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CT Ninth Regiment C.V. Infantry
Written by Lieutenant-Colonel John G. Healy

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(Three Years.)

THE Ninth Regiment was organized in September and October, 1861, at Camp English, New Haven, and was composed mainly of men of Irish birth. Colonel Thomas W. Cahill, Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Fitzgibbons, and Major Frederick Frye had the benefit of previous military experience,--the Colonel as captain of a company in the State militia, and the other two as captains of companies in the three months' service. Recruiting for the Ninth proceeded slowly, and was somewhat retarded by lack of proper clothing and equipment. From the inception of the organization the regiment had been destined to form a part of General Butler's expedition for the capture of New Orleans, and on November 4th, with indifferent uniforms and without arms, the Ninth left New Haven by rail for Lowell, Mass., the rendezvous of Butler's New England Brigade. Here at "Camp Chase," the Ninth joined the Twenty-sixth Massachusetts Infantry, and on November 21st was ordered to Boston, leaving that point on the steamship "Constitution" for Ship Island, Miss., November 26th. General Butler accompanied the expedition, and it arrived at Ship Island on December 3d. The Ninth was at once landed, and receiving here its tents and arms, went into camp. In the volume entitled "Connecticut During the Rebellion," page 140, the condition of the Ninth at this time is thus described:--

"The men were still wretchedly clad, and it was midwinter. Nearly half of them were without shoes and as many more without shirts; several had no coats or blankets. Some drilled in primitive attire of blouse and cotton drawers. The tents were hardly capacious enough to cover them. There was no straw to sleep on. They were without transportation, and were obliged to bring the wood for their fires four miles. This was made into rafts, and men almost naked, in water up to their arms, floated it down to camp. The Twenty-sixth Massachusetts was equipped with warm blankets, ample tents, and two uniform suits of clothing per man; and to them the members of the Ninth furnished a contrast which would have been amusing if it were not humiliating. With the buoyancy of the Irish character, the men were hopeful, and during these severe months sent home to their families not less than twenty thousand dollars,--almost their entire pay."

The Ninth remained in this camp until April 3, 1862, when, with a section of the Sixth Massachusetts Battery, it was ordered to Biloxi, Miss., to avenge the firing upon a flag of truce. On arriving at Biloxi the Ninth was landed; but as the town was found deserted, the regiment returned on board the steamer and anchored off the town for the night. At four o'clock the next morning three rebel gunboats attacked the steamer, but the Federal gun-boats "New London" and "Jackson" came to the rescue, and the rebel boats were driven off. The casualties in this affair were two members of the band and one member of Company C slightly wounded. The regiment then, under convoy of the gunboats, steamed for Pass Christian, reaching there at 11 o'clock A. M., and at once landing, started, with the section of the Sixth Massachusetts Battery accompanying it, after the enemy. They were soon found, but after firing a few shots, fled, leaving their entire camp equipage and the flag of the Third Mississippi Regiment in our hands. Captain Lawrence O'Brien, among the first to reach the deserted tent of the rebel commander, found on his table a dispatch to General Lovell, on which the ink was not dry, giving assurance that the place would be defended against the Federals at all hazards. The camp was burned, and the Ninth, re-embarking, returned to its camp at Ship Island. In recognition of the commendable bearing of the Ninth in this affair, General Butler issued the following General Order:

April 12, 1862.

The Major-General commanding desires publicly to testify his appreciation of the gallant courage and good conduct of the Ninth Connecticut Volunteers, Colonel Cahill commanding, and a section of the Sixth Massachusetts Battery, on a recent expedition to Biloxi and Pass Christian.

Of their bravery in the field he felt assured, but another quality, more trying to the soldier, claims his admiration. After having been for months subjected to the privations necessarily incident to camp life upon this island, these well-disciplined soldiers, although for many hours in full possession of two rebel villages filled with what to them were most desirable luxuries, abstained from the least unauthorized interference with private property and all molestation of peaceful citizens. This behavior is worthy of all praise.

The General commanding commends the action of the men of this expedition to every soldier in this department. Let it be imitated by all in the towns and cities we shall occupy, a living witness that the United States soldier fights only for Union, the Constitution, and the enforcement of the laws.

