The Trials and Travels of the

15th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment

1861 1862 1863 1864

In 1864

(The entries shown here in quotation marks are from the Diary of Andrew B. Yeomans which is quoted extensively by Ford and Daniels.  If anyone knows where this diary may be found today, please contact Bob Ducharme  -->  ABY15MA (at) aol (dot) com.)
Feb 6 "Routed out at 4 A.M. Went down to Rapidan 6 miles to Morton's Ford. "After dark our division crossed the river and deployed as skirmishers Cold, rainy night."
Feb 7 "At 1 A.M. recrossed the river and remained in line on the river bank all day. After dark came back to our old camp."

Captain Samuel J. Fletcher writes a Report on the movement to Morton's Ford.

During the spring of 1864 the Army was reorganized. Gen. Hancock returned to command the Second Corps. and Gen. Gibbon to the Second Division. Webb's brigade was now made up of the 19th ME, 15th 19, and 20th Mass. and the 42nd, 59th, and the 82nd N.Y.
May 3-4 Broke camp and crossed the Rapidan at Ely's Ford then on to Chancellorsville
May 5 Wilderness Battle   Second Division Second Corps passes beyond Todd's Tavern  
11 A.M.- Ordered to return to Brock Rd. and Orange Plank Rd.
5 P.M. - Webb's Brigade arrives under "a very annoying fire."
May 7 During the evening, moved south on Brock Rd to Todd's Tavern.
May 8 Gibbon's Division sent in support of Warren, but not engaged
May 9 Crossed the Po river
May 10 Called back to assist V Corps attack at Spottsylvania C.H. Webb's brigade being in the attacking line. Made 2 assaults and repulsed twice in the engagement at Po River.
May 11 Entrenchment's made
May 12 Battle of Spottsylvania Assault at the salient. Gibbon's division in reserve. Gen. Webb wounded during counter assault. Struggle amid cold drenching rain.
May 14 "Remained in line all day. Not engaged."
May 15 "A daylight moved up towards the left. Stayed a few hours and came back".
May 16 "In the afternoon, went out a few miles to guard ambulances bringing in our wounded."
May 17 "Remained quiet until dark. Moved up to rebel breastworks."
May 18 "At daylight moved on the enemy works again. Hard fight. Lasted all the afternoon. At night, moved up further to the left about seven or eight miles."
May 19 "At dark, fell in and went back a little way to repel attack on train."
May 20 "Came back, remained all day till about 12 at night , then moved on."
May 21 "Marched all night on through Guiney's Sta. Bowling Green and Milford. Hard hot march. Crossed the Mattapony river. Regiment went out on picket at night".
May 22 "Remained on picket till night. Went back to line."
May 23 "Moved on a 7 A.M. to the North Anna River. Some skirmishing. Built breastworks on top of hill near river. Remained there at night."
May 24 "Crossed river on rude bridge without opposition. Built breastworks. About 4 P.M. went out supporting skirmish line. Lively skirmish till late at night. Stayed out all night."
May 25 "Rain at daylight . Moved on in line during day. Built breastworks."
May 26 "Remained till after dark. Recrossed the river."
May 27 "Moved on to the left."
May28 "Crossed Pamunkey river at Nelson's Ford near Newmarket. Regiment deployed as skirmishers. Got shelled. Advanced in line and remained out all night as pickets."
May 29 "At night relieved and joined brigade."
May 30 "Moved on a few miles. Formed line."
May 31 "Moved on a few miles at night. Regiment deployed as skirmishers Dug rifle pits. Remained out all night and the next day."
June1 "Made an unsuccessful charge on the enemy's works (Totopotomoy Creek). After dark, moved on to the left. Marched all night."
June 3 Battle of Cold Harbor
June 13 Crossed the Chickahominy river
June 14 Crossed the James rover on transports.
June 15 Marched towards Petersburg
June 17-18 Assaults on Petersburg works.
June 20 Moved 2 miles toward the rear
June 21 Battle of Petersburg or Weldon Railroad.  Moved about 4 miles toward the Weldon R.R. skirmishing along the way, then began to entrench near Jerusalem Plank Rd. until around 2 A.M.
June 22 Moved out to skirmish line ( Less than 100 men ) through swamps and brush and dug rifle pits in wet peaty muck, the enemy firing all the time.
At 2 P.M. the order was heard to hold the position at all hazard, when suddenly the enemy had penetrated the line and gained the flank and rear of the regiment, resulting in the capture of 4 officers and 65 men. Only six men were able to avoid capture.
The national flag of the 15th Massachusetts was captured by the 3rd Georgia Volunteers.  Read about it HERE.
July 12 The 15th MVI is ordered out of the lines since its term of enlistment had nearly expired. Some members were transferred to the 20th Massachusetts Infantry. Others were returned to Massachusetts.
July 28 In Readville, MA, those not joining the 20th Massachusetts Infantry were mustered out of Federal service.
Article appears in the Worcester Aegis and Transcript of July 30, 1864, p. 1, col. 7: Return Home of the 15th Massachusetts Regiment.  
21 Oct 1864 First Annual Reunion of the Fifteenth Regiment Association, to be held yearly on the anniversary of Ball's Bluff. 

Copyright 1997 by B. Ducharme & S. Harnwell

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15th Massachusetts VI