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Cold Harbor Monument Dedication For 2nd Connecticut Is June 1
May 2003

RICHMOND, Va. - A monument to the 2nd Connecticut Volunteer Heavy Artillery will be dedicated at the Cold Harbor Battlefield on June 1, the 139th anniversary of the battle.

The National Park Service, with the 2nd Connecticut Volunteer Heavy Artillery reenactment group of Woodbury, Conn., will host the noon ceremony honoring the unit that had its baptism of fire on June 1, 1864. Regiment descendants and friends from other heavy artillery regiments will attend. Keynote speaker will be Gordon Rhea who recently published Cold Harbor.

Described as a "Bandbox Regiment," the 2nd Connecticut had originally trained as the 19th Volunteer Infantry. It was redesignated as the 2nd Connecticut Volunteer Heavy Artillery after spending most of its service time in forts providing defense for Washington, D.C.

Bvt. Maj. Gen. Martin T. McMahon, U.S. Volunteers 6th Corps, wrote of the Cold Harbor battle: "The field in front of us after the repulse of the main attack was indeed a sad sight. I remember at one point a mute and pathetic evidence of sterling valor. The 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery, a new artillery regiment, had joined us but a few days before the battle. Its
uniform was bright and fresh; therefore its dead was easily distinguished where they lay."

"They marked in a dotted line an obtuse angel, covering a wide front, with its apex toward the enemy, and there upon his face, still in death, with his head to the works, lay the colonel the brave and genial Elisha S. Kellogg."

More than 334 of the regiment lay dead and 140 fell wounded in the charge upon the Confederate breastworks. Its loss in that one action was greater than that of any Connecticut regiment in any single battle. Gen. Ulysses Grant would later write: "Cold Harbor is the only battle I ever fought that I would not fight over again under the circumstances. I have always regretted that the assault on Cold Harbor was ever made."

The 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery reenactors felt that the sacrifices made by "The Mountain County Regiment" should be honored and they undertook the project to create and dedicate a monument to the original 2nd Connecticut.

The challenge was answered by historian Matthew Minor, whose ancestry provided the impetus for extensive research on the unit, while William Asevica and Rick Burmiester took on seeing that the monument had the funds and the backing of the National Park Service.

Working with supervisory park ranger Michael Andros, a fitting location at Cold Harbor was determined and requests were sent through the proper channels. Other unit members helped with research of the wounded and dead and fundraising efforts. After six years of hard work, parades, donations and grants, the goals were met. Brad Rowe of Rowe Monuments, Litchfield, Conn., was engaged to produce the monument.

For information about the 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery Monument and dedication, contact William Asevica at (203) 758-6342 or Diane Asselin at seanbrettsmom@yahoo.com. For information about the reenactment group and the original regiment's history and service,
visit www.the2dconn.com

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