Forty-Second Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Militia (Infantry)

Acton men who served in the 42nd Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Militia:

Bowman G. Salisbury, 100 days, Co. E


Regimental history from Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the Civil War, compiled and published by the Adjutant General:

Nine Months

The 42d Regt. Mass. Vol. Mil. was one of the new militia units raised to fill the quota of Massachusetts under the call of Aug. 4, 1862, for 300,000 men to serve nine months. Its nucleus was the newly organized 2d Regt. Maw. Vol. Mil. As there was already a 2d Regt. Mass, Vol. Inf. in the service, this new unit was named the 42d Regt. in order to avoid the duplication of numbers.
     The regiment was recruited at Camp Meigs, Readville, Brig. Gen. R. A. Pierce being commander of the camp. The various companies were mustered in between Sept. 13 and Oct. 14, 1862, while the field and staff were not mustered until Nov. 11. Under command of COL Isaac S. Burrell the regiment left, Nov. 21, for Camp Banks, Long Island, N. Y., where the expedition for Louisiana was being organized. Here on the 3d of December it took transports for New Orleans.
     Colonel Burrell and staff with Companies "D", "G", and "I" proceeded on the transport SAXON via Ship Island to New Orleans, reaching that city Dec. 16. On the following day they arrived at Carrollton and went into quarters at Camp Mansfield. Ordered to Galveston, Texas, to cooperate with the blockading fleet, Colonel Burrell with his three companies arrived at that city on Christmas Day, 1862. Taking possession of the city and erecting some works for its defense, on New Year's Day, 1863, they were attacked by a force which had crossed over from the mainland. Taking refuge on Kuhns' Wharf, after a gallant defense Colonel Burrell and his three companies were forced to surrender to the Confederate commander General Magruder. In recognition of the gallantry with which he had defended his post, Colonel Burrell was allowed to retain his sword. The enlisted men were paroled Feb. 18, but the officers were not finally released and exchanged until July 22, 1864.
     Lieut. Col. Stedman with Companies "A", "B", and "F" on the transport QUINCY reached Camp Mansfield, Carrollton, Dec. 29. Companies "E" and "K" on the CHARLES OSGOOD arrived Jany. 2, while Companies "C" and "H" on the SHETUCKET did not reach ramp until Jany. 15. The seven companies which now composed the regiment were made a part of Farr's (2d) Brigade, T. W. Sherman's (2d) Division, 19th Corps. Captain Leonard with Companies " C " and " H " was employed during the first half of the year 1863 at Camp Parapet, the men serving as engineers and constructing a redoubt at that place. Here Captain Leonard organized a colored regiment largely officered by men from the 42d Mass. and known as the 1st Louisiana Engineers.

Companies "A", "B", "F", and "K" under command of Lieut. Col. Stedman were sent to Bayou Gentilly a dozen miles northeast from New Orleans and near Lake Ponchartrain, These companies were detached at various times and assigned to duty at different places. In June a detachment of 100 men was sent to Brashear City on the Opelousas Railroad and attached to a battalion of the 47th Regiment. On June 23 the garrison at Brashear City was captured and with it forty-six men of the 42d Regiment.


One Hundred Days

     The 42d Regiment preserved its identity as a militia unit after the close of its nine month's service, and in July, 1864, was reorganized with some changes in companies and mustered into the service for one hundred days. It was used for guard and garrison duty during the late summer and fall, in order that the older and more experienced troops which had been performing this duty might be relieved and sent to the front.
     The companies which were to constitute the 42d Regiment began to assemble at Camp Meigs, Readville, early in July, and were mustered into the service between the 14th and 22d of the month. On the 24th the command set out for Washington under Lieut. Col. Joseph Stedman. About this time Col. Burrell was released from captivity, returned and rejoined his regiment at Alexandria, and resumed command. The regiment did guard and patrol duty, one detachment being sent to Great Falls, Md., while others were employed in guarding supply trains moving to and from the Shenandoah Valley. After completing its term of enlistment the regiment was mustered out of the service Nov. 11, 1864.



