According to the New York Evening Post of September 4, 1862, the Seventeenth Connecticut Regiment “left New York for a seat of war” on the previous evening. Having been organized on August 28, the unit was assigned to garrison duty until it participated in the famous “Mud March” of January 1863. A mid-winter storm left Virginia roads of “shocking” condition.
Among the privates who made up the regiment was inventor Elias Howe. At that time, the sewing machine he perfected was widely pirated in England and Europe, but Howe was not generally known. When his improved sewing machine won a gold medal at the Paris Exposition in 1867, the ground was laid for his later induction into the American Hall of Fame.