Second Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry

(Three Years, Re-enlisted)

Acton men who served in the 2nd Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry:

George F. Blood, Co. D.

James Carney, Co. B (wounded three times)

Charles R. Fairgrieves, Co I

John E. Foye, Co. F


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

     The 2d Regt. Mass. Vol. Inf. was recruited in April, 1861, by George H. Gordon, a West Point graduate, who became its first colonel. It was the first regiment composed wholly of volunteers raised in Massachusetts for the war. It was organized at Camp Andrew at Brook Farm in West Roxbury, and was mustered into the service May 25, 1861.
     Leaving Massachusetts July 8, it joined the force of Gen. Patterson at Martinsburg, Va., on the 12th. The summer and fall were spent largely in picketing the line of the upper Potomac. In the late fall it was in camp at Seneca Creek near Darnestown, Md., and early in December it went into winter quarters at Camp Hicks on the Baltimore pike about four miles east of Frederick, Md.
     Late in February it moved into the Shenandoah Valley, the troops there being now under the command of Gen. N. P. Banks. On March 10, Col. Gordon was given command of the brigade, and the 2d now became a part of Gordon's (3d) Brigade, of Banks' Division. On March 26, immediately after the battle of Kernstown, Gen. Banks was given command of the newly formed 5th Corps, and the 2d Mass. became a part of Gordon's (3d) Brigade, Williams' (1st) Division of that corps. The 2d Division was commanded by Gen. Shields. While Shields was fighting Jackson at Kernstown, March 23, the 2d Mass., with the exception of Co. G, was on an expedition toward Snicker's Cap. Returning immediately to Winchester the regiment joined in the pursuit of Jackson through Strasburg, New Market, and on as far as Harrisonburg. Here it remained until May 5, when it joined in the retrograde movement to Strasburg, which it reached May 13. On May 24 and 25 it fell back with Banks' command through Newtown, Kernstown, and Winchester, distinguishing itself by excellent rear guard fighting and reaching the ford of the Potomac at Williamsport on the night of the 25th. While at Williamsport Col. Gordon was promoted to Brigadier General, U. S. Volunteers.
     On June 10 the regiment again advanced, passing through Martinsburg and Winchester and on to a position near Front Royal, where it remained until July 6. It then moved over Chester Gap to Little Washington, where on July 17 it became a part of Pope's Army of Virginia, Banks' command being now known as the 2d Corps.
     At Cedar Mountain, August 9, the 2d Regiment suffered severe loss. At Antietam, September 17, it was again heavily engaged, losing its commander, Lieut. Col. Wilder Dwight. Here it formed a part of Mansfield's (12th) Corps.
     After a winter spent in camp near Stafford Court House, the regiment participated in the battle of Chancellorsville, May 1 to 5, and in the battle of Gettysburg, July 1 to 3, suffering severely, especially a Gettysburg, where it lost another commander, Lieut. Col. Charles R. Mudge.
     In August it was sent to New York City to aid in the suppression of the draft riots which were still raging. In September it was transferred to Stevenson, Ala., the 11th and 12th Corps being now attached to the Army of the Cumberland. In December a sufficient number of members re-enlisted to preserve the identity of the regiment and it became known as the 2d Regt. Mass. Veteran Volunteers.
     In April, 1864, the 11th and 12th Corps were consolidated to form the 20th Corps commanded by Gen. Joseph Hooker and later by Col. George A. Mower. As a part of the 2d Brigade, 1st Division, 20th Corps, Army of Georgia, the 2d, a veteran regiment, participated in the battles of Resaca, Kenesaw Mountain, and the siege of Atlanta, was in the March to the Sea, in the operations before Savannah, and in the northward march through Georgia and the Carolinas. Averysboro, N. C., fought March 16, 1865, was its last important battle. When Johnston surrendered, April 26, the regiment was at Raleigh, N. C., doing guard duty.
     Marching all the way back to Washington, it was in the Grand Review, May 24. On July 14 it was mustered out, but the men were not paid off and discharged until July 26, when they were assembled for the last time at Readville, Mass.


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


Organized at Camp Andrew, West Rexbury, and mustered in May 25, 1861. Left State for Hagerstown, Md. July 8; thence moved to Williamsport and Martins burg. Va., July 11-12. Attached to Abercrombie's Brigade, Patterson's Army, July, 1861. Abercrombie's Brigade, Banks' Division, Dept. of the Shenandoah, to August, 1861. Gordon's Brigade, Banks' Division, Army of the Potomac, to March, 1862. Gordon's 3rd Brigade Williams' 1st Division, Banks' 5th Army Corps, to April, 1862. 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, Dept. of the Shenandoah, to June, 1862. 3rd Brigade, 1st Division 2nd Army Corps, Army of Virginia, to September, 1862. 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 12th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to October, 1863. 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 12th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to April, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 20th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to July, 1865.


