21st Regiment Infantry


Field & Staff---NCO Staff











Organized at Norwich September 5, 1862. Left State for Washington, D.C., September 11. Attached to 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 9th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to January, 1863. 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 9th Army Corps, to April, 1863. 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, 7th Army Corps, Dept. of Virginia, to July, 1863. 3rd Brigade, Getty's Division, Portsmouth, Va., Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, to October, 1863. Heckman's Command, Newport News, Va., Dept. Virginia and North Carolina, to February, 1864. Defenses of Newberne, N. C., Dept. Virginia and North Carolina, to March, 1864. Sub-District of the Pamlico, N. C., Dept. Virginia and North Carolina, to May, 1864. 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 18th Army Corps, Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, to December, 1864. 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 24th Army Corps, Dept. of Virginia, to June, 1865.

SERVICE.--Duty at Arlington Heights, Va., Defenses of Washington, D.C., November, 1862. March to Falmouth, Va., November 7-19. Battle of Fredericksburg, Va., December 12-15. Burnside's 2nd Campaign, "Mud March," January 20-24, 1863. Moved to Newport News, Va., February 6-9, thence to Suffolk, Va., March 13. Siege of Suffolk April 12-May 4. Chuckatuck and Reed's Ferry, Nansemond River, May 3. Siege of Suffolk raised May 4. Reconnaissance to Chickahominy June 9-16. Moved to Portsmouth, Va., June 16. Provost and guard duty at Portsmouth and Norfolk November 10. Moved to Newport News November 10, and duty there February, 1864. Expedition up James River to Fort Powhatan January 24-25. Smithfield February 1. Moved to Morehead City, N. C., February 3, thence to Newberne February 12, and duty there, at Plymouth and at Washington, N. C., April. Near Blount's Creek April 5. Moved to Portsmouth, Va., April 28. Butler's operations on South Side of the James River and against Petersburg and Richmond May 10-28. Swift Creek, or Arrow field Church, May 10. Operations against Fort Darling May 12-16. Battle of Drewry's Bluff May 14-16. At Bermuda Hundred May 17-27. Moved to White House, thence to Cold Harbor May 27-31. Battles about Cold Harbor June 1-12. Before Petersburg June 15-18. Siege operations against Petersburg and Richmond June 16, 1864, to April 2, 1865. Hare's Hill June 24-28, 1864. In trenches at Bermuda Hundred August 25-September 27, 1864. Chaffin's Farm, New Market Heights, September 28-30. Fair Oaks October 27-28. Duty in trenches before Richmond March, 1865. Expedition to Fredericksburg March 5-8, and up the Potomac River March 11-13. Moved to White House March 13-18, thence to Signal Hilt, before Richmond, March 24-26. Occupation of Richmond April 3. Moved to Columbia April 28, and duty there June. Mustered out June 16, 1865.

Regiment lost during service 5 Officers and 55 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 1 Officer and 114 Enlisted men by disease. Total 175.

Previous Page

The Twenty-First was organized in August, 1862. Colonel Arthur H. Dutton was appointed from the regular army, and after having brought the regiment to a high state of efficiency, was transferred to the temporary command of a brigade, leaving Lieut.- Colonel Burpee in command of the regiment.

The regiment was recruited in Hartford, New London, and Windham counties, and went into camp at Norwich. On the llth of September, the regiment, numbering nine hundred and sixty-six (966) men, proceeded to Washington and was assigned to the Army of the Potomac.

It was first engaged in battle at Fredericksburg, Dec. 13, 1862, and sustained a loss of one commissioned officer and five (5) men wounded.

Colonel Dutton spoke in the highest terms of the conduct of the Regiment, in this its first battle.

In the months of April and May, 1863, the regiment participated in the defense of Suffolk, Va. On the 11th of April it proceeded to the support of the Irish Legion on the Edenton Road, and with 100 rounds of ammunition per man, lay upon its arms until the 14th. It continued in this service until the 2d of May, when it was ordered to cross the Nansemond at Sleepy Hole (a place six miles lower down than the line then occupied), to seize Reed s Ferry and open communication with the 4th R. I. Volunteers, on the left. That the work was well executed will be seen from the following extract:

                                             HEAD-QUARTERS 3d DIVISION, 9th A. C.,

                                                      NEAR SUFFOLK, VA., May 4, 1863.


(Extract.) Nor will he (the commanding General) suffer to pass unnoticed the services of those who crossed the Nansemond at Sleepy Hole, who drove the enemy's cavalry from Chuckatuck, and seized Reed s Ferry, capturing an officer and fifteen men.

Such deeds prove the mettle of the men, and show that, when well led, they need fear no enemy.                                      By command,

                                            BRIG.-GEN. GEORGE W. GETTY,

                                                  CHARLES F. GARDINER,

                                                         Captain and A. A. General.

Soon after this the regiment was transferred to the Department of Virginia and North Carolina. It acted as Provost Guard of General Dix s command in the raid up the Peninsula. From this service it proceeded to Portsmouth, and afterward crossed the river to Norfolk. After performing provost duties in those cities for nearly five months, it was relieved and ordered to Newport News, where it remained some six weeks. During this time a portion of the regiment, with other forces, under the command of General Graham, made a destructive raid to Brandon on the James River, destroying a large quantity of rebel property.

