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Frank Dickinson 21st Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Archive

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Item No. AR28781 Categories , Tag


Nice little archive attributed to Frank E. Dickinson of South Amherst, Massachusetts. At 18 years of age, Frank would muster with Company H of the 21st Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. Initially serving garrison duty at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, the regiment would serve with the Coast Division commanded by Major General Ambrose Burnside. They would be deployed in January 1862 for operations on the coast of North Carolina, and participated in the battle’s of Roanoke Island and New Bern among others. The regiment was then attached to the Army of the Potomac and participated in several of the largest battles of the Civil War, including the Second Battle of Bull Run, Antietam and Fredericksburg. The most devastating engagement of the war for the 21st was the Battle of Chantilly, fought on September 1, 1862, during which the unit suffered 35 percent casualties. From March 1863 to January 1864, the 21st served with Burnside in the Department of the Ohio, seeing action in Kentucky and eastern Tennessee. In May 1864, the regiment rejoined the Army of the Potomac, participating in Grants Overland Campaign and Siege of Petersburg. The regiment was a favorite of Clara Barton, the famed battlefield nurse, who was also from Worcester County, Massachusetts where the regiment was raised. In January, 1864, Frank would re-enlist, receive a promotion to corporal and sergeant and continue to serve with the regiment through October, 1864. Near then end of the month, he would be transferred into the 36th Massachusetts Infantry after the 9th Corps was reorganized, serving with the regiment until June, 1865. The remaining men from the regiment would transfer again, this time into the 56th Massachusetts Infantry. The following month they would be discharged from the service. This grouping contains a number of items pertaining to both Franks military service and civilian life. The centerpiece to the grouping being a large cdv album containing 49 cdv views. 16 of those are soldier views. Daniel is believed to be shown as the 5th image in the album. This album appears to date to his time serving with the 36th Massachusetts. Three of the soldier views within the album are identified. Several others have the potential to be identified. A number of documents related to his service are included as well as family photo’s, his obituary and a small scrapbook pertaining to the 21st Massachusetts. His eagle breast plate and GAR membership badge are also included.

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