United States Regiments & Batteries > Massachusetts

The 15th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment lost 14 officers and 227 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded and 1 officer and 121 enlisted men to disease in the Civil War. The regiment is honored by a monument at Antietam and another monument at Gettysburg.

June 12, 1861 Organized at Worcester and mustered in under Colonel Charles P. Devens
August 8-11 Moved to Washington, D.C.
August 12 – 25 At Camp Kalorama
August 25-27 March to Poolesville, Md.
August 27 –
October 20
Picket and outpost duty on the Upper Potomac from Conrad’s Ferry to Harrison’s Island. Attached to the 1st  Brigade, Stone’s (Sedgwick’s) Division, Army of the Potomac
October 21-24 Operations on the Potomac
October 21
Action at Ball’s Bluff

The regiment lost 2 officers and 12 men killed, 4 officers and 57 men wounded, and 8 officers and 219 men missing. Colonel Devens swam the Potomac to escape capture.

October – March At Harper’s Ferry and Bolivar Heights
March 7 At Charlestown
March 10 At Berryville
March 13-15 Movement toward Winchester and return to Bolivar Heights
March Assigned to 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 2nd Army Corps, Army of the Potomac
March 22-April 1 Moved to Fortress Monroe.
April 5-May 4 Siege of Yorktown
April 29 Colonel Devens was promoted to Brigadier General. Lieutenant Colonel George H. Ward was promoted to colonel, and Major John Kimball was promoted to lieutenant colonel
May 31-June 1 Battle of Fair Oaks, Seven Pines
June 25-July 1 Seven days before Richmond
June 29 Peach Orchard and Savage Station
June 30 White Oak Swamp and Glendale
July 1 Malvern Hill
July 2 – August 15 At Harrison’s Landing
August 15-28 Movement to Alexandria
August 29-30 To Centreville
August 31-
September 1
Cover Pope’s retreat
September 16-17
Battle of Antietam

The 15th Massachusetts was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel John W. Kimball, bringing 606 men to the field. The Andrews Sharpshooters, 1st Company was attached. Captains Richard Derby, John Saunders (Sharpshooters) and Clark Simonds, Lieutenants Frank Corbin and William Berry (Sharpshooters) and 70 enisted men were killed, 255 men were wounded, 43 mortally, and 24 men missing when Sedgwick’s Division was ambushed in the West Woods.

The regiment’s monument at Antietam lists each of the killed and mortally wounded for the regiment and the attached company of sharpshooters.

From the brigade’s marker on the Antietam battlefield:

Gorman’s Brigade led the advance of Sedgwick’s Division in its assault upon the Confederate left. It passed through the East Woods, crossed the Cornfield and the open ground to the south, entered the West Woods and had reached this point, when its advance was checked by Jackson’s Command and the Artillery of Stuart’s Division posted on the high ground to the northwest. After a severe contest in which its ammunition was nearly exhausted, its left flank was turned by McLaws’ and Walker’s Divisions and the Brigade was forced to retire northward to the fields beyond D.R. Miller’s barn. The 34th New York was detached and occupied the woods immediately west of the Dunkard Church. This tablet marks the left center of the Brigade in its advance.

September 22 Moved to Harper’s Ferry
October 30-
November 20
Movement to Falmouth, Va.
November 10 Lieutenant Colonel Kimball transferred to the 53rd Massachusetts Infantry as colonel and Captain George C. Joslin of Company I was promoted to major.
December 12-15 Battle of Fredericksburg
January 20-24 “Mud March”
April 17 Major Joslin was promoted to lieutenant colonel.
April 27-May 6 Chancellorsville Campaign
May 3 Maryes Heights, Fredericksburg
May 3-4
Salem Heights
May 4 Banks’ Ford
July 2-4
Battle of Gettysburg

The regiment was commanded by Colonel George H. Ward until he was mortally wounded on July 2. Lieutenant Colonel George C. Joslin then took command. The regiment brought 304 men to the field, losing 23 killed, 97 wounded and 28 missing.

From one of a series of iron signs south of the Copse of Trees (below right):

Fifteenth Massachusetts Volunteers. The position of this regiment in line of batle is marked by its monument 235 yards due south. It charged up to this point and attacked Pickett’s Division in flank as his troops were coming over the stonewall.

After the battle Lieutenant Colonel Joslin was promoted to colonel.

September 13-17 Advance from the Rappahannock to the Rapidan
October 9-22 Bristoe Campaign
October 14 Bristoe Station
November 7-8 Advance to line of the Rappahannock
November 26-
December 2
Mine Run Campaign

Colonel Joslin was captured and would not return to the regiment.

November 27 Robertson’s Tavern or Locust Grove
February 6-7 Morton’s Ford
February – May Picketing Rapidan
May-June Campaign from the Rapidan to the James
May 5-7
Battle of the Wilderness
May 8 Laurel Hill
May 8-21
Battle of Spotsylvania Court House
May 10 Po River
May 12 Assault on the Salient at Spottsylvania Court House
May 23-26 North Anna River
May 26-28 Line of the Pamunkey
May 28-31 Totopotomoy
June 1-12
Cold Harbor
June 16-18 First Assault on Petersburg
June 16-July 12 Siege of Petersburg
June 22-23 Jerusalem Plank Road
July 12 Left the front
July 28 Mustered out. Veterans and Recruits transferred to 20th Massachusetts. Colonel Joslin was paroled on August 3.