The New Year 1862 Brings Tragic Death

The New Year 1862 Brings Tragic Death

 

Private Oliver Cromwell Case was no stranger to the fight against disease. During his travels with the 8th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry Regiment to Long Island and then to Annapolis, Case struggled with Ague, an illness defined as “malarial or intermittent fever; characterized by paroxysms consisting of chill, fever, and sweating, at regularly recurring times…” and that can also be accompanied by “trembling or shuddering.”[1] Oliver found himself in and out of the hospital or confined to his tent with this condition also known as “chill fever” or “the shakes” in the popular vernacular. One surgeon of another regiment described effects of this condition for which he had no medicine by saying that his soldiers “have to shake it out for all the good we can do them.”[2]

Of the 360, 000 plus Union causalities in the Civil War, over 250,000 of those soldiers died from disease and other non-battle injuries while only about 110,000 died of combat injuries. Half of those deaths were caused by typhoid fever, diarrhea and other intestinal disorders with tuberculosis and pneumonia deaths following closely behind. Surgeons and commanders knew little about disease and the germ theory had not yet been discovered. Most of these young men had never been exposed to large populations living in close quarters that were often in filthy condition. Communicable disease outbreaks in the camps were commonplace.

capture

Civil War soldiers line up for treatment of Ague[3]

 

As the New Year 1862 began, Oliver Case again faced a battle with disease but this time it was fought by two of his closest friends in the regiment. As evidenced by his letters, one of these two experiences with the monster of disease was likely his most impactful of the war outside of the combat at Antietam. In his letter of January 7, 1862, he describes it as “the most sorrowful time that I ever witnessed.” Henry D. Sexton and Duane Brown may have been pre-war friends of Oliver Case and his brothers but by the end of 1861, they had certainly become two of his closest friends. Oliver’s first mention of the two soldiers is in a letter to his sister on November 28, 1861:

I wrote to Ariel that Duane Brown and H.D. Sexton were sick at the hospital. I went to see them as soon as I heard of it, but could not get in where they were, but I looked in and saw their hall. I talked with one of Sexton’s friends who told me he was much better and expected to be around before long. The next day I succeeded in getting in where they were for a few moments. Brown is getting better also. Sexton was asleep. I heard from them Friday and presume by this time they are around. I should go to see them everyday[4]

In Oliver’s letter of December 16, 1861, both Sexton and Brown seem to have recovered and sent respects to the Case family through Oliver. By the next mention of Brown and Sexton on the 30th of December, the situation changed significantly for both soldiers. Oliver, continuing to convalesce from his most recent outbreak of Ague, boards the hospital ship preparing to transport the sick to the North Carolina coast with the rest of Burnside’s expeditionary force. According to Oliver, Sexton’s “jaundice…is much better” but he is also loaded aboard the hospital ship in Annapolis harbor to continue his recovery.

For Oliver’s friend Duane Brown, the report of his illness is not good. Oliver writes to his sister, Abbie, that Brown’s condition did not improve after his most recent discharge from the camp hospital. However, Duane Brown possesses a distrust of the doctor and the medicine prescribed to him because “he thought the Dr. would surely kill him.”[5] Finally, Oliver and his friends convince Brown to go to “Surgeon’s Call” so that the doctor can evaluate his condition:

…the Doctor questioned him very close and told him he had better go to the hospital. I saw him a few hours afterwards and he was broken out very thick with the measles. He has had a very bad cough ever since he was discharged before and it has gradually increased to such an extent that it was almost impossible to sleep where he was. He would raise nearly a quart of phlegm a day. He has kept nothing upon his stomach for some days and the medicine he got at the Dr, we could rarely make take. He would sit bent over the stove day after day not willing to take any medicine and complaining continually of the cold.[6]

Duane Brown is hit by a double attack of disease. Not only is he suffering from “consumption” the Civil War era term for tuberculosis, now he is one of the first cases in Company A of the 8th Connecticut for an outbreak of measles in the camp. Oliver’s assessment of Duane’s condition is not bright:

I am afraid it will be a hard case. I have stated it just as it is and if you see any of his folks tell them just what you think best.[7]

It is notable that Oliver believes the desire or motivation to get well again is a significant factor in one’s ability to recovery from a disease. His observation of Brown’s behavior in the days following his discharge from the hospital lead Oliver to note that if Brown had “any ambition he would get well, or in fact would not be in the hospital now.”[8]

Meanwhile, the young soldiers’ commander, Major General Burnside is highly mission focused as the New Year begins. His purpose is to move as many troops as possible to the North Carolina coast to begin amphibious operations against the Confederates. Only those soldiers who have a good prognosis for full recovery within a few weeks are loaded onto the hospital ship. Among those men are Oliver Case and Henry Sexton. Both the assessment of the camp doctors and Oliver’s layman observation about Duane Brown seem correct as he is among those “those liable to be sick some time” who are sent “to the general hospital” in Annapolis.[9]

Oliver’s notation in his letter of January 7, 1862 seems almost cold and impersonal:

Duane Brown died and was buried yesterday.

