Cold Harbor Monument Dedication For 2nd Connecticut
Is June 1
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
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 email@example.com.
For information about the reenactment group and the original
regiment's history and service,