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Title: The County Regiment
       A Sketch of the Second Regiment of Connecticut Volunteer
       Heavy Artillery, Originally the Nineteenth Volunteer
       Infantry, in the Civil War

Author: Dudley Landon Vaill

Release Date: February 2, 2009 [EBook #27969]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII

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THE COUNTY REGIMENT




[Illustration: Governor Buckingham]




THE

COUNTY REGIMENT


A SKETCH

OF THE SECOND REGIMENT OF
CONNECTICUT VOLUNTEER HEAVY ARTILLERY,
ORIGINALLY THE NINETEENTH VOLUNTEER
INFANTRY, IN THE CIVIL WAR

BY

DUDLEY LANDON VAILL


LITCHFIELD COUNTY
UNIVERSITY CLUB
MCMVIII




Copyright, 1908, by
DUDLEY L. VAILL




PAR AVANCE


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

                                          HOWARD WILLISTON CARTER,
                                                            Secretary.




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


    Governor Buckingham                                 _Frontispiece_

    Rev. Hiram Eddy                                    _facing page_ 7

    Presentation of Colors, September 10th, 1862             "      10

    The first encampment in Virginia                         "      14

    Fort Ellsworth, near Alexandria, May, 1863               "      19

    In the Defences. Guard mount                             "      23

    General Sedgwick                                         "      26

    The first battle                                         "      35

    Colonel Wessells                                         "      47

    Colonel Kellogg                                          "      61

    Colonel Mackenzie                                        "      76

    Colonel Hubbard                                          "      84

    Monument at Arlington                                    "      98




PREFATORY


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

It is as part of the work of one of these that there is commemorated
in this volume an organization of an earlier day, one distinctively of
the county, in no way unique in its time, but of the highest
purpose--the regiment gathered here for the national defence in the
Civil War.

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

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

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

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




THE COUNTY REGIMENT




In spite of the labors of unnumbered chroniclers, it is not easy, if
indeed it is possible, for us of this later generation to realize
adequately the great patriotic uprising of the war times.

It began in the early days of 1861 with the assault on Fort Sumter,
which, following a long and trying season of uncertainty, furnished
the sudden shock that resolved the doubts of the wavering and changed
the opinions of the incredulous. Immediately there swept over all the
northern states a wave of intense national feeling, attended by scenes
of patriotic and confident enthusiasm more noisy than far-sighted,
and there was a resulting host of volunteers, who went forth for the
service of ninety days with the largest hopes, and proportionate
ignorance of the crisis which had come to the nation. Of these
Connecticut furnished more than her allotted share, and Litchfield
County a due proportion.

The climax of this excited period was supplied by the battle of Bull
Run. There was surprise, and almost consternation, at the first news
of this salutary event, but quickly following, a renewed rally of
patriotic feeling, less excited but more determined, and with a
clearer apprehension of the actual situation. The enlistment of
volunteers for a longer term had been begun, and now went forward
briskly for many months; regiment after regiment was enrolled,
equipped, and sent southward, until, in the spring of 1862, the force
of this movement began to spend itself. The national arms had met with
some important successes during the winter, and a feeling of
confidence had arisen in the invincibility of the Grand Army of the
Potomac, which had been gathering and organizing under General
McClellan for what the impatient country was disposed to think an
interminable time. A War Department order in April, 1862, putting a
stop to recruiting for the armies, added to the confidence, since an
easy inference could be drawn from it, and the North settled down to
await with high hopes the results of McClellan's long expected
advance.

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

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

Immediate steps were taken to render this determination effective; the
Governor promptly accepted the recommendation as to the colonelcy,
recruiting officers were designated to secure enlistments, bounties
voted by the different towns as proposed by the county meeting, and
the movement thoroughly organized. Although there was a clear
appreciation of the present need, the dozen or more Connecticut
regiments already in the field had drawn a large number of men from
Litchfield County, and effort was necessary to gain the required
enrollment. There had been many opportunities already for all to
volunteer who had any wish to do so, but the call now came to men who
a few weeks before had hardly dreamed of the need of their serving;
men not to be attracted by the excitement of a novel adventure, but
who recognized soberly the duty that was presenting itself in this
emergency, and men of a very different stamp from those drawn into the
ranks in the later years of the war by enormous bounties. It is
reasonable to think that pride in the success of the county's effort
was a factor in stimulating enlistments; announcement that a draft
would be resorted to later was doubtless another. Just at this time,
also, the return from a year's captivity in the South of the Rev.
Hiram Eddy of Winsted, who had been made prisoner at Bull Run,
furnished a powerful advocate to the cause; night after night he spoke
in different towns, urging the call to service fervently and with
effect.

[Illustration: Rev. Hiram Eddy]

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

       *       *       *       *       *

In the last week in August, the necessary number of recruits having
been secured, the different companies were brought together in
Litchfield and marched to the hill overlooking the town which had been
selected as the location of Camp Dutton, named in honor of Lieutenant
Henry M. Dutton, who had fallen in battle at Cedar Mountain shortly
before. Lieutenant Dutton, the son of Governor Henry Dutton, was a
graduate of Yale in the class of 1857, and was practising law in
Litchfield when he volunteered for service on the organization of the
Fifth Connecticut Infantry.

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

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

[Illustration: Presentation of colors, September 10th, 1862]

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

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

       *       *       *       *       *

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

Colonel Wessells, a native of Litchfield, and a brother of General
Henry W. Wessells of the regular army, had been prominent in public
affairs before the war, and served for twelve years as Sheriff. Ill
health interfered with his service with the regiment from the first,
and finally compelled his resignation in September, 1863. Later he was
appointed Provost Marshal for the Fourth District of Connecticut, and
for many years after the war was active in civil affairs, being the
candidate for State Treasurer on the Republican ticket in 1868,
Quartermaster-General on Governor Andrews' staff, and member of the
General Assembly. He died at Dover, Delaware, April 4, 1895.




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

[Illustration: The first encampment in Virginia]

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

The task of giving the necessary military education to the thousand
odd men fresh from the ordinary routine of rural Connecticut life,
fell upon the shoulders of Lieutenant-Colonel Kellogg, and by all the
testimony available, most of all by the splendid proof they later
gave, it is clear that it was entrusted to a master hand. Matters of
organization and administration at first engrossed Colonel Wessells'
attention; ill health soon supervened, and later he was given the
command of a brigade. The regiment from its beginning was Kellogg's,
and he received in due course the commission vacated by its first
commander in September, 1863.

