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  • Title: 28th MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEER INFANTRY | 4th Regiment, Irish Brigade | New England Civil War Reenactment Unit / Reenactors
    Descriptive info: .. GOOGLE CUSTOM SEARCH.. REGIMENTAL HISTORY.. MUSTER SHEETS.. THE ENFIELD RIFLE.. FLAGS OF THE 28th.. BATTLES CASUALTIES.. LIFE ON CAMPAIGN.. SOLDIERS' LETTERS.. THE IRISH EXPERIENCE.. THE 28th TODAY.. CIVIL WAR REENACTING.. UNIFORM EQUIPMENT.. RECOMMENDED SUTLERS.. CAMPAIGN SCHEDULE.. NEWS DISPATCHES.. IMAGE GALLERY.. RECRUITING OFFICE.. RECOMMENDED READING.. OTHER WEB SITES.. TELEGRAPH STATION.. Sesquicentennial.. News Notes.. Enlist Now.. for 150th Anniversary Reenactments!.. With the.. Civil War Sesquicentennial.. now more than half over, the 150th anniversary commemorations of the battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania will be upon us very soon.. If you want to experience them as a member of the recreated 28th Massachusetts.. ,.. enlist today.. !.. Upcoming Civil War Events..  ...   the original regiment at reenactments, parades and living history encampments throughout the year.. See our schedule.. for the 2014/ 1864 campaign.. Commonwealth Recognizes the Service Sacrifices of the 28th Massachusetts.. December 13, 2011, was the 150th anniversary of the 28th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment being mustered into the Union Army, and Gov.. Deval L.. Patrick.. issued a proclamation.. marking the milestone.. Help the 28th Massachusetts Keep Irish Brigade History Alive.. The recreated 28th Massachusetts is.. currently raising funds to establish a permanent memorial to the original regiment.. With.. your support.. , we can make it happen!.. Tweets by @28thMass.. Copyright 28th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.. Support the 28th.. |.. Contact Us..

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  • Title: 28th MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEER INFANTRY :: Irish Brigade :: Regimental History
    Descriptive info: 1862.. 1863.. 1864.. 1865.. "I have not a word, other than that of unqualified commendation, to bestow upon this well-regulated and admirably disciplined regiment.. ".. -Brig.. Gen.. Thomas F.. Meagher.. Regimental History: 1861.. hen Massachusetts.. Gov.. John A.. Andrew.. first issued a call for.. volunteers in May 1861, the state quickly.. raised a number of regiments,.. including one composed almost entirely of.. men who were Irish by.. birth.. or heritage: the 9th Massachusetts.. Volunteer Infantry.. As additional calls were made for more troops after the Union defeat at Bull Run in July, Gov.. Andrew hoped to raise two more all-Irish regiments from the large ethnic population of the state.. Officially authorized by the governor on September 24, the 28th and 29th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiments began recruiting in Boston and Framingham, respectively, on October 8.. Irish-American leaders including Patrick Donahoe, publisher of The Pilot, one of the most influential Irish Catholic newspapers in the country at the time offered encouragement and assistance.. New recruits were promised pay and rations upon enlistment, state subsidies for their families, Catholic chaplains to accompany their regiments in the field, and bounties of $100 when the campaign was over.. These efforts were undoubtedly bolstered by the well-timed Boston appearance of Thomas Francis Meagher on September 23.. One of the best-known immigrant Irish nationalists in America, Meagher attracted a capacity crowd to the Boston Music Hall, with a large overflow of people milling about in the street.. He made good use of his well-known oratorical skills, conjuring Irish and American symbolism to whip those gathered into a patriotic frenzy.. While his dedication to the cause was genuine, the ambitious Meagher was also, in a sense, hedging his bets.. His primary aim was to raise an entire brigade of ethnic Irish regiments which he ultimately hoped to command in the field.. But he apparently secured a promise from Gov.. Andrew of a commission in one of the Massachusetts Irish regiments if  ...   there were also significant numbers from interior mill towns such as Lawrence, Lynn, Milford, and Worcester.. Andrew handed command of the 28th Massachusetts, which its men proudly called the "Faugh a Ballagh (Irish for "Clear the Way") regiment, to William Monteith, a close friend of Donahoe who had many powerful political connections, especially in the large New York Irish community.. Like many officers appointed in the early days of the war, however, Monteith was of uncertain military ability.. According to his original plan, Gov.. Andrew had promised to send one of the Bay State s two new Irish regiments to Meagher for his planned Irish Brigade.. The other was to be sent to Maj.. Benjamin Butler, who flexed a lot of political muscle in the state.. A prominent criminal lawyer and pro-war Democrat popular among the state s Irish, Butler used his position as brigadier general of state militia to lead the first Massachusetts regiments to the relief of defenseless Washington at the outbreak of hostilities.. A grateful President Lincoln commissioned Butler as the first Major General of volunteers in the war and in August 1861 gave Butler overall command of land forces operating along the coast of the Carolinas.. Butler was anxious to quickly assemble as many New England units as possible.. Because the Irish 28th Massachusetts was mustered up to strength sooner, Gov.. Andrew dispatched the regiment to serve under Butler in the Carolinas, and later sent the non-Irish 29th to join Meagher s Irish Brigade in camp around Washington, D.. C.. Neither unit was pleased by this turn of events.. The men of the 28th were particularly dismayed, having previously been told that they would be the "4th Regiment" of the Irish Brigade.. Apparently, there was even talk in the camps around Boston that Meagher s troops would form the basis for a future army that would fight for the independence of Ireland after the American Civil War was over.. Continued..

