Twenty-Seventh Regiment of Infantry-Mass. Vols. Chronology


Twenty-Seventh Regiment of Infantry.__Mass. Vols.

This regiment was raised in the autumn of 1861, rendesvoused at "Camp Reed", Springfield, Mass. and was mustered into the service of the United States for three years on the 20th. of September, 1861.
The call for volunteers in this regiment was readily obeyed in Chicopee, and her sons nobly showed their devotion to the country on many an occasion when bravery and endurance earned the title of glory.
The following are the names of the Chicopee men, borne on the rolls of the 27th. Regiment, together with the letters of their respective companies.___

Ripley R. Swift Co._G.
Marshall Elliott " "
Samuel Morse " "
Irving Chapin " " Killed at Cold Harbor
John H. Maxfield " "
John H. Parker " "
Lorenzo Yance " "
Henry J. Pulsipher " "
Marcellus M. Adams " "
George Blasdale " "
Cornelius Cone " "
Thomas Clifford " "
Michael Cavanaugh " "
Oscar C. Calkins " "
Ebenezer Sherman " "
Thomas Sheehan " "
William D. Steele " "
James Sullivan " "
George R. Hunter " "
Edwin C. Hendrick " "
Daniel A. Hearn " "
Roderick Woodville " "
William L. Wight " "
Thomas Taylor " "
Benning Leavitt, 2nd. " "
John Ward " "
Michael Murphy " "
Thomas Nolan " "
Dennis O'Connell Co._G.
William J. Page " "
Adolphus Porter " "
Matthew Sullivan " "
Patrick Hanrahan " "
George J. Alden Co._I.
H. Smith Newell " "
Edward R. Jones " "
Marvin Gibboney " "
Willard W. Haling " "
James McManara " " deserted
Charles B. Rulofson " "
William Severance " "
Horace H. Acres " "
William Wardwell " "
William Flynn Co._K.
John McGowen " "
Rob Roy McGregor " "
Joseph Richardson " "
John S Aitcheson Co._D.
James O. Cole. " "
Charles R. Collins " "
Thomas Ronan
Henry C. Clark G.
Ira H. Cook D.
John McGrath K.
Avery Bryant G.
John Moore, Jr.
Patrick Gleason Co._G.
Martin D. Bryant " G.
Edward S. Pendleton " G.
George S. Lombard " G.
William Fuller Co._K.
Norman W. Fuller "
James Mansel " G.

