Henry Perkins Goddard.

Memorial of deceased officers of the Fourteenth regiment, Connecticut volunteers online

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Deceased Officers



Late Captain Company B, Fourteenth Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers.

"We think with imperious questionings,

Of the brothers we have lost
And we strive to track, in death's mystery,

The flight of each valiant ghost."
# * * * #

" No fear for them ! In our lower field

Let us toil with arms unstained,
Till at last we be worthy to stand with them

On the shining heights they've gained.
We shall meet and greet in closing ranks,

In Time's declining sun,
When the bugles of God shall sound recall,

And the battle of Life be won ! "


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The Jiving- Officers and //Len of the

t dedicate
This Memorial of our^Pear^ Pnes



The Fourteenth Connecticut Regiment was mustered into service
August 23, 1862. Participating in twenty-six general engagements
and the long siege of Richmond, it was mustered out, May 31, 1865.
During these two years and nine months there were killed in
action 132; died of wounds, 65; died of disease, 169; missing, 6;
discharged prior to muster out, (nearly all for disability contracted
in the service,) 416. This makes a total of 788 casualties in a regi-
ment that left the State with 1,015 men, which number was subse-
quently increased by recruits to 1,726.

Of commissioned officers the regiment lost twenty during and six
since the war, all but one of whom owe their deaths directly or indi-
rectly to the service. In the following pages brief memorial sketches
of these officers will be found. Could it have been, I would gladly
have printed here a sketch of the dead of rank and file also, but no
record has been kept, and it is now impossible. But the figures given
above tell their story more eloquently than I could have done. No
record of commissions issued, no personal mention in official reports,
no detailed biographies preserve their memories, yet the highest of
earthly honor is theirs, in that they gave up homes and loved ones,
not 'for glory, not for personal advancement, but for Freedom and for

In compiling these sketches, I have been struck with the extreme
youth of most of our officers. The oldest at death was Lieut. Emery
who died at forty-four, though but thirty-five when he enlisted. Capt.
Willard who enlisted and died at thirty-nine, was the oldest at muster-
in. The youngest at death was Lieut. Hart, aged nineteen years and

three months, though Capt. Bartlett who survived him a year and
died at nineteen years and seven months was the youngest of us all,
enlisting as a private on his seventeenth birth-day, and winning his
way to a captaincy in two and a half years.

In the preparation of these memorials the writer has been greatly
assisted by several of his old comrades, and by relatives of the de-
ceased. To Mrs. Gen. Joseph R. Hawley he is especially indebted
for the sketch of her brother, Lieut. Foote.

H. P. G.

Hartford. Conn.. Sept. 17, 1872.


Capt. JARVIS E. BLINN, whose name heads our roll of honor,
as the first of all our officers that fell, was a man of fine personal
presence and one whose face had a peculiar attraction to the physi-
ognomist from its expression cf quiet but earnest resolve, tinged " with
a dash of sadness in his air," that would lead such an one to believe
he was one of those who had prescience of the shadow" of the dark
angel who was so soon to take him from us. Capt. Blinn was born
at Rocky Hill, July 28, 1836. He resided there till 1853, when he
removed to New Britain and engaged in rule making. August 8th,
1862, he enlisted in the company then organizing in New Britain for
the 14th regiment. He was unanimously chosen captain and com-
missioned as such August 15, — left the State at the head of his com-
pany August 25, and was constantly at his post until the 17th of Sep-
tember, when, early in the day, just as his company was being ordered
to fall back from their somewhat advanced position on the battle
field, a bullet struck him, passing through the heart. He made the
single exclamation : " I am a dead man !" and died instantly.

His remains were taken to New Britain where funeral services
were held from the Center Church, Oct. 14, 1862, an address being
delivered by Rev. C. L. Goodell. After the services the remains
were escorted by one of the largest processions ever seen in the town,
to Rocky Hill, where another short service was held in the Congre-
gational Church in that town. The procession then filed to the beau-
tifully located cemetery, and the body of our comrade w r as committed
to its native dust with Masonic honors.

