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
Windhams Second Century &SHY;
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 &SHY;that
smooth stretch of land at the foot of the hill, west of the Centerwere
scene of the regimental trainings.
The farmers motive for quick and early planting in May and for
quick and early harvesting in September, was to get done in time for
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
tavern. The company served as special guard in Brooklyn August 31st,
1832, at the hanging of Watkins the murderer, the last public execution
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.]