Field & Staff---NCO Staff
8th Connecticut Infantry Antietam
On the South end of the Battlefield, East of Harpers Ferry Rd near the 9th NY Monument
8th Conn. V.I.
No. Engaged - 400
Killed and Wounded - 194
Organized at Hartford September 21, 1861. Left State for Annapolis, Md., October 17. Attached to Parke's Third Brigade, Burnside's Expeditionary Corps, to April, 1862. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, Dept. of North Carolina, to July, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 9th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to April, 1863. 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 7th Army Corps, Department of Virginia, to July, 1863. 2nd Brigade, Getty's Division, United States forces, Portsmouth, Va., Dept. Virginia and North Carolina to January, 1864. Sub-District Albemarle, N. C., Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, to April, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 18th Army Corps, Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, to August, 1864. Provost Guard, 18th Army Corps to December, 1864. Provost Guard, 24th Army Corps, Dept. of Virginia to February, 1865. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 24th Army Corps, to July, 1865. 2nd Provisional Brigade, 24th Army Corps, to August, 1865. Dept. of Virginia to December, 1865.
The Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers was recruited at Camp Buckingham, Hartford, and left for Annapolis October 17th, 1861, and formed a part of Gen. Burnside's division.
The regiment was commanded by Col. Edward Harland, formerly Captain in the Third regiment. It was armed with the rifle musket, and numbered ten hundred and twenty-seven (1,027) men. This regiment was engaged in the battle of Newberne, N. C., March 14th, 1862, and again at the siege of Fort Macon, N. C., April, 1862.
It accompanied General Burnside when he was ordered to join theArmy of the Potomac after the series of battles before Richmond, and upon the withdrawal of the army from the Peninsula it followed its fortunes in Maryland, and was engaged in the sanguinary battle of Antietam, Sept. 17, 1862, where it suffered severely: losing in killed, 1 commissioned officer, 33 enlisted men; wounded, 10 commissioned officers, 129 enlisted men; missing, 21 enlisted men ; total loss, 194.
The commissioned officer mentioned as killed was Lieutenant Marvin Wait of Norwich. The gallantry displayed by this young man, from the time he entered the service till he received his death wound on the battle-field of Antietam, calls for something more than a passing word of tribute to his memory ; and if the writer now deviates from a course he felt obliged to pursue in preparing "the brief summary " called for by the Legislature which directed the preparation of this Catalogue, he trusts no one will cavil thereat after reading the brilliant record of this youth, thanwhom no one of all the brave Connecticut youth who were "foremost in the fray" in the late rebellion, deserves more especial mention.
It is the record of a boy of 19, adorned with talents of no mean order; of a student, gifted with a vigorous mind, improved by foreign study and travel ; of a son, the joy and pride of parents who, in common with all who knew him, had "high hopes that burned like stars sublime" for his future usefulness, and for honors in the peaceful pursuits of life of a young gentleman, surrounded with everything calculated to make hearth-stone life desirable; whose patriotic impulses induced him to leave college and its associations, home and all its attractions, to enter with ardor his country s service, as a private soldier, and by merit rising to promotion, to sacrifice his heroic life upon its altar.
Enlisting as a private in Capt. Ward s Co. D, 8th C. V., he was soon promoted to be Second Lieutenant of Co. A, and served as a member of the Signal Corps at the battle of Roanoke Island on Burnside s flagship, and at the reduction of Fort Macon. Lieut. Andrews, of the Signal Corps, in his report of that action, speaks in terms of high commendation of the services of Lieut. Wait in directing the fire of our batteries.He says: "Owing to the observations made by Lieut. Wait and myself, and signaled to them from time to time, an accurate range was obtained by all the batteries, and was not lost during the day. After 12 M. every shot fired from our batteries fell in or on the Fort. At 4 o clock p. m. a white flag appeared on the Fort. The proposition to surrender, and the reply, with terms of capitulation, were seat to and from General Burnside, through this station, by Lieutenant Wait and myself. Major Mayer, chief of the Signal department, presented Lieut. W. with a beautiful battle flag as a recognition of his valuable services on that occasion.
Lieut. Wait served under Burnside during his whole campaign in North Carolina, winning everywhere the good opinion of his comrades and the praise of his superior officers."
