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History of the Sixteenth Connecticut Volunteers   By:

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Transcriber's Note: Inconsistent hyphenation in the original document has been preserved. Obvious typographical errors have been corrected. For a complete list, please see the end of this document.










It is to be regretted that a complete history of the 16th Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers, has not been written. At this late day it would require much time, labor, and expense, to prepare one, and probably will never be done. Many volumes might be written which would be of inestimable value hereafter. Their services in the War for the Union cannot be placed upon a few pages. This volume is but a mere outline history, mostly compiled from diaries written by me at a young age, the importance of which was not then comprehended; with no expectation of the future use they would be put to, but little was written, and that mostly concerned myself. It is the object of this work to create a permanent record of some of the marches, battles, and experiences generally of the organization above mentioned. This undertaking is made in behalf of the surviving members of the regiment, to whom it is hoped the work will prove of some value as a book of reference. The hope is also expressed that this work may prove a not unwelcome though sad memorial to the friends of those members of the regiment who lost their lives in battle or prison. The author is unaccustomed to historical composition, and makes no boast of literary education.




The regiment was recruited in Hartford county, and its services were tendered to the National Government in response to the President's call for three hundred thousand volunteers for three years. It was almost entirely made up of men in the county, and of excellent material, some of the oldest and best families were represented in its ranks; and comprised many of the finest young men whom the commonwealth ever sent to uphold its honor in the field.

It was organized during the month of August, 1862, under the command of Colonel Frank Beach, of the regular army. The month of August was a severe shock to most of the men, even those of a strong constitution. It was a complete revolution in their method of life. Many of the men were accustomed to all the refinements of wealth, and all of them had been reared in abundance. The outdoor life, though not hard as yet, was too great for those that had led the quiet and easy life of a citizen, and a few of our noble men who had offered themselves to the government were unable to endure the hardships, and died before the regiment left Hartford.

On Sunday, August 24th, 1862, the regiment, numbering ten hundred and ten men, was duly mustered into the United States service by Lieut. Watson Webb, of the regular army.

On the 28th, the regiment having been fully clothed and equipped, (except muskets,) as army regulations required, they were carefully reviewed and inspected in the company streets by the Colonel. It was a very hot day, and many of the men fainted under their load. This experience taught a lesson; we then saw that it was impossible to carry such loads; many of the men having from thirty to fifty pounds packed in their knapsacks. Immediately after inspection the men unpacked and threw away a great many articles which at first seemed impossible to get along without; but even then we were too heavily loaded, as we found out the next day... Continue reading book >>

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