Identified Pair of Civil War Field Glasses – Paul R. Crocker Co. B 3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery


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Identified Pair of Civil War Field Glasses – Paul R. Crocker Co. B 3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery – We have had numerous pairs of Civil War field glasses, with most being of French manufacture, as the French optical manufacturers were considered the premier makers of optical instruments, in the mid-19th century. This pair of Civil War period field glasses, as indicated by the inscribed maker’s marks on the interior of each of the eyepiece lens surrounds, is of French manufacture; the name inscribed is “E.A. Pouzet”; the location of manufacture is also inscribed – “Geneve”. The eyepiece lens surrounds or lens holders are constructed of enameled, brass: the bridge between the eyepieces is straight and not curved to conform to the bridge of the viewer’s nose – an indication of being from the Civil War period. The focusing stem is constructed of a thermoplastic material. On each barrel is a small, integral loop to attach a lanyard like holding device. The optics are good, although the lenses could use a cleaning. Scratched on one of the barrels of the objective lens cover is the following:




Paul R. Crocker, a young farmer from Barnstable, Massachusetts, enlisted in May, 1863, in Co. B of the 3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, remaining in service, in that regiment, until mustering out in September, 1865. The 3rd Mass. Heavy artillery was initially recruited, in 1863, to garrison forts and guard the coastline of the state of Massachusetts; in January of 1864, the regiment was moved to guard Boston Harbor. In the spring of 1864, the regiment was transferred to garrison several of the “Star” forts around Washington, D.C., thereby releasing several of the regiments already positioned in the forts, for combat assignments near Petersburg. Company B and most of the other companies of the 3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery would remain in the Washington forts until they mustered out of service in September, 1865. We see many pairs of antique field glasses, although most are misidentified as being of war vintage, when they are, in actuality, postwar examples. This pair is definitively Civil War period; additionally, it is most uncommon to find an identified pair of war period field glasses. We surmise, that Private Crocker must have used these glasses during his time on garrison duty along the coast of Massachusetts and in a fort in the D.C. area. Several of the pieces of war period equipage we have encountered have the abbreviation “USA” enumerated – in this time period, that acronym is almost always indicative of representing “United States Army” or “U.S. Artillery”.

 Paul R. Crocker

Residence Barnstable MA; an 18 year-old Farmer.


Enlisted on 5/21/1863 as a Private.


On 6/2/1863 he mustered into “B” Co. MA 3rd Heavy Artillery

He was Mustered Out on 9/18/1865 at Washington, DC


Name Paul R Crocker [Kellie Attebury]
Enlistment Age 18
Birth Date abt 1845
Enlistment Date 21 May 1863
Enlistment Rank Private
Muster Date 2 Jun 1863
Muster Place Massachusetts
Muster Company B
Muster Regiment 3rd HA
Muster Regiment Type Artillery
Muster Information Enlisted
Muster Out Date 18 Sep 1865
Muster Out Place Washington, District of Columbia
Muster Out Information Mustered Out
Side of War Union
Survived War? Yes
Residence Place Barnstable, Massachusetts
Occupation Farmer

3rd MA Heavy Artillery
( 3-years )

Organized: on 8/1/64
Mustered Out: 9/18/65 at Washington, DC

Officers Killed or Mortally Wounded: 0
Officers Died of Disease, Accidents, etc.: 1
Enlisted Men Killed or Mortally Wounded: 2
Enlisted Men Died of Disease, Accidents, etc.: 38
(Source: Fox, Regimental Losses)


     During the year 1863, eight companies of heavy artillery

were recruited for use in garrisoning the forts on the

Massachusetts coast.  These companies were at first designated

by numbers and were mustered into the United States service as

follows- the 3d Company in January, 1864, the 6th Company in

May, the 7th, 8th, and 9th Companies in August, the 10th

Company in September, the 11th Company in October, and the

12th Company in November.

