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57th Massachusetts Infantry
in the Civil War

Regimental History
Fifty-seventh Infantry (Second Veteran). — Cols., William F. Bartlett. Napoleon B. McLaughlen; Lieut. -Cols., Edward P. Hollister, Charles L. Chandler, Julius M. Tucker; Majs., William T. Harlow, James W. Cushing, Julius M. Tucker, Albert Prescott, James Doherty, Ezra P. Gould. This was the second of the four veteran regiments organized in the autumn and winter of 1863-64. It was recruited through the efforts of Col. William F. Bartlett of the 49th infantry, Mass. volunteer militia, who became its colonel and later a brevet major-general. Most of the recruits came from the western counties and most of its officers were veterans. It completed its organization and was mustered into service for three years, April 6, 1864. On the 18th it left the state for Annapolis, where it arrived on the 20th and was assigned to the 1st brigade, 1st division, 9th corps. The decisive campaign of 1864 was now beginning, and the 9th corps was ordered to the front, marching through Washington, Fairfax Court House, Centerville, Bristoe Station and Warrenton Junction to Rappahannock Station, where it arrived May 3. It then moved via Brandy Station and Germanna ford and took part in the bloody battle of the Wilderness. Here, despite its recent organization, its action was highly creditable and gained the warm commendation of Gen. Hancock. It went into action with 545 officers and men and lost 47 killed, 161 wounded and 43 missing — a total of 251. Col. Bartlett was wounded early in the engagement, and Lieut. -Col. Chandler assumed command. Col. Bartlett never resumed command of the regiment, as he was commissioned brigadier-general on his recovery. It moved to Spottsylvania Court House and in a reconnaissance on the 10th, lost its division commander, Gen. Stevenson. The 57th again did gallant service on the 12th, advancing with its corps in support of Gen. Hancock's charge, again losing heavily, but held the advanced position gained on this day until the 18th, when it took part in a reconnaissance close to the enemy's works. When the line at Spottsylvania Court House was abandoned, it moved with its division to the North Anna river, where on the 24th its brigade was advanced without proper support and, being attacked on both flanks and raked by artillery fire, it fell back in disorder, the 57th losing 10 killed, 13 wounded and 14 missing. Its gallant commander, Lieut.-Col. Chandler, was among the killed. It was only slightly engaged at Cold Harbor, and crossing the James river on June 15, it shared in a desperate assault with the bayonet on the works at Petersburg on the evening of the 17th. Its loss was 11 killed, 30 wounded and 3 missing, its commander, Capt. Tucker, being wounded. It did constant duty in the trenches until the assault at the Crater on July 30, when, as part of the 1st division, 9th corps, it led in the attack, going into action with 7 officers and 91 men, and retiring from that fearful engagement with only 1 officer and 46 enlisted men, and without its colors. It was again engaged at the Weldon railroad in August, losing one-third of the little remnant of the regiment left. At the beginning of September, only four months after its organization, the regiment numbered only 1 officer, Lieut. Doty, and 29 men, fit for active service. Soon after, however, it was augmented to 60 by returning convalescents and others on detached duty. It was engaged at Peebles' farm, where it lost 1 killed and 7 wounded, and in the reconnaissance to the Boydton plank road lost 2 killed and 12 wounded. During the remainder of the autumn and succeeding winter, the 57th saw little severe fighting and occupied the works before Petersburg until the resumption of the final operations in the early spring of 1865. It took an honorable part in the action at Fort Stedman, March 25, when Sergt. Pinkham captured the colors of the 57th N. C. It was not again engaged except upon the skirmish line. When Petersburg fell, it encamped in the vicinity, and later moved to the Southside railroad. When Gen. Lee surrendered, it moved to Washington, encamping near Tenallytown. It was consolidated with the 59th regiment on June 20, but retained its name. The combined organization was mustered out of service July 30, 1865, and returned to Readville, where it was paid off and discharged on Aug. 9, 1865. The record of its casualties best tells the story of the heroic service performed by the regiment. Its actual membership during its term of service was 76 officers and 1,353 enlisted men. Its total loss was 285, made up of 11 officers and 165 enlisted men killed or died of wounds; 23 missing; 52 died of disease or accident and 34 as prisoners.

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

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