A thorough and well-tried soldier himself, he quickly gained the
respect of his command by his complete competency, and its strong and
admiring affection was not slow in following. There are men among us
to this day for whom no superlatives are adequate to give expression
to their feelings in regard to him. As the regimental history records
of their career "there is not a scene, a day, nor a memory from Camp
Dutton to Grapevine Point that can be wholly divested of Kellogg. Like
the ancient Eastern king who suddenly died on the eve of an
engagement, and whose remains were bolstered up in warlike attitude in
his chariot, and followed by his enthusiastic soldiers to battle and
to victory, so this mighty leader, although falling in the very first
onset, yet went on through every succeeding march and fight, and won
posthumous victories for the regiment which may be said to have been
born of his loins. Battalion and company, officer and private, arms
and quarters, camp and drill, command and obedience, honor and duty,
esprit and excellence, every moral and material belonging of the
regiment, bore the impress of his genius. In the eyes of civilians,
Colonel Kellogg was nothing but a horrid, strutting, shaggy monster.
But request any one of the survivors of the Nineteenth Infantry or the
Second Artillery to name the most perfect soldier he ever saw, and
this will surely be the man. Or ask him to conjure up the ideal
soldier of his imagination, still the same figure, complete in
feature, gesture, gauntlet, saber, boot, spur, observant eye and
commanding voice, will stalk with majestic port upon the mental
vision. He seemed the superior of all superiors, and major-generals
shrunk into pigmy corporals in comparison with him. In every faculty
of body, mind, heart, and soul he was built after a large pattern. His
virtues were large and his vices were not small. As Lincoln said of
Seward, he could swear magnificently. His nature was versatile, and
full of contradictions; sometimes exhibiting the tenderest
sensibilities and sometimes none at all. Now he would be in the
hospital tent bending with streaming eyes over the victims of fever,
and kissing the dying Corporal Webster, and an hour later would find
him down at the guard house, prying open the jaws of a refractory
soldier with a bayonet in order to insert a gag; or in anger drilling
a battalion, for the fault of a single man, to the last point of
endurance; or shamefully abusing the most honorable and faithful
officers in the regiment. 'In rage, deaf as the sea, hasty as fire.'
But notwithstanding his frequent ill treatment of officers and
soldiers, he had a hold on their affections such as no other commander
ever had, or could have. The men who were cursing him one day for the
almost intolerable rigors of his discipline, would in twenty-four
hours be throwing up their caps for him, or subscribing to buy him a
new horse, or petitioning the Governor not to let him be jumped. The
man who sat on a sharp-backed wooden horse in front of the guard
house, would sometimes watch the motions of the Colonel on drill or
parade, until he forgot the pain and disgrace of his punishment in
admiration of the man who inflicted it."

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

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

[Illustration: Fort Ellsworth, near Alexandria, May, 1863]

       *       *       *       *       *

For more than a year and a half the regiment was numbered among the
defenders of the capital, removing after a few months from the
immediate neighborhood of Alexandria, and being stationed among the
different forts and redoubts which formed the line of defence south of
the Potomac.

Important as its service there was, and novel as it must have been to
Litchfield County boys, it was not marked by incidents of any note,
and furnished nothing to attract attention among the general and
absorbing operations of the war. It was, still, of vast interest to
the people of the home towns. The county newspapers had many letters
to print in those days from the soldiers themselves, and from visitors
from home, who in no inconsiderable numbers were journeying down to
look in upon them constantly. There were of course matters of various
nature which gave rise to complaints of different degrees of
seriousness; there was not unnaturally much sickness among the men in
the early part of their service; there were political campaigns at
home, in which the volunteers had and showed a strong interest;
there was a regrettable quarrel among the officers in which
Lieutenant-Colonel Kellogg was placed in an unfortunate light, and the
termination of which gave the men an opportunity of showing their
feeling for him. All these matters were well aired in type; meanwhile
the regiment, doing well such duty as was laid upon it, grew in
efficiency for hard and active service when it should be called for.

The possibility of a call to action at almost any minute was seen in
April, 1863, when orders came that the regiment be held ready to
march. Reinforcements were going forward to the Army of the Potomac,
now under Hooker, in large numbers; but the Nineteenth was finally
left in the Defences. Thus months were passed in the routine of drill
and parade, guard mounting and target practice, varied by brief and
rare furloughs, while the lightnings of the mighty conflict raging so
near left them untouched. "Yet," it is related, "a good many seemed to
be in all sorts of affliction, and were constantly complaining because
they could not go to the front. A year later, when the soldiers of the
Nineteenth were staggering along the 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
Defences of Washington as to a lost Elysium."

       *       *       *       *       *

It was in November, 1863, that the War Department orders were issued
changing the Nineteenth Infantry to a regiment of heavy artillery,
which Governor Buckingham denominated the Second Connecticut.
Artillery drill had for some time been part of its work, and the
general efficiency and good record of the regiment in all particulars
was responsible for the change, which was a welcome one, as the
artillery was considered a very desirable branch of the service, and
the increase in size gave prospects of speedier promotions.

Recruiting had been necessary almost all the time to keep the regiment
up to the numerical standard; death and the discharge for disability
had been operating from the first. It was now needful to fill it up to
the artillery standard of eighteen hundred men, and this was
successfully accomplished. Officers and men were despatched to
Connecticut to gather recruits, and their advertisements set forth
enticingly the advantage of joining a command so comfortably situated
as "this famous regiment" in the Defences of Washington, where, it was
permissible to infer, it was permanently stationed, a belief which had
come to be generally held. The effort, however, was not confined by
geographical limits, and a large part of the men secured were
strangers to Litchfield County. Before the 1st of March, 1864, over
eleven hundred recruits were received, and with the nucleus of the old
regiment quickly formed into an efficient command.

[Illustration: In the Defences. Guard mount]

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

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




There came to the Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery, on May 17, 1864,
the summons which, after such long immunity, it had almost ceased to
expect.

The preceding two weeks had been among the most eventful of the war.
They had seen the crossing of the Rapidan by Grant on the 4th, and the
terrible battles for days following in the Wilderness and at
Spottsylvania, depleting the army by such enormous losses as even this
war had hardly seen before. Heavy reinforcements were demanded and
sent forward from all branches of the service; in the emergency this
artillery regiment was summoned to fight as infantry, and so served
until the end of the conflict, though for a long time with a hope,
which survived many disappointments, of being assigned to its proper
work with the heavy guns.

It started for the front on May 18th (1864), and on the 20th reached
the headquarters of the Army of the Potomac, and was assigned to the
Second Brigade, First Division, of the Sixth Corps, now under
Major-General Horatio G. Wright, another leader of Connecticut origin,
who had succeeded to the command of the Corps on the death a few days
before of Litchfield County's most noted soldier, John Sedgwick.

[Illustration: General Sedgwick]

The famous series of movements "by the left flank" was in progress,
and the regiment was in active motion at once. For more than a week
following its arrival at the front it was on the march practically all
the time while Grant pushed southward. To troops unaccustomed to
anything more arduous than drilling in the Defences at Washington,
it was almost beyond the limits of endurance. At the start, without
experience in campaigning, the men had overburdened themselves with
impedimenta which it was very soon necessary to dispense with. "The
amount of personal effects then thrown away," wrote the chaplain, Rev.
Winthrop H. Phelps, "has been estimated by officers who witnessed and
have carefully calculated it, to be from twenty to thirty thousand
dollars. To this amount must be added the loss to the Government in
the rations and ammunition left on the way." On some of the marches
days were passed with scarcely anything to eat, and it is recorded
that raw corn was eagerly gathered, kernel by kernel, in empty
granaries, and eaten with a relish. Heat, dust, rain, mud, and a rate
of movement which taxed to the utmost the powers of the strongest,
gave to these untried troops a savage hint of the hardships of
campaigning, into which they had been plunged without any gradual
steps of breaking in, and much more terrible experiences were close
at hand. Of these there came a slight foretaste in a skirmish with
the enemy on the 24th near Jericho Ford on the North Anna River,
resulting in the death of one man and the wounding of three others,
the first of what was soon to be a portentous list of casualties.