Duty at Harper's Ferry, W. Va., August to October. 1861. At Conrad's Ferry October 23-24, and picket duty at Seneca Mills until December 4.. Duty at Frederick, Md., until February 27, 1862. Reconnoissance to Charleston February 27-28. Occupation of Winchester March 12. Pursuit of Jackson up the Shenandoah Valley March 24-April 27. Strasburg March 27. Woodstock April 1. Edenburg April 1-2. Operations in Shenandoah Valley May 15-June 17. Buckton Station May 23. Retreat to Martinsburg and Williamsport May 23-June 6. Middletown and Newtown May 24. Battle of Winchester May 25. (Rear guard May 24-25.) At Williamsport until June 10. Moved to Front Royal June 10-18, thence to Warrenton and Little Washington July 11-17. Pope's Campaign in Northern Virginia August 6-September 2. Battle of Cedar Mountain August 9. Fords of the Rappahannock August 19-23. Guarding trains during battles of Bull Run August 28-30. Battle of Antietam, Md., September 16-17. Duty at Maryland Heights September 19-October 29. Picket duty at Blackford's Ford and Sharpsburg, Md., until December. March to Fredericksburg December 12-16. "Mud March" January 20-24, 1863. At Stafford Court House until April 27. Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6. Germania Ford April 29. Battle of Chancellorsville May 1-5. Brandy Station and Beverly Ford June 9, Gettysburg (Pa.) Campaign June 11-July 24. Battle of Gettysburg, Pa., July 1-3. Pursuit to Warrenton Junction, Va., July 5-26. Detached duty in New York City August 16 to September 13. Movement to Stevenson, Ala., September 24-October 3. Guarding Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad at Elkwater Bridge and Tullahoma until April, 1864. Regiment veteranize December 31, 1863, and Veterans on furlough January 10 to March 1, 1864. Atlanta (Ga.) Campaign May 1 to September 9. Demonstration against Rocky Faced Ridge May 8-11. Battle of Resaca May 14-15. Cassville May 19. (Non-Veterans left front for muster out May 22, and mustered out at Chattanooga, Tenn., May 25, 1864.) New Hope Church May 25. Operations on line of Pumpkin Vine Creek, and battles about Dallas, New Hope Church and Allatoona Hills May 25-29. Guard trains to Kingston and back May 29-June 8. Raccoon Creek June 6. Operations about Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain June 10-July 2. Pine Hill June 11-14. Gilgal or Golgotha Church June 15. Lost Mountain June 15-17. Muddy Creek June 17. Noyes Creek June 19. Kolb's Farm June 22. Assault on Kenesaw June 27. Ruff's Mills, Smyrna Camp Ground, July 4. Chattahoochie River July 5-17. Peach Tree Creek July 19-20. Siege of Atlanta July 22-August 25. Operations at Chattahoochie River Bridge August 26-September 2. Occupation of Atlanta September 2-November 15. March to the sea November 15-December 10. Monteith Swamp December 9. Siege of Savannah December 10-21. Campaign of the Carolinas January to April, 1865. Thompson's Creek, near Chesterfield, March 2. Thompson's Creek, near Cheraw, S.C., March 3. Averysboro, N. C., March 16. Battle of Bentonville March 19-21. Occupation of Goldsboro March 24. Advance on Raleigh April 9-13. Occupation of Raleigh April 14. Bennett's House April 26. Surrender of Johnston and his army. March to Washington, D.C., via Richmond, Va., April 29-May 19. Grand Review May 24. Provost duty at Washington until July. Mustered out July 11, and discharged at Boston, Mass., July 26, 1865.


Regiment lost during service 14 Officers and 176 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 2 Officers and 96 Enlisted men by disease. Total 288.


See also:

Dwight, Wilder. Life and letters of Wilder Dwight, Lieut.-Col. Second Mass. Inf. Vols. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1868.;

Morse, Charles F. Letters Written During the Civil War, 1861-1865. Boston: Privately Printed, 1898.

Oakley, Daniel. History of the Second Massachusetts Regiment of Infantry: Beverly Ford. Boston: Geo. H. Ellis, Printer, 1884;;

Pattison, Everett W. Some Personal Reminiscences of Army Life: A Paper Read before the Missouri Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, March 5th, 1887. St. Louis: Smith & Owens Printing Co., 1887.

Quint, Alonzo H. The Record of the Second Massachusetts Infantry, 1861-65. Boston: James P. Walker, 1867.;

Thayer, George A. History of the Second Massachusetts Regiment of Infantry, Chancellorsville: A Paper Read at the Officers' Reunion in Boston, May 11, 1880. Boston: George H. Ellis Printer, 1882.