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The following was gathered from CONNECTICUT STATE LIBRARY, Hartford


Press of the Case, Lockwood and Brainard Company, 1889.

History of the Sixteenth Regiment C.V. Infantry.

Written by Ltc. Blakeslee, late Second Lieutenant of Company G, Sixteenth Connecticut Volunteers.

The Sixteenth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers was organized during the month of August, 1862, under the command of Colonel Frank Beach of the regular Army, was mustered into the United States service August 24th by Lieutenant Watson Webb, and left for Washington, D.C., August 29th, where it went into camp on Arlington Heights, near Fort Ward.

After a few days at Fort Ward, the regiment was hurried forward by forced marches, reaching the Army of the Potomac, and being brigaded upon the battle-field of Antietam, on the evening of the previous battle, with the Eighth and Eleventh Connecticut Regiments and the Fourth Rhode Island Volunteers, under General Edward Hartland, consisting the Second Brigade, Third Division, Ninth Corps, commanded by General Burnside. During the battle the regiment was kept under a heavy artillery fire at intervals during the day, until about 5:00 O'clock, when it was moved against the extreme right of the rebel infantry under General A. P. Hill, masked behind stonewalls and fences. As the regiment entered the faded cornfield it was met by a most terrific volley of musketry and the slaughter was appalling. Men fell by the score. That the regiment did nobly, is the verdict of all that witnessed its heroism on the battlefield. Its aggregate loss in killed, wounded, captured, and missing, equaled that of any other Connecticut regiment engaged.

The regiment sustained a creditable part in the battle of Fredericksburg under Burnside, meeting with but slight loss. Upon Burnside being relieved of the command of the Army of detached and ordered to Newport News, Va. After a pleasant stay of four or five weeks at this place, the regiment was ordered, with the rest of the Connecticut Brigade commanded by General Harland, to Suffolk, where it saw active service during the siege of the place by Longstreet, being twice hotly engaged, with considerable loss, at Edenton Road, April 24, 1863, and Providence Church Road, May 3rd. The regiment took five of the enemy prisoners.

On the 16th of June it moved to Portsmouth, and on the 22nd of that month was engaged in the expedition of General Dix up the Peninsula, to attempt, with other troops, to destroy communication between Lee's army and Richmond. The attempt proved fruitless, and was given up. The expedition is known to history as the "Blackberry Raid," and involved the most severe marching of any campaign in which the regiment had engaged. After the "Blackberry Raid," the regiment enjoyed several month of quiet in camp near Portsmouth, where the military standing of the regiment rose perceptibly. There was not a cleaner, prompter, more loyal, reliable, and honest regiment in the service. No brighter arms, no quicker evolutions, no greater perfection in drill were to be found anywhere. The dress parade every evening gathered a crowd of lookers on; the guards, if detailed to other points, attracted attention; and the name of the Sixteenth was a good name in every man's mouth.

On September 9th five companies were detailed to go to South Mills to do two weeks' picketing. This trip, although dangerous on account of the trouble guerillas gave, was much enjoyed by the men. The severe thunderstorms, the frightful noises of the dismal swamp in the night, the novel scenery, and many incidents and exciting times will never be forgotten by the members detailed.

On the 21st of January 1864, the regiment was ordered to Plymouth, N. C., arriving there at midnight of the 24th. While there the regiment made several raids into interior, breaking up rebel cavalry camps, capturing or burning large quantities of cotton and tobacco, besides taking a number of prisoners. March 3rd the regiment was ordered to Newbern, which was threatened with attack. Here the regiment went into barracks near the Neuse River, Company G going into Fort Stevenson, relieving a company of the Twenty-first Connecticut.

March 20th, the scare being over, the regiment returned to Plymouth, taking the steamer "Thomas Collyer." The vessel narrowly escaped shipwreck in a storm off Roanoke Island, the men being rescued, after much suffering from cold and hunger, by the steamer "General Berry."

On the 17th of April, Plymouth, garrisoned by 1,600 men under General H. W. Wessells of Connecticut, was attacked by an overwhelming force of the enemy under General R. D. Hoke, assisted by the iron-clad ram "Albermarle" in the Roanoke River. Until noon of the 20th a most desperate and stubborn fight ensued. The superior numbers of the Confederates gave them great advantages, and they soon invested the works so closely with swarming infantry that the town was compelled to surrender. The defense of Plymouth by its garrison of 1,600 men against a besieging force of 12,000 men, was one of the most stubbornly contested sieges of the war. Five times the enemy stormed the lines, and as many times were they handsomely repulsed, with great slaughter. The rebels raised the "black flag" against the negroes found in uniform and mercilessly short them down. Fort Pillow was reenacted. The losses in the Sixteenth, including the captured, were four hundred and thirty-six.

