Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers

Company A, Inc.

Hammonaset State Park 1996 Event Report

Hammonasett State Park
Madison, Connecticut
May 4-5, 1996
April 1862
Near Pittsburg Landing, Tenn.

Dear Brother,

I take this time to write you some lines that you may know of our latest adventures. We arrived here Friday night, Capt. Kurtz having proceeded us Friday morning, and established our camp, and educated the civilian school children in the area of our practices. We are camping in a treed meadow near the water, in the company of the 27CV, 119 and 150th NY, 25 Mass, and 10 Mass. Our march was in downpours, but upon arrival, it ceased, and the sun reappeared. We got a camp up, and a fire, and commenced some singing, which drew the staff officers over, who sing a harmony for us.

We turned in, and were awoken by cannon and drums at the usual hour of daybreak, had coffee, formed for roll call, and were directly marched off for company drill, which was an equal mix of right and left flank work. We returned to camp hungary for breakfast, which we ate, and then were assembled. Capt. Kurtz presented Lt. Boucher with his new bars, and huzzahs for our 1st. Lt! and his promotion. A guard was mounted, and midday meals prepared. We were formed again, in battalion around 12.30 in the afternoon, and marched off. We took positions behind some works in a meadow studded with a grove of trees. There we anxiously rested, waiting the enemy's approach. Below our positions was a Union camp, with skirmishers in front of it.who met the first rebel approaches. The rebel numbers were too great, and the skirmishers were pushed through the camp with great slaughter. I saw some women in camp fall, and the rest then fell back on our position. Capt. Kurtz then ordered our first platoon under Lt. Boucher and myself forward as skirmishers, so we deployed half way from the works to the now occupied camp to delay the enemy advance. It was extremely deadly work, but we held our ground, and did not run. The rebel battalions advanced on our front, and on our right in line of battle, conserving their ammunitions, ignoring our skirmish like mosquitoes, til they were about four rods from ous, whence without orders, we began to flee, some of us. The rebels let loose a volley which killed and wounded us all, except Dave McCartney, who made it back to our works. The rebels pushed past us, and onto the works, where some skeddadled, most weere shot down, and the right flank collapsed, and the remainder of our boys were captured. Such was the fight at the Hornet's Nest. The prisoners were marched away, but subsequently paroled.

We returned to camp, rested some, and soon found ourselves in a challenge game of Massachusetts Town Ball with the First Maryland. We were doing well for a time and led 13 to 3, but eventually caved in and lost handsomely. A good time was had by all. Evening dress parade put an end to the game, and closed out the military concerns for the day. The boys had a supper mess of stews of various sorts, and began to settle around the camp for quiet, friendly time, some singing, generally an early night.

Sunday morning revielle got us up for roll call, coffee, eggs, breakfast of apples, oatmeal, breads, &c. On the next company street, the 119th NY formed a human pyramid with their adjutant on top, abutting the camp of the 27CV as a salute. Soon the 27th formed in line facing the 119th, and showed their gratitude with a regimental salute of their own design. The laughter was merciless. After breakfast, we set some planks near Peter Simmons tent on the street, and assembled for some scripture reading to honor the Sabbath. We read psalms, and Hal Elwell played some hymns on the mandolin. For once, the meeting was attended by more than less of our company.

We were surprised shortly by the arrival of, and assignment to the 8th Conn. Co. A, some recruits from the 14th Conn. We welcomed the fresh fish to our number, showed them where to erect their shebangs. Our corporals introduced them to the drill, and some school of the soldier, which was followed by a full company drill, this one concentrating on the platoon manoevers, which went well. We marched on column of platoons, right in front, directly to the dress parade, did a "left into line wheel" which drew the compliments of the adjutant. After dress parade, we went back to camp, ate some midday victuals, some a shady picnic under a tall pine tree, and rested.

Soon the call came for assembly again, as we were moved into position near the works we lost yesterday,in sight of them. There we sat in the shade, looking and looking in the direction of the works. Shortly, a few gray heads showed over the works, then more, then even more. Then their battle line came up and over the works and formed in front of them. That was when we were ordered forward, and we clashed in battalion vollies again and again. The losses in both ranks soared. We moved forward and pressed their line, they retired to behind the works, and our officers shouted to us to shoot and pressm then ordered onto and over the works, were we, our men dropping by the way, and the 14CV boys picking them up and dragging them to the rear. Still we pressed out of the works, and through the glade of trees still bloody from yesterday, and the rebels stubbornly fought back as their numbers dwindled. At their last line, it was Dan Liska was shot down, and as I was a file closer, offered him my assistance, gave him some water, and directed the stretcher bearers to him. Soon there was a lul in the fighting, as the last charge was prepared in our ranks. When came forward a Confederate officer with a white handkerchief on his sword tip. When asked to surrender, the terms were not to his liking, and he threw down his sword, and returned to his lines to continue the hostilities. As he arrived there, the 27th Conn. moved from the right flank, and captured the rebel battalion without a shot, overwhelming them who expected to be surrendered. We marched them all back to our camp, a good number of them, and paroled them. Thus ended the fight called Shiloh's Church. Far too many casualties than even the veterans expected. All the excitement and adventure just ended about this war for the most of us volunteers. Now the hard work of doing our honor will begin. We went back to camp. licked our wounds too minor for the field hospital, prayed for those left behind, and gratefully broke dowon our camp to move on, away from these fields of death. We are now very grim soldiers after this experience and trial, we pray to God to see the Right, and to preserve our Union, and to keep us Free, we all pray this is so.


E-Mail Us for More Information!
Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers, Co.A, Inc.

Back to 1996 Archive

BACK to the 8CV Home Page.