The History of the Ninth Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, June, 1861-June, 1864

By Daniel George Macnamara | Go to book overview

PREFACE.

In writing the history of a three years’ regiment of the war of 1861–65, which served in the Army of the Potomac, one is obliged to keep up the connection in the brigade, division, corps and army, to which it was attached, by a thread of narrative which must necessarily permeate the whole army association. To do otherwise would make but a monotonous story of the bare individual life of a regiment. The writer has, therefore, endeavored, in a way, to keep up the army connections of which the Ninth Massachusetts Volunteers was a fractional part. He would, however, crave the indulgence of the officers and soldiers — readers — who have passed through any or all of the scenes depicted, if to their mind’s eye, or memory, they differ from their standpoint or knowledge of events; for, be it remembered, no two men ever viewed the same scenes in their experience alike. If a generally correct connection is recognized it is about all that can be asked. The writer feels that too much praise cannot be given to the regiments with which the Ninth was brigaded. The 62d Pennsylvania, to which it was particularly attached by strong ties of friendship; the 4th Michigan, 14th New York, the 32d and 22d Massachusetts, while often mentioned, have not received here the meed of praise they deserve. Where omissions are noticed the reader will lay it to a lack of exact or minute knowledge of events, the fault being with the head and not the heart. To each of these regiments a brave and gallant history attaches, second to none in the service.

The Ninth Massachusetts Volunteers differed from the majority of regiments in several ways. Its officers and soldiers were Catholics; by birth Irish or Irish descent. In the main they were adopted citizens. While professional and business men and master mechanics were represented among its officers, the mechanic and the hardy handed sons of labor composed the great majority of its fighting

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