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  • Title: 28th MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEER INFANTRY :: Irish Brigade :: Regimental Roster
    Descriptive info: Muster Sheets.. (Regimental Roster).. he 28th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry was organized at Cambridge during autumn 1861.. Most of its initial recruits were mustered into service on December 13 for a term of three years.. In all, some 1,845 soldiers served in the regiment over the three and a half years of its existence: 98 commissioned officers and 1,805 enlisted men.. An analysis of muster sheets from late 1861 reveals a proliferation of Irish surnames.. The regiment received infusions of new men as its ranks thinned, first through continued enlistments, then via the draft initiated in August 1863.. Many later recruits did not have Irish surnames or even come from Massachusetts.. During 1863 and 1864, it was common for new men to list residences inneighboring New England states, New York, and Canada.. Upon completing their original three-year terms of service, many soldiers elected  ...   28th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry on this Web site was taken directly from.. Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the Civil War.. , published in 1931 by the Adjutant General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.. Supplemental information was taken from.. Record of the Massachusetts Volunteers, 1861-1865.. published by the Adjutant General in 1868.. The list of veterans' burial places has been compiled separately and remains a work in progress.. Additions and revisions continue to be made as new information is received from descendants the men who served in the regiment.. Please.. contact us.. if you have done related research that you wish to share.. REGIMENTAL ROSTER, ROLL OF HONOR BURIAL PLACES.. Field Staff Officers.. Company A.. Company B.. Company C.. Company D.. Company E.. Company F.. Company G.. Company H.. Company I.. Company K.. Unassigned Recruits.. Regimental Band.. Roll of Honor.. Burial Places..

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  • Title: 28th MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEER INFANTRY :: Irish Brigade :: The Enfield Rifle
    Descriptive info: The Enfield Rifle.. he colorful history of the Irish Brigade is closely associated with the weapon that most of its regiments carried into battle: the.. 69 calibre M1842 Springfield smoothbore musket that was introduced nearly two decades before the Civil War began.. Brig.. Meagher is said to have preferred the outdated, less accurate weapon because he wanted to ensure that his lads were close to the enemy before firing, so they could then quickly charge with their bayonets.. No matter what the rationale, records indicate that the three original regiments of the Irish Brigade - the 63rd, 69th and 88th New York - indeed carried the.. 69 caliber Springfield smoothbore during the first three years of the war.. It wasn't until just before the Overland Campaign in the spring of 1864 that the old, outmoded weapon was exchanged for the modern.. 58 caliber M1863 Springfield rifle.. By contrast, the 28th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry - which was organized in late 1861 and didn't join the Irish Brigade until a year later - was, from the outset, equipped with a newer, more accurate British-made rifle that was easily superior to the Springfield smootbore and considered by some to be the best rifled musket available.. Not surprisingly, this weapon was much in demand.. Shortly after the bombardment of Fort Sumter, there was an acute shortage of firearms as states both North and South prepared for war.. Suitable weapons were desperately needed to arm all of the newly forming Union and Confederate volunteer regiments, and the small supplies available in the two sections of America quickly ran out.. John Andrew of Massachusetts wasted no time.. On April 24, 1861, he dispatched Francis B.. Crowninshield to England as his primary negotiator for the purchase of as many weapons as could be found to equip the volunteer troops that the Commonwealth was then raising.. Following the recommendation of master armorer Charles McFarland of the Springfield Armory, Gov.. Andrew directed Crowninshield to buy 25,000 stands of arms, preferably something comparable to the.. 58 caliber M1855 Springfield rifle - which McFarland was unable to provide.. Carrying a letter of credit worth 50,000 British pounds, Crowninshield arrived in England on May 6, accompanied by McFarland.. They quickly went to work but were alarmed to discover that an agent from the State of New York who had crossed over on the same ship had already laid claim to nearly 40,000 Enfield rifles that were on hand for immediate shipment.. The Massachusetts team also faced competition from agents representing both the Confederacy and other Northern states.. Still, Crowninshield and McFarland were able to secure contracts for the manufacture and export of some 14,700 Enfield three-band "long" rifles to Massachusetts before the end of 1861.. The Commonweath was able to purchase an additional 1,000 Enfield rifles from the State of New York, and order another 5,680 from Britain the following year.. Massachusetts also acquired 10,000 sets of white leather British regulation infantry accoutrements, but since it had stockpiled an ample supply of American-made accoutrements by the time the British sets arrived, the Commonwealth sold about 6,000 of the latter to other Northern states.. It kept the rest and wound up issuing them to several nine-month volunteer units raised in the summer of 1862..  ...   in some cases removed for aesthetic reasons after weapons were delivered, there is no evidence of an official program either North or South to recondition imported rifles in this manner, at least at the beginning of the war.. In fact, the official Confederate ordnance manual expressly prohibited removal of blueing.. It stands to reason that in the early days of the war, muskets were needed as quickly as possible and authorities wouldn't stand for delaying the delivery of weapons simply to improve their show and appearance.. On the federal side, it appears that armories in Springfield and elsewhere did begin removing the blued finish from imported Enfield rifles sometime after the middle of 1863.. By this time, however, there were plenty of Springfield rifles to issue, and the late-arriving Enfields were being conditioned for use primarily by rear echelon units, including the U.. S.. Colored Troops then being recruited in large numbers.. While evidence of any official policy is lacking, it appears that soldiers in some individual units, both Union and Confederate - either on their own or upon orders from their commanders - removed blueing after being issued their rifles.. Chemicals were available to do this, but it was apparently more common for men in the field to scrape rammers or other metal objects along their rifle barrels to take the finish off.. This crude burnishing method was prohibited by the official ordnance manuals, but many soldiers did it anyway.. Although no one knows for certain whether most soliders in the 28th Massachusetts preferred a blued or bright barrels on their issue Enfield riles, a letter written by a member of the 10th Massachusetts to the.. Greenfield Gazette Courier.. suggests at least one other regiment from the state favored blueing and purposely left it on:.. "Camp of the 10th Reg't Mass Volunteers, Hampden Park, Springfield, July 10 [1861]:.. Friday morning the regiment marched to the U.. Armory and returned the muskets loaned them for the purpose of drill, and in the afternoon we received our full supply of the Enfield rifled musket.. For this the Regiment may well thank our efficient Colonel, whose influence has procured for us so fine an arm; whilst other Regiments are obliged to take the guns we returned, (smooth bore muskets of the old model.. ) The Enfield gun, purchased by the State in England, though differing in many respects from the Springfield rifled musket, is a handsome and no doubt serviceable weapon, and I think fully equal to the Springfield arm.. It is browned, so that no burnishing is required to keep it from rusting, and a more correct aim can be obtained in a bright sun than with a polished barrel.. The debate over how the men took their Enfield rifles into the field is one of a number of unanswered questions about the appearance of the original 28th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.. It also is not known, for example, whether the regiment's soldiers wore state- or federal-issue buttons on their coats, or if they ever used gaiters to support and protect their ankles while marching long distances and through dense underbrush.. Some day, perhaps, additional research will provide the answers.. Based on an article written by Don C.. Williams, with assistance from Geoff Walden..

