Robert E. Paddock

Robert Elmer Paddock

Robert Elmer Paddock was a farmer born in Pomfret, Vermont to John and Electa Paddock in June of 1835. Sometime after 1850, Robert and his brother moved to Bridgeport, Connecticut, and opened some sort of a market. There, Robert met and married Sarah Sutherland in September of 1859, and had a son, John.

He enlisted into the 20th Connecticut alongside Cecil and was immediately promoted to the rank of Sergeant. In the enlistment records, he was listed as a farmer. Although it seems as though Cecil and Robert were good friends prior to the war, serving in the same company and in similar roles (Cecil was the 1st Sergeant) cemented their friendship. He makes frequent occurrences in the letters.

When Cecil was captured during the battle of Chancellorsville, Robert was captured alongside him. In early 1865, Robert was promoted to 1st Sergeant, then in May 1864, he was promoted again, this time to 2nd Lieutenant.

After the war, Robert returned to his wife and son. In the 1870’s, Robert and Sarah had 3 more sons, Wallace, Arthur, and Freddie. Robert kept a meat market in Bridgefield from at least 1873 and then became an insurance agent by 1887. He passed away in 1906 in Massachusetts.


In these letters:

  1. Date Author Description
  2. 1863-01-27
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • Cecil responds to two of Caroline’s letters and speaks of justification for the war and slavery.
  3. 1863-01-18
    • Caroline Burleigh
    • Caroline writes to Cecil about her money situation, how she enjoys sending him things, complains how the government doesn’t care for their soldiers, and speaks about the local news.
  4. 1863-01-17
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • Cecil writes a quick letter to Caroline, apologizing for deceiving her, informing her of their marching orders, and the health of the boys.
  5. 1863-01-15
    • Caroline Burleigh
    • In this long letter, Caroline complains about the state of the war, the moral affect of the war upon the men who are fighting it, how the armies don’t respect the Sabbath, and her daily schedule.
  6. 1862-12-15
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • Cecil writes to Caroline during a march toward Fredericksburg. He mentions the large amount of sickness amongst the men and how many they had to leave behind in Harpers Ferry.
  7. 1862-11-30
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • In this letter, Cecil scolds Caroline for worrying too much and working too hard, reminding her to place her faith in Christ. He speaks of his dissatisfaction with the chaplain, how he spent Thanksgiving, and worries about their daughter’s propensity for stammering.
  8. 1862-10-22
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • Cecil writes about receiving a box of edibles from home, McClellan’s inability to get into a fight, and building log huts. In a lengthy P.S. he addresses the rations and the weather.
  9. 1862-10-21
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • Cecil complains about Col. Ross requiring the sick men to attend the inspection, thanks Caroline for sending a box, speaks about Harpers Ferry and the battle there, and writes of other business.
  10. 1862-10-15
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • In this short letter, Cecil tells Caroline what she should send in a care box and discusses the bounty that Caroline should be receiving.
  11. 1862-10-12
    • Caroline Burleigh
    • Caroline writes about friends visiting, her headaches, selling potatoes, and pleads with Cecil not to throw his life away in the case of battle.
  12. 1862-10-12
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • Cecil writes about the chance of the 20th Connecticut going into battle in the near future, sleeping in the open, how much he loves receiving letters, then comments on some visiting that Caroline had done.
  13. 1862-10-10
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • Cecil writes home about how they have been eating better, the chance of going into battle, the surrounding units, and what his wishes are for Caroline and their daughter in the event of his death.
  14. 1862-09-30
    • Caroline Burleigh
    • Caroline writes about how she wishes the army would let sick men go home on furlough, and speaks of visiting with neighbors.
  15. 1862-09-25
    • Cecil Burleigh
    • Cecil writes about shipping his pistol and several other items home, being sick with a cold, and then gives Caroline directions for sending a care box.