Thursday, January 5, 2012

Connecticut's Civil War: "Connecticut Military and Naval Leaders in the Civil War"

I'm always on the hunt for new Civil War books. It's been one of my favorite research topics for years, and I'm lucky enough to be able to teach classes on the subject. A new book generally means something new for me to research!
This time, I decided to take a look at The Connecticut Civil War Centennial: Connecticut Military and Naval Leaders in the Civil War. Produced for the Centennial in 1965, this is technically a pamphlet - although the local library system treats it as a book. Only 42 pages long, the book is comprised of short biographies of Union military leaders with some tie to Connecticut. Some are familiar faces, such as Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy. Others I'd never heard of, such as New Haven born Luther Prentice Bradley (p. 30).
While a few of the profiles are overly laudatory, most are a concise rendering of the individual's life and service. They offer a birth date and location, a small outline of antebellum civilian life, and finally, a detailed listings of postings and battles up to the end of the war. If you don't have a Civil War ancestor, this may seem boring reading. However, if you number an ancestor among these men, this pamphlet is a goldmine. You now have a listings of battles in which your ancestor served. A quick search for battle accounts should be enough to tell you about your ancestor's experience in great detail.

Happy research!

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