They were distributed at first for the most part at the

forts and islands in Boston Harbor, the 6th Company, however,

being at New Bedford, the 11th at Gloucester, and the 12th at


In the spring of 1864, these eight companies were

transferred to Washington, D. C., where they were assigned to

do guard and garrison duty in the defenses of the capital,

thereby releasing the more experienced troops, who had been

performing that service, for duty at the front.  Their places

were taken in the forts on the Massachusetts coast by the

unattached companies of infantry, whose history has been

recited in an earlier portion of this work.

When these first eight companies were raised it was quite

distinctly stated in handbills and verbally by those engaged

in the work of recruiting that they would be used only for

garrison duty in Massachusetts.  Hence a great deal of

dissatisfaction was caused by their transfer to the defenses

of Washington, and many letters and petitions of protest

against that transfer were made, numbers of which are still on

file in the archives of The Adjutant General’s Office.

Governor Andrew was very anxious that these companies

should be given a regimental status, and in order to carry

that into effect four more companies, the 13th, 14th, 15th,

and 16th were raised and mustered into the service, the 13th

in February, 1864, the 14th and 15th in May, and the 16th in

August.  Finally, the proper authorization having been

obtained from the War Department, by Special Order No. 1087,

dated Sept. 8, 1864, the 3d Regt. Mass. Vol. Hy. Arty. was

organized, the companies being arranged in their numerical

order and being lettered from “A” to “M” respectively.

The regiment was commanded by Col. William S. Abert, a

graduate of West Point, and was divided into three battalions

commanded respectively by Majors John A. P. Allen, George S.

Worcester, and Lyman B. Whiton.  With the exception of Company

“I” the duties performed by the various units were not

materially different from what they had been before they were

given a regimental status.  They were scattered in the forts

around Washington, D. C., and there remained until their

muster out.

Company ” I “, nominally a part of the 3d Battalion, had

an experience entirely different from that of the other

companies.  It was recruited largely from mechanics employed

at the National Armory in Springfield, Mass., and was employed

as an engineer corps  It never served with the rest of the

regiment, but was at once assigned to duty under Capt. F. N.

Farquhar, U. S. Corps of Engineers, and was placed in charge

of the pontoons of the Army of the James.  After a few weeks

of drill and practice the men of Company “I” became expert


They built two pontoon bridges across the Appomattox

River, connecting the Armies of the Potomac and the James, two

across the James River below Chaffin’s Bluff, and in April,

1865, constructed the pontoon bridge at Farmville, which was

used by the 2d and 6th Corps in the pursuit of Lee’s fleeing

army.  It later built the bridge at Richmond by which the

Union armies crossed the James River on their way to

Washington after the war was done.  In addition it ran

captured saw mills, built wharves and roads, and performed

engineer duty in general.

Company ” M ” was mustered out June 17, 1865.  Ten more

companies were mustered out on the 18th of September, but

Company “I”, the engineer company, was held in service until

the 26th of September.

Brief History

The 3rd Regiment, Massachusetts Heavy Artillery (section) was organized for one year August, 1864, by consolidation of 3rd, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th Unattached Companies Heavy Artillery.
It was mustered out September 18, 1865.[1]

For more information on the history of this unit, see:

Companies in this Regiment with the Counties of Origin

Men often enlisted in a company recruited in the counties where they lived though not always. After many battles, companies might be combined because so many men were killed or wounded. However if you are unsure which company your ancestor was in, try the company recruited in his county first.

3rd Regiment Heavy Artillery

Organized for one year August, 1864, by consolidation of 3rd, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th Unattached Companies Heavy Artillery. Attached to 2nd Brigade, Hardin’s Division, 22nd Army Corps, Dept. of Washington, and engaged in garrison duty in the Defenses of Washington, north of the Potomac, to September, 1865. (For Co. “I,” 13th Unattached Company, see 13th Unattached Company.) Mustered out September 18, 1865.

Regiment lost during service 2 Enlisted men killed and 1 Officer and 38 Enlisted men by disease. Total 41.

