Tag Archives: Northeast Regimental Histories
Colonel Chickering as Colonel of Cavalry

A Look Inside The Third Massachusetts Cavalry in the War for the Union

From the Introduction:

There are certain distinguishing characteristics of the American soldier in the war for the Union, which mark him and make him to stand forth illustrious.

He was characterized by a most remarkable patriotism. His patriotism was not passive, but active. Daniel Webster once said that there are times when the most eloquent thing in the world is action. He tells us when those times occur. They come to a man when the life of his family or the nation hangs trembling in the balance. “Then patriotism is eloquent, then self-devotion is eloquent.” That time came when the gathering storm of disunion burst upon the country. The nation’s life hung trembling in the balance. Treason was in the air Sumter had fallen. The flag had been insulted. Washington was menaced, and the streets of Baltimore ran red with Massachusetts blood. Then, flashing along the wires, there came the call for troops.


To the Heroic Men, who, in the War for the Union, followed the Flag, on Land and Sea, this Volume is affectionately Dedicated by The Author.


After many year of waiting, a history of the Third Mass. Cavalry is now given to the world. Having been commissioned to execute the work, it is with great satisfaction that the author now announces that the enterprise has been brought to a successful consummation. Great labor has been involved in the undertaking. So scattered are the living members of the regiment, and so imperfect the records kept by the officers, that the task imposed of making a complete history of the organization has not been ordinary. The historian has striven to give as complete and accurate a statement of facts as possible under the circumstances. Mistakes will be discovered; the impossible has not been attempted.

In performing this work the writer has been greatly aided by the members of the Historical Committee; by Sec. George H. Rymill, and by Capt. J. W. Hervey.

His thanks are due to Putnam & Sons, New York, for cuts of battlefields; to Harper & Bros., and to the Star Publishing Co. of Chicago, for permission to copy certain interesting scenes in the regimental life.

The following works have been consulted:

Greeley’s American Conflict“, “Harper’s Pictorial History of the War“, “Irwin’s History of the 19th Corps“, published by Putnam & Sons, N. Y., and “Campaigning with Banks and Sheridan,” by Flynn.

The author is greatly indebted to the Adjutant General’s Reports for 1863-1866, as compiled by Lieut.-Col. D. P. Muzzey, of Cambridge.

If this History shall in some degree serve to perpetuate the record of the gallant regiment whose deeds are herein narrated, and if the rising generation shall, perchance, gather somewhat of inspiration from the perusal of these pages, the author shall be rewarded for the time and toil expended in the preparation and publication of the work.

J. K. E


Joseph Gould

A Look Inside The Story of Pennsylvania’s The Forty-Eighth Regiment

One of our newest collections, The Civil War Part VI: Northeast Regimental Histories, contains extensive documentation and photographs from various regiments and other military organizations spanning the Civil War years and the decades to follow.

This is a look inside one of  the the twenty volumes in this full-text searchable collection.

The Story of The Forty-Eighth

A Record of the Campaigns of the Forty-Eighth Regiment Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Infantry during the four eventful years of its service in the war for the preservation of the Union by late Quartermaster Sergeant of the Regiment, Mt. Carmel, Pa.

The Preface

In compiling this volume the author has had access to many sources of information: his own and other private diaries, prepared in camp, when the events were fresh, at the close of a day’s march, or after a battle; General Orders; Official Records of the War; historical references; extracts from articles culled from the Century and other magazines, giving reminiscences of officers on both sides of the conflict; biographies and auto-biographies of General Officers; original articles by members of the Organization; the Official Report of Colonel Henry Pleasants, whose fertile brain conceived, engineered, and successfully exploded the Mine at Petersburg, that splendid operation that has given the Regiment a unique distinction, not enjoyed by any other organization in the Army of the Potomac; and last, but not least, the “Memorial of the Patriotism of Schuylkill County,” compiled and published by Francis B. Wallace, associate editor of the Miners’ Journal, in 1865, from the files of that paper during the war.

In the preparation of this work, which has required much labor and research, some slight error or misstatement of fact may have crept in; if such be found, let the reader be not too critical or severe, but remember that the events herein portrayed occurred over forty-two years ago. The object has been, in a general way, to add to the history of those stirring times the story of a Regiment proud of its achievements and inspired by the hope that its record shall not be forgotten when taps shall have been sounded over the resting place of the last survivor, but that the youth of the land who may perchance read its history may emulate its deeds by similar patriotic service should their country call them to do battle for its preservation or in defense of its flag.

The author extends his thanks to all those who have aided him with their advice or labor. Especially is he under obligation to the editors of the Miners’ Journal, who so kindly placed the files of their paper at his disposal; to Sergeant P. H. Monaghan, of Company F, and Robert A. Reid, of Company G, for original articles descriptive of some special operation observed by them; to Color Sergeant, Samuel Beddall, of Company E, Sergeant Daniel Donne, of Company G, and Captain F. D. Koch, of Company I; and especially to Sergeant William J. Wells, of Company F, for several original articles and for his valuable services in preparing and editing the work.

