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38th Massachusetts Infantry
in the Civil War

Regimental History
Thirty-eighth Infantry. — Col., Timothy Ingraham; Lieut.-Cols., David K. Wardwell, William L. Rodman, James P. Richardson; Majs., David K. Wardwell, William L. Rodman, James P. Richardson, Charles F. Allen. Seven companies recruited at Camp Stanton, Lynnfield, were composed of men from Plymouth county for the most part, and were mustered in on Aug. 21, 1862, for three years. The remaining companies, A, B and F, recruited at Cambridge, were mustered in on Aug. 22, at Camp Day, North Cambridge. The regiment carried on its rolls a total of 80 officers and 1,036 enlisted men. Its losses during service were 4 officers, and 72 enlisted men killed or died of wounds; 2 reported missing; 138 died by accident or disease; 9 as prisoners, and 42 deserted. It left Boston, Aug. 26, 1862, and arrived at Baltimore the following day. Col. Ingraham was serving as lieutenant-colonel of the 18th Mass. infantry, when commissioned in the 38th, and did not assume command until Sept. 3. It moved out on the Liberty road on Sept. 9, and occupied Camp Cram for several weeks. On Oct. 11 marching orders were received, the regiment being called out on account of Stuart's cavalry raid, but it was re-called soon after starting, and occupied a position on the outskirts of Baltimore until Nov. 9. Moving then to Hampton Roads, it remained on transports for a month, when it sailed for Louisiana, arriving at Carrollton Jan. 1, 1863. It was assigned to the 3d brigade, 3d division, 19th corps. Col. Ingraham was appointed to command the 1st brigade, same division, and did not again return to the regiment. While at Camp Kearny, where the regiment remained until March, the men suffered much from sickness. In March the 38th embarked for Baton Rouge, joined in the advance to Port Hudson and encountered the enemy at Fort Bisland April 12, 1863. On May 22 the regiment landed above Port Hudson, joined in the assault on the fortifications on the 27th, and shared in the subsequent siege operations. After the surrender it embarked for Donaldsonville, but returned on Aug. 1 to Baton Rouge, where it spent the winter of 1863-64. It took part in the Red River expedition, garrisoned Alexandria for a time, participated in the engagement at Cane river, and late in the month of July, was ordered to Washington. It then joined Gen. Sheridan's Army of the Shenandoah and at the battle of the Opequan displayed great courage and coolness under conditions of unusual difficulty, as its brigade, through a mistake, had been deprived of its support. The battles of Fisher's hill and Cedar creek followed, and in Jan., 1865, the regiment was ordered to Savannah, Ga., where it remained for about five weeks. On March 5, orders came to move north to Kinston, N. C, via Hilton Head, Wilmington and New Berne, but as its services proved unnecessary at Kinston, it encamped at Morehead City until April 8. The rest of April was spent at Goldsboro on guard duty, and on May 1, the regiment returned to Savannah, where varied duties occupied the men until the close of their term of service.

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

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