Id’d Massachusetts 1861 Minutemen or “First Call” Medal


Id’d Massachusetts 1861 Minutemen or “First Call” Medal - This attractive struck bronze medal, 1.5″ in diameter, is inscribed along its rim “Edward C.T. Emery, PRVT. I. 5th. REG.”. The medal is suspended from a pendant reading “Massachusetts Minute Men 1861″; the pendant has a pin and locking hook on the back.  The obverse of the medal depicts the seal of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the reverse, in cast letters, states: “To the members of the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia who were mustered into the United States service in response to President Lincoln’s first call for troops April 15, 1861.” Edward Emery was a resident of Boston who a enlisted on April 19, 1861, as a private. He initially served in “I” Company of the 5th Massachusetts Infantry; he would also serve in Company “A” of the 30th Massachusetts Infantry, after being promoted to the rank of Sergeant, on Nov. 30, 1861. In March of 1863, Emery was commissioned as a 1rst Lieutenant into Co. B of the 75th United States Colored Troops. He resigned from service in January of 1864. The medal is in fine condition and appears to be in its original, early 20th century box of issue, with period tissue paper.

These medals were awarded to the Massachusetts men who were first to respond to President Lincoln’s initial call for troops, in April of 1861. These men joined units that formed as 3-month enlistments in the belief that the rebellion would end quickly. The rim of each medal is stamped with the name of the soldier, his rank and the unit joined in this 3-month enlistment. Many of these soldiers would continue in the army by joining other units, after their 3-month commitment ended, as did Private Emery. The medals were manufactured at the US Mint; they were issued considerably after the end of the Civil War, as the state of Mass. did not authorize them until 1902. Even among veterans who survived the war, few remained in alive to claim their award. Modern research indicates that 3,805 of these medals were struck.

 Edward C. T. Emery

Residence Boston MA; a 21 year-old Printer. Enlisted on 4/19/1861 as a Private. On 5/1/1861 he mustered into “I” Co. MA 5th Infantry. He was Mustered Out on 7/31/1861 at Boston, MA. On 11/30/1861 he mustered into “A” Co. MA 30th Infantry. He was discharged for promotion on 3/28/1863. On 3/28/1863 he was commissioned into “B” Co. US CT 75th Infantry. He Resigned on 1/30/1864.

Promotions:* Sergt 11/30/1861 (As of Co. A 30th MA Inf); * 1st Lieut 3/28/1863 (As of Co. B 75th USCT Infantry)



The 5th Regt. Mass. Vol. Mill, ” Minute Men,” was ordered

to report for active duty and to proceed to the city of

Washington by Special Order No. 35, issued by the Adjutant

General of Massachusetts, April 19, 1861.  To the five companies

of the 5th Regt. were added four from the 7th Regt. and one

from the 1st Regt., thus making up a full regiment of ten

companies.  On Sunday, April 21, the 5th entrained for

Washington, where on May 1, its members were mustered into the

service of the United States.  For nearly four weeks it

remained in the city of Washington, then on May 25 it was

transferred to the Virginia shore, where it remained in camp

near Alexandria until it marched toward Bull Run, forming a

part of Franklin’s brigade, Heintzelman’s division, of

McDowell’s army.  It was one of the three Massachusetts

regiments engaged in the battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861,

where it lost nine killed, two wounded, and twenty-three

prisoners.  After this engagement the regiment remained in

Washington until the latter part of the month when it was sent

back to Boston where it was mustered out of the service July




THREE YEARS (Re-enlisted)

The 30th Regt. Mass. Vol. Inf. was raised by Genl Butler

in the fall of 1861 and the early part of the winter

following.  It was originally known as the Eastern Bay State

Regiment.  It was organized at Camp Chase, Lowell, and its

members were mustered in on various dates from Sept. 15 to the

close of the year.  A controversy having arisen between

Governor Andrew and Genl Butler over the latter’s authority to

raise troops in Massachusetts, the regiment left the State

Jan. 13, 1862, under command of Acting Lieut. Col. French.

Remaining at Fort Monroe until Feb. 2, on the 12th it reached

Ship Island in the Gulf of Mexico, where Gen. Butler was

assembling his forces to operate against New Orleans.  Nathan

A.M. Dudley was commissioned colonel, Feb. 8, and most of the

other field and staff and line officers were commissioned Feb.