       *       *       *       *       *

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

It would have been a fearful waiting for these men could they have
known what was in store for them. But they were drugged, as it were,
with utter fatigue; the almost constant movement of their two weeks of
active service had left them "so nearly dead with marching and want of
sleep" that they could not notice or comprehend the significant
movements of the columns of troops about them preparing for battle, or
the artillery which soon opened fire on both sides; their stupor, it
is related, was of a kind that none can describe. They heard without
excitement the earnest instructions of Colonel Kellogg, who, in pride
and anxiety at this first trial of his beloved command, was in
constant consultation with officers and men, directing, encouraging,
explaining. "He marked out on the ground," writes one of his staff,
"the shape of the works to be taken,--told the officers what
dispositions to make of the different battalions,--how the charge was
to be made,--spoke of our reputation as a band-box regiment, 'Now we
are called on to show what we can do at fighting.'" The brigade
commander, General Emory Upton, was also watching closely this new
regiment which had never been in battle. But all foreboding was spared
most of the men through sheer exhaustion.

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

The first battalion, with the colors in the center, moved at a double
quick across the open field under a constantly thickening fire, over
the enemy's first line of rifle pits which was abandoned at its
approach, and onward to the main line of breastworks with a force and
impetus which would have carried it over this like Niagara but for an
impassable obstruction. Says the regimental history, "There had been a
thick growth of pine sprouts and saplings on this ground, but the
rebels had cut them, probably that very day, and had arranged them so
as to form a very effective abatis,--thereby clearing the spot and
thus enabling them to see our movements. Up to this point there had
been no firing sufficient to confuse or check the battalion, but here
the rebel musketry opened. A sheet of flame, sudden as lightning, red
as blood, and so near that it seemed to singe the men's faces, burst
along the rebel breastwork, and the ground and trees close behind our
line was ploughed and riddled with a thousand balls that just missed
the heads of the men. The battalion dropped flat on the ground, and
the second volley, like the first, nearly all went over. Several men
were struck, but not a large number. It is more than probable that if
there had been no other than this front fire, the rebel breastworks
would have been ours, notwithstanding the pine boughs. But at that
moment a long line of rebels on our left, having nothing in their own
front to engage their attention, and having unobstructed range on the
battalion, opened a fire which no human valor could withstand, and
which no pen can adequately describe. It was the work of almost 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,' shouted Colonel Kellogg, but it was his last command. He
had already been struck in the arm, and the words had scarcely passed
his lips when another shot pierced his head, and he fell dead upon the
interlacing pine boughs. Wild and blind with wounds, bruises, noise,
smoke, and conflicting orders, the men staggered in every direction,
some of them falling upon the very top of the rebel parapet, where
they were completely 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 of again."

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

The history continues: "The lines now became very much mixed. Those of
the first battalion who were not killed or wounded gradually crawled
or worked back; wounded men were carried through to the rear; and the
woods began to grow dark, either with night or smoke or both. The
companies were formed and brought up to the breastworks one by one,
and the line extended toward the left. The enemy soon vacated the
breastwork in our immediate front, and crept off through the
darkness." Throughout the terrible night they held their ground,
keeping up a constant fire to prevent an attempt by the enemy to
reoccupy the line, until they were relieved in the early morning by
other troops; they had secured a position which it was indispensable
to hold, and the line thus gained remained the regiment's front during
its stay at Cold Harbor. Until June 12th the position was kept
confronting the enemy, whose line was parallel and close before it,
while daily additions were made to the list of casualties as they
labored in strengthening the protective works.

[Illustration: The first battle]

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

The regimental history continues: "On the morning of the 2nd the
wounded who still remained were got off to the rear, and taken to the
Division Hospital some two miles back. Many of them had lain all
night, with shattered bones, or weak with loss of blood, calling
vainly for help, or water, or death. Some of them lay in positions so
exposed to the enemy's fire that they could not be reached until the
breastworks had been built up and strengthened at certain points, nor
even then without much ingenuity and much danger; but at length they
were all removed. Where it could be done with safety, the dead were
buried during the day. Most of the bodies, however, could not be
reached until night, and were then gathered and buried under cover of
the darkness."

The regiment's part in the charge of June 3rd, the disastrous movement
of the whole Union line against the Confederate works, which Grant
admitted never should have been made, was attended with casualties
which by comparison with the slaughter of the 1st seemed
inconsiderable. There were, in fact, losses in killed and wounded on
almost all of the twelve days of its stay at Cold Harbor, but the
fatal 1st of June greatly overshadowed the remaining time, and that
first action was indeed incomparably the most severe the Second
Connecticut ever saw. Its loss in killed and wounded, in fact, is said
to have been greater than that of any other Connecticut regiment in
any single battle.

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

General Martin T. McMahon, writing of this battle in "The Century's"
series of war papers, says: "I remember at one point a mute and
pathetic evidence of sterling valor. The Second Connecticut Heavy
Artillery, a new regiment eighteen hundred strong, had joined us but a
few days before the battle. Its uniform was bright and fresh;
therefore its dead were easily distinguished where they lay. They
marked in a dotted line an obtuse angle, covering a wide front, with
its apex toward the enemy, and there upon his face, still in death,
with his head to the works, lay the Colonel, the brave and genial
Colonel Elisha S. Kellogg."

Such was their first trial in battle.




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

Upon General Upton's advice, therefore, the officers recommended to
the Governor the appointment of Ranald S. Mackenzie, then a captain
of engineers on duty at headquarters, and this recommendation being
favorably endorsed by superior officers up to the Lieutenant-General,
was accepted, and Colonel Mackenzie took command on June 6th.

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

Colonel Mackenzie's active connection with the regiment lasted only
some four months, but they were months of great activity and afforded
such occasions for proof of his abilities that his speedy promotion
was inevitable. He never achieved the general popularity with his men
that had come to his predecessor, nor cared to, but he did gain quite
as thoroughly their respect through his mastership of the business in
hand. It was not long after he assumed command that, as the regimental
history says, the men "began to grieve anew over the loss of Kellogg.
That commander had chastised us with whips, but this one dealt in
scorpions. By the time we reached the Shenandoah Valley, he had so far
developed as to be a far greater terror, to both officers and men,
than Early's grape and canister. He was a Perpetual Punisher, and the
Second Connecticut while under him was always a punished regiment.
There is a regimental tradition to the effect that a well-defined
purpose existed among the men, prior to the battle of Winchester, to
dispose of this commanding scourge during the first fight that
occurred. If he had known it, it would only have excited his contempt,
for he cared not a copper for the good will of any except his
military superiors, and certainly feared no man of woman born, on
either side of the lines. But the purpose, if any existed, quailed and
failed before his audacious pluck on that bloody day. He seemed to
court destruction all day long. With his hat aloft on the point of his
saber he galloped over forty-acre fields, through a perfect hailstorm
of rebel lead and iron, with as much impunity as though he had been a
ghost. The men hated him with the hate of hell, but they could not
draw bead on so brave a man as that. Henceforth they firmly believed
he bore a charmed life."

