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Commemorative biographical record of New Haven county, Connecticut, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens and of many of the early settled families .. (Volume 1, pt.1) online

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Online LibraryChicago Beers (J.H.) & Co.Commemorative biographical record of New Haven county, Connecticut, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens and of many of the early settled families .. (Volume 1, pt.1) → online text (page 1 of 96)
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3 1833 00826 1882

Digitized by the Internet Archive

in 2009 with funding from

Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center







Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens,
AND OF Many of the Early Settled Families.




J. H. Beers & Co.



HE importance of placing in book form biographical histor}' of representative
citizens- both for its immediate worth and for its value to coming generations —
is admitted by all thinking people; and within the past decade there has been a
growing interest in this commendable means of perpetuating biography and family

That the public is entitled to the privileges afforded by a work of this nature needs
no assertion at our hands; for one of our greatest Americans has said that the history of
any country resolves itself into the biographies of its stout, earnest and representative
citizens. This medium, then, serves more than a single purpose; while it perpetuates
biograph}^ and family genealogy, it records history, much of which would be preserved in
no other way.

In presenting the Commemorative Biographic.xl Rfxord to its patrons, the
publishers have to acknowledge, with gratitude, the encouragement and support their
enterprise has received, and the willing assistance rendered in enabling them to surmount
the man}' unforeseen obstacles to be met with in the production of a work of this
character. In nearly every instance the material composing the sketches was gathered
from those immediately interested, and then submitted in type-written form for
correction and revision. The volume, which is one of generous amplitude, is placed in
the hantls of the public with the belief that it will be found a valuable addition to the
library, as well as an invaluable contribution to the historical literature of the State
of Connecticut.





ALFRED HOWE, late of
the United States Aniiy, and
a resident of Xew Haven.,
came of a distinguislied Hart-
ford family and an earl}'
Connecticut ancestry promin-
ent from tlie Colonial period,
while he himself won imper-
ishable laurels in the Civil
War and was especially characterized as the "'Hero
of Fort Fisher. '

Alfred Flowe Terry was born Xov. lo, 1827, in
Hartford, son of Alfred and Clarissa (Howe)
Terry, and g-randson of Gen. Nathaniel Terry, and
was a descendant in the seventh generation from
Samuel Terry, of Spring-field, Mass.. who was the
first of the name to come to America. Samuel
Terrv was a mere boy at the time of his emigra-
tion. He first appeared at Springfield inj about
1654, and afterward removed to Enfield, Conn.
His first wife was Ann Lobdel. and from these an-
cestors Gen. Alfred FL Terry's line of descent is
through Samuel (2), Ephraim, Nathaniel, Gen.
Nathaniel and Alfred Terry. Among the Gen-
eral's ancestors of other names were many prom-
inent men of early Colonial days, notably Gov.
William Bradford, of Plymouth Colony ; Rev.
Thomas Hooker. William Wadsworth and John
Talcott. three of the fotmders of Hartford : Rev.
James F'ierpont and Rev. Noahdiah Russell of Mid-
dletown, two of the founders of Yale College.

(X) Gen. Nathaniel Terry, son of Nathaniel
Terry (i), born in Enfield Jan. 20, 176S, married
March 14, 1798, Catherine, daughter of Col. Jere-
miah Wadsworth, of Hartford, Conn., who during
the Revolution and for years following was the most
prominent man of the town, and probably the
wealthiest. He was commissary general of the
American forces for a time, and also of the French
forces. He shareil largely the confidence of Gen.
Washington, and under his roof the General was
entertained when he came East with Kno.x and La-
Fayette for the first interview with Count Roch-
ambeau and .Admiral Ternay. Col. Wadsworth
was a member of the State convention called to

ratify the Constitution of the L'nited States, served
si-x years in Congress, and held other important
and honorable offices.

Gen. Nathaniel Terry was graduated from Yale
in 1786, became a law student of Hon. Jesse R^ot,
and was admitted to the Bar in 1790. His pro-
fessional life covered a long period, from 1796 to
1844, ^"'^l 'le practiced first in Enfield and then in
Hartford; was a representative to the State Leg-
islature from the latter place for twelve sessions;
was judge of the county court from 1807 to 1809;
a member of the X\ th Congress, 1817-19; and was
mayor of Hartford from 1824 to 1831. F"rom 1819
to 1828 he was president of the Hartford Bank.
During the prolonged infancy of the Hartford Eire
Insurance Co., from 1810 to 1835, Gen. Terry was
its president.

