John Gray Gammons.

The Third Massachusetts Regiment Volunteer Militia in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1863 (Volume 1) online

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E-text prepared by John Campbell and the Online Distributed Proofreading
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Transcriber’s note:

Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).

Changes to the text are noted at the end of the book.








Snow & Farnham Co., Printers.










_By the Committee._


To pick up the thread after it has been dropped; to supply the
missing link after forty years; to step into the shoes of a dead
comrade are things to be desired only by a conceited egotist, yet all
these things were forced upon me by a unanimous vote of the Third
Regimental Association at their annual meeting at Dighton Rock, in
August, 1904.

The Rev. Charles Snow, the Association’s first choice (and no one was
better fitted than he to write the history of the Third Regiment),
having been its chaplain and therefore acquainted with all the facts
in the history of the field and staff officers, as also with that of
nearly all of the line officers, both before and after the war, was
the man of all the officers in the regiment to compile the Regimental
History and publish the same. Moreover, he was retired from active
service and considered it a privilege rather than a duty to recall
the past and again live over the days with the “boys in blue” with
whom he had marched and suffered; but God had decreed otherwise,
and so Chaplain Snow was called to the great camping ground above.
He died at Taunton, Mass., Nov. 28, 1903, at the ripe age of
seventy-four years.

Chaplain Snow had gathered much material and many facts relating to
the outlines of the history of the regiment; he had written many
letters and had chronicled their answers; yet at the time of his
death only the history of Company A had been written. Several of the
comrades appointed to write the history of their companies considered
themselves incompetent for the task, and those who have written their
company history had to be encouraged to finish their “course with
joy.” Hundreds, if not thousands, of letters had to be written by the
compiler and the writers of company histories, and in some instances
it required all the elasticity of patience in waiting for an answer.
But why wonder when we call to mind the many years since the close of
the war, and the scattered condition of the young men who composed
the rank and file of the Third Regiment. Some of them are treading
the snows of Alaska and the ice flows of Point Barrows; some are
bringing gold and silver from the mountains of Idaho, and oil from
the valleys of Montana; some are in France, England, China, and many
have answered the last roll call. Long, patient, and persistent
has been the efforts of the writers of this history, to give to the
comrades a book worthy to be placed in the libraries of every city
and town in Massachusetts, and to be read by every surviving comrade
and his descendants to the end of time.

No one claims that the history is complete; no doubt there are many
interesting facts written in diaries lying dust-covered, which would
add great interest could they be found; much valuable history was
long ago committed to the fire in house-cleaning time as worthless.
Yet notwithstanding all these things your Committee believe that they
have given as full and complete a history as could be written at this
late date, and with the conscious belief that they have done their
duty to the best of their ability, they submit this volume to the
comrades of the Third Regiment, their friends, and posterity.

“The cost of peace, Oh! who can tell its worth.
The prosperity of a united South and North,
The stain of slavery from the Old Flag gone,
The Nation living happy, united, strong.”

The compiler wishes to make mention of the great assistance rendered
by Col. S. P. Richmond, Capt. William Mason, Lieutenant Lyle and
Lieutenant Wilber, George A. Grant, Morton V. Bonney, and the writers
of company histories, and corrected rosters up to date. We more than
thank all for their work of patriotic effort with the one desire to
serve the members of the Third Regiment, who served in the same from
1861 to 1863, and many of the same regiment who served in the various
regiments and unattached companies until the close of the Rebellion.
The aim of the compiler has been to make each chapter complete in its
narrative and historical record, without referring to other chapters.

The Compiler,





History of the Third Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer
Militia, 1861 - Three Months’ Service 6


History of the Third Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer
Militia - Nine Months’ Service in North
Carolina, 1862-3 18


Historical Record of the Field and Non-Commissioned
Staff Officers 49


History of Company A 66


History of Company B 115


History of Company C 133


History of Company D 150


History of Company E 185


History of Company F 205


History of Company G 221


History of Company H 230


History of Company I 251


History of Company K 272


History of Third Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer
Association 306


