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"O URS."



of 10tl\




MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS,



IN THE



REBELLION.



EDITED BY

CAPTAIN JOSEPH KEITH NEWELL,

HISTORIAN OF THE REGIMENT,

From personal observation, private journals of officers and men, selections from the press
of the day, and from letters from soldiers of the regiment published in the
local newsa



local newspapers.



PUBLISHED BY

C. A. NICHOLS & CO.,

SPRINGFIELD, MASS.
1875-



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1875, by

C. A. NICHOLS & CO.,
In the office of the, librarian cf< Congress, at Washington.



CLARK W. BRYAN AND COMPANY,

CLECTROTYPERS, PRINTERS AND BINDERS,

SPRINGFIELD, MASS.



TO GENERAL

HENRY S. BRIGGS,

THE* ORGANIZER AND FIRST COMMANDER OF THE TENTH, AND
TO COLONEL

JOSEPH B. PARSONS,

WHO SO GALLANTLY LED THE REGIMENT DURING THE LATTER PERIOD OF ITS bEKVICi

b t s Sol o r k

WITH THEIR PERMISSION, IS MOST RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED.



M18S318



PREFACE.



To MY COMRADES OF THE TENTH MASSACHUSETTS :

AT your annual re-union held at Westfield in 1872. the Commit
tee appointed the previous year for the purpose, requested me to
prepare for publication and preservation such records and sketches
of the Regiment as it was possible to obtain. This task, although
a pleasant and agreeable, has not been an easy one. When the
Regiment was organized and enlisted for the war in 1861, no liv
ing person had any idea of the magnitude and duration of the
struggle just commencing. Our most prominent statesman only
gave the rebels ninety days to lay down their arms and disperse,
and a year at the most was expected to crush out all signs of re
bellion, and no well directed means were taken to keep a system
atic record of occurrences and events. The Regimental records
are scattered and incomplete. Letters from soldiers in the army
to the public press are necessarily disconnected and imperfect,
but to these I am in a great measure indebted for material. For
personal biographies and sketches I have written nearly two thou
sand letters and circulars to men of the Regiment. Many of these
have been returned as uncalled for, the parties having removed.
Many have been returned to me giving useful information, for
which I hereby return my sincere thanks, and many others have
neither been returned or answered, showing that the recipient had
a careless indifference in regard to the matter. To the newspa
pers of Western Massachusetts I am greatly indebted for courte
sies received and free access to their files. I have freely pirated
from their columns, sometimes giving credit and sometimes not,
so they must take this acknowledgment as covering the whole
ground and not accuse me of what I freely confess.

The Tenth Regiment was one of the first to answer the coun
try s appeal in the hour of her peril. It was one of the first to



6 PREFACE.

march to the Nation s Capitol, when that Capitol was in danger.
With their strong arms and stout hearts and very life s blood they
upheld the honor of their country on many a stubbornly contested
battle-field. The southern soil is enriched and hallowed by the
blood of their best and bravest, and to their valor and devotion
the present peace and prosperity of the country are largely
indebted.

Your comrades are fast passing away. Every year the attend
ance at your re-unions will be less and less, until only a few gray-
haired old veterans will be left to recount the deeds and talk over
the achievements of the clays gone by ; and they in turn will pass
away, leaving only their memories and the result of their services
as a legacy to their descendants. It is for this that these pages
are written : To preserve the names and deeds of the soldiers of the
Tenth Massachusetts.

Many errors and omissions will unavoidably occur, but these I
trust you will pardon, believing that I have made the record as
historically correct as possible. To the officers and men who have
rendered me valuable assistance in prosecuting my researches for
information, I return my sincere thanks.

JOSEPH K. NEWELL.
SPRINGFIELD, JUNE, 1875.



CONTENTS.



I

PAGE.

PREFACE, 5

CHAPTER I.

Suggestions of Adjutant General Schouler General Order No 4 Re
sponse of the militia Legislative act to increase the militia News of
attack on Sumpter Awakening of the North Permission to raise six
regiments in Massachusetts General Order No 12 The six regi
ments being organized Selection of companies for the Tenth Ap
peal to the citizens of Western Massachusetts Arrival of the Barring-
ton company Appointment of officers Muster of the Regiment at
Hampden Park The first battalion drill Appointment of surgeons
Anniversary of Bunker Hill Rations, n

CHAPTER II.

