First Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry

(Three Years)

Acton men who served in the 1st Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry:

George W. Allen, Co. A.

Nathaniel M. Allen, Co. B (Medal of Honor Recipient)

David P. Muzzey, Co. A

George W. Parks, Co. A (killed in action)

Pickard, Isaiah L., Surgeon (died of disease)

Eliphalet S. Sears, Co. A

Daniel L. Veazey, Co. A


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

The 1st Regt. Mass. Vol. Inf. was the outgrowth of the 1st Regt. Mass. Vol. Mil., commanded by Col. Robert Cowdin, who became colonel of the 1st Inf. when its organization was completed. To the five companies of the 1st Regt. Mass. Vol. Mil. were added five others of volunteers raised in April, 1861. Four companies were mustered into the service May 23, four others May 24, and one each on May 25 and May 27. On June 1 the regiment assembled at Camp Ellsworth on the banks of Fresh Pond in Watertown. Twelve days later it was transferred to Camp Cameron in North Cambridge.
     Leaving Massachusetts June 15, on the 17th it reached Washington. Assigned to Richardson's Brigade of Tyler's Division, it remained in camp near Washington until the advance to Bull Run where it participated in the battle at Blackburn's Ford, July 18, three days before the main battle of Bull Run.
     In August it became a part of the famous Hooker Brigade. During the fall it was encamped for some time at Bladensburg, did duty on the Potomac above Washington, built Fort Lincoln, moved to Budd's Ferry, and was variously engaged until spring when it became a part of Grover's Brigade, Hooker's Division, Heintzelman's (3d) Corps, and was transferred to the Peninsula.
     On April 6 it was in action before Yorktown, and on May 5 it suffered heavily at Williamsburg. It was encamped in the White Oak Swamp region until June 25 when it was engaged with loss at Fair Oaks. During the Seven Days battles it lost heavily at Glendale, June 30, its major, Charles P. Chandler being killed. After the battle of Malvern Hill it retired to Harrison's Landing where it remained until August when it was ordered back to the defenses of Washington.
     Joining Gen. Pope's army near Warrenton Jc., as a part of Grover's Brigade, Hooker's Division, it was in action at Bristoe Station, Aug. 27, and again near Groveton (Manassas), Aug. 29, where it assaulted the celebrated railroad embankment and suffered severe loss. After the campaign was ended the regiment remained in or near the defenses of Washington until the last of October. About this time Gen. Carr succeeded Gen. Grover in command of the brigade. After Fredericksburg, where the regiment suffered slight loss, it went into winter quarters at Acquia Creek on the Potomac.
     As a part of Carr's Brigade, Berry's Division, Sickles' (3d) Corps, it lost heavily at Chancellorsville, May 3, 1863, and still more heavily at Gettysburg, July 2, while defending the line of the Emmittsburg road. At Wapping Heights, July 23, in New York City during the late summer and fall, at Kelly's Ford, Nov. 7, and during the Mine Run campaign in the latter part of November the regiment performed valuable service with few casualties. The following winter was spent in camp near Brandy Station.
     When the 3d Corps was broken up in the early spring of 1864 the 1st Regt. became a part of McAllister's Brigade, Mott's Division, Hancock's (2d) Corps. With this command it participated in the battles of the Wildemess and Spottsylvania, its last combat service being in Hancock's assault on the Bloody Angle, May 12, 1864.
     Transferring its recruits and re-enlisted men to the 11th Mass. Inf., about May 20 it left the front and returned to Boston where it was mustered out on May 25, after fully three years of service.


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


Organized at Boston and mustered in Companies "A," "B," "G" and "H" May 23; Companies "D," "F," "K" and "I" May 24; Company "E" May 25, and Company "C" May 27, 1861. Left State for Washington, D.C., June 15, arriving June 17. Attached to Richardson's Brigade, Tyler's Division, McDowell's Army of Northeast Virginia, to August, 1861. Hooker's Brigade, Division of the Potomac, to October, 1861. 1st Brigade, Hooker's Division, Army of the Potomac, to March, 1862. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 3rd Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to March, 1864. 1st Brigade, 4th Division, 2nd Army Corps, to May, 1864.