Rev. Dr. John G. Gammons Frontispiece

Col. Silas P. Richmond Opposite page 49

Lieut.-Col. James Barton “ “ 53

Major John Morrissey “ “ 54

Adjutant Lucian L. Perkins “ “ 56

Surgeon Alfred A. Stocker “ “ 58

Chaplain Rev. Charles A. Snow “ “ 60

Capt. John W. Marble “ “ 66

Capt. Elihu Grant “ “ 133

Capt. Andrew R. Wright “ “ 150

Capt. John A. Hawes “ “ 185

Capt. George R. Hurlburt “ “ 205

Capt. William S. Cobb “ “ 221

Capt. Otis A. Baker “ “ 230

Capt. Barnabas Ewer, Jr. “ “ 251

Capt. Samuel Bates “ “ 272

Sergt. Patrick Cannavan “ “ 207

Sketch of the Goldsboro Expedition “ “ 26


At the annual reunion of the regimental association held in East
Bridgewater, Aug. 6, 1903, the question of publishing the history
of the Third Regiment was enthusiastically discussed and approved.
Much valuable material had already been secured by one of the members
and the prospect was bright and encouraging that an interesting and
valuable narrative could be produced. A committee of ten, one from
each company, was chosen to prepare histories and rosters of their
respective companies, to aid in compiling the general history. It
was unanimously voted that the work of compiling and publishing the
history be committed to Chaplain Snow, under the supervision of the
Committee. Several changes have since been found necessary to be made
in the construction of the Committee, as some of the members first
appointed were not able to do the work assigned them. No great delay,
however, has been caused by these changes, and the preparation of the
volume has been made with reasonable diligence and dispatch.

In compiling this work the writer has acted as annalist rather than
author. This is usually the fact in the narration of history, but
particularly so in the present case, since the work has been largely
to arrange materials, and in many portions in nearly verbatim form,
as they were furnished by others. The labor has proved an agreeable
pastime and this is the only remuneration sought or desired. Should
the volume receive a gratified welcome from the comrades who served
with me in the old Third Regiment this fact will be regarded as bonus
in addition.

The Third Regiment does not presume to claim, in any special sense,
the honors of a very eventful career. Circumstances beyond its
control made this impossible. Equipped with unserviceable arms,
which were duly condemned but never exchanged for better ones, and
being assigned mainly to garrison duty, the term of service of the
Third Regiment was completed without the gravest hardships. I am
sure, however, that the regiment had the _esprit de corps_ requisite
for the sternest military service and sacrifice. It only lacked the
opportunity to prove itself. This proof has been given in a measure
at least, by those who re-enlisted and did noble service in other
regiments, particularly the Fifty-eighth.

I have been greatly assisted in the collection of materials, and in
their verification, by many of my comrades, and their interest has
been to me a decided stimulus. The names of the most prominent ones
are given in connection with the articles which they have contributed.

Besides the valuable aid rendered by the Committee, especial
commendation is due to Major A. S. Cushman of East Orange, N. J.,
whose contributions are of eminent value as matters of history.


_Chaplain,_ 1862-’63.

NOTES. - Cities and towns mentioned in this volume may be understood
as being in Massachusetts. Otherwise the states are designated in
which they are located.

The photos representing the field and staff officers, also the line
officers, were taken at about the time of enlistment in 1862.


“’Twas eighteen hundred sixty one, April the twelfth at six,
Old Sumter’s gates were firmly barred, and water filled the ditch;
And the sentinel with martial tread, the relief expected soon,
When upon the air so calm and still, there came a cannon boom.

“Beat the long roll,” the Major cried, “bid every man fall in,
Secession’s work so long delayed, the Rebels now begin;
But just as true as the Old Flag does from the flagstaff fly,
We’ll show the Rebs true Yankee grit, we’ll whip them or we’ll die.”

Boom! boom! the cannon loud did roar, the shot flew thick and fast,
And many a shell of a hundred pounds close to Old Glory passed.
Said Anderson, “My noble men, such things should never be,
Those stars of light, those bars of gold are emblems of the free.”

“That flag, the glory of our land, should we but pull it down,
Would make our mothers weep for shame, and our sweethearts
on us frown.”
And every man he loud did shout, “Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!
No traitor’s hand shall touch that flag, or its glory ever mar!”

Our dear Old Flag, in darkest days, inspired the old war song,
“We’re coming Father Abraham, three hundred thousand strong.”
And when the mud of the Sacred Soil made weary soldiers lag,
Then new strength came to march again as we beheld the flag.

When on the field of Winchester, in the thickest of the fight,
The Stars and Stripes were seen aloft, it gave the soldiers might;
And when we all were driven back and thought we’d lost the day,
Then daring Sheridan came up, and unto us did say:

“Right about march, just follow me, I’m with you although late;
Fix bayonets, charge the Rebel lines, and all the ground retake.”
And every man, on foot, on horse, looked like a son of Mars,
As he shouted “Down the Rebel flag.” “Hurrah! the Stripes and Stars!”

At Gettysburg, our dear Old Flag was riddled by the shot
And men had fallen by the score, by roadside and in lot.
For three long days we fought the Rebs, repelling Pickett’s charge,
And the victory of the Old, Old Flag, did every heart enlarge.

