Cover

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Title page, Editorial series, Copyright

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Contents

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Preface

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p. vii

This is a book of stories.
Every Civil War soldier had a story. The stories were as varied as the men and boys who enlisted. And over 50,000 of them came from Connecticut. In this book you will hear the voices of those Connecticut soldiers—not the interpretations of...

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Acknowledgments

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p. ix

A great many kind people went out of their way to help us. Dean Nelson, Museum Administrator of the Museum of Connecticut History, made the museum’s collection available to us time and again. Dean provided twenty-five years of Civil War tutelage, along with some memorable lines...

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1. Men of Connecticut!: War Begins, Spring 1861

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pp. 1-14

“Men of Connecticut! to arms!!” thundered the Hartford Daily Courant on April 13, 1861.1
Splashed across the newspaper was the shocking news: The day before, the Confederate military had opened fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor. Forty-three Confederate guns and mortars...

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2. No One Dreamed of Anything but Victory: Bull Run, Summer 1861

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pp. 15-26

The officers didn’t know what they were doing. A bookkeeper, a hatter, a few machinists, some store clerks, a carpenter—what did they know about war?
Yet here they were in the nation’s capital, with the Confederate army just a few miles away...

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3. The Voice of Duty: A Long War Ahead, Autumn 1861 to Summer 1862

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pp. 27-48

After the rout at Bull Run, Joe Hawley, a captain in the 1st Regiment, sought out Col. Alfred Terry of Connecticut’s 2nd Regiment.
“Colonel,” said the captain, “This makes me feel that the whole North is...

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4. War by Citizen Soldiers: The Makings of an Army

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pp. 49-60

In Connecticut’s 26th Regiment, the men of Company I took their orders from Captain Bentley, an ice dealer. A bookbinder, assisted by a train conductor, commanded the 25th Regiment’s Company K. In the 2nd Heavy Artillery, men in their forties answered to an eighteen-year-old student, Lt...

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5. I Never Knew What War Meant till Today: Antietam, September 1862

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pp. 61-90

The battle was coming; the men knew it. All day, off and on, they’d heard the boom of distant artillery. They had made camp in the rolling hills of western Maryland, just outside the town of Sharpsburg, and more and more troops kept arriving. Officers strode back and forth, looking...

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6. Emancipation Is a Mighty Word: Freedom Arrives

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pp. 91-104

Five days after the Battle of Antietam, Abraham Lincoln came forward to speak to his country. “I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America, and Commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy thereof, do hereby proclaim and declare that . . . on the first day of January...

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7. No Men on Earth Can Be Braver: Fredericksburg, December 1862

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pp. 105-126

Looking to the west, Frederick Burr Hawley was uneasy. It was December 12, 1862. That morning, the twenty-four-year-old lieutenant had arrived in Fredericksburg, Virginia, with his regiment, the 14th Connecticut. On top of a hill called Marye’s Heights, he could plainly see thousands and...

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8. Who Wouldn’t Be a Soldier?: Life in Camp

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pp. 127-156

Winter was coming on hard in Virginia. Already the ground was starting to freeze up, making it harder for the 14th Connecticut men who were trying to dig a double grave on the outskirts of their camp...

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9. All This Heroism, and All This Appalling Carnage: Fighting in Virginia and Louisiana, Spring and Summer 1863

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pp. 157-182

It turned out Burnside had been right. From the beginning, he hadn’t felt capable of commanding the Army of the Potomac. Now, after a disastrous battle at Fredericksburg, and the infamous Mud March, President Lincoln removed him and, on January 28, 1863, appointed Gen. Joseph Hooker...

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10. That Place Long to Be Remembered: Gettysburg, Summer 1863

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pp. 183-210

President Lincoln’s face was lined with anxiety. He knew Lee and his army were heading north— but where were they?
“Something of a panic pervades the city,” Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles wrote from...

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11. There Will Be No Turning Back: Stubborn Fighting,July 1863 to June 1864

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pp. 211-238

The Connecticut men waited tensely on the beach as dusk descended. “[J]ust at dark we were ordered to the front,” wrote Martin Eddy of New Britain; “we knew what was coming next a charge.”1 At the head of Martin’s regiment stood their colonel, John Lyman Chatfield, his sword...

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12. Hope Never Dying: From the Siege of Petersburg to the Sea, June to December 1864

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pp. 239-262

Now well into the second month of his offensive, General Grant—despite losing both battles and men at an inordinate rate—moved forward with single-minded purpose. “Grant keeps making flank movements, and gets nearer Richmond every time he moves”...

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13. Our Army Perfectly Crazy: On to Appomattox, 1865

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pp. 263-282

As 1865 opened, the Hartford Daily Courant declared, “The future is bright with promise.” The war was on a different footing now, the editor asserted: “For several months, hardly a week has passed without bringing tidings of fresh triumphs.”1 In eastern Connecticut, the Willimantic Journal...

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14. Soldiers of the Union Mustered Out: The Aftermath

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pp. 283-294

Charlie Upham came home to Meriden with a bullet in his shoulder. In 1862, serving as a captain in Connecticut’s 8th Regiment, he’d been wounded in the Battle of New Bern, North Carolina. He would carry the bullet in his flesh for eighteen years without complaint. Upham’s doctor described...

Notes

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pp. 295-310

Illustration Credits

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pp. 311-316

Index

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pp. 317-326

About the Authors

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pp. 327-328