The Seventeenth Connecticut was more fortunate than other Connecticut regiments formed in 1862. The regiment missed the fighting at Antietam by mere weeks as it was held in Baltimore during that campaign to bolster the defenses of that city and during the Fredericksburg campaign it was held in reserve. For the men of the Seventeenth their baptism by fire came at Chancellorsville. Bearing the brunt of Stonewall Jackson’s flank attack on the XI Corps on May 2, 1863 the regiment ‘s commanding officer, Colonel William Noble, was wounded and Lt. Colonel Charles Walter was killed.
A month later the regiment found itself in a similar position at Gettysburg, where it was once again on the right flank of the army and once again handled roughly. On July 1, 1863 Lt. Colonel Doug Fowler was killed in action and the next day Major Allen Brady was wounded during a fierce attack on XI Corps units positioned on East Cemetery Hill. This would be the last large engagement the Seventeenth would fight in. After Gettysburg the XI Corps was broken up and the regiment headed south.
For the rest of their service the Seventeenth Connecticut fought in several small-scale engagements in the lowlands of South Carolina and the scrub brush of northeastern Florida. Losing at least as many men to disease as to wounds in these areas the regiment lost yet another Lt. Colonel to enemy fire when Alfred Wilcoxson was mortally wounded and captured at Braddock’s Farm in Florida. Prior to that Colonel Noble himself was captured and sent to Andersonville prison for the remainder of the war.