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in the Civil War
|Twenty-first Infantry. Col., Elijah D. Johnson; Lieut.-Col, Nathan
Stanley; Maj., Benjamin G. Merry. This regiment, like the seven succeeding ones, was
raised under the call of Aug. 4, 1862, for 300,000 militia for nine months' service. It
was mustered into the U. S. service at Bangor, Oct. 14, 1862, and started for Washington,
D. C, on the 21st. While en route it was ordered to report to Maj. -Gen. N. P. Banks,
commanding the Department of the Gulf, at New York city, then organizing his expedition
for the opening of the Mississippi. It remained quartered at East New York for two months
and then proceeded to New Orleans, where it arrived early in Feb., 1863. It went at once
to Baton Rouge and was assigned to the 1st brigade, 1st division, 19th corps. The men
suffered from disease contracted in the low southern country, despite the utmost
precautions taken. Baton Rouge was now an important Union "base," and the
regiment was occupied in doing picket duty and protecting the city from guerrilla attacks.
On March 14th, it advanced with the corps against Port Hudson, while Adm. Farragut's fleet
was engaged in passing the enemy's works there on that memorable night. The army, however,
made no attack in force at that time, but on May 21 it engaged the enemy at Plains Store.
The regiment took part in the siege of Port Hudson and participated in the assaults on May
27 and June 14, losing in the two engagements 88 men killed and wounded. Though its term
of service had expired during the siege, the regiment volunteered to remain until the
capture of Port Hudson, which occurred on July 9, 1863. Preparations were then at once
made to transport home those regiments that had already remained beyond their term of
service. The 20th was assigned to the 2nd brigade of the post forces, and July 25 embarked
for Maine. With other regiments, it was the first to pass up the Mississippi river and
received a continuous ovation. It arrived in Augusta, Aug. 7, where the men were mustered
out on Aug. 25th, by Lieut. F. E. Crossman of the 17th U. S. infantry.
Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing
Company, 1908 - Volume 1