His company which in one brief month of service had learned to
love him tenderly, passed fitting resolutions of respect to Ins memory,
as did the officers of the regiment — conjointly witli those adopted on
the death of Capt. Willard. I cannot close the Memorial of Capt.
Blinn more appropriately than by quoting the words of one who I
regret to say did not furnish me with his or her name, who, in reply

to the query in my circular asking for a memoranda of " important
events of his life," replies :

"I know of.no important incidents in his life. I only know that
he was faithful and true in all the relations of life, winning his way
by his own merit to the affection and confidence of all who knew him.
With an earnest devotion to his country, he gave himself " willing to
die if need be, for the good cause."

Cai>tain SAMUEL F. WILLARD was born in Madison,
Conn., November 22, 1822. In that pretty and quiet New England
village he passed his life, engaged in mercantile operations until his
enlistment into the 14th regiment, August 1, 1862. He had for some
years prior to the Avar commanded an independent militia company
in Madison, and at the outbreak of the war in 1861, was anxious to
enlist, but was persuaded by his family that his duty lay at home.
But at the second call for troops lie said to his loved wife, u 1 feel
that it is God who bids me go. Can you say no?" He then called
upon his company and townsfolk to form a company for the war.
The ranks were quickly filled with the best and bravest of the youth
of the town, and he was unanimously chosen their captain. March-
ing with them to camp at Hartford. Capt. Willard was constantly
with his men, till he fell in th first tight of the regiment at Antietam
on that memorable 17th of September, 1802. Early in the day.
while gallantly leading his men into the thick of the fray, he was
shot and fell unconscious. Before he ceased to breathe, he was picked
up by his brother-in-law, private Bradley, who afterwards became a
Lieutenant and died of his wounds, but his spirit soon fled, and his
body was born to Kedysville, Md., whence it was transferred to Madi-
son, where the funeral services were held from the Congregational
Church, with military and Masonic honors, on the 23d of September.
A relative of Capt. Willard, who furnishes the incidents of his life
writes: M Capt. Willard possessed a warm and generous heart, and those
who knew him best loved him best. About the age of 30 he became
a loving child of the loving Jesus, and from that time the whole
course of his life was changed. He was literally ready for any good
work. Upon his body when he died was found a diary in which he
recorded lead pencil notes that lie forwarded to his wife from time to


time. The record is very interesting, and shows a most earnest faith
and trust in a Divine Providence." We regret that we have space
for but two quotations from it. September loth, he writes :

Monday Morning, ^

Middletotvn Vallet, Sept. 15, 1862. \

These may be my last words ; if so, they are these : I have full faith.
in Jesus Christ my Saviour ; I do not regret that I have fallen in
defence of my country ; I have loved you truly and know (hat you
have loved me, and in leaving this world of sin I go to another and
better one, where I am confident I shall meet you. I freely forgive
all my enemies, and a?k them for Christ's sake to forgive me. If my
body should ever reach home, let there be no' ceremony; I ask no
higher honor than to die for my country — lay me silently in the grave,
imitate my virtues, and forgive all my errors.

I prefer death in the cause of my country, to life in sympathy with
its enemies.

The last entry is dated Wednesday morning the 17th. It closes
" I pray God we may be successful, and that you may see me again

Here the pencil notes close suddenly, for the battle had even then,
commenced, and the soldier dropped the pencil to gird on his sword
and to lead his comrades into the conflict, in which in one brief hour
he gave up his life.

Of the two petitions in his last recorded prayer, one has been
vouchsafed us, God has granted us success. Let us hope and prajr
that the other petition may be granted not only to the wife to whom
it was specially addressed, but to all of us his comrades, and that we
may all see him again in the land immortal,
" The beautiful of lands."

Second Lieutenant GEORGE H. CROSBY was born at Barn-
stable, Mass., Nov. 23d, 1840. In 1850, he removed with his
parents to Middle Haddam, Conn., where he resided until his enlist-
ment. As a school boy he gave great promise. One of his former
teachers writes, " I remember distinctly the enthusiasm and spirit of
perseverance with which he pursued his studies. He was ever anxious
to improve." Leaving school he was employed as a clerk in Middle


Haddam, but continuing a course of study after two unsuccessful at-
tempts to get an appointment to West Point, entered Wesleyan
University, in Middletown, in the Fall of 1861. Having decided
military predilections, he joined the Mansfield Guard of Middletown,
and there studied the tactics.

