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31st Massachusetts Infantry
in the Civil War

Regimental History
Thirty-first Infantry. — Cols., Oliver P. Gooding, Edward P. Nettleton ; Lieut.-Cols., William S. B. Hopkins, Edward P. Nettleton, W. Irving Allen; Majs., Robert Bache, Elbert H. Fordham, W. Irving Allen, L. Frederick Rice. This regiment, originally known as the Western Bay State regiment, was mustered in during the latter part of 1861 and the beginning of 1862 for three years. It was mustered out in Dec, 1864, when the reenlisted men and recruits were consolidated into a battalion of five companies, which was mustered out at Mobile, Ala., Sept. 9, 1865. The total strength of the regiment was 1,365, of whom 50 were killed or died of wounds and 130 from disease or accident. The 31st embarked for Fortress Monroe, Feb. 21, 1862, reembarked for the south and arrived at Ship island, Miss., March 20. It was ordered to New Orleans and was the first Union regiment to occupy the city. It was engaged in all the important battles of the Department of the Gulf during 1862 and 1863 and joined in the Red River expedition, leaving Carrollton, Dec. 19, 1863. At this time the regiment was converted into a cavalry regiment and moved to New Orleans, but was not in active service until March. As the 6th Mass. cavalry, it took part in the marches of the Red River expedition, leading up to the battles of Sabine cross roads, Pleasant Hill, Cane river, Alexandria and Yellow bayou. On May 3, 1864, in a repulse of the enemy at Gov. Moore's plantation, the conduct of the regiment was complimented by Gen. Mower, who said, "I have seldom seen cavalry do as well, never better." Guard duty along the Mississippi river occupied the greater part of the winter and in Feb., 1865, the regiment was ordered to Carrollton to prepare for the Mobile expedition. After the fall of Mobile the regiment remained there until mustered out.

Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing Company, 1908 - Volume 1

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