Soon after the reduction of Fort Macon he was commissioned as First Lieutenant, and wishing more active service than that of a signal officer, he rejoined his regiment at Fredericksburg, just before it evacuated that place. As a biographer records, he was ever found with his company at the post of duty.and of danger in the arduous and eventful campaign in Maryland. "During the terrible and mighty conflict at Antietam," the same biographer writes, "his courage, valor and patriotism reached their sad but sublime consummation." One of his brother officers, writing soon after the battle, says: "If Lieut. Wait had only left the battle of his own accord when first wounded in the arm, all would have been well, but he bravely stood to encourage his men still further by his own example, and at last nobly fell pierced by bullet after bullet." Another officer wrote as follows: When first wounded he was advised to leave, but would not, and before leaving received three shots."
And another officer writes that he "fell at his post while urging on his men in that terrible storm of shot and shell."A writer in one of the public journals of Norwich, speaking of Lieut. Wait's conduct at the battle of Antietam, says, "after his sword-arm had been disabled by a shot, he. took his weapon in his left hand, and still pressed on, encouraging his men by his heroic fortitude." Lossing and Abbott in their Histories of the Rebellion, and also the publisher of the "Connecticut War Record," add their testimony to the ability, patriotism, and bravery of Lieut. Wait. In fitting words does the biographer conclude: "A braver man than Marvin Wait never confronted a foe; a more generous heart never beat; a more unselfish patriot never fell. Connecticut may well cherish and honor the memory of such sons.
December 11th and 13th the regiment was again engaged at Fredericksburg, Va., but fortunately sustained a small loss. In February, 1863, it was transferred to South-east Virginia, where it remained until its muster-out. Col. Harland having been promoted to bev Brigadier General, the command of the regiment devolved upon Lieut. Col. John E. Ward, who was promoted Colonel April 2d, 1863.
The regiment participated in the battle of Fort Huger, Va., April 11th and 19th. On the 11th of January, 1864, it returned to Connecticut on veteran furlough, three hundred and ten (310) of its original members having re-enlisted as veterans. It returned from veteran furlough to its old camp near Portsmouth, Va., March 1st, 1864. March 13th it was ordered to Deep Creek, Va., where it remained, performing outpost and picket duty, until April 13th, when it shared in the reconnoissance toward Suffolk, returning on the 14th.On the 7th of May following, the regiment participated in the battle of Walthall Junction, Va., and sustained an aggregate loss of seventy-four (74) officers and men. The regiment was complimented by its Brigade Commander, the lamented General Burnham, for heroism that day; and as it returned from the field was cheered by the whole brigade. Major Pratt in his official report to Adjutant General Morse, dated March 1st, 1865, says of the 8th, that "it earned its laurels dearly." First Lieuts. Bingharn, Co. G, Goddard, Co. B, were both mortally wounded ; Col. John E. Ward was severely bruised by a shell; Capt. James R. Moore, Co. D, was disabled for life; 2d Lieut. John H. Vorra, Co. K, was severely wounded."
FromMay 9th to 12th the regiment was engaged in reconnoissance, and from the 12th to the 16th of May, 1864, it was engaged in battle at Fort Darling, and on the night of the 16th it retired within the fortifications, completely exhausted and worn down with their arduous labors ; for eight days out of ten it had been in the front, and sustained an aggregate loss of one hundred and forty (140), or nearly one-third of its whole fighting strength.
From June 1st to June 10th it was engaged with the enemy at Cold Harbor, sustaining a loss of forty in killed and wounded. Again, from the 15th to the 17th, it was engaged in battle near Petersburg, and sustained an aggregate loss of twenty-nine (29). June 21st the regiment marched back in front of Petersburg, entered the trenches, and shared in themonotonous siege work until August 27th, suffering in the meantime twenty-eight (28) casual ties, among them the death of Capt. H. C. Hall, Co. F, and the wounding of Capts. E. F. Goodrich, Co. H, and Roger M. Ford, Co. G.
On the 10th of August fifty-six (56) recruits had reported to the regiment, and from the 27th of that month until the 28th of Sept. the regiment lay encamped on the south side of the James river, behind the fortifications, picketing a portion of the Bermuda Hundred front. At dawn on the 29th, the army advanced toward " Battery Harrison. The Eighth furnished two companies of skirmishers, while the balance of the regiment headed the storming column. The regiment sustained a loss of seventy-three (73) officers and men, and of its conduct on that occasion the report of Major Pratt speaks in glowing terms.Among the wounded were Lieut. Col. M. B. Smith, 1st Lieut. Samuel S. Foss, acting Adjutant, Capt. Wm. J. Roberts, Co. I, Lieuts. John A. Rathburn, Co. E, and Amos L. Keables, Co. D, all of whom with the exception of Lieut. Keables, were totally unfitted for service, and were discharged. Among the lamented dead were Lieut. Charles N. Irwin, whose term of service had expired, but who would not ask exemption from danger ; Lieut. James B. Kilbourn and Sergt. Seth F. Plumb, who had been commissioned but not mustered. This was the last general engagement of the regiment, which was mustered out on the 12th of Dec., 1865.
