Fifty-Seventh Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry
Three Years

Acton men who served in the 57th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry:

Joshua W. Carr, Co. H

Oscar B. Phelps, Co. G (wounded; P.O.W.)

Regimental history from Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the Civil War, compiled and published by the Adjutant General:

    The 57 Regt. Mass. Vol. Inf., the Second Veteran Regiment, was raised under the same circumstances and conditions as the 56th. A majority of its members must have had at least nine months service in some other unit. It was recruited at Camp Wool, Worcester, Maas., in the fall and winter of 1863, and William Francis Bartlett, bad who been a captain in the 20th Regiment and colonel of the 49th, and bad been twice severely wounded in action, was commissioned colonel.
     The recruits came largely from the western part of the State, and the companies were mustered in on various dates between Dec., 1863, and Mar., 1864. On April 18, 1864, the regiment started for the seat of war, arriving at Annapolis, Md., two days later. Here it became a part of Carruth's (1st) Brigade, Stevenson's (1st) Division, Burnside's (9th) Corps.
     On April 23 the 9th Corps started for Washington, Carruth's Brigade being with the advance. Arriving the afternoon of the 25th, it was reviewed by the President and General Burnside, crossed the Potomac, and encamped near Arlington.
     On the 27th the corps started for the Rappahannock River, following the line of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. The 57th arrived at Rappahannock Station May 3, and on the following day crossed the river and marched for Germanna Ford on the Rapidan. Crossing at this point on the morning of May 5, the corps remained in bivouac until the morning of the 6th, the ears of the men being deafened with the continuous roar of the battle which was already in progress.
     On the morning of the 6th Stevenson's Division was sent to the support of Hancock's (2d) Corps on the Plank road, and in the severe contest which followed the 57th lost 47 killed, 161 wounded, and 43 missing. Among the killed were Captain Gird and Lieutenant Childs, and among the wounded was Colonel Bartlett, who was soon after promoted to brigadier general and never returned to the command of the regiment.
     Under Lieut. Colonel Chandler the 57th joined in the flank movement to Spottsylvania. Here on the 12th it was engaged not far from Spottsylvania 0. H., losing 13 killed, 55 wounded, and four missing. In the assault on the 18th it suffered a further loss of three killed and 14 wounded. Moving with the army to the North Anna River, the 57th crossed near Quarles' Mill, then advanced down the river in an attempt to clear the crossing at Ox Ford. Here it was outflanked and driven back with a loss of 10 killed, 13 wounded, and 14 missing, among the killed being Lieut. Colonel Chandler. Captain Tucker now took command of the regiment.
     In the operations near Cold Harbor the 9th Corps was on the extreme right near Bethesda Church and was not heavily engaged, its loss being slight. It remained on the lines near Cold Harbor until the l3th of June, when it withdrew toward the James. This river was crossed June 15, and on the evening of the 17th the 1st Division made an assault on the lines east of Petersburg in which the 57th lost 11 killed, 30 wounded, and three missing, among the wounded being Captain Tucker. For some time after this assault Captain Prescott commanded the regiment.
     During the last two weeks of June and through the month of July the 57th did duty in the trenches, losing during that time Lieutenant Cheney and five men killed, and 23 officers and men wounded, Lieutenant Bowman mortally. Belonging now, through change in commanders, to Bartlett's Brigade, Ledlie's Division, the 57th was one of the first regiments to enter the "Crater", near Petersburg, on the morning of July 30, 1864. The regiment at this time was a mere skeleton, mustering less than 100 officers and men. Here General Bartlett, the brigade commander, was taken prisoner, Major Prescott and Captains Howe and Dresser of the 57th and one enlisted man were killed, 16 officers and men were wounded, 28 were missing, and the colors were lost. Only Lieutenant Doty and 46 men were left of this veteran regiment.
     From this time until the 18th of August the command was on duty in the trenches, losing one killed, and four wounded by sharpshooters. At the Weldon Railroad, Aug. 19, the 57th lost a third of its numbers. Lieutenant Doty and 29 men were now all that were left of the regiment. Convalescents and men on detached duty returned during September, so that at Poplar Grove Church, Sept. 30, the 57th carried into action about 60 men. Here it lost one killed, seven wounded, and one prisoner. On the 8th of October the regiment was again engaged near Poplar Grove Church, losing two killed and 12 wounded.
     During the remainder of the fall and the succeeding winter and early spring the 57th was occupied in trench duty with few casualties. While so occupied the numbers of the regiment were increased by recruits, returned convalescents, etc., until in the latter part of March, 1865, it numbered 11 officers and 206 enlisted men. This was the number engaged March 25,1865, at the battle of Fort Stedman. Here just before daylight a heavy Confederate force under Genl. John B. Gordon captured and for a time held the fort. The 57th was at this time posted just in the rear and a little to the right of the fort, and being attacked in force it was driven back for some distance. Later it joined in the counterattack in which the fort was retaken. In this action the regiment lost Lieutenant Murdock and five men killed, Major Doherty and 25 officers and men wounded, and 50 missing. Major Doherty died of his wounds next day. This was the last severe engagement of the regiment.
     In the general assault on the Confederate lines April 2, the 57th was not engaged. On the morning of April 3, when definite news came of the evacuation of Petersburg, the 57th was one of the first regiments to enter the abandoned city. It was now assigned to guard the Southside Railroad, and it had proceeded as far as Wilson's Station when the news of Ime's surrender came and five days later that of the assassination of President Lincoln.
     The 9th Corps was now ordered to Washington and encamped for a time near Tennallytown. There on June 20 it received the remnant of the 59th Regiment the order for the consolidation to be effective as of June 1, the 57th retaining its regimental designation. The combined organizations were mustered out July 30, 1865, and at once set out for Massachusetts. After a few days of rest at Readville, on the 9th of August the members of the regiment were paid off and discharged.

 


Regimental history from A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, by Frederick Dyer:

    Organized at Worcester and Reedville and mustered in April 6, 1864. Moved to Annapolis, Md., thence to Washington and Alexandria April 18-20. Attached to 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 9th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to September, 1864. 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 9th Army Corps, to July, 1865.

    SERVICE.--Campaign from the Rapidan to the James May 3-June 15, 1864. Battles of the Wilderness May 5-7; Spottsylvania May 8-12; Ny River May 10; Spottsylvania Court House May 12-21. Assault on the Salient May 12. North Anna River May 23-26. On line of the Pamunkey May 26-28. Totopotomoy May 28-31. Cold Harbor June 1-12. Bethesda Church June 1-3. Before Petersburg June 16-18. Siege of Petersburg June 16, 1864, to April 2, 1865. Mine Explosion, Petersburg, July 30, 1864. Weldon Railroad August 18-21. Poplar Springs Church or Peeble's Farm September 29-October 2. Reconnaissance on Vaughan and Squirrel Level Roads October 8. Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher's Run, October 27-28. Fort Stedman March 25, 1865. Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9. Assault on and fall of Petersburg April 2. Occupation of Petersburg April 3. Pursuit of Lee April 4-9. Moved to City Point, thence to Alexandria April 20-28, and duty there until July --. Grand Review May 23. Mustered out July 30, 1865.

Regiment lost during service 10 Officers and 191 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 86 Enlisted men by disease. Total 287.


See also:

Warren Wilkinson, Mother, May You Never See the Sights I Have Seen: The Fifty-Seventh Massachusetts Veteran Volunteers in the Army of the Potomac, 1864-1865. Harper & Row, 1990.  973.744 W687