Company B

Company B was recruited during the fall of 1861, with most of its original members coming from the Boston area. The first Captain of Company B was Lawrence P. Barrett, a 24-year old actor from Boston. He resigned and was discharged on August 8, 1862. A total of 239 enlisted men served in Company B during the three years it was in existence. In a regiment that was renowned for its hard- fighting reputation, this company stands out for the significant number of soldiers who were promoted from the ranks to assume leadership positions.

Altogether, six of the men of Company B were promoted from the enlisted ranks in recognition of their meritorious service. By far the most prominent was James Fleming, a 19-year old upholsterer who enlisted at the formation of the regiment as 1st Sergeant of this company. He was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in August, 1862, and 1st Lieutenant the following November. After recovering from a wound at Fredericksburg, he was commissioned Captain at the end of May, 1863. After two months of hard fighting in the Overland Campaign of 1864, he was commissioned Major in July. In November, he was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel and held this position in command of the regiment until being mustered out on July 19, 1865.

Patrick Bird was an 18-year old carriage maker who enlisted in January of 1862. In spite of wounds received at 2nd Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Cold Harbor, and South Side Rail Road, he refused to leave his regiment. He was promoted through the ranks to finish his service in June 1865 as Captain of Company A. During the Overland Campaign, Bird for a time was the highest ranking officer of the regiment still left in the field, and commanded the unit from early June through July of 1864. George W. Beatty also enlisted as a Private in January of 1862. He served in the ranks for two years until being commissioned from the rank of Sergeant to 2nd Lieutenant in February 1865. Wounded at Po River and the South Side Railroad, he mustered out in June 1865 as 2nd Lieutenant of Company D.

There are others who served the regiment from its founding during the fall of 1861 to the end of the war that also deserve mention. Patrick McIntire, a 19-year old cabinetmaker, enlisted as a Sergeant at the time the regiment was first mustered. After a wound at Antietam, he re-enlisted in February 1864 as 1st Lieutenant. He was subsequently commissioned Captain in August of that month before suffering a wound at Hatcher's Run in March, 1865. He mustered out of the regiment as Captain of Company B in June, 1865. John H. Miner, a 24-year old cloth printer from Worcester, enlisted as Corporal at the same time as McIntire. The following November, he was promoted Quarter Master Sergeant, a position that was filled with many important responsibilities. After re-enlisting, he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant of Company E in May, 1864 where he served out the remainder of the war. John Knight enlisted as a Private at the beginning and was also wounded at Antietam. After returning to the regiment, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in February, 1864. In July of that year, he was commissioned 1st Lieutenant before being wounded and captured at Reams' Station. He was paroled in November, 1864 and returned to the regiment to finish out the war faithfully as 1st Lieutenant of Company B.

Also notable is Martin Binney, who enlisted at the rank of Private in March 1864 after having served earlier in the 5th Massachusetts (a 3 mos. regiment) and a full enlistment in the 10th Maine Infantry. He was quickly promoted to 1st Lieutenant before the end of March, 1864, and subsequently promoted to the rank of Captain on May 22, 1864. While with the 28th Massachusetts, Binney was wounded three times-- at the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, and Reams' Station before finally being discharged as a result of his wounds at the end of 1864 at the rank of Captain.

Total losses for Company B include 22 men killed or mortally wounded in action, 3 counted as missing in action, 11 who died by accident or disease, and 6 who died as prisoners of war for a total of 42. This comprises some 17.5% of the 239 soldiers who served in this company.

Roster of Company B

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