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2nd Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry

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Date: 1861 to 1865
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2nd Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry

The 2d Regt. Mass. Vol. Inf. was recruited in April, 1861, by George H. Gordon, a West Point graduate, who became its first colonel. It was the first regiment composed wholly of volunteers raised in Massachusetts for the war. It was organized at Camp Andrew at Brook Farm in West Roxbury, and was mustered into the service May 25, 1861.

Leaving Massachusetts July 8, it joined the force of Gen. Patterson at Martinsburg, Va., on the 12th. The summer and fall were spent largely in picketing the line of the upper Potomac. In the late fall it was in camp at Seneca Creek near Darnestown, Md., and early in December it went into winter quarters at Camp Hicks on the Baltimore pike about four miles east of Frederick, Md.

Late in February it moved into the Shenandoah Valley, the troops there being now under the command of Gen. N. P. Banks. On March 10, Col. Gordon was given command of the brigade, and the 2d now became a part of Gordon's (3d) Brigade, of Banks' Division. On March 26, immediately after the battle of Kernstown, Gen. Banks was given command of the newly formed 5th Corps, and the 2d Mass. became a part of Gordon's (3d) Brigade, Williams' (1st) Division of that corps. The 2d Division was commanded by Gen. Shields. While Shields was fighting Jackson at Kernstown, March 23, the 2d Mass., with the exception of Co. G, was on an expedition toward Snicker's Gap. Returning immediately to Winchester the regiment joined in the pursuit of Jackson through Strasburg, New Market, and on as far as Harrisonburg. Here it remained until May 5, when it joined in the retrograde movement to Strasburg, which it reached May 13. On May 24 and 25 it fell back with Banks' command through Newtown, Kernstown, and Winchester, distinguishing itself by excellent rear guard fighting and reaching the ford of the Potomac at Williamsport on the night of the 25th. While at Williamsport Col. Gordon was promoted to Brigadier General, U. S. Volunteers.

On June 10 the regiment again advanced, passing through Martinsburg and Winchester and on to a position near Front Royal, where it remained until July 6. It then moved over Chester Gap to Little Washington, where on July 17 it became a part of Pope's Army of Virginia, Banks' command being now known as the 2d Corps.

At Cedar Mountain, August 9, the 2d Regiment suffered severe loss. At Antietam, September 17, it was again heavily engaged, losing its commander, Lieut. Col. Wilder Dwight. Here it formed a part of Mansfield's (12th) Corps.

After a winter spent in camp near Stafford Court House, the regiment participated in the battle of Chancellorsville, May 1 to 5, and in the battle of Gettysburg, July 1 to 3, suffering severely, especially at Gettysburg, where it lost another commander, Lieut. Col. Charles R. Mudge.

In August it was sent to New York City to aid in the suppression of the draft riots which were still raging. In September it was transferred to Stevenson, Ala., the 11th and 12th Corps being now attached to the Army of the Cumberland. In December a sufficient number of members re-enlisted to preserve the identity of the regiment and it became known as the 2d Regt. Mass. Veteran Volunteers.

Source: Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors & Marines in the Civil War

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