Id’d M1858 Smooth Side Canteen – Private George L. Breed Co. L 4th Mass. Heavy Artillery


Id’d M1858 Smooth Side Canteen – Private George L. Breed Co. L 4th Mass. Heavy Artillery – This typical, M1858, New York Depot, smooth side canteen remains in overall very good condition. The tinned iron body of the canteen is covered with a grayish brown wool; the wool covering is in very good condition, with only a small, wear hole on one side of the canteen; on the opposite side is a larger, wear hole. The actual iron body of the canteen does not exhibit any rust and retains all of its sling guides; the upper guide exhibits a hole punched in it for the attachment of the stopper chain, a feature appearing in New York Depot canteens. Coursing through the sling guides is the original, pleated, cotton shoulder sling, which remains in good, strong condition. The original stopper remains, unattached, with the canteen, represented by the ring pull only, as the cork apparently was lost or decomposed, over the postwar years. Stenciled, in three places on the sling, is the following:

Geo. L. Breed

    27th Co. Mass. H.A.

 Attached to the sling, via string, is an old, small tag that reads:

Geo. L.



 Private Breed enlisted, at the age of 19, in May, 1864, initially in the 11th Co. of the Massachusetts Unattached Infantry; within five days, Breed mustered into Co. L of the 4th Mass. Heavy Artillery, where he would remain until he mustered out on June 17, 1865. During his tour of service, Breed and the 4th Mass. Heavy Artillery would remain in the various forts surrounding Washington, D.C. This is one of the first, issue canteens that we have encountered that has the soldier’s name stenciled clearly, several times on the cotton sling. The canteen, cover and sling remain in overall, very good condition.

 George L. Breed

Residence Lynn MA; a 19 year-old Heeler.

Enlisted on 5/11/1864 at Lynn, MA as a Private.

On 5/16/1864 he mustered into “11th” Co. MA Unattached Infantry

He was Mustered Out on 8/15/1864

On 8/19/1864 he mustered into “L” Co. MA 4th Heavy Artillery

He was Mustered Out on 6/17/1865 at Washington, DC

Other Information:

Member of GAR Post # 5 (General Frederick West Lander) in Lynn, MA

died 3/19/1886

After the War he lived in Lynn, MA


Name: George L Breed
Enlistment Age: 19
Birth Date: 1845
Enlistment Date: 11 May 1864
Enlistment Place: Lynn, Massachusetts
Enlistment Rank: Private
Muster Date: 16 May 1864
Muster Place: Massachusetts
Muster Company: 11th
Muster Regiment: Unattached Infantry
Muster Regiment Type: Infantry
Muster Information: Enlisted
Muster Out Date: 15 Aug 1864
Muster Out Information: Mustered Out
Side of War: Union
Survived War?: Yes
Residence Place: Lynn, Massachusetts
Last Known Residence Lynn, Massachusetts
Death Date: 19 Mar 1886
Occupation: Heeler
Additional Notes 2: Muster 2 Date: 19 Aug 1864; Muster 2 Place: Massachusetts; Muster 2 Unit: 886; Muster 2 Company: L; Muster 2 Regiment: 4th HA; Muster 2 Regiment Type: Artillery; Muster 2 Information: Enlisted; MusterOut 2 Date: 17 Jun 1865; MusterOut 2 Place: Washington, District of Columbia; MusterOut 2 Information: Mustered Out;



11th MA Infantry Company
( 90 days )

Organized: on 5/16/64
Mustered Out: 8/15/64

4th MA Heavy Artillery
( 1-year )

Organized: Galloup’s Island, Boston Harbor, MA on 8/1/64
Mustered Out: 6/17/65 at Washington, DCOfficers Killed or Mortally Wounded: 0
Officers Died of Disease, Accidents, etc.: 2
Enlisted Men Killed or Mortally Wounded: 0
Enlisted Men Died of Disease, Accidents, etc.: 23
(Source: Fox, Regimental Losses)


From To Brigade Division Corps Army Comment
Jan ’63 Mar ’63 Artillery Defenses Upper Potomac 8 Middle Department Cos. B, C, H, I
Dec ’64 Jun ’65 3 Defenses South of Potomac 22 Department of Washington, D.C. Mustered Out

One Year

     Fourth Regiment, Heavy Artillery.-Col., William S. King;

Lieut.Col., Samuel C. Hart; Majs., Francis E. Boyd, William N.

Meserve, Joseph W. Gelray.  The number on the regimental rolls

of the 4th was 72 officers, 1,769 enlisted men.  One officer

and 20 enlisted men died by accident or disease during its

service.  The regiment was recruited for one year’s service,

and was composed of the 17th to 28th unattached companies of

heavy artillery, which were mustered into service in Aug.,

1864.  They were consolidated into a regiment by Special Order

of the war department, dated Nov. 12, 1864.  The several

companies left the state in three detachments about the middle

of Sept., 1864, and were stationed on garrison duty in the

defenses of Washington during their entire term of service.

The regiment was mustered out of service June 17, 1865.

4th Massachusetts Heavy Artillery Regiment


4th Massachusetts Heavy Artillery Regiment, U.S. Volunteers
Active August 1864 to 17 June 1865
Country United States of America
Allegiance Union
Branch United States Army
Type Heavy artillery
Size 1829

Private Joseph N. Walls of Co. G, 4th Massachusetts Heavy Artillery Regiment. From the Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

The 4th Massachusetts Volunteer Heavy Artillery Regiment was a unit that served in the Union Army during the latter part of the American Civil War. It was formed from former Unattached Companies of Heavy Artillery raised by Massachusetts to serve the state and for the defenses of Washington, D.C.


In the late summer of 1864, fourteen companies of heavy artillery were raised throughout Massachusetts for the purpose of coastal defense of the state. They were to be “unattached”, thus not part of a regiment, and sent to various military locations for a one-year term. They were numbered 17 through 30, and were the Unattached Companies of Heavy Artillery. They encamped on Gallops Island in Boston Harbor, where they organized and were mustered in during latter part of August and into the first days of September 1864. In September, they were ordered to Washington, DC for garrison duty in the forts surrounding the capital. The last companies to leave, the 29th and 30th, left on 26 Sept and 29 Oct, respectively.

On 12 Nov 1864, a War Department order consolidated 12 of the companies, numbered 17 through 28, into one regiment, the 4th Regiment Massachusetts Heavy Artillery. Col William Sterling King, formerly of the 35th Massachusetts Infantry, was put in command.[2] They remained in Washington for the remainder of the war, until their mustering out on 17 June 1865.

29th and 30th Unattached Companies

While the 17th through 28th Unattached Companies were combined into a single regiment, the 29th and 30th remained single units. They also served in garrisoning the forts around the capital until their time of mustering out on 16 June 1865. The 29th, with 157 officers and enlisted men, lost 2 to disease, while the 30th lost none of their 150 volunteers.


The regiment consisted of 72 officers and 1757 enlisted men, 21 of them dying by disease or accident.

4th Regiment, Massachusetts Heavy Artillery


Organized November l2, 1864, by consolidation of the 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th and 28th Unattached Companies Heavy Artillery. Organized August, 1864, for one year’s service. Consolidated to a Regiment November 12, 1864. Attached to 3rd Brigade, DeRussy’s Division, 22nd Army Corps, Dept. of Washington. Garrison duty in the Defences of Washington, south of the Potomac, till June, 1865. Mustered out June 17, 1865.

Lost during service 2 Officers and 23 Enlisted men by disease. Total 25.