29th Regiment Soldiers
during the Civil War
The "History of Redding" by Charles Burr Todd
news flashed over the wires in 1861 that the old flag had
been fired upon at Sumter, and that war was imminent, was
received by the citizens of Redding with the same courage
and decision that had been displayed by their ancestors at
the opening of the Revolution, nearly a hundred years before.
old flag had been dishonored, and the Union, the inalienable
birthright bequeathed by the fathers, had been declared to
be at an end.
was felt to be a time for action, for the burying of party
differences, and for uniting in support of the measures which
mere at once adopted for overcoming the threatened evil. Public
meetings were held, at which sentiments of the purest patriotism
were expressed, and volunteers hastened to enroll themselves
for the defense of the flag. These acts of loyalty were supplemented
by certain practical measures adopted at special town meetings,
and which can be best exhibited by extracts from the town
records of the period. On the 23d of April, ten days after
Sumter fell, the following "Notice" was issued:
legal voters of the town of Redding are hereby notified and
warned to attend a special town meeting to be held at the
Town House in said Town on Monday Apr. 29, 1861, at 2 o'clock
P.M., to consider the expediency of appropriating funds to
defray the expenses of the families of those who enlist in
the service of the U.S. army under the present call of the
President for troops. "
John Edmund, Burr Meeker, Francis A. Sanford, Selectman of
Redding. "Redding, April 23, 1861."
a special Town Meeting legally warned and held in Redding
on the 29th day of April, 1861, Walker Bates, Esq. chosen
unanimously, that an appropriation be made from the treasury
of the Town, for the families of those who have enlisted,
or may enlist from the town in the service of the U.S. Government
under the present call of the President for troops, the same
being a call for 75,000 volunteers for the space of three
unanimously, that such appropriation be as follows, to wit,
three dollars per week for each of the wives, and one dollar
per week for each of the children of the several persons enlisting
as aforesaid, during the time of service of such person under
that a committee of three be appointed for each grand division
of the town, to disburse the foregoing appropriation-such
committee to receive no pecuniary compensation for their services.
Sturges Bennett, Thaddeus M. Abbott, and James Sanford chosen
such disbursing committee.
that the selectman be instructed to draw orders on the Treasurer
of the Town on application of either of the foregoing named
committee, in favor of such as are entitled to an appropriation
as aforesaid, under the foregoing vote.
that the selectmen he instructed to call a special town meeting
as soon as practicable, for the purpose of making an appropriation
for those who enlist from this town in the service of the
U. S. Government.
" The above and foregoing is a true record. " Attest,
Lemuel Sanford, Town Clerk
call for additional troops was issued by the President early
in the summer of 1862, and a draft to fill it seemed imminent.
Under these circumstances a special town meetings was held
July 26th, 1862, at which it was voted, " that the selectmen
be a committee to correspond with the Adjutant-General, to
ascertain whether if the town furnished its quota under the
recent call for additional troops, it would exempt the town
from a draft under said call," and the meetings was adjourned
to July 31st, 1862, to await the action of the Adjutant-General.
His answer being in the affirmative, the meeting on reassembling,
July 31st, passed this resolution :
Resolved, That a bounty of fifty dollars be offered to every
volunteer from this town, who shall enlist into the service
of the United States between the present time and the 20th
of August next, under the present call for additional troops,
such bounty to be paid to each volunteer enlisting as aforesaid,
on certificate of his accept, once from the proper authority
when presented to the selectmen." A subsequent meetings
held August 23d extended the time in which the bounty would
be paid to September 1st. September 1st, a meeting was held
for the equalization of bounties, and the bounty of $50 was
voted to all who had enlisted prior to the vote of July 31st,
1862, as well as to all who should enlist hereafter, except
those enlisting under the first call of the President for
selectmen were also authorized "to borrow such sum of
money as might be needed to carry out such vote. Mr. John
Edmond was also appointed an agent for the town to ascertain
the full number of those who had enlisted from the town. Six
days after September 6th, another town meeting was held and
voted an additional bounty of $50 to all who had previously
enlisted (except under the first call), and an additional
bounty of $100 to all who should thereafter " volunteer
to fill up the quota under the present call," thus making
the bounty paid each to volunteer $200. Throughout the war
the town was cautious to avoid a draft, and made strenuous
efforts to fill its quota by volunteering. July 13th, 1863,
when a fourth call for troops was daily expected, a town meeting
was held, and the selectmen authorized to draw from the treasury
of the town and pay over as a bounty " to each person
who shall or may be drafted under the next call of the United
States Government for troops, and who shall not be able to
get excused for physical inability, or tiny other cause, the
sum of $300, or such less sum as the Secretary of War shall
fix upon for the procuration of a substi tute;" and George
Osborn, David S. Johnson, and Daniel Rider were appointed
a committee to procure recruits. Substantially the same plan
was pursued by the town for filling its quota, under the various
calls of the President for troops, and so successfully, that
no draft ever occurred within her limits. The sum total of
the war expenses of the town is variously estimated at from
twenty-two to twenty-five thousand dollars.