In the summer of 1802, he decided that his country needed his
services, and to a dearly loved mother loath to part with him said :
"I feel it is my duty to go." Opening recruiting offices in Middle-
town and Middle Haddam, he took a squad of men to the camp of
the 14th, at Hartford, where he was chosen 2d Lieutenant of Co. K
— with rank from Aug. 18th, 18G2.

Marching with his regiment to Washington, Lieut. Crosby was left
with a large guard over the camp at Arlington, when the regiment
marched up to Fort Ethan Allen. The government not supplying
sufficient rations, he purchased them for his men from his own limited
means, declining to be repaid by them. When the regiment
marched from Ethan Allen on the Maryland campaign, he rose from
a sick bed in the hospital to join and march with his company. A
letter written about this time from Sergeant Goodwin of his company
(killed later in the war), to his friends, praises his coolness under
fire, and states that his men were growing very fond of him.

During the battle of Antietam, Crosby was walking from one end
of his company to the other, encouraging his men, when a bullet
struck him in the side, passing through his lungs just in front of the
spine, and lodging on the opposite side just under the skin. He was
carried back to hospital, and in a few days sent home. Dr. A. B.
Wortriington, of Middle Haddam, who attended him during his illness,
writes us, " From this time to his death, he was a great but a very
patient sufferer."

He talked much of his country during his illness, and but little of
himself. He died, Oct. 22d, 18G2, and was buried the 24th of the
same month, from the Episcopal Church in Middle Haddam. Rev.
Dr. De Koven preached a funeral sermon from Ezekiel, xxxvii, 3.
"And he said unto me, Son of Man, can these bones live." Presi-
dent Cummings, of Wesleyan University, added a eulogy, and a series
of resolutions by the class of '65, at the university, was read. The
funeral was attended by the Mansfield Guard, his classmates at
Middletown, and a large number of his townsmen. And so they laid
him by the smooth Mowing Connecticut, whose waters murmur a gen-
tle requiem for the fair haired, frank-hearted lad we loved so well.
His name, with those of seventeen other Wesleyan students who


gave their lives to their country, is emblazoned in gold and silver
letters on a plate of ruby glass in that beautiful freestone memorial
chapel recently completed on the college grounds at Middletown. Yet
gold and silver and ruby and freestone shall moulder and crumble
away, but the memory of the dead who died in that red strife for
freedom and country, shall remain while endures the love of Liberty,
Truth, and Right.

Second Lieutenant DAVID E. CANFIELD, was born in
Newark, New Jersey, probably in the year 1839, as he was down on
his company muster-roll as twenty-three years of age at enlistment,
July 16, 1862.

Of his early life I have gleaned a few incidents from an uncle in
Middletown, Conn., of whom he learned his trade as a marble carver.
It seems that as a lad he exhibited a rare taste for drawing, and once
when quite a little fellow, made an equestrian drawing of Gen. Scott,
during the visit of that old hero to Newark. Some days after, on
some public occasion, his father presented the lad and the picture to
the General, who inspected, commended, and wrote his autograph
upon its back, and returned it to the father, who values it now as a
doubly precious relic. At his trade his taste was so promisingly
called into play that his master and fellow workmen feel very sure
that he would have won eminence in his vocation. After five years
labor in Middletown, he removed to New Haven, where the call for
the 1 4th aroused his patriotism and rekindled an old fondness for mili-
tary life, and he returned to Middletown to enlist under Lieut. Cros-
by, in Company K of the 14th.

To a favorite cousin, in whose album he drew a picture of a delicate
bouquet as a parting memorial of himself, he remarked that she
might rest assured that he would win distinction or lose his life.
Little did she think that within five months he would do both. Can-
field was made 1st sergeant of his company ere it left the State, and
Nov. 11,1862, was promoted to be 2d Lieutenant of B Company,
which was almost entirely composed of Middletown boys. During
his brief connection with this company, he won their love and respect,
as he had that of Company K before. The night of December 12,
1862, Lieut. Canfield, Capt. Gibbons, Capt. (then Lieut.) Sherman,


and the writer, occupied the same quarters in a shot-ridden house in
the then just captured city of Fredericksburg. Never shall I forget
tin- Bcene as Capt. Gibbons read to us from an old Bible found in the
house, till the flickering fire-light by which he read died out, and bid-
ding us each good-night, with a reminder that it might be our last
good-night, he retired. Gibbons was in his sweetest mood that night,
and Canfield made many anxious inquiries as to his views of life and
death, and announcing his willingness to lace the grim conqueror for
the sake of his country and God, relapsed into silence. That was our
last night together.

