Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers
Company A, Inc.
Woodbury Connecticut Event
August 23-25, 2013
Having arrived here in this vicinity between the mountains, we found our way to camps hard by the moving river. The camp was a long and large plain by the river, where all sorts of arrangements had been made for the troops. The Headquarters was along the river and the tree line, and the company streets spread to the north. The weather was all that could be wished for, warm, not hot, and nights, cool, not cold. Well, maybe a little on the chilly side for sleeping.
Our boys naturally congregated along th erivver bank, adn set up our sogs and shebangs in our usual manner when given the opportunity. We spent a pleasant evening in the comraderie around the fire, and turned in on hte early side.
The morning came at dawn, adn we were up with the desire for warmth, fire, and coffee. It appeared that we would have only 7 rifles and 4 from Co. G, so off I went ot make arrangements of our combiniations with friends before it was dictated by Headquarters. We hooked up with John an Gary and the rest of the 11th Conn. Vols. for the duratoin, and their numbers swelled to the largest comapny on the field. All told, I estimate the Union line of battle for this contingent at about 180 aggregate.
In the morning, we wer greeted by our newest recruit, Dylan, as our company drummer. He was well mannered and well equipped to beat a cadence. He will be a great fit for our little band. The morning was addressed with standard pomp, and the company drilled to see if we could all aspire to greatness as a combined mass of humanity. The drill went rather well, but did leave us a little confused when at the end of the drill, the Captain was promoted to Wing, and the Sgt to Lt, and the Private to Sgt. This mixed up thing nicely, but was all taken in stride.
The late morning came with a call to action. All the soldiers were put in line and marched in three separate battalions of to meet a minor incursion of Confederate skirmishers, surely there to test our strength. In a stretch of the military imagination, those 40 to 60 rebels wipped the Union units, and sent them packing with massive casualties. Remember that the scenario was preceeded by a long oratory from a man in the black suit, so the groans were being emitted well before the lead started to fly.
After the action was completed, the boys were dismissed, and returned to camps. Some dinner was prepared, and eaten. We were also quire successful in dodging picket duty, by playing a little uninformed, and deferring to our company command, half way across the camps. The awkward squad instructions were paying off.
Soon enough, the drums of war began their long roll, and the entire brigade of six companies were called into line. There was a bridge crossing the creek to our east, and the rebels were thought to be approaching from their camps that location to force a crossing on a fine new wooden bridge. Our role was to block, thwart, or otherwise prevent them. Needless to say, they swept our skirmishers aside, and entered on the field of battle on our side of the bridge. We were engaging them in their front, and then trying to get the other arm on their flank. We were able to swap thoses roles back and forth with their line, but could not catch them or move them back. We were once again ordered to retire, and this time we did so in order. But I was wounded at our furthest advance. I was there surrounded by several mortal corpses, but I was just little hurt. I was sitting there, yelling and cursing. I had been clipped in the ankle by a ball, and could not stand or walk. But I cold still sit there and fire, but my lines dissappeared from around me, so I thought it best to stop firing so as not to call attention to me. A civilian fellow came among the wounded, and I told him I was fine, it was my damn foot, I could not walk, jsut the damn foot. As he bandaged it to stop the blood, I noticed the cross around his neck. I told him thanks, and sorry about the damn business. He offered whiskey, but you know I always refuse. When the rebel lines advanced once more, I yelled to him padre, get out of here, we will be fine, just get away now. And he did, thank goodness.
Back in camp, we had acquired a watermelon, and made short order of it among the boys. Supper was prepared, and mine looked like corn, soaked and roasted in the ears, potato and onions in hte boiler, and tinned beef fried, and all mixed together. The others partake of more army rations, the bulk of which was salt pork. You might know that I had traded mine.
That evening, there was a contraband playing, with some good music, and great minstrel show. It went on for some time, but I retired to camp and to bed early enough to try to get another good night sleep in the chill by the river. Resluts were about the same as the night before. Little to none.
The morning was allowed to be a little slower, and a church call was the first thing on the daily orders. We had some good breakfast of summer sausage and cheese fried, hot coffee. Shortly, the orders came to fall in for a dress parade to honor fallen friends. It took some effort to get the lines straight, and a formation followed. A moment of silence was held for our Willi Runck, and Bob Graves, now in the mansions of heaven.
The mid day was joined by a lot of talks, demonstrations, and presentations for all. These were of great quality, and all well done, the organizers had paid good attention to the programs and their success. I enjoyed a very nice talk about Fred Lucas, 2CHVI, from Goshen, given by Matt W.
The afternoon, after some fits and starts, brought a formation of the army, and a movement back again towards that fine new wooden bridge. About the same sort of thing happened from my private's point of view, yet, as the boys in blue retired once more, they actually determined to stand i nthe center of the field, adn just decided not to give another step. They held there, and the battle rattled to a close. Gen. Thomas, The Rock of Chickamauga would have been proud.
The battle ground quieted down, as we rested, and the public was carted away. Once we were able to bring on our wagon train, everything was quickly stowed, adn the mules were whipped into action again.
My big thenks to all of the sponsors, the 2nd Conn. Heavy Artillery. Another fine local event was the best they have done so far. We all are thankful for their effort and taking chances to provide an opportunity to have events so close to home. To all of you, this was a geat time, and a job well done. Congratulations, and Thank you kindly.
Your obedient servant,
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Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers, Co.A, Inc.