Specializing in Authentic Civil War Artifacts
  • Identified Soldiers Box George W. Goodwin Company "E" 1st Mass. Heavy Artillery / Sold

    This item is out of stock

    Identified Soldier's Box - Inventory Number: IDE 041

    George W. Goodwin

    Company “E” 1st Mass. Heavy Artillery

    2nd Corps, 3rd Division 1st Reg. Washington, D.C.

    George Goodwin enlisted on 7/5/1861 and served throughout the war until 7/29/ 1865. 

    With original ornate brass key.  Box measures: 16” x 8 ¾” 7 ¾”. Very sturdy design and good condition with painted surface showing only minor abrasions.

    Great fighting regiment which served with distinction!

    George W. Goodwin:

    Residence Newton NH; a 22 year-old Shoemaker.

    Enlisted on 7/5/1861 as a Private.

    On 7/5/1861 he mustered into "E" Co. MA 1st Heavy Artillery

    He was transferred out on 1/1/1865 (Estimated date of transfer)

    On 1/1/1865 he transferred into "I" Co. Veteran Reserve Corps 2nd

    He was discharged for disability on 7/29/1865

    He was listed as:

    * Wounded 6/16/1864 Petersburg, VA


         The 1st Regt. Mass. Vol. Hy. Arty. was a reorganization of the 14th Regt. Mass. Vol. Inf. which was raised in Essex County in the summer of 1861.  By Special Order No. 309, dated June 20, 1861, the various companies composing the 14th Regt. were directed to report at Fort Warren, Boston Harbor.  Here the regimental organization was completed, and here on the 5th day of July the men were formally mustered into the United States service.  William B. Greene of Haverhill, Mass., a West Point graduate, was commissioned colonel.

         On Aug. 7 the Regiment left the State under orders to proceed to Harper's Ferry, but when it had arrived near Baltimore the orders were changed, and Washington City was named as its destination.  This place was reached late in the evening, Aug. 10, and on the following afternoon the regiment was sent to Camp Kalorama on Meridian Heights north of the city.

         After about a week at Camp Kalorama Colonel Greene was ordered to move his regiment across the Potomac to Fort Albany near Arlington.  Here the regiment did garrison duty, furnishing details also for Forts Runyon and Jackson in the same vicinity.

         Late in the year 1861 it was decided to enlarge the regiment and change it from infantry to heavy artillery.  The change was officially accomplished under Special Order No. 1, War Department, dated Jany. 2, 1862, but the designation was not formally changed to 1st Regt. Mass. Vol. Hy. Arty. until the issue of Special Order No. 421, War Department, dated Sept. 19, 1863.


         During the winter of 1861-62 the old companies were increased by the addition of 50 men each, and two new companies, "L" and "M," were recruited and their members mustered into the service during February and March, 1862.  The entire regiment was employed during the spring and  summer of 1862 in the defenses of Washington as a part of the command of Genl.James S. Wadsworth, garrisoning forts, strengthening fortifications, and doing other similar duties.

         One diversion occurred during the latter part of August when the entire regiment marched to Cloud's Mills and beyond, finally advancing to a point a mile west of Fairfax Court House, and returning on the 29th to the forts near Arlington.

          About the 27th of September, 1862, Companies "H" and "I" were sent under command of Major Rolfe to Maryland Heights near Harper's Ferry where they were joined in October by Co. "C" and in December by Co. "B "  Here they were occupied in repairing the fortifications and their armament which were destroyed and abandoned by a part of the force under Col. D. S. Miles during the Antietam campaign.  Here this battalion remained until the midsummer of 1863 when, during the Gettysburg campaign Company "I" was sent to Winchester to report to General Milroy.  On Milroy's evacuation of Winchester Captain Martin and Company "I" were left behind to spike the guns in the forts and destroy the ammunition, and in the performance of this duty the brave captain and 44 of his men were taken prisoners.  The remainder of the battalion was engaged in like duty at Maryland Heights and Fort Duncan, loading the best of the guns on canal boats and sending them down the Potomac, and destroying everything else of military value, in order to prevent the possibility of their falling into the hands of Lee's army which was then invading Maryland and Pennsylvania.  After the retreat of the Confederate army into Virginia, Major Rolfe's battalion was sent back to Maryland Heights to restore the fortifications and to re-equip them with new guns received from Washington.  Here the battalion remained until Nov. 30, 1863, when it was relieved and ordered to report to the regiment in front of Washington.

         Colonel Greene having resigned in October, 1862, the command of the regiment had been given to Col. Thomas R. Tannatt formerly of the 16th Regiment.  The eight companies left in front of Washington continued their duty of garrisoning forts on the Virginia side of the Potomac, and from the time of the return of Major Rolfe's battalion in November, 1863, until the middle of May, 1864, the entire regiment was similarly employed.  It was also engaged in repairing fortifications, building military roads, etc.

         On May 14, 1864, the order came to join the Army of the Potomac.  Conveyed by transports from Alexandria to Belle Plain, here on the 16th the regiment was assigned to Tyler's Division of heavy artillery, Colonel Tannatt commanding the 2d Brigade to which it was attached.  On the 17th Tyler's Division marched to a position in front of the Confederate lines near Spottsylvania Court House, becoming a part of Hancock's (2d) Corps.

         The battle of Harris Farm, near Spottsylvania, May 19, 1864, was the regiment's first major engagement.  Here in a severe fight with Ewell's Corps in the fields to the west of the Harris farmhouse on the afternoon of that day it lost Major Rolfe and 54 men killed, 312 officers and men wounded, and 27 missing.  Major Rolfe, who led the 1st Battalion in the action, fell pierced by eleven bullets.

