Massachusetts in the Civil War

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Clara Barton, The Angel of the Battlefield, nurse during the American Civil War

Introduction[edit | edit source]

Massachusetts had a major influence on the antislavery movement. A total of 159,165 Massachusetts men served in the Union forces, 133,002 in the Union army and 26,163 in the Union navy. The army units consisted of 62 regiments of infantry, 6 regiments of cavalry, 16 batteries of light artillery, 4 regiments of heavy artillery, 2 companies of sharpshooters, a few unattached battalions and 26 unattached companies. The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry was the first regiment of African American soldiers. [1]

Massachusetts Military Units[edit | edit source]

Most units were numbered, however, some were named. See the table below for lists of the regiments, battalions, batteries, and unassigned companies.

The information in the lists of Massachusetts Military Units comes from the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors web site. This web site can also be searched by the name of a soldier.

Massachusetts Units by Number or by Name
Union Units

Massachusetts Units by Type of Unit
Union Units

State Records[edit | edit source]

During the Civil War over 146,000 men from Massachusetts served in the Union Army.

The Massachusetts Civil War Research Center has a name searchable database of over 150,000 soldiers, sailors and marines and brief histories of many Massachusetts regiments (with more to be added).

The Family History Library has many records for individual regiments. See the Place Search of the FamilySearch Catalog for detailed listings under MASSACHUSETTS - MILITARY RECORDS - CIVIL WAR, 1861–1865.

Some excellent volumes on Civil War soldiers are:

  • Adjutant General of Massachusetts. Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines of the Civil War. Eight Volumes. Norwood, Massachusetts: Norwood Press, 1931–1935. Includes brief unit histories and unit rosters with each serviceman's name, rank, residence, age, occupation, enlistment date, and release date and place. (Family History Library FHL book 974.4 M2ma and films 238362-238369, indexed in 238370.)

Indexes to service and pension records of Union Army volunteers are on microfilm at the Family History Library. The service and pension records have not been filmed and are only at the National Archives.

Local Records[edit | edit source]

Many published histories of regiments and other units are also available. Most military records for the War of 1812, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War (1898), and more recent wars are at: War Records Office of the Adjutant General 50 Maple St Milford, MA 01757Telephone: (781) 944-0500.

1890 Census Veterans Schedules[edit | edit source]

1890 Census Veterans Schedules - The "Special Schedules of the Eleventh Census (1890) Enumerating Union Veterans and Widows of Union Veterans of the Civil War" (NARA M123) are available online for the state of Massachusetts. The schedules list Union veterans and their widows living in Massachusetts in 1890. For more information on the 1890 Veterans Schedules see Union Census Records.

Service Records[edit | edit source]

The compiled service records for Massachusetts soldiers are currently only available from the National Archives. For more information see Union Service Records.

Pensions[edit | edit source]

Civil War Pension Index Cards - An Index to Pension Applications of veterans who served in the US Army between 1861-1917 is available on FamilySearch. Each card gives the soldier’s name, application and certificate numbers, state of enlistment, and might include rank and death information. The majority of the records are of Civil War veterans, but the collection also includes records for veterans of the Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection, the Indian Wars, and World War I. For more information see Union Pension Records.

Grand Army of the Republic (GAR)[edit | edit source]

Grand Army of the Republic founded in 1866 - 1956, was the largest veteran’s organization in the country after the Civil War. It was a fraternal organization members were veterans of the Union Army, US Navy, Marines and Revenue Cutler Service who served in the American Civil War. The group supported voting rights for black veterans, and lobbied the U.S. Congress to establish veterans' pensions. In 1890 the membership was 490,000.

In 1888 there were 191 posts and 20,687 members in the state of Massachusetts

GAR Posts in the State of Massachusetts

The Family History Library catlog list records of the  Massachusetts Grand Army of the Republic.

Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War[edit | edit source]

With the death of the last member of the Grand Army of the Republic the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War was formed.

References[edit | edit source]

  1., Massachusetts in the American Civil War (accessed 7 February 2011).