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27th Massachusetts Infantry
in the Civil War

Regimental History
Twenty-seventh Infantry. — Cols., Horace C Lee, Walter G. Bartholomew; Lieut.-Cols., Luke Lyman, Walter G. Bartholomew, Joseph H. Nutting, William M. Brown; Majs., William M. Brown, Walter G. Bartholomew, William A. Walker, John W. Moore, Joseph H. Nutting, William McKay. The 27th was composed of men from the four western counties and was mustered in at Springfield from Sept. 19 to 27, 1861, for three years. The original members, not reenlisted, were mustered out at Springfield, Sept. 29, 1864, and the reenlisted men and recruits remained in the service under the same name till mustered out at New Berne, N. C, June 26, 1865. The total strength was 1,629 and the loss by death from wounds 118, from disease or imprisonment 267. The regiment left the state on Nov. 2, 1861, and after more than a month at Annapolis joined the "Burnside expedition" to North Carolina. It took part in the battles at Roanoke island and New Berne and in December joined in the Goldsboro expedition. In April, 1863, it aided in the siege of Washington. After the return to New Berne an expedition to Gum swamp was undertaken and in an engagement there a number of prisoners were captured. New Berne was the regiment's headquarters until Oct. 10, 1863, when it was ordered to Newport News and was for a time occupied with routine duties at Norfolk and Portsmouth. In April, 1864, as part of the Army of the James it embarked for Yorktown, thence to Williamsburg, Fortress Monroe and Bermuda Hundred, where it landed and marched to Cobb's hill. The battles of Dunn's farm and Port Walthall Junction followed and during one day the regiment had 5 wounded, while 50 were disabled by sunstroke. At Arrowfield Church the 27th was engaged and at Drewry's bluff, after a brave defense of their position, was surrounded and a large number captured, of whom 120 died in prison. The number of killed and wounded was also large on this disastrous day. On May 26 the regiment was transferred to the Army of the Potomac and fought at Cold Harbor. It was next ordered to Petersburg and the assault on June 18 left but few of the regiment, with no officer to lead them. The next day the remnant of it was relieved but, after a very short rest returned to active duty before Petersburg, which was the last service of those who had not reenlisted. The reenlisted men and recruits maintained the organization, which was sent to Beaufort, N. C, encamped at Carolina City, thence to Beaufort, Plymouth and Jamestown, where the enemy's skirmishers were encountered. The Confederates disputed the possession of the bridge at Foster's mills, but after the 27th crossed retreated and the regiment pushed forward and captured a Confederate force at Butler's bridge. It returned in Jan., 1865, to New Berne and was assigned to duty at Red house and Rocky run. On March 8, it was attacked at Southwest creek, where the whole brigade, with a few exceptions, was captured, after resisting for an hour, Hoke's entire division of 8,000 men. The captives were taken to Richmond, paroled and then furloughed. The few who escaped, reinforced by recruits and convalescents, were assigned to guard duty at New Berne until mustered out. This closes the history of a regiment, whose services, if particularly unfortunate, were of great importance to the Union cause.

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

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