Fifty-Ninth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry
Three Years


Acton men who served in the 59th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry:

Cyrus E. Barker, Co. C (wounded; P.O.W.; died of disease)

Joshua W. Carr, Co. H (wounded)

Thomas J. Sawyer, Co. E (P.O.W.)

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

    The 59th Regt. Mass. Vol. Inf., the Fourth Veteran Regiment, was the last of the four units composed of men a majority of whom had at least nine months' service. Like the others, it was recruited during the winter of 1863-64. Its first commander, Col. Jacob P. Gould, had formerly been major of the 13th Regt. Mass. Vol. Inf. The companies were mustered on various dates between Dec. 5, 1863, and April. 21, 1864. On the 26th of April, the regiment left the State, arriving at Washington City two days later. After two or three days spent in the vicinity of Alexandria, Va., on May 2, the regiment entrained for Bealeton Station on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. Thence it marched to Rappahannock Station where it bivouacked until May 4. On this day it advanced to Brandy Station, and on the 6th marched to Germanna Ford on the Rapidan River. Here it was assigned to Carruth's (1st) Brigade, Stevenson's (lot) Division, Burnside's (9th) Corps.
     On May 6, only ten days after the regiment left Massachusetts, it was engaged in the battle of the Wilderness, in the vicinity of the Plank road, losing 12 killed, 27 wounded, and five missing. Colonel Gould being seriously ill, Lieut. Colonel Hodges now took command of the regiment.
     Joining in the flank movement to Spottsylvania, the 57th was heavily engaged on the Union left, May 12, losing 11 killed, 45 wounded, and three missing, among the killed being 1st Lieutenant George J. Morse. Moving now to the North Anne, the 59th crossed at Quarles' Mill, May 24, and advanced toward Ox Ford, becoming sharply engaged and losing two killed, 20 wounded, and 16 missing. Among the killed was lot Lieut. George C. Burrill.
     At Cold Harbor, near Bethesda Church, June 3, the 59th lost two killed, 15 wounded, and about the same number captured or missing. Crossing the James River, June 15, and advancing to the front on the 17th, on the afternoon of that day the regiment joined in the assault made by the 1st Division, losing 13 killed, 49 wounded, and eight missing.
     Among the mortally wounded was Capt. Samuel A. Bean. Six weeks later, July 30, 1864, the 59th was engaged in the "Crater" fight, near Petersburg, losing eight killed, 25 wounded, and 47 prisoners. Here Lieut. Colonel Hodges and 1st Lieut. Dunlap were killed. After this disastrous experience the regiment remained in the trenches until the movement to the Weldon Railroad in August. Here, on the 19th, an action took place in which only a portion of the regiment was engaged, but a serious loss was incurred in the death of Adjutant Warren who was mortally wounded and died of his injuries the same day. A few days after this engagement Colonel Gould was mortally wounded while in command of a brigade. The 59th remained in camp near the Weldon Railroad until the last of September when it joined in the movement to Poplar Grove Church. Here, on Sept. 30, the regiment lost one killed, eight wounded, and two missing. Not far from this field the 59th went into winter quarters, but was soon ordered to the right of the Petersburg lines near Forts Haskell and Stedman. In February, Lieut. Colonel Colburn, who had commanded the regiment since August, resigned, and after that time Major Ezra P. Gould was senior officer of the command.
     In the battle at Fort Stedman, March 25, 1865, the 59th was engaged near Battery XI on the left of the fort and narrowly escaped capture. From this time until the evacuation of Petersburg the regiment lay between Battery XI and Fort Stedman. On April 3, it entered the city of Petersburg, then did duty for over a fortnight guarding the Southside Railroad. About May 1, the 59th was ordered to Washington, and was stationed first at Alexandria and later at Tenallytown. Here, June 20, 1865, the remnant of the 59th was transferred to the 57th, the transfer to be effective as of June 1, and the officers and men were mustered out as apart of that regiment, July 30,1865. At Readville, Mass., August 9, 1865, the men were paid off and discharged.


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

    ChronologyOrganized at Reedville December 3, 1863, to April 20, 1864. Moved to Washington, D.C., April 26-28, thence to Rappahannock Station, Va., April 29-May 2, and Join Army of the Potomac. Attached to 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 9th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to September, 1864. 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 9th Army Corps, to May, 1865.

    SERVICE--Campaign from the Rapidan to the James May 3-June 15, 1864. Battles of the Wilderness May 5-7; Spottsylvania May 8-12; Ny River May 10; Spottsylvania Court House May 12-21. Assault on the Salient May 12. North Anna River May 23-26. On line of the Pamunkey May 26-28. Totopotomoy May 28-31. Cold Harbor June 1-12. Bethesda Church June 1-3. Before Petersburg June 16-18. Siege of Petersburg June 16, 1864, to April 2, 1865. Mine Explosion, Petersburg, July 30, 1864. Weldon Railroad August 18-21. Poplar Springs Church or Peeble's Farm September 29-October 2. Reconnaissance on Vaughan and Squirrel Level Road October 8. Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher's Run, October 27-28. Fort Stedman March 25, 1865. Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9. Assault on and fall of Petersburg April 2. Occupation of Petersburg April 3. Pursuit of Lee April 3-9. Moved to City Point, thence to Alexandria April 20-28. Grand Review May 23. Consolidated with 57th Massachusetts Infantry May 26, 1865.

    Regiment lost during service 7 Officers and 83 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 1 Officer and 93 Enlisted men by disease. Total 184.

See also:

United States National Archives and Records Service. Compiled Records Showing Service of Military Units in Volunteer Union Organizations. Washington: National Archives and Records Service, n.d.