10th Mass Volunteer Infantry

On May 15, 1861 Massachusetts Governor Andrew received permission from Secretary Seward to raise six regiments to answer President Lincoln's call for a half million troops for three years service. The existing Massachusetts 10th Militia, supplanted with new recruits, answered the call.

The existing companies were A, Shutesbury; B, Leverett; C, Northampton; D, Belchertown; E, Colerain; F, Springfield; G, Greenfield; H, Shelburne, all under the command of Col. J. M. Decker. Companies A, B, and D were disbanded, and their places taken by companies from Great Barrington, North Adams, and Pittsfield. Company E was divided up between the other companies of the regiment. Captain Barton recruited a new Company E in Springfield. West Springfield and Holyoke recruits combined to form Company I. A full company (Company K) was formed in Westfield. The regiment served in several major engagements until it was mustered out as a unit in July, 1864

10th Mass Volunteer Infantry

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“Officers and soldiers of the Tenth Regiment;

"Whilst you rally around and defend the standard of your country, never forget that you owe allegiance to a Higher Power. We must all render an account of our conduct here to the Supreme Ruler and Judge of heaven and earth. The soldier, of all men, should feel that he is in the presence of God and humbly implore his protection. He is a God of battles, and will be a shield and buckler to those who put their trust in Him. Trust in his mercy and rely on his mighty arm for protection. May he preserve and bless you all. When the army of an ancient republic were going forth to battle a mother of one of the soldiers said to him, 'My son, return home with your shield or on your shield.' Adopting the sentiment of that noble mother, let me say to the commander of this Regiment:

“My son, and to the true and brave officers associated with you, and to the resolute, hardy and intelligent men under your command, bring back those beautiful and rich colors presented you by the ladies of Springfield, the emblems of your country's power and glory, waving over your heads, unstained, or return wrapped in their gory folds.”

A portion of the speech made by Ex-Governor George N. Briggs, father of Col Briggs, as the Regiment prepared to leave for the war.