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26TH MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Item #: CWB12307
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IN NICE SHAPE ~ PIN PRESENT

The 26th Regt. Mass. Vol. Inf. was recruited largely by Col. Edward F. Jones, formerly commander of the 6th Regt. 3 Months. The nucleus of the 26th first assembled at Camp Cameron in North Cambridge, and was known as the 6th Regiment, many of its officers and men having served in the old 6th above mentioned. On Sept. 23, 1861, the regiment was transferred to Camp Chase, Lowell, where it completed its organization as the 26th Regiment. The men were mustered in on various dates during September and October. Ordered to report to Gen. Butler, the regiment embarked at Boston, Nov. 19, and on Dec. 3 reached Ship Island in the Gulf of Mexico, where Gen. Butler's forces were being assembled for a movement on New Orleans. Here the regiment remained until the middle of April, 1862, being assigned to Williams' (2d) Division During the last of April, after Farragut's fleet had opened the lower Mississippi, the 26th occupied Forts Jackson and St. Philip. Early in July the regiment moved up to the city of New Orleans, where it remained doing guard and provost duty until the beginning of the following summer. During the winter of 1862-63 the 19th Corps was formed, the 26thRegt. becoming a part of the 2d Brigade, 2d Division. The first combat service of the 26th Regt. was at La Fourche Crossing, sixty miles west of New Orleans, where the Confederates were making a movement toward Brashear City. Here five companies of the 26th were attacked, June 21, 1863, by a force under Gen. Taylor. The assailants were repulsed with severe loss The 26th lost 5 killed and mortally wounded and 8 wounded, not mortally. Returning to New Orleans on July 15, it remained there until August 28, when it moved to Baton Rouge to join an expedition against Sabine Pass. The expedition was not a success, and by the middle of September the 26th was back at New Orleans. Later in the fall it proceeded again up past La Fourche Crossing through Brashear City and on to Fort Bisland, at which latter place it rested until Oct. 3. Thence it marched to Opelousas, where it remained until Nov. 1, when it started back, arriving at New Iberia, Nov. 17, where it remained until the close of the year. Early in January, 1864, the regiment moved to Franklin, where, during January and February, 546 men, nearly two thirds of the regiment, reenlisted for three years. These men were sent home on the 22d of March and were furloughed until the Tennallytown near Washington, it became a part of Birge's (1st) Brigade, Grover's (2d) Division, Emory's (19th) Corps. About the middle of August the regiment moved into the Shenandoah Valley, advanced to Berryville the 16th, then retired to Charlestown and to Halltown. Advancing again, on September 19 it was heavily engaged at Winchester, Va., losing 46 in killed and mortally wounded, including Captain Thayer and Major Clark. This was the regiment's heaviest loss in any one action. After pursuing the enemy to Mount Jackson beyond Harrisonburg, Va., the 26th returned to Cedar Creek. Here just prior to the battle of October 19, the members who had not re- enlisted were sent home for muster out. On the 19th of October the 26th, now reduced to a battalion of five companies, shared in the battle of Cedar Creek, losing 30 officers and men, of whom 4 were killed or mortally wounded. On October 26, while on duty guarding a forage train, Lieut. McQuestion and 45 men were surprised and captured by Confederate cavalry near Newtown, Va. The regiment remained in or near Winchester, Va., until May, 1865, when it was sent to Washington and thence to Savannah, Ga., where it arrived June 8. It remained at Savannah until August 26, 1865, when it was mustered out of the service. On September 12 it took transport for Boston, and at Galloup's Island, Boston Harbor, Sept. 18, 1865, it received its final payment and discharge.
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