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1st Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Heavy Artillery Association Records, 1863-1920

Identifier: MM 40

Scope and Content Note

The 1st Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Heavy Artillery Association Records includes by-laws, correspondence, rosters, record books, member surveys, sketchbooks, journal transcripts, and newspaper clippings. The collection has been arranged into two series.

Series I. Administrative Records includes by-laws, constitution articles, record books of meeting minutes, correspondence, and company rosters. This material was created by the association's executive committee, officers, and association members. Subseries A. By-laws includes by-laws and constitution articles of the association. Subseries B. Meeting Minutes includes record books, committee decisions, copies of general and special orders, and documents pertaining to the 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery monument. Subseries C. Company Rosters includes a notebook belonging to Joseph W. Gardner that compiles all members of the 1st Regiment Massachusetts Heavy Artillery. Member lists that record enlistment dates, discharge dates, birth and death dates, places of residence, and occupations before and after the war are also included. Subseries D. Correspondence includes correspondence, the majority of which is addressed to Secretary Gardner from association officers such as Stanley B. Dearborn, J. Payson Bradley, and William H. Morgan. Also included are letters from members of the association, which discuss annual reunions, deceased members of the regiment, and the overall state of the association.

Series II. Regiment History includes correspondence, personal anecdotes and narratives, reports on regimental movements, and surveys. This material was collection by Gardner and the Committee on Publication to help complete a regimental history. Subseries A. Correspondence includes correspondence written to Alfred S. Roe and Charles Nutt while each was working on the regiment history publication. Subseries B. Reports includes compiled notes on the movements and battles of the regiment. Subseries C. Personal Accounts includes surveys arranged by company that record member information, along with narratives written by members of the association that discuss recruiting, enlistment, company organization, and the various battles fought. The surveys were sent to members while the association was writing the regiment history and the narratives were requested at the same time. Two sketchbooks, letters, journals, discharge papers, and pension documents of regiment members along with transcripts of journals that date from the 1860s are included in this series.


  • Creation: 1863-1920

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use. The newspaper clippings in box 7 folder 8, and box 8 folder 2, are restricted due to fragility, copies are available.

Historical Sketch

The 1st Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Heavy Artillery Association was organized at Young's Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts on July 15, 1869. All members of the 1st Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Heavy Artillery were eligible for membership. Officers were elected by the participating members to serve positions on the executive committee. The association also planned annual summer and winter reunions, which included a full band and dress parades, music, food, dancing, and outdoor sports with wives and children of the members.

The association recorded the history of the regiment and its members. Secretary and Historian Joseph W. Gardner (b.1841) is credited with beginning the efforts of writing a regimental history. Gardner enlisted on July 5, 1861 and served in Company K. He was elected Secretary of the association in 1892 and served in this position for eleven years until declining re-election in 1904. He began recording the history of the regiment and building a regimental roster in the early 1870s. On August 1, 1894, in a circular to the association members, Gardner asked for the loan of any document, diary, scrapbook, or letter, which might contain information regarding the history of the regiment. He especially encouraged personal accounts, anecdotes, and opinions about particular battles and marches. In 1905, Gardner was officially elected as the association's historian. After Gardner's death, the association's Committee on Publication selected Alfred S. Roe (1844-1917) to write a history of the regiment. Roe was known for his previous publications on the 9th Regiment New York Heavy Artillery in which he had served, as well as the 10th Regiment, the 24th Regiment, and the 39th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer. Upon Roe's death in January 1917 the book project was passed to Charles Nutt (1868-1918) of Worcester, Massachusetts who completed the book project.


5.5 linear feet (8 boxes)

Language of Materials



The 1st Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Heavy Artillery Association Records includes by-laws, correspondence, rosters, record books, member surveys, sketchbooks, journal transcripts, and newspaper clippings. The collection has been arranged into two series.

Series List

SERIES I. Administrative Records

  • A. By-laws
  • B. Meeting Minutes
  • C. Company Rosters
  • D. Correspondence
SERIES II. Regiment History

  • A. Correspondence
  • B. Reports
  • C. Personal Accounts

Physical Location

Phillips Library Stacks


This material was acquired through various sources. The sketchbooks of Samuel Dutton and Lewis Fingal were donated by S. B. Dearborn on October 17, 1917. The membership rolls and record books were donated by Charles Nutt on October 29, 1917.

Bibliography and Related Material

Roe, Alfred Seelye, Nutt, Charles. History of the First regiment of heavy artillery, Massachusetts volunteers, formerly the Fourteenth regiment of infantry, 1861-1865. Worcester & Boston, MA: The Regimental Association, 1917.

Massachusetts Volunteer Militia Records, 1775-1908, MM 6

Processing Information

Collection processed and cataloged by Halley Grogan, March 2012.

Inventory prepared by Halley Grogan.
Language of description
Script of description
Processing of this collection was funded by a grant from the NHPRC (National Historical Publications and Records Commission).

Repository Details

Part of the Phillips Library Repository

Peabody Essex Museum
306 Newburyport Turnpike
Rowley MA 01969 USA