1st Company, Massachusetts Sharpshooters

The 1st Company, Massachusetts Sharpshooters was organized at Lynn field and mustered in September 2. 1861. Left State for Washington, D.C., September 2. It was attached to the 15th Massachusetts Infantry to July, 1864, and to the 19th Massachusetts Infantry to September. 1864. Mustered out September 6, 1864.

John Saunders formed his own independent company of sharpshooters in August of 1861 and led them in battle until he was 'shot through the heart' and killed in action at Antietam in September 1862. The Sharpshooter Company continued in service and was active until July 1863.

The company was first assigned to Gen. Lander's Brigade, which formed a part of Gen. Stone's force at Poolesville, Md. It remained on the upper Potomac under Gen. Lander until his death in March, 1862, then served for a time under Gen. Shields. During the siege of Yorktown in April, 1862, the company became attached to the 15th Mass. Regt. of Gorman's Brigade, Sedgwick's Division, Sumner's (2d) Corps. With this command the sharpshooters served through the Peninsular campaign, the Antietam campaign, and until the following spring.

The company lost during service 3 Officers and 21 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 15 Enlisted men by disease. Total 39.

On Line site dedicated to this Company.

John Saunders
Capt. William Plumer (1823-1896). Graduate of Harvard University and lawyer in Lexington. Due to wounds received in June 1863, he rode to Gettysburg in an ambulance.
Attached to 15th Massachusetts Infantry to July, 1864, and to 19th Massachusetts Infantry to September. 1864. SERVICE:
  • Battle of Ball's Bluff
  • Siege of Yorktown
  • Battle of Fair Oaks
  • Seven Days Battles
  • Battle of Antietam
  • Battle of Fredericksburg
  • Battle of Chancellorsville
  • Battle of Gettysburg
  • Mine Run Campaign
  • Battle of the Wilderness
  • Battle of Spotsylvania Court House
  • Battle of Cold Harbor
  • Siege of Petersburg
  • First Battle of Deep Bottom
  • Second Battle of Deep Bottom
  • Second Battle of Ream's Station
    The composite roster of this unit contains the names of 274 men.



    Dyer, Frederick H. - A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion

    For Additional Research