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48th Massachusetts Infantry
in the Civil War

Regimental History
Forty-eighth Infantry. — Col., Eben F. Stone; Lieut.-Col., James O'Brien; Maj., George Wheatland. It was originally intended to recruit the 48th as a nine months' regiment from Essex county. Eight companies had been already formed at Camp Lander, Wenham, Mass., when the plans were modified on account of the immediate demand for troops for the Banks expedition. Two companies were detached to complete the organization of the 4th Mass. infantry (militia) which was being formed at Lakeville for the nine months' service, and four Irish companies which had been recruited by James O'Brien at Lakeville to form part of an Irish regiment, were consolidated with the six remaining companies to form the 48th infantry. Co. A was mustered on Sept. 16, 1862, six more by Oct. 1, and Co. K was finally mustered on Dec. 9. The field and staff were mustered Dec. 8. The regiment numbered 47 officers and 780 enlisted men. The regiment left on Dec. 27, 1862, for New York, whence it sailed for Fortress Monroe, Jan. 4, 1864. After a delay of a week there it embarked again for New Orleans, arriving there Feb. 1. Two days later it arrived at Baton Rouge and became a part of the 1st brigade, 1st division, 19th corps. Its first active service was on March 13, when it participated in a reconnaissance to within a short distance of the Confederate lines about Port Hudson. The next day it advanced with its division for a demonstration against the land defenses of that place, and on the 20th returned to Baton Rouge. The general advance on Port Hudson began on May 21, and the 48th, now attached to the 3d brigade under Col. Dudley, was engaged at Plains Store, where it lost 2 killed, 7 wounded and 11 captured. It furnished 93 men for the storming party of 200 which led the assault on the works of Port Hudson, among the volunteers being Lieut.-Col. O'Brien, who was killed, and 15 line officers. It lost here 7 men killed and 41 wounded. While temporarily attached to the 3d division under Gen. Dwight, it took part in the assault of June 14, losing 2 killed and 11 wounded. It shared in the work of the siege, but without further loss in battle. It then moved with Augur's division, commanded by Gen. Weitzel, on the evening of July 9, against the enemy's works below Donaldsonville, La. ; was engaged at Bayou La Fourche on the 13th, where it met with a loss of 3 killed, 7 wounded and 23 captured; remained encamped near Donaldsonville until Aug. 1, when it once more returned to Baton Rouge and occupied its former camp until Aug. 9. Its term of service having now expired, it left for Massachusetts by way of Cairo, Ill., and reached Boston on Aug. 23. It was mustered out at Camp Lander Sept. 3, 1863.

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

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