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49th Massachusetts Infantry
in the Civil War

Regimental History
Forty-ninth Infantry. — Col., William F. Bartlett; Lieut.-Col., Samuel B. Sumner; Maj., Charles T. Plunkett. This regiment was entirely made up of Berkshire county men, who had enlisted under the call of Aug. 4, 1862, for nine months. The several companies, having filled their ranks and elected their officers according to the prevailing militia system, rendezvoused at Camp Briggs, Pittsfield, where the men were mustered in from Sept. 18 to Oct. 28. On Nov. 7 the regiment moved to Camp Wool at Worcester, where it completed its organization by the election of field officers. It left the state on Nov. 29 for New York, whence it sailed to Louisiana, Jan. 23, 1863, as part of the Banks expedition. It arrived at Baton Rouge in the middle of February, where it was attached to the 1st brigade, 1st division, 19th corps, and remained here idle until March 14, suffering much meanwhile from malarial and other fevers, incident to the sudden change of climate. It shared in the demonstration of March 14 in favor of Farragut's fleet; then joined in the general movement against Port Hudson in May, though 300 members of the regiment were off duty at this time by reason of sickness, and only 450 went with the colors. It was engaged at Plains Store, suffering a slight loss, and later participated in all the trials and hardships of the siege of Port Hudson. In the assault of May 27, it furnished a large number of officers and men for a forlorn hope, and lost altogether on that day 16 killed and 64 wounded out of a total in action of 233. Both Col. Bartlett and Lieut.-Col. Sumner were wounded, so that the command of the regiment devolved on Maj. Plunkett during the rest of its term of service. It moved to Donaldsonville, La., after the surrender of Port Hudson, and took part in the Bayou La Fourche expedition, during which it was nearly surrounded by a superior force from Gen. Taylor's army, and retired in confusion with a loss of 3 killed, 4 wounded and 16 captured. The regiment remained in camp near Donaldsonville until Aug. 1, when it returned to Baton Rouge and was joined by Co. G, which had remained on provost duty in Baton Rouge during the ten weeks of active campaigning the regiment had undergone. Its term of service had now expired and it reached Pittsfield on Aug. 22, returning by way of Cairo, Ill., Indianapolis, Cleveland, Buffalo and Albany. It was formally mustered out on Sept. 1, 1863.

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

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