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

When the war ended he became colonel of the Twenty-fourth Infantry in
the regular army, and later received a cavalry command, gaining much
distinction by his services in the Indian campaigns in the West and
on the Mexican border. He was made brigadier-general in 1882, shortly
after placed on the retired list, and died at Governor's Island in
1889.

       *       *       *       *       *

The unsuccessful assault on Lee's works at Cold Harbor marked the end
of the first part of Grant's campaign. The next move was to swing the
army southward to the line of the James River and prepare to move upon
Richmond and its defences from that side. This change of base was one
of General Grant's finest achievements, admirably planned, and so
skilfully executed that for three days Lee remained in total ignorance
of what his adversary was doing. The Second Connecticut withdrew from
its position on June 12th, late at night, reached the river on the
16th, and, moving up it in transports, was disembarked and sent toward
Petersburg, to a point on the left wing of the army. It reached
position on the night of the 19th and entrenched. The usual
occurrences of such marches as attended this change of scene were
varied for the men, as the regimental history suggestively relates, by
a notable circumstance--a bath in the river. "It was the only luxury
we had had for weeks. It was a goodly sight to see half a dozen
regiments disporting themselves in the tepid waters of the James. But
no reader can possibly understand what enjoyment it afforded, unless
he has slept on the ground for fourteen days without undressing, and
been compelled to walk, cook, and live on all fours, lest a
perpendicular assertion of his manhood should instantly convert it
into clay."

The operations against Petersburg had been going on for some time when
the regiment arrived, and for two days it lay in the rifle pits it had
dug under continual fire, with frequent resulting casualties. It was
"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 extreme danger. The
enemy's line was parallel with ours, just across the wheat field; then
they had numerous sharpshooters, who were familiar with every acre of
the ground, perched in tall trees on both our flanks; then they had
artillery posted everywhere. No man could cast his eyes over the
parapet, or expose himself ten feet in the rear of the trench without
drawing fire. And yet they did thus expose themselves; for where there
are even chances of being missed or hit, soldiers will take the
chances rather than lie still and suffer from thirst, supineness, and
want of all things. There was no getting to the rear until zig-zag
passages were dug, and then the wounded were borne off. Our occupation
continued during the night and the next day, the regiment being
divided into two reliefs, the one off duty lying a little to the rear,
in a cornfield near Harrison's house. But it was a question whether
'off' or 'on' duty was the more dangerous."

On the 21st, relieved from this post, the regiment was moved to a new
position further southwest and about the same distance from the city
of Petersburg, which lay in plain view and whose city clocks could be
heard distinctly. The Sixth Corps was engaged in an operation having
the purpose of breaking Lee's communications with the South by the
line of the Weldon Railroad, and in the course of this the Second
Connecticut took part in a "sharp skirmish" with Hill's Division, on
June 22nd, an affair which to other experiences would be notable as a
battle of some proportions. The desired result was not gained; the
attempt on Petersburg, which if successful might have hastened the end
of the Confederacy by six months, and which came so near success, was
changed to besieging operations, and for some time Grant's army lay
comparatively quiet. In its four days in action here, the regiment
suffered as follows: Killed or died of wounds, fifteen; wounded but
not mortally, fifteen; missing, three; prisoners who died, five.

[Illustration: Colonel Wessells]




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

The Confederate Army which had been sent under General Early into the
Shenandoah Valley to create a diversion in that quarter, had
unexpectedly appeared on the Potomac in a sudden dash upon
Washington, then defended chiefly by raw levies. Part of the Sixth
Corps had been detached from Grant's army and sent to protect the
capital a few days before; now the rest of the corps, including the
Second Connecticut, was hurried north and reached Washington just in
time to defeat Early's purpose. He had planned to storm the city on
the 12th, and with good prospects of success; it was on that very day
at an early hour, that the reinforcing troops arrived. They were
hurried through the city to the threatened point, and the enemy,
seeing the well-known corps badge confronting them at Fort Stevens,
and recognizing that the opportunity was gone, promptly retreated,
after an engagement in which the Second Connecticut took no active
part. This occasion was notable by reason of the fact that for the
only time during the war President Lincoln was under fire, as he
watched the progress of affairs from the parapet of Fort Stevens.

The pursuit which began at once entailed some hard marching, but the
enemy could not be brought to a stand. It continued for several days
until the Valley of the Shenandoah was reached, when Early, as was
supposed, having hurried back to join Lee at Petersburg, the Sixth
Corps was marched again swiftly to the capital. Here it developed that
the authorities had decided to keep part of the forces sent for their
protection, to man the defences, since Early's attempt had come so
dangerously near succeeding, and the Second Connecticut was chosen to
remain. On July 25th it was moved into the same forts it had occupied
when called to the front two months before, and here it might have
remained through the rest of its term of service, if Early had, as was
presumed, gone back to join Lee at Petersburg. But it was learned now
that he had faced about when the chase ceased and was again
threatening a northward move. The Sixth Corps was therefore ordered
against his force once more, the Second Connecticut going from the
anticipated comforts of its prospective garrison duty with anything
but satisfaction. "The men who had rolled into those cosy bunks with
the declared intention of 'sleeping a week steady,' were on their
cursing way through Tenallytown again in twenty-four hours, marching
with accelerated pace toward Frederick to overtake the brigade of the
red cross, to which they had so lately bidden an everlasting adieu.
Oh, bitter cup!"

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

Though on a much smaller scale than the operations in which the
regiment had borne a part since it had been in active service, the
impending action in the Shenandoah Valley was recognized as being of
great importance. Grant's official report, speaking on this point,
says: "Defeat to us would lay open to the enemy the states of
Maryland and Pennsylvania for long distances before another army could
be interposed to check him," and aside from the military aspect of the
matter, the political campaign then agitating the loyal states made
the result of the struggle here of profound influence.

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

It was about midday that in a counter charge against the Union center,
the enemy found a weak point at the junction of the Sixth Corps with
the Nineteenth, of which they quickly took advantage, breaking the
line and driving back the troops on the flanks of both corps in great
disorder. Their successful advance and the flight of the opposing
forces gave such assurances of victory that more than one Confederate
writer says that at this point the battle which had raged since
daylight was won. Jefferson Davis himself wrote, years after, of the
charge: "This affair occurred about 11 A.M., and a splendid victory
had been gained,"--a judgment which lacked finality. In fact, had the
separation of the wings of Sheridan's army been accomplished, as it
was threatened, the result would have been utter disaster; just now,
however, Upton's brigade, of which the Second Connecticut formed a
large part, was brought up to the point of danger. The charge was
checked, the enemy in turn driven back, and the Union line
re-established.

In the regimental history it is related that the brigade was pushed
forward gradually, "halted on a spot where the ground was depressed
enough to afford a little protection, and only a little,--for several
men were hit while lying there, as well as others, while getting
there. In three minutes the regiment again advanced, passed over a
knoll, lost several more men, and halted in another hollow spot,
similar to the first. The enemy's advance had now been pushed well
back, and here a stay was made of perhaps two hours. Colonel 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 range of
the enemy, who kept up a fire from a piece of woods in front, which
elicited from him the remark, 'I guess those fellows will get tired of
firing at me by and by.' But the ground where the regiment lay was
very slightly depressed, and although the shots missed Mackenzie they
killed and wounded a large number of both officers and men behind him.