In the terrible carnage of the next day's charges up Marye's
Heights, Gibbons fell mortally wounded in the thigh, and while at-
tempting to carry him off the field, his lieutenant (Canfield) was shot
through the head, and fell dead on the field of honor. Others bore
off his captain, who died five days later ; but Lieut. Canfield had kept
his word andjmore than his word, for he had won death and distinc-
tion. His remains are supposed to have been buried on the battle-
field where he fell, and probably are among the bones of our boys in
the vast number of " unknown " on that fair green field of Fredericks-
burg, where the Rappahannock sings their lullaby, unmindful of
the many ancient strifes upon its banks ; and the tomb of Mary,
mother of Washington, is surrounded by the graves of thousands
who bravely fell to preserve the liberty transmitted to them by her

Captain F.LIJAII W. GIBBONS, was born in New York city,
Nov. 29, 1831, but resided in Middletown, Conn., nearly all his life,
until his enlistment. His occupation was that of a cabinet maker
and painter. At the age of nineteen years lie united with the Bap-
tist church in Middletown, of which he ever remained an active and
consistent member. He was a very earnest worker in the Sabbath
School and at prayer meetings, and was accustomed to accompany his
pastor on his mission work to out-lying rural districts. The first call
for troops found him ready, and enlisting, May 22, 1861, in the 4th
Connecticut, , which afterwards became the 1st Connecticut Heavy
Artillery, he was elected 1st Lieutenant of Company G. He held
this position till May 6, 1862, when he resigned and returned to
Middletown, his regiment having, up to that time, had little but


garrison duty. He had scarce resumed his old avocation when a new
call for troops aroused his desire to do something more for the good
cause, and he speedily enlisted a full company of the very best mate-
rial that Middletown ever gave to the country, of which he was
unanimously chosen captain — and a most faithful officer he proved.
His previous experience had taught him what men needed, and his
company was always well cared for.

A personal pride in dear old " B " Company doubtless affects my
judgment, but I think no survivor of the regiment but will agree
with me that no company in the regiment, all things considered, ever
looked or did much better. And this was owing to one man more
than any other, and that man was Elijah W. Gibbons. He showed
what could be done with and what should be done for men, and officers
and men should alike bless his memory.

From the time the regiment left Hartford until his mortal wound,
he was never absent from his company a day. He led them gal-
lantly at Antietam, where, by a quick flank movement of his com-
pany, he enabled the regiment to capture a large posse of rebels in
the famous Roulette house.

At Fredericksburg he was advancing courageously with the regi-
ment, when a rebel ball shattered his thigh, and he fell. He was
picked up by the men who loved him so dearly, and conveyed to the
Falmouth side of the river, where he lingered in great suffering but
sweet resignation for six days — until the 19th of December — when
he died. His body was interred with military honors by his regi-
ment, but subsequently was removed to Middletown, where funeral
services were held from the Baptist church of which he was a mem-
ber, January 3, 1863.

Capt. Gibbons' death was a great blow to his family, who idolized
him, and to a large circle at home, but his company and his fellow-
officers missed his influence and example sadly, and at our regi-
mental re-unions, years after his death, we somehow feel as if we
needed him with us. But if he cannot come to us let us trust that
it may be our fate to meet with him at that greatest of all re-unions,
in the sphere

" Where all is made right that so puzzles us here."


