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Windham County Connecticut
CTGenweb Project


18 th Regiment, CT. Volunteers
Donated by Jan Harris


The book "History of the Eighteenth Regiment, Conn. Volunteers in the War for the Union" by Chaplain Wm. C. Walker, published in 1885; is a fascinating and very descriptive account of that Regiment during the Civil War. It is packed with information and would be very interesting to anyone whose ancestor served in this regiment. You can usually request an inter-library loan of this book from your local library. Unfortunately, it does not have an index, and the only copy I saw was for "in-house use only" at my local library, but here are a few of the
numerous items I noticed regarding some of our Windham soldiers:


page 67:

"A Mr. Taylor, of Sterling, came out on a visit to his two sons in this company accompanied by a Miss Philena Ladd, a young lady of their acquaintance. it so happened that the old gentleman, William A. Taylor, one of his boys, the young lady, and our chaplain were all in a room together, and the consequence was that before the party broke up it was acknowledged that:
Whoever says our chaplain's bad
Is nothing but a railer;
Into that room she went a Ladd;
He brought her out a---Taylor.
The next evening the bridegroom came down to his tent with a pail full of good cider, and a large pan of apples, flanked with a bunch of cigars, and these, mixed with singing, extempore speeches, toasts, etc., caused the evening to pass quickly and pleasantly. For the newly wedded pair we wish a long life and a happy one, and may their children be like the blessings of God--neither few nor small."


page 68:

"On December 26th Sergeant Walter Young, while on his way back from the ferry boat to his quarters, was shot in the leg by the reckless sentinel on guard, who was under the influence of liquor, and who afterward admitted with tears that there was no reason for his act. The wounded man lived only about two weeks. Sergeant Young was an estimable and faithful soldier, highly esteemed by his comrades and his untimely death cast a gloom over the spirits of the whole company. His body was sent home to friends in Killingly for burial and subsequently the following resolutions were passed by his company: "Whereas, unwelcome death has visited our company and by a most calamitous accident taken from us our highly esteemed comrade, Sergeant Walter Young, we have, as our feelings prompted, unanimously adopted the following resolutions: "Resolved, that in the death of Sergeant Walter Young we have lost a kind and genial comrade, a favorite among all, while the service has lost a brave and judicious soldier, who had proved himself equal to any trust or emergency. "Resolved, that his fortitude under severest suffering, and his calmness in view of death, are convincing proofs that his was the highest typye
of moral courage and Christian faith. "Resolved, that we extend to the bereaved wife and children our profound
sympathy and regard. Their sorrow will be deep and long, but He who for wise purposes ordered the affliction has promised to be the husband of the widow, and a father to the fatherless. ....."


page 80:

"Mesrs. Green, Sawyer and McClellan, of Woodstock, paid the Windham County boys a visit. And, best of all, the wives of many of the men took upon themselves the responsibility to come and look after the wants of their lords now in blue clothes, and ascertain how Uncle Sam was using them. Their coming was a source of great mutual enjoyment."


page 80:

"On March 6th Second Assistant Surgeon Hough resigned and returned to Putnam. He had been very attentive to the duties of his position, kind and faithful, and never wanting in sympathy for the sick of his charge. Those under his immediate care cherish grateful remembrances of him. He was a sincere and thorough Union man, and had no respect for men who proved unfaithful in the important trusts committed to them in the name of their government."


page 85:

"On April 15th there was a sad accident in Company D; Jesse F. Converse, of Thompson, having his left eye accidentally put out with the point of a knife. He had the sympathy of the whole company for he was a good
soldier and a general favorite."


page 181:

"The following is, perhaps, a fair specimen and worth preserving, and shows the spirit that prevailed at the front. It was written by a member of Company D, Frank W. Cheney, to his sister in Eastford, Conn. Frank was a good fellow, every inch a soldier and brim full of patriotism; but we shall let him speak for himself. He writes: 'I have the same things to do, day after day, but I consider that it is for my country, and if I live to get home, after the war is ended, I shall be satisfied. There is one thing about it that is sure, I would not be a young man at home in security at such time of our country's danger. It seems to me that I could not sleep if I was at home now, knowing how much my country needs me. Thank God, I am fighting to save it! You girls, at home, are not half as patriotic as you ought to be. If you were, our army would be full of young men. You ought not to speak to a young man who will not go where duty calls. Kate, now I am going to give you some good advice, and do heed it, if you love your poor brother at all. Don't ever marry a man who has not been a soldier. I consider that there is very little true manhood in any young man, who continues at home, when his country has called so long, and is still calling for
all her loyal sons to rally for her support. What we want is more men. Our armies have been successful all through the summer campaign, and of course have got thinned out, now more men are wanted to press on the rebels while they are discouraged. In all your actions, dear sister, remember you are sister to a soldier, and allow no one, who has not patriotism enough to do what he can in the cause, to have anything to say to you. Perhaps you think I write too much and too strongly on this point, but it is true. The North is not half awake. While you are living
in security at home, you do not realize that there is a bloody war going on, that is to decide whether we have a country or not. If we loose our cause, it will show to other nations what a degenerate race we are--not willing to save the free institutions our fore-fathers fought seven years to bestow on us, their descendants.' Noble sentiments! They ought to be handed down to future generations, as indicative of the noble qualities of the men composing the Eighteenth and of the Union Army as a whole." [From "Thirteen Months in the Rebel Army" by William G. Stevenson, pub. 1863: "The unmarried ladies were so patriotic, that every able-bodied young man was constrained to enlist. A gentleman was known to be engaged for an early marriage, and hence declined to volunteer. When his
betrothed, a charming girl and a devoted lover, heard of his refusal, she sent him, by the hand of a slave, a package inclosing a note. The package contained a lady's skirt and crinoline, and the note these terse words: 'Wear these, or volunteer.' He volunteered."]


