|October 1862 monthly returns for the 8th Connecticut. (Connecticut State Library archives)|
A trip to the Connecticut State Library archives usually proves rewarding. Last week, I found a newspaper account from 1922 that shed light on the life of 20th Connecticut Private George Warner, who lost both his arms to friendly fire at Gettysburg. On Saturday morning, I discovered Warner's enlistment paper -- he was 5-11, with blue eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion -- and another gem: the monthly returns for October 1862 for the 8th Connecticut. The massive account of the regiment includes the staggering toll it suffered at the Battle of Antietam on Sept. 17, 1862. Forty-one soldiers were listed as killed or mortally wounded on the fragile document.
Many of those men and boys have been written about on my blog. Private Oliver Case of Simsbury, killed. Color-bearer George Booth, a corporal from Litchfield, mortally wounded. George Marsh, a sergeant from Hartford and also a member of the regiment's color guard, KIA. Corporal Robert Ferriss of New Milford, killed. The death tally for the regiment at Antietam, according to my downloadable Excel spreadsheet, was at least 55 of the approximately 400 who participated in the fighting.