Unit History – 2nd Connecticut Infantry

9 03 2022

Col., Alfred H. Terry; Lieut. – Col. , David Young; Maj., Ledyard Colburn. This was the second of the three months’ regiments which responded to the first call for troops. Co. A, ” Buckingham Rifles,” Capt. Chester, was recruited at Norwich, the governor’s home, by James B. Coit, the first man in the town to volunteer, as soon as the news came that Sumter had fallen. Three other companies were well known militia organizations viz.: the Mansfield Guards, of Middletown, Capt. Dickinson; the New Haven Grays, Capt. Osborn; and the National Guard of Birmingham, Capt. Russell. The other companies were new organizations. All its field officers and many of the line officers were experienced militia men. The various companies assembled at New Haven by April 26, and were mustered into the U. S. service for three months on May 7, 1861, at Brewster’s park. The men were armed with Springfield and Sharp’s rifles. The regiment, 798 strong, embarked the steamer Cahawba on May 10 and arrived at Washington on the 14th, going into camp at Meridian hill. On June 16 it crossed the long bridge into Virginia and went into camp at Falls Church, where it was brigaded with the other Connecticut three months’ regiments, under Gen. E. D. Keyes, and formed part of the 1st brigade, 1st division. Camp of instruction, picket and outpost duties occupied its time until Gen. McDowell began his advance to Bull Run, July 16. During the advance, the 1st brigade was in the lead and throughout the battle of Bull Run it maintained its regimental formation, the men conducting themselves with great coolness under fire. Late in the afternoon it retreated in good order under orders, and halted for two days at Oak Hill, where it was engaged in striking the tents, loading and packing the arms, ammunition, equipage, miscellaneous stores and property of the standing camp at this point, thus preventing the capture of valuable property by the enemy, and with the other Connecticut troops it escorted these supplies across the Potomac. The 2nd remained at Washington until the expiration of its term of serv ice, when it returned to New Haven and was mustered out there on Aug. 7. Many of its members afterwards reënlisted in the three years’ regiments, and were exceedingly useful by reason of their previous military experience and training. During its short term of service, the 2nd lost I killed, I wounded, and 16 captured; 3 died of disease, and 31 were discharged for disability, making a total casualty list of 52.

From The Union Army, Vol. 1, pp. 275-276