page 189:

"Lorenzo N. Buck, Company B, died December 28th, and his body was sent home to his family in Putnam, Conn., the next day, being escorted to the depot with military honors. Buck was an excellent man, a good soldier, who enlisted from sincere convictions of duty. His loss was deeply felt in his company. His body was taken to Connecticut and buried in the same grave with that of his son, who died two days later. The funeral services were held in the Baptist church in Putnam, the sermon being preached by W.C. Walker."


page 191:

"During the month of January, 1864, recruits arrived almost weekly, and were distributed among the different companies, as they were needed to fill up the quota.....Among other recruits, came a new chaplain, Rev. W.C. Walker, of Putnam, Conn. He arrived in camp and reported to Major Peale's headquarters on the afternoon of the first day of February, and was assigned temporarily to the surgeon's quarters. These consisted of a long tent, with two apartments, one of which was occupied by Surgeons Holbrook and Harrington, the other by the hospital steward, Dick Ripley. There was one spare bed, and here the new chaplain began his new life "on the old camp ground." The weather was quite cold and for the first few nights it was difficult to keep off the shivers. However, the hardening process went on bravely, and the newcomer began to accommodate himself to the situation. The regiment had been without a chaplain for more than ten months, and a desire had been frequently expressed, by
some of the regiment, that another be appointed; hence the presence of this recruit gave very general satisfaction. It was evident, however, that the chaplain had never studied the tactics very thoroughly, for when he came out on dress parade, for the first time, it was thought by some that he would be a better Walker, than a marcher. It was remarked, however, that the chaplain 'talked pretty well, and would become popular' even if he was a little awkward on dress parade."


page 193:

"Oliver B. Burnham, Company K, accidentally shot himself and died a short time afterwards. His remains were sent to Killingly, Conn., where his family resided. His sad death produced a deep impression. He had been a convert at the recent revival, and died the death of a Christian."


page 222:

"Capt. William L. Spaulding, Company B, was wounded in the abdomen early in the battle, on the skirmish line. He was brave to a fault, standing up in full view of the sharp shooters and giving orders to his men. Member of his company entreated him to take better care of himself and not make himself a target for the enemy, but he remained at his post and fearlessly gave the word of command until he fell, exclaiming, "I am shot." He was borne at once to the rear, his wound was pronounced mortal by Surgeons Holbrook and Harrington, and he was placed in an ambulance in care of a comrade and the chaplain. The ambulance moved out on the pike tothe rear, and was then ordered toward Mount Jackson. But it had proceeded but a little way before Capt. Spaulding expired. He was
rational to the last, and after expressing his trust in the Father of Mercies, he expressed some anxiety about the fate of the day by inquiring: 'Chaplain, are they driving us?' He was told, 'I hope not.' They were his last words. The death of Capt. Spaulding was a great loss to the regiment, and caused deep sorrow in his company, among his fellow officers and the regiment generally."


page 240:

"Sergeant William Henry Paine was the only son of William Paine, of Woodstock, Conn., and was a young man of much promise. Having no taste or inclination for camp life, only at the call of duty did he with others volunteer to defend his country. Boasting no courage, he was ever to be relied upon in difficult and dangerous service, and never was known to shirk duty, even in the face of death. His superior officers relied much upon his vivacious disposition to keep the men in good spirits, and they testified that his services in this respect were invaluable. It was during what was known as Hunter's raid in Virginia, the 5th of June, 1864, that Paine lost his life. At the battle of Piedmont, in the face of a shower of bullets, while faced about to give directions to the men in his charge, a bullet from the enemy entered his body, and in a few hours ended his life at the age of twenty-four. His remains were at length conveyed to his native town, and interred in the family cemetery. On his tomb-stone is inscribed these truthful words: 'A precious sacrifice.' From personal observation we are prepared to endorse the testimony here given concerning his excellent qualities, both as a Christian, gentleman and a soldier."


page 279:

"Corporal James H. Sawyer, Company B, drew a picture of Col. Peale's tent, interior as well as exterior. Corporal Sawyer showed remarkable ability and taste in other sketches he drew of camp scenes while at Halltown. One description of the camp was sent to New York and engraved. A large number of copies was sold among the members of the regiment. The picture gave great satisfaction, and now adorns many a parlor in New London and Windham Counties. Sawyer was a general favorite,and he drew many sketches of a soldier's life, which gave him quite a notoriety as an artist. it is needless to say that he was a good soldier, always true and reliable."



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