United States Regiments & Batteries > Rhode Island


The 4th Rhode Island Volunteer Infantry Regiment lost 5 officers and 68 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded and 67 enlisted men to disease during the Civil War.

1861
August-September Organized at Providence under Colonel Justus I. McCarty and Lieutenant Colonel William H.P. Steere.
October 2 Left State for Washington, D.C.
October At Camp Casey attached to Casey’s Provisional Division, Army Potomac
October 30 Mustered in under the command of Colonel Isaac P. Rodman after Colonel McCarty’s commission was revoked.
November 28 At Camp California attached to Howard’s Brigade, Sumner’s Division, Army of the Potomac
December 14 At Edsall’s Hill, Defences of Washington, D.C. assigned to Parke’s 3rd Brigade, Burnside’s Expeditionary Corps
1862
January 3 Moved to Annapolis, Md.
January 7-
February 8
Burnside’s Expedition to Hatteras Inlet and Roanoke Island, N. C.
February 9 Battle of Roanoke Island
February Duty at Roanoke Island
March 11-13 Advance on New Berne
March 14
Battle of New Berne

Adjutant Joseph B. Curtis was wounded.

March 23-April 26 Siege of Fort Macon. Atached to 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, Dept. of North Carolina
April 25-26 Bombardment and capture of Fort Macon
May-June Duty at Beaufort and New Berne. Colonel Rodman returned to Rhode Island after contracting Typhoid Fever, leaving Lieutenant Colonel Steere in command of the regiment.
May 16 Colonel Rodman was promoted to brigadier general.
June 12 Lieutenant Colonel Steere was promoted to colonel and Major George W. Tew was promoted to lieutenant colonel.
July 6-8 Moved to Newport News, Va. Attached to 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 9th Army Corps, Army Potomac
August Lieutenant Colonel Tew resigned and Lieutenant Curtiss was promoted to lieutenant colonel.
August 3-6 To Fredericksburg
August 31-September 3 Moved to Brook’s Station, then to Washington, D.C.
September Maryland Campaign
September 14
Battle of South Mountain
September 16-17
Battle of Antietam

Colonel Steere was wounded in the thigh while advancing from Burnside’s Bridge toward Sharpsburg. Lieutenant Colonel Curtis then took command of the regiment. The regiment lost 21 enlisted men killed, 5 officers and 72 enlisted men wounded, and 2 men missing.

From the War Department marker to Harland’s Brigade on the Antietam battlefield:

On the morning of the 17th, Harland’s Brigade moved from its position southeast of Burnside Bridge. The 11th Connecticut, deployed as skirmishers, preceded Crook’s Brigade in its assault on the bridge and was repulsed with great loss. During the forenoon the remaining Regiments of the Brigade moved down the left bank of the Antietam, crossed at Snavely’s Ford and, moving up the right bank of the stream, formed line on the left of the Division, Ewing’s Ohio Brigade in support. At about 3 P.M., the Brigade advanced in the direction of Sharpsburg. The 8th Connecticut passed to the west of this point and the 16th Connecticut and 4th Rhode Island were in the 40 acre cornfield east, when they were attacked in flank by the right of A.P. Hill’s Division and compelled to retire to the cover of the high ground near the bridge.

September-October Duty in Pleasant Valley, Maryland. After the battle Companies I & K were broken up and distributed to the other 8 companies in order to overcome the lack of company officers.
October 30-November 19 Advance to Falmouth, Va.
December 12-15
Battle of Fredericksburg

Lieutenant Colonel Curtiss was killed by a fragment from an artillery shell.

1863
January Attached to 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 9th Army Corps
January 20-24 “Mud March”
February 8 Moved to Newport News, Va.
March 13 To Suffolk
April 12-May 4 Siege of Suffolk. Attached to 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, 7th Army Corps, Dept. of Virginia
May 4 Nansemond River
May Colonel Steere retrned to te regiment, having recovered from his Antietam wound.
June 9-13 Reconnoissance to the Chickahominy
June 24-July 8 Dix’s Peninsula Campaign, attached to 3rd Brigade, Getty’s Division at Portsmouth, Va., Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, Colonel Steere commanded the brigade as senior colonel.
July 1-7 Expedition from White House to South Anna River
July Duty at Portsmouth
1864
January Attached to 3rd Brigade, Heckman’s Division, Portsmouth, Virginia
March 1 At Norfolk
April 1 At Point Lookout, Md., guarding prisoners. Attached to District of St. Mary’s Point, Lookout, Md.
July 16 Ordered to Petersburg, Va. and attached to 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 9th Army Corps, Army Potomac
July to October Siege of Petersburg
July 30 Mine Explosion, Petersburg
August 18-21 Weldon Railroad
September 29-October 2 Poplar Springs Church
October 15 Old members mustered out under Colonel Steere. Veterans and Recruits consolidated with 7th Rhode Island Infantry.