Regimental history from A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, by Frederick Dyer:

Nine Months

Organized at Camp Meigs, Reedville, November 11, 1862. Left State for New York November 11, thence to East New York November 22. Sailed December 2 for New Orleans, La. (Cos. "D," "G" and "I"), on Steamer "Saxon," arriving at Ship Island December 14, and at New Orleans December 16. Companies "A," "B" and "F" on Steamer "Quincy," arriving at Hilton Head, S. C., December 11, at Tortugas, Fla., December 20, at Ship Island, Miss., December 26, and at New Orleans, December 29. Companies "C" and "H" on Steamer "Shetucket," arriving at New Orleans January 1, 1863. Companies "E" and "K" on Steamer "Chas. Osgood," arriving at New Orleans January 1, 1863. Attached to Sherman's Division, Dept. of the Gulf, to January, 1863. 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 19th Army Corps, Dept. of the Gulf, to August, 1863.

SERVICE.--Companies "D," "G" and "I" moved on Steamer "Saxon" to Galveston, Texas, December 1924, 1862. Occupation of Galveston December 24 (Cos. "D," "G," "I"). Action at Galveston January 1, 1863. Captured and paroled at Alexandria, La., February 18, 1863, and rejoined Regiment at New Orleans February 22. Assigned to duty at Paroled Camp Bayou, Gentilly, until July. Companies "A," "B," "E," "F" and "K" at Carrollton, La., until January 26, 1863. Moved to Bayou Gentilly on Ponchartrain Railroad, and duty there until July. Companies "C" and "H" detached from Regiment January 15, and assigned to duty with Engineer Corps, Dept. of the Gulf, at Camp Parapet, and erecting fortifications for the Defence of New Orleans until June. Rejoined Regiment at Camp Farr June 5. Company "K" detached February 16 for Engineer duty. Moved to New Orleans February 18, and placed in charge of a pontoon train. Moved to Bayou Montesino March 10 and laid bridge, returning to Baton Rouge March 15. Expedition up Mississippi River March 19-22. Moved to New Orleans March 23-24, thence to Brashear City April 6. Expedition to Bayou Teche with bridge 300 feet long, which was placed across Bayou Teche April 12, Removed torpedoes and obstructions to Indian Bend April 12-15. Removed obstructions to wreck of Steamer "Cotton" April 15-23. Moved to Brashear City April 23, thence to Washington on Courtableaux River. Expedition to Alexandria and Simsport April 27-May 21. Ordered to Port Hudson May 21. Siege of Port Hudson May 26-July 9. Laid bridge at Sandy Creek May 26. LaFourche June 21-22. Brashear June 23. Expedition to Donaldsville July 13-21 and laid bridge across Bayou LaFourche 280 feet long. Relieved from duty as Engineers and rejoined Regiment at New Orleans. Regiment engaged in outpost and picket duty from Bayou St. John to Point Aux Herbs. Company "A" at battery on Bayou St. John until July 28. Company "F" at Lakeport April 6 to July 28. Regiment concentrated and moved to Boston July 31-August 10. Mustered out August 20, 1863.

Regiment lost during service 4 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 2 Officers and 44 Enlisted men by disease. Total 50.

One Hundred Days

Organized at Reedville for 100 days July 22, 1864. Mustered out November 11, 1864.

See also:

Bosson, Charles P. History of the Forty-Second Regiment Infantry Massachusetts Volunteers, 1862, 1863, 1864. Boston: Mills, Knight & Co., Printers, 1886.;

United States National Archives and Records Service. Compiled Records Showing Service of Military Units in Volunteer Union Organizations - MASSACHUSETTS Fortieth Infantry, Forty-Second Infantry Forty-Second Infantry (100 Days, 1864) Forty-Third Militia, Infantry through Fifty-Third Militia, Infantry Fifty-Sixth Infantry Through Sixty-Second Infantry First Unattached Co., Militia Infantry (90 Days, 1864) through Thirteenth Unattached Co., Militia Infantry (90 Days, 1864) Fifteenth Unattached Co., Militia Infantry (100 Days, 1864) through Twenty-seventh Unattached Co., Militia Infantry (1 year, 1864-65) Boston Cadet Co., Militia, Infantry Salem Cadets, Militia, Infantry Capt. Staten's Co., Volunteers, Infantry (6 Months, 1862). Washington: National Archives and Records Service, n.d.