war record of Redding, so far as it relates to the number
of men furnished the General Govenrment, is, it is believed,
exceeded by but few towns in the State. From the official
returns in the Adjutant-General's office, it appears that
Redding furnished one hundred and eight men to the land forces
of the United States-more than one fifteenth of the entire
population of the town, and fully one third of the able bodied
male inhabitants. To this number must be added many of her
sons who enlisted in other towns and States. The names of
these one hundred and eight soldiers constitute a roll of
honor whose lustre time will not dim, but brighten, and which
all good citizens will be glad to see preserved in this enduring
form. They are given with as full details as can be gathered
from the somewhat meagre returns in the Adjutants-General
CT., IN THE CIVIL WAR TIMES
by Wilbur F. Thompson
purpose of this article is to let the younger generations
know what part the people of Georgetown and vicinity (in 1861)
had in the Great Civil War of long ago, on the Battle Front
and at Home. Very few are living who took part in the war,
and before many years elapse, none will be left to tell the
story. By "vicinity" we mean Zion's Hill (Cannondale) and
Nod in Wilton, Upper Parish in Weston, Boston and Diamond
Hill in Redding, Ridgefield station (Branchville) in Ridgefield.
Lincoln campaign in the fall of 1860 had been an exciting
one for the residents of Georgetown and vicinity. A company
of 65 men had been formed, called the Lincoln
Guards, or "Wide Awakes." The uniform was a blue glazed
military cape and cap. The equipment was a swing torch for
burning oil. The company was drilled by David H. Miller, a
veteran of a famous New York regiment. The drill room was
the hall over the old railroad station. The officers were:
Captain, David H. Miller; 1st Lieutenant, Samuel Perry; 2nd.
Lieutenant, John W. Mead; orderly sergeant, John N. Main.
The company had a fine drum corps. The members were Samuel
Bennett, Charles Jennings, Lewis Bed-ient, Morris ("Moss")
Jennings, Direll Chapman. In the torchlight parades in Norwalk,
Danbury and other places, the fine marching and evolutions
of the Georgetown company was noticeable. The campaign wound
up with a grand torchlight parade in Georgetown. The houses
were all brightly illuminated (with candles) and a great bonfire
of tar barrels was built on the hill south of the Methodist
the election of Lincoln, the community settled back into its
usual quiet. In the spring of 1861, with the firing on and
capture of Fort Sumpter, all was excitement again, and with
Lincoln's first call for troops, several of Georgetown's young
men enlisted. The first man to enlist was Andrew Nichols.
He was a carpenter and learned the trade and worked with St.
John Brothers. On the 19th of April, 1861, he enlisted in
the Wooster Guards of Danbury and went to the front with the
First Connecticut Regiment. He re-enlisted and served through
the war; was killed in the battle of Dury's Bluff, May 15,
1864. He was engaged to be married to one of Georgetown's
Couch and A. Byington went out with the First Conn. in 1861.
On May 23, 1861, George W. Gould, Hiram Cobleigh, Eli Lobdell,
Lewis Bedient and John N. Main went to the front with the
Third Conn. Regiment. On Sept. 12, 1861, Edward Lahey enlisted
in the Eighth Connecticut, with Charles M. Platt (Boston District.)
On Nov. 12, 1861, George Lover enlisted. in the 12th Connecticut
Regiment. In 1862 a large number of men from Georgetown and
vicinity enlisted in the 17th Connecticut Regiment. Leroy
G. Osborn (son of Aaron,) was visiting in Ohio and enlisted
in the 67th Ohio Regiment. Charles H. Albin enlisted in the
12th Connecticut Regiment and William F. Scribner in the 13th.
