3rd Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Heavy Artillery

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3rd Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Heavy Artillery
Active Jan 1863 to 26 Sept 1865[1]
Country United States of America
Allegiance Union
Branch United States Army
Type Heavy artillery
Size 1897
Col. William S. Abert

The 3rd Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Heavy Artillery was a unit that served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. It was organized from already mustered unattached companies of heavy artillery raised for the defenses of the Massachusetts coast.


Beginning in January 1863, and continuing until early 1864, twelve companies of heavy artillery were raised in Massachusetts and mustered into service to garrison the military forts along the coast of the state. The units were designated "unattached" as they did not belong to a particular regiment.

Officers of the 3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, 1865

In the spring of 1864, the 3rd Unattached Company, along with the 6th through 12th, were ordered to Washington, DC, where they were to garrison the forts protecting the capital. Massachusetts' Governor Andrew called for the companies to be given regimental status, and when it was granted, several other companies since raised were sent to Washington to complete its complement, and was officially made a regiment in the fall of 1864. Except for Company I, the regiment continued with its duty of manning forts in the vicinity of the capital. A portion of the regiment was mustered out on 17 June 1865, while the remaining companies served until 18 September.

Company I
The 13th Unattached Company, which later became Company I, had been recruited in Springfield, MA and was largely composed of mechanics who were employed at the city's National Armory. Because of their engineering skills, they were detached from the regiment and attached to the Army of the James, and were engaged in building bridges and roads. During the Siege of Petersburg, they were in charge of holding the pontoon bridge placed across the James River. They were the last men of the regiment to be mustered out, doing so on 26 September 1865.

The Unattached Companies[edit]

Company Unatt. # Muster date
A 3rd 10 January 1863
B 6th 19 May 1863
C 7th 14 August 1863
D 8th 14 August 1863
E 9th 27 August 1863
F 10th 16 September 1863
G 11th 20 October 1863
H 12th 20 November 1863
I 13th 10 February 1864
K 14th 12 May 1864
L 15th 30 May 1864
M 16th August 1864

The other unattached heavy artillery companies raised in Massachusetts, the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th, had become the 1st Battalion Massachusetts Volunteer Heavy Artillery in 1863.


The regiment consisted of 94 officers and 1803 enlisted men.[2]


Two officers and 39 enlisted men died from disease or accident. None were killed in action.[3]


  • Headley, Phineas Camp (1866). Massachusetts in the Rebellion. Boston, MA: Walker, Fuller & Co. 
  • Higginson, Thomas Wentworth (State Historian) (1896). Massachusetts in the Army and Navy During the War of 1861-65, Vol I. Boston, MA: Wright and Potter Printing Co, State Printers. 
  • Bowen, James L (1889). Massachusetts in the War 1861-65. Springfield, MA: Clark W Bryer + Co. 
  • Adjutant General (1932). Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the Civil War, Volume V. Norwood, MA: Norwood Press. 


  1. ^ As a regiment, it wasn't organized until the fall of 1864, but the first of the unattached companies it would later include was mustered on 10 Jan 1863
  2. ^ Higginson, pg 174
  3. ^ Higginson, pg 175; Bowen, pg 736

See also[edit]