August 30, 2011

The Civil War and James Leary

James Leary
Great Great Grandfather
m. Mary Murphy
daughter Margaret Leary
married Matthew Patrick O'Neil
daughter Mary O'Neil
married Joseph John Thibault






Regimental History

FIFTY-FIRST REGIMENT
MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEER MILITIA
(INFANTRY) NINE MONTHS
Battles Fought
Fought on 14 Dec 1862 at Kinston, NC.
Fought on 16 Dec 1862 at Whitehall, NC.



The 51st Regt. Mass. Vol. Mil. was raised largely in
southern Worcester County as a part of Massachusetts' quota of
nine months troops. Its rendezvous was Camp Wool, Worcester,
Mass., where the recruits gathered in the early fall of 1862,
Col. George H. Ward of the 15th Mass. Regt., who had lost a
leg at Ball's Bluff, being commandant of the camp. The
companies of the 51st were mustered in between the 25th of
September and the 14th of October. A. B. R. Sprague, an
officer of the 25th Mass. Inf., was commissioned colonel, and
under his command the regiment left Camp Wool, Nov. 25,
1862, proceeding by rail to Boston, where it immediately
embarked on the transport MERRIMAC bound for North Carolina.
After a rough voyage it reached Beaufort, N. C., Nov. 30,
proceeding thence by rail to Newbern. Here it was assigned to
Amory's Brigade. Not until Dec. 5 were arms issued to the
regiment and the men instructed in their use.

On Dec 11, the 51st was assigned to the Goldsboro
expedition. Proceeding with it as far as Beaver Creek Bridge,
it was delayed there to guard the crossing at that
important point. Continuing on after the main body on Sunday
the 14th, it overtook the column Tuesday the 16th while it was
engaged in the battle of Whitehall. During the battle of
Goldsboro, Dec. 17, the 51st guarded the wagon train and was
not in action. It returned to its barracks on the Trent River
near Newbern on Sunday the 21st.

Company "G" was sent to Brice's Ferry, Dec. 30, to do
guard and outpost duty, and there remained during the entire
period of the regiment's service in North Carolina. On
Jany. 17, 1863, seven companies took part in an expedition to
Pollocksville, five of them proceeding as far as Young's Cross
Roads, and having a skirmish with the enemy at White Oak
Creek, returning to Newbern, Jany. 21.

During the month of February the regiment suffered much
from the ravages of disease and especially from an epidemic of
cerebro-spinal meningitis, a number of men dying of the latter
disease. Early in March several companies of the regiment
were distributed at various points along the railroad between
Newbern and Morehead City, while others were stationed at
Beaufort and Evans' Mills, Colonel Sprague being assigned to
the command of the District of Beaufort, which included Fort
Macon. Company " C " became a part of the garrison of this
fort. On May 4, the regiment returned to Newbern much
improved in health, and reoccupied its old camp on the Trent
River.

On June 24, 1863, the 51st was ordered to Fort Monroe.
Arriving at this place on the 27th, it was ordered to report
to General Dix at White House where a force was being
collected to attack Richmond. Arriving at White House, June
28, it was almost immediately ordered back to Fort Monroe.
Here the colonel offered the services of the regiment for
emergency duty until the Confederate army under General Lee
should be driven back from Pennsylvania, and it was
immediately transferred to Baltimore, Md., where it remained
from July 1 to July 6, searching houses for concealed arms,
guarding prisoners from Gettysburg, etc.

On the date last mentioned it was attached to a
provisional brigade under Brig. Genl. H. S. Briggs, the other
regiments being the 8th, 39th, and 46th Massachusetts.
Proceeding to Sandy Hook, Maryland Heights, and Fort Duncan,
opposite Harper's Ferry, it remained at the latter place until
July 12 when it started for Funkstown, Md., in front of the
Confederate position at Williamsport, and here on the
following day it joined the 1st Corps, Army of the Potomac.

The night following its arrival, the Confederate army
recrossed the Potomac. On the 15th the regiment was sent with
the 1st Corps to Berlin, Md., where the Union army was
preparing to cross the Potomac in pursuit of Lee. Here the
51st was detached from the corps and ordered to Massachusetts
for muster out. Arriving at Worcester, Mass., July 21, the men
were furloughed for six days, after which they reassembled and
were mustered out of the service July 27, 1863.

Source: Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors & Marines in the Civil War


On January 27, 1864 James Leary reinlisted in the Massacusetts 4th Cavalry. Company G.  

