15th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry
The original 15th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry was recruited in New Haven County and mustered into Federal service on August 25, 1862. They were named “The Lyon Regiment” in honor of Connecticut General Nathaniel Lyon who was killed in the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, MO in August 1861. The regiment arrived in Washington, D.C. on August 30 and was initially assigned to guard the Long Bridge. They saw their first combat at Fredericksburg in December 1862 as part of the IX Corps, Army of the Potomac.
Subsequently transferred to the VII Corps, Department of Virginia, the 15th CVI saw action again at Edington Road (April 24, 1863) and Providence Church (May 3, 1863) during the Confederate siege of Suffolk, Virginia.
In January 1864 the unit shipped to North Carolina and spent most of its time there on provost duty at New Berne where a monument commemorating the regiment still resides.
On March 8, 1865 the entire regiment and other units of its brigade were surrounded and captured near Kinston, NC. Paroled less than three weeks later, the regiment returned to New Berne and from there they returned home, being mustered out on July 12, 1865.
The reincarnated 15th Connecticut mustered into the N-SSA and New England Region in 1963 and was assigned seniority number 117. The team soon began to dominate regional competition and by 1968 they were winning medals at the national level.
Although membership has thinned out in recent years the team continues to be competitive. At the 137th Nationals in 2018 the team placed 2nd (Class A2) in the smoothbore team match and 3rd (Class A2) in the 8-man carbine team match - with only seven shooters.
The 15th CVI hosted their first regional skirmish at Blue Trail Range in Wallingford in August 1968 and many others since then (most recently in Glastonbury, CT). The team has helped host six National Skirmishes at Fort Shenandoah: the 50th (1974), 81st (1990), 99th (1999), 114th (2006), 127th (2013), and the 139th (2019).
Team members are largely from central and southern Connecticut with some as far away as New Hampshire and Virginia. Two original members, brothers Ed and Ted Occhi, have remained active shooters for over 50 years in the N-SSA. (Sadly, Ed passed away in June 2020.) The team is always seeking new blood to carry the 15th CVI to new glories in the 21st century.
Anyone interested in exploring the fun and infectious sport of shooting various Civil War firearms in friendly competition is welcome to contact the 15th CVI Adjutant, Tom Hines, at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can get you started.