Second Lieutenant WM. A. COMES, was bom, as near as I
can learn, at Danbury, Conn., or Binghamton, N. Y., about 1836.
Hi- <-arly life was passed at Binghamton, where he was an officer
of a Sunday School and a Temperance Society. Here he had a large
circle of friends. I have been able to learn little of his career, but
the war found him a stone-cutter in New Haven, at the time of his
enlistment, June 12th, 1862, as quartermaster-sergeant of the 14th.
He was selected for this position by quartermaster Dibble, who knew
his ability to till the position, being a fellow-townsman. As he was
one of the first to go into Camp Foote, his position on the non-com-
missioned staff threw him into intimate relations with the writer,
and who was his tentmate till both were commissioned 2d Lieut-
enants, Sept. 17th, 1862. Comes was assigned to Co. F, and at
once entered into a thorough study of the duties of his position. He
was rapidly acquiring this knowledge, and the esteem and affection
of the company, when in the terrible charges at Fredericksburg, he
was mortally wounded in the groin. He limped back to hospital,
and there, apparently forgetful of his own wound, he was helping
others, when the writer and his (Comes') nearest friend Drum
Major McCarthy, summoned the surgeon to examine the wound.
The doctor at once pronounced the case a critical one. For a while
we hoped for his recovery, but the wound grew more painful, and on
the 14th he became delirious, and continued so for eight days after
the battle, till the 21st December, when he died in hospital on the
north side of the Rappahannock. His brother officers buried him
at Falmouth, with military honors, but the remains were subsequently
removed to the Grove street Cemetery, in New Haven, and there
buried. A monumeni is now (1872), about to be erected to his
memory by the Sons of Temperance, in New Haven. From the
intimate personal knowledge I had of Lieutenant Comes, I can testify
that he was a pure and honest man. Not brilliant or dashing, he
was faithful and anxious to do well whatever was set him to do. His
letters written from the field bear evidence of this. As I look back
over these years that have, passed, and think of {unfaithfulness in all
things committed to him, I think of the promise made to the faithful
servant, by

" That monarch whose ' well done ' confers a more than mortal fame."


First Lieutenant THEODORE A. STANLEY, was born
July 22d, 1833, at New Britain, Conn., being the son of Mr.
Henry Stanley, one of a family who have been for years among the
most prominent manufacturers of that progressive-in-all-good-works
little city. After completing his education, he went to New York,
where he remained learning the mercantile business, until the age of
twenty-three, when he returned to his home to take a position in an
important manufacturing business to which he devoted his entire time
and energy, up to the date of his enlistment, July 15th, 1862.
Nothing but an earnest conviction of his duty impelled him to enlist
at the sacrifice of most promising business interests, but he unflinch-
ingly chose the path of duty, and throwing his whole energy into the
organization of the New Britain Company, in the 14th, was chosen
2d Lieutenant thereof. His health and physical condition were illy
suited to the hardships he was to undergo, but he bore his part
quietly and nobly to the end. His captain (Blinn), falling at Antie-
tam, where Stanley distinguished himself by his coolness in discharge
of his duties, Lt. Moore was promoted Captain, and Stanley was com-
missioned 1st Lieutenant, with rank from the day of the battle, Sept.
17th, 1862.

At the battle of Fredericksburg, he was in command of his com-
pany (the captain being on detached service at the time), and led his
men in that grand charge on the rebel batteries on Marye's Heights,
when the storm of shot, shell, grape, and cannister, blackened the air
for hours. In this charge Lieutenant Stanley fell mortally wounded
by a musket ball through the lungs. While being carried back to
the city in expectation of immediate death, he told his comrades to
leave him on the field, and take care of themselves. But he sur-
vived to be removed across the river, and afterward to Armory
Square Hospital, at Washington, where, after eighteen days of suf-
fering, much of which was intense, yet which could not shake his
trust in the Saviour in whom he believed, his life ebbed out with the
dying year, on the 31st December, 1862. His body was removed
to New Britain, where he was buried with military honors. The
funeral services were held from the South church, which was filled
to its utmost capacity by his friends and fellow-citizens, mindful of
his worth and services. Lieutenant Stanley was very quiet and re-
ticent with strangers, and was not well known to many in the regi-
ment, but his Colonel truly said : " He was always found to the front,"
and the officers and men of his own company testify to his uniform
regard for their comfort and welfare.


Captain ISAAC R. BRONSON was born at Middlebury, Conn.,
Mav 22, 1826. His father was Hon. Leonard Bronson, a prominent
citizen of that town. Isaac early left his home and was engaged as
a clerk, 6rs1 in Watertown, then Guilford, and later in Rochester,
N. Y. In 1849, he removed to Waterbury, where he was engaged in

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Online LibraryHenry Perkins GoddardMemorial of deceased officers of the Fourteenth regiment, Connecticut volunteers → online text (page 1 of 4)