We began the day by visiting the services of the First Congregational Church in Simsbury now known as the First Church of Christ. It was wonderful to be in the historical church where the Case family once worshipped. We had lunch at Pettibone Tavern now operated as Abigail’s Grille.
This leads me to Emily’s evaluation of the hamburgers in Simsbury:
Day 1 – Plan B Burger Bar – The best burger by far! Top quality beef!
Day 2 – Iron Frog Tavern – 3rd place but still a great burger.
Day 3 – Abigail’s Grille – Runner-up in close race but the meat couldn’t compete with Plan B.
Back to Oliver Case…still working through the transcripts!
Since we were so busy yesterday, I was not able to post our day 2 adventures. We spent a few hours in Hartford at the Connecticut Historical Society doing some research. Thanks to the folks at CHS, we discovered some important information on a few of Oliver’s family members and friends. Also, I was able to view a letter written by Henry Sexton, a close friend of Oliver who would later die of disease as Oliver attended to him.
Back in Simsbury, we received the tour of the grounds of the Simsbury Historical Society including the Phelps’ Tavern. Again, thanks to all the wonderful people there in Simsbury who are so eager to help us find out more about Oliver. I’ve been pouring over the transcripts of Oliver’s letters to his sister Abbie and I hope to post some of my finding over the coming days.
On November 10, 1861 while the 8th CVI trained in Annapolis, Maryland, Oliver had the opportunity to visit a “Colored Church” [as he referred to it] for the Sunday evening services. As evidenced by his letter to his sister Abbie on November 13, 1861, his visit was quite memorable.
I attended colored church Sunday evening and if there ever was ever enthusiasm in any place, there was there. Whilst the minister was preaching there was much shouting and clapping of hands. his subject was the readiness of Christ to receive all sinners; he was quite eloquent, but he handled the subject different from what we usually hear it. After the sermon there was delivered such prayers accompanied by such yelling and groaning as you never heard, but the climax was not reached until they commenced to sing, each one singing to suit him or herself using same repetition (to suit his taste) after every line. The other words appeared to be composed for the occasion; they kept time by snapping fingers, stamping, rocking their bodies too [sic] and fro. Every little while such unearthy [sic] shouts were made that it really reminded me of a mad house. There was a little negro sitting by the side of me, and seeing that I was pleased said, ‘You ought to hear them. Some nights they make a heap more noise than tonight, sometimes they knock down the stove by their stamping.’
You can just imagine Oliver sitting there with look of amazement.
Day one in Simsbury or I should say 1/2 day in Simsbury. We met some great folks at the Simsbury Historical Society who were extremely helpful. We look forward to working with them more in the coming days. It was wonderful to start reading some of Oliver’s letters. More posts to follow on the letters…
For me, the best part of the day was finding the grave of Oliver Cromwell Case in the Simsbury Cemetery.
The grave of Pvt. Oliver Cromwell Case in Simsbury