20.  It was now officially the 30th Regiment.


After the Mississippi was opened by Farragut’s fleet in

the latter part of April, 1862, the 30th was sent to New

Orleans and thence to Baton Rouge, arriving June 2.  It made

several expeditions into the country in pursuit of guerrillas,

then was sent to the front of Vicksburg but returned to Baton

Rouge, July 26.  It was now in the 2d Brigade commended by

Gen. Thomas Williams.  It participated with loss in the battle

of Baton Rouge, Aug. 5, 1862.  During most of the remainder of

the year it was posted at Carrollton near New Orleans.


In the middle of January, 1863, it was again transferred

to Baton Rouge, where it became a part of Dudley’s (3d)

Brigade, Grover’s (1st) Division, Banks’ (19th) Corps.  It

was in action at Plains Store May 21, then took active part in

the siege of Port Hudson twice furnishing volunteers for

storming parties.  During the last part of the siege it was on

picket at Plains Store.


After the fall of Port Hudson July 9, the 30th marched

through the town, then took boat for Donaldsonville.  At

Kock’s Plantation or Bayou La Fourche, July 13, 1863, the

regiment was engaged with severe loss.  August was spent at

Baton Rouge.  In September the regiment was in the expedition

to Sabine Pass, and later moved from Algiers to Brashear City,

Camp Bisland, New Iberia, Vermillionville, Opelousas, and

beyond.  This was known as the Teche region.  Leaving

Opelousas Nov. 1, the regiment fell back to New Iberia, where

it went into winter quarters on the 9th.  Here it remained

until Jan. 7, 1864, in the meantime 357 members of the

regiment having re-enlisted.  FromJan. 9 to Feb. 18 it was at

Franklin.  Feb. 19 it reached Algiers, and March 5 the re-

enlisted men left for Massachusetts on veteran furloughs.

These men  returned to New Orleans May 16.




From June 12 to July 3 the regiment was on an expedition

up the Mississippi to Morganzia.  Returning to New Orleans July

3, it embarked at once for Fort Monroe, Va., arriving July 12,

and being immediately hurried to Washington City, which was

menaced by a Confederate army under Genl Early.  Gen. Early

having been repulsed July 12, the 30th joined in the pursuit,

proceeding through Leesburg and Snicker’s Gap to Berryville.

Returning to Washington, it now marched through Maryland to

Harper’s Ferry.  Nearthis place it joined Genl. Sheridan’s Army

of the Shenandoah.  It participated in the battle of Winchester

Sept. 19, and that of Fisher’s Hill, Sept. 22, suffering little

loss.  It joined in the pursuit of the Confederates as far as

Harrisonburg.  It was engaged at Cedar Creek Oct. 19, losing

127 men, its largest loss in any one action.  Soon after this

battle the regiment received 178 recruits.  A little later it

took position about six miles south of Winchester.  On Dec. 30

it was sent to guard the crossings of the Opequan east of

Winchester, where it remained until April 1.  On the 21st it

entrained for Washington, where it remained until June 1, when

it was sent to Savannah, Ga.  During the remainder of the year

1865 it was posted at Georgetown, Florence, Sumpter, and other

places in South Carolina doing provost duty.  This work

continued until the middle of the year 1866, when on July 5 the

regiment was mustered out at Charleston, S. C., the Last

Massachusetts regiment to leave the service.


Seventy-fifth U. S. Colored Troops


Organized June 6, 1863, from 3rd Louisiana Native Guard Infantry. Attached to 1st Division, 19th Army Corps, Dept. of the Gulf, to July, 1863. Port Hudson, La., to September, 1863. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, Corps de Afrique, Dept. of the Gulf, to April, 1864.


Assault on Port Hudson, La., June 14, 1863. Surrender of Port Hudson July 9. Duty at Port Hudson till April, 1864. Skirmish at Jackson August 3, 1863. Designation of Regiment changed to 75th United States Colored Troops April 4, 1864.



Organized April 4, 1864, from 3rd Corps de Afrique Infantry. Attached to 1st Brigade,

1st Division, Corps de Afrique, Dept. of the Gulf, to February, 1865. District of

LaFourche, Dept. of the Gulf, to November, 1865.


SERVICE.—Red River Campaign March 10-May 22, 1864. Advance from Franklin to

Alexandria, La., March 14-26. Retreat from Alexandria to Morganza May 13-20. Mansura

May 16. Near Moreauville May 17. Yellow Bayou May 18. Duty at Morganza till February, 1865.

Ordered to Terre Bonne February 26. Duty there and in the District of LaFourche till

November, 1865. Expedition to Lake Verret, Grand Lake and the Park April 2-10, 1865.

Operations about Brashear City April 30-May 12. Mustered out November 25, 1865.







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