But Oliver’s shortness is understandable as he stands in the midst of another battle with a friend. Later, in his letter to Abbie, he elaborates on Brown’s demise:

Duane went to the hospital Sunday with the measles and the Typhus Fever set it, and carried him off. He had the best of care at the hospital, as good or better than he could have had at home. Everyone that has been there speaks of the excellent care, accommodations, food etc. that they get there.

The good care of the hospital at Annapolis is too little, too late to save the longsuffering Private Duane Brown of the 8th Connecticut. Brown succumbs to the effects of disease on January 5, 1862. For his part, Oliver Case has little time to mourn the loss of his friend. Weeks later, Duane Brown will return to his mind as Oliver asks his sister, “How do Mr. Brown’s people take Duane’s death?”

On January 7th of this new year, Oliver is fighting to save his other friend, Henry Sexton. Sexton, a former school teacher from Canton, Connecticut had enlisted for service on the 9th of September 1861 then married another teacher from Canton, Eliza Barbour, only ten days later. The pre-war connection of the Case family with Sexton is unclear but based on the tone of Oliver’s letters, his two older brothers, Ariel and Alonzo, were friends with Henry.

Sexton suffers from the effects of a condition that Oliver refers to as “jaundice.” During the war, Union armies would suffer more than 71,691 reported cases of jaundice likely a manifestation of hepatitis.[10] Alonzo Case obviously suffered from a similar condition because Oliveer describes Henry as looking “much as I have seen Alonzo.” Sexton came aboard the hospital ship Recruit along with Oliver on the 29th of December indicating his prospects for recovery seemed hopeful. However, Sexton’s health began to take a turn for the worse within a few days prompting Oliver to tell his sister that Henry “is on board quite sick with the jaundice…I do not believe he will go with us” on January 3, 1862.[11]

The life and death struggle of Henry Sexton would continue for four more days reaching its crescendo around noon on January 7th. Oliver’s multipart letter of the same date provides great detail of his journey for the past three days as Sexton’s condition rapidly declined into unconsciousness, wild spasms, and, finally, to a peaceful death. I think it best to let Oliver recount the story as he did for Abbie:[12]

Since I last wrote you I have seen the most sorrowful time that I ever witnessed. Henry D. Sexton died this noon of jaundice. He came on board the boat the same time I did and bunked under me until day before yesterday.

Sexton was a little worse Sunday, but not so bad, that he was around. He said that if he were at home he should be sitting in the rocking chair writing but as there was no place to sit down he kept his bunk. I prevailed upon the Dr. to have his bunk changed to a more comfortable one Sunday night and Monday morning I talked with him. I thought that his mind wandered a little. I left him about two. In the morning he was not conscious and repaired nearly all day in the stupid state. About three he had a spasm and rushed out of his bunk. I had no control of him as he could handle me like a child.

The spasm made Henry Sexton into a wild man causing him to lose control of himself.

It was very difficult to get anyone to take hold of him as they seemed to be afraid of him. It took five of us to hold him and keep him from tearing his face with his hands. He would bite at us and froth to the mouth, making a horrid noise all of the time. I stayed over him twenty four hours in succession before his death. I never saw anything so horrible in my life and if it had not been for the sailors I do not know what I should have done. He never has had any care upon the boat from the Dr.

Oliver is appalled by the lack of medical care from the doctor on the ship even after repeated pleas to help.

He [doctor] used to come around in the morning and ask him how he did – tell him to cover up and keep warm – perhaps give him a pill. He had only his own blanket and lay down upon the lower deck where it was very cold, damp, and close and where it was an impossibility to keep warm. I used to give him my blanket when I was on guard and when he could not get warm got into the berth with him. I tried all I could to have the Dr. convey him to the hospital Sunday when I began to see that he was getting worse. He also begged him to be carried there and he finally promised that he might go the next day, but the next day was too late. With even ordinary care he might have got well in a short time. 

