Three Months

The 4th Regt. Mass. Vol. Mil. "Minute Men," was summoned to Boston by Special Order No. 14, issued on the afternoon of April 15, 1861, from the office of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts. Company F of Foxboro had offered its services, if they should be needed "at any point of our country," as early as January 10, 1861. The 4th had the honor of being the first regiment to leave the State, entraining for Fall River en route for Fort Monroe on the afternoon of April 17. For a month it formed a part of the garrison of Fort Monroe. On May 27, it was sent to Newport News, where it was employed most of the time until its return to Massachusetts in fortifying Camp Butler. On June 10, Company H and four other companies took part in the battle of Big Bethel. Transferred to the village of Hampton July 3, on the 11th it marched to Fort Monroe, where on the 15th it embarked for Boston. Arriving in Boston Harbor, it was mustered out at Long Island on July 22, exactly three months from the day of its muster into the service.

Three companies, K, L, and the Wightman Rifles, which had enlisted for three years and had joined the regiment in May, were retained in the service and became Companies A, C, and K of the 29th Regt., which was then being organized.

Nine Months

Under the call of August 4, 1862, for 300,000 militia to serve nine months, 19,080 being the number assigned to the quota of Massachusetts, the 4th Regt. again volunteered and was ordered to Camp Joe Hooker at Lakeville, Mass., to recruit to war strength. Its companies were mustered into the United States service on various dates between Sept. 1, and Sept. 26, while the field and staff were mostly mustered December 16. On the 27th of December the regiment proceeded to New York where it embarked for Louisiana. It left New York Harbor January 3, 1863, and arrived at Carrolton, La., February 13. On March 7 it arrived at Baton Rouge, La., forming a part of Ingraham's Brigade, Emory's Division, 19th Corps. Here it cooperated with the Navy in the attempt of Admiral Farragut to run past the Port Hudson batteries. It engaged in the attack on Fort Bisland, April 11 to 13, and joined in the pursuit of the Confederates as far as Franklin. From the last of April until the 30th of May it was in or near Brashear City. During the first two weeks in June it participated in the siege of Port Hudson and on June 14 took part in the assault. After the surrender of the city July 8, the 4th Regt. did garrison duty in the defenses until the termination of its period of enlistment. The regiment started for home via Cairo, Ill., on the 4th of August and arrived in Boston on the 17th. It was mustered out at Camp Joe Hooker, August 28.

N.B. —The muster out rolls of the 4th Regiment show that it was present at Brashear City, La., on the occasion of the capture of that place by the Confederates, June 23, 1863, and that it lost a large number of prisoners.


Source: Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the Civil War. Compiled and Published the Adjutant General in accordance with Chapter 475, Acts of 1899 and Chapter 64, Resolves of 1930 (Norwood, Mass., The Norwood Press, 1931) vol. 1:228, 224.


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