Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Henry Warren Howe

As I begin documenting the history of the Eastern Bay State Regiment, perhaps the most prominent figure in the unit (from a documentation point of view) is Henry Warren Howe.  Howe's service in the war began several months before the formation of the EBS Regiment.  He ended up on Gen. Ben Butler's staff in his expedition into North Carolina in 1861, and as the EBS Regiment was formed, he was given the position of Quartermaster Sergeant (and would one day make it to a much higher rank).  Without a doubt, the best and most useful source of information that I have ever come across for the 30th Massachusetts is a book that was published from the diary and collected letters of Mr. Howe.  He also threw in some other compiled information on the regiment and its officers, and what is of more use (to some of us) is very detailed information on the colors carried by the regiment into battle and throughout the duration of the war.

The proper title for Mr. Howe's work is:
Passages from the Life of Henry Warren Howe: Consisting of Diary and Letter Written During the Civil War, 1861-1865. A Condensed History of the Thirtieth Massachusetts Regiment an its Flags, together with the Genealogies of the Different Branches of the Family.  And for those of you that would like to see a digital copy of the book and read it for yourself, you can find it here: http://books.google.com/books?id=KIYvAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

It is from this volume that I will be taking direct quotes quite extensively for about the next four years (note the diary etc... runs out before the regiment itself is actually mustered out of service).  I will most likely pull quotes from Howe's diary in their entirety.  Howe's letters home sometimes offer a great deal more details than his letters do, but there is also some personal information that may not help with the history of the regiment.  In those cases, I will only include the information that I feel is useful.  Anything that I leave out can still be found within the pages of his book offered on Google Books, and also in other locations.

So now for the first of Howe's diary entries concerning the formation of the 30th Mass. or EBS Regiment.

September 20, 1861
Friday.  I opened a recruiting office at "25 Merrimack Street."  The General has orders to raise troops in the New England States for an expedition somewhere.  Our recruits rendezvous at Camp Chase.  The E. B. S. Regiment was mustered into service at Camp Chase, Lowell Mass., December 31, 1861, by Captain Ames, U. S. A.

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