"About three o'clock, an advance of the whole line having been ordered
by Sheridan, the regiment charged across the field, Mackenzie riding
some ten rods ahead, holding his hat aloft on the point of his saber.
The distance to the woods was at least a quarter of a mile, and was
traversed under a fire that carried off its victims at nearly every
step. The enemy abandoned the woods, however, as the regiment
approached. After a short halt it again advanced to a rail fence which
ran along the side of an extensive field. Here, for the first time
during the whole of this bloody day, did the regiment have orders to
fire, and for ten minutes they had the privilege of pouring an
effective fire into the rebels, who were thick in front. Then a flank
movement 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 Skinner was struck on the top of
the head by a shell, knocked nearly a rod with his face to the earth,
and was carried to the rear insensible. General Upton had a good
quarter pound of flesh taken out of his thigh by a shell. Colonel
Mackenzie's horse was cut in two by a solid shot which just grazed the
rider's leg and let him down to the ground very abruptly. Several
other officers were also struck; and from these instances as well as
from the appended list of casualties some idea may be gained of the
havoc among the enlisted men at this point. Although the regiment had
been under fire and losing continually from the middle of the
afternoon, until it was now almost sunset, yet the losses during ten
minutes in this last field were probably equal to those of all the
rest of the day. It was doubtless the spot 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 artillery which had done us so much damage stood yet in
position, hissing hot with action, with their miserable rac-a-bone
horses attached. The brigade, numbering less than half the muskets it
had in the morning, was now got into shape, and after marching to a
field in the eastern edge of the city, bivouacked for the night, while
the pursuit rolled miles away up the valley pike." Night alone, wrote
General Wesley Merritt, saved Early's army from capture.

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

Unlike their previous severe engagement at Cold Harbor, the regiment
had the thrilling consciousness of complete victory to hearten them
after this battle, and, later, when the full history of the day was
learned, the realization that they had played a part of no little
importance in attaining it.

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

The victory itself, with the sequel which followed so promptly three
days later, had an importance far beyond its purely military value,
through its marked effects upon public sentiment throughout the
country; it brought to one side jubilant satisfaction, and gave a
corresponding depression to the other, and it elevated Sheridan at
once to that high place in popular affection which he always
afterwards held. That it was "the turning-point of the fortunes of the
war in Virginia," was the verdict of a Confederate officer of high
rank, and Nicolay and Hay in the "Life of Lincoln" describe it as "one
of the most important of the war."

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

       *       *       *       *       *

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

The Confederate forces had taken position on Fisher's Hill, considered
the Gibraltar of the Valley, and according to Sheridan, almost
impregnable to a direct assault. Two days were occupied in bringing up
troops and making dispositions for the attack. The Second Connecticut
reached its assigned position on the 21st near midnight, and found
itself "on the very top of a hill fully as high as Fisher's Hill, and
separated from it by Tumbling River. The enemy's stronghold was on the
top of the opposite hill directly across the stream."

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

To make this charge the regiment moved down the steep hill, waded the
stream, and moved up the rocky front of the rebel Gibraltar. How they
got up there is a mystery,--for the ascent of that rocky declivity
would now seem an impossibility to an unburdened traveller, even
though there were no deadly enemy at the top. But up they went,
clinging to rocks and bushes. The main rebel breastwork, which they
were so confident of holding, was about fifteen rods from the top of
the bluff, with brush piled in front of it. Just as the top was
reached the Eighth Corps struck the enemy on the right, and their
flight was disordered and precipitate. The Second Connecticut was the
first regiment that reached and planted colors on the works from the
direct front.

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

[Illustration: Colonel Kellogg]




Such complete failure in their campaign had, it was now believed,
eliminated the enemy in the Shenandoah Valley. The Sixth Corps was
accordingly ordered back to Grant's army before Petersburg after a few
days of rest, and was moving toward Washington on its way when there
came a sudden change of orders.

Early, reinforced and once more ready, was again in the works he had
been driven from at Fisher's Hill. The corps, recalled to join the
forces of Sheridan, went into camp along the north bank of Cedar Creek
on October 14th, and here there soon took place one of the most
thrilling and dramatic conflicts of the war.

"For the next few days," the history of the regiment states, "there
was much quiet and a good deal of speculation among the troops as to
what would be the next shift of the scenes. The enemy was close in
front, just as he had been for weeks preceding the battle of
Winchester, but this attitude which might once have been called
defiance, now seemed to be mere impudence,--and it was the general
opinion that Early did not wish or intend to fight again, but that he
was to be kept there as a standing threat in order to prevent
Sheridan's army from returning to Grant. And yet there was something
mysterious in his conduct. He was known to be receiving
reinforcements, and his signal flags on Three-top Mountain (just south
of Fisher's Hill) were continually in motion. From the top of
Massanutton Mountain his vedettes could look down upon the whole Union
army, as one can look down upon New Haven from East Rock, and there is
no doubt that the exact location of every camp, and the position of
every gun and every picket post were thoroughly known to him.
Nevertheless, it seemed the most improbable thing in the world that he
could be meditating either an open attack or a surprise. The position
was strong, the creek and its crossings in possession of our pickets
both along the front and well out on either flank." But Early himself,
being in difficulties his enemy knew nothing of, says, "I was
compelled to move back for want of provisions and forage, or attack
the enemy in his position with the hope of driving him from it, and I
determined to attack."

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

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

The history of the Second Connecticut tells the story of the day as
follows: "Most of the regiment were up next morning long before
Reveille and many had begun to cook their coffee on account of that
ominous popping and cracking which had been going on for half an hour
off to the right. They did not exactly suppose it meant anything, but
they had learned wisdom by many a sudden march on an empty stomach and
did not propose to be caught napping. The clatter on the right
increased. It began to be the wonder why no orders came. But suddenly
every man seemed to lose interest in the right, and turned his
inquiring eyes and ears toward the left. Rapid volleys and a vague
tumult told that there was trouble there. 'Fall in!' said Mackenzie.
The brigade moved briskly off toward the east, crossing the track of
other troops and batteries of artillery which were hurriedly swinging
into position, while ambulances, orderlies, staff officers, camp
followers, pack horses, cavalrymen, sutler's wagons, hospital wagons,
and six-mule teams of every description came trundling and galloping
pell mell toward the right and rear and making off toward Winchester.
It was not a hundred rods from our own camp to the place where we went
into position on a road running north. General Wright, the temporary
commander of the army, bareheaded, and with blood trickling from his
beard, sat on his horse near by, as if bewildered or in a brown study.
The ground was cleared in front of the road and sloped off some thirty
rods to a stream, on the opposite side of which it rose for about an
equal distance to a piece of woods in which the advance rebel line had
already taken position. The newly risen sun, huge and bloody, was on
their side in more senses than one. Our line faced directly to the
east and we could see nothing but that enormous disk, rising out of
the fog, while they could see every man in our line and could take
good aim. The battalion lay down, and part of the men began to fire,
but the shape of the ground afforded little protection and large
numbers were killed and wounded. Four fifths of our loss for the
entire day occurred during the time we lay here,--which could not have
been over five minutes,--by the end of which time the Second
Connecticut found itself in an isolated position not unlike that at
Cold Harbor. The fog had now thinned away somewhat and a firm rebel
line with colors full high advanced came rolling over the knoll just
in front of our left not more than three hundred yards distant. 'Rise
up,--Retreat,' said Mackenzie,--and the battalion began to move back.