Those who served in the 17th Connecticut were Char-les A.
Jennings, Waterman Bates, Francis Strong, Morris Jennings,
David Bartram, George U. Banks, William Avaunt, Sylvester
Albin, Augustus Pelham, Henry Albin, Silas Hull, Oscar Byington.
Among those who enlisted in other regiments at later periods
were Burr Mills, Nathan Perry, Eugene Parkerton, Henry Brown,
Wesley Banks, Thomas Bedient, Sylvester Barrett. . . Early
in 1862, a company was formed in Georgetown, known as the
"Home Guards," for service in the state. The drill room and
armory was in the hall over the old railroad station. Feb.
4th, 1862, a meeting was held to elect officers for the new
company, known as Co. E, 8th Regiment, Home Guards. Following
is the roster of the company: Captain, David H. Miller; 1st
Lieutenant, Hiram St. John, 2nd. Lieutenant, George M. Godfrey;
sergeants, John N. Main, James Corc-oran, Lewis Northrop,
David S. Bartram, Aaron O. Scribner; corporals, William D.
Gilbert, Aaron H. Davis, Alonzo Dickson, Jeremiah Miller,
Edward Thompson, Seth P. Bates, George U. Gould, Albert D.
Sturges; privates, John W. Mead, Moses Comstock, James Lobdell,
James F. Jellif f, Joseph Lockwood, Hezekiah B. Osborn, Henry
Parsons, William H. Canfield., Henry Lee, Edward Banks, Minot
Partrick, Charles A. Jenn-ings, Edwin Gilbert, David E. Smith,
Hiram Cobliegh, Samuel Main, An-ton Stommel, George L. Dann,
Charles Olmstead., Charles Albin, Fred D. Chapman, Henry Hohman,
William B. Smith, Wi1liam E. Brothwell, Azariah C. Meeker,
Charles S. Gregory, Charles D. Meeker, Charles H. Downs, William
Coley, Lorenzo Jones, Henry F. Burr, Obadiah Coleman, Charles
H. Canfield, John L. Godfrey, Sylvester Albin. Some of these
men had been in the service in 1861 and were looked on as
veterans. The youngest men in the company were Hezekiah B.
Osborn (18,) John W. Mead (19.) The oldest men were Hiram
St. John (40,) Charles Olmstead (40,) Jonathan Betts (40,)
Edward Thompson (42,) James Corcoran (40,) William Coley (40.)
company drilled until August 8, 1862, when Lincoln called
for 300,000 men to serve 9 months. The Georgetown company
volunteered and was accepted. The company was recruited up
to 108 men, and reported for duty at Camp Terry, New Haven.
Some members were rejected on account of disability. Those
passing examination were mustered in as Co. E, 23rd. Regiment,
Conn. Volunteers, in Sept-ember, 1862. At this time, Captain
David. H. Miller was appointed maj-or of the 23rd. Regiment,
and Lieut. George M. Godfrey was elected Cap-tain of Co. E.
Some of the members of Co. E had. enlisted in the 17th Regiment.
As many of the families of those going into service were left
in straitened circumstances, town meetings were held in Wilton,
Weston and Redding, to vote bounties to men who had enlisted.
On Aug. 23, 1862, a town meeting was called in Redding. The
following voters from Georgetown were present: Edwin Gilbert,
Sturges Bennett, Matthew Gregory, Edmund Hurlbutt, Eli G.
Bennett, David H. Miller, Samuel Main Sr., Samuel Main Jr.,
John N. Main, William J. Gilbert, John O. St. John, William
B. Smith, Burr Bennett, George and Charles Albin, George Coley,
George Perry, Granville Perry and others. It was voted to
pay a bounty of $100 to members of Co. E who lived in the
town of Redding, and to those who enlisted later. There was
much opposition, one prominent resident of Redding (Lemuel
Sanford) remarking that "There wasn't one of the men that
would ever smell gunpowder." He was mistaken, as they were
all at the front.
