Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 1864 St. Augustine, FL

While researching my book on St. Augustine during the Civil War I came across this short Thanksgiving remembrance. Written by Captain Albert W. Peck 17th Connecticut Co. D I think it shows the difficulties often faced by soldiers and their ingenuity in solving problems.

I remember Thanksgiving Day we had no meat for dinner so I took my gun and went up the river a mile or so and killed six nice ducks and I brought them home and our cook had them picked and roasted for dinner and we had a grand dinner.*

Albert Peck was born on February 7, 1838 in Bridgeport, Connecticut to Jabez and Henriette Peck. According to the 1850 United States Census he had two sisters and a brother. By 1860 he was living as a boarder in the home of Anna Banks. He was employed as a clerk and had personal property worth $300.

Peck enrolled in the 17th Connecticut Company D. According to the NPS Soldiers and Sailors website Peck enlisted as a First Sergeant in 1862. The 17th took part in battles at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. They also took part in siege operations against Fort Wagner and Fort Sumter. They were later transferred to duty in Florida serving  the remainder of 1864 and part of 1865 in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area. The regiment six officers and 122 enlisted men die to either wounds or disease during the war. Peck was mustered out of service on July 19, 1865 at Hilton Head, South Carolina as a 1st Lieutenant.

Headstone for Albert
and Louisa Peck located
in Newton Village
Photo Courtesy TomKat
 By 1870 Albert Peck was working at a merchant in Newton, CT. He was married to a woman named Louisa Booth and had a three year old son named Robert. His personal estate totaled over $5,100. In 1880 Peck was working as a farmer, a job he would hold until after 1900. During this time he and Louisa had two more sons, Charles and Albert Jr, and a daughter, Grace. It can be assumed that the Peck family was doing well financially as both the 1880 and 1900 Census list them as having live in servants.

Louisa passed away on July 24, 1905. The widower Albert and his youngest son Albert Jr. became boarders living with the Hiltbrand family in Newton, CT. The Hiltbrand family operated a dairy farm. Albert Sr. passed away on April 7, 1918. He is buried in Newton Village Cemetery in Newton, CT.

*Source: Peck, Albert W. Civil War Reminiscences 1862-1865. State Library and Archives of Florida, Tallahassee, FL.


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