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"From the Breastworks of the Union Army Gettysburg"

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"From the Breastworks of the Union Army Gettysburg" - Inventory Number: GET 266

"Otis Williams - June 23, 1905"

Otis Williams served in the 7th Massachusetts Infantry during the war.  

Otis Williams:

Residence Mansfield MA; a 23 year-old Farmer.

Enlisted on 6/15/1861 as a Private.

On 6/15/1861 he mustered into "H" Co. MA 7th Infantry

He was discharged for disability on 3/16/1863 at Falmouth, VA

SEVENTH REGIMENT MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEER INFANTRY THREE YEARS

     The 7th Regt. Mass. Vol. Inf. was recruited largely through the efforts of Darius N. Couch, a West Point graduate, who became its first colonel, and later rose to the rank of major general, commanding the 2d Army Corps.

     It was made up largely of men from Bristol County, and had its rendezvous at Camp Old Colony, Taunton, Mass. It was mustered into the service June 15, 1861.

     Leaving Massachusetts July 12, it reached Washington on the 15th and was encamped at Kalorama Heights, Georgetown.  August 6, it was brigaded with the 10th Mass., the 2d R. I., and the 36th N. Y. Inf., and soon removed to its permanent camp at Brightwood.  Colonel Couch was soon promoted to brigadier general and was given the command of the brigade.

     After a winter spent at Brightwood about the last of March the regiment was transferred to Fort Monroe from which point it joined the advance of the Army of the Potomac toward Yorktown.  During the late spring and early summer it participated in the Peninsular campaign, being present at Yorktown, Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, and Oak Grove as a part of Devens' Brigade, Couch's Division, Keyes' (4th) Corps, Army of the Potomac.

     Recalled from the front of Richmond, on September 1, 1862, it debarked at Alexandria.  During the middle of this month it took part in the advance to South Mountain and Antietam, but was not engaged.  Late in the fall Devens' command became the 2d Brigade, 3d Division, 6th Corps.  It was present with slight loss at Fredericksburg December 13, 1862, then spent the winter in camp between Falmouth and White Oak Church.

     On May 3, 1863, in cooperation with Hooker's flank movement to Chancellorsville, the 7th, as a part of the 6th Corps, participated in the capture of Marye's Heights and later in the battle at Salem Heights, suffering heavy casualties.  It was with the 6th Corps in its march to Gettysburg, but suffered no loss in that engagement.  After participating in the capture of Rappahannock Station and in the Mine Run campaign, in December, 1863, the regiment went into winter quarters near Brandy Station.  In the reorganization of the Army of the Potomac during the succeeding winter the brigade to which the 7th belonged became Eustis' (4th) Brigade, Getty's (2d) Division, 6th Corps.

     On the first day of the battle of the Wilderness, May 5, 1864, Getty's division, detached from its corps, opened the infantry fighting on the Plank road, on this and the succeeding day losing 120 men, 15 being killed and 13 mortally wounded.  On May 8, the opening day at Spottsylvania, the 7th captured the colors and 32 men of a Georgia regiment.  Ten days later it participated in the final attack at Spottsylvania, then joined in the flank movement to the North Anna and Cold Harbor.  At the latter place it was engaged June 1 to 12, with some loss.  On June 15, its term of service having expired, the regiment withdrew from the front and returned to Washington.  Sent northward, it reached Taunton, Mass., June 20, and on the 27th day of June it was mustered out of the service.


Inventory Number: GET 266