(\T) Alfred Terry, son of Gen. Nathaniel
Terry, and the father of Gen. Alfred Howe Terry,
was born July 28. 1802, in Hartford, and married,
in September, 1825, Clarissa Howe, who was born
July 2^, 1803, daughter of Gen. Hezekiah and
Sarah (Townsend) Howe, of New Haven. Mr.
Terry was graduated from Yale in 1822, studied
law in Hartford, was admitted to the Bar, and
practiced law in Hartford until 1833, when he re-
moved to New Haven. There he passed the re-
mainder of his life, an esteemed and respected citi-
zen of the community, dying Dec. 14, i860. His
wife survived until June 27, 1874.

Gen. Alfred Flowe Terry, son of Alfred Terry,
was educated mainly in New Haven, studied law
at Yale Law School, was admitted to the Bar. and
began the practice of law in 1S49. From 1854 to
i860 he was clerk of the Superior and Supreme
Courts of Connecticut. An innate love of law and
order led him to connect himself with the State
militia. Having joined the New Haven Grays
when quite young, the outbreak of the War of the
Flebellion found him Colonel of th.o 2d Regiment of
the Connecticut Militia. In response to the Presi-
dent's call for three months' vohmteers he ottered
his services, and was appointed by Gov. Bucking-
ham Colonel of the 2d Regiment of Connecticut
\'olunteer Infantry. He and his regiment were
mustered into the service of the United States in


April, i8()i. On arrival at Washin.ejton the regi- [
ment was assigned to the ist Brigade (Keye'sj,
1st Division (Daniel Tyler's), of McDowell's army, ,
operating against lieanregard at Manassas. The \
regiment participated in the battle of Bull Run,
Jime 2ist, and both the brigade and division com-
manders make special mention of "the gallantry
and good conduct" of Terry in that engagement.
On the expiration of the term of service of the
2d Connecticut \'olunteers the governor of Con-
necticut appointed Terry Colonel of the /th Con-
necticut Volunteer Infantry, then organizing. This
regiment was assigned to the 3d Brigade [
(Wright's), of Gen. W. T. Sherman's Expedi-
tionary Corps, then assembling at Annapolis. The |
regiment sailed for Hilton Head early in November,
and on the Sth of that month we find Terry and his
regiment making a reconnoissance of Hilton Head ,
Island, of which tlie commander writes, "I have to :
acknowledge the cordial and efficient conduct of |
Col. Terry in carrying out the object of the recon-
noissance." We next find him with his regiment ■
on Tybee Island, actively engaged in the siege of
Fort Pulaski, Ga., which was lireached on April ;
lith, and arrangements were being made for an |
assault when the garrison surrendered. Gen. Gil-
more, in speaking of these operations, says :
"Throughout the siege Col. Alfred H. Terry, 7th
Connecticut \'olunteers, and Col. J. F. Hall, N.
Y. Engineers, were conspicuous for the zeal and
perseverance with which they discharged the vari-
ous duties to which they were assigned." The dis-
trict commander, Benham, makes special mention
of the regiment as follows : "The 7th Connecticut
Regiment, under Col. Terry, very ably manned the
batteries which they had most laboriously con-
structed, so that I designated them (as I was
pleased to find had been, unknown to me, the pre-
vious selection of Gen. Gilmore ) for the honor of
being the first garrison of the surrendered fort."
On April 25th, two weeks after the occupation of
Fort Pulaski, Terry received his appointment of
Brigadier General of United States \'olunteers.
He continued on duty in the Southern District of
the Department of the South until the following
October, when he was assigned to the comtmand of
the United States forces on Hilton Head Island and
continued to exercise that command until July 5,
1863. During this period there were various re-
connoissances, the principal one being made on the
22d of October, against the railroad of Pocataligo.
In this operation Gen. Terry commanded one of the
two brigades. The command had a skirmish with
the enemy near Pocataligo in which it lost 340 men
in killed, wounded and missing.

