Website update

infantry bugle logoFrequent visitors to this site have seen many changes since it first started sometime in 1996. It started as a one or two page history with a promise to be “the best” source of information on the 17th CVI on the web. A pretty big claim but one that I hope has been accurate. With the help of a small army of contributors I think the site has put a lot of information out there that would have otherwise stayed hidden in dusty books and forgotten files. Thanks to more people than I can name the faces of many of these soldiers are once more visible to all of us.

With time (and with demands on my time) the site has grown a little more stale and a lot more stagnant that I would have hoped. With the 150th anniversary of the regiment approaching I am working to change that. Thanks to some pretty amazing improvements in technology (enabling those people like me who have a little bit of knowledge to make it seem like we have more!) I think the site will be better than eve and more accessible to more people. The addition of a blog will provide a better or more effective means of communicating information than the old guestbook(s) did…and hopefully reduce the number of spam ads for, well, things that have no place on a history site.

Hopefully the blog addition will give me a quicker way to add new material and even bring out some old gems that have been lost in some hyperlink limbo for many years. For those folks who have sent me a lot of new material that has yet to make it on the site it should do the same – publish it here and then add it to the site.

I’m not sure how it will all come out as this is a new format for me to work with, but so far as I work to transfer pages to the new site it will be a pleasant change for everyone. The pointer should bring everyone here that wants to be here, and in time I think I will have the pages set up correctly. Since the demise of the old AT&T webpage service it has been an uphill road to get a decade-worth amount of information available once again.

So, whether a long-time visitor or someone who stumbled across this – welcome and stay tuned.

First Bull Run and the 17th CVI

No, the 17th did not fight at Bull Run (first or second). But for many soldiers in the 17th CVI the war began much earlier than 1862. With the 150th anniversary of First Bull Run (or First Manassas if you prefer) I’d like to take a moment to recognize some of the soldiers of the 17th who fought in 1861.

Lt. Colonel Charles Walter

First and foremost for me is Charles Walter. In 1862 Walter would muster in as the first lieutenant colonel of the 17th CVI. What many don’t know is that he had just returned home after being captured at First Bull Run in July 1861. His first service in the Civil War was with the 1st Connecticut Volunteer Infantry as a 1st lieutenant. He was serving on the staff of General Daniel Tyler (who had briefly commanded the regiment before his promotion to a division command under McDowell) when he was captured. Walter would spend nearly a year as a POW before he was released. Somewhere in all my stuff I have an application he filed for reimbursement for back pay which I will post once I find it. Born in Denmark, Walter would become a U.S. citizen while on leave in March 1863 – less than two months before he was killed  at Chancellorsville.

Doug Fowler, Captain of Company A of the 17th (and the regiment’s second lieutenant colonel after the death of Walter) was also a veteran of 1861 as was Captain James Moore of Company C. Both men would die on the first day at Gettysburg on Blocher’s Knoll. Lt. Colonel Fowler had been sick at the start of the Chancellorsville campaign to the degree that he rode in an ambulance prior to the fight there. His promotion after Walter’s death was met with approval by the men of the 17th but not, however, with the approval of Major Allen Brady. Some accounts state that Fowler, mounted on a white horse, refused to dismount because of the aspersions cast on his bravery by Brady. As for Moore, he had premonitions of his death at Gettysburg throughout the march north from Virginia.

Brady himself was also a veteran of Bull Run – mostly. He had been placed under arrest when he refused to recognize the appointment of a new colonel to the 3rd Connecticut Volunteer Infantry prior to First Bull Run. In an interesting twist, Brady would end up commanding the 17th at both Chancellorsville and Gettysburg after Colonel William Noble was wounded at the first and Fowler killed at the second. Brady would be wounded himself on East Cemetery Hill the next day.

First time visitors to Gettysburg should know that the flagpole on what is now known as Barlow’s Knoll was erected at the spot where Lt. Colonel Fowler was killed  and the monument erected on the spot where Captain Moore was killed.

By the time the 17th was organized it would at least have a core group of officers and soldiers in the ranks who had seen action before. I’ll get some of the others posted here in due time.

Welcome (finally!)

Veterans of the 17th CVI on East Cemetery Hill in 1889.

It has to start someplace…so why not here?

It’s taken a while but the time has come to start posting on the 17th CVI blog. Like it says, this is primarily a history site. With that out of the way I expect that there will be some moments of non-historical commentary, but in the end I’m not looking to stir things up. Rather, with the 150th anniversary of the 17th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry coming in August 2012 now just seems the right time to figure out how this all works.

Every project needs to have some kind of objective and this is no different. For those who have faithfully followed the 17th CVI website (formerly hosted by AT&T) you already know that the demise of that service has left the site in…well, let’s be honest it is in shambles. Work is slowly proceeding on rebuilding the site and getting all the information that once was available back online. The really important stuff is pretty much there but much remains to be done.

With any luck the blog will allow some material to be accessible earlier than it might actually make it to the new site. That new site, by the way, can be reached at just like before. If you are still trying the old AT&T address you already know it isn’t there any longer.

So, one year after the 17th CVI blog was born it finally gets a post. Hopefully it won’t be the last!