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Presentation of Colors to the Nineteenth Regiment Connecticut Volunteer Infantry in 1862, black-and-white photograph reproduced as a postcard, circa 1920. Courtesy of the Litchfield Historical Society, Litchfield, Connecticut.

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New Haven Grays Grand March, lithograph sheet music cover by Sarony & Major, New York, 1846. Courtesy of the New Haven Colony Historical Society, New Haven, Connecticut.    >>Get More Info

T

he central-most parcel of communal land in a town was usually reserved for the main street and/or the Congregational meetinghouse, which was the physical and psychological center of the Puritan community. While outlying common lands were used for grazing, the meetinghouse green usually functioned simultaneously as a militia parade ground, marketplace, and burying ground.

  The Nineteenth Regiment Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, 859 men strong, received its distinctive unit flags, or "colors," on the Litchfield Green on September 10, 1862. The recruits embarked the next day by train to fight in the Civil War.

  The Colonial green was also the site of the schoolhouse, taverns, blacksmiths' shops, the jail and stocks, and the "Sabbaday houses" used as warming huts by churchgoers.

  As most towns were laid out with house lots bordering this open space, it also served as a unifying residential area. In this way the green became New England's enduring symbol of community crossroads.

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Tavern Sign From the General Wolfe Inn, Brooklyn, Connecticut, paint on pine, circa 1768. Courtesy of The Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, Connecticut.    >>Get More Info

 
 
 

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