Tuesday, August 23, 2011
They Lost 35% Of The Unit
The 21st Massachusetts Infantry was garrisoned at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland after being mustered into service on August 23rd 1861. The regiment was part of the Coastal Division under the command of Union Major General Ambrose E Burnside. They saw action in the Battle of Roanoke Island and the Battle of New Bern, before being attached to the Army of the Potomac in July 1862. The 21st took part in many of the big battles in the east including the Battle of Chantilly, where they lost at least 35% of the unit on September 1st 1862. They moved to the Department of the Ohio from March 1863 to January 1864. The 21st rejoined the Army of the Potomac in early May 1864, and took part in Union Lieutenant General Ulysses S Grant’s Overland Campaign.
After three years of service the 21st had 152 men killed, 400 were discharged because of wounds, 69 were prisoner of war, and 300 had left because disease. Their numbers had been reduced from 1000 to about 100 men.
A recommended web site for further reading is Twenty-First Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Three Years