Company I

Company I was recruited during the autumn of 1861, and most of its initial membership mustered into service on December 13, 1861. Most of the men of this company were originally recruited from Boston, with particularly large contingents coming from Roxbury, Cambridge, and Jamaica Plain. The first commander was Captain George F. McDonald, a Boston actor who served only until April 2, 1862, at which point he resigned from the service. Altogether, a total of 126 men served in Company I between December 13, 1861 and the end of 1864, at which point it was consolidated with the remnants of Company E as part of the 5- company battalion then being organized for the regiment's final months of service.

Four men from Company I were commissioned from the ranks as officers. Most notable among these was Patrick W. Black, a 28-year old law student who had served previously with the 9th Massachusetts-- another Irish regiment, as a Sergeant. He was immediately commission as 2nd Lieutenant upon his enlistment with the regiment in March of 1862, and within two months, he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant, and then Captain. He finished the war as Captain of Company D and Brevet Major U.S. Volunteers.

The remaining three men who attained commissioned ranks enlisted at the formation of the regiment in 1861. James O. Carruthers was a 19-year old clerk when he enlisted as a Sergeant in the 28th. He was promoted to 1st Sergeant of Company I in May, 1862, and then commissioned 2d Lieutenant in July. By December, he had attained the rank of 1st Lieutenant of Company D. He was discharged for disability in August 1863. Charles V. Smith was a clerk from Northampton when he enlisted as a Corporal. Just before being wounded at Antietam, he was promoted to Sergeant. The day after the assault at Fredericksburg, he was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant from Sergeant Major. The following June, he was commissioned Captain of Company B. He was mortally wounded at the Wilderness the following year. Charles P. Briens, a 24-year old Jamaica Plain bootmaker enlisted as a Sergeant and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1862, but resigned soon afterwards.

Of the 126 men who served in Company I between 1861 and 1864, some 15 enlisted men were killed or died of battle wounds, 10 enlisted men died by accident or disease, and 3 enlisted men died as prisoners. Altogehter, this accounts for a total loss of 32 men or 25% of the entire company.

Roster of Company I

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