1870 Reunion at Stamford


It looked like a storm Monday morning, but it cleared gradually and completely long before noon, giving the jolly members of the old Seventeenth and their many friends, one of the finest days in the calendar for their reunion. The regiment arrived at Stamford at 10 o’clock, where it was received by Messrs. Dr. D.C. Belden, J.B. Knapp and W.W. Gillespie, the committee appointed by the citizens. Forming in line the regiment marched to Seeley’s Hall, headed by the Wheeler and Wilson band, and keeping step to its admirable music. In advance were the carriages containing citizens. The old soldiers marched in the best of order, probably incited thereto by the old battle-flags which fluttered proudly at the centre, as objects of find admiration. At the hall there were welcomed by Rev. J.M. Buckley, who understanding that brevity is the soul of wit and interest, and possessing a humor peculiarly his own, made a happy and acceptable speech. He made feeling allusion to the service of the regiment, and spoke tenderly of the heroic Walters, Fowler, Wilcoxson and others who passed away in the glare of battle. The meeting was called by Major W.L. Hubbell, President of the association, when letters were read from Governor English, General Siegel (sic) and others, which were received with applause. The report of the Treasurer and Secretary being read and approved, the members were requested to come up and record their names. A committee was then appointed to nominate officers for the ensuing year, who reported as follows: President, William H. Noble; Vice-Presidents, Willis McDonald, Marcus Waterbury;Rec. Secretary, T. Donovan; Cor. Secretary, G.C. Peck; Treasurer, A.W. Peck; Ex. Com., J.E. Hubbell and J.R. Middlebrooks.

Ribbon worn by attendees of the 1870 reunion in Stamford

Considerable discussion followed upon the announcement of this nomination, Gen. Noble not being a member of the organization, had a tendency to dim his chances somewhat, although he was loudly and vehemently advanced by his friends. The result, however, rejected him as President, and it was resolved to ballot for this office. It stood Capt. H.P. Burr, 109, General Wm. H. Noble, 43. The ticket, with Captain Burr for President, was unanimously elected. W.L. Hubbell was appointed a committee to confer with other regimental committees on the subject of a general reunion in 1871. Meeting adjourned.

The lines then reformed and were escorted to Woodside Park, in the suburbs, where preparations for a grand clam bake had been going on during the morning.

Before the magnitude of this subject we feel incapable of a description. As an evidence of the hospitality of Stamford people it needed no further aid; as an indication of what was expected of us, it was simply appalling. To dip briefly into the ingredients, they may be summed up as follows:

A long mound was uncovered by Sam Weston, of Norwalk, and revealed to hungry and delighted eyes 65 bushels of clams, 100 chickens, 400 pounds of fish, 600 ears of corn, 6 barrels of sweet potatoes, and


This last in a tremendous coil.

Outside the mound there were a few trifles such as 250 pies, 3 barrels of melons, barrels of lemonade and other things truly “too numerous to mention”! It was the grandest display of eating material ever unveiled to the eyes of man in this county, so prolific of bakes and feasts.

We pass lightly over the meal, (now) merely stating that it was enjoyed in a fine grove, amid general hilarity, and with capital appetites.

After dinner, the band commenced playing, while the more youthful took possession of the platform, and entered heartily upon the enjoyment of a dance.

In conclusion the regiment returned to the hall, and unanimously presented the following vote of thanks to the people of gallant Stamford:

Resolved, That the thanks of this Association be tendered to the citizens of Stamford for the liberal hospitality and kindness they have extended to us upon the occasion of our Fourth Annual reunion.

Resolved, That a copy of this resolution be placed in the hands of citizens’ committee, and be given to the press of the county for publication.

Upon which the meeting adjourned, subject to the call of the executive committee. And then the boys went marching home, with the girls they wouldn’t leave behind them.

There are two parties that need special complimenting. The citizens’ committee, and the soldiers. The former exerted themselves in every possible manner to contribute to the general enjoyment. That they succeeded admirably, every guest gratefully acknowledged. The regiment, numbering nearly four hundred, conducted themselves in a very thoughtful manner. Remembering a record that has no superior, they preserved it as carefully at home as they have done in the field, and conducted themselves throughout, as members of a model organization. To this fact is due in a great measure the enjoyment of both visitor and visited. The only reflection that can in any way be cast, was done by one of the best photographers in Stamford, and he took the entire regiment, old and tattered colors, and all, to the great gratification of the “boys.” – Danbury News, September 1, 1870.


The fourth annual reunion of the Seventeenth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers was held at Stamford yesterday, and proved a grand success. The morning was quite cloudy, and, doubtless, deterred many invited guests from attending.

About 250 of the original 1,001 members of the Seventeenth Regiment arrived at the Stamford Station by the trains of the New York and New Haven Railroad, and marched thence to Seeley’s Hall, where an eloquent address was delivered by Rev. MR. BUCKLEY, the esteemed pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Stamford. EX-GOV. MINOR was expected to deliver the annual address, but official duties prevented him, and he deputed Mr. CALVIN G. CHILD, a distinguished member of the Bar, to supply his place, but Mr. CHILD in turn was prevented from delivering the oration by the serious illness of a near relative, so that Mr. BUTLER was called upon at the last moment, some twenty minutes only prior to his appearance in the hall. At the close of the address the regiment proceeded to hold their annual election for officers, which resulted in the choice of the following:

President – Capt. H.P. Burr; First Vice President – Sergt. Wm. McDonald; Second Vice President – Capt. Marcus Waterbury; Recording Secretary – T. Donovan; Corresponding Secretary – George C. Peck; Treasurer – A.W. Peck; Executive Committee – J.E. Hubbell and J.R. Middlebrook.

The regiment, preceded by the Wheeler & Wilson Band, of Bridgeport, marched with its old colors – a National flag and a State flag – “all tattered and torn,” to the race-course, about a mile north-west of the village, to partake of an old fashioned clam-bake, which had been prepared for them.

The character of the clam-bake, as it was called, may be inferred from the fact that it consisted of 60 bushels of clams, 300 pounds of bluefish, 100 pounds of chickens, 1 barrel of lobsters, 3 barrels of Irish potatoes, 600 ears of sweet corn, and a plum-pudding 15 feet long by 6 inches in diameter. These were all finely cooked Indian fashion, om the heated stones; while there were a sufficient number of mince pies to supply every one present with half of one, besides melons and four boxes of lemons converted into lemonade.

After partaking of the hospitalities so bountifully provided by the citizens of Stamford, the volunteers, with the members of their families and a host of friends, left for their respective homes by the evening trains and other conveyances. All who were present will long remember the Stamford clam-bake. — From the August 30, 1870 New York Times