Welcome to our digital exhibit about Mansfield’s Civil War soldiers. This is a collaborative project of the Mansfield Historical Society and the University of Connecticut. It was made possible through a SHARP Capacity Grant awarded to the Mansfield Historical Society by Connecticut Humanities. Funding was provided by Connecticut Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the American Rescue Plan Act.

Amanda Rutha, University of Connecticut Student & Digital Public History Intern
Amanda Rutha, University of Connecticut Student & Digital Public History Intern

In August 2022, the University of Connecticut launched its new undergraduate Digital Public History minor, a collaboration of the University’s Department of History and the Department of Digital Media & Design. An experiential internship program is a core component of the minor’s curriculum. During the fall 2022 semester, the Mansfield Historical Society hosted Amanda Rutha, UConn’s first digital public history intern. She created this digital exhibit in collaboration with the Society’s museum director, Ann Galonska, and its president and webmaster, David Landry. Instruction and design assistance were also provided by Clarissa Ceglio, Associate Professor of Digital Media & Design, and Wes Hamrick, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at UConn’s Greenhouse Studios.

This online exhibit contains the biographies of 192 Mansfield men who served in the military during the Civil War. Of the 148 soldiers who enlisted from Mansfield, 41 served in the 21st Regiment Connecticut Volunteer Infantry. There were also 10 African American soldiers from Mansfield, 8 of whom served in the 29th Colored Regiment Connecticut Volunteer Infantry and 2 in the 31st Regiment United States Colored Troops. The remaining soldiers who are profiled here are associated with Mansfield through birth, marriage, family or burial in the town’s cemeteries.

The biographies were researched and written by Keith Wilson for the exhibition, Service & Sacrifice: Mansfield’s Civil War Soldiers, June – September, 2011, at the Mansfield Historical Society Museum. The information was compiled using the online resources of Ancestry and Fold3, as well as regimental histories and historical newspaper articles from the Hartford Courant, Willimantic Journal, and The Willimantic Chronicle.

The exhibit also features photographs, letters, diary excerpts and other documents associated with the Civil War soldiers from Mansfield. It includes scans of letters written by Jerome Baldwin, George W. French, Henry E. Hall, George Harris and Frank E. Stoughton, as well as excerpts from a diary written by Alfred P. Hanks. Transcriptions of each are provided for easier reading. These letters and the diary excerpts provide great insight into the soldiers’ lives. They describe daily camp life and various battles and also express emotions ranging from excitement and camaraderie to fear, homesickness, and discouragement as the war dragged on.

Other features of this exhibit include a Civil War timeline (spilt into 1860-1863 and 1864-1865), a glossary of military terms, descriptions of some battles in which Mansfield soldiers participated, and information about select regiments and the Andersonville Prison where Henry E. Hall was held. It is hoped that making all these resources available will be of benefit to the local schools, persons researching their family history, and anyone interested in Mansfield history and/or the Civil War.

All rights reserved. For permission to reproduce or use any of the contents of this digital exhibit, please contact the Mansfield Historical Society. Our Reproduction & Use Policy is available here.

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