4th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Heavy Artillery

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4th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Heavy Artillery
ActiveAugust 1864 to 17 June 1865
CountryUnited States of America
BranchUnited States Army
TypeHeavy artillery

The 4th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Heavy Artillery was a unit that served in the Union Army during the latter part of the American Civil War. It was formed from former Unattached Companies of Heavy Artillery raised by Massachusetts to serve the state and for the defenses of Washington, D.C..


In the late summer of 1864, fourteen companies of heavy artillery were raised throughout Massachusetts for the purpose of coastal defense of the state. They were to be "unattached", thus not part of a regiment, and sent to various military locations for a one-year term. They were numbered 17 through 30, and were the Unattached Companies of Heavy Artillery. They encamped on Gallops Island in Boston Harbor, where they organized and were mustered in during latter part of August and into the first days of September 1864. In September, they were ordered to Washington, DC for garrison duty in the forts surrounding the capital. The last companies to leave, the 29th and 30th, left on 26 Sept and 29 Oct, respectively.[1]

On 12 Nov 1864, a War Department order consolidated 12 of the companies, numbered 17 through 28, into one regiment, the 4th Regiment Massachusetts Heavy Artillery. Col William S. King, formerly of the 35th Massachusetts Infantry, was put in command.[2] They remained in Washington for the remainder of the war, until their mustering out on 17 June 1865.

29th and 30th Unattached Companies[edit]

While the 17th through 28th Unattached Companies were combined into a single regiment, the 29th and 30th remained single units. They also served in garrisoning the forts around the capital until their time of mustering out on 16 June 1865. The 29th, with 157 officers and enlisted men, lost 2 to disease, while the 30th lost none of their 150 volunteers.


The regiment consisted of 72 officers and 1757 enlisted men, 21 of them dying by disease or accident.[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 (1933). Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the Civil War, Vol VI. Norwood, MA: Norwood Press. p. 1.


  1. ^ Mass Soldiers, pg 67
  2. ^ Mass Soldiers Vol VI, pg 1
  3. ^ Higginson, pg 176,564 Note that an artillery company was composed of around 150 men, compared to an infantry regiment of about 100.

See also[edit]