"For a little distance the retreat was made in very good order, but it
soon degenerated into a rout. Men from a score of regiments were mixed
up in flight, and the whole corps was scattered over acres and acres
with no more organization than a herd of buffaloes. Some of the
wounded were carried for a distance by their comrades, who were at
length compelled to leave them to their fate in order to escape being
shot. About a mile from the place where the retreat commenced there
was a road running directly across the valley. Here the troops were
rallied and a slight defence of rails thrown up. The regimental and
brigade flags were set up as beacons to direct each man how to steer
through the mob and in a very few minutes there was an effective line
of battle established. A few round shot ricochetted overhead, making
about an eighth of a mile at a jump, and a few grape were dropped into
a ditch just behind our line, quickly clearing out some soldiers who
had crawled in there, but this was the extent of the pursuit. The
whole brigade (and a very small brigade it was) was deployed as
skirmishers under Colonel Olcott of the One Hundred and Twenty-first
New York. Three lines of skirmishers were formed and each in turn
constituted the first line while the other two passed through and
halted, and so the retreat was continued for about three miles until a
halt was made upon high ground, from which we could plainly see the
Johnnies sauntering around on the very ground where we had slept."

Once more could Early claim the credit of a victory of which at night
he was to find himself again deprived. Sheridan's famous ride, his
meeting and turning of the tide of fugitives, is the feature of the
day's occurrences which will always live in the popular memory. It is
a significant hint of the scale of such a battlefield to know that the
men of the Second Connecticut had no visual perception of his presence
that day, though they heard the cheering occasioned by his appearance
in other parts of the scene, and in his report there is mention of a
meeting with Colonel Mackenzie, whom he tried to persuade to go to the
rear on account of his wounds.

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

The history of the Second Connecticut gives a detailed account of its
movement, first against a stone wall in front which after some
opposition was abandoned by the enemy, who then "attempted to rally
behind another fence a little further back, but after a moment or two
gave it up and 'retired.' Not only in front of our regiment, but all
along as far as the eye could reach, both to the right and left, were
they flying over the uneven country in precisely the same kind of
disorder that we had exhibited in the morning. The shouts and screams
of victory mingled with the roar of the firing, and never was heard
'so musical a discord, such sweet thunder.' The sight of so many rebel
heels made it a very easy thing to be brave, and the Union troops
pressed on, utterly regardless of the grape and canister which to the
last moment the enemy flung behind him. It would not have been well
for them to have fired too much if they had had ever so good a chance,
for they would have been no more likely to hit our men than their own,
who were our prisoners and scattered in squads of twenty, squads of
ten, and squads of one, all over the vast field. At one time they
made a determined stand along a ridge in front of our brigade. A
breastwork of rails was thrown together, colors planted, a nucleus
made, and both flanks grew longer and longer with wonderful rapidity.
It was evident that they were driving back their men to this line
without regard to regiment or organization of any kind. This could be
plainly seen from the adjacent and similar ridge over which we were
moving,--the pursuers being in quite as much disorder (so far as
organizations were concerned) as the pursued. That growing line began
to look ugly and somewhat quenched the ardor of the chase. It began to
be a question in many minds whether it would not be a point of wisdom
'to survey the vantage of the ground' before getting much further. But
just as we descended into the intervening hollow, a body of cavalry,
not large but compact, was seen scouring along the fields to our right
and front like a whirlwind directly toward the left flank of that
formidable line on the hill. When we reached the top there was no
enemy there! They had moved on and the cavalry after them.

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

"Men from every company started out the first thing after reaching
camp to look for our dead and wounded, many of whom lay not fifty rods
off. The slightly wounded who had not got away had been taken
prisoners and sent at once toward Richmond--while the severely wounded
had lain all day on the ground near where they were hit while the
tide of battle ebbed and flowed over them. Some of the mortally
wounded were just able to greet their returning comrades, hear the
news of victory, and send a last message to their friends before
expiring. Corporal Charles M. Burr was shot above the ankle just after
the battalion had risen up and started to retreat. Both bones of his
leg were shattered and he had to be left. In a few minutes the rebel
battalion which I have already mentioned came directly over him in
pursuit, and was soon out of his sight. Then being alone for a short
time he pulled off the boot from his sound leg, put his watch and
money into it and put it on again. Next a merciful rebel lieutenant
came and tied a handkerchief around his leg, stanching the blood. Next
came the noble army of stragglers and bummers with the question,
'Hello, Yank, have you got any Yankee notions about you?' and at the
same time thrusting their hands into every pocket. They captured a
little money and small traps, but seeing one boot was spoiled they
did not meddle with the other. Next came wagons, picking up muskets
and accoutrements which lay thick all over the ground. Then came
ambulances and picked up the rebel wounded but left ours. Then came a
citizen of the Confederacy asking many questions, and then came three
boys who gave him water. And thus the day wore along until the middle
of the afternoon when the tide of travel began to turn. The noble army
of stragglers and bummers led the advance--then the roar of battle
grew nearer and louder and more general, then came galloping officers
and all kinds of wagons, then a brass twelve-pounder swung round close
to him, unlimbered, fired one shot, and whipped off again--then came
the routed infantry, artillery, and cavalry, all mixed together, all
on a full run, and strewing the ground with muskets and equipments.
Then came the shouting 'boys in blue,' and in a few minutes Pat
Birmingham came up and said: 'Well, Charley, I'm glad to find you
alive. I didn't expect it. We're back again in the old camp, and the
Johnnies are whipped all to pieces.'"

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

       *       *       *       *       *

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




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

[Illustration: Colonel Mackenzie]

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

       *       *       *       *       *

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

"Then it was unbroken forest," says its history; "now, hundreds of
acres were cleared, and dotted with camps. A corduroy road ran by, and
a telegraph, and Grant's railroad. No other such railroad was ever
seen before, or ever will be again. It was laid right on top of the
ground, without any attempt at grading, and you might see the engine
and rear car of a long train, while the middle of the train would be
in a valley, completely out of sight. Having reached Parke Station,
we moved to a camp near Battery Number Twenty-seven, and went into the
snug and elegant little log houses just vacated by the Ninety-fourth
New York. This was a new kind of situation for the 'Second Heavies.'
The idea of being behind permanent and powerful breastworks, defended
by abatis, ditches, and what not, with approaches so difficult that
ten men could hold five hundred at bay, was so novel, that the men
actually felt as if there must be some mistake, and that they had got
into the wrong place."