3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery Regiment

3rd Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Heavy Artillery
Active Jan 1863 to 26 Sept 1865[1]
Country United States
Allegiance Union
Branch United States Army
Type Heavy artillery
Size 1897
Col. William S. Abert

The 3rd Massachusetts Volunteer Heavy Artillery Regiment was a unit that served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. It was organized from already mustered unattached companies of heavy artillery raised for the defenses of the Massachusetts coast.


Beginning in January 1863, and continuing until early 1864, twelve companies of heavy artillery were raised in Massachusetts and mustered into service to garrison the military forts along the coast of the state. The units were designated “unattached” as they did not belong to a particular regiment.

Officers of the 3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, 1865

In the spring of 1864, the 3rd Unattached Company, along with the 6th through 12th, were ordered to Washington, DC, where they were to garrison the forts protecting the capital. In June 1864, the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, and 14th independent companies were part of the 3rd brigade, within Joseph A. Haskin‘s division. At the same time, the 3rd and 15th companies were part of the 2nd brigade within Gustavus De Russy‘s division.

Massachusetts’ Governor Andrew called for the companies to be given regimental status, and when it was granted, several other companies since raised were sent to Washington to complete its complement, and was officially made a regiment in the fall of 1864. Except for Company I, the regiment continued with its duty of manning forts in the vicinity of the capital. A portion of the regiment was mustered out on 17 June 1865, while the remaining companies served until 18 September.

Company I
The 13th Unattached Company, which later became Company I, had been recruited in Springfield, MA and was largely composed of mechanics who were employed at the city’s National Armory. Because of their engineering skills, they were detached from the regiment and attached to the Army of the James, and were engaged in building bridges and roads. During the Siege of Petersburg, they were in charge of holding the pontoon bridge placed across the James River. They were the last men of the regiment to be mustered out, doing so on 26 September 1865.

The Unattached Companies

Company Unatt. # Muster date
A 3rd 10 January 1863
B 6th 19 May 1863
C 7th 14 August 1863
D 8th 14 August 1863
E 9th 27 August 1863
F 10th 16 September 1863
G 11th 20 October 1863
H 12th 20 November 1863
I 13th 10 February 1864
K 14th 12 May 1864
L 15th 30 May 1864
M 16th August 1864

The other unattached heavy artillery companies raised in Massachusetts, the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th, had become the 1st Battalion Massachusetts Volunteer Heavy Artillery in 1863.


The regiment consisted of 94 officers and 1803 enlisted men.


In April 1865, most of the regiment was part of the Army of the Potomac commanded by major general George Meade. More specifically, split between the second and third brigades in brigadier general Martin Davis Hardin‘s division:

Second Brigade (Colonel William S. Abert)

  • 3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, Company A – Captain Benjamin A. Ball
  • 3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, Company D – Lieutenant Lewis R. Whittaker
  • 3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, Company G – Captain Thomas Herbert
  • 3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, Company H – Captain George W. Pierce
  • 3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, Company K – Captain Edwin Thomas
  • 3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, Company L – Captain Joseph M. Parsons
  • 3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, Company M – Captain Cornelius F. Driscoll

Third Brigade (Major George S. Worcester)

  • 3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, Company B – Lieutenant James E. Childs
  • 3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, Company C – Captain Alfred W. Brigham
  • 3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, Company E – Captain Leonard Gordon
  • 3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, Company F – Captain Joseph Austin

The troops of Hardin’s division were split between the various forts around Washington DC:

  • Baker
  • Bayard
  • Bunker Hill
  • Carrell
  • Davis
  • De Russy
  • Du Pont
  • Gaines
  • Greble
  • Kearny
  • Lincoln
  • Mahan
  • Mansfield
  • Meigs
  • Reno
  • Ricketts
  • Saratoga
  • Simmons
  • Slemmer
  • Slocum
  • Snyder
  • Stanton
  • Stevens
  • Summer
  • Thayer
  • Totten
  • Wagner

As well as a few batteries:

  • Cameron
  • Kemble
  • Parrott
  • Vermont


Two officers and 39 enlisted men died from disease or accident. None were killed in action.