried oft". Consequntly, the 
clay above, after long rains, becomes complete mortar, when work- 
ed up by any disturbing agency. No ventilation reaches it from 
below, therefore when dried it is as hard as abi'ick. When frosts 
come on in the fall hard enough to freeze from two to five inches 
of surface, the contraction causes the surface to crack, the 
crack penetrating below the frozen surface, the vapor rises througli 
it, and congeals at the surface, on the lips of the fissure, and, as 
the ices form, builds a little, or rather, a thin wall on each side, 
exactly paiallel, or coinciding, and some times six to eight inches 
high. Sometimes this efflorescence is extremely beautiful — in fact 
quite fairy-like, when enclosing, for many acres, little i)atches of 
irregular shai)e ; from some little ' keep,' six inches on a side, to 
some large fortress, containing four square yards. 

"This is a curious instance of nature forming icicles polidbi'j 

" It is impossible for those who have seen nothing of this kiiul 
to believe how stifling the dust is, even in winter, or how impas- 
sable to man or beast, except for the few first passing over a place, 
this Virginia soil becomes. 


" Such being the locatiou of the camp aud its soil, it will be 
seen that our position as to health, would be very greatly modi- 
fied by these several facts. 

" It was almost impossible to maintain a camp anywhere 
without great labor aud constant, intelligent policeiug. The water 
everywhere would be almost surface water, without filtra- 
tion through the lower strata. On the plateau back of our camp, 
and draining through it, some fifty acres of land were occupied 
by the Convalescent Camp, which was without drainage, sinks, 
cleanly tents, or orderly arrangements of any kind, but were tilled 
with universal filth. Back of our camp, and draining through it, 
were scores of disused sinks, which, when it rained, discharged 
their overflow through the drains of our streets. The burial 
ground of the Convalescent Camp, in which from one to ten were 
buried daily, was not more than ten rods from our camp streets, 
and sloped into them. Such water, therefore, as could l)e obtained 
here, could be but poison. A stream draining a long highway, 
both sides of which were strewn with decomposing dead animals, 
flowed within a stone's throw of us. Another similar stream 
crossed the valley, on the banks of which there were never less than 
from 50 to 100 dead horses, and a slaughter-house besides — a mass 
of reeking corruption emptying into it. Directly north was ati 
immense cattle yard, capable of holding 3,000 head of cattle, and 
this drained into that stream. South of Kings street was a like 
government slaughter-yard, all the ofifal of which was discharged 
into the stream. A small well of water near this stream, aftei- all 
its accumulation of filth, furnished the best drink the camp af- 

It is to this day diflicult to see why the government shoulil 
send soldiers into such a ' charnel-house of death ' as this, especi- 
ally when there were bettei" places but a little way ofl", and the 
duty to which they were appointed could be done just as well, 
with only a little more marching. It caunot be thought strange 
that the men almost immediately began to sicken and die, and the 
flower of Litchfield County to be sent back, to be tenderly buried 
among their kindred at home. To be sure, if it was necessary 
that some should die then and there, that the country might live, 
some might think that it was better thus to die by disease, aud be 
cared for, and buried in a Christian way, than to die by the bullet 
oi' the shell, or the bayonet, amid the din aud smoke of battle, aud 
be hastily buried by comrades in the shallow ditch, and in the 


military dress in which they fought, imcoffined, trusting ojily in a 
soldier's God, yet it has always seemed to the heroic soul, in all 
ages, which devoted itself to its country, that it was better to die 
fighting nobly in the crash of battle, and make return of the do- 
ings of a life devoted to duty to the Great Author of all, without 
the accompaniraent of funeral rites, and the pageants of magnifi- 
cent sorrow. 

"'Alexandria, under martial law ever since the l)reakiiig out of 
the war, had suffered unspeakable things from the troops on duty 
in her streets, or quartered in her environs, and the Alexandrians 
had come to regard a soldier as a scoundrel, always and every- 
where. But the 19th Connecticut had not been a week in Vir- 
ginia before the self-respecting good behavior of its men became 
the general theme, and the authorities were petitioned by the cit- 
izens — nearly all of whom were rebels — not to remove that regi- 
ment from Alexandria. 

"On the 22d of September, a detail of live otticei's and seventy- 
men relieved the patrol of the 33d Massachusetts in Alexandria, 
and the same was dail}' furnished during the remainder of 1862. 
It was the duty of the patrol to move about the city in small 
s(juads, or stand guard at theatres and certain other places, and 
arrest all soldiers who could not produce passes, or who were in 
mischief, and bring them to the Provost Marshal's office, whence 
they were usually escorted to the ' Slave-Pen ' in Duke Street, — a 
horrible den, with the following sign in large letters over the 
door: ' Price & Uurch, Dealers in Slaves.' 

"From the soft beds and regular habits of Connecticut homes, 
to the hard ground, severe duties, irregular sleep, l^ad food and 
worse water of a Virginia camp, was a change that could not be 
)nade without loss of health and life. ]\Ieasles and Mimi]>s began 
to prevail ; Rheumatism made the men lame, Chronic Diarrha-a 
weakened them, Typhod Fever fired their blood, and Jaundice 
painted their skins and eye-balls yellower than saftron. Two hos- 
pital tents were soon filled to overflowing, and an African Church 
near by was approi^riated as a Regimental Ilospiial; while the 
' Sick Call ' brought to the Surgeon's quarters a daily increasing 
crowd, who desired medical treatment or an excuse from duty." 

[t was not wonderful that, with the multiplied sickness in camp, 
and with the ability which every citizen soldier possessed of wri- 

' VailU' Hist, of 2d Conn. H. Art. Volunteers. 


ting home his complaints, more or les.s just, that charges should 
be made against the officers, — or somebody. Such complaints 
Avere made, and by request of Colonel Wessells, Gov. Bucking- 
ham appointed a Committee to examine into the condition of the 

" Six days thereafter, Dr. S. T. Salisbury, of Plymouth, arrived 
at regimental headquarters, with credentials from tlie Governor. 
Colonel Kellogg requested him to scrutinize closely. ' There are 
our jurors,' said he, pointing to the men. 'Enter their quarters 
and question them. We will abide by their decision,' Dr. Salis- 
bury, upon his return to Connecticut, made a report which exon- 
erated the officers from blame. He said tliat no New England 
village could surpass the camp in neatness, and that everything 
possible was being done for the welfare of the men. He found 
the wives of Lieutenant Colonel Kellogg and Major Smith devo- 
tedly assisting in the care ol the sick ; and General Slough inform- 
ed liim that the 19th Connecticut was the best conducted regiment 
in all that region." ' 

The regiment was now located, for the balance of the year, and 
a few incidents of life in camp will be added, mainly, as kindly 
furnished the author from the "Diary" kept by the accomplished 
wife of Lieut. Col. Smith, then Major of the regiment. Moved 
by a patriotic impulse to do what she could to care for the sol- 
diers in the hospital, where they so mucli needed the kindly atten- 
tions of woman, she had joined lier liusband in camp, early after 
the regiment had been permanently located, and her praise was on 
the lips of all our sick soldiers, 

"Nov. 3d, 1862. Last night we had the first death in the regi- 
ment, and it has made us all sad. I have been up to the ten I 
where the body lies, previous to embalming. He looks peacefully 
at rest, and my tears fall more for his friends than for him. He 
was a young Lyman, from Goshen, and only about 18 years of 
a"-e. They report another death this morning. We hope Gen. 
Slough will see the bad result of giving this regiment such hard 
work to perform, and will, in a measure, release the strain ujton 
the poor fellows, who have been on duty ten days and nights in 

" This region is furroughed with graves. Fairfax Seminary — 

Vaills' Hist. 


now a hospital, and a most beautitul building — is just opposite us, 
beyond a ravine. Almost everywhere around, a little apart from 
the road, I can see the tell-tale mounds, without headmarks, where 
some poor fellow has been tucked away. Oh ! horrid, horrid 
War ! In the old burial gTounds, in amongst many a family group, 
one sees a nameless grave, new made, shallow dug, in which some 
Northern soldier has been laid. But how long will his bones re- 
main there untouched '? Will they not, at a later day, be rudely 
ejected to make room for some returning, rightful owner '? Will 
they not be scornfully thrown aside as the remains of a " Cursed 
Yankee." I cannot bear to think that the time may come when 
unhallowed revenge shall be taken upon the dead, and our best 
Northern blood have served only to enrich this vile, Virginia soil. 
The first death that occurred in our Woodbury Company I, 
was that of Corporal John L. White, on the 13th of November, 
1862, and the second, that of James C. PoUey, on the 19th. The 
sickness and death of the latter, is thus alluded to in Mrs. Smith's 
Diary : — 

" Alexandria, Dec. 5, 1 862. 

" Two days before I was taken sick, Mr. Policy came to see me. 
looking so well ; — but while I was in bed, he sickened, and I found 
him, when I got out, in hospital, sick with typhoid fever. He was 
very glad to see me. I talked with him awhile, and urged him to 
eat. The difficulty with this fever, in the commencement is, the 
absolute loathing one has for food. Mr. Policy said he could eat, if 
I would make him some chicken tea. So I sent all over town for a 
chicken, and finally, the servant returned with a nice, tender one. 
I made it into an absolute jelly, thickened it with isinglass, and 
took it over just at tea-time. It was early morning when I had 
promised it to him, and he had refused all food till I came. Hav- 
ing but one hand, I could not feed him, but the nurse did, and he 
smacked his lips and said, ' Oh, splendid, I can eat it all.' But he 
soon wanted to rest, and then insisted it should be put under his 
bed, for fear some one should get it. And so, for several days I 
visited him, carrying him almost all he eat, and standing by him. 
I counted so many swallows at a time, for he would always eat for 
me, and always knew me, till the last. Two days before he died, 
I went over to see him, and my heart sunk. There was that fatal 
drop of jaw, and that look of the eye, as if it were piercing dist- 



ance. I have learned, alas ! to know the death-mark, unerringly ! 
It did not seem as if we could let him die — he was so patient — 
every one was interested in him. All the officers and men and 
nurses, chmg to the idea that he would rally, and so we all hoped. 
But he was sinking beyond our reach. I asked him if I should 
not write to his family. He said yes. I asked him what I should 
write. The fever was very high upon him then, and, as I fanned 
the flies off his face and pushed his hair away, he looked up in my 
face, wanderingly. It was but for a moment, and then he smiled, 
and said : — " Oh, Mrs. Smith, write to my family as you think 
best for them and me. Your judgment will judge for me bet- 
ter than my judgment could judge." That night I got Mrs Kel- 
logg to write to Mrs. Policy, at my dictation, but my letter must 
have been preceded by the sad telegram of his death. The niglit 
before he died, I took him eggs, beat up in whiskey and sugar> 
and though he did not want to take it, he did, when I asked him 
to take it for his family. It was very strong, and he looked at 
me with a smile, and said, "Is this food?" I took his poor, hot 
hand in my cool one, and held it for a few moments, said a few 
words of cheer and comfort from a Source which he knew well, 
and left him, feeling in my heart, that ere dawn he would be at 
rest. About six o'clock, the same morning, he prayed in a strong, 
clear voice, so that they heard him all over the iiospital, and in a 
few moments, without a struggle, he had gone home ! They sent 
me word as soon as I was up, and geting some white chrysanthu- 
mous, and beautiful box, from a neighbor, I made a cross and bou- 
quet, and when he was ready, they came for me to place them 
upon his body. He looked so calm, and so utterly at peace, that, 
except for his wife and little children, I had no tears. We placed 
the cross in his hands, and the bouquet on his feet, and then he 
was slowly borne away to the town, to be embalmed, the Masons 
bearing all the expense." 

