Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers

Company A, Inc.

School of Instruction

Haddam Meadows State Park
April 10, 1999
Haddam Meadows, Haddam, Conn.
April 10, 1863

Dear Family,

After I left your company on the other afternoon, I got myself through via the cars to the place of rendezvous for the regiment. We were called out of our furloughs and summoned to the center of the state. We formed in numbers at the Haddam Maedows, a place of perfection, flat, open, and large. It is on the banks of the Connecticut River, which was churning and rushing along, very high with the spring flood. The weather was sublime for us for once, as the spring weather was mild, clear, sunny, and comfortable. It was a slight hint that the strong breezes from the shore were reaching us at that point, but not a hinderance to our operations.

We gathered there at dawn, made a good breakfast fire, and proceeded to get up some coffee, and other warm food. But that endeavor did not last long, and the military customs set in quickly. There was the obligatory roll call, and of course, it was immediately followed by the company drill. We started off slow with the manual of arms, practiced by the numbers, and recited from the manual at length. This achieved the proper effect, and all that were there did it well.

We followed up in getting the company into the line of battle, and flank drills, and then split the company into platoons which were correographed into a sort of simultaneous figure eight dance. It seemed to work, but will need much more development during the campaign season.

We stopped briefly for a mid day repast, and took the time to pitch a few horseshoes, which was quite acceptable to the boys. We ate some, and then subjected the squads to the direction of the Corporals for their instruction and develop,ent, and that got a light hearted approach from the men. In the late afternoon, we were directed to make preparations to return to our homes once more, with the expectation that word would be received shortly for us all to rejoin once more, and head back to the south for active times. With that in our minds, we all shook hands, and returned to cherish our families til that time comes. No one was bitter, we all have our duties to do, but parting once more in these times will be difficult for all. May God grant that this war will end soon, and that we will once more be at home with the weather as fine as it was today.


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