August 23, 1862, a call was issued for a town meeting to be
held in Wilton. Among those who signed the call were: George
M. Godfrey, Aaron Bennett, Aaron H. Davis, George I. Hubbell,
Wilkie Batterson, Charles Olmstead, Henry Olmstead, George
I. Batterson, Azor Batterson, Elijah Parkerton, James Corcoran,
Aaron Lee, Eli B. Godfrey, Andrew Partrick, George G. Nichols,
John Olmstead, Edwin Burchard, Lewis Hurlbutt, living in Georgetown
and vicinity. It was voted to pay a bounty of $100 to all
members of Co. E living in the town of Wilton.
town meeting was held in Weston on or near the same date,
for the same purpose. Those living in Georgetown who voted
in Weston were: Edward Thompson, Jonathan Betts, William Albin,
Lewis Northrop, Samuel Osborn, Gregory Osborn, Ezra Brown,
Aaron Jelliff Sr., Aaron Jelliff Jr., Henry Hohman, Albert
Lockwood, Edward Lahey. None of the men mentioned who voted
in the three towns at that time, are living today.
are the names and ages of those who were in the 23rd Regiment,
from Georgetown and vicinity: Major D. H. Miller, 31; Captain
George M. Godfrey, 36; 1st Lieut. Hiram St. John, 40; 2nd
Lieut. John N. Main, 21; 1st Sergt. Lewis Northrop, 28; Sergts.
Seth P. Bates, 29; Aaron O. Scribner, 23; William D. Gilbert,
23; Aaron H. Davis, 28; Corporals Jerry R. Miller, 27; George
W. Gould, 33; Albert D. Sturges, 21; Azariah E. Meeker, 24;
Joseph R. Lockwood, 33; Hezekiah B. Osborn, 18; Charles E.
Downs, 22; Elijah Betts, 22; Musicians Fred-erick Chapman,
22; Samuel A. Main, 23; Wagoner Henry H. Lee, 24; Pri-vates
Andrew G. Armstrong, 22; Charles Albin, 34; William Allington,
18; Elias S. Andrews, 38; Edward Banks, 40; Henry W. Bates,
34; Chas. H. Bates, 28; Smith Bates, 29; Frederick Beers,
28; William P. Beers, 19; Rufus Beers, 32; William Beers,
39; Jonathan Betts, 40; Lemuel B. Benedict, 21; Peter W. Birdsall,
20; William E. Brothwell, 30; Daniel Brown, 26; William E.
Brown, 18; Henry F. Burr, 38; Marcus V. Burr, 36; Aaron Burr,
18; William H. Canfield, 21; Ammi Carter, 24; Isaac Chak,
24; Hiram Cobleigh, 28; William Coley, 40; George H. Cole,
20; Moses Comstock, 24; George L. Dann, 26; Levi Dann, 22;
James O'Donnell, 28: Benedict Eastwood., 25; William H. Fanton,
22; Charles A. Field, 21; Enoch Gilbert, 32; John L. Godfrey,
21; Samuel Gray, 26; Theodore Ham-ilton, 20; Henry Hohman,
30; James F. Jelliff, 31; George Jennings, 30; Lorenzo Jones,
35; James Lobdell, 37; Albert Lockwood, 39; CharIes Lockwood,
26; Charles D. Meeker, 20; Charles S. Meeker, 35; John M.
Mead, 19; Charles Olmstead, 40; Elihu Osborn, 23; John Osborn,
21; William H. Perry, 22; Henry Parsons, 37; Henry B. Platt,
22; Sanford Platt, 20; Henry A. Raymond, 29; James Ryder,
20; Rufus K. Rowland, 18; John N. Seeley, 34; David E. Smith,
29; William B. Smith, 39; George E. Smith, 19; Anton Stommel,
33; Jacob St. John, 28; Isaac Thorp, l9; Albert N. Whitlock,
19; Augustus Winkler, 38.
these men, 43 were married and 44 unmarried. (After the rejection
of some for disability and the enlistment of some into other
regiments, the com-pany numbered 86 men): Andrew Armstrong,
William Allington, Elias Andrews, Elijah Betts, Henry W. Bates,
Charles H. Bates, Smith Bates, Fred Beers, Rufus Beers, Wm.