A few days later is recorded the following picture of the Con- 
valescent Camp, which was at that time a disgrace to humanity 
and a shame to the nation, that was pouring forth its treasures, 
like water, to sustain the war ! 

" It is fearfully cold to-day. We have had quite a heavy fall of 
snow, and the wind blows piercingly. It was a bitter night, 
though we were perfectly comfortable ; but we lay awake a long 
while, thinking of the poor convalescents above us, and of our 


ibsave fellows at the frout. There must be a vast amount of suf- 
fering among them, for they have nothing but shelter tents and a 
blanket to protect them against the blast. There is one poor 
cripple in the Convalescent Camp, who comes on crutches up the 
hill, and while hanging on one, he works away at the old stumps, 
from which he gets a few miserable splinters. Day before yester- 
day I saw a thin, shadowy man, with a remnant of an old blanket, 
painfully gleaning chips into it, where others stronger, or smarter 
than he, had chopped up whole trees. I said to him, ' are you 
going to have a good fire ? ' ' Yes 'm,' sdid he, and his teeth chat- 
tered. — ' I am so vert/ cold.' A mile, and even two miles out, you 
may see exhausted beings staggering home with armsfuU of 
twiggs, and this morning the guard found, on the edge of our 
camp, above,'a man clinging to a precious faggot, but dead! — fro- 
zen to death ! His fire on earth was never lighted. His own 
lamp of life went out in the effort. But Heaven grant that that 
poor suiferer shall be among the 'comforted ' hereafter. I cannot 
■express too strongly ray horror of the institution called the Con- 
valescent Camp. Men who have been sent from the hospitals to 
join their regiments, have been left to rot in this camp, where 
dirt, disease and lice, abound! They are allowed to freeze to 
death, while fat secessionists have Union guards to protect their 
trees and fences! As I write, the sun is setting, and in the dread 
of a long and freezing night, men almost frenzied with cold, are 
working away at old roots on the hill. So far they have respect- 
ed the wooden head-boards of the grave-yard, but the bits they 
are painfully catting are covered with frozen snow, and I have 
seen them look longingly at the seasoned pine over the graves. I 
have no right to carry them some sticks from here. The whole 
Convalescent Camp would be down upon us ; but, as I sit here by 
a warm fire, with a heart aching for those poor fellows, that same 
heart keeps up a reproachful refrain — ' Inasmuch as ye have not 
done it unto others ye have not done it unto me.' — Oh, you at 
home with warm houses and bright lights and glowing fires, 
think, this fearful weather, of those who have nothing but a frail 
canvass between them and the freezing night air." 

The following is a graceful tribute to Colonel Kellogg : 

" Colonel Kellogg, though very roughs is one of the softest 
hearted men I ever saw. He is a great traveler, and a man of 


U J S T O li Y OF A N C 1 E >J T M' O O I) K U K Y . 

■wonderful information, while his powers of description are rare. 

His men are attached to him, and respect 
him, and those who see him as I do,, 
kind-heai'ted, full of sympathy for the 
sick, and with tears in his eyes at the 
sight of suftering he cannot alleviate, 
know, that in spite of rough words and 
looks, he is a good man, as well as a strict 
disciplinarian and soldier. 

" Again at the hospital. I fear we 
have two more doomed ones in there^ 
One man, who is deranged, requested yesterday, that if he died,, 
his body should be sent home. That is the last cry of all these 
poor fellows. Send me home ! Don't bury me in this horrid 
land of traitors and secession ! Send me home to the old grave- 
yard, with its mossy stones and its drooping trees, the resting 
place of generations of ancestors and remembered loved ones — 
Send rae home ! Send me home ! " 

"Dec. 22, 1862. I did not sleep much last night, from some 
reason or other. But the nights do not seem long. Every two 
hours the relief comes along, and I hear the challenge and the 
change of sentinels — then, at midnight, the grand rounds. Then 
I can hear variously tuned snores, and oh ! the coughs ! The va- 
riety and the number are astonishing. There is the surface rack, 
and the cavernous — the throaty gag and the wrenching — the la- 
bored and the catarrhal, the near, the distant, and the dreary, dry 
cough, which tells that consumption is nigh at hand. Sometimes;, 
too, I have heard from the street tents the home-sick out-cry of 
some poor fellow, who has been the mother-hoy at home, and bitter 
cold nights I could have shed tears, too, for 'those I left behind 
me.' Alas ! alas ! for a soldier's life. The old song that it is full 
•if joy, may do well enough for the ' piping times of peace,' but 
in days of war, and intestine war too, the song is a mocking li«." 

The next extract from the ' diary,' which will be given, is the 
touching account of the sickness and death of Corporal, or rather 
2d Lieut. Krederick Whitlock. Though in chronological order 
this would belong in the place allotted to the events of the early 
days of 1863, yet in the grouping of incidents, it comes in more 
p^'operly here. 

HISTORY OF A N C I E X T W O O D B U K Y . 1215 

Whitlock was always, though younger in years, one of the au- 
thor's most considerate, firm, and faithful friends. Indeed, that 
was his nature. He was true, genial and 
faithful to all. His countenance and his life 
were ever sunny. It is with a full heart 
that the writer records his virtues on this 
memorial page. 

As has been seen, immediately after the 
disastrous battles of the "Seven Days in the 
Wilderness," under the leadership of Mc- 
Clellan, the President called for 300,000 vol- 
unteers. As an inducement to earnest recruiting, Gov. Bucking- 
ham ordered, that every suitable candidate who should enlist forty 
men, should receive a 2d Lieutenant's Commission. Under this 
provision, Whitlock procured enlistment papers from the Adjutant 
General, and opened a recruiting office in Woodbury. But learn- 
ing that Mr. Eli Sperry, who afterwards became Captain of our Co. 
I, had also obtained papers for the same purpose of obtaining a 
commission, which bore date a day or two earlier, and believing 
that it would be highly detrimental to the cause of enlistments, if 
two opposing offices should be kept open in our small, rural com- 
ruunity, with a most praise worthy patriotism he closed his office, 
returned Ids papers, repaired to New Haven, enlisted the 15th of 
August, 1862, and was mustered in as a private, in Co. F, of the 
20th regiment. He was very soon promoted Corporal and Ser- 
geant, for faithful service. But his ambition led him to undertake 
to do too much. The 20th regiment was called upon to do heavy 
marching, the latter part of the year, and being determined to do 
the work of the strongest, he fell sick, and was sent to Trinity 
General Hospital, at Washington. The Avriter had l»een in recent 
correspondence with him. Whitlock knew that he expected to 
visit the camps in a few days, and had arranged for a meeting. 
He had important matters which he said he wished to submit to 
him, expressing the gi-eatest solicitude to see him. The writer de- 
sired, on his part, to see him, and accomplish his wishes, if possible- 
He accordingly went to Washington, but on account of a general or" 
-der, promulgated the very day of his arrival, he was unable to 
get a pass to go any further than the " Defences of Washington aud 
Alexandria," Whitlock, meanwhile, was with his regiment at Fair- 
fax Coui't-House. It turned out in the sequel, that he was carried 
-through Alexandria, sick, to Washington, the very day the writer 

1216 1 1 I S T O R A' OF ANCIENT W O O D B U K Y . 

was there, seeking a pass to go to him. After a visit to the sol- 
diers in the camp, he returned to Washington, and was th'ere 
till the day Whitlock died, almost within a stone's throw of him, 
but was unaware of his presence in the city, and returned honoe- 
in ignorance of it. The writer has never ceased to regret, that 
while each sought the other with such perseverance, they could 
not have met, and that the poor sufferer's dying hours could not 
have been soothed by his life-long friend. It would have been a 
great privilege to have been permitted to do something to allevi- 
ate the pains of such a friend, while passing " over the dark river." 
But the secret he so much desired to impart died with him. We 
may fondly hope that so great, so kind, so good a heart, has found 
nobler employment beyond the portals of death. 

There was another sad circumstance in his death at this time. 
He had so well fulfilled his duties as a soldier, that Gov. Bucking- 
ham granted him a commission as 2d Lieutenant, and the commis- 
sion reached him while in a state of insensibility, too late for him 
to know that his ambition had been gratified, and his merit reward- 
ed. He died Jan. 24, 1863. His body was embalmed, sent to 
New York, and buried in Greenwood Cemetery. 

Two extracts from Mrs. Smith's "diary" follow: — 

" Fred. Whitlock. — 6th Jan., 186.3. I have been much amused 
to-day, by the account that Lieut. Col. Wooster, of the 20th C. 
v., has given us of Corporal Whitlock. He says he is all energy 
and spunk, determined to keep up with the biggest and burliest 
soldiers, and die game, if he dies at all. The regiment has been, 
from the outset, exposed to all the inclemency of the weather,, 
never having remained stationary in any ony one place long enough 
to make themselves comfortable, and unprovided with other than 
the shelter tent. They have been continually on long, forced 
marches, sometimes for several days together, and Fred, has reso- 
lutely kept up with the best of them, refusing to lighten his knap- 
sack or even to put his baggage into one 'of the regimental wagons, 
as the Colonel told him to do. He seems to be a great favorite 
and a good soldier. Colonel Wooster spoke of him with great 
friendliness and kindness." 

"January 2oth, 1863. 