Joseph Gould,
Late Quartermaster Sergeant, 48th Regiment, P.V.V.I.



The Cadet Regiment’s Band

The newest expansion of our Civil War collection, Northeast Regimental Histories, includes several new books we added last week.

One of the new volumes, History of the Forty-Fifth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Militia: The Cadet Regiment contains wonderfully informative chapters about the history of the regiment and anecdotes from the war years.

The introduction ends with this passage:

We earnestly hope that this “History of the Forty-Fifth” will meet with the cordial approval of our comrades-in-arms, and interest all who peruse its pages.

Comrades, in the words of our eloquent War Governor, John A. Andrew: “We have proud memories of fields of conflict; sweet memories of valor and friendship; tender memories of our fallen brothers, whose dying eyes looked last upon our country’s flag; grand memories of heroic virtue, sublime by grief; thankful memories of a deliverance wrought out for humanity itself; immortal memories, with immortal honors blended.”

Historian of the Forty-Fifth Regiment,
Massachusetts Volunteer Militia.

History of the Forty-Fifth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Militia: The Cadet Regiment

History of the Forty-Fifth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Militia: The Cadet Regiment

View Table of Contents

  • Front Matter (Pages: 0a-x)
  • Authorization of History (Page [iii])
  • Charles R. Codman (Page [x])
  • Introduction (Pages: 1-2b)
  • A Brief Historical Sketch of the Independent Corps of Cadets (Pages: 3-8)
  • List of 185 Cadets Who Served in the Civil War (Pages: 9-16)
  • The Services of the Cadets in the Early Part of the Mar and at Fort Marren in 1862 (Pages: 17-34b)
  • The Cadet Regiment and its Friends in 1862 (Pages: 35-41)
  • A Few Facts of Interest to Members of the Forty-Fifth Regiment (Pages: 42-47)
  • In Memory of Oliver White Peabody, Lieutenant Colonel, Forty-fifth Mass. Volunteers, Died October 23, 1896. (Pages: 48-50b)
  • In Memory of Russell Sturgis, Jr., Major Forty-fifth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers. (Pages: 51-54)
  • The War Status, when the Nine Months Troops were Called (Pages: 55-59)
  • Camp Meigs, Readville (Pages: 60-69)
  • From Readville to Morehead City, N. C. (Pages: 70-76b)
  • Camp Amory on the Trent (Pages: 77-88b)
  • General John G. Foster. (Pages: 89-92b)
  • Colonel T. J. C. Amory. (Pages: 93)
  • The Signal Corps. (Pages: 94-101)
  • Heroic Deeds of Heroic MenThe Expedition to Goldsboro (Pages: 102-114b)
  • The Official Reports of the March to Kinston and Battle of Kinston (Pages: 115-141)
  • The Return March from Goldsboro. (Pages: 142-145)
  • Cavalry Operations on the Expedition to Goldsboro (Pages: 146-151)
  • The Confederate Account of the Goldsboro Expedition. (Pages: 152-157)
  • The Personal Experience of a Comrade Wounded in the Battle of Whitehall, December 16th, 1862. (Pages: 158-163)
  • A Soldiers Letter. (Pages: 163-164b)
  • Regimental Colors and the Color Guard. (Pages: 164b-181)
  • A Sketch of the Life of Theodore Parkman. (Pages: 181-184b)
  • The Cadet Band. (Pages: 184b-197)
  • Four Months In Fort Macon, Dept. N. C. (Pages: 197-203)
  • Captain Joseph Murdoch of Company G. (Pages: 203-206b)
  • The Mud March: The Expedition to Jonesville, Pollocksville and Trenton. (Pages: 206b-210b)
  • Provost Duty in New Berne. (Pages: 210b-222b)
  • Chaplain Stone and the Religious Life of the forty-fifth Massachusetts Regiment. (Pages: 222b-234)
  • A Stirring Day: (Pages: 234-244b)
  • Scouting at Night Beyond the Pickets on a Locomotive. (Pages: 244b-249)
  • Camp Massachusetts. (Pages: 249-257)
  • The Fight at Dover Cross Roads (Pages: 257-261)
  • The Grand Review. (Pages: 261-264b)
  • As I Saw It. (Pages: 264b-296)
  • The Enlistment of Colored Troops. (Pages: 296-303)
  • The Sergeants Story. (Pages: 303-312)
  • Under Marching Orders. (Pages: 312-313)
  • War: The Romance and the Reality. (Pages: 313-325)
  • The Medical and Surgical Department and Ambulance Corps. (Pages: 325-340b)
  • Memories of New Berneand the Massachusetts forty-fifth. (Pages: 340b-357)
  • The Rank and File. (Pages: 357-363)
  • Memories of the Civil War and of Camp and Field in the Forty-Fifth Massachusetts Regiment. (Pages: 363-384)
  • “Our silent absent” BY Comrade Frank A. Field of Company A. (Pages: 384-384b)
  • Reminiscences and Incidents of Army Life in North Carolina in the Eighteenth Army Corps (Pages: 384b-424)
  • The Arrival Home and Reception of the forty-fifth. (Pages: 424-431)
  • The Draft Riot in Boston, July, 1863. (Pages: 431-438)
  • After Twenty-Five Years. (Pages: 438-443)
  • Address on the Life and Character of Hon. Edward W. Kinsley. (Pages: 443-451)
  • Meetings and Re-unions of the Forty-Fifth Regiment, M. V. M. (Pages: 451-466)
  • The Band and Its Back Door Neighbors (Pages: 466-469)
  • Roster (Pages: 469-552)
  • Names and Addresses of the Surviving Members of the 45th Regiment, M. V. M. as far as known in 1908. (Pages: 552-566)

This short excerpt explains how the Forty-Fifth managed to pull together a band of its own from among its enlisted men.

