Massachusetts in the Civil War

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United States  Gotoarrow.png  U.S. Military  Gotoarrow.png  Massachusetts  Gotoarrow.png  Massachusetts Military  Gotoarrow.png  Massachusetts in the Civil War

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


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

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
A to Z

Massachusetts Units by Type of Unit
Union Units
Colored Troops
Unassign-ed Units

State Records

During the Civil War 146,000 men from Massachusetts served in the Union Army. The Family History Library has many records for individual regiments. See the Place Search of the Family History Library 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. Nine Volumes. Norwood, Massachusetts: Norwood Press, 1931–1935. (Family History Library book 974.4 M2ma; film 238362-70.) Includes brief unit histories and unit rosters with each serviceman's name, rank, residence, age, occupation, enlistment date, and release date and place.
  • Higginson, Thomas W. Massachusetts in the Army and Navy during the War of 1861-1865. Two Volumes. Boston, Massachusetts: Wright and Potter, 1895-96. (Family History Library book 974.4 M25ht; film 238371-72; fiche 6051395–96.) Includes unit histories; lists of men killed in action; officers; and rosters giving name, rank, unit, birthplace, and service dates. 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.

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.


  • Civil War Pension Index Cards - A free Internet index to pension applications of veterans who served in the US Army between 1861-1917 is available on FamilySearch Record Search. Each card gives the soldier’s name, application and certificate numbers, state of enlistment, and might include rank and death information. Other wars, of that time period, may be included.


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