" My heart aches with bitter pain and my eyes overflow. Poor 
Fred. Whitlock is dead — dead in the hospital at Washington, and 


no one to care for his body, or comiumiicate witli his friends but 
myself! The last time I saw him, he, my husband and myself ex- 
changed good-byes at Southbury ; Fred., full of entlmsiasm and 
military zeal. The next I heard of him was through Lieut. Col. 
Wooster, of the 20th C. V. Day before yesterday I received a 
large envelope, franked by a member of Congress, and addressed 
to me at Fort Barnard. The note enclosed proved to be from 
Fred., telling me he had been taken to Trinity General Hospital, 
at Washington, sick with bilious fever, and asking me to send 
word to Walter, (his brother, of the 1st Conn. Heavy Artillery,) 
He wrote me that he was in need of clothes, and to ask Walter to 
bring some for hira. Fort Barnard, where Walter is, is three 
miles from here, and it was impossible to send that night. I sent 
for Dr. Lawton, who was previously surgeon of the 20th, and thfe 
one who examined and passed Fred., and who, supposing at that 
time he should remain in the 20th, could discharge Fred, later, if 
he felt unable to continue ! Most fortunately, the doctor was going 
to Washington in the morning, (yesterday,) and I gave him Fred's 
address, and a note for him, and he promised to go and see him. 
The weather was such that I could not get out, as we have no con- 
veyance here now, except our feet, or I should have gone with Dr. 
Lawton myself, and seen what I could do. Just as we were pre- 
paring to send our Orderly to Fort Barnard, Walter came in, and 
I told him about Fred., and that he had better return immediately, 
and spend the afternoon in getting a pass for Washington — a long 
job now, as it has to go through so many hands before completion. 
Last evening Dr. Lawton returned, with the most unexpected in- 
formation, that he found Fred, in the Dead House! — the poor fel- 
low had died that morning! They told the doctor that he had been 
brought there on the 18th, and had been unconscious almost ever 
since he had been there, only rallying long enough to ask to have 
one letter written to a lady. He died easily and unconsciously, 
but the doctor tells me he was so emaciated, he should not have 
known him. His letter was dated the 19th, and I did not receive 
it till the 28d. Had it been simply stamped, I should, probably, 
have got it in season to have gone to Washington. I cannot con- 
ceive the cause of its delay. At day-light this morning, we sent 
an Orderly over to Walter with a note from me, telling him the 
sad news, and hurrying him to Washington. Dr. Lawton told 
them at the Hospital not to bury poor Fred, today, but to wait 


until they heard from nie. I telegraphed to his brother, Duncan, 
last night, and have also requested that Fred, be kept above 
ground until to-morrow. At eleven this morning, poor Walter, 
pale, with his eyes swollen by weeping, came and told me he had 
been waiting since early morning to get his pass signed by Gen. 
Tyler, who was asleep and no one dared to wake him ! Poor fel- 
low ! his spirit seemed utterly broken, and in his utter loneliness 
I deeply sympathized with him. The sisterly sympathy did him 
good, and he left me feeling a little more courage and sti'ength. 
I have written to his sister, Eliza, and told the story as gently as 
I could, but I could not modify the dispatch, which stated " Your 
brother Fred, is dead. Have ordered embalming — come immedi- 
ately." How little did I ever suppose that when the last came, I 
should be the means of saving the ' Little Corporal ' from a Hos- 
pital grave, and be the only link between him and his friends at 
home. Oh ! if I could have received his last letter soon enough 
for me to have gone to him, that I might have gathered some final 
words for his mother, his sister, and brothers — some last thoughts 
for his 'loved ones at home!' When Waiter reached the Hospi- 
tal, he found that the body had just been carried away to the ' Sol- 
dier Rest,' about five miles from Washington, and the poor fellow 
started after it. He reached there just five minutes sooner than 
the hearse, and was enabled to take his brother's remains back 
with him, and commit them to the care of the embalmer, who 
would forward them to New York. 


[aevey H. Fox's Death. — Feb. 1st, 1863. I went over this 
morning to the hospital, and was shocked at finding Harvey H. 
Fox at death's door. I had seen him on guard two days before, 
and spoken to him, and thought then, the man looked miserably. 
When he saw me come up to his bedside, he held out his hand, 
and the tears rolled down his cheeks. I saw the same fatal symp- 
toms that I have learned to know so Avell, and, even then, I felt 
that no earthly power could avail anything. Oh ! all of you at 
home ! Can you imagine what it is to see so many lying down to 
die — to bid so many good-bye ! 

Feb. 4th.— Poor Fox died this morning. I went over as early 
as I could, but he was dead before I reached the Hospital. He 


knew he must die, aud did not murmur, but he did mourn that 
his wife could not come to him. He looks very calm, and died 
very quietly. The touch of the mighty Angel of Death has mod- 
ified aud ameliorated the harsh lines of his face, and his poor, be- 
reaved wife aud family will have a last look at his still, manful 
countenance, when the bodj', which his company have had embalm- 
ed, reaches Woodbury." 

These sad recitals gi^ e us mournful, but living pictures of the sad 
scenes of sickness aud death, on the malarious " old Camp Ground " 
at Alexandria. 

On the 28th of December, 1862, the regiment had a specimen of 
the e;uotions they woitld experience on their first call to battle, 
and tfiat sort of contest most dreaded by soldiers — a night attack, 
when one is not sure of distinguishing friend from foe. It is fully 
described in the following extract : — 

" ALEXANDPaA, Dec. 20, 1862. 

" Last evening, about six o'clock, Colonel Kellogg came in to 
say that Capt. Rice, who commanded our pickets and patrol in 
towii, had sent word that the Stuart cavalry were within seven or 
eight miles of us, and evidently about to make a raid into this 
immense depot of army stores. If true, the 19th would be called 
into action — if not true, it would do no harm to be found watch. 
ing. My husband immediately told me that I must go over to the 
tavern, and Mrs. Colonel Kellogg received like orders. Without 
waiting for any thing but to gather one or two precious objects, 
bidding our husbands a God-speed, and a good-night, we left the 
camp. We considered the reports exaggerated, and did not feel 
very great apprehension of an attack, but sve heard so much worse 
things at the secession tavern, that we got thoroughly alarmed. 
The family is kind, and likes th« trust-worthy, gentlemanly sol- 
diers of the 19tb, aud we knew we M'ere safe enough there for 
the present, though had we had time, we should have gone up 
to Washington. As it was, however, the Colonel* and Major felt 
a sense of comfort in our location, and 'loe were glad to be near 
thera. About ten o'clock we retired — five of us in one room — Mrs. 
Kellogg's little boy, and the daughters of the house — Union and 
rebel — making common cause, and utterly forgetting difierences, 
or dislikes. Mrs. Kellogg and I took a bed near a window overlook- 
ing the road, and part of our camp, and while we talked, the rest 

1220 HISTORY OF A N C I E N T W O O D B U R Y , 

all fell soundly asleep, and absolute stillness came over all sur- 
roundings. At»out eleven o'clock, our listening ears were struck 
by a stealthy, but steady and stern tramp, and, springing to the 
window, we saw the 19th drawing up in battle line just across the 
road, to the right ! They were going to tight, then, our brave 
boys! Going out under the bright moonlight to risk their lives 
for their country ! Marching out to meet an enemy 8,000 strong. 
It was to be the same old story of a few sent against the many — 
of sacrifice, blood-shed, and, probable defeat. We knew by the 
splendid, silent march of oui' men with their glittering muskets, 
that the enemy would meet with no timid, or straggling foe, but 
as Colonel Kellogg said, that ' the 19th would make some pretty 
bad sores before it got through!' Still, our position was one of 
agony, for beneath our window stretched that glittering line, and 
we could hear the dear, well-known voices of our husbands, ring- 
ing their commands through the clear moonlight air. Pruraptly, 
silently, grimly did our noble regiment stand ready for whatever 
might be its fate, and still the child and the two girls slept placidly 
on, and one of the kittens, a favorite of mine, stole up into my 
lap, purring cozily. By this time I was up and dressed, and as 
the moonlight brightened, and the shadows deepened, every stump 
on Shuter's Hill, and every break in the ground filled our straining 
eyes with pictures of approaching rebels, or friends and reenforce- 
ments. Presently, the 19th marched to the brow of the hill, and 
the men lay down upon their arms. Then, later they returned to 
camp, and, on their arms again lay down. But not for a long 
time. Five mounted soldiers dashed into camp, and in two min- 
utes tlie A.djutant's cry of ' Fall in ' was heard, and in a moment 
more, the men turned out, formed, and without a word, without 
bugle-note or drum-beat, they marched down the road, and we 
saw our husbands and our regiment disappear in the moonlit dis- 
tance. Then, for a moment — only for a moment — we broke down. 
And still the little boy slept peacefully, the girls were quiet, and 
pussy purred cosily on my knee. 

Then, in the camp of the 15.3d New York, all was stir, bustle, 
and confusion. They received notification at the same time our 
regiment did, but with their usual green, unsoldierly performances, 
they drummed, and tooted, and shouted, and beat the long-roll of 
alarm, so familiar to me in the French ' rappel,' of insurrectionary 
memory. Four hours later than the 19th, they marched by the 
house in full rig — officers all mounted — every one of ours afoot — 


flags flying, baggage-wagons, with three days rations, two ambu" 
lances, the medical staflf, drums, fifes, bugles and all ! Between time's 
about 150 men — all that remained of the 1st District of Colum- 
bia, the oldest volunteer regiment in the service, had gone quietly 
by, and then all settled into loneliness and quiet, only interrupted 
by the rapid gallop of an orderly, the low rumble of an ambu- 
lance, or the hurry and rush of the loaded trains, conveying all 
the rolling stock, and movable government property to Washing- 
ton, or the distant cries of vast droves of cattle being driven from 
just below our camp over to Long Bridge. Meantime, the forts 
kept up vivid signals, and, at times, the glare from Fort Ells- 
worth, reddened our faces, and crimsoned the moonlight on the 
floor. And the two girls slept, and the child breathed lieavily, 
and kitty purred happily, and the two wives listened and waited, 
counting hour after hour, rejoicing as each moment paesed,^ 
that no sound of fight reached us. And all through the night, in 
the chill night air, our regiment stood in battle line across the 
road, with the 1st Dist. of Columbia on the left, and the 15.3d 
New York on the right, the forts but poorly manned, and with na 
short-range guns, stretching along towards Washington. The 
Rebels came within four miles of them, but the night was so 
bright, and their opponents awake, they retired toward Fairfax,, 
and the threatened rebel raid was choked off for once. 