The Cadet Band

By Private John R. Morse, a member of the band.

The Forty-Fifth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Militia was mustered into service September 15th, 1862. Contrary to the custom established in the early part of the war, the Forty-Fifth had no band. Two months prior to this time all the regimental bands had been “mustered out” by orders from headquarters.

This was done because the men were enlisted as musicians, and not as soldiers, liable to do active duty in the field. As time went on, these musicians numbered into the many thousands, and it was held that the enormous expense to the government was not warranted, considering that such service was of the ornamental, rather than of the most serious kind. But Colonel Codman said a band he would have, and in this he was warmly seconded by the officers and men of the Forty-Fifth. He instituted a search among the men of the different companies for those who were musical, and who had more or less knowledge of musical instruments used in bands.

As a result, details were made from the several companies, as follows:

  • Company A — Charles P. Goldsmith, Robert B. Hasty, John R. Morse.
  • Company D — Alva M. Richardson.
  • Company E — Henry Cummings, Henry L. Saxton, Henry C. Whitcomb, John D. Whitcomb.
  • Company G — Danforth K. Olney.
  • Company H — John A. Jones, James R. McLeran.
  • Company I — John L. Collyer, Freeman D. Hopkins, Joseph K. Melcher, John A. Spofford, Myron W. Whitney.
  • Company K — Hosea E. Holt.

These men were organized into a band and John A. Spofford was made leader, with the rank of Sergeant.

It was understood that these men should give up their guns, and henceforth serve as musicians, unless by reason of great loss they should be needed as fighting men, in which case every man should return to his company. They were, in either capacity, to receive the same pay, the same company rations, and the same clothing. Our “gridiron front” of blue stripes was the only distinguishing mark of the band.

Forty Fifth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Militia Cadet Band

Forty Fifth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Militia Cadet Band

Our duties were to furnish music in camp at “guard mount” and “dress parade,” give evening concerts, or whatever else was necessary for the good and pleasure of officers and men. It should be said that our instruments were furnished by officers and friends of the regiment. At the expiration of our term of service each member was generously presented with the instrument he used. Being “armed” with musical instruments we began preparations for our first appearance at “dress parade.” In this we were greatly helped by Seignor Mariani, the old drum major of Gilmore’s Band. He was very tall and commanding in appearance, always proud, and at the same time, jolly. When he marched before us, dressed in his gorgeous uniform, with his long gold-headed baton and his bearskin hat, with pompom topping all, he was inspiring. I used to think of him as a “moving shield” to cover the defects of our inexperienced work.


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Alma’s Doughnuts & The New Hampshire Volunteers

One of our newest collections is The Civil War Part VI: Northeast Regimental Histories.  These volumes were written while many of the members of the various regiments were still alive and able to recall specific events, stories, and places that shaped their lives during the war years.

While these books contain many somber passages, including lists of the dead and wounded, they also record stories like the one below that sheds some light on an individual member of the 12th Regiment – New Hampshire Volunteers.

Experiences, Anecdotes, and Incidents

One of the sergeants of Company H, whose first name is Alma, was a great lover of doughnuts, and different from most of young husbands he thought his wife could make quite as good or better doughnuts than his mother. So he wrote home to her from Point Lookout for a recipe how to make them. (more…)

Drum Corps, 93rd New York Infantry - Bealeton, VA, August 1863

New Books this Week: Northeast Regimental Histories

We are pleased to announce the expansion of our new Civil War Collection.  Five more books in  The Civil War Part VI: Northeast Regimental Histories were added this week.

These new titles are now available:

  • History of the Twelfth Regiment Rhode Island Volunteers In The Civil War 1862-1863
  • History of the Fourteenth Regiment, Connecticut Volunteer Infantry
  • The Twentieth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865
  • The Fifth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry in its Three Tours of Duty 1861, 1862-1863, 1864
  • The Story of the Forty-Eighth (Forty-Eighth Regiment Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Infantry)

Our page of direct browse links for books has been updated to include these new titles as well as all other books we have added this year.  Direct links for books and periodicals can make it easy to jump right to the book you need.

Direct browse and search links work as shown for institutions with IP address based access.  Individual subscribers need to include their username and password in the link as shown on the Direct Browse page.

Dedication from The Story of the Forty-Eighth

Dedication from The Story of the Forty-Eighth