Friday, April 2, 2010

Off to the War - 1st Connecticut Volunteers - April 1861

From the journal of Private Horace Purdy, 1st Connecticut Volunteers.

Friday April 19th 1861 Danbury to New Haven, Connecticut

“I went to the shop in the morning to get my shop clothes and some of my tools. I came home and completed my preparations for leaving home. We took dinner over to Father Griswold’s. He broke a bottle of wine to drink together before my departure. After dinner I bid goodbye to all and started for our hall. Before taking the train (which was the freight) the company paraded up as far as Franklin St. and down to Concert Hall where unexpected to me Father Griswold was waiting to pray with and for us ere we left our native town. After the prayer we went to the depot where the train was in readiness for us and a large concourse of people meeting to bid us perhaps a last farewell. After shaking hands with a thousand or less we finally moved off amid deafening cheers. A number more enlisted in our company at Norwalk. We arrived in New Haven about 6 o’clock P.M. A delegation from New Haven Greys [another local militia which served in the 2nd Connecticut Volunteer Regiment] escorted us to the New Haven Hotel where we were quartered. In the evening we were serenaded by the New Haven Cornet Band which played beautifully. We are the first company in the state to arrive at Rendezvous.”

Saturday April 20th 1861, New Haven, Connecticut

“Three other companies arrived today. We spent a part of the day drilling on the Green. We escorted Lt. Col Gregory to the cars in the P.M. He made a short speech on the rear car previous to starting.” [Gregory left to raise another Company from Danbury, see below].

Sunday April 21st 1861, New Haven, Connecticut

“After breakfast we were ordered out for an hours drill on the Green. It is claimed by the officers to be indispensible on account of the new recruits. I attended Dr. Bacon’s church on the Green in the P.M. He preached a very patriotic sermon. I was very much interested and I trust profited by it.”

From the "History of Danbury":
"Lieutenant-Colonel Gregory, who escorted the boys to New Haven, returned Saturday evening, and a meeting was called in Concert Hall. He, with the band, was escorted to the hall, and after the organization of the meeting by electing Isaac Smith as chairman, Colonel Gregory responded to loud calls, and reported the arrival of the boys in New Haven, their reception there, and what other information he possessed ooncerning them. The excitement was at a fever heat, and papers, pens, and ink. were called for and a roll started for a second company. This was in little over twenty-four hours from the time of the departure of the first company. As one after another put his name to the
paper, cheer after cheer were given".

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