Signed cdv of Irish "fighting Ninth" Massachusetts Infantry officer Patrick E. Murphy, who lost an arm at the Battle of the Wilderness.
Boldly signed on the front, Whitehurst Gallery, Washington, DC b/m. Wear as shown.
The 9th Regt. Mass. Vol. Inf. was recruited in April and
May, 1861, by Thomas Cass, formerly commander of a
Massachusetts militia organization known as the Columbian
Artillery. The regiment was composed almost wholly of men of
Irish birth, and Cass became its first colonel. It was made
up of six companies from Boston and one each from Salem,
Marlboro, Milford, and Stoughton.
Through May and a part of June the regiment was at Camp
Wightman on Long Island in Boston Harbor. Here on June 11,
1861, the regiment was mustered into the service, and on the
25th of the month it left for the seat of war. In addition to
the national and state colors it carried an Irish flag.
Arriving at Washington it was placed in camp at Emmart's
farm near 7th Street in the suburbs of the city, where it
remained until after the battle of Bull Run. It was then
transferred to Arlington Heights on the Virginia side of the
Potomac, where it built Fort Cass. From August 4 to August 20
the brigade to which it was attached was commanded by Brig.
Gen. William T. Sherman.
About the 29th of September the regiment was transferred
to Miner's Hill, where it remained in winter quarters until
March 10, 1862. Embarking at Alexandria, Va., March 21, on
the 23d it reached Fort Monroe. Here it was assigned to
Morell's (2d) Brigade, Porter's (1st) Division, Heintzelman's
(3d) Corps. After the siege and capture of Yorktown,
General Porter having now been promoted to the command of the
5th Corps, the 9th Massachusetts became a part of Griffin's
(2d) Brigade, Morell's (1st) Division, Porter's (5th) Corps
and served with it through the Peninsular campaign. It was
engaged at Hanover Court House, May 27, at Mechanicsville,
June 26, Gaines' Mill, June 27, and Malvern Hill, July 1. In
the two last-named battles the regiment lost in killed and
mortally wounded alone 111 officers and men, including Col.
Cass, who was mortally wounded at Malvern Hill and died eleven
days later at his home in Boston.
So severe were its losses at Gaines' Mill and Malvern
Hill that the 9th was held in reserve at Second Bull Run,
Antietam, and Fredericksburg, and suffered only slight
losses in those engagements. The winter of 1862-63 was spent
in camp near Falmouth, Va.
In the spring and summer of 1863 the regiment was present
at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, but met with no serious
loss. After the Mine Run campaign in late November, 1863, the
regiment went into winter quarters at Bealton Station on the
Orange and Alexandria railroad.
In May, 1864, with Gen. Sweitzer in command of the
brigade, Gen. Griffin of the division, and Gen. Warren of the
corps, the 9th entered upon the Wilderness campaign. It
suffered severe loss on the Orange turnpike in the Wilderness,
May 5, 1864, and at Spottsylvania on the 8th and 12th, in
these two engagements losing 78 men in killed and mortally
wounded. At North Anna River and Bethesda Church near Cold
Harbor the regiment was engaged but with comparatively slight
On June 10, the period of its enlistment having expired,
the regiment was withdrawn from the lines and sent home via
White House Landing, Chesapeake Bay, and Washington, its
recruits and re-enlisted men having been transferred to the
32d Regt. Mass. Veteran Volunteers. Arriving in Boston June
15, on the 21st of the month the regiment was mustered out of
Source: Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors & Marines in the Civil War