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in the Civil War
|Fiftieth Infantry. Col., Carlos P. Messer; Lieut.-Col., John W.
Locke; Maj., John Hodges, Jr. The nucleus of this regiment was the 7th Mass. militia,
composed of men from Essex and Middlesex counties. It was rapidly recruited to the
required numbers at Camp Edwin Stanton, Boxford, between Sept. 15 and Sept. 30, 1862, was
mustered into service for nine months. It had 39 officers and 904 enlisted men on its
rolls. During its term of service it lost but 1 man in action, who was killed at Port
Hudson. One officer and 87 enlisted men died by accident or disease. The 50th left on Nov.
19 for New York under orders to join Gen. Banks' forces in the Department of the Gulf.
There was a great lack of adequate transportation facilities, so that the regiment was
sent to Louisiana by detachments. Co. I departed on Dec. 1 and reached Baton Rouge on the
16th, far in advance of the others. A, E and K did not arrive until after Feb. 5, 1863; B,
D and H arrived at New Orleans, Jan. 27, but were delayed in quarantine by reason of
smallpox aboard their vessel and did not rejoin the regiment until April 2; C, F and G
reached New Orleans, Feb. 9, and joined the regiment at Baton Rouge on the 14th. The 50th
was assigned to the 3d brigade, 1st division, 19th corps, and shared in the demonstration
of March 14 in the rear of Port Hudson, to enable Adm. Farragut to run the Confederate
batteries. On April 9, four companies participated in an expedition to the Bayou
Monticeno, on the Port Hudson road, and on May 12 the regiment moved with its brigade to
White's bayou, 10 miles southeast of Port Hudson, where it remained on guard while the
fortress was being invested. On the 26th it moved up within range, and shared in the
assault of the next day, losing 1 killed and 4 wounded. It participated in the hardships
of the siege until the surrender, when it was detailed for garrison duty within the
fortifications, and remained there until ordered home by way of Cairo, Ill., reaching
Boston Aug. 11, and was mustered out at Wenham on the 24th.
Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing
Company, 1908 - Volume 1