Acton Memorial Library
Acton men who served in the 2nd Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Heavy Artillery:
Herbert E. Beckwith, Co. H (P.O.W., died of disease)
William Brown, Co. H (P.O.W., died of disease)
John Donovan, Co. H (P.O.W.)
James Hartnett, Co. H (P.O.W., joined confed. forces)
Regimental history from Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the Civil War, compiled and published by the Adjutant General:
The recruiting of the 2d Regt. Mass. Vol. Hy. Arty. was authorized by Governor Andrew as early as May, 1863, and Major Jones Frankle of the 17th Regt. Mass. Vol. Inf. was designated as its colonel. It was originally intended as a veteran regiment to be recruited from the members of nine months organizations whose terms of service were about to expire, but in the end its recruits were gathered from a much wider field.
At its rendezvous, Camp Meigs, Readville, recruiting proceeded slowly through the summer and fall of 1863. In July and August, Companies" A", "B", "C", and "D" were enlisted and mustered into the service, and on Sept. 5, these four companies sailed from Boston on the steamer GUIDE bound for Newbern, N. C. Companies "E" and "F" were mustered largely in October and were sent, Nov. 7, to the same destination. The remaining six companies, "G", "H", "1", "K", "L", and "M", were mustered in December, and were sent to Fort Monroe to report to General Butler.
The six companies sent to Newbern were assigned to do guard and garrison duty at various places in eastern North Carolina, while the last six were held during the fall and winter in the vicinity of Norfolk. The monthly reports for March, 1864, show that Companies "A" and "D" were stationed at Fort Macon, N. C., Company "B" at Newport Barracks, Company" C" at Morehead City, Companies" G" and" H" at Plymouth, N. C., and Companies "I", "K", "L", and "M" at Norfolk, Va.
After a brave resistance Companies "G" and "H" at Plymouth, N. C., were made prisoners almost to a man on April 20 by a Confederate force under General Hoke, about 275 being carried into captivity, a very large majority of whom died in Confederate prisons.
In May, 1864, of the eight companies in North Carolina, all were at Newbern excepting Company" B", which was still at Newport Barracks, while the companies in Virginia were stationed near Portsmouth. The headquarters of the regiment were now at Newbern. In July all the companies with the exception of "B" and "K" were at Newbern.
During the months of August and September a large number of recruits arrived, raising the total number of men in the regiment to nearly 2000. By various orders of the War Department, issued during the winter of 1864-65, all the men in excess of the legal maximum standard, about 435 in number, were transferred to the 17th Regt. Mass. Vol. Inf.
In the fall of 1864 an epidemic of yellow fever visited Newbern, and the 2d Hy. Arty. lost a large number of men who contracted the disease while doing guard duty in the stricken city.
At the beginning of the year 1865 six companies "B" "C" "F" "G" "I" and "M”, were in the vicinity of Newbern, N. C., four, "A", "D", "E", and "H", were at Plymouth, N. C., while Companies "K" and "L" were in Virginia. These two companies joined the main body at Newbern in April.
Meanwhile on the 8th of March 1865 Companies "B" "C" "F" "I" and "M" had participated in the battle of South West Creek, near Kinston, losing five men killed, 20 wounded, and two missing.
June, 1865, found the entire regiment at Camp Chattanooga, near Newbern. In July it was transferred to Wilmington, N. C., and during the month of August it garrisoned Fort Fisher and other defenses of the Cape Fear River.
On Sept. 2 the regiment was ordered home, and on the following day, Sept. 3, it was mustered out of the service and embarked for Boston. Arriving at Galloup's Island, Boston Harbor, Sept. 15, on the 23d the regiment was disbanded and the members departed for their homes.
Regimental history from A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, by Frederick Dyer:
Organized at Readville and mustered in: Company "A" July 28, 1863; Company "B" July 29, 1863; Company "C" August 4, 1863; Company "D" August 22, 1863, and left State for New Berne, N. C., September 5, 1863. Company "E" October 5, 1863, and Company "F" October 8, 1863. Left State for New Berne, N. C., November 7, 1863. Company "G" December 7, 1863. Company "H" December 7, 1863. Company "I" December 11, 1863. Companies "K" and "L" December 22, 1863, and Company "M," December 24, 1863. Left State for Fortress Monroe, Va., January 8, 1864. Assigned to garrison duty in Department of Virginia and North Carolina. Company "A" at Fort Macon, N. C., to July, 1864; at New Berne to December, 1864; at Plymouth until March, 1865. Company "B" at Newport Barracks to December, 1864, and at New Berne until March, 1865. Company "C" at Morehead City until July, 1864, and at New Berne until March, 1865. Company "D" at Fort Macon until July, 1864; at New Berne until November, 1864, and at Plymouth until March. 1865. Company "E" at Fort Totten to July, 1864; at New Berne until November, 1864, and at Plymouth until March, 1865. Company "F" at Fort Totten until April, 1864; at Fort Levinson until July, 1864, and at New Berne until March, 1865. Company "G" at Plymouth until April, 1864. Siege of Plym outh April 17-20. Captured. At New Berne until April, 1865, and at Fort Macon until June, 1865. Company "H" at Plymouth until April, 1864. Siege of Plymouth April 17-20. Captured. At New Berne until November, 1864, and at Plymouth until March, 1865. Company "I" at Norfolk and Portsmouth, Va., until July, 1864, and at New Berne, N. C., until March, 1865. Companies "K" and "L" at Norfolk and Portsmouth, Va., and other points in Virginia until April, 1865; and at New Berne, N. C., fill June, 1865. Company "M" at Norfolk and Portsmouth, Va.. to May, 1864, and at New Berne, N. C,, to March, 1865. Regimental Headquarters at Norfolk and Portsmouth, Va.. to May, 1864, and at New Berne, N. C., to July, 1865. Expedition to Columbia, N. C., February 13-15, 1865 (Cos. "A," "D," "E" and "H" attached to 1st Brigade, 1st Division, District of Beaufort, N. C., Dept. of North Carolina, March, 1865, and ordered to the field March 3. Expedition to Kinston, N. C., March 3-14. Southwest Creek March 7. Battle of Wise's Forks March 8-10. Occupation of Kinston March 14. Provost duty at Kinston until June.) Regiment concentrated at New Berne June, 1865, and assigned to duty at Wilmington and In the Defenses of Cape Fear River, including Forts Fisher and Caswell, and duty at Smithville until September. Moved to Boston September 2-16. Mustered out September 23, 1865.
Regiment lost during service 15 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 4 Officers and 363 Enlisted men by disease. Total 382.