The following documents written by an unknown soldier in the regiment outlining the organization of “Webster’s Regiment” (officially known as the 12th Massachusetts regiment), which was established under the command of Fletcher Webster (son of Daniel Webster), the second generation Founding Father who was known as the “Defender of the U.S. Constitution.” This regiment was formed in April of 1861, and was recognized as an official regiment by the Union in June of that year. This regiment was later declared by General Meade to be “the finest regiment in the service.” More information about Webster’s Regiment can be found in this WallBuilders article.

This document is Webster’s copy of a telegraph that was sent to President Lincoln requesting that the regiment be officially recognized by the Union.


The following document outlines the election of field officers (which were temporary positions assigned to the unofficial regiment), including the appointment of Gerald Fitzgerald as chaplain. In June of 1861, Edward Clark was appointed official Chaplain of the newly formed regiment.


The following document recounts a sermon given by Rev. Gerald Fitzgerald and mentions that “[t]he volunteers were present and seemed much interested in an eloquent sermon on the duties and responsibilities of the holy cause, which they were about going forth to defend.”