Fifteenth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry
Three Years


Acton men who served in the 15th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry:

Pliny M. George, Co. I & G (wounded; POW)

Joel K. Hosmer, Co. B

Francis Rice, Co. A (wounded)

Joseph C. Shattuck, Co. C


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

    The 15th Regt. Mass. Vol. Inf. was recruited in Worcester County, the Leominster and Fitchburg units being old militia companies, while the others were raised by voluntary enlistment in the early summer of 1861. On June 28 the various units were ordered to assemble at Camp Scott, Worcester, and there, July 12, the regiment was mustered into the United States service with Charles Devens, Jr., major of the old 3d Battalion Rifles, as its colonel.
     The regiment left Camp Scott for Washington, D. C., August 8, and on the 27th arrived at Poolesville, Md. where it was attached to Gen. Charles P. Stone's command. It was active in guarding the Potomac from Conrad's Ferry to Harrison's Island until October 21, 1861, when it led the advance to Ball's Bluff, losing in that action over 300 men of whom 44 were killed or mortally wounded. The winter of 1861-62 was spent near Poolesville, over 200 recruits being received before spring opened.
     In February Gen. John Sedgwick was given command of the division, while Gen. Willis A. Gorman was assigned to the brigade. After a short time spent in the Shenandoah Valley the regiment was sent to the Peninsula, where Sedgwick's Division became a part of Sumner's (2d) Corps. It participated in the siege of Yorktown, and in the battle of Fair Oaks May 31, and was under fire at Savage's Sta., Glendale, and Malvern Hill with slight loss. The 1st Company of Sharpshooters became attached to the regiment at Yorktown and continued with it for over a year.
     After spending most of July and August at Harrison's Landing, on the 28th of August the regiment reached Alexandria and helped to cover Pope's retreat from Second Bull Run. In early September it joined in the advance to Frederick and South Mountain. At Antietam, September 17, the 15th was outflanked in the West Wood and in twenty-seven minutes lost a total of 318 officers and men, or over 50% of the number engaged, 98 being killed or mortally wounded. During the Peninsular campaign and at Antietam the regiment was commanded by Lieut. Col. John W. Kimball.
     At Fredericksburg, Dee. 13, 1862, Gen. Sully commanded the brigade and Gen. Howard the division, Gen. Couch commanding the 2d Corps. Here the 15th was engaged but with small loss. The winter of 1862-63 was spent in camp near Falmouth.
     During the Chancellorsville campaign in May, 1863, Gen. Gibbon being in command of the division, the 15th was in the reserve at Fredericksburg and suffered slight loss. At Gettysburg, July 2 and 3, 1863, as a part of Harrow's Brigade, Gibbon's Division, Hancocks (2d) Corps, the regiment was heavily engaged on the Union left centre losing its colonel, George H. Ward, and 36 officers and men killed or mortally wounded.
     On October 14, 1863, the regiment was engaged at Bristoe Sta, covering the retirement of the army toward Centreville. It was engaged near Robertson's Tavern in the Mine Run expedition Nov. 27, and on its return from Mine Run went into winter quarters near Stevensburg.
     At the Wilderness, May 5 and 6, 1864, Gen. Webb being in command of the brigade, the 15th was engaged on the Plank road with lose. At Spottsylvania, May 12, it was in Hancock's assault on the Bloody Angle again losing heavily. Its losses at North Anna, Totopotomoy, and Cold Harbor reduced the regiment to 5 officers and about 70 enlisted men. On June 22 when the 2d Corps was outflanked near the Jerusalem Plank road the entire regiment save one officer and five men were taken prisoners. These with those who returned from hospitals or from detached service were attached to the 20th Mass. of the same brigade until July 12, when the remnant of the regiment was sent home, arriving in Worcester, Mass., July 21, where on the 26th nine companies were mustered out of the service. Co. I, which had a little longer to serve, was mustered out August 6, and the regiment ceased to exist. Few Massachusetts units had as gallant a history as the 15th Infantry.

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

    Organized at Worcester and mustered in June 12, 1861. Moved to Washington, D. C., August 8-11. Attached to Gorman's Brigade, Stone's (Sedgwick's) Division, Army of the Potomac, to March, 1862. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 2nd Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to July, 1864.

    SERVICE.-At Camp Kalorama till August 25, 1861. March to Poolesville, Md., August 25-27. Picket and outpost duty on the Upper Potomac from cOnraa's Ferry to Harrison's Island till October 20. Operations on the Potomac October 21-24. Battle of Ball's Bluff October 21. At Harper's Ferry and Bolivar Heights till March 7, 1862. At Charlestown till March 10. At, Berryville till March 13. Movement toward Winchester and return to Bolivar Heights March 13-15. Moved to Fortress Monroe March 22-April 1. Siege of Yorktown April 5-May 4. Battle of Fair Oaks, Seven Pines, May 31-June 1. Seven days before Richmond June 25-July 1. Peach Orchard and S'avage Station June 29. White Oak Swamp and Glendale June 30. Malvern Hill July 1. At Harrison's Landing till August 15. Movement to Alexandria August 15-28, and to Centreville August 29-30. Cover Pope's retreat August 31-September 1. Battle of Antietam, Md., September 16-17. Moved to Harper's Ferry September 22 and duty there till October 30. Movement to Falmouth, Va., October 30-November 20. Battle of Fredericksburg December 12-15. "Mud March" January 20-24, 1863. Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6. Maryes Heights, Fredericksburg, May 3. Salem Heights May 3-4. Banks' Ford May 4. Battle of Gettysburg, Pa., July 2-4. Advance from the Rappahannock to the Rapidan September 13-17. Bristoe Campaign October 9.22. Bristoe Station October 14. Advance to line of the Rappahannock November 7-8. Mine Run Campaign November 26-December 2. Robertson's Tavern or Locust Grove November 27. Morton's Ford February 6-7, 1864. Picketing Rapidan till May, 1864. Campaign from the Rapidan to the James May-June. Battles of the Wilderness May 5-7; Laurel Hill May 8; Spottsylvania May 8-12; Po River May 10; Spottsylvania Court House May 12-21. Assault on the Salient at Spottsylvania Court House May 12. North Anna River May 23-26. Line of the Pammikey May 26-28. Totopotomoy May 28-31. Cold Harbor June 1-12. Before Petersburg June 16-18. Siege of Petersburg June 16-July 12. Jerusalem Plank Road June 22-23. Left the front July 12. Mustered out July 28, 1864. Veterans and Recruits transferred to 20th Massachusetts.

    Regiment lost during service 14 Officers and 227 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 1 Officer and 121 Enlisted men by disease. Total 363.

See also:

Ford, Andrew E. The Story of the Fifteenth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War, 1861-1864. Clinton: Press of W.J. Coulter, 1898.;;

Harnwell, Susan, comp. Roster and Genealogies of the 15th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.