         At North Anna River, May 23-25, the regiment was in reserve and suffered no loss.  In the Totopotomoy and Cold Harbor operations, May 31-June 12, the losses of the 1st Heavy were slight.  Crossing the James on June 14, the regiment was engaged in the assault on the Petersburg intrenchments June 16, losing 25 killed, 132 wounded, and five missing.  From the 17th to the 20th inclusive it suffered a further loss of four killed and over 50 wounded.

         On June 22, while engaged in a movement to the left, it shared in the disaster to the 2d Corps, being assailed in flank and losing 10 killed, 46 wounded, and 179 captured.  Among the

    killed was Captain Kimball.

         Early in July the original members of the regiment were mustered out, their term of service having expired, and on the 8th they started for home.  Ten days later Colonel Tannatt resigned.

         The remnant of the regiment, about 200 men, was engaged in both expeditions to Deep Bottom in the summer of 1864, suffering only small loss.  From this time until April, 1865, it was employed on the lines in front of Petersburg.  In December it was called upon for special duty, joining the 5th Corps in a movement against the Weldon Railroad, and early in February, 1865, it took part in the expedition to Hatcher's Run.

         On April 2 it was stationed near the Boydton Plank road and joined in the assault which broke the Confederate lines and forced the evacuation of Petersburg.  Pursuing the retreating enemy by way of High Bridge, it had reached a point within two miles of Appomattox Court House when Lee surrendered.

         After the surrender the regiment moved to Burkeville, whence, on May 2, it set out on its march northward, arriving at Bailey's Cross Roads within the defenses of Washington, May 15, exactly one year after it had started to join the Army of the Potomac.  Early in June it was assigned the duty of garrisoning Forts Ethan Allen and Macy, and later in the month it was transferred to Forts Strong and C. F. Smith.  On July 31 it was consolidated into a battalion of four companies and the supernumeraries were mustered out.  All the remaining officers and men were mustered out Aug. 16, and on the following day they took transportation for Massachusetts.  Arriving in Boston, Aug. 20, the battalion remained in camp at Galloup's Island, Boston Harbor, until Aug. 25, when the men were paid off and discharged.

         In addition to all other casualties 178 of the officers and men of the regiment had died in Confederate prisons.

    VETERAN RESERVE CORPS (Originally the Invalid Corps.)

    The Invalid Corps, which was the forerunner of the Veteran Reserve Corps, was organized under authority of General Order No. 105, War Department, dated April 28, 1863.

    A similar corps had existed in Revolutionary times as is shown by a Resolve of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, adopted June 4, 1781, and concurred in by the Senate, July 6, 1781, providing that there be furnished to Captain Moses McFarland, commanding the Invalids doing duty in and about Boston, 146 pairs of overalls, 146 hunting frocks, 146 hats, 146 knapsacks, and 146 pairs of stockings, and that the same be charged to the United States.

    The Invalid Corps of the Civil War period was created to make suitable use in a military or semi-military capacity of soldiers who had been rendered unfit for active field service on account of wounds or disease contracted in line of duty, but who were still fit for garrison or other light duty, and were, in the opinion of their commanding officers, meritorious and deserving. 

    Those serving in the Invalid Corps were divided into two classes: Class 1, partially disabled soldiers whose periods of service had not yet expired, and who were transferred directly to the Corps there to complete their terms of enlistment; Class 2, soldiers who had been discharged from the service on account of wounds, disease, or other disabilities, but who were yet able to perform light military duty and desired to do so. Such men were allowed, under General Order No. 105 above referred to, to enlist in the Invalid Corps. As the war went on it proved that the additions to the Corps hardly equaled the losses by discharge or otherwise, so it was finally ordered that men who had had two years of honorable service in the Army or Marine Corps might enlist in the Invalid Corps without regard to disability. 

    By General Order No. 111, dated March 18, 1864, the title Veteran Reserve Corps was substituted for that of Invalid Corps, and this title is used in almost every case in the present work, whether the reference is to transfers and enlistments prior to March 18, 1864, or to those made subsequent to that date. 

    The men serving in the Veteran Reserve Corps were organized into two battalions, the First Battalion including those whose disabilities were comparatively slight and who were still able to handle a musket and do some marching, also to perform guard or provost duty; the Second Battalion being made up of men whose disabilities were more serious, who had perhaps lost limbs or suffered some other grave injury. These latter were commonly employed as cooks, orderlies, nurses, or guards in public buildings. There were from first to last from two to three times as many men in the First Battalion as in the Second, and the soldiers in the First Battalion performed a wide variety of duties. They furnished guards for the Confederate prison camps at Johnson's Island, Ohio, Elmira, N. Y., Point Lookout, Md., and elsewhere. They furnished details to the provost marshals to arrest bounty jumpers and to enforce the draft. They escorted substitutes, recruits, and prisoners to and from the front. They guarded railroads, did patrol duty in Washington City, and even manned the defenses of the city during Early's raid in July, 1864. 

    An excellent sketch of the history of the Veteran Reserve Corps may be found in Volume V, Series III, of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, pages 543 to 568. 

    There were first and last twenty-four regiments in the Corps. In the beginning each regiment was made up of six companies of the First Battalion and four of the Second Battalion, but in the latter part of the war this method of organization was not strictly adhered to. The 18th Regiment, for example, which rendered exceptionally good service at Belle Plain, Port Royal, and White House Landing, Va., in the spring and early summer of 1864, and in or near Washington City in the latter part of the summer and through the fall of that year, was made up of only six Second Battalion companies.

    Inventory Number: IDE 041