Henry Sexton’s melee with death has a profound impact on Oliver as he writes that he “never saw anything so horrible in my life.” Oliver continues:

I never felt so bad in my life as when I saw that here was no hopes of his recovery. It seemed as though I had lost the only friend I had with me.

The trauma of Henry’s death struggle coupled with the death of his other friend, Duane Brown, just two days before Sexton’s passing brought Oliver to a dark place where he felt completely alone. However, in spite of the painful experience with the deaths of his two friends, Oliver finds himself at peace with the passing of Henry Sexton:

Sexton died easy but unconscious…thanks be to God what is our loss is his gain. He was prepared for the final change. Only the day before he was taken unconscious he remarked that there was only one thing that supported him during his illness at the hospital, and now when he got low-spirited, “The religion of Jesus Christ was his sustainer.”

Physically and emotionally spent, Oliver is unable to write a letter to Henry’s wife informing her of the circumstances of her husband’s death relegating the task to a fellow soldier. In a letter to his sister, Oliver writes that he could not compose the letter so “I got another man to write to Sexton’s wife…” However, Case quickly adds that he “telegraphed this morning” presumably to Mrs. Sexton.

Eliza Naomi Barbour, Henry’s new wife, received the news of his illness in early January 1862 and departing Connecticut for Annapolis immediately. However, before she could reach Annapolis, Sexton died and was hastily buried likely due to the imminent departure of Burnside’s expedition. According to some local Annapolis historians, an area along West Street just outside of the downtown district was a possible temporary burial ground for the Union soldiers who died while Burnside encamped in the city. Today, no visible trace remains of any burial sites in this place. This location pre-dated the national cemetery later established further west of downtown. Due to the speedy exodus of Burnside’s forces, the temporary gravesites and remains may not have been marked to facilitate later removal and identification.

Annapolis Visitors Center

Modern-day Annapolis Visitor Center – Temporary burial site for Union soldiers was likely just west of this location

 

From the record of Oliver’s letters, it appears that Oliver was not present when Mrs. Sexton arrived in Annapolis or was not allowed to leave the ship. Although Oliver had telegraphed her soon after his death, it is likely that when Eliza Sexton came to the capital city of Maryland in search of her husband’s remains, it would have been a daunting task. With the departure of Burnside’s expedition only days before, the Union military presence in the city was greatly reduced and very little official assistance would have been available to Mrs. Sexton. When Mrs. Sexton arrived in Annapolis, the grave of her husband was not able to be located and she returned to Connecticut brokenhearted.[13]

Henry Sexton’s unidentified remains may have been relocated to the new national cemetery at a later date.

Annapolis National Cemetery: Could Henry Sexton’s unidentified remains rest here?

Henry’s wife and family would remember him through two memorials in the Canton Center Cemetery back in Connecticut.

henry-sexton-memorial2

Henry Sexton’s memorial marker in the Canton Center Cemetery.

Courtesy of John Banks Civil War Blog.

 

 henry-sexton-memorial1

Henry Sexton is memorialized on his wife’s marker in the Canton Center Cemetery.

Courtesy of John Banks Civil War Blog.

 

Oliver Case sought to bring the saga to a close by returning Henry’s possessions to his home:

We put all of Henry’s things in a box and sent by express. They would not let me help pay the expenses because they said that I had done my part by being with him all the time.

The events of the first week of January 1862 would follow Oliver for the remaining months of his young life. The deaths of Duane Brown and Henry Sexton would find mention in several of Oliver’s letters of the next few months as he could never forget the tragic loss of his friends to begin the new year of 1862.

ENDNOTES:

[1] “Rudy’s List of Archaic Medical Terms: A Glossary of Archaic Medical Terms, Diseases and Causes of Death,” accessed from http://www.antiquusmorbus.com/Index.htm

[2] A Surgeon’s Civil War: The Letters and Diary of Daniel M. Holt, M.D., Daniel M. Holt, Kent State University Press, 1994.

[3] Hardtack and Coffee, John D. Billings, John M. Smith and Company, Boston, 1887.

[4] The Letters of Oliver Cromwell Case (Unpublished), Simsbury Historical Society, Simsbury, CT, 1861-1862.

[5] IBID.

[6] IBID.

[7] IBID.

[8] IBID.

[9] IBID.

