Special Collections & University Archives University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

Peasley, Alonzo A.

Alonzo A. Peasley Diaries, 1861-1863.
2 vols. (0.2 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 608 bd

Born in Dorchester, Mass., on July 6, 1839, Alonzo A. Peasley enlisted in the 1st Massachusetts Infantry in May 1861, only weeks after the outbreak of the Civil War. Sent almost immediately into the defenses of Washington, Peasley’s regiment was attached to the Army of the Potomac after the first Battle of Bull Run in July, and served with that unit through the Peninsular Campaign, Frederickbsurg, and Chancellorsville. As part of the 2nd Division, 3rd Army Corps on July 2, 1863, the 1st Massachusetts suffered a 40% casualty rate during fierce fighting along the Emmitsburg Road in Gettysburg, with Peasley himself sustaining serious wounds. Hospitalized for several months, Peasley was transferred to the Veterans Reserve Corps to serve out his enlistment.

Well written, observant, and above all active, Peasley’s diaries offer a fine account of a private’s life in the Army of the Potomac. Particularly for the first year of service, the diaries include detailed descriptions of life in the 1st Massachusetts Infantry, and they cover the entire period from the day the regiment left the state in June 1861 until shortly after Peasley’s wounding at Gettysburg in July 1863.

Subjects
  • Bull Run, 1st Battle of, Va., 1861
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
  • United States. Army--Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, 1st (1861-1864)
Contributors
  • Peasley, Alonzo A
Types of material
  • Diaries
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