Sworn into the United States service A few who wouldn t swear
Complaints in regard to food Arrival of quartermaster s and ord
nance stores Celebration of Independence Day Arrival of regi
mental band Inspection by Governor Andrew Presentation of
colors Testimonials to officers Departure for Medford The new
camp Rank of officers Supplied with baggage and ambulance train
Orders to embark for Washington Mustering in recruits Break
ing up camp Address of Ex-Governor George N. Briggs March
through Boston All aboard and off for the war, .... 26

CHAPTER III.

At sea Sea-sick In Chesapeake Bay Matthias Point Acquia Creek
Mount Vernon Arrival at Washington To Kalorama New uni
forms A new camp Inspection Brightwood, beautiful Bright-
wood More measles A christening in camp Visit from General
McClellan Building forts First brigade review by McClellan
Funeral service in camp Reviewed by General Buell Arrival of
nurses More recruits Sanitary condition of the Regiment March
ing orders A new camp proposed Visit from Governor Andrew
Review by General Keyes Report of commission appointed to in
vestigate cause of sickness Building barracks for winter Small pox
in camp General vaccination Company savings Two months pay
Machine poetry, 44



8 CONTENTS.

PAGE.

CHAPTER IV.

A new doctor News from the Burnside expedition Detail for gun-boat
service News from Fort Donelson New uniforms Marching orders
The slavery agitation The raid into Maryland March into Vir
ginia At Prospect Hill Evacuation of Manassas March back to
Camp Brightwood More marching orders Good-bye to Brightwood
Down the Potomac to Fortress Munroe Hampton Newport News
Allotment commission March to Warwick A reconnoissance
Bad roads and reduced rations Picket duty The rebels evacuate
Yorktown Williamsburg The march resumed To Barhamsville
To New Kent Court-house Picket under difficulties Baltimore Cross
Roads Crumps Cross Roads Across the Chickahominy, . . 66

CHAPTER V.

Reconnoissance Careless picket duty The battle of Fair Oaks Gen
eral Briggs wounded Other casualties The enemy repulsed at last
The band Colonel Briggs report Captain Miller s account New
York Herald account General Keyes opinion of the Tenth Offi
cial report of killed and wounded Burying the dead, ... 97

CHAPTER VI.

After the battle Skirmishing To the right For the James River
The silent march Arrival at Ilaxall s Battle of Malvern Hill Gal
lant conduct of the Tenth Death of Major Miller Casualties Re
treat to Harrison s Landing Visit of President Lincoln A temporary
commander Digging wells Inspection General Devens re-assumes
command of the brigade The rebels fire on our transports Another
trip to Ilaxall s and Malvern A new chaplain and surgeon Good-
by to Harrison s Landing For Yorktown Promotion of Captain
Parsons, 117

CHAPTER VII.

Introduces Major Dexter F. Parker Leave the peninsula for Alexan
dria March towards Fairfax Back to Alexandria To Ball s Cross
Roads To Chain Bridge Across the Potomac into Maryland
Crampton s Gap Surrender of Harper s Ferry Antietam More
new recruits To Williamsport Resignation of officers, and court-
martial of same March to Hancock Back to Williamsport and
Downesville To Berlin Across into Virginia once more To New
Baltimore Exit McClellan Enter Burnside The last of the court-
martial To Stafford Court-house To Belle Plain, . . . .138

CHAPTER VIII.

Across the Rappahannock First Fredericksburg Back to Falmouth
Departure of the discharged officers for home Present roster State
ment from General Devens to Governor Andrew Mr. Birnie s letter
The situation of the Regiment as portrayed in the Springfield Re
publican Resignation of Chaplain Bingham, and his farewell address, 163



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER IX.

The new commissions March to Briar Church Return to camp Dis
charge of Captain Pierce Review by Generals Hooker and Sedg-
wick Reviewed by President Lincoln The balloon corps Marching
orders Promotion of General Devens and his farewell address to his
old brigade Once more crossing the Rappahannock Salem Rights
Gallant charge of the Thirty-sixth New York Advance of the
Tenth under terrible fire List of casualties Recrossing the river
after repulse of Hooker at Chancellorsville Back into the old camp
Letter from General Newton to Governor Andrew, .... 187

CHAPTER X.

