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.
Co. A. 8th Reg’t
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
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.