Suffolk, VA 1863: The Lads from Connecticut

Suffolk, VA 1863: The Lads from Connecticut

Group photo 16th at Suffolk VA 1863 framed

A treasured find in the George Q. Whitney Collection at the Connecticut State Library is this copy of an  ambrotype taken in Suffolk, VA in the late spring of 1863. After a recent Union victory, these seasoned veterans – none older than age 21 – were able to have a bit a fun. But then what became of these lads?

#1 James Shurtliff (Co. C, 16th Connecticut) was captured with his regiment on April 20, 1864 at Plymouth, NC and died in Andersonville Prison on September 21, 1864. [1]

#2 Frederick Boardman (Co. E, 8th Connecticut) mustered out with his regiment in December, 1865. After the war he moved to East Haddam where he worked in his uncle Luther’s britannia silverspoon factory.  He died July 29 1912.  [2][3]

#3 George S. Merritt (Co. G, 16th Connecticut) was detached from his regiment to serve at Corps headquarters soon after this picture was taken and was spared the fate of his comrades at Plymouth. After mustering out of the regiment he returned to Hartford where he worked in the insurance industry including 40 years on the clerical staff at the Aetna Life Insurance Company. He died in Hartford on October 17, 1925 and is buried in Fairview Cemetery, West Hartford. [2][4]

#4 William H. Farrell (Co. G, 16th Connecticut) died in Andersonville Prison in October of 1864. [1]

#5 A servant boy of Lt. Samuel D. Chamberlain (16th Connecticut).

#6 Charles C. Drew (Co. C, 16th Connecticut) suffered a traumatic brain injury during the battle of Plymouth and survived imprisonment at Andersonville and Florence. He was tragically killed by a train in October, 1888 while walking on the railroad tracks in Stratford. [2]

#7 Charles F. Campbell Co. C: Pvt. Campbell also avoided the horrors of the Southern prison camps when he was detached from the regiment two days before the battle of Plymouth and sent to Camp Conscript in Fair Haven. Until his discharge at the end of the war, he accompanied recruits to their regiments at the front. He returned to Hartford and was an engineer at the post office and the Hartford County jail. He died March 19, 1913 and is buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery, Hartford. [2][5]


[1] Record of Service of Connecticut men in the army and navy of the United States during the War of the Rebellion. Hartford, Conn.: Press of the Case Lockwood & Brainard Co., 1889.

[2] George Q. Whitney Civil War Collection 1861-1925. Connecticut State Library (Record Group 69:23)

[3] United States Census, 1870-1910.

[4] Hartford Daily Courant, Oct 18 1925, pg. 45B.

[5] Hartford Daily Courant, Mar 21 1913, pg. 9.