150 years ago today marks the day the Michael Harkins (18) enlisted as a private in Co. A of the Eastern Bay State Regiment (later 30th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry). At this same time dozens of other men were also enlisting in the regiment. The reason why I focus on this one enlistment is because Michael Harkins is my Great Great Great Grandfather...it is through Michael that I have my connection to the 30th Mass. and why I am interested in tracking the events of his enlistment and of the regiment through the rest of their service in the war.
Most soldiers have a fairly good record of their enlistment, reenlistment, physical description, muster activity, and several other accounts that survive (usually in state archives). Not all of this information survives in the case of Michael Harkins. In fact the researcher I contacted who pulled files on Michael last year was quite surprised to find that his descriptive roll was not where it should be with the rest of his regiment. If it was lost, misfiled, or never even existed may remain a mystery. From what information survives (through other records that repeat his enlistment details, and information in the petition for a pension filed on his behalf) I am able to gather most of his basic details.
Enlisted: October 22nd 1861.
Mustered in: November 8th 1861 as a Private.
Age: 18 (may have actually been younger as some other family records imply).
Residence: Lowell, Mass.
Description: abt. 5'4", dark hair, blue eyes, very light (probably meaning complexion).
As per the Record of Massachusetts Volunteers, 1861-1865 he received no bounty on enlistment.
Over his course of service, Michael saw a fair amount of action in battle, and in several other notable events. I will not say what his fate was ate this point in time...after all, the object of this blog is to track his progress until the war ends, his service expires, or his life ends. Keep reading and you will learn more about him, and gradually about other men, officers and enlisted that served in the 30th.