Unit History – 1st Connecticut Infantry

8 03 2022

Cols., Daniel Tyler, George S. Burnham; Lieut. Cols., John L. Chatfield, John Speidel; Maj., Theodore Byxbee. On April 15, 1861, President Lincoln issued his first call for 75,000 militia to serve for three months and the day following Gov. Buckingham issued his call in conformity therewith. Such was the prevailing enthusiasm that the call of the governor had been anticipated and on the 16th many companies were ready to report with ranks nearly full. One- Rifle Company A of Hartford, Capt. George S. Burnham – had its ranks full and was fully officered. This was the first volunteer company from Connecticut to complete its organization. The various companies rendezvoused at New Haven on April 20, and were at first quartered in the college buildings, then unoccupied on account of vacation. They later encamped in an open field in the western part of the town. The regiment was mustered into the U. S. service on April 22 and 23, and at once began the work of perfecting itself in company and regimental drill. It left for Washington on the steamer Bienville, May 10, arrived at its destination on the 13th, and went into camp at “Glenwood,” 2 miles north of the capitol. As Col. Tyler, who was a West Point graduate and an experienced soldier, was appointed brigadier -general of volunteers, Lieut.-Col. Burnham succeeded to the command of the regiment. On May 31, Lieut.- Col. Chatfield was made colonel of the 3d regiment, Maj. Speidel became lieutenant-colonel, and Capt. Byxbee of Co. B became major. During the first half of June the regiment was stationed at Roach’s mills on the Hampshire & Loudoun railroad. During a short reconnoissance up the railroad at this time George H. Bugbee, of Co. A, was severely wounded at Vienna, the first Connecticut blood shed in the war, save that of the much lamented Theodore Winthrop, who was killed at Big Bethel on the 10th. After being reviewed by the secretary of war, it moved to Falls Church, Va. , and was brigade the 2nd and 3d Conn., and 2nd Maine infantry, under command of Gen. E. D. Keyes. Gen. McDowell’s movement on Manassas began on July 16 , the Connecticut brigade, designated the 1st brigade, 1st division, leading the advance. The command was active during the disastrous battle of Bull Run on the 21st, retiring, from the field in good order, and Gen. Tyler reported: “ At seven o’clock on Tuesday evening, I saw the three Connecticut regiments, with 2,000 bayonets, march under the guns of Fort Corcoran in good order, after having saved us not only a large amount of public property, but the mortification of seeing our standing camps fall into the hands of the enemy.” The 1st remained encamped at Washington until July 27, when its term of service having expired, it returned to New Haven and was mustered out on July 31. The command went out well armed and equipped. Eight companies had Springfield rifles and two Sharp’s rifles. It performed its part well and is entitled to great credit for the motives of pure patriotism with which the members responded to their country’s call to arms. Many of its members afterwards reënlisted in other Connecticut organizations and saw much arduous service. The 1st carried on its rolls 780 men, and though it lost none killed, its casualty list shows 6 wounded, 6 captured and 25 discharged for disability.

From The Union Army, Vol. 1, pp. 274-275





Unit History – 2nd Maine Infantry

8 03 2022

Col., Charles D. Jameson; Lieut.-Col., Charles W. Roberts; Maj., George Varney. Numerically the second, this was in fact the first regiment to leave the state for the front. It was raised within the limits of the first militia division of the state and was rendezvoused at Bangor. Companies A, B, C, D and I belonged to Col. Jameson’s old command, and were reorganized for service in this regiment. The others were new companies. It completed its organization and left the state May 14, 1861. Like the 1st, it originally enlisted for three months, but on May 28, was mustered into the United States service for two years. The 2nd, during its two years’ term of service, saw much hard service and participated in eleven bloody and hard-fought battles, besides numerous skirmishes and scouting expeditions. It never received a word of censure and invariably distinguished itself. A list of the important battles in which it was engaged includes the first and second Bull Run, Hall’s Hill, Yorktown, Hanover Court House, Gaines’ Mill, Malvern Hill, Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. The magnificent fighting record of the 2nd was largely due to the efficiency of its officers. It showed the stuff it was made of in its first battle at Bull Run. Col. Keyes, who commanded the brigade which included the 2nd Me., says in his official report of the battle: “The gallantry with which the 2nd regiment of Maine volunteers charged up the hill upon the enemy’s artillery and infantry, was never in my opinion surpassed.” Col. Jameson, the first volunteer and the first colonel in the field from Maine, was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers for gallantry displayed in this, his first battle. Lieut.-Col. Roberts succeeded to the command of the regiment, and after his resignation and honorable discharge, Jan. 10, 1863, Lieut. – Col. Varney was promoted to the colonelcy of the regiment and Maj. Sargent was commissioned lieutenant-colonel, the majorship being left vacant on account of the reduced condition of the regiment. On July 18, 1862, Capt. Chaplin, who had succeeded Varney in that command, was discharged to enable him to accept the command of the 18th Me., then being raised, and Capt. Sargent of Co. G was promoted to fill the vacancy. Some of the men became discontented three months after leaving the state from seeing three months’ men from other states returning home. Sixty-six claimed their time had expired, became insubordinate, and were sentenced to Tortugas; but this sentence was later commuted to a transfer to the 2nd N. Y., where they served about a year and then returned and served faithfully with the regiment for the remainder of the term. Co. I became greatly reduced in numbers in Oct.,1861, and the officers having resigned, it was disbanded. Capt. Daniel White of Bangor raised a new company which took its place in December of that year. On July 28, 1862, the effective strength of the 2nd became reduced to 257 rifles and came out of the battle of Second Bull Run with but 137 men able to carry arms. This is most convincing evidence of the trying service to which they were subjected. The regiment was mustered out June 4, and 9, 1863. In all 1,228 men were mustered in, of whom 275 returned and were mustered out; 120 were mustered in for three years and transferred to the 20th Me.

From The Union Army, Vol. 1, pp. 39-40