4th Regiment Cavalry
Organized at Readville December 26, 1863, to February 8, 1864. 1st Battalion formerly Independent Battalion, Massachusetts Cavalry, was assigned as Companies "I," "K," "L" and "M" February 12, 1864. Attached to Light Brigade, District of Florida, 10th Corps, Dept. of the South, to April, 1864. Unattached, Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, 10th, 18th and 24th Army Corps, and 25th Army Corps, Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, to August, 1865. Dept. of Virginia to November, 1865.
SERVICE.--Expedition from Jacksonville, Fla., to Lake City, Fla., February 7-22, 1864. Battle of Olustee, Fla., February 20. McGrath's Creek, Cedar Run, March 1. Cedar Run April 2. Ordered to Bermuda Hundred, Va., arriving there May 8. Operations against Fort Darling April 12-16. Bermuda Hundred May 20-30. Jordan's Crossing and Petersburg June 9. Siege operations against Petersburg and Richmond June 16, 1864, to April 2, 1865. At Headquarters, Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, June 21 to August 15, 1864. At Headquarters, 10th Army Corps, until December, 1864. Demonstration on north side of the James August 13-20. Strawberry Plains August 14-18. Flusser's Mills August 18-19. (Co. "M" detached at Harrison's Landing on outpost duty August 23, 1864, to March, 1865.) Before Petersburg August 24 to September 28. Chaffin's Farm, New Market Heights, September 28-30. Harrison's Landing October 13 (Co. "M"). Fair Oaks October 27-28. Expedition into Charles City and Henrico Counties November 1-5. Duty before Richmond until March, 1865. At Headquarters, Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, December, 1864, to April, 1865 (Cos. "I," "L" and "M"). At Headquarters, 24th Army Corps, December, 1864, to April, 1865 (Co. "K"). Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9, 1865. Fall of Petersburg April 2. High Bridge, Farmville, April 6-7. Appomattox Court House April 9, Surrender of Lee and his army. Duty at Richmond until November.
2nd Battalion.--(Cos. "A," "B," "C" and "D.") Sailed from Boston for Hilton Head, S. C, on Steamer "Western Metropolis" March 20, 1864, arriving April 1. Picket and outpost duty at Hilton Head until June. Expedition to Ashepoo River May 22-26 (2 Cos.). 2 Companies moved to Jacksonville, Fla., June 6-8, and duty there until January, 1865, participating in skirmish at Front Creek July 15, 1864. Raid from Jacksonville upon Baldwin July 23-28. Skirmish at South Fork, Black Creek, July 24. St. Mary's Trestle July 26. Raid on Florida Railroad August 15-19. Gainesville August 17. Magnolia October 24. Gum Swamp October 24. 2 Companies on duty at Hilton Head, S.C., June to November, 1864. Expedition to John's Island, S.C., July 2-10. Operations against Battery Pringle July 4-9. Expedition to Boyd's Neck November 29-30. Battle of Honey Hill November 30. Expedition to Deveaux's Neck December !-6. March to Charleston January 15-February 23, 1865. Potter's Expedition to Camden, S. C, April 5-25. Statesburg April 15. Occupation of Camden April 17. Boykin's Mills April 18. Denkin's Mills April 19. Beech Creek, near Statesburg, April 19. Duty in the Dept. of the South until mustered out.
3rd Battalion.--(Cos. "E," "F," "G" and "H.") Sailed from Boston for Hilton Head, S.C., on Steamer "Western Metropolis" April 23, 1864, arriving April 27. Moved to Newport News, Va., May 1-3; thence to City Point May 23, and duty there scouting, picketing and on the fortifications until June 16. Duty at Bermuda Hundred until August 23. Companies "E" and "H" at Headquarters of 18th Army Corps June 16-December 4, and at Headquarters of 25th Army Corps December, 1864, to April, 1865. Company "F" at Headquarters of 24th Army Corps December, 1864, to April, 1865. Company "G" detached at Yorktown and Williamsburg, Va., August 23, 1864, to April, 1865. Occupation of Richmond April 3, 1865 (Cos. "E" and "H"). Company "F" on Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9. High Bridge, Farmville, April 6-7. Appomattox Court House April 9. Surrender of Lee and his army. Regiment mustered out November 14, 1865. Discharged at Boston November 26, 1865.
Regiment lost during service 4 Officers and 28 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 2 Officers and 128 Enlisted men by disease. Total 162.

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