Duty at Camp Banks, Georgeton, D.C., until July 16, 1861. Advance on Manassas, Va., July 16-21. Occupation of Fairfax Court House July 17. Battle of Bull Run July 21. At Fort Albany until August 15. Moved to Bladensburg August 15 and duty there until September 7. Expedition to Lower Maryland September 7-October 7. Moved to Posey's Plantation October 25-27. Duty there and at Shipping Point until April 5, 1862. Affair at Mattawoman Creek November 14, 1861. Ordered to Fortress Monroe, Va., April 7, 1862; thence to Yorktown. Siege of Yorktown April 16-May 4. Affair at Yorktown April 26 (Cos. "A," "H" and "I"). Battle of Williamsburg May 5. Battle of Fair Oaks, Seven Pines, May 31-June 1. Seven days before Richmond June 25-July 1. Battles of Oak Grove June 25; Savage Station June 29; White Oak Swamp and Glendale June 30; Malvern Hill July 1. At Harrison's Landing until August 15. Movement to Fortress Monroe, thence to Centreville August 15-26. Bristoe Station or Kettle Run August 27. Catlett's Station August 28. Battles of Groveton August 29 and Bull Run August 30. Duty in the Defences of Washington until December --. At Fort Lyon until Sep tember 13. Near Fairfax Seminary until October 20 and at Munson's Hill until November 1. Duty at Fairfax Station November 2-25. Operations on Orange & Alexandria Railroad November 10-12. Battle of Fredericksburg, Va., December 12-15. "Mud March" January 20-24, 1863. At Falmouth until April 27. Operations at Rappahannock Bridge and Grove Church February 5-7. Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6. Battle of Chancellorsville May 1-5. Gettysburg (Pa.) Campaign June 11-July 24. Battle of Gettysburg July 1-3. Pursuit of Lee until July 24. Moved to New York July 30-August 1. Duty at Governor's Island Ricker's Island and David's Island, New York Harbor until October 15. Moved to Washington October 15 thence to Union Mills, Va., and rejoin Corps October 17. Advance to line of the Rappahannock November 7-8. Kelly's Ford November 7. Mine Run Campaign November 26-December 2. Payne's Farm November 27. Duty near Brandy Station until May, 1864. Demonstration on the Rapidan February 6-7. Rapidan Campaign May 3-20. Battles of the Wilderness May 5 7; Spottsylvania May 8-12; Spottsylvania Court House May 12-21. Assault on the Salient at Spottsylvania Court House May 12. Harris Farm or Fredericksburg Road May 19. Ordered home for muster out May 20 Veterans and Recruits transferred to 11th Massachussetts Infantry May 20. Mustered out May 25, 1864. Expiration of term.


Regiment lost during service 8 Officers and 134 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 1 Officer and 78 Enlisted men by disease. Total 221.


See also:

Bardeen, C.W. A Little Fifer's War Diary, with 17 Maps, 60 Portraits, and 246 other Illustrations.  Syracuse, N.Y.: C.W. Bardeen, Publishers, 1910.

Cowdin, Robert. Gen. Cowdin and the First Massachusetts Regiment of Volunteers. Boston: J.E. Farwell and Company, Printers, 1864.

Cudworth, Warren H. History of the First Regiment (Massachusetts Infantry), from the 25th of May, 1861, to the 25th of May, 1864; including Brief References to the Operations of the Army of the Potomac. Boston: Walker, Fuller and Company, 1866.

First Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Veteran Association, volume 1. Boston, 1911.

First Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Veteran Association, volume 2. Boston, 1911.

First Regiment of Infantry, Massachusetts Volunteer Militia: Colonel Robert Cowdin, Commanding, in Service of the United States, in Answer to the President's First Call for Troops to Suppress the Rebellion, April 15, 1861. Boston: Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by direction of the Executive Council,  Wright and Potter Printing Company, State Printers, 1903.

Kingsbury, Allen Alonzo. The Hero of Medfield. Boston: John M. Hewes, 1862.

Massachusetts infantry. 1st regt., 1861- . Memorial Service in Memory of the Dead of the First Regt. Massachusetts volunteer infantry, 1861-64. Boston: 1911.;