There could be no question by January 1860 that the nation was going to war. At least this was the opinion of Connecticut Gov. William A. Buckingham, commander-in-chief of the state’s military. On January 17, he mobilized the militia through General Orders No. 227.
The officer selected to carry out the order is pictured here: Maj. Gen. Thomas Guyer. Born in 1809 in Westport, Conn., he prospered as a manufacturer of porcelain knobs in Norwalk. He became active in the state militia in 1834, and gradually rose in rank to major general. He is shown here as a colonel about 1850, posed with an unknown item of cloth or vellum and, on the table behind it, what may be his dress chapeau.
Guyer’s familiarity and long service with the militia made him a logical choice to meet Connecticut’s military quota established by the federal government during the Civil War. Thanks to his efforts and those of others, he kept men moving to the front lines. He went on to become a state legislator and died in 1899 at age 89.
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