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Massachusetts Regiments

Remember our Clark County patriots. Some lie in national cemeteries. Some sleep in hometown graves. Some never made it home. But all have something in common. They made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country, our freedom and our quality of life.


49th Massachusetts Infantry (Militia), Company K
Bidwell, John Ward (Casey)

History of the 49th Massachusetts Infantry (Militia)
    The 49th Regt. Maw. Vol. Mil. was a Berkshire County regiment, raised, like the 47th and 48th and the other nine months regiments, in response to the call of the President of August 4, 1862. Its first rendezvous was at Camp Briggs, Pittsfield, the camp being commanded by Captain William Francis Bartlett who had lost a leg at Yorktown while serving with the 20th Mass. Inf. Here the regiment received from Captain Bartlett its initial instruction in military drill and discipline, and here, between Sept. 18 and Oct. 28, all its companies were mustered into the service.
     On Nov. 7 the regiment was transferred to Camp Wool, Worcester, where it remained three weeks. Captain Bartlett having now been commissioned colonel of the 49th, under his command it left Camp Wool, Nov. 29, and proceeded via Norwich, Conn., to New York City and thence to Camp Banks on Long Island, the rendezvous of the Banks expedition to Louisiana. Here the regiment gained for itself such a reputation for good discipline that the commandant of the camp, Brig. Genl. George L. Andrews, detailed large detachment from it for provost duty in New York City. So efficient was its service that it was retained in the vicinity of New York until all the other regiments of the Banks expedition had been sent forward. Embarking, Jany. 23,1863, on the steamer ILLINOIS, on Feb. 7 it reached New Orleans and went into camp at Carrollton, seven miles above the city. Here it remained until the 16th when it was transferred to Baton Rouge being assigned to Chapin's (1st) Brigade, Augur's (1st) Division, 19th Corps, the 48th forming a part of the same brigade.
     On March 14 the 49th proceeded with Augur's Division, which was followed by the rest of the corps, toward Port Hudson to make a demonstration in behalf of Farragut's fleet. That night a part of the fleet pawed the batteries successfully and secured a position above the city. The regiment returned to Baton Rouge, March 20, where it remained two months during which period it suffered much from sickness. About May 20 it started for Port Hudson and on the following day was engaged at Plains Store where several men of the regiment were wounded, Lieut. Tucker of Co. " D " losing a leg, About May 24 it arrived before Port Hudson and two days later was called upon to furnish volunteers for a "forlorn hope " which was to lead the assault which had been ordered for the 27th. To this call 65 officers and men responded. In the assault, which took place on the afternoon of May 27, the 49th lost 16 officers and men killed and 64 wounded, among the latter being Colonel Bartlett and Lieutenant Colonel Sumner. The colonel's wound in his left arm was so severe that he was never again able to do duty with the regiment. The lieutenant colonel was also permanently disabled, and the command of the regiment devolved on Major Plunkett who held it until its muster out.
     In the assault of June 14 the 49th bad no active, part, but was under fire, losing one man killed and 17 wounded. Following this last assault it performed duty in the trenches until the surrender of Port Hudson, July 9. Transferred to Donaldsonville, on July 13 it took part in a short expedition into the interior along the line of Bayou Lafourche, being heavily engaged on the afternoon of that day with a loss of three killed five wounded and 16 prisoners. Returning to Donaldsonville the regiment remained there until August 1, when it was transferred to its old camp at Baton Rouge. Here on the 7th it received the prisoners whom it lost at Bayou Lafource. Transferred to New Orleans on the 9th, the following day it embarked on the steamer TEMPLE bound for Cairo, Ill., where it took train for home. Arriving in Pittsfield, August 22, it received an enthusiastic reception, and here, September 1, it was mustered out of the United States service.

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