Beers, William P. Beers, Lemuel Benedict, Peter Birdsall,
Dan. Brown, Wm. Brown, Henry F. Burr, Martin Burr, Aaron Burr,
Ammi Carter, Isaac Chase, Levi Dann, James O'Donnell, Ben-edict
Eastwood, Wm. H. Fanton, Charles A. Field, Enoch H. Gilbert,
Samuel Gray, Theodore Hamilton, George Jennings, Charles Lockwood,
Elihu Osborn, John Osborn, Henry A. Raymond, Henry Platt,
Sanford Platt, Rufus K. Rowland, John Seely, George E. Smith,
Jacob St. John, Isaac Thorpe, Albert Whitlook, Agustus Winkler.
the 86 men who passed examination, 26 were from the town of
Wilton, 36 from Redding, 20 from Weston, 2 from Ridgefield,
1 from Danbury and 1 from Norwalk. The oc-cupations of the
men were: farmers, 50; carpenters, 12; shoemakers, 5; Hatters,
2; wire weavers, 3; hair workers, 3; masons, 2; carriage mak-ers,
2; painters, 2; teachers, 2; mechanics, 2; blacksmiths, 1
(H. B. Osborn).
regiment remained at Camp Terry until Nov., 1862, when they
were ordered. to Camp Buckingham, Centreville, Long Island.
On Nov. 14th, 1862, the regiment was mustered into the U.
S. Service, and on Nov. 30th, Companies B, C, D, E, F, G,
J and K sailed on the steam-er "Che Kiang" for New Orleans.
After a tempestuous voyage, arrived in safety.
A, H, and I remained. in New York under the command. of Major
David H. Miller, until Dec. 30, when they sailed on the steam-er
"Planter," which was wrecked on the Bahama Islands, Jan. 14,
1863. All on board. were saved, and later the three companies
joined their comrades in New Orleans.
members of Co. E and some of those who had enlisted in other
companies had been members of the old "Wide-Awake' company
in the Lincoln campaign of 1860. Many of these men be-came
officers in different commands.
those who enlisted in diff-erent regiments in addition to
those whose names have been given, there were Cyrus Gilbert
(father of Ex-Mayor Gilbert of Danbury,) Henry Sup-ple, Andrew
Couch, Benjamin Banks, John Lockwood, Burr Lockwood, John
DeForest, William Nichols, Charles O. Morgan, Edmund Godfrey.
These names, with others that have been given, comprise most
if not all of those who enlisted from Georgetown and the outlying
districts. Company E was distinctively a home company, as
every member but two lived in the section mentioned. The taking
of 100 or more men from a popu1ation of not over 1,000 people
did not leave many men of military ago behind.
the soldiers on the battle front for a while, it will be inter-esting
to learn what the folks at home were doing in those trying
1861 the women of Georgetown and vicinity organized what was
known as the Soldiers' Relief and Aid Society of Georgetown.
It was a branch of the Norwalk Society and was the means of
helping many soldiers at the front and needy families at home
during the war. Mrs. Edwin Gilbert was president; Miss Hattie
W. Bennett, secretary; Miss Annah St. John, treas-urer. The
Society met in the hall over Burr Bennett's store (years later
the home of Cyrus Thomas) to plan and do work.
almost every women could knit in those days, this was an important
feature of the work done, and hundreds of pairs of woolen
socks, comforters, shirts, etc., were knit and sent to the
boys at the front. Grandmother Olmstead of Nod, when in her
100th year, knit a pair of heavy woolen socks for General
Winfield Scott. Mrs. Edwin Gilbert went to New York and presented
them to the old general, receiving his thanks for the gift.
few names are given of those living in Georgetown (in 1862)
who were on various committees: Mrs. Edwin Gilbert, Mrs. Sturges
Ben-nett, Mrs. Samuel Main Sr., Mrs. David H. Miller, Mrs.
Jane Berry, Mrs. William B. Smith, Mrs. Burr Bennett, Mrs.
Hiram St. John, Mrs. John O. St. John, Miss Annah St. John,
Mrs. George Hubbell, Mrs. Greg-ory Osborn, Mrs. Aaron Osborn,
Mrs. Aaron H. Davis, Mrs. Edward Thomp-son, Mrs. Aaron Bennett,
Mrs. Jonathan Betts, Mrs. Lewis Northrop, Mrs. James Lobdell,
Miss Sarah Coley, Mrs. George Albin, Mrs. Charles Albin, and.
of the young women were active in the work: Emma Hurlbutt,
Mary Jane Griffiths, Alice St. John, Ida St. John, Dell Olmstead,
Medora Batterson, Malvina Osborn, Mary Godfrey, Augusta Lobdell,
Jennie Quick (Mrs. D. H. Van Hoosear,) Cornelia Main, Huldah
Main, Rosalia Jennings, Ruth Jennings, Frances Jelliff, Adele
Bennett, Hattie Bennett, Bertha Bennett, Jane Canfield, and
1862 the boys of Georgetown formed a company of Home Guards.