By command of Maj.-Gen. BUTLER,
GEORGE C. STRONG, Adjutant-General.On April 15th the Ninth embarked under orders on the steamer "Matanzas," having in tow the transport "E. W. Farley," with the Twelfth Connecticut on board. On the evening of the 17th the "Matanzas" came to anchor at South West Pass, and remained there, or between the West Pass and Pilot Town, until after the capture of Forts Jackson and St. Phillip, when it proceeded up the river to New Orleans and occupied the Reading Cotton Press. By order of General Butler the Ninth made a public parade through some of the principal streets of New Orleans, and was thus the first Union regiment to whom such duty was assigned. The Ninth then entered upon provost duty in the city, with its camp on Lafayette Square. Colonel Cahill was assigned to command the defenses of the city; Captain Silas Sawyer to the command of that portion of the city below the Mint; Captain Lawrence O'Brien to the Parish of St. James; and Captain John G. Healy, with Companies C and F, to Lake Pontchartrain. An important capture was made on the lake by Captain Healy, Sergeants Connelly and Donohue, and Corporal Corcoran, by which the enemy lost a sloop laden with medical and other stores and a bag of valuable mail matter. In June the Ninth joined the expeditionary corps under General Thomas Williams, for the destruction of "Camp Moore." From this point the Ninth wept to a point on the Mississippi River opposite Vicksburg, and on June 25th was put to work, with other regiments, in cutting the famous canal which was expected to isolate Vicksburg by diverting the river away from its wharves and rendering them unapproachable to shipping. During the continuance of this work, a force of twenty picked men, under Captain Healy and Lieutenant Patrick Claffee, was crossed over the river under cover of darkness, and remained in the swamp under the very guns of Vicksburg for eight days. The work was finally abandoned as not feasible, though not until the Ninth had suffered severe loss from the terrible exposure of the men.
The regiment returned to Baton Rouge, and left there on a steamer, June 20th, for Ellis Cliffs, where it arrived on the 22d, and disembarked with the Thirtieth Massachusetts, Fourth Wisconsin, and six guns of Nims's and Everett's batteries. After a march of several miles, information was received that the enemy, with two guns and ninety mounted men, had decamped several hours before.

The Ninth re-embarked, and on the morning of June 29th, at 3 o'clock, Bayou Pierre was entered. After passing up the bayou some nine miles the troops were landed at 11 A. M., at Barry's Plantation, four miles from Grand Gulf; but here, too, the enemy had decamped, leaving only a few sick. On June 24th the enemy was encountered at Hamilton's, near the Port Gibson railroad, and an action resulted in a loss to the enemy of three killed and five prisoners, with no loss to the Union force. The next action in which the Ninth was engaged was the battle of Baton Rouge, on August 5th. At 3 o'clock that morning the Ninth moved out and took position on the extreme left of the line of defense. At 4 A. M. the action commenced, and the Ninth was soon moved to the support of the center of the line, and later to a cemetery on the left. Thirty-five men of the Ninth were detailed as artillerists to Nims's and Everett's Batteries. The casualties of the Ninth in this action were one killed, nine wounded, and four missing. The Federal commander, General Thomas Williams, was killed and the command devolved upon Colonel Cahill, who admirably brought the action to a successful termination.

In General Orders No. 57, Department of the Gulf, the Ninth is thus referred to: "Connecticut, represented by the sons of the ever green shamrock, fought as their brothers did at Boyne Waters." During the battle, No. 2 gun of Nims's Battery, with every man and horse shot down, fell into the hands of the enemy, but men of the Twenty-first Indiana and the Ninth Connecticut made a desperate dash and brought off the gun.

On September 7th, the Ninth, under Major Frye, participated with three other regiments in an expedition across the river to the vicinity of St. Charles Court House, the object being to capture or disperse a camp of two thousand infantry and cavalry stationed there. The Ninth, with the Fourteenth Maine, landed at daylight of the 8th at a point above Carrollton, and advanced westward, the other regiments going six miles farther up the river. In his official report of this action Major Frye wrote:

"The artillery shelled the woods, but failing to dislodge the enemy, the Ninth was thrown forward as skirmishers. After moving forward several miles through woods, swamps, bayous, and canebrakes, everywhere finding traces of a flying foe, it was found that the enemy, mostly cavalry, attempting to break through in this direction had been driven back, and, abandoning their horses, saddles, and equipments, had fled into an almost impenetrable swamp. But being surrounded on all sides, our troops killed and wounded eight, taking about forty prisoners, and bringing in upwards of two hundred horses fully equipped. This was accomplished without loss."

