Field & Staff---NCO Staff---Band---Unassigned
Organized at Lynnfield July 22, 1861. Left State for Baltimore, Md., August 23. Attached to Dix's Command, Baltimore, Md., to March, 1862. Foster's 1st Brigade, Burnside's Expeditionary Corps, to April, 1862. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, Dept. of North Carolina, to December, 1862. Amory's Brigade, Dept. of North Carolina, to January, 1863. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 18th Army Corps, Dept. of North Carolina, to July, 1863, Defenses of New Berne, N. C., Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, to July, 1864. Sub-District of Beaufort, N. C., Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, to January, 1865. Sub-District of Beaufort, N. C., Dept. of North Carolina, to March, 1865. 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, District of Beaufort, N. C, Dept. of North Carolina, to March, 1865. 1st Brigade, Division District of Beaufort, to April, 1865. 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 23rd Army Corps, to July, 1865.
SERVICE.--Duty at Baltimore, Md., until March, 1862. Ordered to New Berne, N. C., March 12, and duty there until December. Reconnaissance toward Trenton May 15-16. Trenton Bridge May 15. Trenton and Pollocksville Road May 22 (Co. "I"). Expedition to Trenton and Pollocksville July 24-28. Demonstration on New Berne November 11. Foster's Expedition to Goldsboro December 11-20. Kinston December 14. Whitehall December 16. Goldsboro December 17. Provost duty at and near New Berne until April, 1863. March to relief of Washington, N. C., April 7-10. Blount's Creek April 9. Expedition to Washington April 17-19. Expedition toward Kinston April 27-May 1. Wise's Cross Roads and Dover Road April 28. Expedition to Thenton July 4-8. Quaker Bridge July 6. Raid on Weldon July 25-August 1. Duty at New Berne until February, 1864. Operations about New Berne against Whiting January 18-February 10, 1864. Skirmishes at Beech Creek and Batchelor's Creek February 1-3. Expedition to Washington April 18-22. Washington April 27-28. Duty at New Berne and vicinity until July 27, and at Newport Barracks until September 23. Veterans on furlough until November 10. Duty at Newport Barracks November 20, 1864, to March 4, 1865. Moved to Core Creek. Battle of Wise's Forks March 8-10, 1865. Occupation of Kinston March 15. Occupation of Goldsboro March 21. Advance on Raleigh April 9-14. Occupation of Raleigh April 14. Duty at Greensboro May 5-July 11. Mustered out at Greensboro, N. C., July 11, 1865.
Regiment lost during service 21 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 4 Officers and 147 Enlisted men by disease. Total 172.
The 17th Regt. Mass. Vol. Inf. was composed of companies
recruited mostly in Essex County in May and June, 1861. The regiment
rendezvoused at Camp Schouler, Lynnfield, assembling there July 10, 1861, and
was mustered into the service July 22. Leaving Massachusetts August 23 under
command of Lieut. Col. Fellows, it proceeded to Baltimore, Md., where it became
a part of the command of General Dix. It was not until Sept. 2, 1861, that its
colonel, Thomas J. C, Amory, formerly Captain, 7th U. S. Inf., was commissioned
and assigned to the command of the regiment. It remained at Camp Andrew,
Stewart's Grove, Baltimore, most of the time until the 27th of March, 1862, when
it embarked upon transports for Newbern, N. C.
At Newbern it was attached to the 1st Brigade, Foster's (1st) Division, Burnside's command. The regiment was kept bus}'^ making small raids and doing outpost duty until the middle of May. The first loss in action was sustained by Co. I near Pollocksville, May 22, while returning from a scouting and foraging expedition.
Little now occurred to break the monotony of camp life at Newbern until Dec. 10, 1862, when the regiment was assigned to the Goldsboro expedition. During the next eleven days it marched about 180 miles, being engaged in battles at Kinston, Whitehall, and Goldsboro, and suffering a total loss of 32 officers and men, only one of these being
killed in action.
Encamped in or near Newbern until April, 1863, on the 7th of that month the regiment went on an expedition to the relief of Little Washington. It was engaged at Blount's Creek, April 9, 1863, losing eight men wounded. Between April 17 and 22 it was in the expedition which finally relieved Little Washington. On April 27 it went on an expedition to Core Creek. The summer, as a whole, was not eventful, expeditions to Winston and Mount Tabor being the most important operations.
The winter of 1863-64 was spent at Newbern, and the regiment saw little activity until Feb. 1, 1864, when it was sent in an expedition to Batchelder's Creek, where it was engaged with loss, especially in prisoners. On April 18 it accompanied another expedition to Little Washington.
On July 16 the men whose terms were about to expire were sent home to Massachusetts, where they were mustered out August 3. The recruits and re-enlisted men were formed into a battalion of three companies under the command of Capt. Henry Splaine, thus preserving the identity of the organization. On July 26, 1864, the 17th was removed to Newport Barracks, where it remained until the spring of 1865. During the fall of 1864, the yellow fever broke out in North Carolina, claiming as one of its victims Col. Thomas J. C. Amory, who died at Beaufort, N. C, Oct. 7, 1864, while he was in command of that sub district.
During the winter of 1864-65 the 17th was again enlarged to regimental proportions by the transfer to it of 450 men from the 2d Mass. Heavy Artillery, Captain Splaine now being commissioned lieutenant colonel and continued in command. About March 4, 1865, the regiment was transferred to Core Creek, and from the 8th to the 11th of the month was engaged in action at Wise's Forks, Major William Smith being in command of the regiment and Lieut. Col. Splaine having command of the brigade. Joining General Sherman's army at Goldsboro, N. C, March 25, 1865, the regiment moved to Raleigh, April 14, receiving here the news of the surrender of Johnston's army. May 5, it left for Greensboro, where it performed garrison duty until the close of its service. On July 11, 1865, it was mustered out and sent to Massachusetts. It reached Readville, Mass., July 19, and was here paid off and discharged July 26, after fully four years of service.