[10] Internal Medicine in Vietnam, Volume II, General Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Ognibene and Barrett, Office of the Surgeon General and Center of Military History United States Army, Washington, D.C., 1982, accessed from http://history.amedd.army.mil/booksdocs/vietnam/GenMedVN/ch18.html

[11] The Letters of Oliver Cromwell Case (Unpublished), Simsbury Historical Society, Simsbury, CT, 1861-1862.

[12] All the following quotes are from Oliver’s letter of January 7, 1862 unless otherwise noted.

[13] Reminiscences By Sylvester Barbour, A Native of Canton, Conn. and Fifty Years A Lawyer, Sylvester Barbour, 1908, Page 10

A New Home in Annapolis 

On the 5th of November 1861, the 8th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry Regiment arrived at Annapolis after what Private Oliver Case described as “a very pleasant trip down the Chesapeake.” [1] For the first two nights, the troops were billeted in the buildings of St. John’s College which was confiscated by the Union Army at the beginning of the war to be used as a transition station for units heading south or as a camp of instruction at Camp Hicks near Annapolis. Camp Hicks was named for Maryland’s wartime governor. It is somewhat ironic that Camp Hicks received its name from the first of two wartime governors of the state of Maryland. Thomas Holliday Hicks was, at best, a politician attempting to play both sides of the issues deeply dividing the northern and southern states at the beginning of the war. In early 1861, Hicks worked to portray Maryland as a sort of neutral state that would not become involved in the dispute. He addressed the citizens of his state in January of 1861:

I firmly believe that a division of this Government would inevitably produce civil war. The secession leaders in South Carolina, and the fanatical demagogues of the North, have alike proclaimed that such would be the result, and no man of sense, in my opinion, can question it. [2]

This became an untenable position after President Lincoln called for volunteers from the states including Maryland in April of 1861. The governor also struggled to maintain his credibility with Lincoln after he appeared to side with Confederate supporters during the aftermath of the Baltimore riots, also in April 1861.

Hicks would find redemption with the administration by helping to avoid the movement of Maryland toward secession by moving the General Assembly from Annapolis to Frederick in April of 1861 ensuring a vote for Maryland to remain in the Union. The governor claimed that he relocated the assembly to Frederick for “safety and comfort of the members.” [3]

Thomas Hicks, Wartime Governor of Maryland

As the 8th Connecticut arrived in the capital city of Annapolis, it had just recently been occupied by Union soldiers and Governor Hicks expressed concerns that the southern sympathies of eastern Maryland combined with the displeasure of the citizens at the military occupation of the city would have a detrimental effect of his efforts to have the state remain in the Union. Oliver Case would soon be on the front line of the efforts to improve relations between the citizens of Annapolis and the Union soldiers.


Endnotes:

[1] Case Letters, 1861-1862. (11 November 1861)

[2] The Governors of Maryland 1777-1970, Frank F. White, Jr., The Hall of Records Commission, Annapolis, 1970.

[3] Governor Thomas Hicks of Maryland and the Civil War, George L. Radcliffe, Baltimore, 1901.

On the Scent for Whiskey

On the Scent for Whiskey

During the third week of October of 1861, the soldiers of the 8th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry Regiment found themselves as honored guests among the citizens of Jamaica on Long Island, New York. From the perspective of Company A’s Private Oliver Cromwell Case, he experienced the people of New York as “very familiar (much more than Conn. People) [and] I should also say generous and hospitable.” 

His description of their hospitality continues in a letter to his sister, Abbie:

They gave our Regt. over a thousand  loaves of bread last week besides giving us many apples and welcoming to their houses all who are so fortunate as to get out side of guard.[1]

While the local populace made Oliver and his comrades feel welcomed, the leadership of the regiment made their best efforts to both improve morale and suppress undisciplined behavior during the time at the Camp of Instruction on Long Island.

The morale of the regiments was correspondingly raised. Gambling and liquor-selling were suppressed; offenders being severely punished, and their stakes and stock confiscated for the regimental fund. Profanity was rebuked. Unnecessary Sunday labor was avoided. Religious meetings were frequent…[2]

In spite of these efforts, there were always the few soldiers in the ranks who managed to indulge in the vice of drinking whiskey. This was not unique to the one unit as every Civil War regiment seemed to have a group of soldiers that did not know when to say when with the whiskey. In his famous work about the everyday experiences of the soldiers, Union soldier John D. Billings captured the common experience with alcohol in the army: 

The devices resorted to by those members of the rank and file who hungered and thirsted for commissary to obtain it, are numerous and entertaining enough to occupy a chapter but these I must leave for some one of broader experience and observation. I could name two or three men in my own company whose experience qualified them to fill the bill completely. They were always on the scent for something to drink. Such men were to be found in all organizations. [3] 

