Rhode Island Regiments Embarking at Providence for New York and Washington (illustration)
Rhode Island was the first state to respond to Abraham Lincoln’s call for volunteers to suppress the rebellion shortly after the first shots were fired at Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861. Shortly after receiving Lincoln’s call to arms, Rhode Island troops were on the march to Washington, D.C. led by Ambrose Everett Burnside. They stopped in New York and Ananapolis before arriving in Washington. Rhode Island regiments fought in almost every major battle in the war. 25,236 fighting men fought for the Union with 1,685 dying during the war.