"The Colonel and Major were delighted with the readiness and' 
pluck of the men, and the excitement has done the men good. 
They feel a confidence in themselves, and in their ofticers. Not a 
man fell back, or faltered. And I must mention, that what with 
the sick, the men detained in town, and at Parole Camp, they did 
not muster quite 500 strong, but many a complainer, and several 
but lately from the Hospital, turned out with the rest, and ran 
their chances of life and death. Alexandria rings, to-day, with 
praises of the 19th — Union and Rebel alike. For the rebels dread 
a raid of their own army, terribly, and pin their faith to the 19th,, 
as a protection." 

" Alexandria, Va., Jan. 12th, 1863. 

" Farewell to the camp on Shuter's Hill ! Good-bye to our old 
home, in this pest-house of the ' Sacred soil ! ' The men have suf- 


fered and died, and are sickening and dying still, but we hope 
change of air will bring them up, and restore to us many who are 
now in the hospital. Yet there is a kind of horae-sick feeling 
comes across me, as I look over the well-known ground, and see 
nothing but the remnants of our various abodes The signal for 
striking tents was given at daylight, and at the drum-beat, down, 
down went the canvass city, and lay prone upon the ground. 
Then the streets, which every day have been military and quiet, 
were like suddenly disturbed ant-hills, perfectly swarming with 
life and excitement. Then the fun and the frolic began, and the 
ladies stood upon the hill-top, and laughed till we were tired, at 
the performances of the men. They had rat chases to their hearts 
content. Such well-fed fellows as plunged out from beneath tent- 
tloors, to meet a sudden deatli, I have seldom had the pleasure of 
seeing. Officers and men, darkies and citizens — one and all — 
joined in the race, and hundreds of the horrid vermin lie this 
morning upon the deserted ground, testifying to their struggles 
and death. What a scene the home of the 19th presents! The 
neat, well-ordered streets are almost obliterated by rubbish and 
remnants. Old boots, cast-oft" caps, raateless stockings, burnt-out 
stoves, bristle-less blacking-brushes, old papers, broken boxes 
smashed bottles, fag-ends of ropes, bits of leather, rusty iron — 
every conceivable thing once useful and desirable, now become, as? 
everything else becomes — rubbish. Yesterday, when tiie wagons 
were being packed, the camp swarmed with camp-followers, eager- 
eyed, and light-fingered, grabbing right and left, and stowing into 
dirty bags, everything they could scrape together. They rushed 
past sentinels with bayonets, defied captains, insulted guai'ds, and 
boldly plied their plundering trade directly under the noses of the 
military authorities. Even the officers caught the stealing mania, 
and robbed each other, relentlessly. Capt. Williams fought val- 
iantly for his dry-goods and groceries, and finally succeeded in re- 
taining his bedstead and mess-chest, by setting on the one, and 
putting his feet on the other. When he heard us laughing at his 
mishaps, he shook a broom at us, and just at that moment the Ad- 
jutant rode up, seized it, and made ofi^ with it in triumph. Then 
the captain lowered his head o\ er the remnants of his posses- 
sions, and — did not weep I 

" The regiment moved up the Leesburg Pike, passed Fairfax 
Seminary, and encamped among the stumps, a few rods from the 
abbatis of Fort Wortlt. The liability of an immediate call to the 


front was now so far diminished that there was a very noticeable 
relaxation of military rigor. Dress Parade, Guard Mounting, and 
Camp Guard, were for some days the only disciplinary duties re- 
quired, and great was the enjoyment afforded by the respite. 
Stumps were to be cleared away, and ditching and draining done 
for a camp and parade ground ; and the change from constant 
duty under arms to chopping, grubbing, and digging fresh earthy 
was extremely grateful and beneficial. True, the month of Janu- 
ary witnessed a greater mortality than any other of the entire 
twenty months passed in the ' defenses ; ' but it was the result of 
disease previously contracted. 

" Fort Worth was a little earthwork about a quarter of a mile 
in rear of Fairfax Seminary, overlooking the broad valley of Hunt- 
ing Creek, and the Orange and Alexandria Railway, and mount- 
ing some twenty-four guns of all kinds — Rodman, Parrott, Whit- 
worth, 8-inch Howitzers, and iron and Coehorn mortars. Here 
began our ar t lller i/ sevx'ioe; and for many months the 19th, al- 
though an infantry regiment, performed garrison duly in this and 
half a dozen other forts and redoubts in the vicinity, — thereby 
attaining a proficiency in artillery that eventually won the ' red/ 
and would doubtless have been effective at the front, if such ser- 
vice had ever been required of us. But it was not so to be." 

Thus have we gone through with the principal events of the year 
in which Woodbury, and its sons had a part, and have shown that 
they performed it faithfully and well. We have recounted some 
of the events of a year of gigantic preparation, fierce and destruc- 
tive battles, of desperate defeats to our arms, and of more glorious 
victories to cheer the hearts of the loyal people of the country. 
The year 1862 closes with the hope, but not the certainty of a 
better record in future. 

1863. — Our account of the military events of 1862, in which the 
soldiers of Woodbury were interested, closed with the removal of 
the camp of the 19th Conn. Vols., from the pestilent locality at 
the head of King street, to the heights near Fairfax Seminary. 
Here, and in the vicinity, the regiment remained in the defenses, 
during this year, and till May, 1864. There is little of incident 
to record of this regiment during this time. They simply entered 
into the monotony of garrison life. 

" During the entire season, the 19th was called upon for nothing 
more laborious thnn drilling, target practice, stockade building in 

1224 HISTOKV OI^' ANCIENT W O O JL» « U it Y. 

Alexandria, pickiug blackberries, drinking a quarter of a gill of 
whiskey and quinine at Reveille and Retreat, and drawing pay 
from Major Ladd every two months. Yet 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 19th were staggering along the Pamunkey, 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 defenses of Washington as to a lost Elysium, 
and fervently longed to regain those blissful seats. Oh Happi- 
ness I why is it that men never recognize thy features until thou 
art far away ? " 

In the early spring, a political incident engaged the earnest at- 
tention and discussion of the officers and men of the regiment. 
The two political parties had made their nominations, in accord- 
ance with their several views, and on account of the indecisive 
result of the war as waged in 1862, those who had originally been 
" peace men," with considerable accessions, came to the front, and 
there was a vigorous campaign. 

" On or about the 28th of March, Colonel Aiken, of Connecti- 
cut, visited camp, and spent an hour or more with Colonel VVes- 
sells and Major Smith, at the quarters of the latter. Shortly after- 
ward, it became known that leaves of absence were to be granted 
to tea officers, and furloughs to ninety men, for nine days — or un- 
til after the Connecticut election ; and each Company commander 
was reqested to' select ten from his Company for this purpose, and 
to furnish a list of their names, to be forwarded to Washington, 
and embodied in an order. Some of the Captains were war dem- 
ocrats, some republicans, and some of no politics, — but all of them 
professed to select those for furloughs who had the best reasons 
for going home, without regard to politics. The order shortly 
came, and the ten officers and ninety men left, for Connecticut." ' 

However it may have been with other companies, the division 
was made equal between the two parties in the number furlough- 
ed to Woodbury, if we regard party divisions as they existed 
when the company marched from our town. But it is the impres- 
sion of the writer, that such was the love of Woodbury soldiers 

* Vaills' 19th Regiment. 

H I S T O K Y OF ANCIENT W O O D 1? U K Y. 1 225 

for Governor Buckingham, and such their M'arm approval of hi^ 
earnest efforts in the behalf of the Union, and such his kind, con- 
siderate and paternal care for the interest and welfare of all the 
soldiers, that he received their ever}^ vote. 

An incident occurred at our election, which occasioned a rao. 
mentary ripple upon the usually quiet surface of our society. 
When Company I was organized, a desperate shirk, and so far as 
he knew how to be, a disloyal man, whose name is withheld for 
fear he will attain more notoriety than he deserves, enlisted in the 
Company, to claim the bounties. Immediately after arriving in 
Virginia, he began to shirk duty, and finally was enabled, by his 
representations, to get into the hospital at Alexandria. The Avri- 
ter called on him there, as he did on all the Woodbury soldiers, 
whereever he could find them, in Jan., 1862. He found him in 
bed, partaking of rations, and with a pile big enough for three 
men. This man immediately besought him, with tears, to inter- 
cede for his release, with the authorities. This was accordingly 
done, and when the officer in charge of the hosj^ital was asked 
why this sgldier should not be discharged, he instantly replied, 
that "there was no reason in the world why he should not be dis- 
charged. He was," he said, " a d — d shirk, and knave, who had 
enlisted to get the bounties ; that he never had done and never 
would do the Government any service, and he would procure his 
discharge." He was discharged, and voted at this election. When 
the ten soldiers came up to vote, he reviled them, as " Lincoln 
hirelings," who had been sent home to vote for Gov. Buckingham. 
At the same time apparently suspecting that this insult would be 
j'esented, he drew a silver-mounted, six-barreled revolver, which 


had been loaned him by a peace man, and presented it. Not 
knowing with what intent the weapon was drawn, Sergeant M, 
D. Smith cried out, " Fall in, Co. I." The '^ Woodbury boy* " as 
instantly obeyed, and a " double quick " was made for the revolver. 
The coward fired, but Mr. Alexander Gordon, who was standing 
near, knocked the muzzle down, and the weapon was discharged 
within an ace of his foot. The ''squad" took the weapon, and 
Sheriff Minor took the miscreant into custody. When the nine 
days furlough expired, the " Woodbury nine " mounted the stage 
in front of the Post-office, and departed for the " defenses," ex- 
hibiting the revolver, and promising to use the weapon at the front. 
And it did do good execution against the rebels at a later day. 

Several calls for volunteers and drafts were ordered by the Pres- 
ident in 1863. Woodbury, as usual, was in the forefront of re- 
cruiting and raising bounties. It passed the following votes : — 

*' Resolved, That the sum of six thousand four hundred dollars, 
or so much of said sum as may be necessary, be, and the same is 
hereby appropriated from the Treasury of this town,, for the fol- 
lowing purposes, viz: Tvyo Hundred Dollars thereof to be paid 
into the hands of a Committee, to be appointed for that purpose, 
for the benefit of each person drafted from this town, who shall 
not be exempt under any of the provisions of «aid law, and who 
shall be liable to answer to the said draft, under any of the pro- 
visions of said law ; said Committee to procure substitutes for 
each and all such drafted men ; whenever each one so drafted 
shall furnish to said Committee the amount in cash over and above 
the $200, necessary to furnish a substitute, not exceeding $300 in 
the whole. Provided, that if substitutes cannot be had by said 
Committee for a sum not exceeding 1300 each, that in that case 
said Committee pay over said $200 furnished by the town to each 
of such drafted men as are mustered into the service of the United 
States himself, and also to him who has not, and who does not re- 
fuse to accept a substitute, when to be had for a sum not exceed- 
ing $300. 

