Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers

Company A, Inc.

Hammonasset State Park Event Report

May 3-4, 2003
Hammonasset State Park
Madison, Connecticut
Dear Friends,

We have recently arrived at this location just after a severe downpour that was the fiercest I have seen in some time. The clouds here did not rain so hard, but to the north, it was a far different story. I was able to get some help from friends in erecting my tent before any more rain occurred, and got to the business of looking after things in the company. We are here with the good men of the 150th NY and the 119 NY and the 27CV, constituting our company of about 42 men.

The evening officers call included an instructional lesson from the major regarding the fine points of the rules of successive formations, and it was well received. The details are always appreciated, in contect of how we can improve our military stature. After the lessons were dismissed, we adjourned to the company street, and got up a little game of cards, with wagers covered by the use of percussion caps. It seemed that at least one private in the game would have to resort to the bayonet in the next battle, since his caps were all lost. We got a good night sleep, although a little cold.

The next morning, we awoke to revielle, had our role, and were about six men short, they all being detailed to a reconnaisance to the north. We had our breakfasts, and then got to the company drills, and a battalion dress parade. That was followed by a serious battalion drill in which we worked on the ddeployment into line of battle from a column of companies.

We were dismissed once more, and had our dinner, but only to shortly be called into line under an alarm, and were marched off to the south by the right flank. We proceeded some good distance, and were then fronted, stacked arms, and the cavalry were out patroling. They soon found the enemy, and a little breastworks with a few guns mounted to our rear. We were set into three battalions, and advanced on that rebel position. The rebels opened with the guns, and the engagement soon became general. The rebels were trying to get around both flanks of our force, but the officers did a good job ot keeping them pened to our front. The center advanced, and took serious casualties, but kept on. Soon, the three bodies pushed very hard into the fort, and the rebels were forced to abandon it, loosing the guns. Our officers were satisfied, and that ended the contest, all except for helping the wounded off the field, and to the hospital. Several were dead, and they were also moved to the hospital.

The evening was spent with our friends, sitting, talking, and of course, being sung to by the trio of Capt. Kurtz, Capt. Belyea, and Pvt. Oakley. They hit just about every baudy song known to man, and a few more as well. On and on they went, even making new ones from the old ones, it was quite a treat. Another good night was spent, yet a bit colder, and once again we awoke to the army.

The routine orders were about the same, company drill, battalion dress parade, battalion drill, and so forth. This went on until the dinner hour, and once again that was cut short by the long roll. Our forces were ordered back to our little fort that we took from the rebels yesterday, since it seemed that the enemy had the intention to try to take it back. We arrayed our forces across the field to the front of the breastworks, and waited for the attack. It came shortly, with the rebels divided force trying for the flanks. This old trick was unsuccessful, and they were met with shot and shel and the ring of muskets. But they were relentless, and in greater force than they were the previous day, and this time, our forces were being used piecemeal, with no coordinated effort to break their lines. They drove in the first line, and it soon collapsed on the line of the fort, causing a lot of confusion among the defenders there, and making it impossible for them to return the enemy fire. It was soon determined that the fort was being overwhelmed, and so we were orderd to abandon it, and set a second line to its rear. This was done with more confusion, and the rebels were able to sweep through the breastworks and fort, and they were satisfied to regain their lost ground from yesterday. The action was over, and the lines established. We were marched back to our camps, ordered to strike the place, and be prepared to march at a moments notice. I need to post this now, as the mails are about to go, but I cannot tell you if we are to march forward or back.

All the Nutmeg boys are well, excepting a little jaded over the hard won work just being handed back to the rebels, but such is war, and we are only a small cog in a large wheel. I will write again as soon as we are settled, and ask you to do the same.

Your friend,

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