Camp Foote

The new recruits of the Fourteenth Connecticut assembled during the late spring and early summer months of 1862 at newly established Camp Foote in the city of Hartford. The camp was  named for a Connecticut hero much in the news during that time, Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote, a native of New Haven, who commanded the Mississippi River Squadron of gunboats in attacks upon Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, and Island No. 10.

Details about Camp Foote are few and far between. It was located about two miles south of the city center, with the New Haven Turnpike forming its western boundary and the Connecticut River its eastern boundary.

Regardless of its exact location, Camp Foote seemed to be a place of dust, boredom, and lousy discipline. Endless hours were spent drilling the new recruits in arts of military marching and of how to coordinate and synchronize the movements of over a thousand men. These new skills would stand the men in good stead during their first test under fire at Antietam.

But while at Camp Foote, the green recruits of the Fourteenth never received and weapons training. Colt Firearms was little more than a stone”s throw from Camp Foote, Sharps Rifle Company less than two miles away, and Springfield Armory just upriver across the state line in Massachusetts, and yet the men were not issued weapons until they were actually on enemy soil in Arlington, VA. Lack of adequate training with their new weapons would also be demonstrated on the battlefield at Antietam.

 

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