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in the Civil War
|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