Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers
Company A, Inc.
150th Anniversary Antietam
NPS Battle Anniversary Living History
September 14-16, 2012
Near Sharpsburg, Maryland
September 18, 1862
We turned out in this locale during the evening of Friday, and found our way through the long ranks of the army to the far left of the line. There, we were put into camp along the Rohrback properties, and hard by the lower bridge. We enjoyed ourselves at that location, but were girded for the fights to come.
Saturday morning, we amassed our little battalion, and were ready for orders. Soon enough, they came. Many efforts to cross the bridge against a Reble hoard had failed, and we as the 51st Penna. Vols. were to try it ourselves. We were put in line under the cover of the trees across from the bridge east bank, and from there marched against the enemy. We took refuges under the stone wall north of the abutment, and poured a good firs up the bluffs, and were holding our own. Then came tha cry, "take that bridge, and you will have your whiskey" and the cry went up, and the colors of the regiment and the boys charged the bridge. We got across in good order, and had the victory in our hands.
From there, we were halted under the bluff, dress our ranks, and marched towards the town above. We filed to the left of the lines, came to front, and advanced up and over the ridges rising one and another towards the town. We came to the walls along Otto's farm lane, and gathered ourselves in the midst of a massive fire from all bearings. We advanced from there down into the dell, and up again. There we stood and fought. Bully the Pennsylvanians.
Above us there were the artillery raking the field to the right of the lane. They were our protection, and were well appreciated by the troops and the observers. Our final push towards the bottom lands was contested by the advancing Rebels, and we were obligated to retire from their front.
We did this couple times during the day, and had a mass of citizens following, and observing the trials we endured.
Come the last of the day, we all took a little breadth. Then we fell into line as the Eighth Connecticut. We hoisted the colors and marched off in line as we were walking the tracks of our fathers. We skirted the 40 acrs cornfield to the right, and up the gully. We halted and took a moment, then took the chance to cross the ground towards the town once more. We came into line again on the west side of the gully, and advanced as one towards the Harpers Ferry road. We took notice of the landmarks and the locations of the rest of hte fight behind us to the left, and to our front and left as we approached the small corn field. We split off the right company to neutralize McIntosh's battery, but they were repu;sed and returned to our line. We continued our advance until we reached the advanced position, where we were only a regiment against brigades. We had Toombs abd Bennig to the front, Archer to the right, and Branch to the left. There we fought to the man. We were ordered off, but no. The colors went down several times. The major took the colors and ordered us to follow them. We retreeated in order and faced by the rear rank three times.
At the monument, we all rested, and just at dusk, we prayed. We read the dedication prayer of the monument, and said a few private prayers as well. Then we reformed the column, and marched off, back to the bridge, and enjoyed to honor and priveledge given us by the NPS to experience such an historic site for ourselves and the public.
The next day, the 51st Penna. Vols. taking the bridge was done time and again. The 150th anniversary at the battlefield was absolutely overwhelmed with the public. This was once of the most successful events they have had, and one of the most successful living history events I have ever been part of.
My compilents go out to Paul Sutliff, Keith Workman, and Chad Slatter. You made this possible, and I deeply appreciated it.
Your humble servant,
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Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers, Co.A, Inc.