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15th Massachusetts Infantry
in the Civil War

Regimental History
Fifteenth Infantry. — Cols., Charles Devens, Jr., George H. Ward, George C. Joslin; Lieut.-Cols., George H. Ward, John W. Kimball, Chase Philbrick, George C. Joslin, I. Harris Hooper; Majs., John W. Kimball, Chase Philbrick, George C. Joslin, I. Harris Hooper, Lyman H. Ellingwood, Walter Gale. The 15th was organized at Worcester to serve for three years; was mustered in during the month of July, 1861, and mustered out at Worcester, July 28, 1864, when the recruits and reenlisted men were transferred to the 20th infantry. The 15th numbered 1,521 men and its loss by death from wounds was 116. Co. A was composed of Leominster men ; Co. B, Fitchburg Fusileers ; Co. C, Clinton Light Guard; Co. D, from Worcester; Co. E, DeWitt Guards of Oxford; Co. F, from Brookfield ; Co. G, from Grafton ; Co. I, Slater Guards of Webster, and Co. K was from Blackstone. The regiment contained three companies of State militia. In Worcester, the women of the city presented the regiment with its standard and it left for Washington Aug. 8, 1861. At Ball's bluff its losses were severe, but the men earned the praise of their general. The regiment joined in the campaign on the Peninsula and fought at Antietam and Fredericksburg. At Antietam the brigade to which the 15th was attached engaged a much superior force and was almost cut to pieces. It was more fortunate at Fredericksburg and was not in an especially exposed position at Chancellorsville. At Gettysburg it became the victim of a sad error. While engaged in resisting a fierce attack of the enemy, the Union batteries fired through them from the rear. Here the brave Col. Ward fell, mortally wounded. Next followed the southward march of the Army of the Potomac, the Mine Run campaign late in the autumn, and the regiment finally went into camp near Stevensburg, Va., until May, 1864. At the Wilderness, Spottsylvania and Cold Harbor the 15th played its part bravely, and by the end of June had lost all of its officers and so many of its men that for the rest of its term it was attached to the 20th Mass. infantry. Its record is that of the severest duties nobly performed.

Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing Company, 1908 - Volume 1

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