United States Regiments & Batteries > Massachusetts

The 9th Massachusetts Light Artillery Battery lost 2 officers and 13 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded and 4 enlisted men to disease during the Civil War. It is honored by three monuments at Gettysburg.

August 10 Organized at Camp Meigs, Readville, and mustered in
September 3 Left State for Washington, D.C. and attached to Abercrombie’s Division, Military District of Washington, D.C for duty in the Defenses of Washington
September 7 At Camp Seymour, Capital Hill
September 23 at Camp Chase
October 27 at Camp Barry
November 19 at Forts Ramsey and Buffalo, Upton’s Hill, Va.
February Attached to the 2nd Brigade, Abercrombie’s Division. 22nd Army Corps, Dept. of Washington
April 17 Moved to Centreville, Va
May Barry’s Command, 22nd Army Corps
June 25 to Fairfax C. H. and Edward’s Ferry
June 27 To Frederick City, Md.
June 29 to Middleburg
June 30 to Tanneytown
July 1 to Gettysburg, Pa.; attached to 1st Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac
July 2-4
Battle of Gettysburg

The battery was commanded at Gettysburg by Captain John Bigelow, who was wounded on July 2nd. Lieutenant Richard S. Milton then took command. The 9th brought 110 men to the field serving six 12-pounder Napoleons. It lost 8 men killed, 18 wounded and 2 missing and lost 65 horses.

The 9th Massachusetts Battery was assigned to support the 3rd Corps on July 2. When Longstreet’s attack led to the collapse of the 3rd Corps position it was the last of five batteries to withdraw. Having lost its horses it was forced to withdraw by ‘firing by prolong’ – using ropes to drag the artillery pieces back by hand after every firing. After retiring 400 yards the battery was ordered to make a stand close to the Trostle house and hold that point at all hazards until a line of artillery could be formed in its rear. It was charged by Colonel Humphrey’s 21st Mississippi Infantry Regiment, which entered the battery and fought hand to hand with the cannoneers. The battery lost 28 men killed and wounded and when it was finally ordered to fall back.

On July 3rd two guns under Lieutenant Milton were all that remained serviceable. These were deployed behind the 2nd Corps in Ziegler’s Grove during Pickett’s Charge.

From the regiment’s monument at Gettysburg: 

1st position left gun Wheatfield Road 4:30 to 6 p.m. July 2, 1863. Shelled Confederate Batteries on Emmitsburg Road also the enemy around Rose Farm buildings. Enfiladed with canister Kershaw’s Brigade C.S.A. moving across field in front from Emmitsburg Road to woods on left where battle was raging in front of Round Tops. 6 p.m. – alone on field. Graham’s Brigade 3rd Corps forced from Peach Orchard had retired by detachments.

By ‘prolonge firing’ retired before Kershaw’s skirmishers and Barksdale’s Brigade C.S.A. 400 yards.

2nd position angle of stone wall near Trostle’s House where the Battery was halted by Lieut. Colonel McGilvery and ordered to hold enemy in check until line of artillery could be formed 560 yards in the rear. Was without support and hemmed in by stone wall. Enemy closed in on flanks. Man and horses were shot down when finally overcome at 6:30 p.m. Lieut. Colonel McGilvery had batteries unsupported in position near the Weikert House covering opening in lines between Round Tops and left of 2nd Corps 3/4 mile occasioned by withdrawal of Graham’s Brigade. 

7:15 p.m. Willard’s Brigade 2nd Corps and later Lockwood’s Brigade 12th Corps came to support of artillery. 8 p.m. the enemy finally repulsed.

From the monument by the Trostle Farm:

2nd position, 6 p.m., July 2, 1863.

Ninth Mass. Battery, Capt. Bigelow, by prolongue retired firing from the crossroads 400 yds. distant without infantry support before Barksdale’s Confed. Brigade. Final stand made across this road.

From the monument in Ziegler’s Grove: 

Ninth Mass. Battery, Capt. Bigelow, July 3d and 4th 1863. Two guns, Lt. Milton comdg.

August 1 At Warrenton
September 16 at Culpeper C. H.
October 11-22 Bristoe Campaign
November 7-8 Advance to line of the Rappahannock
November 26 Mine Run Campaign
December 13 At Brandy Station; attached to 2nd Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve
April Attached to 3rd Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve
May 4 Rapidan Campaign; attached to Artillery Brigade, 5th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac
May 5-7
Battle of the Wilderness
May 8 Battle of Laurel Hill
May 8-21
Battle of Spotsylvania Court House
May 23-26 Battle of North Anna River
May 26-28 Line of the Pamunkey River
May 28-31 Battle of Totopotomoy
June 1-12
Battle of Cold Harbor
June 1-3 Battle of Bethesda Church
June 16-18 Before Petersburg
June 24 –
August 14
Built and occupied Fort Davis
August 18-21 Weldon Railroad
August 22 Garrison Fort Duschene and Fort Howard
October 27-28 Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher’s Run
December 7-12 Warren’s Raid on Weldon Railroad
December 13 Garrison Fort Rice
February 5-7 Dabney’s Mills, Hatcher’s Run
March 25 Fort Stedman
March 28 Appomattox Campaign
April 2 Assault on and fall of Petersburg
April 3 Duty at City Point
May 3-13 Moved to Washington, D.C.
May 23 Grand Review
June 6 Mustered out at Gallop’s Island, Boston Harbor