The Eighth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Militia


Monday April 15, 1861


The word was in from Washington. The militia was to be called up, and Massachusetts quota was now on the desk of Governor Andrew.

Adjutant Edward W. Hincks was in Gov Andrews office when news came through, and offered to get the word out to the companies of the 8th.

[Hincks account] ...I was at the State House, and addressed a note to the Governor, tendering my services to accompany the troops to be sent from this State in any capacity to which I might be assigned. During the forenoon I was called into the office of the adjutant general, where several military gentlemen had assembled, and Governor Andrew stated that he had received a dispatch from Senator Wilson advising him that he would be called upon to send twenty companies of militia to Washington at once. Being the only representative of the eighth regiment, of which I had been the adjutant for several years and was acquainted with the spirit of the men, I offered the services of that regiment, and, in reply to an inquiry of the governor, said it could march with five hundred men in twenty-four hours and with full ranks in forty-eight hours. The governor said that he did not know that he would be authorized to accept regimental organizations, but he would accept six companies of the eighth regiment if they reported in Boston with full ranks on the following day. After considerable conversation, I asked the governor if he would accept the eight companies of the eighth regiment if they reported as he required; he said he would.

I then, about two o'clock P.M., started for Lynn, where I personally notified Capt. Newhall and Capt. Hudson, of the Lynn companies, and sent telegrams to Capt. Centre, of Gloucester, and Capt. Bartlett, of Newburyport; then, in company with Lieut. C. M. Merritt, I rode to Marblehead and personally notified Capt. Martin, Capt. Phillips and Capt. Boardman, of the Marblehead companies and afterwards rode to Beverly and personnally notified Capt. Porter.

After I left the State House upon further advices being received by the governor from Washington, orders were issued to the third, fourth, sixth and eighth regiments to report to Boston, but of these orders I had no knowledge until the next forenoon, when all the companies of the eighth had reported in Faneuil Hall.

Co D warned beginning at 4pm, ordered to appear at the armory at 7pm

Co A receives orders at 4:30pm

The Marblehead companies [B, C, H] receive orders at 5pm. And Co 5pm too.

Co. E receives the orders at 6:15pm.

[per The Massachusetts Register for 1862] (attrib to Capt Geo. T. Newhall of Co. D) The orders for the mustering of this regiment were issued on Monday, the 15th of April, 1861. The companies composing it received notice late in the afternoon of that day, causing intense excitement, not only in military circles, but among all classes. Great activity immediately prevailed, on the part of the soldiers and their friends, to promptly and efficiently answer the sudden requisition of the President. Flags were flung to the breeze, and the startling news was the theme of discussion at every street corner, and in every house. The men were hurriedly warned, and in the evening the several armories were crowded with citizens as well as soldiers, some of the former volunteering, while the men of property and business men contributed material aid in the most liberal and patriotic manner.

[per Regiments and Armories]

Capt Knott (C) upon notification was in the act of slaughtering a pig - he is supposed to have remarked to the pig to cut itself up and deposit itself in the brine as he was going to war.

Capt Hudson (F) telegrammed "We have more men than uniforms, what shall we do?"




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