In organizing the force for an effort against
the defences of Charleston, in July. 1863, Gen.
Terry was assigned to the command of the ist
Division. His division was designated to make a
demonstration against Tames Island, by way of
Stono Inlet, in order to occupy the enemy and draw

the forces from Morris Island, against which the
main attack was to be made. The plan succeeded,
and on the 16th Terry's division was attacked by
a very superior force, which was driven back.
After the failure of the second assault on Tor:
Wagner, on the night of the iSth of July, Terry
was transferred to Morris Island and assigned tj
the command of all the forces on that Island, and
the work of gaining possession of Fort Wagner l)y
gradual approaches was begun at once. By the 6th
of September it seemed quite practicable to take the
place, and orders were issued and the troops put in
position for a third assault the next morning, Sept.
7th, but the enemy evacuated the place during the

In i\pril, 1864, Gen. Terry's division was trans-
ferred to \'irginia and rendezvoused at Yorktown
early in Jvlay. The loth Corps was organized a:
that place and moved against Richmond by way of
the James river. Terry's division contained the
Connecticut troops of the Corps — the 6th. 7th and
loth Regiments and Rockwell's battery. The divis-
ion had its first opportunity to show its mettle at
Chester Station. On the morning of the loth of
May, while the division was engaged in destroying
the track of the Richmond & Petersburg railway,
the enemy attacked in force and compelled the pro-
tecting troops to give ground, but the commands at
work were promptly formed tip and by a gallant
attack forced the enemy to retire with loss. The
division was in contact with the enemy until the
i6th, when it took an important part in the battle
of Drury's Blufif, and the Corps commander re-
ports that "there have been three assaults made on
Gen. Terr}'s front: each has been repulsed hand-
somely. The assaults were in force." The losses
in the division from the 9th to the i6th are given
as 1,300. In August Gen. Terry and his division
formed a part of the force assembled under Gen.
Hancock at Deep Bottom, for an effort against the
works around Richmond north of the James river.
On the 14th the division carried the first line of
intrenchments in front of Deep Bottom, capturing
71 prisoners and six guns. On the i6th Gen. Terry
led the assault on the main line of liie enemy's
works near Fussell's Mills, carried the works, and
captured about 300 prisoners and six battle flags.
Of this assault Gen. Hancock savs. in his report of
Nov. 12th, that Gen. Birney having died no report
of the loth Corps had been received, but "Gen
Terry, whose division led the assault on the i6th.
was commended for his gallantry on that occasion."
The commendation has not been found in official
publications, but it is evident that it was of such a
character as to secure Gen. Terry a commission as
Major General by brevet, which was accompanied
by a personal letter from the Secretary cf War,
saying that he had earned a full Major General's
commission and should have had it had it not been
that the number of that grade allowed bv law was


On August 22d, Gen. Terry was ordered to pro-
ceed with his division to the lines in front of Peters-
burg and relieve the iSth Corps. He remained
there until the 24th of September, when the loth
Corps was assembled on the north bank of the
James at Deep Bottom for an offensive movement
against Richmond. Gen. Terry and his division
were engaged in the assault on Fort Harrison and
the New 5larkct road, on the 29111 of September.
On the 7th of October he repulsed a vigorous as-
sault made by Picket's command. On Oct. lOth
Gen. Terry was assigned to the command of the
loth Corps, which on the 13th attacked the enemy
on the Darbytown road, where they were found
in force and were driven from their first line back
to their main line of defences. On Oct. 27th the^
loth Corps pushed out the Darbytown road and
extended the right to the Charles City road, driv-
ing the enemy back.

After the failure of the first effort against Fort
Fisher and the other defences at the mouth of Cape
Fear river. North Carolina. Gen. Terry was select-
ed to lead a second eftort. In referring to this
Gen. Grant states in his report: "This time I se-
lected Brevet ^klajor General (now Major General)
A. H. Terry to command this expedition. The
troops composing it consisted of the same that com-
posed the former, with the addition of a small bri-
gade numbering about 1.500 men and a small siege
train. The latter it was not found necessary to
land. * * * It will be seen that the instruc-
tions did not differ from those given for the first
expedition and that in neither instance was there
an order to assault Fort Fisher. * * * Qj^
the afternoon of the 15th of January the Fort was
assaulted and after most desperate fighting was
captured, with its entire garrison and armament.
Tnus was secured by the combined eft'orts of the
Army and Navy one of the most important suc-
cesses of the war." This important success was not
secured, however, without much thought and labor
on the part of the commander. Seventy-two hours
without sleep — busy engaged in safelv-disembark-
ing his command between Fisher and its garrison,
and the covering command, which was located at
Sugar Loaf, under Gen. Hoke (an officer of long
experience and of acknowledged resolution and
vigor) ; in finding a suitable line across from the
sea to Cape F'ear river, for defending his rear
against Hoke with a greatb" inferior force, while
Fort F"isher was attacked with the other troops of
his command ; in making a close reconnoissance of
.Fort Fisher and its surroundings, in order to deter-
mine what course of action he would pursue; in
arranging with Admiral Porter for a joint attack,
and finally for the assault and capture of the fort
and its garrison. The success was great, but the
personal efforts made by the commander in order
to secure that success entitle him to the high esteem
of his countrymen. That the authorities of the time