Marching orders A detail from the Tenth across the river digging rifle-
pits They cross and relieve the skirmish line In the rifle-pits Re
turn to the Fal mouth side To Stafford Court-house To Dumfries
To Wolf Run Ford To Fairfax Station To P airfax Court-house
To Centerville To Drainesville To Edwards Ferry Across the
Potomac into Maryland To Chewsville To Westminster Good
bye New York Thirty-sixth To Manchester To Gettysburg Fol
lowing up the rebel retreat To Boonsboro and Williamsport To
Berlin Over into Virginia once more To Manassas Gap To War-
renton Capture of Captain Ives March for Culpeper Court-house
Stone House mountain Rappahannock station To Catlett s Bris-
tow To Centerville Captain Fred Barton captured To Gainesville
To New Baltimore Back to the old camp-ground at Warrenton
Fight at Rappahannock Station March to Kelly s Ford and then to
Brandy Station A new chaplain Crossing the Rapidan, . . . 213

CHAPTER XI.

Back from Mine Run to Brandy Station Winter quarters Re-enlist
ments in the Tenth Presentation to General Eustis March to James
City To Madison Court-house Back to camp Across the Rapi
dan The Wilderness campaign Terrible fighting and severe losses
Death of Lieutenants Ashley and Midgley Spottsylvania and the
battle there A night skirmish List of casualties from May fifth to
eleventh The battle of Spottsylvania Court-house, May twelfth, and
the casualties in the Tenth Severe fighting, May eighteenth Off on
the Bowling Green road Tearing up railroads, 246

CHAPTER XII.

Crossing the North Anna and Pamunkey To Cold Harbor Skirmish
ing Casualties Life in the trenches Another flank movement
Across the Chickahominy To Charles City Court-house Crossing .
the James on pontoons To Petersburg Relieved and ordered home
Death and burial of Sergeant-Major Policy For Washington
Home, sweet home A magnificent reception Mustered out, . . 275



IO . CONTENTS.

PAGE.

CHAPTER XIII.
The Commissioned Officers The Nurses, ...... 295

CHAPTER XIV.
Non-Commissioned Staff Regimental Band, 347

CHAPTER XV.
Company A Great Barrington Company, . 358

CHAPTER XVI.
Company B Johnson Grays, - . . 391

CHAPTER XVII.
Company C Northampton Company, 418

CHAPTER XVIII.
Company D Pollock Guard, 457

CHAPTER XIX.
Company E Barton s Roughs, 476

CHAPTER XX.
Company F Springfield City Guard, 493

CHAPTER XXI.
Company G Greenfield Guards, 514

CHAPTER XXII.
Company H Shelburne Falls Infantry, 538

CHAPTER XXIII.
Company I West Springfield and Holyoke Company, .... 565

CHAPTER XXIV.
Company K Westfield Company, 590



THE REGIMENT.



CHAPTER I.

Suggestions of Adjutant-General Schouler General Order No. 4 Re
sponse of the militia Legislative act to increase the militia News of attack
on Sumpter Awakening of the North Permission to raise six regiments
in Massachusetts General Order No. 12 The six regiments being organ
ized Selection of companies for the Tenth Appeal to the citizens of West
ern Massachusetts Arrival of the Barrington company Appointment of
officers Muster of the Regiment at Hampden Park The first battalion
drill Appointment of Surgeons Anniversary of Bunker Hill Rations.

As early as the autumn of 1860, it became evident to all
reflecting minds of the Northern States, that civil war was
imminent, and Massachusetts commenced early to prepare
for the coming struggle.

As required by law, William Schouler, Adjutant-General
of Massachusetts, made his annual report in December,
1860. It was addressed to Governor Banks, and in it he
says :

" Events have transpired in some of the Southern States and at
Washington, which have awakened the attention of the people of
Massachusetts, in a remarkable degree, to the perpetuity of the
Federal Union, which may require the active militia to be greatly
augmented. Should our worst fears be realized, and this nation
plunged into the horrors of civil war, upon Massachusetts may
rest, in no inconsiderable degree, the duty of staying the effusion
of blood, and of rolling back the black tide of anarchy and ruin.
She did more than her share to achieve the independence of our
country, and establish the government under which we have risen
to such unparalleled prosperity, and become the Great Power of
the American Continent ; and she will be true to her history, her
traditions and her fair fame. Should it become necessary to



12 TENTH MASSACHUSETTS INFANTRY. [l86l

increase the number of her active militia to a war footing, the
present organization, offers an easy and a good means. The pres
ent companies could be filled to their full complement of men,
and the regiments to their full complement of companies ; new
regiments of infantry, new battalions of riflemen, new companies
of artillery and cavalry could be formed with which to fill the sev
eral brigades, and make our present divisions five thousand men
each, with proper apportionment of the several military arms. This
of course would require a large outlay of money which would
doubtless be cheerfully met by our people, if their honor and the
welfare of the country demand it of them."

