On this day 150 years ago my second great-granduncle, Eleazer Wilber, a private in the 27th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, was captured along with most of his regiment at the Battle of Drewry's Bluff. General Benjamin Butler, commander of the Army of the James, one of the three wings of the Union Army under the command of Major General Ulysses S. Grant, was ordered to drive toward Richmond from the east as General Grant drove the Army of the Potomac from the north. On the early morning of May 16, 1864, much of the 27th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment was captured by Confederate forces led by General Pierre G.T. Beauregard during an early morning reconnaissance in heavy fog. Two hundred thirty five men of the 27th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, including Eleazer, were taken prisoner and sent to the dreaded Andersonville Prison in Georgia.1
1Compiled service record, Eleazer Wilber, Pvt., Co. G, 27th Massachusetts Infantry; Carded Records, Volunteer Organizations, Civil War; Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1780s-1917, Record Group 94; National Archives, Washington, D.C.