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  • Title: 28th MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEER INFANTRY :: Irish Brigade :: Flags of the Original Regiment
    Descriptive info: Flags of the 28th Massachusetts.. uring the Civil War, each federal infantry regiment was generally issued two flags: a state color and a national color.. State colors typically had plain fields with state seals positioned prominently in the center.. In the first year of the war, these flags came in a wide variety of colors and non-regulation patterns.. Some states instead issued copies of the dark blue U.. regimental flag, bearing an "army eagle" in the center, a ribbon inscribed with the unit's designation in its beak.. National colors were the familiar stars and stripes.. They featured 34 stars early in the war, with additional stars added as new states entered the union after 1863.. The stars, often gold in color, were positioned in a variety of ways on the blue canton, sometimes surrounding a state seal.. The regimental name was typically printed in gold or white lettering along the fourth, or middle, red stripe.. Flags were not just for show.. They were vital field markers that readily identified unit positions for men in the ranks and their officers, as well as for aides carrying orders for brigade commanders.. Without their flags in sight, it would  ...   of the men, and the cause they were fighting to uphold.. Carrying the colors was considered the highest honor for enlisted men, since it meant entrusting the safety and upkeep of these revered symbols to a select few.. A regiment's two flag bearers and color guard were carefully selected by the commanding officer.. Among the privileges they enjoyed was being excused from most drill and fatigue duties when they were not engaged in battle.. Being a color bearer was also among the most dangerous of assignments, since flags made inviting targets for enemy rifles and artillery.. In the thick of fighting, especially during a charge, those assigned to the color guard were usually among the first to fall, and many are the stories of brave men readily scooping regimental banners from the hands of wounded comrades, only to be hit themselves just moments later.. Two color sergeants of the 28th Massachusetts gave their lives bearing regimental flags: Sgt.. John J.. McDonald, killed at James Island on June 16, 1862, and Sgt.. Peter Welsh, mortally wounded at Spotsylvania on May 18, 1864.. Another color sergeant, Henry Fraser, was seriously wounded at Hatcher's Run on March 25, 1865..

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  • Title: 28th MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEER INFANTRY :: Irish Brigade Reenactors :: Form Successfully Submitted
    Descriptive info: Battles Casualties.. he 28th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry was almost constantly in action during its three and a half years of service, participating in every major campaign after the Seven Days.. According to.. Fox's 300 Fighting Regiments.. , the 28th was one of 24 volunteer units from Massachusetts that lost 130 or more killed in battle, and among all Union regiments in the Civil War, ranked seventh in losses, with 250 of the 1,746 men who served in the regiment during the war either killed or mortally wounded.. The 69th New York, which served alongside the 28th in the Irish Brigade, ranked sixth on Fox's list.. In the official records of the Massachusetts Adjutant General, published in 1867, the 28th is shown as having a slightly lower number of killed or mortally wounded (231) than that reported by Fox.. A 1931 report, also from the office of the Adjustant General, further refined the totals:.. TOTAL REGIMENTAL LOSSES, 1862-1865*.. Killed Mortally Wounded.. 229.. Died of Accident or Disease.. 84.. Died as Prisoners  ...   either be discharged from the service or transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps.. The table below provides a chronological summary of the regiment's casualties by battle.. See also the list of.. Burial Places of 28th Massachusetts Veterans.. 1 8 6 2.. Engagement.. Date(s).. Killed.. Wounded.. Captured.. Missing.. Total Casualties.. Secessionville.. 2/16.. 18.. 47.. 7.. 0.. 73.. 2nd Bull Run.. 8/30.. 28.. 80.. 6.. 10.. 114.. Chantilly.. 9/1.. 25.. 59.. 2.. 5.. 91.. South Mountain.. 9/14.. 8.. Antietam.. 9/17.. 32.. 1.. Fredericksburg.. 12/13.. 116.. 11.. 160.. 1 8 6 3.. Chancellorsville.. 5/30.. 15.. 22.. Gettysburg.. 7/1-3.. 14.. 56.. 16.. 93.. Bristow Station.. 10/11-17.. 9.. 13.. Mine Run.. 11/29.. 1 8 6 4.. Wilderness.. 5/5-7.. 24.. 81.. 124.. Po River.. 5/9-10.. 3.. Spotsylvania.. 5/12, 5/18.. 21.. 74.. 106.. N.. Anna/Cold Harbor.. 5/23-6/1.. Cold Harbor.. 6/3.. 39.. 53.. Petersburg.. 6/16.. 4.. 19.. 26.. Jerusalem Plank Road.. 6/22.. Deep Bottom.. 7/27, 8/14.. Charles City Crossroad.. 8/16.. 31.. Reams' Station.. 8/25.. 36.. 44.. 1 8 6 5.. Hatcher's Run.. 3/25.. 17.. 70.. South Side Railroad.. 4/2..