'' Hesolved, Tho.t the Selectmen of the town be, and they are 
hereby authorized to borrow the said sum of $6,400, or such part 
thereof as shall from time to time be necessary, and make their 
order on the town therefor; and the Selectmen are hereby appointed 
to disburse said money or such part thereof to said Committee 
as shall be necessary to carry out the foregoing resolution. 


^^ Hesolved, That the aforesaid bounties, or monies, in tlie hands 
of said Committee, be paid to the drafted man himself, or his sub- 
stitute, or their order, who is entitled to the same; and not on 
any factorizing or other legal process. 

" Voted, That said Committee mentioned in the foregoing res- 
olutions to procure substitutes, shaU consist of two, and Daniel 
Curtiss and Robert Peck were appointed said Committee." 

Dec. I2th, '63, Towji Meeting. 

" Voted, That R. B. Martin, recruiting officer of the town, be au- 
thorized, at the expense of the town, to em])]oy one or more agents 
to assist him in obtaining volunteers to apply on the quota of this 
town under the call of the President of the United States for 
300,000 men. 

" Voted, That the Selectmen of this town be directed to draw 
such order or orders on tlie Treasury of this town, to carry out 
such provisions of the foregoing vote as shall be allowed by a 
Committee hereafter to be appointed. 

" Voted, That Daniel Curtiss^ Robert Peck and Truman Minor, 
be a Committee to audit the accounts of the recruiting officers and 
bequests above named, and to allow such bills, at their discretion, 
as they shall judge to be necessary to obtain volunteers to fill our 
quota, and deliver all such bills as are allowed by them, to the 

Under these votes, recruiting went on rapidly, as it did under 
every other call, and the town nobly fulfilled its duty, under the 
constitution and laws. 

On the 23d of November, the Govornor called for colored volun- 
teers for the 29th Regiment, and the colored men of our town came 
forward with great alacrity. More than half of the able-bodied 
men, almost immediately enlisted, and did good service. At the 
collapse of the Rebellion, two companies of that Regiment which 
contained Woodbury colored men, had the honor of being the 
first infiintry which entered Richmond. 

There was no duty devolved upon the army during the war 
sad, brave, or glorious, in which the Woodbury soldiers did not 
take a part. One of the saddest duties which a soldier can be 
called to perform is, to shoot a comrade. Yet the stern exigen- 
cies of the service sometimes required this. A description of a 



single case of execution in tlie 8th Connecticut, at which some of 
our Woodbury boys assisted, will suffice : — 

" Camp near Portsmouth, December, 1863. 

"Dear Friend and Editor: — Having a few leisure moments, 
I propose to give you an outline of an incident which occurred in 
our regiment yesterday. You are aware that there has been an 
addition made to our regiment in the shape of conscripts. Quite 
a number of them have deserted, and it was found necessary to 
have an example made of some of them, to put a stop to it* 
Therefore, two of them who had deserted twice and were caught 
again, were sentenced to be shot, and the sentence was carried out 
yesterday. At 9 A, M,, the regiments of this brigade were form- 
ed on their respective parade grounds, and marched to an open 
field near Fort Reno. 

"A hollow square was then formed, and the men rested on 
their guns, to await the arrival of the prisoners, with their escort. 
At half-past nine the funeral escort started from the brigade head- 
quarters, the band playing a dirge. The band was followed by a 
detail of eight men, carrying the coffins on stretchers, followed by 
a section of the Provost Gnard. 

"Next came two carriages containing the prisoners and their spir- 
itual advisers. The procession was closed by a section of the Pro- 
vost Guard. As the escort entered the square, a solemn silence 
prevailed. After the escort had marched around the square, the 
prisoners were taken out of the carriages and led up in front of 
the detail that were to execute them. After the priests (for they 
were Ctholics) had shrived them, they were made to kneel in front 
of their coffins, and bandages put over their eyes. Soon the fatal 
order was given to fire, and their souls passed into eternity. It 
was an impressive scene, and it is to be hoped that it will be a 
solemn warning to those would desert their country's cause." 

The year of 1863 was a year of substantial victories for the 
cause of the Union. Everywhere the men of the North an- 
swered the full demands of duty, and our little town was rep- 
resented on the greater, glorious battle-fields. Wherever deeds 
of valor, or courage were to be done, they were to be found. 
Space permits a reference to only one, the sternest of battles, 
which saved the nation's life, and in which they participated. It 
was the glorious battle of Gettysburg, where Gen. Lee, for once, 


ventured to invade our free soil, and tried to bring us to all the 
horrors of invasion, which the " sacred soil" had so long suffered, 
in the effort of the government to restore its rightful authority- 
over the the entire territory of the nation. 

" On the morning of the 3d — the last and great day of the bat- 
tle, — Gen Geary, who had marched from the center to the right 
during the previous night, was attacked by the enemy at early 
dawn. However, he soon succeeded in driving him back, and in 
ousting him from that part of the field, which he had won the 
day before. The battle then surged along this part of the line, 
with great fury. The enemy being uniformly repulsed, till 11 A. 
M., whea it ceased, and over the whole field everything was omi- 
nously silent for two hours. The soldiers ate their dinners and 
rested, pondering what the issue might be. At 1 P. M. two sig. 
nal guns, from the Rebel line, broke the silence, and were at once 
followed by the roar of one hundred and twenty-five cannon, 
massed in position against our left center. Our own batteres res- 
ponded, and for over two hours there was the grandest artillery 
prelude ever heard on this continent. Shot and shell rushed, 
whistled, shrieked and moaned, and the very air seemed alive with 
the flying projectiles. At length our guns ceased to reply, and 
the artillery roar slackened. Then followed the grand assault of 
the rebels. In it was one half of their whole army. On they 
came, with a heavy line of skirmishers in front, and two complete 
lines of battle. They were received principally by the second 
corps, which behaved with magnificent courage. Reenforcements 
were rapidly sent to its support, and all our available artillery was 
converged upon the advancing enemy. Their first line seemed to 
sink in the earth, but with the madness of desperation on they 

" Now they had reached our guns, and were in the act of turn- 
ing them against us, when a determined charge recovered them. 
For several hours, division after division was hurled against the 
firm and solid lines of our army, only to be dashed back with 
slaughter and confusion. Finally, the sullen roar of battle rolled 
off to the southwest, and the enemy withdrew, repulsed and de- 

"Thus closed the terrible battle of Gettysburgh. The pride 
and power of the Rebel invasion were thoroughly broken by 
the invincible valor and obstinate bravery of the hard-marched 
veterans of the army of the Potomac." 


1864. The year opened with increased preparation and hope. 
The idea that this was to be a short war, had long since been 
abandoned, and the certainty that it would be a long, costly, and 
bloody one, had become a moral certainty. But the intention 
of the government to defend itself, and bring the war to a suc- 
cessful close, had never been more determined. 

The 19th Connecticut was, by an order from the War Depart- 
ment, issued on the 23d of November, 1863, changed into the 2d 
Connecticut Heavy Artillery, to the general joy of the men, and 
they thenceforth added artillery tactics to their course of instruc- 
tion. But they were destined never to fight as artillery. The 
only benefit to them was, the increase of their number up to 
eighteen hundred men, the full complement of an artillery regi- 

In the early spring of 1864, General Grant, who had been sig- 
nally successful in the campaigns of the west, was appointed 
Lieut. General, and made commander in chief of all the armies of 
the United States. He established his head-quarters with the 
Army of the Potomac — the army of so many sad disasters. From 
the beginning of the war, till now, it had been deemed necessary, 
by the successive commanders, to keep a large number of troops 
in the defenses of Washington. Grant reversed all this. When 
he wanted soldiers for his campaigns, he did not hesitate to take 
them from the defenses of the capital, or anywhere else where he 
could find them, nor was he particular from which arm of the ser- 
vice he took them. 

On the 17th of May, 1864, an order arrived for the regiment 
to march at once for the head-quarters of the Army of the Poto- 
mac, with five days rations. They reached their destination on 
the 20th, and were assigned to the 2d Brigade, 1st Divis- 
ion, Sixth Corps. Late in the evening of the 21st, ''began that 
long and terrible series of marches, which were continued almost 
without a breathing spell, until the 1st of June, when the battle 
of Cold Harbor began. 

On the 27th, Col. Upton called on Col. Kellogg, and said : — 

" ' Colonel, let your men know that we are to have a march to- 
night, so that they may get as much rest as possible. We shall 
probably be within fifteen miles of Richmond to-morrow morning.' 
At eight o'clock the column was again in motion, on the road fol- 
lowing the left bank of the Pamunkey; and oh ! what language 
will convey to those who were not there, the least idea of the 


murderous craelty ia that march? We had ah-eady suftered al 1 
that flesh and blood seemed able to bear, on the road from Spott- 
sylvania to the North Anna, and the future had in store for us 
many other marches that were grievous beyond expression ; but I 
am persuaded that if all the regiment were to be summoned — the 
living and the dead — and notified that all their marches except one 
must be performed over again, and that they might choose w/tich 
one should be omitted, the almost unanimous cry would be, 'De- 
liver us from the accursed night march along the Pamunkey ! ' In 
darkness and silence, hour after hour, without a rest of more than 
five minutes at a time, the corps was hurled along that sandy road. 
There was no danger that the head of the column would lose its 
way, for a large body of cavalry had pi'eceded us a day or two 
before, and dead horses lined the road throughout, at intervals 
averaging not more than a quarter of a mile, sickening all the 
motionless air. Ten o'clock, — eleven o'clock, — midnight, — two 
o'clock, — four o'clock, — the darkness began to fade before the in- 
flowing tides of the morning light, but still the jaded men moved 
on. Captain Buruham, with stockings and rags bound upon his 
blistered feet like sandals, (his boots having been used up and 
thrown away,) hobbled painfully along beside his men, whose feet, 
like those of all the rest, were in the same condition." 

