Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers
Company A, Inc.
Connecticut Day At Antietam
NPS 150th Anniversary Commemoration
April 20-22, 2012
April 22, 2012
It was a great honor and a privilege to travel to Sharpsburg once more. This time we brought all of our state with us, and conducted a sublime 150th anniversary of Connecticut at Antietam.
We arrived on the fields after touring Maryland, South Mountain, and Pleasant Valley. We spent the first night at the church camp we have frequented many times before, and filled a cabin with all our friends. The next day we conducted several checks and walk throughs with our park friends, Keven, KC, Christie, and all. Everything was shaping up for the masses recruited from home to come and witness a wonderful tribute.
Friday evening, we were escorted to a special camp for the reenactors of Connecticut down the Snavley's Ford trail, right out to the end of the bluff. Very private place, and special to us all. The air was electric with all of the boys from home gathered in a grand camp. Saturday morning the magic began. After reveille, we got some coffee, and then were called into line, the Nutmeg Battalion was about a hundred strong. It was a grand sight, and a humbling experience. A contingent was detailed to the National Cemetery to raise the flags of the Nation and the State, along with the Connecticut National Guard.
From there, we each of the regiments, 8th, 11th, 14th, and 16th, played by the 2CHA, each departed to our locations on the field to conduct our living histories for the public and the bus loads of folks from home. The day went well, and we enjoyed all the beauty of Sharpsburg. The vignettes went very well, and we talked to many folks about what we were doing and who we were honoring.
After the bulk of the day passed, we were all rounded up, and formed at the National Cemetery for the ceremonies and re-dedications. Almost as soon as we were about to commence, there were severe thunderstorm and lightning predictions, so that the entire ceremony was halted, and deferred to an indoor event in the Prye Barn. The NPS quickly relocated the program, and soon, we were marching in the troops, and occupying the right flank of the barn. The programs and ceremonies were conducted in the packed barn, and yes, the storm passed us. After the program, the troops were formed in dress parade outside, and the images were struck.
This whole experience gave such a thrill that no one can imagine. Here was a time that we living historians were indeed doing the honor to the boys of our state. The turnout from home, and the support of the Park service cannot be beat. We all adjourned from the 150th Anniversary and Connecticut Day at Antietam with a closer and permanent bond to the land of Sharpsburg. The connection that Connecticut has had for the past 150 years with the area was renewed in spades. We will always hold this ground hallow in our eyes as long as we are able to open them every morning. Our grateful and kind thanks go to the CCWRT, the CCWCC, and most of all our friends of the NPS.
Your humble servant,
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Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers, Co.A, Inc.