Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers

Company A, Inc.

Westmoor Park 1996 Event Report

Westmoor Park
West Hartford, Connecticut
June 22-23, 1996
July 2nd, 1863
Gettysburg, Penn.

Dear Friends,

I take this pen in hand to write to you so you might know our immediate fate, as we have been once again engaged with the enemy. Our operations have brought us in force to this locale where we established our camps on Friday night. We are near the 27CV and the 3rd Maine. We are also in the company of the 124 NY and the 2nd Mass Sharpshooters. Here and there the rebels are about in force.

We were gotton up at dawn as is usual by the drums and fifes of revielle, and put to the task of eating before falling in. Drill in these parts is conducted with all due respect, that is that it is done loaded and also with respect to the "front". After the morning report and drill of operations, we were allowed to be dismissed and prepare our meals, but as soon as the meals were put upon plates, we were called up to fall in. The major units here became all of the 27CV, and all the rest became the 145th Penn.

We marched into the woods, nearby here to skirmish or check the motions of the enemy. In the woods, we made due to function as only a company, detailed to the right for the greater good of the battalion. In this situation, we were left to our own devices, and that was somewhat less than was needed. We were confronted with the rebels and tried our best to push them away. We wheeled in and fired, and got into trouble from them quickly, then fell back to a wood road. We then hastened to do a push by street drill, the front of the column firing, retiring to the rear to load, and then the next ranks firing, &c. This did not achieve the desired effects, we were pushed back, since this high ground that we were challenging was enforced by howitzer. We retired to the creek, and got ourselves back in order. The rebels came down on us, and Lt. Boucher ordered the bayonet charge, which we did with bully force, and they looked at us with open jaws, and skedaddled. But we were unable to capitalize, and we did not gain any more ground. We retired to the bridge where we were massed for the push to follow.

Soon, the artillery arm pounded the center of the rebel line, which compliment was returned in kind. The infantry was put in the lines under the cannons, and then on command, was advanced into the wheat field, on the edge of which, the order came to go prone for the entire force, as the fire of the rebel guns had our range.

The order came to rise, and move forward, but it was against the most destructive fire, and the friends went down in scores. We did advance and achieve a small rise, but were faced with a strong force, and soon this turned into a rout, that means that men ran without orders. Many were gunned down and the casualties were almost complete, but the rally that took place on the edge of the field was strong, and the whole contest became a stalemate on that account. The battle ended with darkness, and the positions were maintained.

Our company retired to camp for a supper that was a gift from the command, and had a few rebels on the line, who we suspect were captured, but there was no guard provided. They most likely were parolees that needed a meal. No one asked them anymore, as brohers were allowed the honor of their promises. But the evening in camp was the same, had a late assembly, reports, and expectation of more bloodshed. That was not disappointed, as soon, we had a dress parade, which did not yield the numbers of yeseterday.

We were put into line and left to our own local command, then moved out soon, which was to the west and deep towards the hilltops we had fought dearly for already. The local civilians were about, and resentful of our presence, wielding hatchets and frying pans, and foul language, and that was just the women.

This time we were moved into the local woods again, but to find strength of the enemy larger than before. This time we were sent forward to get the hill again, but soon found out, by great loss, that we could not get it. We fell back and were formed to repulse any more force. Soon the 1st. Mass. Cavalry came forward to our position, and announced in a low voice that they had the rebel colors! Our new objective was to escort the colors back to our lines. The two cavalry skirmishers went out front, the colors wee stuffed in the blouse of the third, and he fell into the middle of our ranks for protection. We moved out at the ready and were fully successful in getting the captured rebel colors back to camp and to headquarters. We celebrated the cavalry and sung songs, then retired to our own camps. We conducted our small company evening with songs and entertainments that ended the evening early.

The morning brought back the war, but the orders were light details, and we fared well. In the late morning, however, we were formed in battalion, and moved out back along the wood roads to flush out the rebels once more. The troops fanned out in the many directions, and Lt. Boucher lead us back to his favorite hill, but no rebels were there, we worked our way back, and had no real encounters. We did turn a tight corner on one of the woods roads, to find ourselves facing into the muzzle of a rifled cannon at about 2 rods. This was a glimpse of death, but lucky that the cannoneers were wearing blue. We retired to the bridge area, and rested and talked with the other boys, near the banks of the stream until the rest of the brigade was concentrated, when the artillery duel got underway.

Then the brigade was placed in position, facing the enemy acrost the wheat field again, and again went prone, then rose, and advanced, faced the enemy, then withdrew quickly. Many men were left behind, but I was able to make it back to our new lines. There I saw many acts of bravery on the field. The Sgt. of the 27th dragged our Scott from the field wounded, and one man picked up a drummer boy, drum and all, heaved him over his shoulder, and ran from the field, through the hail of bullets til they were both safe. All the boys on the line cheered for him!

The men were formed, and marched back to camp in review, where the orders came to break down the site, cook three days rations, as the army was moving again. As we were preparing, our illustrious Captain and his new bride, and the members of their recent wedding party arrived in these parts to make their rounds. All were happy to see them together, and many hands were shaken. The Captain says that his furlough is almost up, and that he will be back in the field with us soon.

So, we have fared well in these parts, despite the trials of war. All here are in good health, well fed, and of good spirit. Please write soon, and the mails will follow us, and be greatly appreciated when it does find us.

Your obedient servant,

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