This regiment had been in service about twenty-two months, 
and were now about to receive their first baptism of fire and blood 
— an event that was to carry death and decimation into its ranks 
with scarcely a parallel during the whole war. The battle receiv- 
ed the name of Cold Harbor. And what was this place? — three 
or four unpainled houses east of a sparce pine-wood, common in 
Virginia. Lieut. Vaill, who was the Adjutant of the regiment, 
and present at the battle, has so eloquently described it, that nearly 
his whole description is inserted here. ' 

"Just at the left of the spot where we had stacked our musk- 
ets, was a hollow, basin-like spot, containing about an acre of land' 
and a few pine and chestnut trees, and well protected on the front 
by a curved line of breastworks, whicli were thi-own up during 
McClellan's campaign, two years before, or else had been erected 
by Sheridan's Cavalry. In this hollow the three battalions of our 
regiment were massed, about two or three o'clock, preparatory to 

' This battle was fought about ten miles North of Richmond. 


a charge, which had been ordered by General Meade to take place 
at five. By this time the field pieces of the 1st Division had taken 
position directly in our rear, while the rebels had batteries directly 
in our front ; and for a long time the solid shot flew back and forth 
between them, right above our heads, lopping ofi" twigs, limbs« 
and even large branches, which came crashing down among the 
ranks. Said Colonel Kellogg to the 1st Battalion, ' ISTow, men, 
when you have the order to move, go in steady, keep cool, keep 
still until I give the order to charge, and then go arras a-port, 
with a yell. Don't a man of you fire a shot until we are within 
the enemy's breastworks, I shall be with you.' Even all this, 
added to a constantly increasing picket fire, and ominous signs on 
every hand, could not excite the men to any great degree of inte- 
rest in what was going on. Their stupor was of a kind that none 
can describe, and none but soldiers can understand. In proof of 
this, only one incident need be mentioned. Corporal William A. 
Hosford, then of Company E, heard the foregoing instructions 
given by Colonel Kellogg, and yet was waked out of a sound sleep 
when the moment came to move forward. 

"Colonel Upton, the Brigade Commander, was in almost con- 
stant, conference with Colonel Kellogg, giving him instructions 
how and when to proceed, surveying the ground, and anxiously, 
but quietly watching this new regiment, wliich, although it now 
constituted more than half his command, he had never seen in ac- 
tion. The arrangement of companies and battalions was the same 
that had been established in the defenses, upon the change from 
Infantry to Artillery. The following diagram will show the for- 
mation at Cold Hardor : 



A B K E 

Left. i 11^ II Right. 

Wadhams. ^Leicis. Spencer. SJcinner^ 


L C H G 

Deane. Fenn. Berry. Gold. 



M D I F 

Marsh. Hosford. Burnham. Jones. 

At five o'clock, — or it might have been somewhat later, -the 
three battalions were moved just in front of the curved breast- 
work, where they remained for two or three minutes, still closed- 
in-mass. Knapsacks were left behind the breatworks. Pine 
woods, — or rather a few tall pine trees, not numerous enough to 
hide our movements — extended about ten rods to the front, and 
then came an open field. Colonel Kellogg, having instructed 
Majors Rice and Ells to follow at intervals of one hundred paces 
placed himself in front, and gave the command, 'Forward! 
Guide Center ! 3larch ! ' The first battalion, Avith the colors in 
the center, moved directly forward through the scattering woods, 
crossed tlie open field at a double-quick, and entered another pine- 
wood, of younger and thicker growth, where it came upon the 
first line of rifie-pits, which was abandoned at its approach. Pas- 
sing this line, the battalion moved on over sloping ground until it 
reached a small, open hollow, within Jiftteen or twenty yards of 
the enemy's main line of breastworks. There had been a thick 
growth of pine spixjuts and saplings on this ground, but the I'eb- 
els had cut them, probably that very day, and had arranged them 
so as to form a very efiective abbatis, — thereby clearing the spot, 
and thus enabling them to see our movements. Up to this point 
there had been no firing sufticient to confuse or check the battal- 
ion ; but here the rebel musketry opened. The commander of the 
rebel battalion directly in our front, whoever he was, had his men 
under excellent control, and his tire was field until our line had 
reached the abbattis, and then systematically delivered — first by 
his rear rank, and then by his front rank. A sheet of flame, sud- 
den 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 were ploughed and riddled with a 
thousand balls that just missed the heads of the men. The bat- 
talion dropped flat on the ground, and the second volley, like the 
flrst, 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 \jii\% front fire, the rebel breastworks would have been 



ours, uotwithstanding the pine boughs. But at that moment a 
long line of rebels ou our left, extending all the way to the Rich- 
mond road, having nothing in their own front to engage their at- 
tention,' and having unobstructed range on the battalion, opened 
a fire which no human valor could witstand, and which no pen can 
adequately describe.'' The appended list of casualties tells the 
story. It was the work of ahno<t a single minute. The air was 
filled with sulphurous smoke, and the shrieks and howls of more 
than two hundred and fifty mangled men rose above the yells of 
triumphant rebels and the roar of their musketry. About Face! 
shoutC'l 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 interlacing jjine boughs. Wild, and blind with wonnds. 
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 complety riddled with bullets, — 
others wandering off into the woods on the right and front, to 
find their way to death by starvation at Andersonville, or never 
to be heard from again. LIE DOWN ! said a voice that rose 
above the horrible din. It was the voice of Colonel Upton, whose 
large bay horse was dancing with a bullet in his bowels. The 

" ' The rest of the brigade, i. e., the One Hundred and. Twenty-first and Sixty- 
fifth New York, Ninety fifth Pennsylvania, and Fifth Maine, were formed in 
three lines immediately on our left, and advanced when we did. But they re- 
ceived a heavy fire and advanced but part of the way. Indeed, the first battal- 
ion of our regiment went up to the enemy's breastwork alone. Our right was 
nobody's left, and our left nobody's right." 

' It has been related to the 
writer of this history, that just 
before this murderous fire from the 
left, a rebel soldier rushed among 
our men under pretence of surrender- 
ing, and the moment he was within 
our lines, he brandished a torch 
which disclosed the position of oui 
men. Then the murderous fire in 
stantly came, and the traitorous spj 
was instantly shot by one of our men. 


rebels in front now fired as fast as they could load, and those of 
our men who were not wounded, having worked their way back a 
few yards into the woods, began to reply with energy. But the 
wounds showed that nine-tenths of our casualties were inflicted 
by that unopposed fire on the left flank. The second battalion 
followed the first, according to instructions, crossed the open field 
under a scattering fire, and having moved through the woods un- 
til within perhaps seventy-five yards of the first battalion, was 
confronted by Colonel Upton with the command Lie dovm! Lie 
down! — which was obeyed with the utmost alacrity. Major Ells 
was wounded very soon after the third battalion commenced to 
follow, and his command devolved upon Captain Jones. Upon 
reaching the woods, this battalion also had orders to lie down. 
The rebel fire came through the woods from all parts of the line, 
and most of the losses in these two battalions occurred while lying 
here. ' Put up your saber, said Colonel Upton to a young officer, 
'I never draw mine until we get into closer quarters than this. 
See the Johnnies ! See the Johnnies ! Boy?, well have these 
fellows yet ! ' said he, pointing to the front, where a long string 
of them came running through the lines towards us. They were 
the very men who had delivered the first two volleys in our front, 
and (there being a lull in the firing at the moment) they came 
tumbling over thebreatwork in a crowd, within two or three rods 
of where Kellogg's body lay. We had too much on hand just 
then to run after safely bagged prisoners, and M'hen they got to 
the rear of the 3d Division (who, by the way, having at first ad- 
vanced on our right, had broken and run to the reai", through our 
first battalion as it was charging, and were consequently in a con" 
venient position to make the * capture,') put a guard over them 
and triumphantly marched them to army headquarters ; and in 
due time General Meade issued an order complimenting the Third 
Divisio7i of the Sixth Army Cor2)S for having captured between 
three and four hundred prisoners, which they never captured at 
all. ' The lines now became very much mixed. Those of the 
1st battalion who were not killed or wounded, gradually crawled or 

" ' Every surviving man of the Second Connecticut Artillery will bear witness 
that the Ninth New York Artillery, (which belonged in the the Third Division,) 
came pell mell through our regiment toward the rear as we were charging, — and 
that the capture of these prisoners was made by our regiment alone. Colonel 
Upton, who saw the whole of it, said that the matter should be rectified, and the 
credit given to the Second Connecticut. But it never was." 


worked to the rear; and the woods began to grow dark, either 
with night, or smoke, or both. The news of Kellogg's death 
quickly found its way every where. The companies were formed 
and brought up to the breastwork one by one, and the line ex- 
tended toward the left. As Lieut. Cleveland was moving in with 
the last company, a squad of rebels rose directly in front, fired a 
volley very wildly, and dropped. The fire was vigorously return- 
ed, and the enemy soon vacated the breastwork in our immediate 
front, and crept ofi" through the darknesss. Thousands and thou- 
sands of bullets ^ zippecV back and forth over the bodies of the 
slain — now striking the trees, high up, with a 'sjowc?,' and now 
piercing the ground under feet. Upton stood behind a tree in 
the extreme front, and for a long time fired muskts as fast as the 
men could load and hand them to him. Some sudden movement 
caused a panic, and they started to flee, when he cried out with a 
voice that no man who heard it will ever forget, — 3Ien of Con- 
necticut, stand by me ! We MUST hold this line ! ' It brought 
them back, and the line was held. Firing was kept up all night 
long, by a few men at a time, to let the enemy know that we were 
there and awake, and thus to deter them from attempting to re- 
take the line, which they could easily have done. Major Hub- 
bard sent* word twice to Colonel Upton, that if the enemy should 
attempt to return, he could not possibly hold it. Upton's reply 
was, * He n%u%t hold it. If they come there, catch them on your 
bayonets, and pitch them over your heads.' At the first ray of 
dawn it was strengthened and occupied by skirmishers ; and du- 
ring our stay at Cold Harbor, which lasted until midnight of 
June 12th, it remained our front line; — the rebel front line being 
about thirty-five rods distant, and parallel with it. 

" On the morning of the 2d, the wounded who still remained 
were got ofi" 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 ene- 
my'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. When 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. 


"On the morning of the 3d, the regiment was again moved for- 
ward, under the personal command of Colonel Upton, from the 
same spot whence the fatal charge had been made thirty-six hours 
before; bat this time we proceeded by a circuitous route, which 
kept us tolerably well protected. Several, however, Avere killed 
and wounded during this movement, and after we had taken po- 
sition. The line was pushed to the left, considerably nearer the 
Richmond road than we had been before, and there speedily cov- 
ered by breastworks. This, I presume, was our part of the move- 
ment of June 3d, which the larger histories regard as the battle 
of Cold Harbor. Perhaps it was. It has always seemed, how- 
ever, to the survivors of the 3d Connecticut Heavy Artillery, 
(Upton's Brigade, Russell's Division, Wright's Corps,) that the 
affair of June 1st was entitled to more than the two or three lines 
of bare mention with Avhich it is tossed off in Greeley's American 
Conflict, Deming's Life of Grant, and probably every other of the 
more important and comprehensive histories of the war." 