The Adjutant-General suggested

" That a board of officers be called, as provided in section one
hundred and sixty-three, chapter thirteen, of the General Statutes,
to consider and recommend such changes as their judgment shall
approve, and their experience suggest." "In the meantime," he
said, " I would suggest, that a general order be issued, calling
upon commanders of the active force to forward to head-quarters
the names of the persons composing their commands, also their
places of residence, so that a complete roll of each company may
be on file in this department. The companies that have not their
full quota of men should be filled by new enlistments to the number
fixed by law; and whenever new enlistments are made or discharges
given, the names of the persons enlisted and discharged should
be forwarded immediately to head-quarters and placed on file."

Governor Banks, to whom the report was addressed, re
tired from office four days after it was printed, and before
any action could be taken upon the recommendations made.
They looked to a greatly increased active militia force, and
were the first official suggestions made for strengthening
the military force of the Commonwealth and placing it
upon a war footing.

Governor Andrew adopted the suggestions of Gen.
Schouler, and on the i6th day of January, eleven days after
his inauguration, directed the Adjutant-General to issue
General Order No. 4, which created intense interest
throughout the State, and especially among the active
militia.



l86l] TENTH MASSACHUSETTS INFANTRY. 13

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS.
Head-quarter s, Boston, January 16, 1861.

GENERAL ORDER No. 4.

Events which have recently occurred, and are now in progress,
require that Massachusetts should be at all times ready to furnish
her quota upon any requisition of the President of the United
States, to aid in the maintenance of the laws and the peace of
the Union. His Excellency, the Commander-in-Chief, therefore
orders,

That the commanding officer of each company of volunteer
militia, examine with care the rolls of his company, and cause
the name of each member, together with his rank and place of
residence, to be properly recorded, and a copy of the same to be
forwarded to the office of the Adjutant-General. Previous to
which, commanders of companies shall make strict inquiry,
whether there are men in their commands, who from age, physical
defects, business or family causes, may be unable or indisposed to
respond at once to the orders of the Commander-in-Chief, made
in response to the call of the President of the United States, that
they be forthwith discharged, so that their places may be filled
by men ready for any public exigency which may arise, whenever
called upon.

After the above orders shall have been fulfilled, no discharge,
either of officer or private, shall be granted, unless for cause sat
isfactory to the Commander-in-Chief.

If any companies have not the number of men allowed by law,
the commanders of the same shall make proper exertions to have
the vacancies filled, and the men properly drilled and uniformed,
and their names and places of residence forwarded to head-quar
ters.

To promote the objects embraced in this order, the general,
field and staff officers, and the Adjutant and acting Quartermas
ter-General will give all the aid and assistance in their power.

Major-Generals Sutton, Morse and Andrews, will cause this or
der to be promulgated throughout their respective divisions.

By command of His Excellency, John A. Andrew, Governor
and Commander-in-Chief.

WILLIAM SCHOULER, Adjutant-General.



14 TENTH MASSACHUSETTS INFANTRY. [l86l

The active militia of Western Massachusetts responded
with alacrity. Meetings were held at the armories of the
companies composing the Tenth Regiment Massachusetts
Militia, rolls called, men who could not respond, from
business or otherwise, were honorably discharged, and their
places filled from the many applicants who besieged the
officers for chances to enroll themselves.

February 6, 1861, the House of Representatives voted
the following bill for the increase of the volunteer militia,
as follows :

Chapter 49. An Ad in relation to Volunteer Militia.

SECTION i. The volunteer militia companies, as now organ
ized, with their officers, shall be retained in the service ; and
hereafter, as the public exigency may require, the organization of
companies of artillery may be authorized, on petition, by the
Commander-in-Chief with advice of the Council, and the organ
ization of other companies may be authorized, on petition, by the
Commander-in-Chief, or by the Mayor and Aldermen or Select
men, by his permission ; and said companies, so retained, and so
organized, shall be liable, on a requisition of the President of the
United States upon the Commander-in-Chief, to be marched with
out the limits of the Commonwealth ; but all additional compa
nies, battalions and regiments which may be organized under the
provisions of this act, shall be disbanded whenever the Governor
or the Legislature shall deem that their services are no longer
needed. Companies of cavalry shall be limited to one hundred
privates, and a saddler and a farrier ; companies of artillery to
forty-eight cannoneers, twenty-four drivers and a saddler and far
rier ; the cadet companies of the first and second divisions to one
hundred, and companies of infantry and riflemen to sixty-four
privates.

