Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers

Company A, Inc.

Jackson Valley Campaign (1st.Md.Co.H) Event Report

Ed Strang Scout Camp
June 17-18, 2006
Goshen, Conn.
Unity, Virginia
June 18, 1862

Dear Friends,

Having arrived at this point in the valley, I began looking around for familiar faces, thinking surely I would see some. And that I did, many a kind face, and we all shook hands. I was directed towards the camps up a wood road, but got most there only to discover a wagon off in a ditch, and all the occupants scurrying around on a bluster. I just turned and retraced my steps to avoid getting sucked up in the storm, and when I did see a team be brought up to extract the wagon, did I resume my hike. Upon finding the camp, all laid out in a huge field in the middle of the woods, I asked directions to our company, and was so very pleased to find they had volunteered for picket, adn were occupying a base camp in the dense woods among a bed of grass and ferns. The protection from the sun and elements was most acceptable. There we passed a quiet night, with a nice fire to guide men from camp to us, and us to the picket lines.

In the morning, thre was a battalion formation and inspection. We were deployed as pickets once more, covering the right flank of the army here. Rations were drawn, and distributed among the men.

In time, there was some operations detected towards us by the rebel Jackson, and we were told to hold our position. The main attacks were towards the center and left, but we held, and screened our falnks from cavalry in the meantime. When all operations seemed to leave us, we moved more toward the front and center along some wood trails, and later became engaged skirmishing with the rebels there. We sort of twisted and turned our fronts like waltzing and spinning, then determined to disengage, return to our original positions, and if all was quiet there. to move on the left flank. This we did, and came in sight of a carraige with a secret weapon mounted. It was a Gatling gun, bang-banging away into teh attacking rebels. The rebels knew not to come diect, so were posting on the flanks once more, and there they were successful after many attempts of breaking our line, and taking the gun. From there, we were obliged to take to long way back to camp. And it was not so long as it was hard. Mutters became oathes from the ranks, but we emerged from the woods right where we wanted to be, and all was forgotten. We reseted a little, then were called once more to move. We marched by the left flank, and our company was put in reserve to support Capt. Bryda's skirmishers, who passed through the Twon of Unity, flushing all citizens and wood ticks in their path. We followed, check ed every alley and shop for rebels, and came into line to join the battle of Front Royal. We were attacked on the left flank, the front, and hit with artillery. That was just our company. Needless to say, we were sacrificed for the cause. Dead to the man.

Back in camp, the Army Engineers called for a detail to dig a canal. Some of the boys were smart to volunteer, since there was a photographer present, and all the toiling Nutmeggers were captured on plates for use in a monument being created to honor the 9th Connecticut Irish at Vicksburg. This duty was an honor to us all.

The evening was spent in Unity, at the office and grounds of the local insurance salesman. His family was kind enough to cook for us all his provisions and all our rations we could bring to him. The meal was first rate, and the socializing went on for hours after. A good time was had by all. At the close of the evening, we returned to our camp, put out the guard, and got some sleep. In the night it rained a little, but was a welcome relief fo the heat. In the morning, many of our boys weilded furloughs to go home for a day, to honor their fathers. We reported to headquarters, and moved off for the day. What became of the army that afternoon will be told by some one likely not to have a father.

We thank all the folks involved for making this event possible. All told it was a success. We are greatly appreciative of all that you do.

Your obedient servant,

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