MASSACHUSETTS MINUTE MAN MEDAL IDENTIFIED TO JAMES S. W. GEE, 3RD MASSACHUSETTS RIFLES BATTALION & 21ST MASSACHUSETTS INFANTRY

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Item Code: 844-20

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Two-piece bronze medal consisting of a rectangular bar and circular drop.

The bar is embossed with “MASSACHUSETTS MINUTE MEN OF 1861”. Reverse has the original pin.

Circular drop has the Seal of the State of Massachusetts at center of the obverse while the reverse reads “THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS 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.”

Rim is stamped “JAMES S. W. GEE, PRVT.  B. 3d. BTN. RFN”.

James S. W. Gee was a 27 year old mechanic residing in Grafton, MA when he enlisted on 4/19/61 as a Private. On 5/19/61 he mustered into Co. B, 3rd Mass. Rifles, a 3-month regiment. He mustered out on 8/3/61 at Worcester.

3rd Mass Rifles was

Organized at Worcester

April 20            Moved to New York

April 21-24      To Annapolis, Md. and duty there

May 2              Moved to Baltimore, Md. and garrison duty at Fort McHenry

Company D organized at Boston

May 2              Company D ordered to Washington, D.C., via Fortress Monroe and the Potomac River, then moved to Baltimore and joined Battalion at Fort McHenry

August 3          Mustered out.

 

Gee re-enlisted on 8/19/61 when he mustered into Co. F, 21st Massachusetts Infantry as a Sergeant. Listed as wounded on 11/24/63 (estimated day) at Knoxville, TN. Discharged on 8/12/64.

The 21st Mass. regiment was mustered into the U. S. service for three years at Worcester from July 23 to Aug. 19, 1861, and was mustered out in Aug., 1864, the recruits and reenlisted men being then transferred to the 36th Mass. infantry. The total number of members was 989, of whom 138 were killed or died of wounds. A beautiful flag was presented to the regiment by the women of Worcester and on Aug. 23, 1861, the regiment left for the front. It was soon ordered to North Carolina and fought in the battles of Roanoke Island, New Berne and Camden. On July 6, 1862, it moved to Fortress Monroe and went into camp at Newport News. At the second battle of Bull Run it escaped with only slight loss but at Chantilly in an encounter with the enemy in a thick wood, and later in resisting a charge, it suffered severely. At South Mountain, Antietam, and Fredericksburg it had its share of fighting, after which it went into camp at Falmouth and remained there till Feb. 9, 1863, when it proceeded to Baltimore, via Newport News, thence to Cincinnati, Covington, Ky., and Mount Sterling. The last place it garrisoned till July, when the news of Morgan's raid took it to Lexington. After two months spent at Camp Nelson it marched 185 miles to Knoxville, Tenn. It met the enemy at Blue springs but exposure more than fighting formed the hardship of that autumn. Constantly on the march, barefooted, with insufficient food and no tents, its lot was not enviable. In the siege of Knoxville the regiment was constantly on duty, and pursued the Confederates after the siege, repeating its experience of marching in the cold without sufficient food and clothing. Nevertheless, at this trying time nearly all the members reenlisted for three years. Such was the devotion of the 21st to the Union cause. Feb., 1864, was spent in Massachusetts on furlough and the next active duty was in the Wilderness campaign. At the Wilderness, Spotsylvania and Bethesda Church the regiment was in action and the rest of the term was spent at Petersburg.  [ld] [ph:L]

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