thought highly of the resolution and vigor dis-
played b)' Gen. Terry on that occasion is clearly
shown in the despatches. The Secretary of War,
who was returning to Washington from a visit to
Gen. Sherman, at Savannah, Ga., called at the
mouth of the Cape Fear river on the day after the
I taking of Fort Fisher. He informied Gen. Terry
j then and there that he would secure his appoint-
I ment as Brigadier-General in the regular army on
j his return to Washington, and a Major-General's
I appointment in the volunteer service if there was
a vacancy in that grade. r>efore sailing the Sec-
retary of War sent ashore the following letter:

Steamer S. R. Sp.\ldixg.
Off Fort Fisher. Jan. 16, 1863.
Major General Terry.

I The Secretary of War, in the name of the President,

congratulates you and tlie gallant officers and soldiers of
I your command, and tenders you thanks for the valor and
j skill displayed in your part of the great achievement in
j the operations against Fort Fisher and in its assault and
i capture. The comhined operations of the squadron under
j command of Rear .\dmiral Porter and your forces de-
j serve and will receive the thanks of the nation, and will
] be held in admiration throughout the world as a proof of

the Naval and Military powers of the United States.
j Edwin' M. St.\nton'.

Secretary of War.

i On receiving intelligence of the capture of the
place. Gen. Grant wrote as follows :

: City Point, Va., J.\s. 17, 1865.

; Kox. E. M. St.\nton'.

Secretary of H'ar.
i The following official dispatch from Brevet Major

1 Gen. A. H. Terry, commanding the land forces against
Fort Fisher, announcing the capture by the united valor
of the Army and Navy, is just received. I have ordered
1 salute of 100 guns to be fired by each army here in honor
of their great triumph.

U. S. Gr.'^xt.
Lieut. General.

The following letter is of the same date.

City Point, V.\., J.ks. 17. 1S65.

Ho.\, E. M. St.\xton'.
; Secretary of War:

\ .\s a substantial recognition of the bravery of both

I officer? and men in the capture of Fort Fisher, and the
1 important service thereby rendered their country, I do

most respectfully recommend Brevet Major General AI-
I fred H. Terry, U. S. Volunteers, their commanding officer,
i for appointment as Brigadier General in the regular army.

U. S. Grant.
I Lieut. General.

1 City Point, Va., Jan. 18, 1S65.

Hon. E. M. Stanton,

Secretary of IVar:
' The confirmation of Thomas and Sheridan to the

i rank of Major General in the regular army makes two
vacancies. I hope General Terrj- will get one of these.

U.S. Grant.
Lieut. General.

\ Rear Admiral Porter wrote as follows :


NoKTu Atlantic Squadron',
U. S. Flag Shii' Malvern'.
Off Smithville, \. C, January jo, 1S65.
Sir: I have bctn so imich plcnscd uiih GciKral
Terry, and llio luaiiiior in which he has conducted his part
of the operations licrc, thai I deem it worlliy of a special
despatch to express what I feel. General' Terry is, no
doubt, well known to his associates in the field who have
served with him, and to the lieutenant general, who se-
lected him for the service, but the American people should
know and feel the very great service he has rendered
them by his most admirable assault on these trciuendous
works. Young, brave and unassuming, he bears his suc-
cess with the modesty of a true soldier, and is willing to
give credit' to those who shared with him the perils of the
assault. Xo one could form the slightest conception of
these works, their magnitude, strength and extent, who
had not seen them, and General W'liiting (the founder)
nuist have had an abiding faith in the durability of the
Confederacy when he expended so many years' labor on
• them.

The result of the fall of Fort Fisher was the fall of
all the surrounding works in and near this place. F^irt
Caswell, a large work at the West iidet. mounting twenty-
nine guns, ali the works on Smith's island, the works be-
tween Caswell and Smithville, up to battery on Reeves's
Point, on the west side of the river — in all one hundred
and sixty-nine guns falling into our hands; two steainers
were burnt or blown up, and there never was so clean a
scoop made anywhere.

