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J. G. B. Adams

J. G. B. Adams

Federal (USV)


John Gregory Bishop Adams


(1841 - 1900)

Home State: Massachusetts

Command Billet: Company Officer

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 19th Massachusetts Infantry

Before Antietam

He first enlisted, in his local militia, 18 April 1861, and was 6th Corporal, Company A, 19th Massachusetts soon after. He was promoted First Sergeant 1 March 1862, and was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant and assigned to Company I on the Peninsular Camnpaign in July 1862.

On the Campaign

At Antietam he was 2nd Lieutenant, Company I, and commanded the Company by the end of the day.

The rest of the War

"... On the morning of the 13th [December 1862, at Fredericksburg, Va] we received orders to advance, and marched up the street towards Marye's Heights by the flank. Shot and shell ploughed through our ranks, but we filed into a field and were ordered forward to storm the heights. It was necessary to move up an embankment, then charge over an open field. A rebel battery on our right had a raking fire on us, but we must go forward. Led by our gallant Captain Weymouth we moved up the bank. The two color bearers, Sergeant Creasey and Sergeant Rappell, were the first to fall, but the colors did not touch the ground before they were up and going forward. Captain Weymouth fell, shot in the leg, which was afterwards amputated. Captain Mahoney took command of the regiment, and he was also seen to fall, shot in the arm and side. Down went the color bearers again. Lieutenant Newcomb grasped one, a color corporal another. Newcomb fell, shot through both legs, and as he went down he handed the color to me. Next fell the color corporal, and the flag he held was grasped by Sergeant Merrill, who was soon wounded. Another seized the color, but he was shot immediately, and as it fell from his hands the officer who already had one caught it."

"By obliquing to the left, followed by the regiment, we got out of the line of fire for a time, and lay down. I do not mention this fact to show that I was braver than other men, for every man of the old regiment on the field would have done the same had opportunity offered, but my services were recognized by promotion to first lieutenant, and I was afterwards given a Medal of Honor by Congress for the act."

"Looking back over the field we saw the ground covered with our dead and wounded. Captain Plympton was now in command of the regiment, and we waited for darkness to bring in our wounded. "
(from Adams)

By War's end, he was a Captain.In June 1864 he was captured at Petersburg and was exchanged March 1, 1865.

References & notes

See Adams' own Reminiscences of the Nineteenth Massachusetts Regiment, Boston: Wright, Potter Printing Company, 1899 - online thanks to the Internet Archives.


10/6/1841; Groveland, MA


10/19/1900; burial in Pine Grove Cemetery, Lynn, MA