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  • Title: 28th MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEER INFANTRY :: Irish Brigade :: Life in the Regiment :: 1864 Overland Campaign
    Descriptive info: Life on Campaign.. he life of the Civil War soldier has been described as being characterized by long months of boring fatigue duties, strict discipline in the ranks, and frequent repetitive drilling, interspersed with brief interludes of terrifying, immensely bloody encounters with the enemy.. Yet for even the most seasoned veterans, the month-and-a-half-long Overland Campaign of late spring 1864 was unusual in both duration and intensity.. For weeks on end, the Army of the Potomac was run ragged by almost nightly marches and exhausting fatigue duty - troops building earthworks and destroying rail lines - all the while exposed to constant sniping from and frequent battles with Confederate forces.. Hardships were many and compounded by a lack of adequate supplies.. For much of the fast- moving campaign, the Union army's horse-drawn wagon trains struggled to keep up with the advancing troops.. As often as not, they fell into the hands of the rebels or got lost on the back-country roads of Virginia.. The Overland Campaign was a grueling struggle even for battle-tested veteran regiments like the 28th Massachusetts, with heavy casualties taking an enormous toll.. Departing for the front on May 3, 1864, with 505 men of all ranks, the hard-fighting Irishmen of the 28th would lose 286 men killed, wounded, and missing, or nearly 60 percent, by June 15.. Most of these losses (225) came in the first three weeks of May at the Wilderness and Spotsylvania.. One can only marvel at the stubborn determination and amazing esprit de corps these men continued to show in the face of grievous losses; many of their dear comrades long since gone, replaced by a mixed collection of late-war volunteers and conscripts.. Capt.. James Fleming was of the opinion that "great credit is due both the officers and men in this regiment for the energy displayed, bravery and labor obtained from them under great fatigue and difficulties.. ".. The excerpts that follow are taken from the reports of Capt.. Fleming, then commanding the 28th Massachusetts in the absence of any higher officer, and describe the activities and whereabouts of the regiment during the Overland Campaign.. They are directly quoted from the Official Records (Series I, Volume 36, Chapter 48), with spelling and punctuation as in the original.. Skirmishers in the Battle of the Wilderness, May 4-9, 1864.. "The Twenty-eighth Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment broke camp at Stevensburg, Va.. , at dark on the evening of May 3, 1864, and marched at night, under the command of Lieut.. Col.. George W.. Cartwright, with 485 enlisted men, 2 field officers, and 18 line officers, in company with the Sixty-third, Sixty-ninth, Eighty-eighth New York Volunteers, and the One hundred and sixteenth Pennsylvania Volunteers, composing the Second Brigade of the First Division, Second Army Corps, the brigade being commanded by Col.. Thomas A.. Smyth, First Delaware Volunteers, the division by Brig.. General (Francis) Barlow, and the corps by Maj.. W.. Hancock.. Crossed the Rapidan near daylight at Ely's Ford on pontoon, and reached Chancellorsville at about 3 p.. m.. May 4, 1864.. Bivouacked that night on the old Chancellorsville battleground.. From thence at daylight on the morning of May 5, 1864, marched again, this regiment deployed on the left flank of the column as flankers.. In the afternoon marched to the right of Todd's Tavern, crossing the plank road, and went into the battle of the Wilderness.. This regiment being the only one in the Second Brigade who were armed with rifles, it was constantly acting as skirmishers, while the brigade was at work throwing up their intrenchments of logs and earth.. Were engaged again on the 6th, 7th, and 8th of May, suffering much in loss of officers and men, fatigue, etc.. The regiment performed the duties assigned them in a very creditable manner, although laboring under formidable disadvantages.. In this epoch he regiment lost in killed, wounded, and missing as follows: Killed, 2 commissioned officers, 18 enlisted men; wounded, 3 commissioned officers, 85 enlisted men; missing, 18 enlisted men.. Left Wilderness night of May 8, 1864.. Charge and Other Actions at the River Po, May 9-22, 1864.. "Marched nights of May 8, 9, and 10, and skirmishing most of the time.. Engaged at River Po and vicinity, changing front several times under enemy's artillery fire; threw up intrenchments and supported a regular battery; fell back across Po River; sent out scouting parties; destroyed small bridges, etc.. On the night of May 11, 1864, we marched several miles, passing through the camp of the Sixth Army Corps, and pushed forward until about 1 or 2 o'clock on the morning of May 12, 1864.. Here we massed the Second Corps, the First and Third Divisions in advance, and balance of corps in reserve.. At daylight May 12, made the great  ...   