37th Regiment - Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry
1862, with the Civil War raging, men from all over Western Massachusetts trekked to Camp Briggs where, on Aug. 30, they were organized into the 37th Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. The 37th Regiment would go on to fight in almost every major battle of the eastern theater, including Antietam and Gettysburg. Frank E. White has spent the last 10 years writing a book about the history of regiment. He learned that his great great grandfather had captured Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's oldest son, Maj. Gen. George Washington Custis Lee, at the battle of Sailor's Creek in 1865.
Monument honors Vermont brigade - Battle of the Wilderness
A famous Union brigade has a memorial to its sacrifice in the Battle of the Wilderness. The Vermont unit was one of the most famous fighting forces in the Army of the Potomac. It was composed of soldiers only from that state, a rarity for Union forces during the Civil War. In the beginning composed of 2,800 Vermonters, the unit suffered 1,234 casualties defending the Plank and Brock roads intersection during the Battle of the Wilderness on May 5 and 6, 1864.
The first casualties of the Civil War (Article no longer available from the original source)
On April 19, 1861, four members of the Massachusetts Sixth Regiment died in Baltimore, the first casualties of the Civil War. Baltimore secessionists attacked the soldiers as they passed through the city on their way to Washington to defend the capital. "During the Civil War, people attributed a mythic significance to that date," said historian Richard Howe. "When Fort Sumter was fired on, [April 12, 1861] Lincoln called for troops to come down and protect Washington, and the first regiment to answer the call was the Sixth," said Martha Mayo at the Center for Lowell History.
Harvard Regiment was in a class all its own
The unit history genre of Civil War history has lately fallen out of favor. After the war, many regiments immortalized their wartime by commissioning someone to write a regimental history. The result was hagiography: The unit's soldiers were brave, and willing hands seized any falling banner. Yet some units deserve special recognition. The 20th Massachusetts Volunteers was one such unit. Known as the Harvard Regiment for the overwhelming number of Harvard men among its officers, the 20th served in every major battle in the Eastern theater. The Regiment was involved in the third day's battle at Gettysburg, helping to turn back Pickett's famous charge.