Researcher: Michael Pinckney
Jeremiah Murphy was a resident of Massachusetts who participated in the Civil War. Murphy came from his hometown of Wareham, Massachusetts, son of Thomas Murphy. Jeremiah joined the Civil War by entering into the 45th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. Murphy later served in the 56th Massachusetts Infantry Division.
Jeremiah Murphy joined the 45th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment during the call for troops to serve for nine months on August 4, 1862. Murphy was called into C Company entering at the rank of Private. During his 9 months of service, Murphy saw a little bit of action. Under the leadership of their commander, Colonel Charles R. Codman, the Regiment was assigned to the Armory’s Brigade of Foster’s Division. On December 12, 1862, The Foster’s Division with Eight Companies of the 45th Regiment set out on an expedition to Goldsboro, but Murphy and his C Company were sent on special duty to Morehead City and D Company to Fort Macon.
The 45th Regiment at Kinston on December 14th fought their first battle and fought two days later at Whitehall. The regiment was later called to guard Newbern City where the Confederates later attacked, but the regiment was not called to engage. On April 17 with the Armory’s Brigade, the group traveled to Core Creek on the railroad to Goldsboro, where they engaged the Confederates again. After that action, Murphy’s regiment eventually returned home after the 9-month session ended.
Murphy, still seeking to serve his country, enlisted into the 56th Massachusetts Infantry Division at Camp Meigs in Readville, Massachusetts in the fall and winter of 1863. Murphy was assigned to company K and served in several battles. The 56th Regiment worked to help capture Richmond Virginia, the capital of the Confederacy serving under General Ulysses S. Grant. The regiment was involved in several skirmishes and many major battles. The Regiment worked to capture Petersburg on June 18th, Richmond’s major importer of supplies. On July 30, 1864, Murphy fought at the “Crater” fight near battle, where his regiment helped lead the attack after the Confederate fort was destroyed. The regiment lost the battle to cut off Weldon Railroad from Richmond on August 18, 1864. The 56th sought to continue to cut-off Richmond and Petersburg, taking part in battles like Peebles Farm on September 30, 1864, Burgess Mill on October 27, 1864, and an assault of Fort Stedman on March 25, 1865. On April 2, 1865, Murphy’s regiment held Battery 27 in the assault on Petersburg trenches. The regiment chased the retreating Confederates on to Burkesville where Lee surrendered. The regiment was discharged in Readville, Massachusetts on July 12.
Jeremiah Murphy took part in these major battles, aiding to capture Richmond and force General Lee’s surrender.