It has been said that the 3 years regiments raised in the summer of 1862 were the last of the best the Union had to offer. This is the story of one of those regiments.
Answering Lincoln’s call for “300,000 more”, over 1,000 Fairfield County men and boys gathered together at Camp Aiken (now Seaside Park) in Bridgeport during July and August 1862. On August 28, 1862 they were mustered in as the 17th Regiment of Connecticut Volunteer Infantry.
After a short detour in the defenses of Baltimore, the Seventeenth was assigned to the 2nd Brigade, 1st Division of the XI Corps. Unlike the Connecticut regiments enrolled at the same time, the regiment missed the fighting at Antietam and Fredericksburg.
For the boys of the Seventeenth their introduction to war came at Chancellorsville followed by Gettysburg. The XI Corps fought bravely but were poorly led at both battles, and soon after Gettysburg the XI Corps was dismantled. The Seventeenth, along with the other regiments in its brigade, were sent south — serving first on Folly Island, South Carolina and then northeastern Florida. There the regiment was spared the casualties of its former XI Corps comrades. Nevertheless, in Florida the regiment would suffer the capture of Colonel Noble and dozens of officers and enlisted men—while at Braddock’s Farm the regiment lost Lt. Colonel Albert Wilcoxson (their third Lt. Colonel to be killed in action). After being held in Florida after the close of hostilities to repair railroads around Jacksonville, the regiment was finally mustered out in July 1865.
Welcome to the website for the Seventeenth Regiment Connecticut Volunteer Infantry. Here you will find the only published histories of the regiment, including one written by Colonel William Noble and published in 1881. You will also be able to check the roster of the regiment by company. For the beginning researcher, there are some starting places to check on. As they are obtained, images will continue to be added. Finally, soldier’s letters will be posted as they can be found and contributed, bringing a personal side to their story.
The intention is to make this the best place on the web to research the Seventeenth. If anyone has anything that they would like to add, especially letters and images from the soldiers of the regiment please let me know. If you have any questions regarding the Seventeenth, drop me a line. If I can’t answer it I’ll head you in the right direction to find someone who can. Finally, use the guestbook to post questions you might be looking for help with. Many of those folks who have signed already may have information or questions along the same lines.
I hope that this site will be of help to all whom are interested in the history of the 17th, and will continue to keep their memories alive. To my Great-great-great Grandfather—Pvt. Benjamin Brotherton of Company E, wounded in action at Chancellorsville, and all his comrades this site is dedicated.