rest for past three days, and their rations having run short, long marches, constant duty, etc.. ; the officers sharing alike with them in the fatigue, exposure, and short rations.. Enemy fell back from our immediate front during last night; fresh beef issued very often.. The Ninth Corps, on our right, are at work all day with heavy Parrotts.. Enemy in full sight, throwing up earthworks.. Bivouacked in open field all night.. Thursday, May 26, to arms at 3:30 a.. Men still short of rations; principle cause, extra duty, and labor, etc.. ; 2:30 p.. , still lay in reserve.. Trains and cattle which had crossed to south side are recrossed, and we are prepared to fall back.. Supply train arrives, and rations are issued to men and officers at 8 p.. At 10 p.. we fall back and recross the North Anna.. Casualties in this epoch (third) as follows: 2 enlisted men killed, 8 enlisted men wounded, and 1 enlisted man missing.. Closed this epoch tearing up rails and destroying railroad.. Continual Fighting Near Gaines Mill, May 28-June 3, 1864.. "Bivouacked night of May 27 in the mud from 1 a.. until 8 a.. , when the regiment deployed on railroad right and left of cross-road, burned cross-ties, warping the rails, and throwing them down embankment.. Marched from 10:30 a.. until 4 p.. , a long and rapid march with alternate rain and intense heat; halted half an hour; pushed forward all day and all night toward Pamunkey River, marched 18 miles; Bowling Green, Guiney's Station, Milford; drove enemy from bridge, and halted about 1 o'clock morning May 29 on bank of Pamunkey.. The soldiers, notwithstanding their fatigue, were cheerful and spirited; many straggled and fell out on this march.. Water being scarce the men suffered greatly.. Crossed river near New Castle.. Saturday, May 29-- packed up at 11 a.. Marched until 2:30.. Halted at Hazelbone's old tavern.. This placed is an old homestead of over fifty years' standing, said to be 6 miles to Gaines' Mill; rested until 5:30 p.. and pushed forward; built new works for defense.. During the march we passed 8 or 10 dead rebel soldiers unburied, apparently dismounted cavalry; appearances of heavy cavalry fight here.. Halted in open field.. This regiment acts in support of a section of artillery to protect flank.. Enemy open on front and right flank.. marched off to the right; threw up earthworks until 6:30 a.. on 30th.. Sunday, May 30-- pushed forward at 9 a.. Fourth Brigade in advance, this regiment in support, and the fight commences.. Heavy shelling on both sides, and a severe fight in front.. Richard Byrnes commands the brigade.. Moved back to intrenchments at 4:30 p.. Tuesday, June 1-- artillery opens at 9 a.. and advanced at 10 a.. ; heavy skirmishing until 7 p.. ; 1 man killed and 2 wounded.. Occupied breast-works build by Brooke's brigade; carried three lines of enemy's works.. Sleeper's Tenth Massachusetts Battery in position on our left do good execution on enemy's pits in front.. Ordered to be in readiness to move at 5:30 p.. Started at 10:30 p.. ; had a long, weary, rapid march; the dust lay very heavy.. This was the most severe march of the campaign, marching ten and one-half hours until June 2; halted.. Sixth Corps bring in some 800 prisoners from our right.. Bivouac in open field; push on until 4 p.. ; rest half an hour, men very much fatigued and many fall out from utter exhaustion and effects of heat.. halted at 5:30 p.. , and again intrenched ourselves, and although much fatigued the men worked with great willingness and spirit.. On Friday, the 3rd day of June, the Twenty-eighth Massachusetts Regiment suffered much in the loss of officers and men without having the satisfaction of punishing the enemy in return.. We formed in line and charged the enemy over the earth-works, and our men fell in heaps.. Forward we went to the second hill, which was reached and held until nearly dark, when we fell back to the old position badly used.. In this charge the regiment lost its gallant colonel, Richard Byrnes, commanding brigade, and Lieut.. James B.. West in killed, and Lieutenants Trainor and O'Brien, wounded.. Regiment fell back to original position with but 3 lieutenants and 66 men on duty.. During the night many stragglers came up.. During this epoch great credit is due both the officers and men in this regiment for the energy displayed, bravery and labor obtained from them under great fatigue and difficulties.. In this epoch the regiment met the following casualties May 31 to June 13: killed, 2 officers and 8 enlisted men; wounded, 2 officers and 44 enlisted men; missing, 1 enlisted man.. "..

