Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers
Company A, Inc.
146th Anniversary Cedar Creek Reenactment
October 15-16, 2010
Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation
October 16, 1864
Our humble band of veteran infantry began arriving on the field of the Army of the Shenandoah on Friday afternoon, after a good, but long march up the valley. Upon arriving, we found our regiment directly, and saluted the head quarters and commander Lt.Col. Chuck Young. He personally welcomed us to the concentration, and directed us to our company streets he had allocated for our humble band.
We proceeded to erect our tents at the far end of the streets, anticipating the rest of the street to be filled in with the long list of expected arrivals. We were the guests of the USV Second Regiment, and forming as a company under Captain John Tuohy and the 28th Mass, Company B. As the afternoon and evening wore on, the camps were filled up, and our company fleshed out.
The evening was spent in good time, the showers stopped around sundown, but the wind was a factor to be dealt with. As all arrived-in our new winter camp, the jollification was palpable. All the tents and equipments were erected and stuffed, and the air of safety and security was all around us. The night was slept in good order, although the gusts of high wind were a disruption, and on occasion, knocked some abodes to the ground. All told, it was a good night, not cold, not warm, and the sun came up as expected on schedule.
The morning roll call came off directly, and the reports forwarded. Word cam that the battalion was to have a morning dress parade. This was accomplished in fine form, under Adj. Arns, and the battalion numbered eight companies, ours the largest. The parade was followed by a good public service to a cavalcade of scouts that came into camp, and the items of their program included organizing into companies, learning counting, dressing, facing, and marching. A volunteer docent was provided to each scout company, and the questions and answers went on for an hour. They were very inquisitive in the questions, and entertained by our answers. This special duty excused the supporters from company and battalion drill, which we commented on as it occurred to our guests. The morning was absorbed by these activities.
The regiment called for guard mount and it was marched on post for the rest of the morning.
In the late morning, a battle was heard to the south, but did not involve our regiment. It was the Battle of Hupp's Hill, and included the cavalry and a small infantry battalion. It was almost over as it began, and no news filled our ears as to the engagement or the consequences.
In the afternoon, we all were drummed into formation, and marched along the valley and over to the left flank of the army. From there, were were posted, and then surprised by the major Confederate push on our front. We were ordered to look anxious, and then to retire in disarray. Most of us could do this naturally. Then some sort of horse thing swept across our front, and we were ordered to change our minds, and sweep forward to meet the threat. We did this in good order, sweeping down, over the brook, and up the hills beyond, pushing the Rebel hoard in front of us. This was the battle of Cedar Creek. Upon the end of close contact, we were retired, marched back to camp, and cleaned our muskets, and got some rest.
The members of our small 8CV mess were found by a messenger from the 2CHA and a written note from Capt. Vic Scolara. It was indeed an invitation to us to partake of supper in their camp. It was immediately accepted, and at the appointed time we trucked over to their camp, under pass from our orderly. We arrived there, and were greeted with all our good Nutmeg friends. We were served with a fine beef stew, biscuits, and apple pie. It was a formidable and enjoyable experience. While there, a surly woman paraded through the street, and was quickly identified as a man dodger. The provost was there in a minute, put the ball and chain, and the cuffs, on the man, and hauled him away. After delivering all our thanks to our friends, we made our way back to our street, and found that a rebel acquaintance had arrived through the pickets to visit for a time. We enjoyed the evening and sent him on his way back through the lines, and turned in for a colder night.
Sunday morning brought the same roll call and reports. Our company was reported at 40 men. The morning mess turned out to be the "porkfest" of the season, and we all pitched our rations into the celebration. The mess was interrupted by a call for formation and the brigade dress parade and review. We all formed and marched to the designated ground. The brigade parade was pulled off with no issues, and it was a fine looking event. We passed in review under the eye of departing General Tony Daniels. All the calls from the men in the ranks were for stacking the rebels like cordwood. He was very pleased by the looks.
We returned to the camp for a short time, and then proceeded into town as a company to seek out the local photographer, one Mr. Szabo. He accommodated us with a fine sitting and a good image for all to procure. We returned to camp, and rested some in the sun. We rolled some dice in our mess, and exercised our ciphering skills playing a game of Beartrap. As usual, the passers-by always expect us of gambling, but we are all above that, try to explain the rules of teh game, and send the listeners packing in confusion. We were indeed attempting to change the rules as we refine our little game invention. All who challenge us will enjoy.
The afternoon quickly came and with that orders to form the regiment once more. We were marched out to the south of the camps and were put into double column on the center, from which we were soon advanced, deployed, and advanced in line of battle. We were greeted at the top of the hill by a combined line of Confederate artillery and infantry which we engaged, and continued to pound. The results were not as expected, and they did not melt away as soon as we hoped. Eventually, the rebel lines did start to pull back, and then retreated. This was the Battle of Fishers Hill.
The Army of Shenandoah quickly returned to camp, sounded the "General" and packed the camp for parts unknown.
I for one was slow to leave such a great location. The sights of the valley were at their best this time, and the biggest complaint that could be heard this event was that the wind and breeze was too strong. Now you know if that was the top thing soldiers had to say, it was indeed a great time at Cedar Creek.
Thanks to all the 28th Mass. Co.B for hosting the rest of the soldiers from the USV3B, and to the staff, officers, and men of the USV2R for hosting our company in their line of battle. All were friends, and all were pleased with the arrangement.
Yes, the battles were a little strange, and yes, there were some interesting farbs to view, but we did not expect anything less. What we expected to have was a great time with all our USV friends, and a great opportunity to provide support for the battlefield preservation. Please keep that focus in mind for your future considerations of this event.
Your humble and obedient servant,
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Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers, Co.A, Inc.