The story of the preservation of the colors of the Sixteenth is now widely known. When every hope of escape was destroyed, the color guard tore each flag from its staff, and strips torn into shreds were distributed among the members of the regiment, and concealed in various ways through the weary days of their imprisonment. In 1879 as many of these remnants as could be obtained from the survivors of the regiment were gathered and made up in the shape of a shield surmounted by an eagle, which has been sewn upon a white silk banner, trimmed with gold fringe, and bearing in letters of gold this inscription:

"Antietam, Fredericksburg,

Edenton Road, Siege of Suffolk

Nansemond, Plymouth.

The device on the flag is composed entirely of fragments of the old colors of the Sixteenth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers. They were torn into shreds by the officers and men and concealed on their persons in order to save them from the enemy, at the battle of Plymouth, N. C., April 20, 1864, where, together with the whole Union force at the post, the regiment after three days' fight against overwhelming numbers was compelled to surrender. Many of the men bearing these relics were taken to Southern prisons, where under untold privations they still sacredly watched over and kept their trusts, subsequently returning to their native State."

The restored banner was deposited with the battle-flags of the State at the Capitol "Battle Flag Day," September 17, 1879.

For the greater part of a year the captured suffered confinement in prison pens of the South; one-half of them died in prison, preferring death to the dishonor of saving life by taking the oath of allegiance to the hated Confederacy. Company H, Captain Joseph H. Barnum, which escaped capture by being detached and sent to Roanoke Island for duty April 17, 1864, was re-enforced now and then by men who had previously been detached for special service, representing every company, or were absent, sick; also by a few who were exchanged or escaped from time to time; and this composed the Sixteenth Regiment in actual service.

During December the organization proceeded to Plymouth, and then on an expedition to Fosters Mills, about ten miles distant, destroying the mills and a large quantity of grain, and returning with various spoils. On another occasion the Sixteenth went to Hertford, where they captured large quantities of cotton, tobacco finished carriages and buggies, several thousand feet of lumber, several mules, and forty contrabands. And again one bright night sixty men of the regiment proceeded by steamer up the Alligator River, capturing a barge and three small sail vessels containing 2,500 bushels of shelled corn, together with the outfit of fifteen men, with their mules and carts. The Sixteenth also made several unimportant raids to Columbia, Edenton, and the adjoining country, until March 4, 1865, when they were ordered to Newbern, N.C., where, the exchanged prisoners having joined them, they remained on provost duty. Quite a number of men who were returning to the regiment after captivity were on a steamer going down the Potomac River in the night, when the boat collided with the "Black Diamond." All the passengers jumped aboard the "Diamond," which went down, and the regiment lost several men. Some of the saved remained in the water three or four hours.

It fell to the lot of the Sixteenth to act as personal escort for General Grant on the occasion of his visit to General Sherman at Raleigh, while Sherman's forces were confronted by the Confederate army in North Carolina in April, 1865.

The regiment was mustered out of the service of the United States June 24, 1865.

Name and Rank Residence Date of Date of Muster Enlistment in this Organization

Wallace R. Andrus 1st Lieutenant Berlin 30 Jul 62 24 Aug 1862

He was first in Company G mustered as Private, Promoted to First Sergeant, 17 Sep, 1862, 2nd Lieutenant Company I, 4 Feb, 1863, 1st Lieutenant, May 22, 1863. He was captured 20 Apr, 1864 at Plymouth, North Carolina, Pardoned 10 Dec, 1864 and discharged May 15 1865. Page 639 of this document says this is appended as the actual dates of parole. His parole is 28 Feb, 1865.

Was captured and a prisoner at Andersonville Prison, Georgia, during the Civil War. This has not been proven but was stated by Richard J. Andrus.

From Andrews Memorial

Wallace Roswell Andrews, eldest son of George Rodney, No. 1460, of Farmington, Southington, and East Berlin, CT., and his wife Hannah M., daughter of Roswell Cook, of Southington, born 20th August, 1843, at East Berlin; married 26th October, 1865, Annis Mead, of Greenwich, CT., where she was born, 29 July, 1839. They resided at Brooklyn NY., in 1869, where he was in merchandise.

Their children.

Howard Elliott, born 11th January, 1868, at Brooklyn, NY.

Louis, born 7th November, 1869, at Berlin CT.; died 17th December, 1869.

Albert Lester, born 2nd December, 1871, at Berlin, CT.