New England Civil War Museum
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The New England Civil War Museum was established in March 1994. It is located within the Memorial Building, inside a former Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Hall in Rockville, Connecticut. Thomas F. Burpee Post #71 of the Grand Army of the Republic held their monthly meetings in the Grand Hall from 1890 until 1929. Camp #45 of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, their direct heir have held their monthly meeting here from 1890 until the present, making it the oldest, continuously used GAR Hall in the entire country.
After the Post disbanded in the mid-1930s, its collection of relics, prints, paintings, lithographs, photos, and papers was turned over to Alden Skinner which used the original GAR collection to begin a museum. Since then the Camp has collected hundreds of new items related to both Connecticut Civil War soldiers and the GAR in Connecticut.
Holdings and history
The museum encompasses the Hirst brothers' collection (14th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry), the Thomas F. Burpee collection (Colonel, 21st Connecticut Volunteer Infantry), Kilbourne Newell collection (14th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry) and the Charles Weston collection (musician, 5th & 7th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry). A lot of the museum's original collection was donated by members of Burpee Post.
The Museum contains the O'Connell-Chapman Library, which has over 1000 volumes of Civil War literature, in addition to original copies of the 128 volumes of The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. This was compiled by the US War Department and originally published from 1880-1901. The Library also owns the original Civil War map books that accompanies the Office Records and several photographs of local Civil War veterans.
The building has the Grand Hall, an outer room, and a kitchen. The museum and library, along with the hall and its rooms, are the property of the Alden Skinner Camp #45 of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Fifteen years ago, the Museum acquired part of its original property from the town of Vernon. Once owned by the GAR, the property was annexed by the town and used as a jail cell. The room now houses the Ross S. Dent Reading Room.
The Memorial Hall is also used for meetings by the Connecticut Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS).
Notable Events Held in the GAR Hall
August 9, 1892- Reunion of the 5th Connecticut Volunteers
September 16, 1893- Reunion of the 14th Connecticut Volunteers
August 18, 1896- Reunion of the 25th Connecticut Volunteers
September 17, 1909- Reunion of the 14th Connecticut Volunteers
Commanders of Burpee Post #71
This information is pulled from the minute book of Burpee Post, which today can be found inside the archives at the New England Civil War Museum.
1884-1885 George N. Brigham ([14th Connecticut Regiment])
1886-1887-E.B. Durfee (4th & 5th Massachusetts Regiments)
1888-William H. Loomis (10th Massachusetts Regiment)
1889-Julius Newell (11th Connecticut Regiment)
1890-Daniel Andrews (27th Massachusetts Regiment)
1891-Lester Phelps (8th Pennsylvania Cavalry)
1892-A. Park Hammond (14th Connecticut Regiment)
1893-E.B. Durfee (4th & 5th Massachusetts Regiments)
1894-1896-Charles W. Woods (US Navy)
1896-William J. Noad (5th Connecticut Regiment)
1897-A.B. Parker (22nd Connecticut Regiment)
1898-Samuel K. Ellis (25th Connecticut Regiment)
1899-Thomas A. Lake (18th Connecticut Regiment)
1900-William D. Emerson (1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery)
1901-Bela L. Burr (16th Connecticut Regiment)
1902-John A. Odgen (14th Connecticut)
1903-Thomas S. Pratt
1904-James Baxter (22nd Connecticut Regiment)
1905-John Hirst (14th Connecticut Regiment)
1906-1907- E.F. Loveland (49th Massachusetts Regiment)
1908-William H. Loomis (10th Massachusetts Regiment) *Did not serve most of year due to bad health. Senior Vice Commander Samuel K. Ellis (25th Connecticut Regiment) assumed command in his absence.
1909-Egbert Dart (7th Connecticut Regiment)
1910-John D. Lovering
1911-Harvey W. Davis (16th Pennsylvania Cavalry)
1912-Philo Talcott (21st Connecticut Regiment)
1913-Egbert Dart (7th Connecticut Regiment)
1914-John A. Ogden (14th Connecticut Regiment)
1915-Samuel K. Ellis (25th Connecticut Regiment)
1916-1918- E.F. Loveland (49th Massachusetts Regiment)
1919-1929- Kilbourne Newell (14th Connecticut Regiment)
1929-1934- Leverett Charter (11th Connecticut Regiment)
- Grand Army of the Republic Hall (disambiguation), listing of halls in numerous places
- National Civil War Museum
- "New England Civil War Museum", Official Website
- The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Making of America, Cornell University Digital Collection