The Civil War in the East

15th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment


The 15th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment lost 14 officers and 227 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded and 1 officer and 121 enlisted men to disease in the Civil War.


The regiment is honored by a monument at Antietam (near right) and another monument at Gettysburg (far right).

Monument to the 15th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment at Antietam Monument to the 15th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment at Gettysburg


June 12, 1861

Organized at Worcester and mustered in under Colonel Charles P. Devens

August 8-11

Moved to Washington, D.C.; Attached to Gorman's Brigade, Stone's (Sedgwick's) Division, Army of the Potomac

August 12 - 25

At Camp Kalorama

August 25-27

March to Poolesville, Md.

August 27 - October 20

Picket and outpost duty on the Upper Potomac from Conrad's Ferry to Harrison's Island

October 21-24

Operations on the Potomac

October 21

Action at Ball's Bluff

The regiment lost 2 officers and 12 men killed, 4 officers and 57 men wounded, and 8 officers and 219 men missing. Colonel Devens swam the Potomac to escape capture.

October - March

At Harper's Ferry and Bolivar Heights


March 7

At Charlestown

March 10

At Berryville

March 13-15

Movement toward Winchester and return to Bolivar Heights


Assigned to 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 2nd Army Corps, Army of the Potomac

March 22-April 1

Moved to Fortress Monroe. Colonel Devens promoted to Brigadier General

April 5-May 4

Siege of Yorktown

April 29

Major John Kimball promoted to lieutenant colonel

May 31-June 1

Battle of Fair Oaks, Seven Pines

June 25-July 1

Seven days before Richmond

June 29

Peach Orchard and Savage Station

June 30

White Oak Swamp and Glendale

July 1

Malvern Hill

July 2 - August 15

At Harrison's Landing

August 15-28

Movement to Alexandria

August 29-30

To Centreville

August 31-
September 1

Cover Pope's retreat

September 16-17

Battle of Antietam

Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel John W. Kimball, the regiment brought 606 men to the field. Captains Richard Derby, John Saunders (Sharpshooters) and Clark Simonds, Lieutenants Frank Corbin and William Berry (Sharpshooters) and 70 enisted men were killed, 255 men wounded, 43 mortally, and men 24 missing when Sedgwick's Division was ambushed in the West Woods.


The regiment's monument at Antietam lists each of the killed and mortally wounded for the regiment and the attached company of sharpshooters.

September 22

Moved to Harper's Ferry

October 30-
November 20

Movement to Falmouth, Va.

November 10

Lieutenant Colonel Kimball transferred to 53rd Massachusetts Infantry as colonel

December 12-15

Battle of Fredericksburg


January 20-24

"Mud March"

April 27-May 6

Chancellorsville Campaign

May 3

Maryes Heights, Fredericksburg

May 3-4

Salem Heights

May 4

Banks' Ford

July 2-4

Battle of Gettysburg

Commanded by Colonel George H. Ward until he was mortally wounded on July 2. Lieutenant Colonel George C. Joslin then took command. The regiment brought 304 men to the field, losing 23 killed, 97 wounded and 28 missing.


From one of a series of iron signs south of the Copse of Trees (below right): "Fifteenth Massachusetts Volunteers. The position of this regiment in line of batle is marked by its monument 235 yards due south. It charged up to this point and attacked Pickett's Division in flank as his troops were coming over the stonewall."

September 13-17

Advance from the Rappahannock to the Rapidan

October 9-22

Bristoe Campaign

October 14

Bristoe Station

November 7-8

Advance to line of the Rappahannock

November 26-
December 2

Mine Run Campaign

November 27

Robertson's Tavern or Locust Grove


February 6-7

Morton's Ford

February - May

Picketing Rapidan


Campaign from the Rapidan to the James

May 5-7

Battle of the Wilderness

May 8

Laurel Hill

May 8-21

Battle of Spottsylvania Court House

May 10

Po River

May 12

Assault on the Salient at Spottsylvania Court House

May 23-26

North Anna River

May 26-28

Line of the Pamunkey

May 28-31


June 1-12

Cold Harbor

June 16-18

Before Petersburg

June 16-July 12

Siege of Petersburg

June 22-23

Jerusalem Plank Road

July 12

Left the front

July 28

Mustered out. Veterans and Recruits transferred to 20th Massachusetts.

About the Author • ©2015 Steve Hawks