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Massachusetts in the American Civil War

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  • Lieut (USA), Francis "Frank" Thomas (1844 - 1863)
    Residence: Weymouth, MassachusettsOccupation: CarpenterAge at enlistment: 20Enlistment Date: 26 Jun 1861Rank at enlistment: SergeantState Served: MassachusettsSurvived the War?: NoCIVIL WAR Service Rec...
  • Lt. Robert Robbins Andrews, D.D.S. (1844 - 1921)
    "Dr. Robert Robbins Andrews took a bilateral path in his life. Born in Boston, August 7, 1844, he spent his childhood in various schools in Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. At the age of 14 he b...
  • Pvt. Edward Daud Noyes, USA (1813 - 1862)
    Civil War Union Army soldier. Private, Co. A, 19th Massachusetts Infantry. Killed in action during the Battle of Fredericksburg.
  • Charles Storrow (1841 - d.)
    Enlisted in the 44th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment in the Civil War at Boston. Born in Boston, listed as a Captain in Company F. He was described as a Cotton Buyer at that time. His brother was also...
  • Herbert Merriam (1841 - d.)
    Enlisted in the 44th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment in 1862 in Boston, coming from Weston where he was a farmer. Ranked as a Sargent in Company H. Still alive in 1914 for a meeting of the 44th vete...


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.'