Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Then & Now: Where 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery trained

When the mostly raw recruits in the 19th Connecticut gathered in their encampment on the outskirts of Litchfield, Conn., in the summer of 1862, the place didn't  exactly have a military feel.

"Camp Dutton was a beautiful spot, but no place for a regiment to learn its hard and ugly trade," a regimental historian wrote after the war. "Fond mothers and aunts raked the position with a galling and incessant fire of doughnuts, apples, butter, pies, cheese, honey, and other dain: ties not conducive to the suppression of the rebellion, and citizens thronged the streets and environs of the camp from morning till night."

Decades later, three regiment veterans posed for a photograph next to a monument marking the site of Camp Dutton, which remains largely unchanged today. I wonder if they felt fortunate to be alive.

Re-organized as the 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery in November 1863, the Heavies suffered more than 300 casualties on June 1, 1864, at Cold Harbor, their first major fighting of the Civil War, and fought in other brutal battles throughout Virginia.


  1. June 1, 1864 was the day my great-grandfather, Pvt. Patrick Lynch, was wounded at Cold Harbor. He spent the next year in hospitals from Virginia to Massachusetts, before being discharged in May of 1865. He then returned home to Newtown, CT, married, and began his family of 13 children later that same year.

  2. Happy Tom: Do you have a photo of your great-grandfather? Would love to add to blog!

  3. John: I've just now sent you an email with some photos (and human interest) of Patrick and some of his records.