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Massachusetts in the American Civil War

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  • Dr. John Gardner Perry, (USA) (1840 - 1926)
    Born – 22 January 1840, Suffolk at Boston, Mass. Died – 1 December, 1926, Boston, Mass. of coronary sclerosis His parents were Marshall Sears Perry (1805-1859) and Abby Stimson (1816-1857). He married ...
  • Capt. Thomas Oliver Barri, (USA) (1821 - 1863)
    Civil War Union Army Officer. Married Frances "Fanny" Howe on July 3, 1853. She was the youngest sister of Elias Howe Jr, the inventor of the sewing machine. They had three children: John Atherton ...
  • Timothy Wixon (1839 - d.)
    56th Massachusetts Volunteer infantry/ Co, H The 56th Regt. Mass. Vol. Inf., the First Veteran Regiment, was recruited during the fall and winter of 1863 at Camp Meigs, Readville, Mass. A majority of t...
  • Pvt. (USA), William Wells (1838 - 1883)
    son of David Wells & Helena Francis (Thwing) Wells m. Mary Elizabeth Ballou on Dec 20,1865 at Greenfield, Mass. Veteran of the Civil War. Enlisted in Company A, Fifty-second Massachusetts Volunteer...
  • First Sgt. (USA) Solomon Martin (1827 - 1862)
    Co F, 2nd Mass. Inf. killed in action


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts played a significant role in national events prior to and during the American Civil War. Massachusetts dominated the early antislavery movement during the 1830s, motivating activists across the nation. This, in turn, increased sectionalism in the North and South, one of the factors that led to the war.[1] Politicians from Massachusetts, echoing the views of social activists, further increased national tensions. The state was dominated by the Republican Party and was also home to many Radical Republican leaders who promoted harsh treatment of slave owners and, later, the Confederate States of America.[2]

Once hostilities began, Massachusetts supported the war effort in several significant ways, sending 159,165 men to serve in the army and navy.[3] One of the best known Massachusetts units was the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the first regiment of African American soldiers (led by white officers). Additionally, a number of important generals came from Massachusetts, including Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, who commanded the Army of the Potomac in 1863, as well as Edwin V. Sumner and Darius N. Couch, who both successively commanded the II Corps.

In terms of war material, Massachusetts, as a leading center of industry and manufacturing, was poised to become a major producer of ammunitions and supplies. The most important source of armaments in Massachusetts was the Springfield Armory.

The state also made important contributions to relief efforts. Many leaders of nursing and soldiers' aid organizations hailed from Massachusetts, including Dorothea Dix, founder of the Army Nurses Bureau, Henry Whitney Bellows, founder of the United States Sanitary Commission, and independent nurse Clara Barton.

'This project is used to relate all units from Massachusetts who served in the Union Army during the Civil War.'