When in our country’s darkest hour, our Grant was heard to say:
“Be true, my men, to the Old Flag, and you’ll shall see some day
That victory like the morning sun, will rise and on us shine,
For that Old Flag, so dear to me, I’ll fight upon this line.”

At Appomattox, in sixty five, we charged the Rebel lines,
And then in silence, there we stood waiting for further signs
Until we saw General Grant pass, in arm with General Lee,
For the Flag of Slavery had surrendered to the great Flag of the Free.

Then wave, Old Flag, wave evermore, our fathers fought for thee;
Thy very presence make us glad, as thy Stars and Stripes we see.
Thou art the sign of liberty, the glory of our land,
And long our institutions free, like bulwarks sure shall stand.

Sentinel of old, stand at thy post, and from the flagstaff fly;
For thee, and for thy honor bright, our comrades dared to die.
Receive the honors due to thee, and may we all be true
To the Stars and Stripes, our country’s flag: The Red, The White,
The Blue.




“PRIDE of New England! Soul of our fathers!
Shrink we all craven-like, when the storm gathers?
What though the tempest be over us lowering,
Where’s the New Englander shamefully cowering?
Graves green and holy around us are lying, -
Free were the sleepers all, living and dying!

If we whispered the truth, whisper no longer;
Speak as the tempest does, sterner and stronger;
Still be the tones of truth louder and firmer,
Startling the haughty South with the deep murmur;
God and our charter’s right, freedom forever!
Truce with oppression, never, O, never!”


The Third Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, as its number
seems to indicate, claims relationship with the earliest forces of
the Commonwealth. The claim is well sustained by the fact that seven
companies from Bristol and Plymouth counties helped to compose the
original regiment, and became the nucleus of the Third Regiment
which served in the Civil War. These seven companies were:


Organized in 1792, receiving its charter from John Hancock, then
Governor of Massachusetts. The officers at that time were: Capt. Asa
Thompson, First Lieut. Cephus Washburn, Jr., Second Lieut. Charles P.

Captain Thompson was a mighty man of valor, of gigantic proportions,
being six feet and seven inches in height in normal condition, and
eight feet with his captain’s cap on. On parade and muster this
company attracted attention, not only by the Saul-like appearance of
its captain, but also by the large bearskin caps worn by the officers
and men. Tradition says that when Captain Thompson marched his army
across South Boston bridge, throngs of men, women, and children
collected to see “the giant” and his men, and not a few trembled with
fear lest the bridge should not be able to support the captain and
his great company.

When called into service in 1861 this company was officered by Capt.
Joseph S. Harlow, of Middleboro; First Lieut. Cephus Washburn, Jr.,
of Kingston; Second Lieut. Charles P. Lyon, of Halifax.


At the opening of the War this company was officered by Capt. C. C.
Doten, of Plymouth; First Lieut. Otis Rogers, of Plymouth; Second
Lieut. William B. Alexander, of Boston. Officers and men, 69.


Capt. James P. Richardson; First Lieut. Samuel E. Chamberlain; Second
Lieut. Edward F. Richardson. Officers and men, 97.


Organized in 1850. Capt. John W. Marble; First Lieut. Humphrey A.
Francis; Second Lieut. John M. Dean. Officers and men, 24.


On entering the three months’ service this company had as its
officers: Capt. Lucian L. Perkins; First Lieut. Oscar E. Washburn, of
Plympton; Second Lieut. Southworth, of Middleboro. Officers and men,


Capt. William S. McFarlin, of South Carver; First Lieut. John Dunham,
of North Carver; Second Lieut. John L. Porter, of New Bedford.
Officers and men, 62.


Organized in 1853. Capt. Timothy Ingraham, of New Bedford; First
Lieut. James Barton, of New Bedford; Second Lieut. Austin S. Cushman,
of New Bedford. Officers and men, 78.



This regiment was under the command of Col. D. W. Wardrop, and was
composed of troops residing in localities more widely separated
from their commander’s headquarters and from Boston than any other
regiment in the State, and therefore in any comparisons which may
be made with other troops regarding the relative rapidity of their
mobilization in responding to the President’s call for troops, this
fact becomes important.