The captain was Will Corcoran. The wooden guns were made by
Aaron Osborn, and the bayonets were made out of sheet-iron
by James Corcoran.
of the first flags raised in Georgetown after the fall of
Fort Sumpter floated from a pole in Samuel Main's front yard
(now owned by Mrs. Nathan Perry.) The flag was home-made,
the handiwork of Mrs. Kate Main and Mrs. Mary Thompson. As
material was scarce and high, a calico dress was used to make
the red stripes and a sheet the white ones. The blue field
was dyed with indigo, and the stars sewed on one side. It
attracted a great deal of attention, and was stolen some weeks
the 29th or 30th of August, 1862, a large flag was raised
on the bell tower of the stone factory of the Gilbert & Bennett
Co. This building had a flat roof, with a railing around it.
Here the people assembled to take part in the ceremony. As
Company E had gone to New Haven, there were very few men present.
Dr. Lloyd Seeley made the address and there was speaking by
Edwin Gilbert, Sturges Bennett and Samuel Main Sr. Prayer
was offered by the Rev. Samuel Keeler, Pastor of the Methodist
Church. Charles Jennings of the 17th Regiment, who was home
on a furlough, played patriotic airs on his accordian. Sidney
Jennings, the "Infant Drummer Boy," was present with his snare
drum. The flag floated over the old stone factory for many
years and wass taken care of by Mrs. Sturges Bennett. (A previous
statement corrected - Andrew B. Nichols, the first man to
enlist from Georgetown, married a resident of Weston.)
the arrival of the 23rd regiment in New Orleans, it was under
the command of General Banks and divided into battalions,
guarding railroads, levees and supplies. Companies B of Danbury
and E of Georgetown were sent to Camp Weitzel, La Fourche
Crossing, an important point. While there, Captain George
M. Godfrey was taken sick and died. April 23, 1863. Lieutenant
Lewis Northrop was appointed Captain of Co. E. Learning that
the rebel forces were approaching Camp Weitzel, Major D. H.
Miller sent for reinforcements. On June 20 the camp was attacked
by the rebels, under General Dick Taylor. A sharp engagement
ensued and the rebels were defeated. Several of our men were
wounded and Captain Frederick Starr of Co. B was killed. Hiram
Cobleigh of Co. E was wounded. George Smith, a drummer boy
in Co. B, killed a rebel officer with a stick of wood. This
was witnessed by many of the Company E men.
formed at this time between the men of Companies E and B have
lasted throughout the many years that have elapsed since the
Civil War. The engagement was called the Battle of La Fourche
Crossing. While Co. E was at Camp Weitzel, Aaron O. Scribner,
a member of the company, was taken sick and died. The 23rd
Regiment was in several skirmishes and on July 20 was ordered
to New Orleans, and on Aug. 7 started for home going by steamer
up the Mississippi River to Cairo, Ill., arriving in New Haven
Aug. 28, 1863, having been away from home one year.
Regiment was mustered out Sept. 1, 1863. Great preparations
had been made to welcome the Georgetown, Danbury and Bethel
companies home at the Redding camp meeting grounds. Long tables
were loaded with good things to eat, but few of the soldiers
were there to enjoy them. Bailey's History of Danbury states
that "only a few of the soldiers were present, as most of
them were at New Haven waiting to get their pay and discharge
papers, until late in the afternoon of that day." Charles
Albin was the only member of Co. E present. But the good things
intended for the soldiers were all eaten by those who had
"never smelled gunpowder."
train from New Haven carrying the soldiers did not get into
South Norwalk until late that evening, and the train going
to Danbury ran off the track below Norwalk Bridge. No one
was hurt, but the soldiers were tired and hungry and many
were sick. Major D. H. Miller sent to Danbury for another
engine, and treated the men to hot coffee and sandwiches.
Elias Osborn, of Co. B, Danbury, telling of the incident,
says that the hot coffee put new life into the men, and they
got busy and lifted the cars back onto the track. They never
forgot the Major with his hot coffee and sandwiches. An engine
was sent down from Danbury by Engineer E. Craig (now living
in Danbury) and they left Norwa1k about daylight next morning.
