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  • Shield Identification Badge of Private William Harlow Marshall 18th Massachusetts Infantry, Battle of Gettysburg Veteran

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    Shield Identification Badge of Private William Harlow Marshall 18th Massachusetts Infantry, Battle of Gettysburg Veteran - Inventory Number:  IDE 185

    Silver shield identification badge engraved “Wm H. Marshall. Co. D. 18th Reg. Mass. V. WAR OF 1861.” William Harlow Marshall was a 35-year-old laborer in Middleboro, Massachusetts when he enlisted in the 18th Massachusetts Infantry in August 1862. The 18th Massachusetts suffered severe casualties at Second Manassas and Fredericksburg, where it is claimed that the regiment was one of the units that advanced closest to the stone wall at the base of Marye’s Heights. The 18th was heavily engaged at the Stony Hill near Gettysburg’s infamous Wheatfield, and went on to fight at Rappahannock Station, Grant’s Overland Campaign, and Petersburg. Marshall mustered out in September 1864 after two years of hard fighting. The badge has a nice, uncleaned silver patina on the face and an old ink inventory number on the reverse, which is missing the attachment pin. Included with the badge is a folder with copies of Marshall’s muster rolls and additional historical information on the 18th Massachusetts.

    William H. Marshall - Residence Middleboro MA; a 35-year-old Laborer. Enlisted on 8/7/1862 as a Private. On 8/7/1862 he mustered into "D" Co. MA 18th Infantry. He was Mustered Out on 9/2/1864 at Readville, MA.

    William H. Marshall

    Residence Middleboro MA; a 35 year-old Laborer.

    Enlisted on 8/7/1862 as a Private.

    On 8/7/1862 he mustered into "D" Co. MA 18th Infantry

    He was Mustered Out on 9/2/1864 at Readville, MA


         The 18th Regt. Mass. Vol. Inf. was composed of companies raised in Norfolk, Bristol, and Plymouth counties in the spring and early summer of 1861.  Five companies assembled at Camp Brigham, Readville, early in July, and three more had arrived by August 20.  These eight companies were mustered in August 24, and two days later left for Washington, where they arrived August 30.  The commander of the regiment, Col. James Barnes, was a graduate of West Point.

         On Sept. 3 it crossed the Potomac and was assigned to Martindale's Brigade, Fitz John Porter's Division, and was encamped at Fort Corcoran directly opposite Washington, D. C. On the 26th it was moved to Hall's Hill, where it performed picket and outpost duty through the following winter and until March, 1862.  Meanwhile the other two companies had joined the regiment, Co. A, which was mustered in Oct. 12, 1861, and Co.C, which was mustered Jany. 14, 1862.

         On March 21, 1862, the regiment embarked for the Peninsula, arriving at Old Point Comfort two days later.  It was present at the siege of Yorktown and during the entire Peninsular campaign but suffered no loss in action.  Belonging to Martindale's Brigade, Morell's Division, Porter's (5th) Corps, the regiment was detached most of the time with Gen. Stoneman's command.

         The first real combat service of the 18th occurred at 2d Bull Run, August 30, when it participated in the attack of Porter's Corps on Jackson's position at the railroad bembankment.  Here it lost 169 officers and men, of whom 54 were killed or mortally wounded.

         At Antietam, Sept. 17, the 18th was not engaged, but on the 20th it crossed the Potomac in pursuit of the retreating Confederates and was driven back with loss.  At Fredericksburg,Dec.13, 1862, Col. Barnes commanding the brigade, Gen. Griffin the division, and Gen. Butterfield the corps, the 18th took part in the assault on Marye's Heights, losing 134 officers andmen, 27 being killed or fatally wounded.

         After a winter spent in camp, in May, 1863, under the command of Col. Hayes, General Meade now commanding the 5th Corps, the regiment was engaged at Chancellorsville, May 3,losing Captain Hewins killed and 13 men wounded.  Again at Gettysburg, July 2 and 3, the regiment was engaged without severe loss.  After the autumn campaign of maneuvers on the Rappahannock, the 18th participated in the capture of Rappahannock, Sta., Nov. 7, and in the Mine Run expedition near the close of the same month.  The winter was one of considerable activity for the regiment, but its headquarters were near Beverly Ford on the Rappahannock.

         During the winter, though the regiment was much reduced in numbers, 139 of its members re-enlisted for three years.

         In the early spring of 1864, with the reorganization of the Army of the Potomac, the 18th became a part of Bartlett's Brigade, Griffin's Division, Warren's (5th) Corps.  On May 5, 1864, the 18th Mass. and 83d Pa., formed respectively on the right and left of the Orange pike, advanced to feel the enemy and opened the battle of the Wilderness.  Here Charles Wilson of Wrentham, a soldier of Co. K, 18th Regt., was the first infantryman to fall in this engagement.  The regiment here lost heavily, including Col. Hayes, who was severely wounded.

         At Laurel Hill near Spottsylvania, May 8, the regiment was again engaged with loss.  At North Anna, May 23, and Cold Harbor, June 1 to 3, small losses were suffered.  After crossing the James and approaching the front of Petersburg the regiment was held in reserve.

         On the 20th of July the men whose time was about to expire were ordered to Massachusetts, where they were mustered out Sept. 2.  The recruits and re-enlisted men were formed into a battalion under Major Weston, which was engaged before Petersburg during the late summer and fall of 1864.  Early in October the remnant of this battalion was consolidated with the 32d Regt.

    Comes housed in an 8 x 12 inch display case with blue velvet backing and descriptive card.

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     Inventory Number:  IDE 185