Table of Contents
A Guide to the collection at the Connecticut Historical Society
Alfred Perkins Rockwell was the son of John A. Rockwell and Mary Perkins of Norwich, Connecticut. He was born in 1834. In January 1862 he mustered in to the First Connecticut Light Battery as a Captain. He was promoted to Colonel in the Sixth Regiment of Infantry18 June 1864. One month after his discharge, he was brevetted a Brigadier-General. He died in 1903. The First Light Battery saw action in South Carolina and in Virginia.
John H. Burton of New Haven mustered in to the First Regiment Heavy Artillery 23 May 1861 and was promoted to sergeant in September. Two months later he was again promoted, this time to lieutenant, and took command in Company I of the same regiment. He was brevetted a Major in April 1865. The First Regiment, Heavy Artillery was stationed at Yorktown, Petersburg, Richmond and Chickahominy, all in Virginia.
Middletown’s Austin A. McKinney was mustered as a corporal in September 1862 with the Twenty-first Regiment of Infantry. He was promoted to First Lieutenant before being mustered out in June 1865. The Twenty-first Regiment was also in Virginia, at Fredericksburg, Suffolk, Petersburg and Richmond.
Detailed information about the actions of each of these regiments can be found in Record of Service of Connecticut Men in the Army and Navy of the United States during the War of the Rebellion (Hartford, 1889).
The materials in this collection were purchased from a Connecticut rare book dealer who described it as a “lot of Civil War material.” The bulk of the documents record supplies—clothing, tents, blankets, cooking pans, canteens, haversacks, ordnance--used by three different regiments during the war. They are arranged into three series representing the First Connecticut Light Battery, the First Connecticut Heavy Artillery, and the 21st Infantry Regiment. Within each regiment, the documents are organized by type and then arranged chronologically.
Alfred P. Rockwell’s papers, in Series I, include a lecture he gave in Brooklyn, Connecticut in 1861. There are also enlistment papers for about six men, 1862, only a few of whom actually mustered into the regiment. The remaining documents consist of clothing rolls, detailing which soldier received what articles of clothing, reports written by Rockwell, general orders from Headquarters, and several pieces of correspondence. In 1864, Governor Buckingham wrote to Rockwell about his nominations for officers. Three letters dated 1866 are related to a disability claim by Ebenezer Wakeley. Two letters, 1876, are to Rockwell in his capacity as president of a railroad company. Of particular interest is a bill made out to him for books he purchased for the regiment’s library.
Most of the documents in Series II were addressed to or signed by John H. Burton as a commanding officer with the First Connecticut Heavy Artillery. There are ordnance returns, inventory and inspection reports, orders, and “Clothing, Camp and Garrison Equipage” lists or inventories. Of particular note among this regiment’s records are inventories of and receipts for the personal effects of deceased soldiers. These have been arranged alphabetically by name of soldier since they are all dated 1864. The regiment appears to have been commanding the convalescent hospital at Fort Ward, Virginia, as there are several documents about men returning to the hospital or being transferred back to their units.
The records of the 21st Infantry Regiment in Series III contain, in addition to the supply lists, officers returns. Also of interest are two pages of signatures and statements certifying that the company books and articles of camp and garrison equipage were turned over to the appropriate officer or official.
A final series was created for records that did not appear to be related to any of the three regiments whose records are described above. The most significant item is a Volunteer descriptive list of Company G, Thirty-eighth Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops in 1864.
There are no restrictions on access to the collection.
Use of the material requires compliance with the Connecticut Historical Society's Research Center regulations.
Burton, John H., 1934-.
McKinney, Austin A., 1839-1871.
Rockwell, Alfred Perkins, 1834-1903.
United States.--Army.--Connecticut Artillery Regiment, 1st (1862-1865).
United States.--Army.--Connecticut Infantry, 21st.
United States.--Army.--Connecticut Light Battery, 1st (1861-1865).
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--African Americans
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
Item, Collection Title, Collection number (Box #, Folder #). Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, Connecticut.
Collection was processed by Barbara Austen in 2006.
EAD Finding Aid created October 2014.