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40th Massachusetts Infantry
in the Civil War

Regimental History
Fortieth Infantry. — Cols., Burr Porter, Guy V. Henry; Lieut.-Cols., Joseph A. Dalton, Charles L. Chandler, George E. Marshall, Horatio Jenkins, Jr., John Pollock; Majs., Joseph M. Day, A. Parker Browne, George E. Marshall, Horatio Jenkins, Jr., Charles G. Cox, John Pollock, Josiah L. Elder. This regiment was organized at Camp Stanton, Lynnfield, Mass., in the summer of 1862, and was mustered into service from Aug. 22 to Sept. 5, to serve three years. The actual number of members during its term of service was 1,067. It lost in killed and died of wounds 70; missing 4; died by accident or disease 113; died as prisoners 11; total losses 198. Its record of desertions was highly creditable, losing but 13 in this way during its varied service. The regiment left the state Sept. 8, 1862, under Lieut. -Col. Joseph A. Dalton, Col. Porter taking command at Washington on the 14th. It was comparatively inactive for some time and remained on picket and guard duty in and around Washington until the spring of 1863. On April 15, 1863, it moved to Suffolk, Va., then under siege, where it was engaged in two reconnaissances on April 24 and May 3. It then moved to West Point, Va., Yorktown, Williamsburg, White House landing in succession, and was engaged with the enemy at Baltimore cross-roads, on July 2. It then passed through Washington on the 11th, and went to Frederick, Md., where it joined the Army of the Potomac in the pursuit of Lee's army after the battle of Gettysburg. On Aug. 6, it was ordered to Folly island, Charleston harbor, and occupied the trenches in front of Fort Wagner until the surrender of that stronghold. Capt. Guy V. Henry, a graduate of West Point, assumed command of the regiment on Nov. 10, Col. Porter having resigned some months before. On account of its high repute for excellence in drill and discipline, it was equipped as mounted infantry at Hilton Head in Jan., 1864, and moved on Feb. 4, to Jacksonville, Fla., where it formed part of the Light brigade composed of the 40th, the independent battalion Mass. cavalry and Battery B, 1st U. S. artillery, Col. Henry acting brigadier. It was engaged at Barber's ford and Olustee, losing in the latter engagements 5 killed, 23 wounded and 4 missing. A detachment of 52 men under Capt. Marshall was also engaged at Gainesville. In March the brigade was broken up, the 40th, again unmounted, reported to Gen. Butler at Gloucester Point, Va., on the 28th and was assigned to the 1st brigade, 2nd division, 10th corps. It shared in the battles of Arrowfield Church and Drewry's bluff, suffering a loss of 10 killed, 42 wounded and 22 missing in the latter battle. As a part of the 18th corps under Gen. W. F. Smith, it joined the Army of the Potomac, and was heavily engaged at Cold Harbor. It then moved to the works before Petersburg, participated in the first attacks there and afterwards shared in the arduous work of the siege until Aug. 27. It had suffered heavily from exposure, disease and in action, and left the trenches with only 2 officers and 45 men present for duty. It was on provost duty at Bermuda Landing for a month, and later in the operations about that place. It left its winter quarters at Chaffin's farm on March 4, 1865, and shared in the expeditions to Fredericksburg and White House landing. On April 3, it started for Richmond and remained near the city until the 25th, when it crossed the James to Manchester, at which place it was mustered out on June 17, 1865. It reached Mass. on the 21st and the men were paid and finally discharged the 30th.

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

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