United States Regiments & Batteries > Massachusetts > 57th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment

The 57th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment lost 10 officers and 191 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded and 86 enlisted men to disease during the Civil War. It was the second of four Massachusetts “Veteran Regiments” that required recruits to have a minimum of nine months service in another Civil War unit.

December 1863 –
March 1864
The 57th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment organized at Camp Wool at Worcester and at Reedville under the command of 24 year old Colonel William F. Bartlett. Bartlett had left his studies at Harvard to serve in three previous units, including as captain in the 20th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment and Colonel of the 49th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. He had twice been badly wounded, losing his leg and having his arm shattered.Recruiting went slowly, with men coming mostly from western Massachusetts. A full ten companies were recruited by spring.
April 6 The Regiment mustered in
April 18-20 Sailed to Annapolis, Md., then moved to Washington and Alexandria and was attached to 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 9th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac
April 25 The regiment arrived at Washington and was reviewed by President Lincoln and General Burnside.
April 27 Marched toward the Rappahannock along the line of the Orange & Alexandria Railroad and joined the camp of the Army of the Potomac around Bealton Station. The regiment bivouacked there for just one night.
May 4-June 15

Campaign from the Rapidan to the James

The 57th Massachusetts Infantry marched to Germanna Ford on the Rapidan, which it crossed on the morning of May 5.

May 5-7

Battle of the Wilderness

The regiment was in reserve until May 6, when it was ordered to the support of Hancock’s Second Corps along the Plank Road. In heavy fighting it lost 47 men killed, 161 wounded, and 43 missing. Captain Gird and Lieutenant Childs were killed and Colonel Bartlett was wounded. He would be promoted to brigadier general during his recovery, and would not return to the regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Chandler took command of the regiment.

May 8-21

Battle of Spotsylvania Court House

May 12

Assault on the Salient

The Ninth Corps supported the massive Union assault on the salient by attacking the Confederate right flank. The regiment lost 13 men killed, 55 wounded, and four missing in the unsuccessful attack.

May 18 The regiment lost three killed and 14 wounded in an assault on the Confederate lines.
May 23-26

North Anna River

Crossed the river near Quarle’s Mills and moved downriver to clear Ox Ford of the enemy, but was attacked and outflanked. The regiment lost 10 men killed, 13 wounded, and 14 missing, Lieutenant Colonel Chandler was killed, and Captain Tucker assumed command.

May 26-28 On line of the Pamunkey
May 28-31


June 1-12

Cold Harbor

The regiment was on the extreme right of the Union line and was not heavily engaged.

June 13-15 Withdrew from the lines at Cold Harbor and crossed the James River.
June 17

Before Petersburg

Attacked Confederate lines on the east side of the Petersburg Defenses, losing 11 men killed, 30 wounded, and three missing. Captain Tucker was wounded, and Captain Prescott took command.

June 16

Siege of Petersburg

The regiment served in the trenches, losing five men killed and 23 officers and enlisted men wounded. Lieutenant Cheney was killed and Lieutenant Bowman was mortally wounded.

June 27 Colonel Bartlett, recovering from his wound, was promoted to brigadier general.
July 21 Napoleon B. McLaughlan was promoted to colonel. The regiment at this time mustered less that 100 men of the thousand who had left Massachusetts in April.
July 30

Mine Explosion, Petersburg

The 57th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment with its brigade was in the front line of the assault on the crater, a last minute substitution at the insistance of Meade and Grant for Black regiments who had carefully prepared for the attack. The unplanned assault was a costly failure, with men jamming into the crater so thickly that they could not raise their weapons.

In the disaster Major Prescott, Captains Howe and Dresser, and one enlisted man were killed, 16 officers and men were wounded, and 28 were captured. The colors were lost.  Only Lieutenant Doty and 46 enlisted men were left of the regiment.

August 1-17 Duty in the trenches. One man was killed and four wounded by sharpshooters.
August 18-21

Weldon Railroad

The regiment lost a third of its remaining men, leaving only Lieutenant Doty and 29 men left in the ranks..

September Attached to the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 9th Corps. Recovered wounded and detached men returned to the regiment, bringing its strength up to 60 men.
September 29-
October 2

Poplar Grove Church

The regiment lost one man killed, seven wounded, and one captured.

October 8 Reconnaissance on Vaughan and Squirrel Level Roads. The regiment lost two men killed and 12 wounded.
October – March Duty in the trenches. More convalescents joined as well as new recruits and there were few casualties, bringing the regiment’s strength back up to 11 officers and 206 enlisted men.
March 25

Battle of Fort Stedman

The 57th Massachusetts took part in the counterattack which recaptured the fort from the Confederates. Lieutenant Murdock and five men were killed, Major Doherty was mortally wounded, 25 officers and men were wounded, and 50 men were missing.

March 28-April 9

Appomattox Campaign

April 2

Fall of Petersburg

The regiment was in reserve and not engaged.

April 3

Occupation of Petersburg

The 57th Massachusetts was one of the first Union units to enter the city.

April 4-9 Pursuit of Lee. The regiment advanced along the Southside Railroad as fae as Wilson’s Station when Lee’s surrender ended the pursuit.
April 20-28 Moved to City Point, then to Alexandria and duty there
May 23 Grand Review
June 20 Consolidated with the 59th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, effective June 1.
July 30 The 57th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment mustered out and returned to Readville, Massachusetts.
August 9 The men of the regiment were paid off and discharged.