After this fight the Ninth returned to New Orleans, where its headquarters remained during 1863, though with the companies widely separated, doing duty at different points. During this season a reconnaissance was made of the country north of the Manchac Pass, several companies of the Ninth participating. Two companies were stationed at the North Pass, dividing Jones Island from the swamp land and the road leading to Pontchaloula, and two rifled guns were placed in position here, manned by men of the Ninth under Captain John G. Healy. The expedition was a success. The enemy lost three killed and eleven wounded, and among the prisoners captured were twenty-two Choctaw Indians, who were taken by a guard, commanded by Captain Healy, to New Orleans.

On December 30th the Ninth was assigned to the Second Brigade of General Grover's Division. The regiment was in the engagements at Lafourche Crossing June 20th and 21st, and at Chattahoola Station June 24th.

In April, 1864, the Ninth started for New Haven on its veteran furlough, arriving and receiving an enthusiastic reception on the 15th. July 18th it left New Haven via New York and City Point for Bermuda Hundred, where it arrived on the 24th, and re-embarked on the 29th for Deep Bottom. It sailed again on July 30th for Washington, where it arrived on August 1st, and on the next day marched through Georgetown to Tennallytown, where it remained until the 14th, when, crossing the Potomac by Chain Bridge, it marched via Leedsburg and Snicker's Gap to Berryville, and thence on through the Shenandoah Valley. On September 19th it participated in the battle of Winchester, and then at Fisher's Hill.

At Cedar Hill all officers and men of the Ninth who had not re-enlisted as veterans left the service, and the veterans were organized as a batallion under the following order:
October 12, 1864.

Pursuant to Special Orders No. 53, Ex. 3, Headquarters Middle Military Division, the recruits and re-enlisted men of the Ninth Connecticut Volunteers will be consolidated into a Battalion of four companies to be commanded by senior Captain.
The companies will be designated respectively as A, B, C, D, and the following will be the assignment of officers retained by Special Orders No. 53, Headquarters Middle Military Division:
Company A:
Captain, John G. Healy.First Lieutenant, G. T. Scott.Second Lieutenant, Thomas Connors.
Company B:
Captain, T. Sheridan.First Lieutenant, M. Mullins.Second Lieutenant, C. Streit.
Company C:
Captain, W. A. Lee.First Lieutenant, D. C. Warner.Second Lieutenant, J. H. Lincoln.
Company D:
First Lieutenant, J. W. Graham.Second Lieutenant, to be selected.
The men will be assigned as follows: 98 men to Company A, 98 men to Company B, 98 men to Company C, and 90 men to Company D, to be assigned by senior officer.
The Non-Commissioned Staff will be retained.
By order of
Brevet Major-General EMORY,

Under command of Captain Healy, the Ninth Battalion bore a very conspicuous part in the battle of Cedar Creek, October 19, 1864, its flag being the first planted on the recaptured works of the enemy. In this desperate action the Ninth lost thirty men in killed and wounded.

The battalion remained in Virginia until January 7, 1865, when it was ordered to Baltimore, and from there, on January 7, 1865, it embarked with the One Hundred and Seventy-fifth New York Infantry on board the steamer "General Sedgwick" for Fortress Monroe. From there the Ninth went to Savannah, Ga., arriving on January 17th. In April, the Ninth, under Lieutenant-Colonel Healy, was ordered to Dawfuski Island, where it dispersed a force of guerrillas who were oppressing and murdering the blacks, and then, returning to Savannah, it was ordered to Hilton Head, S. C. Here it remained in service under General Q. A. Gillmore until the close of its active service, August 3, 1865, when it embarked for New Haven, and was finally mustered out.

Pass Christian and Biloxi, Miss., April 4, 1862.
New Orleans, La., April --, 1862.
Baton Rouge, La., August 5, 1862.
La Fourche Crossing, La., June 20, 1863.
Chattahoola Station, La., June 24, 1863.
Pass Manchac, La., March 20, 1864.
Bayou des Allemands, La., -- --, 1864.
Deep Bottom, Va., July 28, 1864.
Winchester, Va., September 19, 1864.
Fisher's Hill, Va., October 9, 1864.

Cedar Creek, Va., October 19, 1864.

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