Wednesday, June 01, 2016

After Cold Harbor, 'intense anxiety' in Litchfield, Connecticut

On June 9, 1864, eight days after the 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery fought at Cold Harbor,
 the Litchfield Enquirer published this staggering casualty list for the regiment.

For scores of families in Litchfield County (Conn.), the worst day of their lives was June 1, 1864, 152 years ago today. More than 300 soldiers in the 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery -- men and boys from Litchfield, Goshen, Kent, Salisbury, New Milford and elsewhere in the county in northwestern Connecticut -- were killed or wounded that day at the Battle of Cold Harbor, 10 miles northeast of Richmond.

"You have no idea of the intense anxiety in Litchfield in the days following Cold Harbor," Abby Hubbard, wife of Connecticut Congressman John Hubbard, noted years afterward. "It was the same after every great battle in which Litchfield troops were engaged. The telegraph wires had more news than they could carry. It was impossible to get details. All we knew was that a terrible battle had been fought and that a great number were either dead or wounded."

On June 9, 1864, the Litchfield Enquirer published the massive Cold Harbor casualty list for the 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery, "most of it kindly furnished us by friends of the gallant boys." It's a stark, ugly reminder of the cost of war.

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