       *       *       *       *       *

For two months no fighting fell to the regiment's lot, for though the
Union commanders and armies were ready and eager to make an end of the
war as soon as possible, little could be done during the winter.
Though this inactivity brought perhaps some relief from the rigors of
army life, the men had numerous reminders that they were still in
active service. One of the chief events of this season the history of
the regiment describes as follows: "On the afternoon of the 9th
(December, 1864), the First and Third Divisions of the Sixth Corps
were marched to the left, beyond the permanent lines, and off in the
direction of the Weldon Railroad, to prevent any attack on the Fifth
and Second Corps, now returning from their expedition. After going for
about six miles we halted for the night, in a piece of woods. It was
bitter cold when we left camp, but soon began to moderate, then to
rain, then to sleet; so that by the time we halted, everything was
covered with ice, with snow two inches deep on the ground, and still
sifting down through the pines. It was the work of an hour to get
fires going,--but at last they began to take hold, and fuel was piled
on as though it did not cost anything. Clouds of steam rolled out of
the soaked garments of the men, as they stood huddled around the
roaring, cracking piles,--and the black night and ghostly woods were
lighted up in a style most wonderful. The storm continued all night,
and many a man waked up next morning to find his legs firmly packed
in new fallen snow. At daylight orders came to pack up and be ready
to move at once; which was now a difficult order to execute, on
account of many things, especially the shelter tents;--for they were
as rigid as sheet-iron and yet had to be rolled up and strapped on the
knapsacks. Nevertheless it was not long before the regiment was in
motion; and after plodding off for a mile to the left, a line of
battle was formed, vedettes sent out, trees felled and breastworks
built, and at dinner-time the men were allowed to build fires and cook
breakfast. Then, after standing until almost night in the snow, which
had now turned to sleet, the column was headed homeward. Upon
arriving, it was discovered that some of the Jersey Brigade had taken
possession of our log snuggeries, and that their officers had
established their heels upon the mantels in our officers' quarters,
and were smoking the pipes of comfort and complacency, as though they
had not a trouble in the world, and never expected to have. But they
soon found that possession is not nine points of military law, by any
means. An order from Division Headquarters soon sent them profanely
packing,--and the Second Heavies occupied."

Though weeks were spent in such comparative comfort and immunity as
the present situation afforded, the men felt as if they were resting
over a volcano which might break into fierce activity at any moment;
and as the winter passed signs of the renewal of the struggle
multiplied on all sides.

On February 5th (1865), part of the Second Connecticut was ordered to
move out to support and protect the flank of the Fifth Corps, which
was engaged near Hatcher's Run, and accordingly left the comforts of
the camp and bivouacked for the night a few miles away. The history of
the regiment says: "It was bitter cold sleeping that night--so cold
that half the men stood or sat around fires all night. In the morning
the movement was continued. A little before sundown we crossed
Hatcher's Run and moved by the flank directly into a piece of woods,
the Second Brigade under Hubbard leading the division and the Second
Connecticut under Skinner leading the brigade. Wounded men were being
brought to the rear and the noise just ahead told of mischief there.
Colonel Hubbard filed to the left at the head of the column along a
slight ridge and about half the regiment had filed when troops of the
Fifth Corps came running through to the rear and at the same moment
General Wheaton rode up with 'oblique to the left, oblique to the
left,' and making energetic gestures toward the rise of ground. The
ridge was quickly gained and fire opened just in time to head off a
counter fire and charge that was already in progress, but between the
'file left' and the 'left oblique' and the breaking of our ranks by
troops retreating from in front, and the vines and underbrush (which
were so thick that they unhorsed some of the staff officers) there was
a good deal of confusion, and the line soon fell back about ten rods,
where it was reformed and a vigorous fire poured--somewhat at
random--a little to the left of our first position. The attempt of
the enemy to get in on the left of the Fifth Corps was frustrated.
Our casualties were six wounded (some of them probably by our own men)
and one missing. The position was occupied that night, and the next
day until about sundown, when the brigade shifted some distance to the
right and again advanced under an artillery fire to within a short
distance of the rebel batteries and built breastworks. The rebel
picket shots whistled overhead all the time the breastworks were
building, but mostly too high to hurt anything but the trees. At
midnight the division moved back to quarters, arriving at sunrise.
Having taken a ration of whiskey which was ordered by Grant or
somebody else in consideration of three nights and two days on the
bare ground in February, together with some fighting and a good deal
of hard marching and hard work, the men lay down to sleep as the sun
rose up, and did not rise up until the sun went down."

[Illustration: Colonel Hubbard]




The routine of picket duty, inspection, alarms, and orders to be in
readiness which came not infrequently, continued for another
succession of weeks, varied now by the constant arrival of deserters
from the enemy, who were coming into the Union lines singly and in
large parties almost daily, and revealing the desperate condition on
the other side. Preparations went on for what all felt was to be the
final campaign; and this opened for the Second Connecticut on March
25th, when the famous assault on Fort Stedman was made by the enemy,
Lee's last attempt at offensive operations.

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

The Second Connecticut advanced to the charge late in the afternoon
"as steadily as though on a battalion drill," the regimental history
relates. It captured a line of rifle pits and kept on "under a
combined artillery and musket fire. The air was blue with the little
cast iron balls from spherical-case shot which shaved the ground and
exploded among the stumps just in rear of the line at intervals of
only a few seconds. Twenty of the Second Connecticut were
wounded--seven of them mortally--in reaching, occupying, and
abandoning this position, which, proving entirely untenable, was held
only a few minutes. The line faced about and moved back under the same
mixed fire of solid shot, spherical case, and musketry, and halted not
far in front of the spot whence it had first moved forward. Other
troops on the right now engaged the battery and captured the rest of
the picket line, and after half an hour the brigade again moved
forward to a position still further advanced than the previous one,
where a permanent picket line was established."

The week following this eventful day, which began with the capture of
one of the Union works, and ended with substantial gains along their
front, saw intense activity on all sides. The abandonment of
Petersburg by Lee was now plainly imminent, and the preventing of his
army's escape was the paramount object. The whole vast field of
operation about the besieged city became a seething theater of
complicated movement, and the Second Connecticut, under frequent
orders for immediate advance, was formed in line at all hours of the
day or night, and excited by a thousand rumors and orders given and
revoked, but it did not finally leave its quarters during this time.

On April 1st, Sheridan won his notable victory at Five Forks, and at
midnight the regiment was ordered out for a final charge on the
defences so long held against them, which was to be made early on the
2nd. All was made ready, the lines formed, and at daylight the signal
gun set the army in motion.

"The advance was over precisely the same ground as on the 25th of
March, and the firing came from the same battery and breastworks,
although not quite so severe. Lieutenant-Colonel Skinner and seven
enlisted men were wounded--none of them fatally. There was but little
firing on our side, but with bayonets fixed the boys went in,--not in
a very mathematical right line, but strongly and surely,--on, on,
until the first line was carried. Then, invigorated and greatly
encouraged by success, they pressed on--the opposing fire slackening
every minute,--on, on, through the abatis and ditch, up the steep
bank, over the parapet into the rebel camp that had but just been
deserted. Then and there the long tried and ever faithful soldiers of
the Republic saw daylight--and such a shout as tore the concave of
that morning sky it were worth dying to hear." The same jubilant
success was attending the whole army, though not without sharp
resistance on the part of the enemy in places.

