Unit History – 4th Maine Infantry

16 07 2022

Col., Hiram G., Berry; Lieut.- Col., Thomas H. Marshall; Maj., Frank S. Nickerson. This regiment was organized for active service May 8, 1861, and was mustered into the United States service on June 15 at Rockland. Co. A (Belfast Artillery), Co. K (Belfast City Grays), and Co. F (Brooks Light Infantry), had formed part of the state militia, but the other companies were without previous experience. The regiment left Rockland for Washington on June 17, and was armed with the Springfield smooth-bore musket. Passing through New York, it was presented with two beautiful flags. It participated in all the important battles of the Army of the Potomac during its three years’ term of service. Gen. Kearney wrote as follows of the conduct of its gallant colonel at Bull Run: “Col. Berry manifested such a genius for war, and such a pertinacity in the fight, as proved him fit for high command.” It is stated that the 4th Me. saved the day at Williamsburg, while at Fair Oaks, White Oak Swamp, Gaines’ Mill, Glendale, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, and on many other bloody fields it rendered magnificent service. The heroic commander of the regiment, Hiram G. Berry, was killed amid the awful carnage of the battle of Chancellorsville, having attained to the rank of major-general and being esteemed one of the most brilliant officers in the service. On June 25, 1864, the regiment arrived in Rockland, its term of service having expired on the 15th, and after being furloughed were mustered out on July 19. It returned under the command of Elijah Walker, who had gone out as captain of Co. B. There were 46 officers in the regiment, including 10 recruits; privates of the original organization, 966; recruits, 513; total, 1,525. Number of officers mustered out, 17; prisoners of war, 2; privates mustered out, 224; prisoners, 37; officers discharged,5; resigned, 41; privates discharged for disability, 366 privates transferred to other commands, 435; officers died of wounds, 14; of disease, 2; privates died of wounds, 139; of disease, 112; privates deserted, 131. Total, 1,525. The number of officers lost by casualties during the service of the regiment was 65; mustered out July 19, 1864, 17; prisoners of war, 2. Total, 84. Thirty-eight officers were promoted from the ranks.

From The Union Army, Vol. 1, pp. 41-42