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Wethersfield's Civil War Participants

By Wethersfield Historical Society on December 14, 2006 6:23 PM

John Morris

Civil War Participants_S. Adams 2-thumb-150x195-23.jpgJohn Morris was Chaplain of the 22nd Connecticut Volunteer Regiment from May 1, 1862 until September of 1863. He was at the battle of Antietam and when the Regiment was in danger of being overwhelmed, he picked up a rifle and ammunition to protect himself.



Civil War Participants_E. Morris-thumb-150x190-26.jpgMorris courted his bride-to-be, Emily 'Gussie' Griswold, in a group of letters which are owned by the Wethersfield Historical society. They were married Dec 31, 1863.

Morris collaborated with W.A.Croffut in a book called "The Military and Civil History of Connecticut" during the Recent War, which was published in 1868. He went south to assist in reconstruction and died in 1873.



Robert H. Kellogg

Civil War Participants_R. Kellogg-thumb-150x115-29.jpg

(Robert Kellogg is on the right; his partner is unidentified. Courtesy of the Museum of Connecticut History.)

Robert Kellogg joined the army on August 11, 1862 and attained the rank of Sergeant Major in the 16th Connecticut Regiment. This is the highest non-commissioned rank attainable. He was captured with his unit and sent to Andersonville, Georgia. While there, he became a leader of the prisoners helping them to cope with that horrible existence. He wrote a book about his experience entitled "Life and Death in Rebel Prisons". After the war he became involved in veterans concerns, including commemoration of their prison ordeal. Through his and others efforts, there is a monument on the State Capitol grounds with a young man known as Andersonville Boy. Kellogg is the model for that statue.

Sherman W. Adams

Civil War Participants_J. Morris-thumb-150x225-32.jpgSherman Adams enlisted on November 20, 1862 and became Asst. Pay Master of Gunboat Somerset that was on blockade duty off the coast of the panhandle of Florida. This duty was usually quietly routine, but served and important function in the Civil Was starving the Confederacy of supplies and armaments. Adams is more predominantly known as one of the authors of "The History of Ancient Wethersfield". Adams had prepared the notes but illness prevented the completion of the work which was done by Henry Stiles. Adams was a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives and a judge of the Hartford Police Court. He died in 1898, seven years before the publishing of the history.


Gideon Welles

Although Gideon Welles was not a native of Wethersfield, he was descended from the Welles family that produced many men of note for Wethersfield and the rest of Connecticut. Welles was an editor of the Hartford Times and a prominent member of the Democratic Party. The Republican party that elected Abraham Lincoln was a coalition party of Whigs, Free Soilers, Anti-Slavery Democrats and various splinter parties. After the election he was given Secretary of the Navy, which rewarded both Democrats and New England.

Welles was considered a weak member of the cabinet by those members who had similar feelings about Lincoln. He was loyal to Lincoln and helped about some of the political moves of Seward, Chase and the senate leadership.

Gifford Stedman, Jr.

Although Stedman was not at Wethersfield man, his remains are now here in Cedar Hill Cemetery. There is also a monument to him in Barry Square. He became colonel of the 11th Connecticut Regiment at Antietam after the death of Col. Humphrey.

He was killed at Petersburg in August of 1864 and breveted Brigadier General as of that date. His major claim to fame is Fort Stedman at Petersburg which was named after him posthumously. Lee attacked the fort on March 25, 1865 in a final attempt to break the siege of Petersburg. It was a failure and the war in Virginia was over three weeks later.

Reader Dean Mesologites points out correctly that "it was not Gifford Stedman, but Alexander Stedman at Barry Square. He graduated from Trinity in 1859, then went to be a lawyer in Philadelphia. In 1861, he came to his home, Hartford, and was mustered in May of that year where Campfield and Maple intersect at Barry Square. He was 24 years old when he was killed at Petersburg." Thank you.

Andrew Hull Foote

This is another man who was not of Wethersfield but was a descendant of Wethersfield patriarch Nathaniel Foote. Foote was from New Haven and was commander of the western Flotilla on the rivers. In February of 1862, he cooperated with Grant and largely captured Fort Henry on the Tennessee River with only naval personnel. In the successive battle to take Fort Donelson on the Cumberland, the Navy was less successful. Foote was wounded and in June of the next year he died of complications from that wound.

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