Saturday, January 06, 2007

Meet Asahel Woodford

As I mentioned several days ago, there's an old cemetery within sight of our new house. It is unseasonably warm today -- temperature could reach 70 -- so I after my four-mile run, I stopped by the cemetery again today. I discovered four more markers for Civil War veterans, including one for Asahel Woodword. With a couple clicks on the HDS Civil War database, I was able to dig up information on Asahel. Here's what we know:

He resided in Farmington, Conn., and enlisted on Sept. 9, 1862, as a private. He was mustered in to the 25th Connecticut infantry Co. K on Nov. 11, 1862, and mustered out on Aug. 26, 1863.

Here's a brief history of the 25th, which served mostly in the South and saw battle in Louisiana.

"This is one of the best of our nine months regiments, and
bore a conspicuous part in the advance upon and campaign
preceding the fall of Port Hudson. By the bravery always
displayed on the field of battle and the patient endurance
manifested on many long and arduous marches, it has won for
itself a high and lasting reputation."

The Twenty-fifth was mustered into the United States
service November 11, 1862, and on the 14th sailed from Hartford
for Centerville, L. I., to join at that rendezvous the Banks
Expedition. The muster-roll showed 811 men, thoroughly drilled
and well appointed, except that they were without rifles, which
were served to them on the ship after their arrival in the
Mississippi River.

The regiment embarked November 29, 1862, in two divisions-
one division of five companies, under command of Colonel
Bissell, on the steamer "Mary Boardman"; and the remainder,
under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Stevens, on the steamboat
"Che Kiang." The destination of the expedition was unknown
when the vessels sailed, and the sealed orders were not to be
opened till the ships had sailed twenty-four hours to the
southward and eastward. The orders, when opened, were found to
be simply to report at Ship Island, off the mouth of the
Mississippi River, allowing a call at Dry Tortugas for coal, if
necessary. The ships duly arrived at Ship Island, and
proceeded at once up the river to New Orleans, where they
arrived on the 14th of December. On the 16th the "Mary
Boardman," with several of the other ships, went on to Baton
Rouge, where they arrived the next day. The "Che Kiang" landed
the left wing of the regiment at Camp Parapet, just above New
Orleans. Thus the command was unfortunately divided. I say
"unfortunately," for the discipline and experience of the
separate and separated wings not being alike, made it difficult
when they finally came together, weeks after, to bring them
into harmony and full efficiency."

The 25th fought in these engagements, although Asahel apparently mustered out by then, perhaps to be with his family back in Connecticut:

Irish Bend, La., April 14, 1863.
Port Hudson, La., May 25 and 26, 1863.
Port Hudson, La., June 14 and 15, 1863.
Brashear City, La., June 23, 1863.
Bayou Boeuf, La., June 24, 1863.

1 comment:

  1. Fascinating stuff. I enjoy reading the info about the soldiers and seeing their grave markers.