Tag: Willard R. Moulton

First Battle of Bull Run

First Battle of Bull Run

Also known as the First Battle of Manassas
The first Battle of Bull Run, Va., Sunday afternoon, July 21, 1861, Library of Congress

In July 1861, the 90 day enlistments of soldiers in the Union regiments were about to run out and President Lincoln urged Union General Irwin McDowell to engage the Confederate Army, commanded in the field by General Beauregard. On July 18, 1861, McDowell and the 37,000 soldiers of the Army of the Potomac marched into Virginia. Many civilians, including Congressmen, rode out to see the destruction of the Confederate Army.

The two armies met at Bull Run creek near Manassas Junction, Virginia on July 21st just after 9 A.M. Uniform colors were not yet consistent with some Union regiments wearing grey and some Confederate units in blue. Both armies were untried but shared the belief that this battle would end with their side victorious and that the War would end within months.

Fighting went back and forth throughout the day. Confederate General Thomas J. Jackson’s Virginia brigade firmly held the high ground in the middle of the line. General Bernard Bee rallied his Confederate troops by saying: “Look, there is Jackson with his Virginians, standing like a stonewall!”, and General Thomas Jackson became immortalized as “Stonewall” Jackson. Confederate reinforcements arrived late in the afternoon and General Beauregard ordered a massive counterattack at 4 P.M. The Confederates attacked “yelling like furies” at Jackson’s urging and the rebel yell was first heard on a Civil War battlefield. The Union line broke and most regiments ran to the rear in disarray. Combined casualties of both armies killed, wounded and missing was about 4,500.

The Connecticut Brigade consisting of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Regiments Connecticut Volunteer Infantry were engaged from 10 A.M. when they met and repelled a body of infantry and cavalry. They were in action until 4 P.M. and retired from the field in good order. Lucius D. Wilson, the first Mansfield soldier to enlist, was in Co. B of the 1st Connecticut and Willard R. Moulton of Co. D of the 3rd Connecticut was captured at the Battle of Bull Run.

Willard R. Moulton

Willard R. Moulton

Willard R. Moulton was a resident of Mansfield on April 25, 1861 when he enlisted as a Corporal in Co. D of the 3rd Regiment Connecticut Volunteer Infantry; he was captured July 21, 1861 at the First Battle of Bull Run, Virginia, paroled June 2, 1862 and discharged July 6, 1862. 

He was born about 1842 in Mansfield probably to Harvey and Anna (Turner) Moulton. In the 1850 U.S. census in Mansfield, he is believed to be the Rufus W. Moulton, 19 in the household of Anna Moulton; he was a factory laborer. It is possible that he was the Willard R. Moulton who enlisted as a 1st Sergeant in Co. K of the 4th New York Regiment Volunteer Cavalry on October 30, 1862. That soldier was transferred to Co. D of the 20th Regiment Veteran Reserve Corp on May 19, 1864. 

The Mansfield death record does not list a place of death and stated that he was 33 and was married; the name of his wife was not provided and no pension record has been located for him.

Willard R. Moulton died of consumption on April 2, 1865 and is buried at the Gurleyville Cemetery in Mansfield.

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