A Civil War Hero
As the nation continues of with its commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, we thought it was time to bring back another of Derby's heroes from that tragic war that saw so many of Derby's male population involved in heavy fighting. The man pictured above was not born in Derby, but rather in Glastonbury. He moved to Derby about five years before the Civil War broke out. Previously a sailor and even an adventurer in the California gold rush, he settled down to work in industry in Derby. He was active with the state militia and in 1862 he and his fellow volunteers made entered service with company B, fourth Connecticut volunteers, the first Connecticut regiment to sign up for a three year service commitment. The unit was heavy artillery and distinguished itself in the Peninsular Campaign at the siege of Yorktown.
Following more successes at Gaines Mills and Malvern Hill, he was eventually promoted to the rank of colonel with the 19th heavy artillery. He fell in battle at Cold Harbor on June 1, 1864 suffering severe wounds including two to the head.
When the war ended, the veterans returned home and eventually organized into veterans groups much as others have done ever since. Among the groups formed, one emerged as the leading organization for Civil War veterans - the Grand Army of The Republic. Derby's Post #26 was formed on April 11, 1867, and named after him.
To see our earlier quizzes and learn more about Derby's unique history, click here.