They left the state November 2, 1861, and arrived at Annapolis, Md. {unreadable}.
Next day, went into camp about three quarters of a mile from the city of Annapolis, which they named "Camp Springfield".___Here they remained until the 6th. of January, 1862.__In the meantime they applied themselves closely to drill and a knowledge of field movements, and the duties incidental to camp life, in all of which they proved proficient.__They then embarked on transports and proceeded to Fortress Monroe, where they arrived on the 11th. The regiment had been selected to go on the Burnside Expedition to North Carolina.__On the morning of the 12th., they left Hampton Roads under sealed orders, and on the following day arrived at Hatteras Inlet, N.C.
On the morning of February 6th., having remained in the interim on board of the transports, which, owing to the length and severity of a storm encountered on the passage, were prevented from joining each other and the remainder of the fleet, they started for Pamlico Sound, and duly arrived in sight of Roanoke Island. On the evening of the 7th., the gunboats having meanwhile engaged and partly silenced the enemy's batteries on the island, our forces, of which the 27th. formed a part, landed and bivouacked in an open field, in a cold drenching rain. Early the following morning, the regiment, in company with the 23rd. Mass. Vols.__marched to the attack, passing in their course through miry swamps and almost impenetrable thickets, during which they were exposed to a severe fire from the enemy, secured behind entrenchments. They finally succeeded in turning the enemy's left flank, and intercepted a body of the enemy in their attempt to turn our centre column. The regiment occupied advanced positions, and was in the wildest of the fight, until the enemy surrendered.__In this battle, no Chicopee men were killed, wounded, or taken prisoners.
February 11th., the regiment was again ordered upon transports, where they remained for about a month, closely crowded on board three vessels; with impure air, the health of the regiment became visibly affected.
March 11th., the regiment, in company with the rest of our forces, left Roanoke Island, and on the morning of the 13th. landed and marched towards Newbern, N.C.__Early on the morning of the 14th., they encountered the enemy strongly posted in the vicinity of Newbern, and immediately attacked them. A violent rain storm had prevailed all night, and the men were wet to the skin; but they were in the most cheerful spirits, and seemed confident that they were marching to certain victory. The enemy opened upon them in front with artillery and infantry, being protected by a line of entrenchments, extending from the Neuse River, across the main road, to the railroad, a distance of nearly two miles. The fight was kept up till their ammunition being expended, they received orders to fall back, having been relieved by anothe regiment.___In this engagement the following casualties among Chicopee men occurred: Killed,__Sullivan,___Wounded,__Swift, Adams, Steele, Taylor, McGregor, Aitcheson.
The enemy having been repulsed, our forces rapidly commenced the pursuit towards {unreadable} Newbern. Upon arriving in sight of the city about noon, it was discovered to be on fire in several places, also the great bridge which crosses the Trent River. The regiment at once proceeded to cross the river in boats, and encamped on the other side, occupying the camp of the 7th. North Carolina Regiment (rebel troops), about half a mile from the city. This camp they named "Camp Hampshire", where they remained five or six weeks.
May 1st., they were ordered to Batchelder's Creek, about eight miles from Newbern, remained there about a month, and then returned to their old camp at Newbern. Here they staid till the last of July, meanwhile perfecting themselves in drill. On the 25th. of July, the brigade to which this regiment was attached was ordered to make a reconnoissance to Trenton, N.C.__Having arrived at Trenton and dispersed a rebel cavalry force, and ascertained that no earthworks or entrenchments were being built, they returned to Newbern, having been absent three days.
September 9th., Companies C. I. and A were ordered to Washington, N.C. and the five remaining companies (including Co. G.) to Newport Barracks, the other two companies having been previously stationed at Batchelder's Creek, for outpost duty.___October 30th. all the companies, except the two at Batchelder's Creek, were recalled, and ordered to join in an expedition to Williamston and Hamilton. ___November 2nd, they started on the expedition to Hamilton, upon which they were absent 14 days, daily making forced marches and bivouacking at night, from which they returned without loss, having, in the engagement at Rawle's Mills, been held in reserve.
The regiment also took part in the expedition to Goldsboro, N.C.___It left Newbern December 11, 1862, its position being with the baggage train in the rear. They encamped that night on the Trenton road, at eight o'clock.__On the 12th., it marched through swamps, gradually growing worse.__On the 13th. it continued its march, and about noon arrived within a few miles of Kinston, where the advance had met and driven back a body of the enemy, and encamped for the night.__Here two days rations and twenty rounds of ammunition were served out to each man.__On the 14th., moved up the Kinston road, and soon became engaged in battle. The enemy retreated, and the 27th. encamped for the night in Kinston.__On the 15th., marched during the whole day.__On the 16th., they were not fairly out of camp when firing was heard, and they soon found that the advance were engaged with the enemy at White Hall. They were ordered immediately on towards Goldsboro, and encamped at sundown, eight miles below that place.__)n the 17th., the regiment was moved forward in line and behaved bravely through the day.___The regiment, with the other forces, arrived at Newbern in return on the 21st.__