Capt. Walter Burnham, who was at the date of this battle cap- 
tain of our Woodbury Co. I, in a letter to Adjutant Vaill, gives 
some additional incidents of it. > 

"New Preston, Conn., Aug. 10, 1868. 

"Friend Vaill; — In accordance with your request, I will 
give you my recollections of Cold Harbor, beginning at the time 
when we, (the 3d Battalion,) were ordered to lie down among the 

" Shortly after Colonel Upton left, a young Lieutenant came 
into our midst (from what direction I know not,) and shouted- 
'Now's the time — I'll lead you,' and I, on the impulse of the mo-> 
ment jumped up, and shouted 'forward,' when about half of Co. I, 
and a few men from H and C Cos., sprang forward and into the 
Johnnies' breastworks. The thought that I was a little rash and 
fast in giving the order, came too late — and as most of my men 
had obeyed the order, I could do no less than follow ; which I 
did, and found it to be a safe place, compared with the knoll, al- 
though not as comfortable as it might have been under different 
circumstances, there being some 12 or 14 inches of water in the 

* Capt. Burnham was seriously wounded at Cedar Creek, and did not again re- 
join his regiment, but was breveted Major for gallant conduct in battle. 


ditch from which the Johnnies had taken the dirt to cover their 
breastworks, besides a great number of wounded men (Johnnies) 
just over the line of works, — some groaning, some crying for 
water, otliers calling upon some one to shoot them on the spot 
and end their misery- I distinctly recollect one little fellow from 
a Georgia Regiment, who was severely wounded, evidently while 
attempting to come in a prisoner, as he lay on the north side of 
the breastwork. His cries were terrible and heart rending, during 
the entire night: ' Why did my parents drive me into this cruel 
war? why could not I have staid at home ? Oh ! father, mother, 
shall I ever see you again ? water, water, water : will some one 
shoot meV kill me quick, I cannot endure this, &c., &c , and even 
under this call it was quite late in the night before this young 
man was supplied with water, when lying perhaps not more than 
twenty feet off, and this to the rear of our line ; but so continu- 
ous was the firing, no man dared to leave the protection he then 
had. By morning a great number had died, and we supposed a 
great many had been removed during the night, as we heard foot- 
steps very distinctly during the entire night. Now under this 
excitement three-fourths of the men went to sleep and slept as 
soundly as would have been possible under far more favorable cir- 
cumstances. I myself took my turn with two other men of my 
company, to watch what we supposed to be a Johnny with musket 
in hand, just over the opposite side of the breastwork, wliom we 
thought to be waiting, or rather soliciting an opportunity to pick 
some of us off. We watched him till daylight, and found him still 
sitting by the side of a tree holding his musket between his knees, 
but dead; was severely wounded and died during the night. 
Just at the left of this man, we found a Lieut. Colonel severely 
wounded, but full of pluck and vim ; wouldn't tell his name, where 
he was wounded, what regiment, what he wanted, and when taken 
back to the hospital, refused to take water from the nurses ; don't 
know whether he lived or died. By the way, shortly after we 
had gone into the Johnnies' line of works, the 10th Vermont came 
and re-formed directly in rear of where we were, and left the field. 
This to me seemed a little strange, as it looked as though we were 
to vacate. Shortly after, some one appeared from the swamp in 
front of us. We challenged him, and found him to be from the 
10th Vermont. He proved to be a Sergeant, a tall, strapping six- 
footer, courageous, brave, full of pluck and daring. I felt quite 
satisfied to have him remain, as during the heavy firing, occasion- 


ally, some man would show a disposition to make to the rear, 
when this fellow's musket would come to a shoulder, with the re- 
mark that he would blow the first man's brains out who attempted 
to leave that ditch. The result was, most of us staid until morn" 
ing. About daylight we missed the Sergeant, and shortly after dis- 
covered him rifling the pockets of our own dead men. He was ar" 
rested and sent to the Provo's. He was a brave, courageous fel- 
low, nevertheless. Vaill, do you recollect the second morning 
after the fight, during a season of shelling, the fact of your sitting 
at the foot of a chestnut tree and a solid shot or shell going 
through the body of the tree a few feet above your head ; also the 
shelling we received when we were marching down the ravine, a 
little to the right and front of the line. I always supposed I had 
a narrow escape. A shell exploded just at the right of the line, as 
we were moving by the flank, killed I think a man from D com. 
pany, just at our rear. A piece of the same shell struck the top 
ear of my canteen, thereby entailing a loss of a canteen of water 
— which I had been at some trouble to obtain. You know that 
water didn't come by pipe into the back kitchen in those days ; 
nevertheless, I did not feel like complaining." 

Corporal (afterward Quartermaster Sergeant) Benjamin Well- 
roan, of Company I, gives the following history of his experience 
at Cold Harbor: — 

" I was wounded in the left cheek, the ball passing through un- 
der the left ear, while the 3d Battalion was advancing. This 
brought me down, and I was soon so weak that I could not get 
up. About two hours afterward, while lying here, I was again 
struck in the back. Sometime in the night there were two John- 
nies came up to me belonging to a North Carolina regiment; one 
of them gave me water, and the other said, 'You will be taken 
care of soon ; ' — meaning, probably, that I would be taken prison- 
er. Soon after this, there were about a hundred came along, 
marching in column. Some of them stepped on me. Sometime 
afterward, a Colonel of a New York regiment came up and gave 
me a little ' Commissary,' which did me a great deal of good. He 
said we had taken five hundred prisoners, and told me to keep up 
courage. In the morning, I was taken to the field Hospital, and 


on the third was put into a government wagon, with several oth- 
ers, and carried to White House Landing. I returned to the re- 
giment on the 26th of December." 

The regiment remained at Cold Harbor till the 12th of June, 
being almost every moment under fire from the 1st to the 12th, 
and men were being constantly picked off. Isaac Briggs, of our 
company, was wounded in the foot as he lay in his tent, reading, 
of which wound he subsequently died. 

At midnight, on the 12th, the regiment started on a rapid march 
for Petersburgh, where it arrived on the 19th, and engaged in 
digging trenches and skirmishing with the enemy. 

"This was" says Yaill, " the most intolerable 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 ex- 
treme danger. The enemy's frot line was pai'allel with ours, just 
across the wheat field; then they had numerous sharp-shooters, 
who were familiar with every acre of 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 rear of the trench, without drawing fire. And yet 
they c?^f? 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." 

The regiment was not to remain here long . Jnbal Early was 
now menacing Washington, and the 6th Corps, some 12,000 men, 
were ordered to its defense. So our men, on the 19tli of July^ 
1864, found themselves marching in thick dust, in that direction. 
Early had destroyed a portion of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, 
and had marched direct for the capital, which had, at this moment, 
but few soldiers to defend it. It Avas none too soon that this 
movement to drive him away was made, for while the corps was 
steaming down the James, Jubal's infantry was within six miles 
of the capital. The regiment marched straight through Wash- 
ington, to Tenallytown, on the 12th. 

" Early was in front of Fort Stevens when we arrived, and 
brisk firing was going on between his pickets and Gen. Augur's 


hastily gathered troopa, which consisted jDartly of hundred-days 
men, invalid corps men, citizens, and clerks detailed from the gov- 
ernment offices. A skirmish occurred just after dark, which re- 
sulted in a loss to our side of two hundred and eighty killed and 
Avounded, and a retreat of the enemy, with equal loss. At ten in 
the evening the regiment marched two or three miles up the road, 
by Fort De Russy, to Fort Kearney, and after much shifting, lay 
down on their arms to sleep. In the morning, Companies C and 
H were sent to man a battery, but returned in half an hour. 
Early had learned of the presence of the Sixth Corps, and also of 
the 19th, (Emory's,) which had opportunely arrived from New Or- 
leans ; and he concluded not to capture the Capital, and Capitol, 
Congress and Archives, Arsenal and Navy' Yard, Lincoln and 
Cabinet, until (as Pollard says,) 'auother and uncertain time.' 
He had begun his retreat toward Snicker's Gap, and pursuit was 
instantly made by the Sixth and a division of the ] 9th Corps, 
under command of General Wright. Our brigade moved up the 
river at 2:20 P. M., and bivouaced late in the evening near Poto- 
mac Cross Roads." ^ 

The pursuit was continued to Snicker's Gap, and then this much 
marched regiment returned, with the 6th, to Washington, almost 
upon the double-quick. " Tenallytown was reached on the 23d, by 
way of the Chain Bridge, and the stiff, lame, sore, tired, hungry 
men, found thirty-six hours rest, new clothing, new shoes, soft 
bread, and surreptitious Whisky — for all which they were truly 
thankful; also cross-ca7i7ion badges (the emblem of the artillery 
service) to adorn their hats, for which they would have been more 
thankful, if this badge had not been to them such a bitter mock- 



Within forty-eight hours, Early stood upon the banks of the 
Potomac, shewing an evident intention of marching into Penn- 
sylvania, or anywhere else he could do the most damage. So, 
within three days after its return to Washington, the regiment 
found itself on the march again, which culminated in the bloody 
Shenandoah Valley. Our troops were in pursuit of Gen. Early ^ — 

> Vaills' Hist. ' Vaills' 19th 

' It was on this march, as the author has been informed, a somewhat zealous 
chaplain introduced into his prayer a couplet from a grand old hymn, but made it 
have quite a different meaning from the usual one, from hia method of accentua- 
tion, thus : — 

" Early ! my God! without delay, 
We haste to seek thy face I " 


From this time till the date of the battle of Winchester, there 
was not much of incident that occurred in our regiment. There 
was drilling, reorganization, skirmishing, mai'ching and counter- 
marching. Gen. Sheridan being now in command, till the 19th of 
September, when the bloody battle of Westchester was fought. 

