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Federal Detachment

Massachusetts Sharpshooters, First Company

"Andrew Sharpshooters"
Organized: Lynnfield, Mass.; mustered in 8/1861

 

Commanding Officer on the Antietam Campaign:
  Capt. John Saunders

 

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


Unit history

The company was first assigned to Gen. Lander's Brigade, which formed a part of Gen. Stone's force at Poolesville, Md. It remained on the upper Potomac under Gen. Lander until his death in March, 1862, then served for a time under Gen. Shields. During the siege of Yorktown in April, 1862, the company became attached to the 15th Mass. Regt. of Gorman's Brigade, Sedgwick's Division, Sumner's (2d) Corps. With this command the sharpshooters served through the Peninsular campaign, the Antietam campaign, and until the following spring.
(from Hands-on History)

On the Antietam Campaign

The company was attached to the 15th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, a regiment that belonged to Major General John Sedgwick's II Division. On Sept. 17, the 15th was at the far left of the first of Sedgwick's lines to step out of the West Woods moving west. Andrew's Sharpshooters anchored their far left. Moments later, concealed Confederate troops fired on their front and left flank. Very quickly, the 15th took fire from the rear as well. In the space of a few minutes, the 15th Massachusetts lost more than half of their men. Andrew's Sharpshooters lost their captain, a lieutenant, and many of the men were killed, wounded, deserted or otherwise unaccounted for.

In short, an already demoralized company was placed at one of the worst possible spots on Sept. 17, 1862 -- armed with new weapons they did not want and tactics they despised.

-- Senechal de la Roche, author of "Our Aim Was Man": Andrew's Sharpshooters in the American Civil War (U of Mass Press, 2016).

Map Showing this Unit

Battlefield Tablets for this Unit

Tablet #35: Second Army Corps - 15 Sep, 7 AM to 15 Sep, 8 PM
Tablet #115: Second Army Corps - 15 Sep, 9 AM to 17 Sep, 7 AM
Tablet #120: Army of the Potomac - 17 Sep, 5 AM to 17 Sep, 12 PM
Tablet #116: Second Army Corps - 17 Sep, 6 AM to 17 Sep, 10 AM
Tablet #36: Sedgwick's Division, Second Army Corps - 17 Sep, 7 AM to 17 Sep, 10 AM
Tablet #37: Gorman's Brigade, Sedgwick's Division - 17 Sep, 7 AM to 17 Sep, 10 AM

References & Notes

There's an excellent group photograph of members of the Company, probably from March of 1862. This copy from one hosted by Susan Harnwell on her encyclopedic 15th Massachusetts Infantry site. Another was sold in a collection of Captain John Saunders effects by The Horse Soldier Antiques in Gettysburg.

We have 38 individuals who were on the Maryland Campaign in the AotW database for this unit:

 

Co. Rank Name Casualty? Details*
--PvtAbbott, Samuel DwightMWIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
--PvtAdams, John QuincyKIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
--PvtAmbrose, John BennettAWOL   09/17     We have some details for this person
--PvtAtwood, Otis WarrenAWOL   09/17     We have some details for this person
--PvtAyers, John H.POW   09/03     We have some details for this person
--PvtBarker, Samuel S.AWOL   09/17     We have some details for this person
--PvtBartlett, Alonzo W.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
--LtBerry, William KIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
--SgtBicknell, Luke EmersonWIA   09/17     We have a picture for this person We have some details for this person
--PvtBlodgett, William E.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
--PvtBrown, John HavenWIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
--PvtBryant, Francis W.AWOL   09/17     We have some details for this person
--PvtCampbell, Samuel G.MIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
--PvtCole, Alvin WIA   09/00     We have some details for this person
--PvtCurtis, George WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
--PvtDike, Henry WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
--PvtFletcher, Asa WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
--PvtFuller, Sanford K.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
--PvtGray, Joseph WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
--PvtHills, Edwin T.MIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
--PvtHixon, Egbert OswaldAWOL   09/03     We have some details for this person
--PvtHolston, John C.WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
--PvtIngalls, Joseph ShawKIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
--PvtLittlefield, David MellenWIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
--PvtOrcutt, Joseph ConsiderAWOL   09/17     We have some details for this person
--PvtParmenter, Marcus MortonKIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
--PvtPray, Otis R.AWOL   09/17     We have some details for this person
--CaptSaunders, John KIA   09/17     We have a picture for this person We have some details for this person
--CorpShattuck, Oramel C.AWOL   09/14     We have some details for this person
--PvtSnow, Edwin A.POW   09/17     We have some details for this person
--PvtSnow, Warren KIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
--PvtStrong, Martin V.KIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
--PvtVan Moll, Richard A.KIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
--PvtWheelock, Frederick EmersonWIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
--PvtWhite, Frederick WIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
--CorpWhittemore, Jr., George KIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
--PvtWilliams, Samuel WarrenWIA   09/17     We have some details for this person
--PvtWood, Joseph LeanderWIA   09/17     We have some details for this person

 

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