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in the Civil War
|Sixty-first Infantry. Col., Charles F. Walcott; Lieut.-Col.,
Ebenezer W. Stone; Maj., James G. C. Dodge. The 61st Mass., the last regiment to leave the
state, was recruited as a one-year regiment during the fall and winter of 1864-65. It was
recruited at large and rendezvoused at Galloupe's island in Boston harbor. The men of Co.
A were from Pittsfield and its vicinity, and those of Co. D came from Adams county. Cos.
A, B, C, D and E were slowly filled and mustered into service between the latter part of
August and the end of September, and left the state as a battalion on Oct. 7, 1864, the
remaining companies being forwarded as soon as they reached the maximum number. The
battalion, commanded by Lieut.-Col. Walcott, arrived at West Point, Va., Oct 12, and was
immediately attached to the engineer brigade under Gen. Benham. In addition to their work
as engineers, the men performed a great deal of routine camp and picket duty throughout
the ensuing winter, and were employed at the front at Petersburg for two days in December,
near Fort Sedgwick. The battalion was increased during the month by the arrival of Co. F;
Co. G reported on Jan. 5, 1865; Co. H, on Feb. 15; and Cos. I and K, on March 15. On Feb.
5 the battalion moved again to the front, and was engaged for a week in the movement which
extended the lines beyond Hatcher's run. The regiment was transferred on March 17 to an
independent brigade, under Col. C. H. T. Collis, engaged in provost and guard duty at
general headquarters. From March 29 until the surrender of Lee it was constantly under
arms. It served with distinction on April 2, when it charged and captured Fort Mahone in
front of Fort Sedgwick. So rapid and fierce was the charge that their loss was
comparatively small, considering the deadly fire through which they had advanced. The loss
was 6 killed and 29 wounded. Second Lieut. Thomas B. Hart was among the slain. The
regiment engaged in the pursuit of the Confederate army and on April 12 returned to City
Point with its brigade in charge of several thousand prisoners from Ewell's corps,
captured at Sailor's creek. It then moved to Burkesville and was assigned to the 5th
corps, April 23. Moving to Washington by way of Richmond on May 12, it encamped near Fort
Barnard, and on the 23d participated in the grand review. Cos. A, B, C, D and E left for
Massachusetts on June 5, and arrived on the 8th at Readville, where they were finally
discharged on the 17th. The remaining companies, as the 61st battalion, served in the
defenses of Washington as part of the provisional corps until July 22, when they returned
to Readville and were there mustered out, Aug. 1, 1865. The total enrollment of the
regiment was 41 officers and 977 enlisted men. It lost 6 killed (including 1 officer), and
17 by accident or disease. For its gallant services preceding the fall of Richmond, it had
been honored with nine brevet promotions.
Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing
Company, 1908 - Volume 1