History of Redding Connecticut (CT) Header
Audio Files & Oral History
Books about Redding
Branchville, CT History
Churches in Redding
Churches in Georgetown
Daily History Archives
Donate to the H of R
Early Families of Redding
Early Settlement History
Early Manufacturers
Famous People of Redding
First Telephones in Redding
Flood of 1955
Georgetown, CT History
Georgetown Redevelopment
Gilbert & Bennett History
Hiking Trails in Redding
History of Schools
Huntington Park
Indian Paths thru Redding
Landscape- Farms, Waterways, Geology
Mark Twain in Redding, CT
Little Brick Schoolhouse
Maps of Redding, CT
My brother Sam is dead
News 1966-1992
Old Homes of Redding
Parish History (1729-67)
Pictures of Redding, CT
Putnam Park
RBGC History
Redding Center History
Redding Country Club
Redding Remembered
Redding Ridge History
Summary of Land Use
Wars- Revolutionary, Civil
West Redding History
Sponsors Page
Redding Businesses
Redding Builders
Redding New Construction
Redding Real Estate
Redding Restaurants
Redding Organizations
Redding Town Site
Redding Pilot
Redding Elementary
John Read Middle School
Joel Barlow High School
Region 9 Schools
RBGC Web site
Redding Fire & EMS #1
Mark Twain Library
League of Women Voters
Redding Neighbors & Newcomers
About the Designer
Contact Us


The History of Civil War in Redding and Georgetown, CT  

Connecticut 29th Regiment Soldiers

Redding during the Civil War
From The "History of Redding" by Charles Burr Todd

The 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.

The old flag had been dishonored, and the Union, the inalienable birthright bequeathed by the fathers, had been declared to be at an end.

It 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:

"The 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."

"At a special Town Meeting legally warned and held in Redding on the 29th day of April, 1861, Walker Bates, Esq. chosen moderator.

"Voted, 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 months.

"Voted, 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 said call.

"Voted, 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.

"Voted, 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.

“Voted, 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”

A 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 troops.

The 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.

The 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 office.




by Wilbur F. Thompson

The 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.

The 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 church.

After 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 young women.

Nathan 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.)

The 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.

On 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.

A 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.

Following 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.

Of 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.

Of 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).

The 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.

Companies 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.

Many 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.

Among 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.

Leaving 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 days.

In 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.

As 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.

A 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. many others.

Many 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 others.

In 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.

One 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 later.

On 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.)

After 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.

Friendships 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.

The 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."

The 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.

Those 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.

Many 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.

But 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.

Wounded: 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 10, 1864.

Captured: 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.

Additional names of men who lived in Georgetown and. vicinity and enlisted: Frederick Sturges, William Edgar Albin, Elisha Parkerton, James Gardner.

How 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.

In 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.

Those 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.

In 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.

On 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.")

After 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 fine dinner.

The 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 were present.

Very 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.

About the 23rd Regiment Infantry

Organized 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:
    • Company "D" at Jefferson,
    • Company "G" at St. Charles,
    • Company "F" at Boutte Station,
    • Company "C" at Bayou Des Allemands,
    • Company "H" at Raceland,
    • Company "B" at La Fourche until April 1, then at Napoleonville, Terre Bonne;
    • Company "K" at Tigersville,
    • Company "A" at Bayou Boeuf until March 1, thence moved to Bayou Des Allemands and to Labadieville April 1;
    • Company "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 June 22-23.
  • Brashear City June 23.
  • 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 service:

  • 1 Officer and 10 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and
  • 2 Officers and 46 Enlisted men by disease.
    Total of 59 lost

Civil War Weapons and Collectables

Civil War Re-enactment Clothing and Accessories

Want to earn commissions selling Revolutionary War and Civil War products online? It's easy, I do it and have had quite a few sales. I use Aurora History Boutique.


Back to TOP | Back to Redding Section | Back to Georgetown Section



History of Redding is a not a business or an organization..It's one person working to promote the history of his hometown
and surrounding areas. All costs are out-of-pocket so donations and/or sponsorships will allow me to dedicate more time
and effort to research and updates.