That the Eighth Connecticut fully sustained the reputation of Connecticut soldiers for daring, bravery, and fidelity, will never be questioned. The following were some of its principal
Newbern, N. (7., March 14, 1862. Loss in killed, 1 enlisted man;
wounded, 1 commissioned officer, 4 enlisted men. Total loss, 6.
Siege of Fort-Macon, N. C., April, 1862. Loss not reported.
Antietam, Md., September 17th, 1862. Loss in killed, 1 commissioned officer, 33 enlisted men; wounded, 10 commissioned officers, 129 enlisted men; missing, 21 enlisted men. Total loss, 194.
Fredericksburg,Va., December llth and 13th, 1862. Wounded, 3 enlisted men.
Fort Huger,Va., April 11th and 19th, 1863. Loss in killed, 1 enlisted man; wounded, 4 enlisted men. Total loss, 5.
Walthall Junction, Va.,
Killed in action, - - 72
Died of wounds, 40
Died of disease, - - 132
Discharged prior to muster-out of regiment, ---610
Missing at date of muster out of regiment,--11
SERVICE.--Duty at Annapolis, Md., until January 6, 1862. Burnside's expedition to Hatteras Inlet and Roanoke Island, N. C., January 7-February 8, 1862. Battle of Roanoke Island February 8. At Roanoke Island until March 11. Moved to New Berne, N. C., March 11-13. Battle of Newberne March 14. Operations against Fort Macon March 23-April 26. Skirmish Fort Macon April 12. Capture of Fort Macon April 26. Duty at New Berne until July. Moved to Morehead City July 2, thence to Newport News, Va., July 3-5 and duty there until August 1. Moved to Fredericksburg, Va., August 1-5 and duty there until August 31. Moved to Brooks' Station, thence to Washington, D.C., August 31-September 3. Maryland Campaign September-October Frederick, Md., September 12. Turner's Gap, South Mountain, September 14. Battle of Antietam September 16-17. Duty in Pleasant Valley until October 27. Movement to Falmouth, Va., October 27-November 19. Battle of Fredericksburg, Va., December 12-15. Burnside's 2nd Campaign, "Mud March," January 20-24, 1863. Moved to Newport News February 6-9, thence to Suffolk March 13. Siege of Suffolk April 12-May 4. Fort Huger, April 19. Edenton Road April 24. Nansemond River May 3. Siege of Suffolk raised May 4. Dix's Peninsula Campaign June 24-July 7. Expedition from White House to South Anna River July 1-7. Moved to Portsmouth, Va., and duty there until March, 1864. Expedition to South Mills October 12-14, 1863. Outpost duty at Deep Creek March 13 to April 18, 1864. Moved to Yorktown April 18-21. Butler's operations on south side of the James and against Petersburg and Richmond May 4-28. Occupation of City Point and Bermuda Hundred May 5. Port Walthal Junction, Chester Station, May 7. Swift Creek, or Arrow field Church, May 9-10. Operations against Fort Darling May 12-16. Battle of Drewry's Bluff May 14-16. On Bermuda Hundred front May 17-27. Moved to White House Landing, thence to Cold Harbor, May 27-June 1. Battles about Cold Harbor June 1-12. Assaults on Petersburg June 15-18. Siege operations against Petersburg and Richmond June 16, 1864, to April 2, 1865. Mine explosion Petersburg, July 30, 1864 (Reserve). On Bermuda Hundred front August 25-September 27. Fort Harrison, New Market Heights, September 28-29. Chaffin's Farm, September 29-30. Duty in trenches before Richmond until April, 1865. Battle of Fair Oaks October 27-28, 1864. Occupation of Richmond April 3 and duty there and at Lynchburg, Va., until December. Mustered out December, 1865.
Regiment lost during service 8 Officers and 112 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 3 Officers and 141 Enlisted men by disease. Total 264.