8 x 10, two sided, imprinted form, filled out in ink, with vignette of spread winged eagle, shield and motto, E. Pluribus Unum.
Volunteer Enlistment. State of Massachusetts. I, Edwin A. Howes, born in Chatham, in the State of Massachusetts, aged twenty nine years, and by occupation a mechanic, Do Hereby Acknowledge to serve as a Soldier in the Army of the United States of America, for the period of three years, unless sooner discharged by proper authority. And I do solemnly swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the United States of America, and that I will serve them honestly and faithfully against their enemies or oppose whomever; and that I will observe and obey the orders of the President of the United States, and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the Rules and Articles of War. Sworn and subscribed to at Elk River Bridge, Tenn., this 30th day of December 1863. Much more content.
The document has been signed by Edwin A. Howes, (2 times), W.B. Heath, the Examining Surgeon, John A. Fox, Adjutant, 2nd Massachusetts Infantry, (4 times), and a Captain of the 17th U.S. Infantry.
The reverse of the document has the Declaration of Recruit, and a docket concerning the former enlistment of Howes, a veteran volunteer.
Edwin A. Howes, Volunteered at Elk River Bridge, Tenn., December 30th, 1863, By 1st Lieut. John A. Fox, Adjt. Second Regiment of Mass. Veteran Volunteers. Second enlistment; Second Regt. of Mass. Infty. Discharged December 29th, 1863. Former Enlistment. Rank Commissary Sergt., joined for duty and enrolled at West Roxbury, Mass., May 11th, 1861, by Capt. Whitney. Mustered into U.S. Service, May 11th, by Lieut. Amory. John A. Fox, 1st Lt. & Adjt., 2nd Mass. Infty.
Very fine condition. Very desirable regiment!
Edwin A. Howes, was a 26 year old ship joiner when he enlisted on May 25 1861, as a corporal and was mustered into Co. F, 2nd Massachusetts Infantry. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant, May 24, 1864, and Quartermaster, Nov. 3, 1864. He was mustered out of service on July 14, 1865.
John A. Fox, was a 27 year old resident of Dorchester, Mass., when he enlisted on Jan. 1, 1862, as 2nd Lieutenant, and was commissioned into Co. I, 2nd Massachusetts Infantry. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant, August 10, 1862, Adjutant, Jan. 1, 1863, Brevet Major, Mar. 13, 1865. He was mustered out of service on July 14, 1865.
Adjutant John A. Fox, and the 2nd Massachusetts Infantry at Gettysburg:
On the morning of July 3, 1863, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Mudge, commander of the 2nd Massachusetts Infantry, received orders to attack across an open meadow near Spangler's Spring, on Culp's Hill. Adjutant John A. Fox was with Mudge when the order was received. "Are you sure that is the order" asked Mudge to the courier who delivered the order. The messenger simply replied, "Yes!" Mudge said, "Well, it is murder, but it's the order!" He turned to his men and shouted, "Up men, over the works! Forward, double quick!" The brave men of the 2nd Massachusetts Infantry followed Mudge and many were mowed down by the murderous Confederate fire. Mudge was shot through the throat and killed instantly. John A. Fox, commented some 14 years after the battle of Gettysburg, "Where the mistake was made I never knew. We never had any hard feelings towards Colonel Colgrove. He sent his own regiment in with us, and they stood as long as brave men could be expected to." Fox is referring to Colonel Silas Colgrove, who issued the order that sent many of the gallant 2nd Massachusetts Infantry to their death in this suicidal charge. Colgrove, commanded the 27th Indiana Infantry, who went in with the 2nd Massachusetts Infantry.
The 2nd Massachusetts Infantry saw action in the Shenandoah Valley, at Cedar Mountain, 2nd Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Atlanta campaign, Sherman's March to the Sea, Savannah and the 1865 Carolina's campaign.