Although the fledgling soldiers of the 8th Connecticut had quickly settled into the routine of camp life in New York, it didn’t take them long to prove Billings’ assertion regarding problems with drinking alcohol in every unit. They discovered that alcohol and soldiering don’t always mix. During Civil War times, a drunk soldier was often referred to as being “shot in the neck” or to have “a brick in his hat.” One young corporal in Oliver’s company is reduced in rank and returned to the junior enlisted ranks for his crime of public intoxication John F. Saundbaum of Hartford required to forfeit one month’s pay as part of his punishment. A few weeks later, Saundbaum would be rejected for continued service in the 8th Connecticut following a new round of medical exams possibly as a result of his fondness for spirits.

The “Wooden Overcoat” was one of the possible punishments for drunkenness [4]

Drunkenness was not limited to the enlist ranks as the officer corps was occupied by many officers of various ranks who overindulged in strong drink. In fact, Billings recounts that “officers who did not drink more or less were too scarce in the service.” Possessing a much greater level of freedom gave occasion for a number of those officers, especially those senior in rank, to find opportunities to source whiskey for personal consumption. According to Billings, this led a significant number of officers to imbibe in drink when the situation demanded sober thought.  

They had only to send to the commissary to obtain as much as they pleased, whenever they pleased, by paying for it… there was nothing but his sense of honor, his self-respect, or his fear of exposure and punishment, to restrain a captain, a colonel, or a general, of whatever command, from being intoxicated at a moment when he should have been in the full possession of his senses leading his command on to battle ; and I regret to relate that these motives, strong as they are to impel to right and restrain from wrong-doing, were no barrier to many an officer whose appetite in a crisis thus imperiled the cause and disgraced himself. [5]

For Oliver Case and the 8th Connecticut, this would not be their last encounter with the effects of alcohol consumption in the ranks. Other soldiers would succumb to the temptation to drown their fears in a bottle of spirits. 

ENDNOTES:

[1] The Letters of Oliver Cromwell Case (Unpublished), Simsbury Historical Society, Simsbury, CT, 1861-1862. (20 October 1861)

[2] The Military and Civil History of Connecticut: The War of 1861-1865, W.A. Croffut and John M. Morris, Ledyard Bill, New York, 1868

[3] Hardtack and Coffee: The Unwritten Story of Army Life, John D. Billings, George M. Smith and Company, Boston, 1887

[4] IBID.

[5] IBID.

A Prized Possession

155 years ago today, a naive, idealistic young man from Connecticut acting upon his aspirations of becoming a soldier lifted his pencil stub to place his mark on his most valuable piece of personal property. Private Oliver Cromwell Case had received this 1854 edition Thomas Nelson and Sons pocket Bible likely as a gift from someone in his family possibly his sister Abbie. With that pencil, Oliver inscribed these words on the inside of the front page:

If you die, die like a man.

 Oliver C. Case

Co. A. 8th Reg’t

C.V.

If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He will also deny us.

2 Tim. 2 [verse 12]

[unreadable] OCT. 13, 1861

Hartford, Connecticut 

Oliver Cromwell Case had originally enlisted in Company B of the 8th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry Regiment but at some point prior to October 13, 1862 and for unknown reasons, Oliver Case was transferred to Company A, 8th CVI while still training at Camp Buckingham in Hartford. Only one other soldier from Simsbury, George W. Lewis, appears on the rolls for Company A. As indicated by many of his letters, Oliver seems to have adapted well to the new company making friends and joining in the extracurricular activities of the troops. He also appears to have maintained a very positive relationship with the officers of his new company mentioning them positively throughout his correspondence.

case-bible2-2

One Evening in October 1861

Many of you know that the plan for the Burnside Expedition to North Carolina was hatched by George McClellan and Ambrose Burnside then presented to the Secretary of War before being reluctantly approved by President Lincoln.

