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Image Connecticut: The 29th Connecticut Memorial

NEW HAVEN, CT – This week’s stop on the Picture Connecticut Tour has a Juneteenth connection. It is the 29th Connecticut monument in New Haven.

The 29th certainly had something to say about freedom in the Civil War. The 29th marched into Richmond as the first troops to occupy the surrendered Confederate capital. That was April 3, 1865.

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The writings of Rev. Henry G. Marshall, the unity historian, extend the story to the next day, when Abraham Lincoln arrived and credited members of the 29th with the “freedom” of Richmond residents of color.

According to the Connecticut State Library, the 29th was commissioned on March 8, 1864 with more than 1,000 men. The unit consisted of non-white or “colored” recruits of various origins, ages, and occupational backgrounds who were willing to fight for the Union.

Under the command of Colonel William B. Wooster of Derby, and led by an all-white officer staff (as was the custom at the time), the black troops of the 29th would distinguish themselves not only at the siege of Richmond, but also in places such as Beaufort, Petersburg, Chaffins Farm, Darbytown Road and Kell House.

Registration records show volunteers came from far reaches of the state, such as George Johnson, a 22-year-old barber who settled in Union, and Isaac Merritt, a 41-year-old laborer from Greenwich. Many are listed in the books as farmers. One of the farmers was Albert Bailey, a 22-year-old who moved to Hartford from New Orleans. Another soldier who came from the South was William Carter, 21, a boatman who settled in Clinton via Clark County, Virginia.

Volunteers came from as far as Trinidad in the West Indies in the case of John Alderman, 19, who settled in Suffield and whose occupation is listed as ‘waiter’.

The New Haven Monument is located on the former 29th training ground in what is now Criscuolo Park. It lists the 45 officers and men who were killed or mortally wounded, and the 152 men and one officer who died from illness or accident.

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Picture Connecticut is a weekly series featuring images of the state, past and present.

Here are images from the past:

2024

  • The Cirque, Hartford

  • The Amerbelle Spillway, Rockville

  • The ECSU Gallery, Willimantic

  • Great Captain Island, Greenwich

  • Bobblehead madness, Storrs

  • Bobby Sands/Hunger Strike Memorial, Hartford

  • Mr. Jonathan goes to Hartford, Hartford

  • The newest discount airline, New Haven

  • State Groundhog is arrested, Manchester

  • Historical War Bonds, Willington

  • Big Business Week in CT, Statewide

  • The marketplace at Guilford Food Center Guilford

  • Main Street at night, Middletown

  • The hide-and-seek bear, Tolland

  • The MLK mural, Manchester

  • The Mount Southington summit, Southington

2023

  • All faiths gather in the city park, Vernon

  • Igloos by the river, Milford

  • The TPC Pro Shop, Cromwell

  • The Santa House, North Pole, er, Northern Connecticut

  • Mile 4 Funnel, Manchester Road Race, Manchester

  • UConn Lacrosse Gives Back, Connecticut River Valley

  • The Capitol Grounds Tour, Part 3, Hartford

  • The Capitol Grounds Tour, Part 2, Hartford

  • The Capitol Grounds Tour, Part 1, Hartford

  • The Doughboy, East Hartford

  • The Walt Whitman Stone, West Hartford

  • The Indoor Bush Plane, Hartford County

  • The big pink chair, Ellington

  • The notch, Granby

  • The CT 9/11 Memorial, Westport

  • Vintage gas pump, Somers

  • Tobacco Harvest, East Windsor

  • Late afternoon, Lakeside, Coventry

  • Fogarea, New Haven County

  • Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens, Washington Depot

  • Connecticut River Police Boat, Rocky Hill

  • The first dentist, Windsor

  • The Frog Bridge, Willimantic

  • The World War II Rapids Bridge, Putnam

  • The Peeking Cow, Tolland County

  • The Ivy Lacrosse Tournament, New Canaan

  • The runway of Bradley International Airport, Windsor Locks

  • The Underground Railroad, Unionville

  • The Cow Carousel, Ellington

  • Charles Island, Milford

  • State Veterans Cemetery, Middletown

  • Glastonbury-Rocky Hill Ferry, Glastonbury/Rocky Hill

  • The old county jailhouse, Tolland

  • Andover
  • The Sunken Garden, Farmington

  • Lafayette Tour Monument, Vernon

  • The Pinchot Sycamore, Simsbury

  • Bob’s Discount Furniture Studios, Manchester