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Mass 3rd Infantry -
History of the 3 month term

This information is taken (verbatim) from the US Army Military History Research Collection: Massachusetts In The War 1861-1865 by James Lorenzo Bowen, printed 1893


The Third Regiment of Massachusetts Militia, though its headquarters were at New Beford, was one of the first to reach Boston when the call was made in April, 1861, arriving early in the forenoon of the 16th and being quartered in the hall over the Old Colony railroad station. Like the Fourth and Sixth, it was ready for departure at 6 o'clock that afternoon. The command consisted of but seven companies, with a total of 446 officers and men, the roster being as follows: (roster is part of the actual listing pages)

Fort Monroe's Garrison House
The Third Regiment was destined for Fortress Monroe, and at 6 o'clock in the afternoon of the 17th of April marched to the State House, where it was equipped, and thence to the steamer at Central wharf, where it at once embarked, but remained at anchor in the harbor till noon of the 18th. It then sailed for Virginia, reaching its destination on the 20th, two hours after the arrival of the Fourth Regiment. Colonel Wardrop was at once directed to report to Commodore Paulding, and was by that officer ordered with his command aboard the United States steamer Pawnee and sailed at 5 o'clock for the Gosport Navy Yard, where the regiment landed late in the evening.

About midnight Paulding informed Colonel Wardrop that the evacuation of the yard had been decided on, and though the latter protested earnestly, the measure was carried out. The regiment was detailed to assist in the destruction, most of the men re-embarking at 4 o'clock and dropping down the river till the firing detachments came off in small boats, after which the vessels made their way down through the obstructions and the Third landed at the Fortress late in the morning of the 21st.

It was made a part of the garrison there on the 22d, and the day after was mustered into the United States service for three months in due form. Four companies enlisted for three years which afterward formed part of the Twenty-ninth Regiment, joined the Third during May - Company I, Captain Chamberlain of Lynn, and Company M, Captain Tyler of Boston, on the 14th; Company D, Captain Chipman of Sandwich, and Company E, Captain Doten of Plymouth, on the 22d, when General Butler took command of the Department of Virginia. On the 1st of July the regiment left the fort, crossed the creek and occupied the village of Hampton, in connection with the naval brigade and followed by the Fourth Regiment, all under the command of General E. W. Pierce. Some skirmishing ensued, by the enemy were soon driven from the vicininty by Union scouting parties.

Tabb House, Yorktown
A threatening movement being made against the village on the 4th by a strong party of the enemy, the regiment with some companies of the garrison and four pieces of artillery, under command of Colonel Wardrop, marched out two miles to the junction of the roads and formed line of battle during the night; but in the morning it was found that the enemy had retired. A scouting party of 25 from Company C, commanded by Lieutenant Chamberlain, followed the retiring foe to the vicinity of Yorktown, being absent five days and gaining much valuable information regarding the country and the enemy's position and strength.

With this exception the regiment devoted itself to strengthening the fort and fortifying in the vicinity, various details taking part in unimportant expeditions in the vicinity, various details taking part in unimportant expeditions by water, till the 16th of July, when by direction of General Butler preparation was made for the return to Massachusetts. Embarking on the steamer Cambridge on the afternoon of that day, the seven original companies returned to Boston, reaching there the 19th and four days later being mustered out of the national service.

SHORT VERSION (from a summary Civil War web site)

Left Boston on Steamer "S. R. Spaulding" for Fortress Monroe, Va., April 17, 1861. Arrived April 20, and ordered on board United States Sloop of War "Pawnee" April 20. Moved to Norfolk April 20, and destruction of navy yard April 20. Expedition to Hampton May 13. Fatigue and garrison duty at Fortress Monroe until July 1, and at Hampton until July 16. Ordered home July 16, and mustered out July 22, 1861. Expiration of term.

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