The Stamford Historical Society Presents
Civil War: At Home and in the Field
a 2003 Exhibit and more
Thomas A. Zoubek, Ph.D., Executive Director, Stamford Historical Society
This Civil War Exhibit
aims to re-examine this national conflict through the lens of local history.
The Civil War had a number of lasting repercussions for the community of
Stamford, both for soldiers in the field and for citizens working on the
The Civil War
laid the foundation for community-wide aid societies along with an expanded
role for women.
The Civil War home
effort stimulated the establishment of a coordinated aid society aimed
at raising money and supplies for the troops passing through Stamford
and serving from Stamford. The Ladies Soldiers'
Aid Society, an outgrowth of the national Sanitary
Commission, boasted a membership that included women from all the
major Christian churches and denominations represented in the community.
Many of these women came from the upper class, although overall members
from diverse social and economic classes were included. Some of those
who contributed were also more recent immigrants. This Society provided
clothing, bandages and various supplies for the troops. It is seen as
a precursor to the later Stamford Racial Council and the Council of Churches
and Synagogues, most recently reorganized as The
Interfaith Council of Southwestern Connecticut.
The Civil War
was a leveling agent in society.
was largely a community of English ancestry until c.1850. The coming
of the railroad brought large numbers of Irish immigrants, and between
1850 and 1870 the population grew from slightly over 6,000 to almost
10,000. Most of this growth was the result of this Irish immigration.
Initially, the Irish were not well received; however, the Civil War provided
an occasion for the Irish to show their patriotism, devotion, and sacrifice
for their adopted country. The rolls of the Stamford soldiers show a significant
minority of Irishmen in the ranks. The Irish contributed to the war
effort at home through monetary contributions as well as materials in
kind. By the war's end, the Irish were very much more a part of Stamford
and many were hired shortly thereafter as laborers for Stamford's industrial
sector and its most notable company, Yale & Towne.
The war also provided
an opportunity for many poor sons of the working class to show their
mettle. A large number of the men were the sons of workers from Stamford's
participated in some key battles and contributed significantly to the
More Stamford men
served in the 28th Connecticut Volunteer
Infantry (188) than in any other; however, there were companies of
Stamford soldiers also in the 3rd, 6th, 10th, 13th,
and 17th regiments. Stamford also sent
a number of African-Americans to the 29th . Amongst the significant battles
in which Stamford soldiers figure prominently, are 1st
Bull Run, Gettysburg, Chancellorsville, Fort
Wagner, and Port
Hudson. While contributing a few officers, such as Samuel Peter Ferris,
Colonel of the 28th, most Stamford men were privates who lived and fought
in the trenches. Noah Webster Hoyt, in his five volume diary,
provides a glimpse of the life of sacrifice and strain faced by these
men, many of whom disease claimed as victims. While most of the roughly
550 men returned hale and hearty from the field of battle, some 100 of
their number died, most from disease.
recovered quickly from the conflict, one which had done much to unite
its formerly disparate population.
putting Stamford's Civil War story on our website, we hope we can serve
the community in additional ways.
The Stamford Historical
Society would like to acknowledge the support
of the following without whom the exhibit could not have been realized:
The exhibit committee also included the following people who greatly facilitated the preparation of the exhibit:
- The Connecticut
Humanities Council for a $2500 implementation grant.
- The Civil War Roundtable for support with research, loans
of material and providing a speaker.
- Guy DeMasi for serving as Guest Curator, for help
with research and loans of material, and for speaking and reenactment
at the opening of the exhibit.
- Margaret Bowen for help with research, labels, mounting
and countless other duties.
- Jennifer Peters for her work with the uniforms and
flags, and reenactment at the opening of the exhibit.
- Dorothy Mix for transcribing letters, working with
the Hoyt Diaries, and researching the Ladies Soldiers’ Aid Society.
- Ron Marcus for researching and writing the biographies
of the Hometown figures.
- Irene Hahn for finding and printing images of soldiers
and citizens, formatting tables and charts, and for putting the exhibit on
the SHS website.
- Haideh Molavi for her work mounting images and texts.
- Steve Laird and Bill O'Brien for speaking at the opening of the exhibit.
- Lara Scalzi for
reenactment at the opening
of the exhibit.
- DeMasi Decorative Painting for refurbishing
the Halliday Gallery, painting cases, walls, etc., and hanging the portrait.
- Lockwood Mathews Mansion for the loan of the two
| Ann Gill
Walter Wheeler III
American Civil War (Excerpt from America's
Wars and Casualties)
Union Veteran: Albert Woolson, died 8/2/56, age 109
Last Confederate Veteran: Disputed.*
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, July 1998
|Confederate Deaths in Service*
|* Authoritative statistics for Confederate Forces are not available. An estimated 28,000 Confederate soldiers died in Union prisons. In the VA press release, the last Confederate veteran is listed as John Salling.