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42nd Massachusetts Infantry
in the Civil War

Regimental History
Forty-second Infantry. — Col, Isaac S. Burrell; Lieut.-Col., Joseph Stedman; Maj., Frederick G. Stiles. The nucleus of this regiment was the 2nd regiment of militia, which volunteered under the first call for nine-months' troops. It was recruited up to 41 officers and 900 enlisted men at Camp Meigs and mustered into service from Sept. 13 to Oct. 14, 1862. The field and staff were mustered Nov. 11; on the 19th the regiment was ordered to report to Gen. Banks and left the state on the 21st for the rendezvous at Long island, N. Y. Early in December it left for New Orleans in four detachments. Col. Burrell, with Cos. D, G and I, reached Carrollton, La., on the 17th, and was at once ordered to Galveston to cooperate with the naval force at that point. A post was established on the island, but after repulsing two or three assaults on Jan. 1, 1863, the detachment was forced to capitulate. Most of the men were paroled on Feb. 18, and Chaplain George J. Sanger was unconditionally released. The paroled men occupied a parole camp at Bayou Gentilly until their term of service expired. The officers were held as prisoners until their exchange was effected on July 22, 1864, Surgeon Cummings and Lieut. Bartlett having meanwhile died. The other three detachments were delayed, but finally reached New Orleans on Dec. 29, Jan. 1 and Jan. 14, and were assigned to the 2nd brigade, 2nd division, 19th corps, with headquarters on the Pontchartrain railroad, near Bayou Gentilly, under command of Lieut.-Col. Stedman. In detachments of one or two companies, variously located, the regiment served until the following summer, when Cos. C and H under Capt. Leonard, and Co. K under Lieut. Harding received engineering details. Five of the companies were reunited at headquarters in June. Meanwhile Capt. Leonard had organized a colored regiment known as the 1st La. engineers, largely officered by enlisted men from the 42d. A detachment under Lieut. Tinkham participated in the action at La Fourche crossing, meeting with a loss of 1 killed, 3 wounded and 1 captured. Forty-six members of the regiment, forming part of the garrison at Brashear City, were captured when that place was attacked and taken on June 23, 1863, 2 having been killed and 2 wounded during the unsuccessful resistance. About this time the regiment was transferred to New Orleans and spent the remainder of its service there and at Algiers, embarking for New York on July 31. It reached Boston on Aug. 10, and was mustered out at Readville on the 20th. This regiment was recruited and reorganized for the 100 days' service in the summer of 1864, retaining the same field officers, but with many changes among the staff and line officers, and embarked for Washington on July 24, under Lieut.- Col. Stedman. Col. Burrell was exchanged about this time and rejoined his regiment at Alexandria, where it passed its term of service in the performance of guard and patrol duty, a detachment serving for some time at Great Falls, Md., and large details serving as guard for supply trains to the Shenandoah Valley. It was mustered out of service Nov. 11, 1864.

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

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