Selected Bibliography of Reading about

The 15th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry

Compiled by Susan L. Harnwell and other avid readers.


  • Edwin R. Root and Jeffrey D. Stocker, "Isn't This Glorious: The 15th, 19th, and 20th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiments at Gettysburg’s Copse of Trees", Moon Trail Books, Hardcover, 237 pages, December 2005. It can be ordered by calling the publisher at 610-866-6482.  

Comment:  This book is wonderfully written and a terrific read.  I couldn't put it down.  The amount of research shows in every line.  By concentrating on a small part of a vast chaotic panorama, the writers have really been able to make the men and the moment come alive.  slh


  • Coco, Gregory A., editor, "From Ball's Bluff to Gettysburg...and Beyond: The Civil War Letters of Private Roland E. Bowen, 15th Massachusetts Infantry 1861-1864," Thomas Publications, P. O. Box 3031 Gettysburg, PA 17325, 1994.  

Comment: Bowen's letters are wonderful to read. In an age when posturing and gallantly posing was openly admired, Bowen shows a remarkably unvarnished and very human side of his life in the 15th MVI. The editor, G. Coco, has added tremendous amounts of research and filled in the background of many of the people, places and incidents with which Bowen was so familiar.  slh

Comment from Will Melton: Daniels' book has extensive material on the regiment's formation and service including a list of members of Co. E, their age at the beginning of service, their occupations, rank, dates of enlistment and discharge, and residence as of 1890, if known. It also includes the roster of members of the regiment from Oxford who died in service.

On Ball's Bluff:

  • Morgan, Jim, III, "A LITTLE SHORT OF BOATS : The Fights at Ball's Bluff and Edward's Ferry, October 21-22, 1861", Ironclad Publishing (October 2004)

    With the requisite keen understanding of the battlefield's terrain, Morgan has woven together a site-driven narrative in graceful style that is appropriately highlighted with participant's quotations. Featuring previously unused primary manuscript sources and a variety of first-hand accounts, 


  • Farwell, Byron, "Ball's Bluff: A Small Battle and its Long Shadow", EPM Publications, McLean, VA, 1990

    Comment: Excellent recounting of the events in which the 15th MVI was fully involved, with extensive mention of the 15th. The surrounding political fallout is especially interesting. Unfortunately, there is no order of battle and requires some analysis to follow the 15th. slh 

  • Catton, Bruce, "This Hallowed Ground"

The Peninsula --

  • Sears, Stephen W., "To the Gates of Richmond: The Peninsula Campaign", Ticknor & Fields, 1992.

Comment: EXCELLENT! The order of battle is listed in the back of the book down to regimental and battery level. 


  • Sears, Stephen W., "Landscape Turned Red: The Battle of Antietam," Houghton Mifflin, 1982.

  • Priest, John, "Antietam: The Soldiers' Battle"   Oxford University Press, USA; Reprint edition (January 20, 1994) 

  • Frassanito, William A., "Antietam: The Photographic Legacy of America's Bloodiest Day," Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1978. 


  • Mingus, Scott L. L., Sr., "Human Interest Stories of the Gettysburg Campaign, " Ortanna, PA: Colecraft, 2007, contains an anecdote about Thomas J. Spurr of the 15th Massachusetts.  

On Fredericksburg --

  • Bailey, Ronald H., "The Bloodiest Day-The Battle of Antietam", Time-Life books, p. 90, with the story of the 15th MVI being hit by friendly fire. 

On Chancellorsville --

  • Sears, Stephen W., "Chancellorsville," Haughton Mifflin Company, Boston, New York 1996. Note: the 15th was only marginally involved here.

On Gettysburg --

  • Edwin R. Root and Jeffrey D. Stocker, "Isn't This Glorious: The 15th, 19th, and 20th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiments at Gettysburg’s Copse of Trees", Moon Trail Books, Hardcover, 237 pages, December 2005   It can also be ordered by calling the publisher at 610-866-6482. 

  • "Gettysburg" (the film), starring Tom Berenger, Jeff Daniels and Martin Sheen, from Turner Home Entertainment.

This one is not exactly about 15th MVI, but until we have a specific history it will provide an idea about what went on at Gettysburg. I think it's a terrific film.  
  • Foote, Shelby, "Stars in Their Courses:  The Gettysburg Campaign, June - July 1863", Modern Library.  This one is new to me.  If you read it or have read it, please let me know if there are specific references to the 15th MVI. slh

Spring 1864 –

Comment from Phil Richardson: "Scott's attention to detail down to the regimental level is similar to Sears, and he also includes an order of battle. Very enjoyable reading."

POW Conditions --

General and Genealogical Information --

  • "The Civil War:  a Film by Ken Burns" (video) 

I can't recommend this one enough.  It's an enthralling introduction for those with no knowledge of the American Civil War, and it's filled with plenty of compelling human detail to hold the interest of those who do.  An absolute must for anyone with an interest in American history. 

See also the Bibliography on the 15th MVI compiled by the U. S. Army Military History Institute in Carlisle, PA. When you reach the Civil War page, you will need to manover through "Browse" > inf > ma > 15th.

The American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, MA. Use their Gopher Site to search for family papers.  So far, I have found collections for Chaplain Wm. Scandlin, J. M. Studley, F. J. F. Crossman, S. F. Haven, and Clara Barton.  There may be more from the 15th.