Throughout the day advances were made and the works so long besieged
were occupied all over the vast field, and at night the men "lay down
in muddy trenches, among the dying and the dead, under a most
murderous fire of sharpshooters. There had been charges and counter
charges,--but our troops held all they had gained. At length the hot
day gave place to chilly night, and the extreme change brought much
suffering. The men had flung away whatever was fling-away-able during
the charge of the morning and the subsequent hot march--as men always
will, under like circumstances--and now they found themselves
blanketless, stockingless, overcoatless,--in cold and damp trenches,
and compelled by the steady firing to lie still, or adopt a
horizontal, crawling mode of locomotion, which did not admit of speed
enough to quicken the circulation of the blood. Some took clothing
from the dead and wrapped themselves in it; others, who were fortunate
enough to procure spades, dug gopher holes, and burrowed. At daylight
the Sixty-fifth New York clambered over the huge earthwork, took
possession of Fort Hell, opened a picket fire and fired one of the
guns in the fort, eliciting no reply. Just then a huge fire in the
direction of the city, followed by several explosions, convinced our
side that Lee's army had indeed left. The regiment was hastily got
together,--ninety muskets being all that could be produced,--and sent
out on picket. The picket line advanced and meeting with no resistance
pushed on into the city. What regiment was first to enter the city is
and probably ever will be a disputed question. The Second Connecticut
claims to have been in first, but Colonel Hubbard had ordered the
colors to remain behind when the regiment went out on the skirmish
line, consequently the stars and stripes that first floated over
captured Petersburg belonged to some other regiment. Colonel Hubbard
was, however, made Provost-Marshal of the city, and for a brief while
dispensed government and law in that capacity."

Petersburg, however, now that it was abandoned by the enemy, had lost
the importance it had so long possessed, and all energies were given
to preventing the escape of its late defenders. Before the end of the
day (April 3rd) the regiment, with the rest of the Sixth Corps, had
turned westward and joined the pursuit. The chase was stern and the
marches rapid, but far less wearing to these victorious veterans,
filled with the consciousness of success, than those that had
initiated their campaigning less than a year before. On April 6th the
regiment, after an all day march, came up with the enemy in position
at Sailor's Creek, and went into the last engagement of its career. It
was a charge under a hot fire, sharp and decisive, which quickly
changed to a pursuit of the fleeing enemy, kept up until the bivouack
at ten o'clock. The Second Connecticut captured the headquarters train
of General Mahone, a battle flag, and many prisoners, and ended the
tale of its losses with three men killed and six wounded.

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

       *       *       *       *       *

To imagine all that this meant to the men in arms is far easier than
to attempt its description. They saw at last the end arriving of all
the privation and suffering they had volunteered to undergo; they saw
the triumph of the Union they had risen to defend to the uttermost
extremity a proven fact. The whole continent vibrated with the deepest
feeling at the news of it, but they, better than any others, knew in
the fullest degree its immense significance.




Immediately after the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia, the
Sixth Corps was moved to Burkesville, some distance from Appomattox in
the direction of Richmond, and there it remained for about ten days
awaiting events. On April 22nd it was ordered southward to Danville,
with a view to joining Sherman's army then confronting Johnston in
North Carolina, a movement which again necessitated some fatiguing
marches, the one hundred and five miles being covered in less than
five days. News was received, however, that Johnston had followed the
example of Lee and surrendered, and the corps thereupon faced about
once more. On its leisurely progress to the north it was joined by
crowds of the newly freed negroes, who attached themselves to every
regiment in droves, and the lately hostile inhabitants came also at
every stopping place, "with baskets and two-wheeled carts" for
supplies to relieve their dire necessities.

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

The consciousness of this last great fact was now becoming insistent
in the minds of these citizen soldiers. The great purpose for which
they had offered themselves was carried out, and their eagerness to
have done with all the circumstances of military life was
increasingly strong, and grew so intense as to render the final weeks
of their term of service extremely trying.

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

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

The remainder of the regiment, some four hundred in number, was
mustered out in its turn on August 18th, reached New Haven on the
20th, and "passed up Chapel Street amid welcoming crowds of people,
the clangor of bells, and a shower of rockets and red lights that made
the field-and-staff horses prance with the belief that battle had come
again. After partaking of a bounteous entertainment prepared in the
basement of the State House, the regiment proceeded to Grapevine
Point, where, on the 5th of September, they received their pay and
discharge, and the Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery vanished from
sight and passed into History."

       *       *       *       *       *

In Litchfield County the return of the various contingents to their
homes was made the occasion of great rejoicing. Chief among these
celebrations was a grand reception at the county seat on August 1st,
when the first detachment to be discharged had arrived; they were
feted with dinner and speeches, illuminations and a triumphal arch.
There were also other organized demonstrations in other towns, and
everywhere the strongest manifestations of pride in these warrior
sons of the county, and joy at their return.

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

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

    Killed                               147
    Missing in action, probably killed    11
    Fatally wounded                       95
    Wounded                              427
    Captured                              72
    Died in prison                        21
    Died of disease or accident          154
    Discharged for disability            285
    Unaccounted for at muster out         35

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

[Illustration: Monument at Arlington]




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

Any body of men--a college class, a legislature, a regiment--is in
character what its component members make it; in this case there was
the material, which, furnished with worthy leadership--and it
unquestionably had that--made up the organization whose not uneventful
existence has been described. That they were better men, or worse,
braver men, or more patriotic, than their descendants and successors
would prove under similar conditions, or than the hundreds of
thousands of their contemporaries who devoted themselves to the same
service, is not to be believed; yet to have passed through such
experiences as have been recounted, which became for them for a time
the commonplaces of every-day life, is enough to place them apart from
ordinary men in the eyes of our peace knowing generation. In fact, to
have passed the tests of so fierce a course of education gives them a
title to a place thus apart. The university man of to-day, as the
burden of the baccalaureate sermons so frequently testifies, is
consigned to a special place of responsibility in life because of his
training; these men surely earned one of special honor by reason of
theirs, which was, too, not like the other, preparation alone, but
also fulfilment. The realization of how typical it all was of that
generation and that time, brings the clearest understanding of the
real scope of the Civil War.

       *       *       *       *       *

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

Major James Q. Rice, who was killed at Winchester, was a member of the
class of 1850 at Wesleyan, and received from that institution the
degree of Master of Arts in 1855. At the time of the regiment's
formation he was conducting an academy in Goshen, and was enlisted as
captain of a company which he had been active in recruiting.

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

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

Rev. James Deane, Captain and Brevet-Major, was a graduate of Williams
in the class of 1857. He was pastor of the Congregational church at
East Canaan when the regiment was organized, and was one of its
recruiting officers.

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

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

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

Chaplain Jonathan A. Wainwright graduated at the University of Vermont
in 1846, and after the war was for some years rector of St. John's
Church in Salisbury. He was later connected with a church college in
Missouri, where he died in 1898.

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

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

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

Hospital Steward James J. Averill also graduated at the Yale Medical
School after the war.

Sergeant Theodore C. Glazier was a graduate of Trinity in the class of
1860, and was a tutor there when he enlisted. He was later made
colonel of a colored regiment, and served with credit in that
capacity.

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

Sergeant Garwood R. Merwin, who had been a member of the class of
1864 at Yale, died at Alexandria in 1863.

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

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

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

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

The records kept by the association referred to, furnish suggestive
revelations as to the various elements that composed it. The names of
men of every sort and kind are found upon the rolls. There were
veterans of the Mexican War; there were refugees from the
revolutionary uprisings in Europe of 1848; there were some who had
served under compulsion in the armies of the South; there were men
whose obviously fictitious names concealed stories which could be
guessed to be extraordinary; there were names which have been for
years among the best known and most honored in this state; and there
were those of outcasts and wrecks.

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





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