site logo
Federal flag

Federal Regiment

29th Massachusetts Infantry

Organized: Newport News, VA; mustered in 12/1861
Disbanded/Mustered out: Alexandria, VA 7/29/1865

 

Commanding Officer on the Antietam Campaign:
  LCol. Joseph H. Barnes

 

Arms:
   Enfield Rifle

 

This Regiment's Chain of Command:
  Army - Army of the Potomac
  Corps - Second (II) Army Corps
  Division - 1st Division, II Corps
  Brigade - 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, II Corps


Unit history

The Regiment was organized at Newport News, Virginia in, December 1861, from the 1st Battalion Massachusetts Infantry (7 Companies) and 3 new companies ("F," "G" and "H") organized 13-17 December, which joined the regiment at Newport News, Va., 17 January 1862.

[In mid-June, 1862 the Irish Brigade] - received a reinforcement - a whole new regiment, the 29th Massachusetts, Colonel Ebenezer Pierce, reported to General Meagher. The 29th was uncompromisingly old Yankee, a mustering of names that would have sounded familiar in the forecastle or on the quarterdeck of the Mayflower. It was an unlikely matching with their ancient political foes the Irish, but the introduction turned out well, each side discovering hidden virtues in the other."
(from Jones)

On the Antietam Campaign

The 29th was the non-Irish regiment of the Irish Brigade at Antietam. They fought in line between the 63rd and 69th New York regiments in the assault on the Confederate positions in the Sunken Road.

... Since General Meagher had been disabled, there had been no general officer present, each Colonel acting upon his own responsibility. The enemy were well covered and determined.

Up to this time neither regiment had known the fate of the others, nor the extent of their respective losses. Colonel Barnes now hastened to the right of the Twenty-ninth, for the purpose of taking a careful survey of the field. To his dismay, he perceived that the Sixty-ninth, though holding on bravely, had lost nearly half their number; the Sixty-third had fared equally as hard, and the officers and men of both regiments were striving to keep up their formation. The Colonel, feeling a deep responsibility, saw at once that something must be done to prevent disaster; he knew, though he had received no orders since entering the fight, that from necessity the Brigade would soon be relieved, and was every moment expecting to hear the welcome shouts of fresh troops. Hastily giving his idea to Major Charles Chipman, his brave and worthy subordinate, he called upon the regiment for three cheers. The Major took the order to the left, and the boys gave the cheers with a will. Colonel Barnes then gave the order, "forward!" Instantly Sergeant Francis M. Kingman, the dauntless color-bearer, sprang to the front, the whole regiment promptly following him. Above the noise of the battle were heard the answering shouts of the brave Irishmen of the Brigade, their warlike spirit gaining fresh impulse as they started forward on the charge ...
Their losses were somewhat less severe than the other regiments in the Brigade because they were somewhat sheltered by a slight dip in the ground at their position overlooking the Road.

Map Showing this Unit

Battlefield Tablets for this Unit

Tablet #35: Second Army Corps - 15 Sep, 7 AM to 15 Sep, 8 PM
Tablet #34: Richardson's Division, Second Army Corps - 15 Sep, 8 PM to 17 Sep, 7 AM
Tablet #115: Second Army Corps - 15 Sep, 9 AM to 17 Sep, 7 AM
Tablet #46: Meagher's Brigade, Richardson's Division - 17 Sep, 10 AM to 17 Sep, 2 PM
Tablet #121: Army of the Potomac - 17 Sep, 8 AM to 17 Sep, 6 PM
Tablet #116, cont: Second Army Corps - 17 Sep, 9 AM to 17 Sep, 12 PM
Tablet #44: Richardson's Division, Second Army Corps - 17 Sep, 9 AM to 17 Sep, 2 PM

After the Antietam Campaign

The unit was replaced in the Irish Brigade with the (Irish) 28th Massachusetts, and transferred to the Ninth Corps in December 1862. It campaigned in that organization for the remainder of the War.

References & Notes

Details here from: Dyer's A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion,(1908), Paul Jones' The Irish Brigade (reprinted 1996), with the quote from Osborne's History of the Twenty-ninth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry in the Late War of the Rebellion (1877).

We have 19 individuals who were on the Maryland Campaign in the AotW database for this unit:

 

Co. Rank Name Casualty? Details*
ACorpDonovan, Timothy D.MWIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
ASgtMahoney, Jeremiah         We have some details for this person
APvtO'Donnell, Edward KIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
BPvtO'Brien, John J.KIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
CCorpAllen, George WatsonWIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
CPvtArnold, Thomas WIA   09/17
CPvtLincoln, David H.MWIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
CCorpTolman, Elijah H.KIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
DSgtAtherton, James WIA   09/17
DPvtBumpus, Frank G.WIA   09/17
EPvtBlake, Lawrence R.KIA   09/17
EPvtWright, Samuel Cole        We have a picture for this person We have some details for this person
FMusBonney, Darius WIA   09/17
FPvtRatigan, Edward KIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
FPvtWestgate, Joseph MWIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
GPvtDuxbury, Joseph MWIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
HPvtGreenough, Robert F.KIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
IPvtDow, John C.MWIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
F&SLColBarnes, Joseph Henry        We have a picture for this person We have some details for this person

 

* If there's a symbol in the Details column ...

We have a picture for this person - We have a picture for this person
We have further details for this person - We have details beyond name and rank
Click on their last name to see more