SECT. 2. The fourteenth section of the thirteenth chapter of
the General Statutes, and all laws or parts of laws now in force,
limiting the number of the volunteer militia, are hereby repealed.

SECT. 3. This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Under the provisions of this bill, the companies which
before had numbered only about forty privates each, were
recruited up to the number required. At this time the



l86l] TENTH MASSACHUSETTS INFANTRY. 15

Tenth Regiment of Militia consisted of eight companies:
A of Shutesbury ; B of Leverett ; C of Northampton ; D
of Belchertown ; E of Colerain ; F of Springfield ; G of
Greenfield ; H of Shelburne the Regiment being under
command of Col. J. M. Decker, of Greenfield. Companies
A, B and D not being able to fulfill the conditions of the
law, were disbanded, and their places supplied by companies
from Great Barrington, North Adams and Pittsfield. Com
pany E of Colerain, was divided up among the other com
panies of the Regiment, to fill up to the required standard,
and its place made good by a company recruited in Spring
field by Captain Barton. A new company (I) was formed
by joining the volunteers of West Springfield and Holyoke,
and a full company (K) was organized in Westfield.

The news of the attack on Fort Sumpter thrilled through
the land, arousing the people to the most intense excite
ment. Crowds gathered at street corners and in all public
places to discuss the all-absorbing topic. All felt that the
hour for action had arrived. Meetings were called, resolu
tions of loyalty passed, and men and money offered with
out stint to uphold the government and enforce the laws.
Bounties were offered by the different towns to promote
enlistments. The stars and stripes waved from all promi
nent buildings, public and private. Rosettes of the national
red, white and blue were worn by patriotic young men and
enthusiastic misses throughout the North. The military
armories were kept open day and evening, to drill new
recruits, who offered themselves for enlistment in the or
ganized companies. Among the young men the military
enthusiasm was unbounded, the only question, who would
be accepted and who would be rejected. The members of
old Tenth Militia Regiment, will never forget the passage
through Springfield of their comrades of the Sixth and
Eighth and the Third Battalion. How they waited pa
tiently for orders which did not come. How the young
men got impatient, and many sought other fields of service,
enough leaving the four western counties of Massachusetts



1 6 TENTH MASSACHUSETTS INFANTRY. [l86l

and enlisting in other States to have made full half a regi
ment of the best of troops.

At last the tardy permission came, allowing Massachu
setts to furnish six regiments of volunteers. The letter
from Secretary Cameron was not received until the 22d of
May. It was not calculated to inspire spirit or awake en
thusiasm :

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, May 15, 1861.
GOVERNOR JOHN A. ANDREW, Boston :

DEAR SIR : I have the honor to forward you, enclosed here
with, the plan of organization of the volunteers for three years,
or during the war. Six regiments are assigned to your State,
making, in addition to the two regiments of three months militia
already called for, eight regiments. It is important to reduce
rather than to enlarge this number, and in no event to exceed it.
Let me earnestly recommend to you, therefore, to call for no more
than eight regiments, of which six only are to serve for three
years, or during the war, and, if more are already called for re
duce the number by discharge. In making up the quota of three
years men, you will please act in concert with the mustering offi
cers sent to your State, who will represent this department.
I am, sir, respectfully,

SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War.

What a foresight was exhibited by the leading statesmen
of the country when they called for seventy-five thousand
men, and expected to crush out the rebellion in ninety
days !

Upon the receipt of Secretary Cameron s letter, General
Order No. 12 was issued by direction of the Governor,
which gave notice that the quota was " fixed at six regi
ments of infantry, to be organized as prescribed in General
Order No. 15 from the War Department." The plan for
the organization of the regiment was substantially the same
as in the regular army. Each regiment was to be com
posed of ten companies, each company to have a captain,
two lieutenants, and ninety-eight enlisted men. The field
and staff officers of a regiment were to consist of a colonel,



l86l] TENTH MASSACHUSETTS INFANTRY. I/

lieutenant-colonel, major, adjutant, quartermaster, surgeon,
assistant surgeon, sergeant-major, quartermaster-sergeant,
commissary-sergeant, hospital steward, two principal musi
cians, and a band of twenty-four musicians. This system
of regimental organization was observed during the whole
war, with the exception that an additional surgeon was al
lowed and regimental bands discontinued.

The six regiments selected to complete the requisites of
the Secretary of War, were, the First, which was ordered



Online LibraryJoseph Keith NewellOurs : annals of 10th Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers in the Rebellion → online text (page 1 of 50)