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  • Title: 28th MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEER INFANTRY :: Irish Brigade :: Soldiers' Letters
    Descriptive info: Soldiers' Letters.. he letters that follow were written by members of the original 28th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry and provide a sense of what life in the regiment was like at different times and under various circumstances.. These letters are presented in chronological order.. Each except the last, which was written anonymously, is preceded by a brief profile of the author, and each but the last is followed by footnotes shedding further light on the people, places and events the writer mentions.. Spelling and punctuation have been corrected in some cases.. Sgt.. MacDonald of Co.. K.. was a 27-year old merchant from East Boston when he enlisted in the 28th Massachusetts on Oct.. 27, 1861.. A Canadian by birth, he wrote the following to.. The Pilot.. , an Irish-Catholic newspaper in Boston, from the regiment's camp at Hilton Head, South Carolina.. Just three months later, MacDonald was killed carrying the national colors at the head of 28th Massachusetts as it charged Confederate breastworks at the Battle of Secessionville on James Island.. Hilton Head, South Carolina, March 12, 1862.. Dear Sir,-- The kind of interest so unmistakably manifested by the many friends of the 28th regiment while in Massachusetts has not probably ceased with its departure from that state; but now that we are actually established on secession soil, that interest must rather be increased.. With the view, therefore, of gratifying the friends of the regiment in M.. assachusetts and elsewhere, I shall take the liberty of furnishing you with a few lines concerning it which you will please give through THE PILOT.. I shall begin by informing you that our passage from New York to this place was a remarkably prosperous one-not a single accident having occurred during the passage, and what is worthy of special attention is the orderly and quiet manner in which so large a body of men reconciled themselves to their close and crowded quarters aboard the ERICSSON.. The good order that prevailed among the men drew forth the praises of the ship's officers who have had large experiences in the transportation of troops.. Although a safe passage, it seemed anything but a speedy one to many who suffered from sea-sickness, and many others who were impatient to plant themselves on the soil of that state which was first to offer insult to the glorious banner of the Union.. In a word, the boys were anxious to reach their destination, and be on hand to participate in any engagement which might take a place in this direction.. The line of our encampment is very pleasantly situated, and if it were not for the strong winds which prevail and the loose sandy surface with which the ground is covered, the situation would be much more desirable.. What first surprises the visitor to Hilton Head is that a place possessing so many natural advantages and of so much importance in a commercial as well as military point of view, should show so little evidence of civilization or improvement.. Since the capture of the island by our troops, a great deal has been done towards preparing the place as a military depot.. A wharf and several buildings have been erected, among the most important of which is a spacious hospital now in course of being completed.. The only building of any note which our troops found here is now occupied as the headquarters of Gen.. (T.. W.. ) Sherman.. It makes a rude, clumsy display of architecture and shows visible signs of neglect by its former occupant.. The strictest discipline now prevails in our camp, and as a natural consequence, the men are rapidly acquiring an efficiency in the art of war which will speak for itself when the time arrives to test it.. Monteith (1) and Lieut.. Moore (2) show an almost paternal interest in the comfort of the regiment, and are ably seconded by Major Cartwright (3) and Adjutant Sanborn (4).. Their dilligence and efficiency in the promotion of good discipline has inspired the men with confidence in them and the zeal which they manifest for the comfort of the men has rendered them justly popular.. The absence of a chaplain in the regiment is the subject of much regret, and one which calls loudly for the consideration of those to whom the deficiency is attributable.. We are in hopes that the important omission will soon be supplied.. An association known as the "Monteith Literary and Aid Society" has been organized in the regiment, with Col.. Monteith as patron.. It has for its chief object the protection, by a monthly assessment of each member, of the widow and family of such members as may lose their lives in the discharge of their duty; it further proposes to forward the remains of such deceased members to their friends.. It seemed strange to many of us to find ourselves transported in the short space of a week from the frosts of February to what would pass very well for a Boston June; for, such is the difference between the temperature of our quarters at Governor's Island, New York, and at Hilton Head, South Carolina.. Our regiment with several others of infantry and the (1st) Massachusetts cavalry were reviewed a few days since by Gen.. Sherman; who, I am happy to have to say, complimented the 28th in an especial manner for their  ...   of the boys are safe.. John Maher (2) was wounded.. Peter King (3) got something like a wound, (but) it is nothing.. John Fenning (4) was wounded.. Con (Cornelius) Roach (5) came out safe.. Maurice(6) and the Donnellys (7) are safe.. We lost in the last fight 130 men out of our regiment.. It would be too tedious for me to tell what I went through-the long marching for the last 26 days.. Half hungry, some would kill cows and skin a part of them, cut off a piece and waste it, and never open them.. Some would shoot pigs and sheep, and would never open them, only cut a piece and roast it and leave the rest behind.. Some would carry their coffee in their hand and march in the ranks and drink it, (and) some would spill it.. Sometimes, the dinner and breakfast would be cooking, (and then) they would get word to march, they would have to spill it and throw it away and march.. The rebels fare worse than we do.. Let me know how are the children.. Let me know about the note.. I did not receive an answer to the last letter I wrote you from Newport News.. Write as soon as you receive this, as we don't know the hour we will be on the march.. The war is raging in every direction (and) the rebels fight in the woods.. So I must conclude.. Give my best love and respects to all the friends and neighbors.. Let me know how times are in Haverhill.. We received no pay for the last two months.. When you write, let me know all the particulars.. Our priest (8) can't stand the hardship, (so) we fear he will leave though he is a smart young man.. They treat him very bad.. Do pray for us, we look shabby and thin, though we were called a clean regiment.. I saw a great deal (of) shot and wounded.. Balls drove through their (lines).. The 28th Mass.. suffered (along with) the 79th New York.. Our regiment stood the severest fire that was witnessed.. During the war, when we got into the woods, we ran through what we did not shoot.. We bayoneted them.. One man begged and got no mercy, a yankee ran him through.. Thank God it was not an Irishman (that) did it.. I remain your humble husband Dennis Ford until death.. I am in hopes I will see Haverhill once more before I die with the help of God.. Direct to