There were many anxious people in Georgetown that night waiting
for their loved ones to come home. Early in the morning the
engine whistle sounded in the cut below Georgetown station,
and. everyone was waiting for the train to get in.
who are still living who saw the soldiers on the train that
morning will never forget the sight - bearded, ragged and
bronzed men, some shaking with fever and ague, others weak
from sickness. The company formed and marched up the street
past the old armory. Captain Lewis Northrop was in command.
Wives were march-ing with husbands; sons and daughters were
carrying fathers' knapsacks and muskets. At the head of the
company marched two great negroes, George Washington and Ed
Lewis (who had come from the south with the soldiers,) loaded
down with knapsacks and muskets of men who were too weak to
carry them. This was the home-coming of Company E.
of the men were sick for a long time with fever and ague or
dysentery, while others seemed to be in the best of health
and spirits. One man (Henry Parsons,) would never sleep in
a bed after he got home, preferring the floor.
not all of those who went to the front returned home to their
families. Following are the names of those who were killed
or died from wounds or sickness, wounded, or captured: Charles
H. Wells (lived with Elijah Parkerton,) Co. I, l2th Regiment,
wounded, died Feb. 23, 1862; William F. Scribner, Co. H, 13th
Regiment, wounded, died. Feb. 23, 1862; Andrew Couch, Co.
G, 17th Regiment, killed, May 2, 1863; William Avaunt, died
April 23, 1863; Captain George N. Godfrey, Co. E, 23rd. Regiment,
died April 23, 1863; Aaron O. Scribner, Co. E, 23rd Reg-iment,
died June 12, 1863; Frederick Sturges, Co. B, 13th Regiment,
died Dec. 12, 1863; Andrew B. Nichols, Co. D, 7th Regiment,
killed May 6, 1864; Wesley Banks, Co. E, 14th Regiment, wounded,
died Feb. 12th, 1864; Sylvester Barrett, 2nd. Regiment, Artillery,
died July 22, 1864.
Charles A. Jennings, Co. G, 17th Regiment, wounded May 2,
1863; Hirarm Cobleigh, Co. E, 23rd Regiment, wounded June
20, 1863; Nathan Perry, 2nd Regiment, Artillery, wounded June
Charles A. Jennings, Co. G, 17th Regiment, May 2, 1863; David
Bartram, Co. G, 17th Regiment, July 3, 1863; Henry Albin,
Co. H, 17th Regi-ment, Aug. 10, 1864; Sylvester Albin, Co.
H, 17th Regiment, Aug. 10, 1864.
names of men who lived in Georgetown and. vicinity and enlisted:
Frederick Sturges, William Edgar Albin, Elisha Parkerton,
the boys of fifty years ago would listen to the stories told
by the returned soldiers. Waterman Bates, a sharp-shooter
in the Battle of Gettysburg, was the favorite of the boys.
He would say: "The Cappen said, 'Boys, don't fire until you
see the whites of their eyes.' And then we let the Johnny
Rebs have it." Or listening to the stories of the voyage of
the steamship "Che Kiang" where men prayed who never prayed
before - never expecting to see land again. And many other
interesting incidents. Peace was declared and Georgetown and
vicinity settled back into the usual quiet life.
1875 a wave of patriotism again swept over the community.
The young men of the village, learning that the Connecticut
National Guard were going to the Philadelphia Exposition in
1876, were seized with a desire to fight for their country,
and enlisted in (Captain Gilbert's) Co. A, 4th Regiment. The
following enlisted: Lester Bennett, Ezra P. Bennett, William
R. Bennett, Abram Cole, William E. Godfrey, Gilson W. Jennings,
John Kearns, Theodore Flood, Samuel J. Miller, William H.
Osborn, William E. Osborn, Henry Taylor, Wilbur F. Thompson.
The enlistment was for five years. As it was quite a task
to go to Bethel every week to drill, permission was ob-tained
to have a squad drill in Georgetown twice a month. Bennett's
Hall was hired and Major D. H. Miller put the boys through
the manuel of arms, marching, etc., and soon they were as
well drilled as the other members of the company. On Sept.
1st, 1876, the boys went to the Exposition, staying ten days,
enjoying every minute, and returned home without the loss
of a man.
days, with the annual encamp-ments, were always remembered
by the Georgetown boys. In 1877 John Hohman, Aaron Lockwood,
and William Phillips enlisted in the company.
