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History of the Ninth Regiment CT Volunteers

History / Dyers Compendium Death Chart / Col John Healy / Ninth Regiment Enlistments / Battle Flags

The Ninth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers were made up primarily of Irish born or first generation Irish-Americans from 71 different Connecticut towns and cities. They left New Haven 865 strong on Nov 4, 1861 for Massachusetts as part of General Benjamin Butler’s Army of the Gulf. A few weeks later they left Boston harbor with over 3,000 soldiers and sailors aboard the newly built steamship Constitution, and arrived at Ship Island, Mississippi, a staging area for the eventual assault on New Orleans. It was here they received a full complement of rifles, basic training and commandeered badly needed shoes and blankets. On April 4 the Ninth on a mission to avenge the shooting on a Union ship under a flag of truce, found the streets of Biloxi deserted, but surprised the Confederates in a skirmish at Pass Christian where they became the first Union troops to capture Confederate colors.

On May 1 the Ninth became the second regiment to enter the fallen city of New Orleans, and were selected by Gen Butler to conduct a parade through the city streets as an “object lesson to a belligerent populace”. The following month they arrived opposite Vicksburg, the Gibraltar of the South, in the first campaign to seize that city and win control of the Mississippi.

Without an adequate force to mount an attack on Vicksburg they were put to work digging a canal intended to divert the course of the river and leave Vicksburg unimportant militarily.As heatstroke, malaria and dysentery spread throughout the command, the numbers dieing and ill began to mount rapidly.With the river level falling, the Ninth along with soldiers from four other states were sent downriver to defend Baton Rouge. In the Confederate attack General Williams was killed and Col Cahill assumed command of the soldiers from six Union states in the eventual Union victory on August 5, 1862. After Baton Rouge the Ninth was assigned to the defenses of New Orleans. With many ill, the death toll continued to rise and over a four month period beginning with their arrival opposite Vicksburg some 150 men of the Ninth died. Today 100 men of the Ninth are buried at the Chalmette National Cemetery a few miles outside New Orleans.

By 1864 with their original three year enlistment complete, the Ninth returned to New Haven amid parades and celebrations. Many re-enlisted and the Ninth found themselves at Bermuda Hundred on the James outside Petersburg and Richmond and later saw service in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley at Winchester, Fisher’s Hill and Cedar Creek under General Sheridan.

By 1865 they saw duty in North Carolina and Georgia. In August 1865 they were mustered out and returned to New Haven after a stopping for a parade down Broadway in NY City. 252 men of the Ninth had died during the war.

Bucking the trend of the day, the Ninth veterans were the first to return captured Confederate colors. In a ceremony in February of 1885 a delegation from the Ninth returned the 3rd Mississippi flag at the New Orleans exposition on “Connecticut Day”.

In 1899 the Vicksburg National Military Park was formed by an Act of Congress. Land was set aside within city limits and 28 states, Union and Confederate, that were involved in the final 1863 battle and siege, were invited to place monuments. Uninvited to Vicksburg, a committee was formed to place a monument in New Haven. The monument honoring the Ninth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers was dedicated at Bayview Park overlooking the New Haven harbor on August 5, 1903. The monument which was placed at a cost of $4,500, stands 17’ tall with the name of its major engagements etched in the granite: Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Fishers Hill and Cedar Creek. Three plaques contain the names of the 252 men who died during the war.

Work was started in 2001 on a monument at the Vicksburg National Military Park as land was donated to the park at the canal area and a bill was passed in Congress in 1990 that changed the park’s mission statement to include campaign of 1862. Connecticut received a formal invitation to place a monument at the detached area now called Grants Canal in 2005 and a contract with Mathieu Memorials and Granite Works of Southington, CT was signed a short time later. As the etchings were completed, Connecticut’s Governor Rell unveiled the centerpiece at a Hartford State Armory exhibition on Aug 20, 2008.

The centerpiece was shipped to Vicksburg where it was installed along with the granite base and monument wings which included two bronze plaques with history along with two granite benches. The monument which stands almost 10 feet tall at the center and ten feet across at the base, weighs 15,000 lbs along with the benches. It stands on a concrete plaza with a center-section in a dark gray color in the shape of Connecticut. It is hoped that as satellite photos are updated the monument along with the Connecticut plaza can be accessed via home computers.

The monument located at the detached Grants Canal area of the Vicksburg National Military Park in Delta, Louisiana, was formally dedicated on October 14, 2008. Connecticut now has joined 28 other states with official state monuments at the park in proudly remembering their soldiers of the past.

Regiment Highlights:
1st Regiment to capture Confederate colors (Pass Christian, MS on April 4, 1862)
2nd Regiment to enter the fallen city of New Orleans (May 1, 1862)
May 2, 1862 - 9th selected to parade through New Orleans as an "object lesson" to a belligerent populace"
June 25, 1862 - 9th arrives as part of the 1st assault on Vicksburg, the Gibraltar of the South
Col Cahill of the 9th assumes command of the brigade at battle of Baton Rouge (Union victory) on August 5, 1862
July 1864 -Veterans Reenlist - 9th reaches Bermuda Hundred, VA on the James River outside Richmond
October 19, 1864 - 9th is 1st Union troops to plant their battalion flag on recaptured works at Cedar Creek, V
March 1865 - 9th organize a St Patrick's Day parade in Savannah, GA with help of local "Jasper Greens"
9th is the first Union regiment to return captured Confederate colors at New Orleans Exposition (i.e. … Worlds Fair) on Connecticut Day, Feb 27, 1885
August 5, 1903 - Uninvited to Vicksburg the 9th places a monument in New Haven at Bayview Park
October 14, 2008 – Connecticut state monument honoring the 9th Regiment is dedicated at the Vicksburg NM

The history of the Ninth Regiment CV is documented in a number of locations:

The complete “History of the Ninth Regiment CV” written in 1903 by Thomas Murray has been digitized by Quinnipiac University here.

Dyer’s Compendium Union Regiment Detail” along with a chart of the Ninth’s deaths by month throughout the war can be found here.

A History of the 9th Regiment by Col Healy can be found here.

For a brief description on the 9th’s enlistments by Connecticut town/city and an overview of the Connecticut makeup of individual companies click here.

A review of battle flags used by the 9th can be found here.

Ninth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers. 2010 © All rights reserved.