By Richard T. Addison
|Norwich Armory in 1864|
Norwich, the scene of our present story, is a beautiful city of Connecticut, at the head of navigation on the Thames, where that pleasant river is formed by the confluence of the Yantic and Shetucket.
It is a wide-awake little town, and as vociferous in sounds of busy and thriving industry as any place of its size in the good old State of steady habits, or, indeed, in all the thronged length and breadth of Yankeedom. The natural features of the neighborhood are so surpassingly picturesque that the stranger might well fancy himself in some famous summer resort far off from the strife and the din of commerce and of common life; while, on the other hand, its noble lines of manorial and palatial residences smack most fragrantly of the elegance and sumptuosity of the favored suburban aside some great metropolis.
Besides these unexpected landscape charms, and these unwonted social delights of the old place, many a chronicle of historic interest has embellished its wild hills and glens during its long life of more than two centuries; chronicles which it might he pleasant and profitable to read, were it not that we find there scenes of yet greater and fresher attraction in the resounding halls of the great armories which the exigencies of the times and the boundless capacity of American will and skill have so magically conjured up during the past two or three eventful years.