Second Company Massachusetts Volunteer Sharpshooters

Three Years

Attached to the Twenty-Second Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry


Acton men who served in the 2nd Company Massachusetts Volunteer Sharpshooters:

George W. Knapp (wounded)


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

   The 2d Company Sharpshooters was organized at Lynnfield, Mass., in September, 1861. When the 1st Company, known as the "Andrew Sharpshooters", left for the seat of war, Sept. 2, 1861, there were left at Lynnfield a number of recruits in excess of the one hundred to which the 1st Company was limited, and these recruits formed the nucleus of the 2d Company. Raised to full strength the members of the 2d Company were mustered into the service on various dates, mostly during the month of September. Commanded by Captain Lewis E. Wentworth of Salem the company left the State Oct. 8, attached to the 22d Regt. Mass. Vol. Inf., with which command it was identified through practically its entire term of service, its history forming a part of the history of that regiment.
     Proceeding to Washington in the fall of 1861, it remained with the 22d Regt. until spring, then accompanied it to the Peninsula. It was present at the siege of Yorktown in April, 1862, and accompanied the Army of the Potomac in its advance to the front of Richmond. On the morning of the battle of Gaines' Mill, June 27, 1862, the Sharpshooters under Lieut. Stiles had been detailed to guard the baggage train, hence in this most severe action of the 22d Regt. the Sharpshooters were not engaged. At Malvern Hill, July 1, they were in action with few casualties, but lost their knapsacks in which were the bullet moulds and patch cutters which went with their telescope rifles. In the latter part of the same month, under great protest, the Sharpshooters exchanged their telescope rifles for regulation Sharp's rifles which they carried through the remainder of their term of service.
     After returning from the Peninsula in August, 1862, the Sharpshooters accompanied the 22d Regt. through the 2d Bull Run and Antietam campaigns, suffering no loss. Immediately after the battle of Antietam they were engaged near Blackford's Ford on the Potomac, covering the advance and retreat of the troops which crossed in pursuit of the enemy.
     At Fredericksburg, Dec. 31, 1862, they participated in the assault on Marye's Heights, losing seven men wounded, two of them mortally. After this engagement they went into winter quarters near Potomac Greek.
     The company participated in the Chancellorsville campaign early in May, 1863, losing one man killed by a shell. At Gettysburg, July 2, it was in action near the Devil's Den on the Union left losing three officers wounded.
     It served with the 22d through the late summer and fall of 1863 along the line of the Rappahannock and in the Mine Run campaign, then spent the winter in camp near Beverly Ford. In the spring of 1864 the Sharpshooters entered upon the Wilderness campaign being engaged on the Orange pike at the Wilderness, May 5, and on the Jones and Spindle farms near Spottsylvania, May 8 and 10. On this part of the battlefield known as Laurel HUI, this being the name applied to the Jones farm, they lost 6 men killed and 4 more severely wounded, their heaviest toll of casualties in any engagement.
     They were engaged with loss at Totopotomoy, May 30, at Bethesda Church, June 3, and at Shady Grove Church Road, June 5.
     The company proceeded to the Petersburg front with the 22d Regt. and shared its fortunes until October 3, 1864, when orders came to return to Massachusetts. On the 5th the company embarked for Washington, there entraining for Boston where it arrived October 10, and one week later was mustered out of the seige. The recruits and re-enlisted men were transferred to the 32d Regiment.



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

   Organized at Lynnfield September 3, 1861. Left State for Washington, D.C. Attached to 22nd Massachusetts Infantry. (See this Regiment.) Mustered out October 17, 1864.

    Company lost during service 11 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 12 Enlisted men by disease. Total 23.