A timid man would have hesitated to attack these
works by assault, no matter what assistance he may have
had from other quarters, but General Terrj- never for an
instant hesitated ; and thougli I feel somewhat flattered
at the confidence he reposed in my judgment, I am Quite
ready to believe that he acted on his own ideas of what •
was proper to be done in the matter, and was perfectly
qualified to judge without the advice of anyone. Through-
out this aft'air his conduct has been marked by the greatest
desire to be successful, not for the sake of personal con-
siderations, but for the cause in which we are all alike

I don't know that I ever met an officer who so com-
pletely gained my esteem and admiration.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedi- '
ent servant,

David D. Porter.
Rear Admiral.
Hon. Gideon Wells, ^ '

Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C. i

On arrival at Washington '\\x. Stanton found
that he could grant the appointment of Brigailier
General in the regular army, but there was no va-
cancy in the grade of Major General of X'olunteers.
Under the circumstances, and recognizing the
merits of the case, America's greatest President
added one to the list of Major Generals of X'olun-
teers, by appointing General Terry a Provisional ,
Major General, so far as known the only instance
of the kind that occurred during the war of the j
great Rebellion. Congress, not to be outdone in
acknowledging the gallant deeds of the soldiers
of the Republic, passed a resolution, which was ap-
proved by the President on Jan. 24, 1S65, extending
the thanks of the Nation to Gen. Terry, his officers
and soldiers, in the following language:

Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representa-
tives in Congress assembled. That the thanks of Congre-s
are hereby presented to Brevet Major General .Mfred It.
Terry and the officers and men under his command, for .

: the unsurpassed gallantry and .skill exhibited by them in

I the attack on Fort Fisher, and the brilliant and decisive
victory by which that imjiortant work lias been captured
frcMU the Rebel forces, and i)!aced in the possession and
under the authority of the United States; and for their
long and faithful services and unswerving devotion to the

i cause of the country, in the midst of the greatest difficul-
ties and dangers.

; _ And be it further resolved. That the Pre=idcnt of the
Lnited States be and hereljy is recpiestcd to connnunicale
this resolution to General Terry, and through him to the

: officers and men under his command.

I Schuyler Colfax.

' Speaker of the House of Representatives.

W. Hamlin.

I ]'ice-President of the United States and President of the

! Senate.

Approved Jan. 24th, 1SC5.

! AuKAHA.M Lincoln.

Of the hundreds of general officers of volun-
teers connnissioned during the war of the Rebellion,
who had not had previous service in the regular
army, Gen. Terry's was the unique instance in
which a general officer's commission in the regular
establishment was given.

In the operations against Wilmington, in Feb-
ruary, 1S65, Gen. Terry commanded the forces
operating on the left bank of the Cape Fear river,
and was commissionevi a Urcvet Major General in
the United States Army for these operations. On
the 27th of March the 10th Corps \vas reorganized
and Gen. Terry was assigned to the command of it.
The loth Corps moved on Goldsboro in co-opera-
tion with the army of Gen. Sherman, and this junc-
tion destroyed the last hope of effectual resistance
in the army of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, and the
great Rebellion was ended.

Immediately after hostilities ceased. Gen. Terrv
took a leave of absence and returned to Xew Haven,
and was making arrangements to resume the pro-
fession of his choice — tlie law — when he received
the following telegram :

Adjutant General's Office.
Washington, June 8, 1S65.
Major General A. H. Terry.

AVti.' Haven, Conn.
The Secretary of War desires to see you here. Ac-
knowledge receipt.

E. D. Town send.
Asst. Adjt. Genl.

This innocetit-looking despatch of only a line
resulted in changing the whole course of Gen.
Terry's after life. On reporting to the great War
Secretary, with his traveling bag in hand, he was
urged to go to Richmond and take hold of the helm
there, and so urgent was the Secretarv that the in- .
terests of the public demanded his services there,
that he at once gave up all his cherished personal
plans and brilliant pros]iects in civil life, and again
gave himself to the service of his country. On ar-
riving at Richmond he assumed command of the
Department of \"irginia, which he held tintil Aii-
gust, i8('y3, having in the meantime straightened


out the laiitific into which the civil affairs of that
State hail lalleii. The following: letter fro:u Sec-
rctarv Stanton acconi])aniefl the order relieving
Gen. Terry Irmii this conniiand :

W'ak Department.
Washixgtox Citv,
Aug. i8. iS66.
Gexf.ral: — In relieving you from command of the

Online LibraryChicago Beers (J.H.) & Co.Commemorative biographical record of New Haven county, Connecticut, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens and of many of the early settled families .. (Volume 1, pt.1) → online text (page 1 of 96)