January 4th., 1863, broke camp on the south side of the Grant River, neaar Newbern, and embarked for Washington, N.C. arriving on the 5th. Jan. 27th., Companies G. and H. under command of Major Bartholomew, were ordered to Plymouth, N.C. arriving there on the 28th., Major Bartholomew assuming command of the fort. These two companies remained at Plymouth until the 8th. of May, when they were ordered to Newbern. During this time they performed efficient services in scouting through the various counties bordering on Albemarle Sound.
The duty at Washington was unmarked by any incidents of general interest until the latter part of March. The many rumors and threats of an attack that had been heard for some weeks, finally culminated on the 30th., by the driving in of the advanced pickets of the Union forces. General J.G. Foster, then on a visit at Washington, took command of the garrison, consisting___beside the eight companies of the 27th.___of twelve companies of infantry, one company of cavalry, one battery of artillery, heavy and light. The enemy's force was commanded by Maj. Gen. D.H. Hill, and consisted of seventeen regiments of infantry, three regiments of cavalry, with forty pieces of artillery, bringing up the whole rebel force to about fifteen thousand.
With these heavy odds against the garrison, the siege of Washington commenced. From the great superiority of the enemy's force, and the peculiar position of the town, (some thirty miles up the river) the enemy were enabled to seize on all points of any value and effectually cut off all supplies and reinforcements. Several bluffs, some miles below the town, were seized by the enemy and fortified, fully commanding the river, where not a mile in width. The garrison were forced to lie in the trenches night and day, strengthening the line of earthworks encircling the town, (one mile and three fourths in length,) and throwing up traverses to protect themselves from an enfilading fire.___April 3rd., fire was opened on the fort and town from a hill which fully commanded the fort. The weather for the greater part of the time was cold and rainy, and the supply of rations and ammunitions short. The behavior of the men was excellent___all that could be desired, though worn down by incessant watchfulness and labor, and insufficient food.___April 10th., Companies C. and I. were sent on the gunboat Ceres, which had gallantly run the blockade the night before, to attack a six gun battery on Rodman's Point. When within two hundred yards the boat unfortunately grounded fast with her broadside toward the battery, to which she replied with vigor, the rebels having opened a heavy fire as soon as they discovered her condition. The troops were disembarked under the fire, landed on the opposite shore, and returned to Washington, having had three men wounded.
The rebels evidently designed to starve out the garrison, believing that they had cut them off from all aid; but on the 15th. of April, the Steamer Escort ran the blockade with the 5th. R.I. Infantry, supplies and ammunition. On he 16th. the rebels abandoned the siege and retired to Kinston. The 27th. lost only one killed, and eight wounded, during the entire siege.
April 24th., the regiment was relieved, embarked on steamer for Newbern and was ordered to the Fair grounds, "Camp Potter".
April 27th., left Newbern for Batchelder's Creek, with three days' rations, and one hundred rounds of ammunition per man; reached the creek at 2 P.M.; left at dark, marched until 12 P.M. in a drenching rain, and then bivouacked; moved at 2 P.M.___After marching twelve miles, occasionally driving in pickets, Companies D and E, who were deployed as skirmishes, suddenly emerged from the woods into a cleaaring, within two hundred yards of the enemy's breastworks. Sharp firing followed until the arrival of the main body, when the enemy were driven from theiir works, with a loss of forty killed, wounded and prisoners, the regiment losing but one wounded. The regiment then returned to Cove Creek, having marched twenty four miles from 2 P.M. to 11 P.M., in a road ankle deep with mud and water from the rain of the previous day.___April 29th., went on a scout of seven miles for guerrillas, returning next day to Newbern.
May 7th. went into barracks. On the 8th. Companies G and H rejoined the regiment from Plymouth. On the night of May 20th. the regiment received marching orders, and at 12 o'clock the line was formed. The whole force consisted of a brigade. The object of the expedition was to dislodgea force of rebels, entrenched at Gum Swamp, eight miles from Kinston, where they retired when pursued. Early in the morning of the 21st. the march commenced, and after reaching Cove Creek, a distance of 16 miles, bivouacked. Here the 27th., and 58th. Penn. started off through the swamp, to gain the enemy's rear, starting about 9 P.M., while the 5th., 25th. and 46th. Mass. regiments were to move up in front. After a fatiguing march of 15 miles, taking fourteen hours, through a dense thicket and swamp, through which the pioneers had to cut their way, and where for two miles both regiments marched in single file, they reached the enemy's rear, and opened fire, followed by a charge of companies D, H and I up the railroad track, up which a portion of the 56th. North Carolina were attempting to escape, driving them from the track into the swamp with a loss of six killed and wounded, and about a hundred prisoners, the fruits of the expedition being one hundred and seventy prisoners, one piece of artillery, and five ambulances and ammunition wagons. The enemy rallied, and followed the returning forces to the fortifications, when in a skirmish, Col. Jones, the commander of the expedition, was instantly killed.
June 5th., the regiment became provost guard of Newbern. During the month of July, supported a cavalry force in two raids.
October 1st., were relieved of provost duty. On the 16th., left Morehead City, on the propeller John Rice, for Newport News, Va. arriving on the 18th. Formed a part of Heckman's brigade.___November 18th., left Newport News for Norfolk and Portsmouth, to serve as provost guard, companies A, D and K at Portsmouth, and the rest at Norfolk. Here 84 of the Reg. reenlisted, and rec'd the prescribed furlough; also 94 recruits of a superior class joined. March 5, {unreadable}