Adjutant Vaill's account is given entire: — 

"At three o'clock on the morning of tlie 19th of September, the 
advance was in motion. Our brigade started from Clifton about 
daylight, and having struck the Berryville pike, moved five or six 
miles towards Winchester, and halted for an hour about two 
miles east of the Opequan, while the 19th Corps was crossing. 
The Cavalry had previously moved to secure all the crossings, and 
firing was now heard all along the front, and continually increas- 
ing. The 6th and 19th Corps, following Wilson's Cavalry, which 
fought the way, crossed at and near the pike bridge, our brigade 
wading the stream a few rods north of it. West of the creek, 
the pike passed through a gorge over a mile long, from which the 
rebels had been driven by the cavalry. The 19th Corps and a por- 
tion of our own liad moved through and formed a line of battle 
some distance beyond, under a heavy artillery fire, when our di- 
vision emerged from the gorge and filed to the left into a ravine 
that ran aci'oss the pike, where it was held in readiness as a re- 
serve. This was about half past nine. The fighting now waxed 
hotter, louder, nearer: nevertheless, some of the men found time, 
while their muskets were stacked in this ravine, to dig potatoes 
from a neighboring field. At length the enemy made a vigorous 
charge upon the center of the front line, at the point where the 
3d Brigade of the 2d Division joined the left of the 19th Corps. 
The line broke, and retreated in complete disorder, each broken 
flank doubling and crowding back on itself, and making for the 
rear. The enemy pushed his advantage and came rolling into the 
breach. It was the critical moment of the day, — for if he had 
succeeded in permanently separating the two parts of the line, 
there would have been no possible escape from utter defeat for 
Sheridan's array. At this juncture Gen. Russell, who was watch- 
ing from the rise of ground just in front of the ravine, where his 
division lay, exclaimed, 'Look here! it is about time to do some- 
thing ! Upton, bi'ing on your brigade.' The brigade was at once 
moved out of the ravine, passed through a narrow strip of woods, 
crossed the pike, halted for a moment in order to close and dress 


up compactly, then went at a double-quick by tlie riglit flank into 
the gap that had been made in the first line, and made a short 
lialt, jnst in rear of a piece of woods, out of which the remnants 
of the 2d and 3d Divisions were still retreating, and on tlie other 
side of which was the advancing line of Rodes' and Gordon's rebel 
divisions. The first fire that struck our brigade and regiment 
during the day, was while coming to this position. General Rus- 
sell was killed by a shell at the same time, having been [previously 
wountled .and refused to leave the field. It was this movement of 
our brigade that checked the enemy, until the lines were restored 
and the two or three thousand fugitives brought back. Some of 
our men began to fire, but were quickly ordered to desist. After 
a very few minutes the brigade was pushed forward, the lefi half 
of it being somewhat covei'ed by woods, from which position it 
instantly opened a terrilic fire, while the 2d Connecticut, which 
constituted the right half, passed to the riglit of the woods into an 
open field of uneven surface, and halted on a spot where the 
ground was depressed enough to aflford a little protection, and 
o/ili/ a \iu\e ; for sevei-al men were hit while getting thei-e. In 
three minutes the regiment again advanced, passed over a knoll, 
lost several more men, and halted in another hollow spot sim- 
ilar to the first. The enemy's advance had now been pushed well 
back, and here a stay was made of perhaps two hours. Colonel 
Mackenzie 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 i-ange of the enemy, who kept up a fire from a piece 
of woods in front, which elicited from him the remark, 'I guess 
these fellows will get tired of firing at me by and by.' But the 
ground where the regiment lay was vei'y slightly depressed, and 
although the shots missed Mackenzie, they killed and wounded a 
large number of both officers and men behind him. Lieut. Candee 
merely raised himself from the ground on his elbow to look at his 
watch, but it was enough to bring his head in range of a siiai-p. 
shooter's ball, and he was instantly killed. About three o'clock, 
an advance of the whole line having been ordered by Sheridan, 
the regiment charged across the field, Mackenzie riding some ten 
rods ahead, hohting his hat aloft on the point of his saboi'. The 
distance to the woods was at least a quai'ter of a mile, and was 
traversed under a fire tiiat carried off its victims at nearly every 
step. The enemy abandoned tlie v,'oods, however, as the regiment 
approached, in consequence of which the line obliqued to the left, 



and halted. Companies F and D were here detached and taken 
off to the right, on a small reconnoisance, but were soon brought 
back, and the regiment pr()ceeded to the riglit of the woods and 
partly through them, and 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 privilege 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, followed 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 
Skinnner Avas 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 liad a good quarter pound of flesh 
taken out of his thigh by a shell, and was laid up for some weeks. 
Colonel Mackenzie's horse was cut in two by a solid shot, which 
just grazed the rider's leg, and let hira 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 con- 
tinually, from the middle of the forenoon until now, it was 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 doubt- 
less the spot referred 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 art Uery, which had done so much dam- 
age, stood yet in position, hissing hot with action, with their mis- 
erable, rac-a-bone horses attached. The brigade, numbering 
less than half of tlie muskets it had in the morning, was now 
got into shape, and after marching to a field in the eastern edge 


of the city, bivonaced for the night, while the pursuit voUed miles 
away up the valley pike. 

Roll call revealed the fact that the regiment had lost one hun- 
dred and thirty-six in killed and wounded, — fonitcen of whom 
were officers. Company A, out of its entire list of officers and 
non-conmissioned officers, had left only 1st Sergeant Henry Wil- 
liams, — who had command of the Company during nearly the 
whole' of the fight, — and two corporals. Company H had 
three noble officers killed, including Captain Frederick M. Berry, 
of whom Colonel Kellogg once said, that he was the most perfect 
officer, godleman^ and man, all'things considered, in the regiment. 
Companies A, B, and E, suffered heavily, C and G still more ; and 
D, F, and I, most of all, 

" But, unlike Cold Harbor or Petersburg, there \\i\B victory to 
show for this fearful outlay. And it was the first cup of palpable, 
unquestionable, unmistakable victory that the 2d Conneeticut, 
with all its marching and fighting, had ever tasted," 

In summing up his operations in the Valley, Sheridan after- 
wards adds : — 

" At Winchester, for a moment, the contest was uncertain, but 
the gallant attack of General Upton's brigade of the 6th Corps, 
restored the line of battle, until the turning column of Crook,, and 
Merritt's and Averill's divisions of cavalry, under Torbert, 'sent 
the enemy whirling through Winchester.'" 

On the morning of the 20th of September, the army moved rap- 
idly up the valley in pursuit of the enemy, who had continued his 
retreat, during the night, to Fisher's Hill, south of Strasburg, 
_which Early considered the very Gibralter of the Valley. 

Vaill thus describes the part taken by the 2d Conn. H. A. in 
this battle : — 

"But Sheridan's report merely considers the affair as a whole; 
and it will therefore be necessary for us to review it from a regi- 
mental stand-point. The regiment moved from bivouac near 
Winchester before diylight on the 20th, and by the midille of the 
afternoon, encamped just south of Cedar Creek, remaining until 
the afternoon of the next day, when it moved off to the right of 
the pike, takin^ a circuitous route through wooded ravines and 
over wooded hills, and at length came out upon open fields about 


a mile and a half west, or southwest of Strasburg. This was on 
the evening of the 21st. Here lines of battle were formed, and a 
stay was made of about two hours; after which the march was 
continued by the right flank, up a steep and winding hill-side, un- 
til midnight, when the regiment halted under arms until daylight, 
on the very top of a hill fully as high as Fisher's hill and sepa- 
i-ated from it by Tumbling River. The enemy's strong hold was 
on the top of the opposite hill, directly across the stream. In the 
morning, breastworks were commenced, part of the men building, 
while the rest remained in line of battle. Lively skirmishing was 
going on all day, and once or twice things were hastily put in 
readiness to meet an anticipated charge, — which, however, did not 
come. About three o'clock in the afternoon, orders were given 
to pitch tents, — but while the men were at it, a general advance 
was ordered. The regiment had but just commenced to move 
directly forward, Avhen the rebels, (who knew every inch of the 
ground, and could tell where our lines ought to be, whether visi- 
ble or not,) began to drop shells into their new breastworks, and 
upon the very spot where they had begun to pitch tents. The 
regiment moved down the steep hill, waded the stream, and 
moved up the rocky front of the rebel Gibraltar. IIow they ever 
got up there is a mystery, — for the ascent of that rocky declivity 
would now seem an impossibility to an unburdened traveler, 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 
back from the top of the bluff, with brush piled in front of it. 
Just as the top was reached, the 8th Corps struck the enemy on the 
right, and their flight was very disordered and precipitate. The 
2d Connecticut was the first regiment that reached and planted 
colors on the works from the direct front. After firing until the 
rebels Avere so far off" that it was a waste of powder, the pursuit 
was resumed, and kept up all night; although but little progress 
was made, on account of the blockade of the road, both by the 
pursuing army, and the property abandoned by the enemy." 

It was supposed that this defeat would satisfy the rebel gov- 
ernment as to the prospects of success in the Shenandoah Yalley 
and the 6th Corps started for Petersburgh again, but were now 
ordered to " right about," and encamped along the northern bank 
of a tributary of the Shenandoah, called Cedar Creek. Here 


they remained till the surprise and battle of Cedar Creek, which 
was, in many of its aspects, the Jiiost remarkable battle of the 
war, and in it the 2d C. II. A. was conspicuous, and amono- the 
brave men of that decisive day, none were more conspicuous than 
the men of Woodbury. 

The battle was begun by the rebels, and was to us, in the first 
instance, a surprise and a defeat. Pollard, in his " History of the 
Lost Cause," says : — 

"The surprise was complete. The 8Lh Corps was unable to 
form a line of battle, and in five minutes was a herd of fui^i- 
tives. Many of the men awoke only to find themselves prisoners. 
The 19th Corps were soon involved in the rout. The valorous 
Confederates pressed on, driving tlie whole Federal left and cen- 
ter, slaying many of the enemy in their camos, capturing eighteen 
pieces of artillery, fifteen hundred prisoners, small arms without 
number, wagons, camps, everything on the ground. 

"The retreat of the army was now a general one, the 6th Corps 
doing what it could to cover it. At Middletown an attempt was 
made to form a line of battle; but the Confederates threatened a 
flank movement, got possession of the town, and put the enemy 
on what was supposed to be his final retreat to Winchester." 

Greeley, in his "American Conflict," says: 

" On our side, all was amazement and confusion ; on theirs, 
thorough wakefullness and perfect comprehension. In fifteen min- 
utes, the army of West Virginia was a flying mob; one battalion 
of its picket-line had lost 100 killed and wounded, and 700 pris- 
oners. The enemy, knowing every foot of ground as familiarly as 
their own door-yards, never stopped to reconnoiter or consider, 
but rushed on with incredible celerity." 

An extract from Adjutant Vaill's account of the part taken in this 
conflict, which was, in its results, the salvation of Washington, 
and perhaps the first turning-point in the war, follows: — 

"The 2d Connecticut had its full share of the varied fortunes 
of that wondrous day. The number of tlie regiment present can- 
not be exactly ascertained, but was probably about "700, ofticers 
and men. Our losses in this battle were greater, in proportion to 
the number engaged, than in any other fight, not even excepting 
Cold Harbor, 


" On the day preceding this battle, by a recent law of Connec- 
ticut, the soldiers had received commissioners to take their votes 
for President and Vice Pr