previous next

[120] as field-officer of the day in Birney's division, a ‘brave and able’ soldier, in Hancock's phrase.1 On earlier days of the prolonged conflict Lieut. G. B. Simonds of the 15th Mass. had fallen, with Lieuts. Edward Sturgess and L. E. Hibbard, of the 20th. On May 12 died Capt. M. H. Warren of the 1st Mass. Infantry and Lieut. J. J. Ferris of the 19th; on May 18 Maj. A. J. Lawler and Capts. James Magner and W. F. Cochrane of the 28th Mass. In the contest of the heavy artillery regiments on May 19 among the killed or mortally wounded were Maj. F. A. Rolfe, Capts. W. G. Thompson and A. A. Davis and Lieuts. Edward Graham and Charles Carroll. All these officers, with multitudes of enlisted men whose names would now be difficult even to enumerate and impossible to print,— nearly five hundred in all,—were the victims of Spotsylvania, a battle which brought to Massachusetts the heaviest losses of the war, those of the Wilderness being next.2 It was as full of hand-to-hand contests as the Wilderness, not, however, among trees, but among fortifications; a battle where men were crowded so close that they touched each other over breastworks and sometimes drew one another bodily over; one in which they shot and stabbed each other through the crevices of the works; where dead bodies were piled three or four deep, the one upon the other, and where thick trees were actually cut down by the rain of bullets.3

Other officers killed at Spotsylvania, or in the various engagements which were a part of it, were Lieuts. Henry W. Nichols (7th Mass. Infantry), James O'Neil and Archibald Simpson (9th Mass.); Maj. D. F. Parker, Capt. J. H. Wetherell and Lieuts. E. B. Bartlett and A. E. Munyan (10th Mass.); Capt. J. S. Stoddard and Lieuts. E. J. Kidder and William Robinson (12th Mass.); Lieuts. C. W. Whitcomb (13th Mass.) and G. B. Simonds (15th Mass.) ; Capts. Benjamin Davis (22d Mass.), Robert Hamilton (32d Mass ) and S. H. Bailey (36th Mass.) ; Lieut. H. W. Daniels (36th Mass.); Capt. F. W. Pease and Lieuts. G. E. Cooke and Joseph Follansbee (37th Mass.) ; Lieut. I. D. Paul (39th Mass.) ; Capt. W. H. Harley and Lieut. F. G. Ogden (58th Mass.) and Lieut. G. J. Morse (59th Mass.)

1 Official Army Records, 67, p. 339.

2 Spotsylvania, 496; Wilderness, 463; Cold Harbor (including Bethesda Church), 425; Antietam, 370; Gettysburg, 340; Petersburg, 256: Fredericksburg, 222.

3 For vivid descriptions of the battle, see Century War Book, IV, 174-178; Walker's 2d Army Corps, pp. 441-490; Army and Navy Journal, I, 629, 641. For reports not already mentioned by Massachusetts officers, see those of Colonel Edwards (Official War Records, 43, p. 672), General Miles (p. 370) and Capt. I. H. Sleeper (p. 516).

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
May 19th (1)
May 18th (1)
May 12th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: