Friday, July 2, 2010

The Wooster Guard - New Haven, Connecticut - April 21, 1861

New Haven Hotel, Sunday April 21, 1861

Dear Gussie

I received your package containing the letter last night with the other things sent by the good people to the co. I sent to you yesterday by Saml. Gregory a letter and I presume before this time you have received it. I also sent one to the Pahquioque I hope to my old shopmates. It was about the same as yours. Some of the wives sent their pictures to the men and I remarked that you were going to give me yours when I started but I refused thinking that it would make me homesick. A short time after I had occasion to go to my bag for something and found it in the bottom and after all I am glad that I have it for it is a great deal of company for me. After breakfast this morning we were ordered out on the green for an hours drill. I was appointed to a squad of men to drill them. The reason for drilling today is on account of the new recruits who are very deficient we want the men to be as thoughourly [sic] disciplined as possible before going to Washington for we may have to chastise those Baltamorians before we get there [Note: two days earlier on April 19th, troops from Massachusetts an Baltimore citizens exchanged fire, which killed four Union soldiers and several civilians].

After drill we went to our quarters in the fifth story of the hotel and prepared for church. The whole company marched to Dr. Bacon’s church on the Green and listened to a very interesting and patriotic sermon prepared expressly [sic] for the occasion and I confess that I came out of that church willing if need be to serve my country and fall on the field if I must. But I do not believe I shall. I believe that though I have to help fight in hard battles, that God will protect me and bring me back safely to my friends and my home. I feel impressed that I shall go through it all safely. Last night the Capt. requested me to read in the Bible before to co., I did so. This morning the Bible was read to the Co. again and one of our new recruits from Norwalk, Thomas Hootan offered prayer. Most of the men knelt upon the floor, those who did not gave the very best attention. It does me good to see it and I believe if we put our trust in God he will protect us. We are all in good spirits but it seems strangely to hear the sound of the drum and the tramp of the soldier on the Sabbath. My mind is in Danbury today. I can see you all in the Sabbath School. I have been with you in heart for 6 years, I have been in the school and it seems strange now to be doing a soldiers duty on the Sabbath.

9 1/2 o’clock. Evening.

I have just returned from a prayer meeting held at the Central Church, the same I attended this morning. It was holden expressly for the volunteers, it was an interesting meeting. Mr. Southmayd and others drove from Danbury here today and I sent this by him. The city has been the scene of the utmost enthusiasm today. 3,000 troops from Mass. passed through here about 4 o’clock P.M. Goodbye.

Affectionately, Horace

Write immediately thanks to Fanny, tell her I will pray.

Some other notable occurrences on this day (April 21, 1861)
- Colonel |Thomas J. Jackson placed in command of Virginia Military Institute cadets who were ordered to Richmond to serve as drillmasters for new army recruits.
- Communication lines between Baltimore and Washington were cut.  An attack on Washington by Confederate forces is feared.  Union troops from Massachusetts and New York arrive in Washington to defend the capital from attack.
-The 12th and 71st NY regiments left for Washington.
-The U.S.S. Merrimack is captured by Confederate forces at the Gosport Navy Yard (now the Norfolk Naval Shipyard) in Virginia after being partially burned by withdrawing Union sailors the previous day.
-George B. McClellan made Major-General of volunteers in the Union army.

1 comment:

  1. Nice detail about the photograph his wife placed in the bottom of his pack. I look forward to reading more of these letters.