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Marshalling the Federal volunteers

Officer and sergeant in 1861 men of the sixth Vermont near Washington


A hollow-square maneuver for the new soldiers This regiment was organized at Bangor, Me., for three months service, and left the State for Willett's Point, N. Y., May 14, 1861. Such was the enthusiasm of the moment that it was mustered into the United States service, part for two and part for three years, May 28, 1861. It moved to Washington on May 30th. The first Camp of the regiment was on Meridian till, near Washington, till July 1st. The live-long days were spent in constant ‘drill, drill, drill’ during this period. McClellan was fashioning the new levies into an army. The total population of the Northern States in 1860 was 21,184,305. New England's population was 3,135,283, or about one-seventh of the whole. New England's troops numbered 363,162, over one-tenth of its population, practically one-seventh the total muster of forces raised in the North during the war, namely, 2,778,304. The New England population was distributed as follows: Maine, 628,279; Massachusetts, 1,231,066; Vermont, 315,098; New Hampshire, 326,073; Connecticut, 460,147, and [59] Rhode Island, 174,620. The number of troops that these States respectively furnished and the losses they incurred were: Maine, 70,107—loss, 9,398; Massachusetts, 146,730—loss, 13,942; Vermont, 33,288—loss, 5,224; New Hampshire, 33,937—loss, 4,882; Connecticut, 55,864—loss, 5,354; and Rhode Island, 23,236— loss, 1,321. The total loss was thus 40,121. Maine's contribution of more than 11 per cent. of its population took the form of two regiments of cavalry, one regiment of heavy artillery, seven batteries of light artillery, one battalion and a company of sharpshooters, with thirty-three regiments, one battalion, and seven companies of infantry. The Second Maine fought with the Army of the Potomac until the battle of Chancellorsville, May 1 to 5, 1863. The regiment was ordered home on the 20th of that month, and the three-years men were transferred to the Twentieth Maine Infantry. The regiment was mustered out June 9, 1863, having lost four officers and 135 enlisted men, killed or mortally wounded, and by disease.


The first Rhode Island infantry leaving providence April 20, 1861. The sidewalks were filled with cheering throngs, and unbounded enthusiasm greeted the volunteers, as the first division of the First Regiment of Detached Rhode Island Militia left Providence for Washington April 20, 1861. At 10:30 in the morning Colonel Ambrose E. Burnside, in command had ordered the men of the first division to assemble upon Exchange Place. The band was followed by the National Cadets and the first division was led by Colonel Burnside himself. It contained practically half of each of the ten companies, six of which were recruited in Providence and one each in Pawtucket, Woonsocket, Newport, and Westerly. The second division left four days later. The men in this photograph marched through Exchange Street to Market Square, up North Main Street and through Meeting to Benefit, and down Benefit to Fox Point.


Burnside and his boys of the first Rhode Island after Bull Run The officers of the First Rhode Island Volunteers looked quite martial in their pleated blue blouses and gauntlets at the outset of the war. Colonel Ambrose E. Burnside sits in the center, with folded arms in front of the tree. Above his head to the right is the rude sign: ‘Welcome home.’ The little State of Rhode Island contributed three regiments and a battalion of cavalry, three regiments of heavy artillery, ten batteries of light artillery, twelve regiments of infantry, and an independent company of hospital guards to the Union cause. The first Rhode Island was a three-months regiment which was mustered out August 2, 1861. This photograph shows the young officers after the Union disaster at Bull Run. From April, 1861, to August, the regiment lost one officer and sixteen enlisted men killed and mortally wounded, and eight enlisted men by disease.


Third Connecticut infantry, Camp Douglas, 1861 Only one day after the First Regiment of Connecticut Infantry started from Hartford—May 18, 1861—the Second and Third left New Haven for the great camps that encircled Washington. All three of these threemonths regiments took part in the battle of Bull Run, and all three were mustered out by the middle of August. This was one of the first steps by which the fighting men of the North were finding themselves. Connecticut sent a regiment of cavalry, two regiments of heavy artillery, three batteries of light artillery, and thirty regiments of infantry to the front in the course of the war. Two of the latter, the Twenty-ninth and the Thirtieth, were colored regiments. The company of the Third in the photograph looks quite natty in its dark blue uniforms. These men have not yet heard the crash of a Confederate volley, but they are soon to do so on the disastrous field of Bull Run. They served almost three months, being mustered in on May 14, 1861, and mustered out August 12th.


Officers of the ninth Massachusetts infantry at Camp Cass, 1861 A little over two months before this regiment left Boston for Washington, the Sixth Massachusetts had been defending itself against the mob in the streets of Baltimore, April 19, 1861. Massachusetts poured regiment after regiment to the front until seventy-one regiments had answered President Lincoln's calls. Besides the infantry, Massachusetts sent five regiments and three battalions of cavalry, four regiments, a battalion, and thirty unassigned companies of heavy artillery, eighteen batteries of light artillery, and two companies of sharpshooters. The Ninth Massachusetts left Boston for Washington on June 27, 1861. At the first and second Bull Run, on the Peninsula, at Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Cold Harbor this regiment fought bravely and well. When it was finally mustered out June 21, 1864, it had lost 15 officers, 194 enlisted men killed and mortally wounded, and 3 officers and 66 enlisted men by disease.


Green Mountain boys: Sixth Vermont Infantry

From October 19 and 22, 1861, when the Sixth Vermont Infantry left Montpelier for Washington, until its final corps-review June 8, 1865, nearly two months after Appomattox, this regiment served with the Army of the Potomac and the Army of the Shenandoah. These hardy mountain boys shown in the photograph are drilling in full accouterment, carrying their knapsacks on their sturdy backs. Clad in gray turned up with emerald, as befitted ‘the Green Mountain Boys,’ they added one more note of color to the kaleidoscope of uniforms that gathered in Washington that summer and fall. Vermont sent one regiment of cavalry, a regiment and a company of heavy artillery, three batteries of light artillery, and eighteen regiments of infantry to the front. The Sixth Vermont fought at Yorktown, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, at Opequon, in the Shenandoah Valley, and at Petersburg, and formed part of the Sixth Corps sent to the relief of Washington when Early threatened it in July, 1864. When mustered out June 26, 1865, the Sixth had lost 12 officers and 191 enlisted men killed and wounded, and 3 officers and 212 men by disease.


Green mountain boys’ at drill, 1861: ‘I’ and ‘D’ companies of the sixth Vermont

Green mountain boys’ at drill, 1861: ‘I’ and ‘D’ companies of the sixth Vermont

Green mountain boys’ at drill, 1861: ‘I’ and ‘D’ companies of the sixth Vermont


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