Thirty-Ninth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry
Three Years

Acton men who served in the 39th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry:

Sylvanus Hunt, Co. H.

Mortimer Johnson, Co. E

John A. Mead, Co. K

George E. Peck, Co. D

John Whitney, Co. I


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

     The 39th Regt. Mass. Vol. Inf. was recruited in the late summer of 1862 in towns and cities in the eastern part of the State. It went into camp first at Lynnfield, but was later transferred to Camp Stanton, Boxford. Here Col. P. Stearns Davis took command Sept. 1, and on the following day the lost two companies, G and H, were mustered into the service.
     On Sept. 6 the regiment left for Washington City arriving two days later and being sent to Camp Chase on Arlington Heights. Here it was assigned to Briggs' Brigade of Casey's Division of Reserves. About the middle of the month the 39th was sent with the other troops of the brigade to guard the north bank of the Potomac River from Seneca Creek to Conrad's Ferry. Stationed at first at Conrad's Ferry, on Oct. 14 it was transferred to Seneca Creek where it was assigned to Grover's Brigade. From the 11th of November, 1862, to January 5,1863, Col. Davis commanded the brigade. Winter camp was established at Poolesville, Md., and here the regiment remained until April, 1863, when it returned to Washington and there did guard duty until after the battle of Gettysburg in July of that year.
     Leaving Washington July 9, it was assigned to a provisional brigade commanded by Gen. Henry S. Briggs, and on July 12 joined the Army of the Potomac at Funkstown. Md. Here the brigade was assigned to Robinson's (2d) Division, Newton's (1st) Corps. Transferred to Rappahannock Station, it here became a part of Coulter's (1st) Brigade. The regiment served through the campaign of the fall in the vicinity of the Rappahannock, and participated in the Mine Run Campaign in the latter part of November.
     The winter of 1863--64 was spent at Mitchell's Station near the Cedar Mountain battlefield, Col. Leonard now commanding the brigade. In the consolidation of the Army of the Potomac into three corps in the latter part of the winter Robinson's Division became the 2d Division of Warren's (5th) Corps. May 4, 1864, the 39th broke camp and started for Germanna Ford, crossing at midday and proceeding with the 5th Corps to the vicinity of Wilderness Tavern. It was engaged on the Orange pike in the Wilderness May 5 and 6, Col. Lyle succeeding Col. Leonard in command of the brigade on the 6th. On these two days the 39th lost 2 killed and 18 wounded. Moving on the night of the 7th toward Spottsylvania, it was engaged on the 8th and 10th on the Brock road near the Spindle farm, losing a total of 135 men of whom 32 were killed or mortally wounded. The fighting on this part of the field of Spottsylvania was known as the battle of Laurel Hill.
     Laurel Hill was a name by which the old William E. Jones farm was locally known. Gen. Robinson commanding the 2d Division having been seriously wounded in the fighting May 8, his command was broken up and Lyle's Brigade was transferred to Cutter's Division. After the great assault on the 11 Angle ", May 12, in which the 6th Corps did not participate, the 39th was moved with its corps to the extreme Union left where it remained, suffering few casualties, until the 21st when it left for the North Anna River.
     From the 23d to the 26th of May the regiment was in position near Jericho Ford on the North Anna, suffering small loss. After the Cold Harbor fighting, during which the 39th lay near Bethesda Church and suffered only a few casualties, Col. Lyle's Command became the 1st Brigade in Crawford's (3d) Division.
     The James River was crossed at Wilcox Landing, June 16, and the regiment took its place in the lines before Petersburg, On the 25th it received 241 recruits by transfer from the 12th Mass. Regt. and on the I 4th of July 103 from the 13th, the term of service of these two regiments having expired. Near the Weldon Railroad on the 18th and 19th of August the 39th was heavily engaged losing 10 killed, 32 wounded, and 245 prisoners. Here Lieut. Col. Peirson was very severely wounded and obliged to relinquish the command of the regiment. Early in the fall the 39th became a part of Coulter's (2d) Brigade, Crawford's (3d) Division. In October Gen. Henry Baxter succeeded Col. Coulter in command of the brigade. About Nov. 5 Major Tremlett returned and resumed command of the regiment, relieving Capt. Nelson who had been in command since Lieut. Col. Peirson was wounded.
     The regiment was engaged in various siege activities on the south side of Petersburg during the winter of 1864-65. Late in March, 1865, it was moved to the extreme Union left, was in action near White Oak Road, March 31, the same day as that of the battle of Dinwiddie C. H., here losing Major Tremlett and Captain Kingsbury, both of whom were mortally wounded. Captain Cooper now assumed com and of the regiment and held it until the close of its service. The regiment was present at Five Forks on April 1, but suffered small loss.
     The 39th now participated in the pursuit of Lee's Army and was but a few miles from Appomattox C. H. at the time of the surrender, April 9. Remaining at Appomattox until the 15th, it proceeded to Blacks and Whites Station where it remained ten days, then marched by easy stages to Washington, reaching Fort Albany May 12. After the Grand Review, May 23, the recruits were transferred to the 32d Regiment, and the original members of the 39th were mustered out of the service. Returning to Readville, Mass., which was reached June 6, on the 14th 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 Lynnfield August 13 to Septembr 2, 1862. Left State for Washington, D.C., September 6. Attached to Grover's Brigade, Defences of Washington, to February, 1863. Jewett's Independent Brigade, 22nd Army Corps, Dept. of Washington, to May, 1863. District of Washington, 22nd Army Corps. to July, 1863. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 1st Army Corps, Army Potomac, to March, 1864. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 5th Army Corps, to June, 1864. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 5th Army Corps, to September, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 5th Army Corps, to June, 1865.

    SERVICE.--Duty in the Defences of Washington from Fort Tillinghast to Fort Craig, until September 14, 1862. Guard Potomac from Edward's Ferry to Conrad's Ferry and Seneca Creek until October 20. At Muddy Branch until November 10. At Offutt's Cross Roads, Md., until December 21, and at Poolesville, Md., until April 15, 1863. Moved to Washington, D.C., April 15-17 and guard and patrol duty there until July 9. Moved to Harper's Ferry and Maryland Heights July 9-10, thence to Funkstown, Md., July 12-13. Pursuit of Lee, July 14-27. Duty along the Rapidan until October. Bristoe Campaign October 9-22. Advance to line of the Rappahannock November 7-8. Rappahannock Station November 7. Mine Run Campaign November 26-December 2. Duty on Orange & Alexandria Railroad until May, 1864. Demonstration on the Rapidan February 6-7. Rapidan Campaign May-June. Battles of the Wilderness May 5-7; Laurel Hill May 8; Spottsylvania May 8-12; Spottsylvania C. H. May 12-21. Assault on the Salient May 12. North Anna River May 23-26. Jericho Ford May 23. On line of the Pamunkey May 26-28. Totopotomoy May 28-31. Cold Harbor June 1-12. Bethesda Church June 1-3. White Oak Swamp June 13. Before Petersburg June 16-18. Siege of Petersburg June 16, 1864, to April 2, 1865. Mine Explosion, Petersburg, July 30, 1864 (Reserve). Weldon Railroad August 18-21. Reconnoissance toward Dinwiddie C. H. September 15. Warren's Raid on Weldon Railroad December 7-12. Dabney's Mills February 5-7, 1865. Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9. Davis Farm near Gravelly Run March 29. White Oak Road March 31. Five Forks April 1. Fall of Petersburg April 2. Pursuit of Lee April 3-9. Appomattox C. H. April 9. Surrender of Lee and his army. At Black and White Station until May 1. Moved to Manchester, thence march to Washington, D.C., May 1-15. Grand Review May 23. Mustered out June 1, 1865.

    Regiment lost during service 5 Officers and 91 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 183 Enlisted men by disease. Total 279.

See also:

Roe, Alfred S. The Thirty-Ninth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers, 1862-1865. Worcester, Massachusetts: Regimental Veteran Association, 1914. (GenealColl 973.744 R698)      ;;