"Like Sheep at the Slaughter": A Statistical History of the Fourth Rhode Island Volunteers


Known as the “Fighting Fourth,” the Fourth Rhode Island Volunteers was the last infantry unit raised in Rhode Island in 1861. After Union setbacks in the West, and after the humiliating defeat at Bull Run, the regiment had no trouble recruiting ten companies from throughout the state in August and September 1861. The men of the Fourth were true volunteers who enlisted before large bounties became an enticement to enlist.

The companies of the regiment were recruited as follows: Company A (Providence), Company B (Providence), Company C (Providence), Company D (Burrillville, Glocester, and Hopkinton), Company E (Smithfield and Woonsocket), Company F (Providence), Company G (Middletown and Newport), Company H (North Kingstown), Company I (Pawtucket), and Company K (Warwick).

This roster represents the most complete and accurate set of data of the officers and men who served in the Fourth Rhode Island Volunteers. It was carefully transcribed from the original muster rolls and descriptive books held at the Rhode Island State Archives. The roster lists all the men known to have actually served in the regiment from 1861-1864, and does not include those who deserted before the regiment was mustered in on September 30, 1861. In certain cases additional information regarding casualties, deserters, and those who died at home has been added to the register from sources including Rhode Island newspapers, town hall records, the letters and journals of members of the Fourth Rhode Island, pension and service records, as well as the personal observations by this writer in the cemeteries of Rhode Island and elsewhere.

Additional chapters include: Field and Staff, Regimental Band, Enlistments by Town, Regimental Statistics, and the poem, "The Rhode Island Dead at Newbern."

Robert Grandchamp

2018, 6x9, paper, 202 pp.  

ISBN: 9780788458514