Washington, to me, Company H, 28 Regiment Mass.. Vol.. Tell Mrs.. McCormick her friend Thomas Cline (9) is well.. There was one James Short (10) from Lawrence (who) fell in the last battle.. Footn.. otes:.. James Phillips of Company A was a 22-year old Haverhill shoemaker at his enlistment.. He was killed on Sept.. 1, 1862 at Chantilly.. John Maher of Company K was a 19-year old laborer from Boston when he enlisted.. He returned to the regiment after being wounded at Chantilly, and was steadily promoted up through the ranks thereafter.. After re-enlisting on Jan.. 1, 1864, he received a commission to 1st Lieutenant, remaining with the regiment in spite of another wound in the assault on Petersburg, June 16, 1864.. He was mustered out of Company C on July 19, 1865.. Peter King of Company H was a 36-year old Haverhill laborer when he enlisted.. His slight wound at Chantilly did not deter him from returning to the regiment, and he served faithfully until being discharged at the expiration of his 3-year enlistment on Dec.. 19, 1864.. John Fenning of Company H was an 18-year old Boston laborer at the time of his enlistment in 1861.. He was wounded in August or September, 1862, and later was discharged for wounds on October 30, 1862.. Cornlius Roach of Company C was a 26-year Haverhill laborer at his enlistment in 1861.. Promoted to Corporal in September 1863, he was wounded three times during his term of service at Fredericksburg, Charles City Cross Roads, and Hatcher's Run.. Despite these wounds, he still managed to stay with the regiment until being mustered out with the rest of the regiment in 1865.. Maurice Roach of Company H was a 32-year old Haverhill laborer at the time of his enlistment.. He was seriously wounded 11 days later at Antietam on September 17th.. He was then discharged on account of his wounds in December, 1862.. John and Peter Donnelly of Company H, aged 18 and 36, were both laborers from Haverhill.. John was wounded twice at Gettysburg and Spottsylvania, and then discharged due to his wounds in December, 1864.. Peter, who enlisted as a Corporal, was killed 11 days later at Antietam.. Lawrence McMahon was a 35-year old clergyman when he enlisted on June 28, 1862.. He replaced the regiment's first chaplain, who had resigned in May.. McMahon would serve the regiment until he himself resigned on May 30, 1863.. Henceforth, the 28th Massachusetts would have no regimental chaplain to serve them for the remainder of the war.. Thomas Cline of Company H, was a 24-year old packer when he enlisted as 1st Sergeant.. He was killed just 11 days later at Antietam.. James Short of Company H was a 33-year old laborer at his enlistment in 1861.. He was killed at Chantilly..

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  • Title: 28th MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEER INFANTRY :: Irish Brigade :: The Irish in the Civil War
    Descriptive info: "(The Irish Brigade was) perhaps the best known of any brigade organization, it having made an unusual reputation for dash and gallantry.. The remarkable precision of its evolutions under fire, its desperate attack on the impregnable wall at Marye's Heights; its never failing promptness on every field; and its long continuous service, made for it a name inseparable from the history of the war.. -William F.. Fox.. The Irish Experience in the Civil War.. he Irish Brigade was not just another Civil War unit.. Its military reputation alone set it apart from the great mass of the Union Army of the Potomac.. But what made its story particularly distinctive was the Irish Catholic identity that most of its members shared.. Nearly 150,000 men of Irish birth or heritage eventually fought in defense of the Union, but most served in predominantly "American" units where their bravery and contributions were less likely to be distinguished from those of other ethnic groups.. The Irish Brigade was specifically created to preserve this special identity and to advertise the important contributions to the Union cause that Irish Catholics made.. Its founders were anxious to demonstrate to skeptical Americans the extreme devotion that Irish immigrants felt for their adopted land.. But their motives were mixed, and sorting out their allegiances was not easy.. The story of Irish-American attitudes toward the issues of the Civil War is a complex one.. Mid 19th Century Immigration.. The Irish were not the likeliest of candidates to rush to the Union war effort.. Most were recent arrivals who had not exactly been welcomed with open arms.. The terrible years of the potato famine had pushed more than two million of the Irish overseas, with the United States becoming their most popular destination.. From 1846 to 1854, more than one million Irish immigrants found their way to America.. Desperate poverty caused many of these refugees to crowd into tenements and "shanty towns" in the worst neighborhoods of Northern cities.. Willing to accept poor wages and terrible working conditions, they soon drove blacks out of the most menial jobs available.. By the 1850s, most common laborers, dock-workers, coachmen, draymen, waiters, cooks, barbers and domestic servants in the North were Irish by birth or heritage.. Elsewhere, Irish  ...   dominant force in U.. politics by their appeals to fear and mistrust.. Know-Nothings attacked the Irish for their poverty, Catholicism, Democratic politics, intemperance, criminality, devotion to Ireland, and attempts to sow discord between the United States and Britain.. With a political tide rising for the abolition of slavery, the Know-Nothings eventually lost their clout, but never stopped distrusting and discriminating against the Irish.. As staunch Democrats, the Irish would have opposed any other political party, but their rejection of the Republicans, who supplanted the Know-Nothings, rested on an even firmer foundation.. The Irish were well aware that most of the nativists and temperance reformers who made up the American Party had found a new political home among the Republicans.. Moreover, the Republicans had dedicated themselves to liberating blacks from slavery, a development that would threaten the precarious foothold the Irish had on the lower rungs of the social ladder.. Economics of Ethnicity.. An.. Irish hatred of blacks stemmed largely from the intense economic competition between the two ethnic groups in America's unskilled labor market.. When the famine Irish flooded into U.. cities, they pushed black labor out.. African-American leader Frederick Douglass complained in 1855 that "every house sees us elbowed out of some employment, to make room perhaps for some newly arrived immigrants, whose hunger and color are thought to give them special favor.. On the contrary.. , however, many employers found blacks acceptable while noting in their advertisements for help that "No Irish Need Apply.. " Society's contempt could not have been made more clear than it was in an ad for household servants that sought applicants of "any country or color except Irish.. " The anger and frustration that the Irish felt from experiencing such prejudice was often turned against African-Americans, and observers remarked that the Irish detested them even more than other whites who looked down on blacks from a position of social superiority.. When the secession crisis came, then, the Republican party could hardly expect to gain an enthusiastic following among the Irish for its war to subdue the South.. Yet Irish-Americans in the North staunchly supported the Union at the outbreak of war, and they answered the country's call to arms as readily as any group in society..

