The Civil War in Connecticut

The Civil War in Connecticut

Several Connecticut politicians played significant roles in the Federal government and helped shape its policies during the war and the subsequent Reconstruction.

Among military manufacturers with Connecticut ties, the New Haven Arms Company provided the army with the Henry rifle, developed by New Haven's Benjamin Tyler Henry. Colt's Manufacturing Company, founded and owned by Hartford-born industrialist Samuel Colt, was another significant arms and munitions supplier. The company shipped large quantities of sidearms to the Union Navy. The Hartford-based firm of Pratt & Whitney provided machinery and support equipment to Army contractors to produce weapons. Most of the brass buttons used on Federal uniforms, belt buckles and other fittings, were made in Waterbury, the "Brass City", notably by the Chase Brass and Copper Company. The shipyards at Mystic provided ships for the Union Navy. The USS Monticello (1859), USS Galena (1862), USS Varuna (1861) were all built at Mystic.

Fort Trumbull in New London served as an organizational center for Union troops and headquarters for the U.S. 14th Infantry Regiment. Here, troops were recruited and trained before being sent to war. The state supplied thirty full regiments of infantry, including two that were made up of negroes. Two regiments of heavy artillery also served as infantry toward the end of the war. Connecticut also supplied three batteries of light artillery and one regiment of cavalry.

Casualties from Connecticut military units included 97 officers and 1094 enlisted men killed in action and another 700 men died from wounds. More than 3,000 perished from disease; twenty-seven men were executed for crimes, including desertion, and more than 400 men were reported as missing. The majority were likely held by the Confederate Army as prisoners of war.