Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers
Company A, Inc.
Borderland Event Report
July 30 - Aug 1, 2004
Borderland State Park
E-Mail Us for More Information!
Three members of the Eighth Ct were assigned to temporary duty with the Second Ct. Heavy artillery late in July. We were stationed on the Virginia Peninsula with Gen'l McClellan's troops. Pvt Tim Sheehan arrived early enough to assist in the initial setup of the camps. Pvts David and Jacob McCartney were stragglers and arrived just after dark, in part due to old outdated maps most likely provided by Rebel spies. The troops all spent a peaceful evening after setting up camp.
We were up at the crack of dawn the next morning. After a hearty breakfast the troops were off to drill and dress parade. Following dress parade, the troops fell out and headed to the shade in hopes of escaping the stifling heat. Early in the afternoon reports were received of Rebels just North of the Union camp. The troops formed up and marched out of camp. We encountered the Rebs just outside of a large plantation house. The Rebs were entrenched behind a stone wall and it looked like they meant to stay there. The Union troops assaulted the Reb position several times, but the heavy Reb gunfire took a fearful toll on our troops. The Second Connecticut Heavy artillery suffered staggering losses bringing back just a handful of men. None of the new transfers from the Eighth Ct survived the battle. (This may have been in part due to complaints by the Eighth to their new captain that they had not received pay for the past two months. The captain said he would look into it, but was heard commenting to his first sergeant to put the new transfers in the front rank.)
Following the battle, in which everyone was miraculously healed, the troops headed back to camp. During the early evening there was reports of Rebs in the woods to the Southeast. A detachment of brave soldiers was sent out to drive the Rebs back to their camps. The troops then settled down to a quiet evening and a peaceful nights rest.
Morning broke long before the weary soldiers were ready for it. It was another hot, muggy day, but this time with the threat of rain in the air. Shortly after breakfast, we received reports of Rebs to the South in the woods. The brigade scraped together a couple of companies and headed out to find them. The right side of the Union line encountered the Rebs first. The left portion of the line moved out farther to the left and then made a 90 degree turn and drove thru the woods into the flank of the Confederates. Both sides fell back and regrouped. The Rebs came out hard against the Union left, but had underestimated how much strength remained on the Union right. The Union right crashed into the Rebs and drove them back into a large rocky area. At this point in time it was decided we didn't have enough troops to dislodge them, so having driven them away from our camps we headed back.
The company once again was drilled. After drilling, some of the troops took in the hospitality of a nearby Southern plantation house and went inside to see how the Rebs lived. There was a minimal amount of ransacking by the troops, we were unable to find any food or alcohol (most likely buried out back). The troops were ordered to dress parade and grudgingly headed off without burning down the Mansion.
The rain began in earnest during dress parade and continued through a wet uncomfortable lunch. Reports then arrived of Reb troops in the area again. The brigade fell in and headed off to find the Rebs. Once again they were located behind a stone wall. The brigade was split into two wings. The left wing went in first attempting to turn the Rebs left flank. We were unsuccessful at turning the flank, but it did bring the cowardly Rebs right flank out from behind the stone wall in an attempt to turn our flank. The colonel countered by sending the right wing in on the left flank of the Union line. This created a great deal of confusion on the battlefield since the left wing was on the right flank and the right wing was on the left flank, but we fought on. The weight of the Union numbers soon began to tell and we drove the Rebs from the field. It was a glorious victory for the Union.
Pvt. David McCartney
Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers, Co.A, Inc.