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47th Massachusetts Infantry
in the Civil War

Regimental History
Forty-seventh Infantry. — Col., Lucius B. Marsh ; Lieut.-Col., Albert Stickney; Maj., Austin S. Cushman. This organization, commonly known as the "Merchants' Guard," rendezvoused at Camp Edwin M. Stanton, Boxford, and was raised through the efforts of Lucius B. Marsh, a prominent Boston merchant, who became its colonel. The several companies were gradually filled during the autumn of 1862 and were all mustered in for nine months' service by Nov. 7. On the 11th the regiment moved to Camp Meigs, Readville. It suffered much from desertions before leaving the state, the records showing that it lost 225 men in this way. Its total enrolment was 897, consisting of 42 officers and 855 enlisted men. Its losses during service were 1 man killed and 1 officer and 33 enlisted men who died by accident or disease. On Nov. 29 it was ordered to New York to join the Banks expedition then being organized. After some delay at Long island, it embarked for New Orleans and reached there on Dec. 31. It was first ordered to Carrollton, where it remained until Jan. 11, 1863, when it returned to New Orleans and served until in March at the U. S. barracks and Louisiana lower cotton press. Several companies were detailed for special service, Co. B serving throughout its term as guard for commissary and ordnance stores at New Orleans, and Co. E being detailed for provost duty at Thibodeaux. The regiment was reunited on March 12 (with the exception of Co. B), when it was ordered to the Metaire race-course and on May 19 to Camp Parapet. Here Col. Marsh relieved Gen. Dorr in command of the post, made up of artillery detachments and other troops and guarding a line of defenses extending some 30 miles. This post was occupied by the regiment until the end of its term of service. While here. Col. Marsh recruited a company of negroes for service in the swamps. This company was the nucleus of the 2nd La. engineers, recruited from the contraband camp and its officers were largely furnished by the 47th Mass. The regiment left Carrollton on Aug. 5, to return home, going by way of Cairo, Ill., and reaching Boston on the 18th. It was mustered out at Readville, Sept. 1, 1863. It was not once in action, and had only 1 man killed (June 28, by guerrillas).

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

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