SHARING THE STORIES OF NORTHWEST CONNECTICUT'S AFRICAN AMERICAN CIVIL WAR SOLDIERS
EXPERIENCES IN WAR
In many ways, the men of the 29th Connecticut had a similar wartime experience to the white soldiers of Civil War armies: months of boredom interspersed with moments of terror.
Arriving in Annapolis, Maryland after shipping out from Hartford, the men were stationed at Camp Parole, where, on April 6th, 1864, they received their muskets. On April 11th, the men arrived in South Carolina, where they would drill and serve on guard duty for four months.
By August, General Ulysses S. Grant's siege of the city of Petersburg, Virginia, was requiring increasing numbers of troops, and the 29th was sent to that front, arriving on August 14th. They were immediately sent on a reconnaisance mission, during which they came under fire for the first time displaying, according to Captain Henry G. Marshall, "great coolness and bravery."
The regiment would spend eight months in front of Petersburg and Richmond during the siege, participating in the battle of Chaffin's Farm (September 29th, 1864), Darbytown Road (October 13th, 1864) and Kell House (October 27th and 28th, 1864). On April 3rd, 1865, companies C and G of the 29th became the first Union infantrymen to enter the city of Richmond.
Following Lee's surrender, the men were sent to Point Lookout, Maryland, where they took part in guarding 20,000 Confederate prisoners. In June, they were sent to Brownsville, Texas, where they were stationed near the border with Mexico until October, when the regiment was transported home. The 29th Connecticut was mustered out of the United States Army in Hartford on November 25th, 1865.