Thanks to the generosity of a longtime Redlands family, the Lincoln Memorial Shrine acquired an album of 60 photographs taken during and after the Civil War. Created by the Packer family in the postwar period, the album features family members and soldiers in uniform. Discover the story of the family and how the album found its way to Redlands.
Of the 31 men who appear in uniform, 17 men have been identified. While they have disparate surnames and cities of residence, they are all linked by their service in the 21st Connecticut Infantry, which was mustered into service in August, 1862. The regiment took part in the Battle of Fredericksburg, Siege of Suffolk, Battle of Drewry’s Bluff, Battle of Cold Harbor, Siege of Petersburg, and Battle of Chapin’s Farm, and were among the first regiments to enter Richmond after it was abandoned by the rebels. The regiment mustered out of service on June 16, 1865. When deciding on a date to commemorate their service, the veterans of the 21st Connecticut selected May 16, in remembrance of the hard fought 1864 Battle of Drewry’s Bluff where the regiment sustained 117 casualties.
Of the 18 identified men in the album, 8 sustained injuries in battle, four were lost, and one was awarded a Medal of Honor. Meet the brave men of the 21st Connecticut Infantry.
Learn more about the regiment in “From the Shrine’s Collections: Colonel Chapin & the 21st Infantry Regiment,” a webinar available on the Special Collections YouTube channel.