The Civil War in the East

22nd Massachusetts Infantry Regiment "Henry Wilson's Regiment"

The 22nd Massachusetts Infantry Regiment lost 9 officers and 207 enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 1 officer and 102 enlisted men to disease during the Civil War.


It is honored by a monument at Gettysburg. The 22nd's nickname came from the regiment's first colonel, a Senator Henry Wilson, who went on to become Grant's Vice-President after the war.


September 4 -
October 6

Organized at Lynnfield under Colonel Henry Wilson, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Griswold and Major William S. Tilton.

October 8

Left by rail for Washington, D.C. with 1,117 men. The regiment paraded down Ffith Avenue in New York Ciry while passing through.

October 11

Arrived in Washington D.C.

October 13

Crossed the Potomac and was assigned duty at Hall's Hill, Va. in the Defenses of Washington. Attached to Martindale's Brigade, Porter's Division, Army of the Potomac

October 28

Colonel Wilson resigned. Colonel Jesse Gove, a Regular Army officer, took over command of the regiment. He provided the regiment with rigorous training, particularly as skirmishers, a duty they would specialize in throughout the war.



Attached to 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 3rd Army Corps, Army of the Potomac

March 10-16

Advance on Manassas, Va.

March 16-23

Moved to Alexandria, then to Fortress Monroe, Va.,

April 5

Warwick Road

The regiment was engaged in its first combat


Transferred to the 1st Brigade. 1st Division, 5th Army Corps

April 5-May 4

Siege of Yorktown

Colonel Gove was the first Union officer over the earthworks at Yorktown and the 22nd Massachusetts the first regiment to plant its colors.

May 27

Hanover C. H.

May 27-29

Operations about Hanover C. H.

June 25-July 1

Seven days before Richmond

June 26


June 27

Battle of Gaines' Mill

The regiment spent most of the battle in reserve. At the end of the day the Union line broke and the 22nd Massachusetts was outflanked and forced to fall back. It lost 71 men killed, 86 wounded and 177 captured out of the 750 engaged, its heaviest loss of the war. Colonel Gove and Captain John Dunning were killed and Major William S. Tilton was wounded in the shoulder and captured. Lieutenant Colonel Griswold was absent sick, so Captain Walter S. Sampson took command.

June 30

Battle of Glendale (White Oak Swamp and Turkey Bridge)

The 22nd Massachusetts supported the 3rd Massachusetts Battery

July 1

Battle of Malvern Hill

The regiment supported a battery of the 5th United States Artillery, losing 9 men killed, 41 wounded and 8 captured.

July - August 15

At Harrison's Landing

Lieutenant Colonel Griswold returned from sick leave and was promoted to colonel and Major Tilton, exchanged from Confederate prison, was promoted to lieutenant colonel.

August 15-28

Retreat from the Peninsula and movement to Centreville. The regiment was moved by boat to Aquia Creek then by rail to Fredericksburg, and marched to Glendale, near Manassas.

August 30

Second Battle of Bull Run

The 22nd was detched from its brigade on picket duty and was not engaged in the battle.

Early September

The regiment occupied its old camp at Hall's Hill, Virginia. Senator Wilson visited and was reduced to tears when he saw the 22nd reduced to barely 200 men.

September 16-17

Battle of Antietam

The regiment was commanded by Lt. Colonel Tilton due to the ill health of Colonel Griswold. It was in reserve and took no part in the fighting.

September 19-20


The regiment crossed the Potomac at Boteler's Ford downstream from Shepherdstown in pursuit of Lee. A counterattack by A.P. Hill drove them back across the Potomac.

September 20

At Sharpsburg

October 16

Colonel Griswold resigned due to his poor health. He would recover to command the 56th Massachusetts in 1863 and would be killed commanding it at the Battle of the Wilderness.

October 17

Lieutenant Colonel Tilton was promoted to colonel

October 30-
November 19

Movement to Falmouth, Va.

December 12-15

Battle of Fredericksburg, Va.

On the 13th the 22nd Massachusetts advanced under heavy artillery fire and relieved the 12th Rhode Island behind a stone wall. The regiment held its position, firing prone, until they were relieved by the 20th Maine. On the 14th they renewed their ammunition and returned to their position from the 13th, where they were pinned down all day by heavy Confederate fire. The withdrew across the Rappahannock on the 15th.


The regiment lost 12 men killed and 42 wounded out of the roughly 200 men who were engaged.

December 22

The regiment went into winter quarters at Camp Gove near Stoneman's Station (now Leland Station).

December 29-30

Expedition to Richards' and Ellis' Fords


January 20-24

"Mud March"

January - April

At Falmouth

April 27-May 6

Chancellorsville Campaign

May 1-5

Battle of Chancellorsville

The regiment regiment covered the Rapidan River fords in the army's rear and saw no action.

May 8

The regiment returned to quarters at Camp Gove.

End of May

Colonel Tilton took over command of the brigade as senior colonel, and Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Sherwin took over the regiment.

May 28

The 22nd left Camp Gove to cover the Rappahannock crossings.

June 11-July 24

Gettysburg Campaign

June 13

Began the march north from the Rappahannock in pursuit of Lee.

June 30

Arrived at Union Mills, Pennsylvania.

July 1

Marched to Hanover, Pennsylvania. They were ordered to make a night march to Gettysburg.

July 2-4

Battle of Gettysburg

The regiment was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Sherwin while Colonel William S. Tilton temporarily commanded the brigade. It fought in the Rose Woods and the Wheatfield on July 2.


The regiment brought 137 men to the field, losing 3 killed, 27 wounded and 1 missing.


At Warrenton and Beverly Ford

September 9

200 draftees joined the regiment.

September 17

At Culpeper

October 11-22

Bristoe Campaign

November 7-8

Advance to line of the Rappahannock

November 7

Rappahannock Station

November 26-
December 2

Mine Run Campaign


At Beverly Ford



Attached to 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 5th Army Corps. Colonel Tilton was relieved of brigade command in the reorganization of the army and returned to command of the regiment.


Campaign from the Rapidan to the James

April 30

Broke camp and began advance south of the Rapidan River.

May 5-7

Battle of the Wilderness

The regmient lost 17 men killed and 57 wounded.

May 8-18

Battle of Spottsylvania Court House

Commanded by Major Mason Burt, the regiment was again used as skirmishers, attacking a line of rifle pits. Captain Benjamin F. Davis captured the colors of the 6th Alabama Infantry but was killed shortly after. The 22nd lost 17 men killed and 5 men wounded.

May 8

Laurel Hill

May 12

Assault on the Salient

May 23-26

North Anna River

May 26-28

Line of the Pamunkey

May 28-31


June 1-12

Cold Harbor

The 22nd lost 11 men killed and 11 wound, bringing its strength to less than 100 men.

June 1-3

Bethesda Church

June 16-18

Assault on Petersburg

The regiment served as skirmishers, losing 7 men killed and 14 wounded.

June 16 to August 8

Siege of Petersburg

June 30

Moved into the trenches.

August 8

Relieved from duty in the trenches and assigned to guard duty at City Point. 181 veterans who had chosen to reenlist and draftees who had yet to serve their term of service were transferred to the 32nd Massachusetts.

October 17

125 men mustered out in Boston under Colonel Tilton.

About the Author • ©2015 Steve Hawks