William W. Adams

Researcher: Colleen Clancy


            William W. Adams was a private in the Civil War and a resident of Franklin.  He was part of the 45th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment in Company C. This regiment was formed after the call of August 4, 1862, for nine troops. Adams' regiment was under the command Colonel Charles R. Codman, who was previously the captain of the Boston Cadets while at Fort Warren in 1862. The regiment was organized at Camp Meigs in Reedville during September and October in 1862.

            The 45th Regiment moved to Morehead City, North Carolina traveling on the steamer the Mississippia, in November. There they set up camp in Newbern not far from Fort Gaston, on the banks of the Trent River. In December, the troops set out on the Expedition of Goldsboro, company C, which Adams was part of, was sent to Morehead City on special duty. 

            Adams' fought at Kingston on December 14. At that time the troops where under the command of General John G. Foster.  Foster planned to disturb the Wilmington & Weldon Railroads in Goldsboro.  During the battle the confederates retreated because they were outnumbered.  Foster went on to claim the River Road south of the Neuse River. The regiment lost fifteen men and forty-three were wounded.


            The regiment went on to fight at Whitehall on December 16 in Wayne County. The union troops were heading toward the railroad.  When they came upon a Confederate brigade on the northern bank of the Neuse River. There was not much action, and the outcome of the battle was undetermined.  The 45th regiment lost four men and sixteen were wounded. The total losses that day were about 150 causalities.  The 45th regiment did not participate in the Battle of Goldsboro.

            The troops returned back to camp by December 21. The 45th regiment remained in Newbern from January to April 1863 guarding the city. Some Confederate attacks occurred during this time, which the 45th regiment did not take part in. After a failed expedition in April to Core Creek, the troops returned to a previous camp near Fort Spinola, on the Trent River. The troops stayed there until June when they traveled to Morehead City, to depart for Boston. After arriving in Massachusetts, the regiment stayed at its former camp in Reedville until the troops where released July 8.