22d Mar., relieved from provost duty, excepting Co. "F" which remained on such duty at Norfolk, till 15 April, and went into camp near Julien's Creek, Va. 12 Apr. took part in expedition beyond Suffolk, was gone three days and returned in a furious snow storm. 26th rec'd marching orders, went aboard steamer "Escort", sailed for and disembarked at Yorktown, in vicinity of which remained in camp till 4 May. Here was assigned to Heckman's Brigade, and Col. Lee resumed command. 4 May, embarked, and, with a large fleet, sailed down the York and up the James River, landing at {unreadable} Hundred on the evening of the 5th. 6th, Heckman's Brigade in advance, marches 6 miles during enemy's pickets. 4 P.M. same day, took part in a reconnaissance to Ft. Walthall, three miles distant, and engaged the enemy quite briskly, fighting till nearly dark, when, because of orders not to bring on a general engagement, retired in good order. Casualties 16. 7th took part in a feint on Ft. Walthall while one division of 18th Corps advanced to the rail-road at another front. Railroad and telegraph lines for several miles destroyed. Casualties 5 slightly wounded. The extreme heat of the day caused many cases of sun-stroke. Object accomplished, Reg. was ordered back to camp. 9th May, took part in the general advance towards Petersburgh; was engaged and aided in repulsing the enemy. Casualties 35. Remained on battle-field under arms during the night. 10th, returned to thelines of entrenchments. 12th, marched towards Richmond, skirmishing nearly all day. Casualties 4. 13th, formed lines of battle and advanced slowly - No casualties. A cold rain storm this day and the 12th was a source of much discomfort to the men who had neither blankets nor overcoats. 14th, advances continued till at 9 A.M. came in sight of fortifications at Drury's Bluff. {unreadable} enemy from first line of works. Enemy's batteries silenced by sharpshooters of Reg. Casualties 14 wounded. 15th, sharp skirmishing all day. Casualties 9. Began erection of breast-works P.M. of this day using for this purpose, in absence of intrenching boots, bayonets, plates and {unreadable}. This improvised system of defense saved many lives. During this and the preceding two days, Reg. expended in skirmishing 80,000 cartridges. Shortly before dusk, Reg. was relieved for rest, and sent to the rear to the right of infantry lines. During the night constructed a frail breastwork of logs, rails and dirt, extending alone nearly the whole front of Reg. Co. "D" was on outpost this night, and was several times attacked. The enemy was heard massing troops on our front. Expecting an attack, this Reg. was under arms nearly all night. 16th, at daylight, during the prevalence of a heavy fog, enemy attacked furiously. Their distinct charges were made on our lines, each a failure. For an hour, the Right line was held unbroken. The ammunition being nearly exhausted {unreadable} was sent for. A partial lull in the action was succeeded by an unanticipated volley from the rear by a brigade of the enemy, which en masse, speedily closed upon the regiment. A portion of Reg. was faced to the rear, but the combined fire on front and rear at the same time was so destructive as to render resistance fruitless. The Cal. Commdg gave the order "Left {unreadable}". The left three Co's succeeded in escaping in a great measure; nearly all of the remaining seven were captured. Casualties 6 Killed,, 30 wounded and 252 captured, including the Col. & Lt. Col. The 3 escaping Co's were again rallied and were under fire the same afternoon. {unreadable} back to the old camp at 11 P.M. The command of the remnant of the Reg. now devolved on Naj. Wm. A. Walker. Engaged to 28th on fatigue duty in the defences and on picket. 28th, broke camp and marched to City Point. 29th., embarked for White House on the PaminKey, which reached on 30th. 31st., marched towards Coal Harbor. 1st June, formed Potomac Army. Under fire nearly all P.M. of 1st though not actively engaged. 2d, part of Reg. on picket and suffered loss of 18. 3d on engagement at Coal Harbor, loss seven, 3 officers killed, 4 wounded; men killed and wounded 54. From 3rd to 12th, lay in the trenches, having 14 officers and men. 12th, marched all night, reaching White House at 5 A.M. of 13th. 13th, embarked on transport; 14th, evening, landed at Point of Rocks on the Appomatox River. 15th, engaged in front of Petersburgh with loass of 11 men; 16th and 17th, held in reserve for the Brigade. 18th, took part in the general advances on the enemy's work, forming the second lines as support to assaulting column. Suffered severely, 45 officers and men being killed and wounded, nearly 50 per cent of them engaged. The Reg. had now but a single officer present for duty. Through the hottest weeks of the summer till Aug. 24, Reg. was in the trenches in front at Petersburgh, each alternate two days occupying the fronmt lines. Casualties during this time 10 men. 24th Aug. relieved and marched to Butler's lines between James and Appomatox Rivers. Col. Lee, who had been placed under {unreadable} at Charleston and was now socharged, obtained {unreadable} to retain all the men whose term would expire before 1st Octo. These, 179 in number, including Col. Lee, proceeded to Springfield and were mustered out 27 Sept. Those remaining sailed on 19 Sept. for Beaufort S.C. 21st, {unreadable} near Carolina City where remained till 28 Nov. 21 Nov., Lt. Col. Bartholomew, who had been socharged, resumed command. 28th marched to Beaufort, S.C., where was engaged as provost guard and on picket till 4 Dec., when sailed for Newbern, N.C. 7 Dec., landed at Plymouth N.C. 9th to 15th Dec. engaged in expedition to Hamilton. Engaged enemy with loss of 3 men. There was much suffering during the march, because of cold and hunger. This was a cooperative movement with that of Gen. Warren on Weldon R. Road and with that against Wilmington and Kinston. The losses of this Reg. to this date from the beginning of its term of service was as follows:
Killed 6 Officers 55 Men
Wounded 8 Officers 226 Men
Died of Wounds 2 Officers 47 Men
Prisoners 7 Officers 253 Men
Deserted 1 Officer 51 Men
Died of disease 3 Officers 128 Men

