More Promotion News from the 8th CVI (30 May 1862)

In addition to other news on promotions, Oliver mentions two important promotions in the regimental leadership in his letter of May 30, 1862:

Capt. Ward has been promoted to Major, our old Major Appelman having been promoted to Lieut. Col.[1]

“Our old Major Appelman” refers to Hiram Appelman born in Groton, Connecticut on June 23, 1825 the son of John F. Appelman who had immigrated to Connecticut from Wolgart, Sweden in 1806. The elder Appelman settled in Mystic to pursue his work as a shipping captain and was later followed by several of his sons into that vocation. Hiram elected a different career path going to work in the retail dry goods business. Prior to the outbreak of the Civil War, Hiram decided to go west in pursue of the riches of the gold rush moving to Sacramento via San Francisco in early 1849. He worked as a very successful businessman in California until 1856 when he returned to Connecticut. Appelman didn’t let the grass grow under his feet as moved to Kansas within a few weeks of his coming back east. He returned to Connecticut again in October of 1858 where he began his studies to become an attorney.[2] His new career plans were interrupted as he became one of the first men in his town to enlist for service in 1861 at the beginning of the Civil War.[3]

Hiram Appelman enlisted as a private in Company C of the 2nd Connecticut Volunteer Infantry Regiment on May 7, 1861 where he saw combat during the First Battle of Bull Run in July of 1861. As a member of a three-month regiment, Appelman was discharged on August 7, 1861 upon the deactivation of the 2nd CVI. Within six weeks, Appelman had returned to service in a new Connecticut regiment, joining as a captain in command of Company G of the 8th CVI. As we are told by Oliver in his letter, Captain Appelman, earlier promoted to Major in the regiment, was advanced to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in May of 1862. He was twice wounded in combat at Fort Macon during Burnside’s North Carolina operations and a more serious wound incurred at Antietam from which he would carry a bullet in his leg for the rest of his life.

Lieutenant Colonel Hiram Appelman of the 8th CVI

After being forced to resign due to the effects of his wounds in December 1862, Appelman returned to Connecticut and resumed his legal studies. He was admitted to the Connecticut bar in February 1863 and pursued a career in the political arena rising to election as the Secretary of State for Connecticut in 1869.[4] However, the lingering effects of his wounds from Antietam caused his health to fail and forced Appelman to resign his position in 1873. Hiram Appelman died on September 4, 1873 and is buried in the Elm Grove Cemetery in Mystic, Connecticut.

The other officer mentioned by Oliver in his letter is John E. Ward.

John E. Ward of Norwich originally enlisted in Company D, 3rd Connecticut Infantry Regiment as a sergeant on May 11, 1861. Interestingly, Company D was commanded by Captain Edward Harland of Norwich, the future colonel of the 8th CVI. Ward participated in the First Battle of Bull Run and was promoted to First Lieutenant during his time in the regiment. As a three-month unit, the 3rd Connecticut was mustered out of service on 12 August 1861 and Lieut. Ward was honorably discharged on the same day.[5]

 

Colonel John E. Ward of the 8th CVI

(Thanks to Matt Reardon for the photo)

Ward would return to service with the 8th CVI as the commander of Company D enlisting on September 21, 1861. As indicated by Oliver, Ward advanced to the regimental staff after his promotion to major in May of 1862. After Lieutenant Colonel Appelman was wounded during the final assault at Antietam, Major Ward assumed command of the regiment and would write the final report on the action. He was promoted to Colonel and permanent command of the 8th CVI on April 2, 1863. During the Battle of Port Walthall Junction, Virginia on 7 May 1864, Colonel Ward was severely bruised by a shell. He was discharged from the service on March 13, 1865 upon the expiration of his term of service.


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

[2] Hiram Appelman packed a lot of living into a brief life, Carol W. Kimball, “The Day” newspaper, August 26, 1999.

[3] Transactions of the Kansas State Historical Society 1907-1908, Vol. X, edited by Geo. W. Martin, Secretary, State Printing Office, Topeka, 1908.

[4] Kimball, 1999.

[5] History of New London County, Connecticut, D. Hamilton Hurd, J.W. Lewis & Company, Philadelphia, 1882.

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One thought on “More Promotion News from the 8th CVI (30 May 1862)

  1. Hello John, Nice post on Col. Hiram Appelman. Hiram Appelman was an ancestral relative, so I am especially interested in your fine post. Yes, Col. Appelman lived a life of civic duty and was a true statesman in both Kansas and Connecticut. Although Col. Hiram Appelman does not have any living descendants that I am aware of, his extended family does recall his life with affection and pride!

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