It was on the afternoon of Monday, April 15th, that Special Order,
No. 14, was issued by Governor Andrew and dispatched by mail, and
a special messenger sent to the respective colonels of the Third,
Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Regiments. The colonel of the
Third resided in New Bedford, a distance of fifty-six miles from
Boston; that of the Fourth in Quincy, eleven miles; that of the
Fifth in Medford, five miles; that of the Sixth in Pepperell, about
thirty-seven miles, and that of the Eighth in Lynn, eleven miles.
The order was received by Colonel Wardrop the same evening, and at
once promulgated to Company L, and some members of his staff were
dispatched to convey his orders to the other companies. Horace Scott,
President of the Fairhaven Railroad, gratuitously tendered a special
train as far as Tremont for the messengers going to Halifax, Carver,
Plympton, and Plymouth. The last named place was fifty-eight miles
from New Bedford, not accessible at that time of night by railroad,
nor were the other places above named, yet Company A received its
orders at two A. M., April 16th, and Company B received its orders
at three A. M., April 16th, and both companies reported in Boston
at noon of the same day. It has not been possible to ascertain when
Company G at Freetown received its orders, but it is credited with
having reported for duty “promptly.” The same may be said of Company
H, of Plympton, and Company K, of Carver. The Freetown company
had to travel forty-eight miles by rail, the Plympton and Carver
companies thirty miles, and the Halifax company twenty-eight miles,
after leaving their homes scattered miles apart and distant from the
stations. It is surprising that with the limited railroad facilities
of those days and without modern means of intercommunication by
telegraph or telephone, in the midst of a cold spring northeaster,
over roads almost impassible with mud and thawing snow, that the
orders should have been so rapidly transmitted and so promptly obeyed.

Col. David W. Wardrop was proficient in military tactics. He had
first served as lance corporal in the old Boston Fusileers, and
afterwards belonged to the City Guards of New Bedford. Some credited
him with having a West Point education. At all events, he was in
his element when performing any military duty, and inspired his men
with confidence in his military ability. He was prompt, courageous,
and energetic, but his regiment was small and widely scattered over
two counties. At the time of promulgating Special Orders, No. 14, it
consisted of but six companies, yet he strove with the governor for
the honor of being the first regiment to leave the State.

Captain Richardson’s company from Cambridge was attached to the
regiment April 16th as Company C, and on May 9th at Fortress Monroe
Captain Chipman’s company from Sandwich, Capt. Charles C. Doten’s
company from Plymouth, Capt. W. D. Chamberlain’s company from Lynn,
and Capt. J. K. Tyler’s company from Boston, all three years’
companies, were temporarily assigned to the Third Regiment, and
designated as Companies D, E, I, and M, respectively.

The original companies, including Company C, embarked on the steamer
_S. R. Spaulding_ April 17th, from Central Wharf, in the early
evening and dropped down the harbor to await supplies. She sailed
under sealed orders the next forenoon, to find when nine miles out
that her destination was Fortress Monroe, which was reached at eleven
A. M., Saturday, April 20th, after a voyage of forty-seven and
one-half hours.

That afternoon the regiment embarked on the gunboat _Pawnee_, and
at five o’clock proceeded to Gosport Navy Yard under orders from
Washington to destroy the dry dock construction houses and all
vessels and munitions of war which could not be secured against
seizure by the rebels. As they approached their destination in the
darkness the vessels there were uncertain whether the unexpected
troops were friends or foes of the Union, and so the _Pawnee_ and
all on board were for a while exposed to imminent peril of instant
destruction by a broadside from the _Pennsylvania_ and a raking
fire from the _Cumberland_, whose crews and some of whose officers
remained loyal to the Union, and stood with shotted guns and lanyards
in hand breathlessly awaiting some sign by which the character of
the mission of the approaching troops could be assured. Finally the
repeated hail of the _Pawnee’s_ boatswain convinced the loyal sailors
that loyal troops had come to their support, and then the night air
re-echoed with enthusiastic shouts and added volume to the inspiring
strains of the “Star Spangled Banner,” which was played by the
splendid band on the quarter-deck of the _Pennsylvania_.

Time has satisfied the public that the place could have been held
and the enormous loss avoided, which resulted from the attempt at
destruction. It speaks well for the Third that its colonel was of
that opinion at the time and volunteered to hold it with his small
force until re-enforced. Commodore Paulding, however, felt compelled
by his orders to decide otherwise, and soon buildings and ships were
aflame as the various details proceeded with their several tasks.
Even the detail taken from Company B to assist in mining the dry dock
were driven from their work before its entire accomplishment by the
extreme heat. Two companies, A and B, were on guard as a reserve, as
it was known that two rebel companies were at Norfolk. Other details
threw cutlasses, sabres, shot and shell into the river, and every
man worked energetically at his allotted task in the light of the
great conflagration until he was aboard the _Pawnee_ for return to
Fortress Monroe, where she arrived Sunday, April 21st, at six A. M.

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