On the 3d of February, 1864, the regiment was ordered to Morehead City, N. C., and after aiding in repelling the enemy at that point, was sent to Newbern. On the 16th of May, 1864, the regiment took an active part in the battle of Drury s Bluff, Va., and sustained a loss of one hundred and seven (107) officers and men, killed, wounded and missing. No official report of the part borne by the regiment in this battle has ever been received at this office; but the official list of casualties fully attest to the fact that brave men were in its ranks, and that bravely fighting they fell.

On the 25th of May, Colonel Dutton, commanding the brigade, received orders to reconnoitre the left of the enemy s position, and designated the 21st as the regiment for the work, but night coming on he returned the regiment to its camp. On the day following, the 26th, Colonel Dutton, with the brigade, again moved, with orders to push the reconnaissancee until stopped by the enemy. After an advance of nearly two miles the enemy was found strongly entrenched. Line of battle was at once formed, but as the skirmishers were becoming engaged, Colonel Dutton, who was then, as usual, on the skirmish line, was mortally wounded. The command devolved upon Lieut.-Colonel Burpee, who was finally obliged to withdraw his command.

Major Crosby, in his report, speaks of the death of Colonel Dutton as follows: Colonel Dutton died from the effects of his wounds June 10th. He graduated at West Point in 1861, Kilpatrick, Custar, O Rourke, Benjamin, and Farquhar being among his classmates.

"Bold and chivalrous, with a nice sense of honor, a judgment quick and decisive, an unwavering zeal in his chosen profession, he was in every respect a thorough soldier. * * * By his companions in arms he will never be forgotten, and to them his last resting place will be as a shrine commemorating the friendships which not the rude shock of war, nor lapse of time, can blight or destroy."

On the 3d of June the regiment participated in the battle of Cold Harbor, Va., and behaved with great steadiness throughout the whole battle, receiving well-merited compliments from division and brigade commanders. The regiment sustained a loss of forty-seven (47) officers and men.

On the 9th of June, Lieut.-Colonel Thomas F. Burpee was mortally wounded while going the rounds as brigade officer of the day. Lieut.-Colonel Burpee had borne his part with distinguished valor, during the Bermuda Hundred campaign, and his coolness and good judgment at the battles of Drury s Bluff and Cold Harbor will not soon be forgotten by his comrades. While in command of his regiment he was always able and efficient, discharged with promptitude every duty, particularly if concerning the care and welfare of his men, by whom he was much loved and respected.

The regiment remained in front of Petersburg until the 3d of September, performing picket duty and engaged in skirmishes with the enemy. Its loss while thus engaged was forty-nine (49) officers and men. It was then ordered within the line of defences at Bermuda Hundred, and remained in that position until Sept. 28th, when orders were received preparatory to a movement.

At 9 A. M. of that day they marched to the James River and crossed on pontoon bridges. It then took up its position and proceeded with its division to the assault on Fort Harrison and on the day following (29th) Fort Harrison with its garrison and armament of twenty two pieces of heavy ordnance fell into the hands of the Union army. The fighting was of an extremely severe character, but the Twenty-first did not fail to add new laurels to its wreath.

This was the last general engagement for the regiment, which remained in service, performing the usual routine of camp and picket duty.

Lieut.-Colonel Brown, in his report dated April 10, 1865, speaks of Captain Jennings, who was mortally wounded Sept. 29tli, in the following manner: "No truer patriot or braver soldier than he has fallen in defense of the nation s life. He fell as a soldier would wish in the hour of victory, leaving a record for his commdes to emulate."

Nothing of importance occurred subsequently, and the Twenty first regiment Conn. Vols. was mustered-out of the service on the 16th day of June, 1865, leaving a record for bravery, fidelity and general good conduct, of which Connecticut may well be proud.

The regiment participated in the following ENGAGEMENTS.

Fredericksburg , Va., December 13, 1862. Loss in wounded, 1 commissioned officer, 5 enlisted men. Total loss, 6.
Suffolk, Va., April and May, 1863. Loss in killed, 2 enlisted men ; wounded, 5 enlisted men. Total loss, 7.
Drury's Bluff, Va.,
May 16, 1864. Loss in killed, 14 enlisted men; wounded, 6 commissioned officers, 63 enlisted men ; missing, 24 ejilisted men. Total loss, 107.
Cold Harbor, Va., June 3, 1864. Loss in killed, 2 enlisted men; wounded, 2 commissioned officers, 43 enlisted men. Total loss, 47.
Before Petersburg, Va., May
26, to June 19, 1864. Wounded, 2 field officers (mortally), 9 enlisted men. Total loss, 11.
Before Petersburg, Va., June 19, to September 3, 1864. Loss in killed, 1 commissioned officer, 5 enlisted men; wounded, 2 commissioned officers, 30 enlisted men. Total loss, 38.
fort Harrison, Va., September 29, to October 1, 1864. Loss in killed, 3 enlisted men; wounded, 3 commissioned officers, 21 enlisted men; missing, 3 enlisted men. Total loss, 30.


Killed in action, - 26
Died of wounds, - 33
Died of disease, --108
Discharged prior to muster-out of regiment, - - 313
Missing at muster-out of regiment, - 2


Reference: Connecticut Volunteer Organizations, (Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery) in the Service of the United States 1861-1865, with additional enlistments, casualties, etc, etc, and Brief Summaries, Showing the operations and service of the several regiments and batteries. Prepared from records in the Adjutant-General's Office.

C. M. INGERSOL, Adjutant-general.
HARTFORD: Brown and Gross, 1869