15th REGIMENT CONNECTICUT VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
The Fifteenth Regiment Connecticut Volunteer Infantry was recruited at New Haven, Conn., during the month of August, 1862, and left for Washington, D.C., under the command of Colonel Dexter R. Wright on August 18, .1862, numbering 1,022 officers and men.
The first general engagement in which the regiment participated was the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, December 13,, 1862, with a total loss of 10. On February 17 1863, Colonel Wright resigned his position for reasons of disability; and command fell upon Lt. Cot. Samuel Tolles.
On September 6,1863, Colonel Charles L. Upham was appointed to command the regiment. The month of April saw the unit stationed at Suffolk, Va., during the siege by General Longstreet. It was engaged in two reconnaissances. In the first, on April 24th. on Edenton Road. acting in support the unit sustained a loss of 4. Again on May 3rd, it engaged with the enemy at Providence Church Road, with a loss of 6.
The regiment performed some arduous marches in the expedition of General Dix, up the Peninsula during the month of July before spending the greater part of the fall and winter working on fortifications near Norfolk, Va.
It left Portsmouth, Va., on January 24th, 1864, for Plymouth, N.C., under the command of Major Osborn, on a night expedition to the area of Colraine, N.C., where they destroyed a large amount of commissary stores belonging to the enemy. Another force under the command of Lt. Col. Tolles attacked the camp of a detachment of the 62nd Georgia Calvary capturing their camp, destroying stores and equipment.
In March of 1865, the regiment was ordered to join the forces marching against Goldsboro, N.C On the afternoon of the 7th they engaged the enemy at Jackson Mills; on the 8th, while engaged, the regiment was enveloped by a division of the enemy and a large portion of the regiment was taken prisoner
Upon the occupation of Kinston, N.C., by Union forces, the 15th C.V.I. was assigned to provost duty as part of the garrison, and performed this duty until June 6th, when it was ordered to New Bern, N.C., to prepare for muster-out.
On July 12th, the final muster-out was held and the 15th Regiment Connecticut Volunteer Infantry ceased to exist.
Since its organization, 595 recruits joined the regiment, making a total of 1,617 men having served in its ranks. Of those, 25 were killed in action: 15 died of wounds; 143 died of disease; and of the 468 captured, 14 died in Libby Prison. The 15th Connecticut was known as the 'Lyon Regiment;' named after General Nathaniel Lyon of Connecticut, the first Union General killed in the Civil War
In a quiet cemetery located in New Bern, NC., a monument stands amidst the graves of the men of the 15th who died in action before Kinston, and those 70 or more who died of yellow fever during the tour on provost duty ? a lasting tribute to the men of the 15th Regiment Connecticut Volunteer Infantry The people of New Bern maintain the cemetery of their one-time enemy ... now friends at rest.
The present recreated 15th CVI, was formed in 1962 under the outline of the State Civil War Centennial Commission. as "The Connecticut Yankees:' The members soon elected to join the N-SSA, and shot as a probationary team in regional skirmishes during 1963. In the spring of 1964, the 15th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry was accepted and assigned the seniority number 117
The 15th has only been a "bride" once in national musket competition, and twice in carbine. However, as a "brides, maid" she has been in the medals 17 times over the years. In the new England Region, the team has offered tough competition to opponents and has become known as "the team to beat" within the region. The 15th has also provided the N-SSA with people willing to serve the association. John Reid, National Adjutant, and Teddy Borkowski, Skirmish Director of the 50th Nationals.
Only two members of the original unit remain as active shooters; Ed & Ted Occhi. The membership contains many individuals with over 25 years of skirmishing under their belts, however membership hovers around 16 with a nucleus of 10 attending most skirmishes.
The unit strives to honor the men and women who so bravely and valiantly fought in the "War Between the States."
Scanned from the March-April 1998 issue of The Skirmish Line. Graphics omitted.