1879, the veterans of Co. E invited the 23rd Regiment to hold
its ann-ual reunion in Georgetown. The invitation was accepted.
Great prep-arations were made to receive the veterans. A great
tent was secured and. erected on the lot where the Catholic
Church now stands. Long tables were built and. stoves set
up. The ladies of Georgetown, Wil-ton, Weston and Redding
cooked and baked the good. things (for the vet-erans to eat)
with which the tables in the great tent were loaded on Sept.
11, 1879, the day of the reunion. The houses and other build-ings
were finely decorated with flags and bunting, and everyone
wait-ed the coming of the veterans. Co. A, 4th Regiment, 66
men, Captain Frederick Cole, acted as escort and the Bethel
Cornet Band furnished music.
the arrival of the veterans, the procession was formed and
marched to the Methodist Church. Charles Jennings of Georgetown
was Marshal. The business meeting and speaking was in the
Methodist Church, Captain James H. Jenkins presiding. The
officers of the reg-iment present were Colonel Charles E.
Holmes, Major David. H. Miller, Adjutant Samuel Gregory and
Captains of the companies. Number of men present: Co. A, 1;
Co. B, 28; Co. C, 3; Co. D, 9; Co. E, 47; Co. F, 3; Co. G,
10; Co. H, 0; Co. I, 1; Co. K, 17; total, 119 men. Deaths
during the year in Co. E were James Lobdell and Elijah Betts
(who was killed. on the steamer "Adelphi.")
the meeting the veterans ad-journed to the tent, and partook
of the fine repast awaiting them. There were about 2,000 persons
on the grounds, and over 1,500 persons were served with a
great success of the reunion was due to the untiring energy
and hard work of Major D. H. Miller and the members of Co.
E, assisted by everyone in Georgetown and vicinity. The Bethel
Cornet Band gave a fine concert and the boys of Co. A, 4th
Regiment, showed the veterans some fine marching, firing by
platoon, etc. Among the invited guests were Stephen Olmstead,
of Redding, a veteran of the war of 1812, and Abram Dreamer,
a veteran of the Mex-ican war. The day passed with no accident
to mar it, and the reunion was long remembered by those who
few of the veterans of 1863 are left. Four of those who were
in the Georgetown squad in 1876 are dead. Some of the Georgetown
boys of 1917 may wear Uncle Sam's uniform before long.
the 23rd Regiment Infantry
at New Haven November 14, 1862. Left State for East New York
November 17, thence sailed for Ship Island, Miss., and-New
Orleans, La., November 29, arriving there December 17. (Part
of Regiment did not reach New Orleans until January 16, 1863,
having been stranded on Bahama Islands.) Attached to Defenses
of New Orleans and District of La Fourche, Dept. of the Gulf.
- Duty at Camp
Parapet, Defenses of New Orleans, until January 11, 1863.
- Moved to Algiers
January 11, thence to Berwick Bay.
- Provost duty
at Brashear City until February 9.
- Duty along Opelousas
R. R. from Berwick Bay to Jefferson, Headquarters at La
Fourche, until June, at following points:
"D" at Jefferson,
"G" at St. Charles,
"F" at Boutte Station,
"C" at Bayou Des Allemands,
"H" at Raceland,
"B" at La Fourche until April 1, then at Napoleonville,
"K" at Tigersville,
"A" at Bayou Boeuf until March 1, thence moved to Bayou
Des Allemands and to Labadieville April 1;
"E" at Bayou Romans until March 1, Companies "E"
and "I" at La Fourche March 1.
- Duty at these
points until June. Company "A" moved to Bayou Boeuf June
16, and Companies "B" and "E" to La Fourche. Other Companies
to Brashear City. Action at Berwick June 1 (Cos. "C," "I,"
"G" and "K").
- Regiment moved
to La Fourche Crossing June 16.
- Action at La
Fourche Crossing June 20-21.
- Bayou Boeuf
- Brashear City
- Companies "A,"
"C" and "H" captured June 23; paroled June 26.
- Regiment on
guard duty in lowlands of Louisiana until August.
- Mustered out
August 31, 1863.
Regiment lost during
- 1 Officer and
10 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and
- 2 Officers and
46 Enlisted men by disease.
Total of 59 lost.
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