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Windham County Connecticut
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"Windham’s Bi-Centennial 1692-1892; A Memorial Volume of the Bi-Centennial Celebration of the Town of Windham, Connecticut, containing the historical addresses, poems, and a description of events connected with the observance of the two hundreth anniversary of the incorporation of the town, as held in the year 1892." Published by the Committee,
Hartford, CT, 1893

Windham’s Second Century ­ The Old State Militia

Among the most interesting of memories are those of the old “Training Days.” Company trainings were held the first Mondays in May and
September of each year.
All men between the ages of 18 and 45 were obliged to do training duty, unless they had some reasonable excuse. The military or
commutation tax takes the place of this system to-day.
Training days were made gala occasions. “The Plains” ­that smooth stretch of land at the foot of the hill, west of the Center—were the
scene of the regimental trainings.
The farmer’s motive for quick and early planting in May and for quick and early harvesting in September, was to get done in time for training day.
The Windham Rifle Company was organized in 1828, with Henry Hall as Captain. The members of the company attained a high degree of soldierly proficiency and dignity which nothing but the old Hebard tavern banquets could overcome. July 4th, 1829, the company was presented with a handsome silk banner by the ladies of Willimantic, and the ladies were entertained at Hebard’s tavern. The company served as special guard in Brooklyn August 31st, 1832, at the hanging of Watkins the murderer, the last public execution in Connecticut.
Successive captains of the company were David Smith, Wm. L. Jillson, John H. Capen, John S. Jillson, Lloyd E. Baldwin, Edwen S. Fitch, Wm. B. Hawkins, Pearl L. Peck, Rensalaer O. Hovey. They disbanded in 1847, when the State militia system was changed. The greatest event of Windham in militia times was the great field drill inspection of the 5th Brigade Conn. Militia Sept. 29th and 30th, 1846, at Windham. Spectators were gathered from miles around and from all parts of the State. Gen. L.E. Baldwin was in command, and about 2000 privates and officers were assembled on the Green. Major Gen. Amos Fowler of Lebanon was reviewing officer, William Swift was aide, and the Rev. Horace Winslow was chaplain. Three of these men, Messrs. Baldwin, Swift and Winslow, are here at the bi-centennial celebration to-day. General Fowler still lives, in Lebanon. [Correction in back of book: Gen. Amos Fowler is not living, but died in Windsor in 1876. It is his brother, Gen. Anson Fowler, who is now living in Lebanon.]


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