8th July, 1865, left Plymouth for Newbern where arrived on 11th. Was here joined by the Companies left at Beaufort as formal guard, and assigned to outpost duty about 6 miles from town. 15 Feb. {unreadable} an accession of 30 recruits from depot, 4th March, brigaded with 16th Comp. to form 2d Brigade, 2d Division of the Beaufort District, under command of Col. Upham, 15th Conn., and was ordered at once to march for Cove Creek to report to Gen. Cox, commanding troops in Beaufort District. 5th March, reached Cove Creek. There was assembled the {unreadable} Command, comprising Gen. Ruger's Provisional Division and the troops of the Beaufort District. 6th March, march of the entire force began, the 27th having the advance. The Reg. at the time numbered 8 officers and 178 enlisted men for duty. The enemy having blockaded all the roads, the march was slow and tedious, and by night but eight miles, to Gum Swamp, had been accomplished. 7th March, marched from Gum Swamp to So. West Creek, where enemy was found strongly entrenched on opposite side of Creek. Some skirmishing ensued with no casualties in Reg. During the night, the Reg's skirmishes were advanced to within 75 yards of creek, and rifle hits were thrown up. At this time the Brigade to which Reg. was attached, numbering about 1000 men, was nearly two miles from any support. On morning of 8th March, the Reg. was ordered to the left making a line at right angles with the 15th Conn., to counteract a movement of the enemy. Skirmishes were immediately deployed and uncovered the enemy in the dense under brush, they having fully outflanked the Brigade gaining a position and line directly in rear of the initial line through the negligence of the Cavalry {unreadable}. On discovery they opened heavily with musketry, which was left up on both sides for 15 minutes, considerably reducing the strength of the 27th. At this time by a well directed charge, the enemy forced the Reg. back on both lines with the rest of the Brigade, which at once broke. The 27th continued the retreat in good order for some distance,, when discovering itself entirely surrounded, it surrendered. The entire Brigade, actively engaged, with the exception of a few enlisted men who escaped after the Regiments broke, were thus captured, after with-standing for nearly an hour all of Hoke's Division, 8000 strong. The loss of the Reg. in this engagement was 5 officers and 36 enlisted men wounded and 7 enlisted men killed. Lt. Col. Bartholomew was among the captured and severely wounded. 12th March, Reg. numbered one (1) officer and eight (8) enlisted men and was ordered back to Newbern for guard duty at Foster General Hospital. 15th, 7 recruits joined Reg. from {unreadable}, 1, Regiment numbered one officer and 30 men, was ordered to Camp Distribution, {unreadable}, July 1, started for Readville, Ms., with 7 officers and 132 men. {unreadable} 7th, 19th, {unreadable} disbanded. 4 officers and about 100 men captured. 8th March were discharged in descriptive lists at the North.

Casualties for 1865.
Officers wounded - not mortally 5
Enlisted men wounded - not mortally 36
Officers prisoners 9
Enlisted men wounded including wounded of March 8th 175
Enlisted men Killed 7
Enlisted men died of wounds 7
Enlisted men died of disease 19
Enlisted men deserted 4
Enlisted men discharged for disability 22
Officers discharged by order, or expiration term of service 23
Enlisted men discharged by order, or expiration term of service 465
Enlisted men died while prisoners so far as heard from 69
Missing in action at time muster out of Reg. 62


ca. 1861-1865


Public Domain




“Twenty-Seventh Regiment of Infantry-Mass. Vols. Chronology,” Chicopee Archives Online, accessed December 14, 2017,