Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers

Company A, Inc.

New Hartford Days 1996 Living History Report

Brodie Park
New Hartford, Connecticut
September 15, 1996
September 15th, 1862
Brodie Park
New Hartford, Conn.

Dear Friends,

A detail from our company has had the pleasure of returning to our home state for the purpose of recruiting and letting the people there how we are faring in the seat of war. On Sunday, we arrived at the town park here in New Hartford, and made ourselves comfortable early in the morning. The fire was started, we threw some canvas up, and made some coffee along a tree line of a small meadow. The town was having a fair called New Hartford Days, and we were welcomed by the First Selectman, a Republican man who mentioned that he was sympathetic of state's rights, but supported the Union cause.

After some coffee, and some conversations with the boys from the 1st. Conn. Cavalry, also present, we proceeded to drill a little, and marched around the entire fair to let folks know we were there. We retired back to our field, and drilled in company and firing some, then watched the cavalry do some saber drills. All the while, we were talking up the regiment to the folks who might be interested in enlisting in our veteran unit. We had some of long term duty, from the first muster, and some that were brand new enlistees present to entice the citizens.

In the forenoon, we started to prepare a fine spread of foodstuffs for our dinner, and it consisted of salt pork, chicken, potatoes, carrot, and of course, hard crackers. We spiced the vegetables with an ample portion of hot green peppers, as is the usual when the 1st. Sgt. is present. We lined all the mess pots and frying pans up in a line in the grass, and all had some of each. After the meal, we had a slow hour where we all spread our bed rolls out in the shade, played checkers, cards, and did what soldiers do best, napping.

Soon, it was almost the appointed time to demonstrate to the public, and we took our places in line, counted off, and marched around the fair grounds once more, then returned to the drill field, where the Lt. put us through the paces of drill, flank, line of battle, flank. The 1st. Sgt. also put us through the skirmish drill with deployments, firing, advance, withdraw, in a line of two ranks extending from one end of the field to the other. This did indeed draw some of the attention of the citizens, and they all watched from the edge of the field what a military company can do. The demonstations were finished with some fire by company, firing by the drum, and company dismissed.

The day was a great success in that the folks of New Hartford will now give us their support, and hopefully some of their sons, and will look for news from the papers of the adventures of the Eighth Conn. Vols. We packed up our equipments at the end of the day, and said Goodbye to the hills of Litchfield County, and prepared for the long train ride back to Washington in the morning.

Your Obedient Servant,

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