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58th Massachusetts Infantry
in the Civil War

Regimental History
Fifty-eighth Infantry. — Col., John C. Whiton (Silas P. Richmond was commissioned colonel Sept. 28, 1863, but resigned without being mustered, and the regiment served its whole term under Lieut. -Col. Whiton) ; Lieut.- Col., John C. Whiton (Everett C. Horton was commissioned lieutenant- colonel Aug. 31, 1864, but was discharged as major on expiration of service) ; Majs., Barnabas Ewer, Jr., Everett C. Horton (not mustered). The 58th was the last three years' infantry regiment mustered into the U. S. service to leave for the front. Recruiting for the regiment began in Sept., 1863, but only eight companies had been filled and mustered into service at Readville when the command was called upon to leave the state in April, 1864. Co. I joined the regiment in June while it was located in front of Cold Harbor, and Co. K joined the regiment Feb. 20, 1865, while it was garrisoning Fort Meikle in front of Petersburg. Its total enrolment was 63 officers and 953 enlisted men. Its losses while in service were as follows : Killed and died of wounds, 10 officers and 99 enlisted men ; missing, 14 ; died by accident or disease, 1 officer and 76 enlisted men ; died as prisoners, 1 officer and 84 enlisted men ; total, 12 officers and 273 enlisted men. Leaving the state on April 28, 1864, the regiment reached Alexandria, Va., on the 30th, and two days later arrived at Bristoe Station, where it was assigned to the 1st brigade, 2nd division, 9th corps. It was engaged at the battle of the Wilderness, suffering a loss of 34 killed, wounded and missing; shared with its corps in the assault of May 12 at Spottsylvania, losing on this hotly contested field 13 killed, 90 wounded and 2 missing; was in frequent skirmishes until the 21st, when it moved toward the North Anna river and reached the Totopotomoy on the 29th, skirmishing and maneuvering almost constantly and sustaining a number of casualties. It shared in the assault at Cold Harbor, June 3, and held an advanced position throughout the day exposed to a murderous fire. Its loss on this day was 18 killed and 67 wounded. Maj. Ewer and Capts. McFarland and Upham were among the slain. It was continuously on duty before Cold Harbor until the 12th, when it moved with the army to Petersburg and shared in the assault of the 17th. The following day it met with further loss in the attempt to capture the Norfolk & Petersburg railroad. It remained in the trenches before Petersburg until the 30th, when it charged with its brigade into the chasm formed by the explosion of the mine, meeting with heavy loss when the Confederates made their counter-charge in overwhelming force. Only a remnant of the regiment escaped, its loss being 5 killed, 30 wounded and 84 captured. The regiment, now much reduced in numbers, suffered another heavy loss on Sept. 30, when, in the battle of Poplar Spring Church, nearly the whole command was captured. Out of upwards of 100 engaged, only 1 officer and about a dozen men escaped. Its numbers were soon increased by a small body of recruits from Massachusetts, and by convalescents and those returning from detached service. It was not again engaged in active operations until the following year and spent the winter at Hancock Station, garrisoning Fort Meikle. On April 2, 1865, it shared in the assault on Petersburg, and after the surrender was engaged in guarding the railroad at Burkesville and Farmville until the 20th. It returned to Alexandria on April 28, participated in the grand review in Washington, and on July 15 it broke camp. It reached Readville July 18, and on the 26th was finally paid and discharged.

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

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