MA takes first Civil War fatalities

Mass. Council on the Humanities reports that on this day in 1861:

[T]he Sixth Massachusetts Volunteer Militia was formally organized. With war approaching, men who worked in the textile cities of Lowell and Lawrence joined this new infantry regiment. They were issued uniforms and rifles; they learned to drill. They waited for the call. It came on April 15th, three days after the attack on Fort Sumter. They were needed to defend Washington, D.C.. The mood when they left Boston was almost festive. When they arrived in the border state of Maryland three days later, everything changed. An angry mob awaited them. In the riot that followed, 16 people lost their lives. Four were soldiers from Massachusetts. These men were the first combat fatalities of the Civil War.

Better that we settle our differences on football fields than battle fields today. Those men left a great legacy.


4 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Just to be clear...

    …today marks the anniversary of organizing the regiment, not the anniversary of taking the first casualties. (The juxtaposition of the headline with the first line about this day in history led me to think that’s what you meant at first.) The first casualities were sustained on April 19th and it was pointed out at the time that it is the same date as the first battle of the Rev. War. The regiment had to march through hostile Baltimore (though MD stayed in the union at least in part at gunpoint) because they arrived at the train station on the north side of the city, but there was no rail link to the station on the south side (sound familiar?) from which they would continue their journey south.

  2. There's a huge portrait of this in the state house

    Unfortunately I cannot remember precisely where it is and it’s not considered notable enough to be in the virtual tour:

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Tue 28 Mar 6:06 AM