In the summer of 1862, Hartford was a beehive of activity as young men flocked to the recruiting offices located throughout the city. Family and friends visited their soldiers frequently at camp field in the south end of town. Members of the 16th Connecticut – with no little grumbling and resentment – were drilled in strict military precision by West Point graduate and Hartford native Frank Beach. The ministers in the city worked overtime performing marriage ceremonies for the newly enlisted and their sweethearts. And at the end of August, with much pomp and circumstance, the 14th and 16th regiments marched north to the steamships docked at the end of State Street that would take them south to join the action.
None were to know that just three weeks later they, along with the 8th and 11th Connecticut Volunteers, would find themselves in the middle of the bloodiest day of battle in American history.
Hartford would mourn the loss of 18 of her fighting men who perished in the horror of the Battle of Antietam. The wedding bells of August would be replaced by funereal peals in October when six of the “martyrs” were returned for burial in Hartford soil.
Hartford’s Antietam Roll of Honor
John P. Braman, Co. C, 16th Connecticut
Terrence Clancy, Co. G, 16th Connecticut (buried St. Patrick’s Cemetery)
Corporal Gilbert R. Crane, Co. D, 11th Connecticut (buried Spring Grove Cemetery)
John Cunningham, Co. K, 14th Connecticut
Captain John L, Drake, Co. I, 16th Connecticut
Hansey Hamilton, Co B, 16th Connecticut
William H. Hitchcock, Co. G, 11th Connecticut
Horace Lay, Co. I, 16th Connecticut
John Loveland, Co. C, 16th Connecticut
Sergeant George H. Marsh, Co. A, 8th Connecticut (buried Old North Cemetery)
William W. Nichols, Co. F, 16th Connecticut (buried Zion Hill Cemetery)
Edward A. Parmele, Co. G, 16th Connecticut (Cedar Hill Cemetery)
Edwin L. Parsons, Co. A, 16th Connecticut
1st Sergeant John R. Read, Co. D, 11th Connecticut
Corporal William P. Safford, Co. B, 16th Connecticut (buried Cedar Hill Cemetery)
Corporal John H. Simons, Co. K, 8th Connecticut (buried Spring Grove Cemetery)
Lieutenant Samuel H. Thompson, Co. G, 16th Connecticut (buried Cedar Hill Cemetery)
Corporal John R. Webster, Co. K, 14th Connecticut
For the definitive blog on Connecticut’s role in the Battle of Antietam, read John Bank’s Civil War Blog or read his newly published book Connecticut Yankees at Antietam