What you may not know is the flippant manner in which Burnside described the formation of the plan almost twenty years after the fact. It is somewhat surprising that Burnside remembered the occasion as an almost “by the way, I’ve been thinking about this plan” moment between the two famous Union leaders. Clearly, Burnside had put great thought into the plan that would become the largest amphibious operation to that point in American history. But, looking back on it, the general remembered it as such:

One evening in the following October, General McClellan and I were chatting together over the affairs of the war, when I mentioned to him a plan for the formation of a coast division to which I had given some thought. After giving him a somewhat detailed account of the plan, he asked me to put it in writing as soon as possible, which was done. The next day it was presented to him, and it me his approval. He laid it before the Secretary of War, by whom it was also approved. The general details of the plan were briefly as follows: To organize a division of 12,000 to 15,000 men, mainly from States bordering on the Northern sea-coast, many of whom would be familiar with the coasting trade, and among whom would be found a goodly number of mechanics; and to fit out a fleet of light-draught steamers, sailing vessels, and barges, large enough to transport the division, the armament and supplies, so that it could be rapidly thrown from point to point on the coast with a view to establishing lodgments of the Southern coast, landing troops, and penetrating into the interior, thereby threatening the line of transportation in the rear of the main army then concentrating in Virginia, and holding possession of the inland waters on the Atlantic coast.[1]

Burnside would move out quickly on executing the plan by acquiring the vessels, organizing and the training the troops, and establishing a training base at Annapolis, Maryland. By the first week of January 1862, the troops were loaded on the ships and headed south.

But, it all began on one evening in October 1861…

A “chat” one evening in Washington led to the creation of Burnside’s Coastal Division that would invade North Carolina in early 1862.

Also overheard that evening at dinner, “Burney, this Army’s not big enough for two Napoleonic posers!” (I apologize…that was too easy to pass up!)

ENDNOTES:

[1] From Leaders and Battles of the Civil War, Volume I, The Century Company, New York, 1887 (pages 660-661). Previously from a paper read by Burnside before the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Historical Society of Rhode Island, July 7th, 1880.

A Request for Connecticut Regiments

1 Oct 1861

As the newly formed 8th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry Regiment continues to organize and train in Hartford, the United States Secretary of War Simon Cameron requests that Governor Buckingham send two Connecticut regiments preparing for service to Camp Hempstead, Long Island, with instructions to report to Brigadier General Ambrose Burnside for orders. Eventually, the 8th and 11th Connecticut regiments will be provided to fill this request from the federal government. However, the 8th Connecticut remains at Camp Buckingham in Hartford for two and one-half more weeks as Burnside and his staff make arrangements for the reception of the fresh troops on Long Island. It is a time of both excitement and great preparation for the state of Connecticut as the governor and other leaders struggle to properly equip the influx of volunteers before sending them into federal service.

william_a-_buckingham

Governor William Alfred Buckingham of Connecticut

“Then came the endless work of mustering, equipping and drilling recruits, before they could be sent into the field. Camps were established at Hartford, New Haven, Norwich and Meriden. Every city government and the selectmen of every town were enlisting men, and stimulating enlistment by generous bounties and promising to take care of families that were left behind, engagement that were well kept. Everything was to be provided.”[1]

Although Burnside was a West Point graduate, his leadership of a brigade at Bull Run was somewhat less than impressive. His pre-war business connections with the newly appointed commander of the Union armies, Major General George B. McClellan, land Burnside a plumb job training and leading an expeditionary force to invade North Carolina. It is this expeditionary force that the 8th Connecticut will be assigned to upon arrival at Long Island. Burnside would continue to lead many of these same troops as a corps and wing commander through the Maryland Campaign in September of 1862.

Burnside wearing a presentation sword

Ambrose Burnside

President Lincoln would go on to select Burnside as the commander of the Army of the Potomac after McClellan’s inability to defeat and destroy Lee’s army during and after the battle of Antietam. Burnside’s stint as the AOP commander would end soon after the humiliating and costly defeat at Fredericksburg in December of 1862 followed by the infamous “Mud March” through northern Virginia.

ENDNOTES:
[1] Buckingham, Samuel G., The Life of William A. Buckingham, Adams Company, Springfield, 1894.

The Birth of the 8th Connecticut 

​27 September 1861   
The 8th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry Regiment is organized at Camp Buckingham in Hartford, Connecticut with Colonel Edward Harland of Norwich as Commander. Colonel  Harland had recently returned from three months’ service as a Captain in the 3rd CVI and is a veteran of the First Battle of Bull Run. Harland is a Yale-educated attorney with no military experience prior to Bull Run.

…the first fractional companies of the Eighth began to move to their camp, — the grounds the Fifth had vacated, — just outside of Hartford.[1]

Endnote:

[1] The Military and Civil History of Connecticut: The War of 1861-1865, W.A. Croffut and John M. Morris, Ledyard Bill, New York, 1868