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  • Title: 28th MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEER INFANTRY :: Irish Brigade :: Civil War Reenactment Unit
    Descriptive info: The 28th Massachusetts Today.. ased in New England, the recreated 28th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry is a non-profit living history organization founded in 1984 for the purpose of accurately portraying the life of the common soldier in the Union army.. With nearly three decades of service, it is one of the largest and longest serving Civil War reenactment units in the Northeast.. Members outfit themselves with authentic federal uniforms and equipment from the mid-war period, carry reproduction black powder weapons, and camp in period issue tents.. Together, they participate in battle reenactments and living history events from early spring through late fall.. Briefly, A Long History.. During the summer of 1983, a number of Revolutionary War reenactors from the New England area began discussing the possibility of forming a Civil War unit.. Everyone warmed to the idea quickly, but deciding on a regiment to portray presented a somewhat thorny problem, since members of the group came from several different states.. Ultimately, they settled on the 28th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry of the Irish Brigade, since research indicated that the original regiment drew volunteers from all over the Northeast.. Beyond that, they were all fond of the Irish characters who always seemed to play central roles in John Ford westerns.. When  ...   changes over the years, it remains the fundamentally sound military organization molded by Maj.. Steven Eames, one of 28th's founders and its original commanding officer.. A history professor recognized throughout the hobby for his knowledge of battlefield tactics, Maj.. Eames came out of "retirement" a few years ago to lead the regiment again.. Thanks to his insistence on discipline in camp and long hours of drill,.. the 28th Massachusetts has earned its reputation as a well-trained fighting unit.. The 28th Massachusetts is currently comprised of more than 70 military members from eight states - including five of the six New England states - and one Canadian province.. With a strong nucleus of experienced reenactors in the ranks, ours is a unit in which new recruits can learn a great deal about Civil War history and army life - and even about themselves.. The 28th hopes to recruit enough men eventually to portray the regiment as it appeared in mid-1863, with approximately 224 enlisted men and officers.. Although the 28th often takes the field as a self-contained unit, it also joins ranks with other federal reenactors at larger-scale regional and national battle events.. The regiment is affiliated nationally with the.. Mifflin Guard.. and regionally with the New England Brigade..

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  • Title: 28th MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEER INFANTRY :: Irish Brigade :: Civil War Reenactment Unit
    Descriptive info: Civil War Reenacting.. o you consider yourself a student of the American Civil War? Have you ever felt a desire to somehow travel back in time, or tried to imagine what it would be like to actually be there and experience it all first-hand?.. If your answer is "yes," then you already have the most important trait of a good reenactor.. Now, you simply need to acquire the proper uniform and equipment, learn the drill, and immerse yourself in living the life of a common soldier.. All of these are attainable for a modest investment of time and money.. Civil War living historians offer many reasons for doing what they do; reasons nearly as numerous as the 40,000 Americans who participate in reenactments.. Many pursue that elusive moment of psuedo time travel when:.. Blinded by drifting clouds of gunsmoke and deafened by the thunder of cannon, they suddenly catch a glimpse of the enemy's line ahead, rifles aimed and ready, and suddenly feel genuine alarm.. T.. he column of fours they are marching in extends not only 50 yards in front of them, but 300 yards behind; just like the other column that is marching parallel to theirs.. Reveille at 5:00 a.. and that first sip of oily campfire coffee from a tarnished tin cup are events they anticipate and savor rather than dread and curse.. Others take pleasure in the brief respite provided by an atmosphere free of laptops and smart phones; of nights when the only light available comes from the living glow of campfires and candles instead of a hi-def TV screen.. They enjoy the unique camaraderie found at the end of the company street.. A good reenactor is much more than a weekend warrior dressed in a properly made wool uniform and loaded down with all kinds of equipment, sweating it out in 90 degree heat surrounded by hundreds of others similarly attired.. A good reenactor has a mysterious longing to come as close to possible to the experiences, feelings, joys and sorrows of those who  ...   between 100 and 500 soldiers, and larger national events attracting thousands.. Living History Events.. such as encampments, parades and school programs can seem rather mundane and are sometimes referred to as "Civil War petting zoos," but offer great opportunities to share knowledge and skills with people who might otherwise not understand or appreciate the sacrifices that volunteer soldiers endured for their country.. Living history events also help units recruit new members and raise money for historic preservation.. In fact, marches to raise money for efforts to protect Civil War battlefields from development are an increasing focus of many living historians.. Tacticals.. are unscripted battles, generally not open to spectators, that challenge reenactors to use their training to outwit the opposing army.. The objective is to maneuver for position or achieve some stated goal.. On a larger scale, with several hundred soldiers involved, there can be considerable uncertainty and excitement as units seek to take bridges, ford streams under fire, or slip around enemy flanks in dense woods.. Tacticals separate the best-drilled companies and battalions from the rest.. Fair warning: reenacting is addictive and will change your life.. You will begin to read history from an entirely different perspective; that of the private soldier who has shouldered a rifle and slept on the ground.. At its worst, Civil War reenacting can be just about the most uncomfortable activity imaginable.. Yet you will find yourself anticipating the next event as you travel home from the one you just attended.. You will come to enjoy the pungent aroma of wet wool, and, if you are willing to let it happen, experience some of the magic of time travel that living history offers.. It only gets better with each passing year.. One thing upon which most reenactors agree is that ultimately, the Civil War was the baptism of one nation by the blood of two.. Without the tragedy of this conflict, there would be no United States, nor any of what this great nation has since come to stand for.. God Save the Union!..

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