Maude Swift Gallery
The current exhibit is Homefront: New London in the Civil War 1861-1865
In 1861, New London had a population of 950. And yet the townspeople were quick to answer the call of duty; within two days of the president’s first call for troops on April 15, 1861, the McCutchins Guards had offered their service. By the end of the Civil War, there were sixty-one volunteers in total from New London who served.
At right is a portrait of Corporal Ira Wilson Bragg, assistant surgeon from 1862-1864. Bragg received a letter of commendation from Gideon Wells, Secretary of Navy, for bravery operating on the deck of a warship to save the life of a sailor while it was under fire by the Confederate ironclad ship during the naval battle between the Merrimack and Monitor.
He died of yellow fever in 1864 while serving aboard ship off of New Orleans.
There are many other interesting items and artifacts in the exhibit including period furniture, glassware, letters, and even a .52 caliber minie ball, from Ira's brother Elmer, similar to the one which wounded Corporal Bragg.