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On the 30th, the regiment proceeded up the river on board a steamer; landed in Baton Rouge on the 2d of June, and raised the stars and stripes over the State Capitol.
On the 19th, Lieut.-Col. Bullock was detached from the regi. ment to act as commandant of Fort Macomb. On the 20th, it was joined by the balance of the expedition, which proceeded up the river. On the 24th, it reached St. Joseph, and detached four regiments and several batteries in pursuit of guerillas. These reached Grand-Gulf City on the evening of the same day, and found the place deserted. They burned the city as a warning to places on the river harboring guerillas, and, embarking on board the transports which had arrived, reached Vicksburg next day. A company was detailed as sappers and miners to cut a line through the woods and swamp preparatory to digging the canal, or "cut off” as it was termed. Says the official report,
The brigade bivouacked on shore ; and details from the regiment were made, and the work commenced. Making but slow progress, detachments were sent down the river at various times to collect negroes to work on the canal: two thousand were collected. After digging twenty-five days, the work was abandoned, as the river fell faster than the men could dig. The canal was dug one and one-quarter miles in length, twelve feet deep, and twelve feet wide. Here the health of the regiment began to fail. During this time, the usual daily company and battalion drills were kept up, while the shot and shells from the enemy were falling within a hundred yards of our bivouac.
July 23, the regiment, together with the whole brigade, embarked on board our transports.
On the 24th, steamed away from the swamps of Vicksburg, with a parting salute from the enemy; 26th, arrived at Baton Rouge, and quartered in the State House.
One of the officers recorded,
On the afternoon of Aug. 4, the regimental line was formed, consisting of three hundred and fifty men, and marched to the outskirts of the city, where we bivouacked. At daylight on the 5th, the long-roll was beaten, and the line quickly formed. We bad procceded but a short distance, when we received the enemy's fire ou our left. A dense fog was prevailing at the time, so that we were unable to see the enemy, and could only judge of their position from the flash of their muskets. The order was given to lie down, and load and fire at will; when we received the enemy's fire in full force, which passed over our heads, doing but little execution to our lines. At this time, a well-directed fire from Nims's battery and our regiment silenced the enemy's fire, and, we presume, created a panic in their ranks. After manæuvring about for an hour, and not seeing the enemy, we returned to our bivouac, with the loss of three killed and eighteen wounded.
In this engagement, Col. Dudley commanded the right wing of the brigade; and Major Whittemore, the regiment.
The troops remained at bivouac until the 10th of August, when they marched to the grounds of the United States arsenal, where they formed an intrenched camp under cover of the gunboats. They remained here until the 21st, expecting an attack from the enemy every moment.
The exposure to the hot sun through the day and the damp air at night, together with labor in the trenches, produced a disease which nearly prostrated the regiment.
It embarked on board the transports, and arrived at Carrollton on the 22d of August; then disembarked, and encamped near the parapet, and close to the river.
On the 24th, the camp was changed to Materie Ridge, distant two miles. Here the fifth brigade was formed of four regiments, three batteries, and one cavalry company; Col. Dudley acting as brigadier-general.
There being no improvement in the health of the regiment, the camp was changed to Carrollton, where the regiment remained until November, when Lieut.-Col. Bullock resumed command, and the Thirtieth was moved to the United States barracks, located about four miles below New Orleans, and close to the river. Jan. 13, it again embarked for Baton Rouge. While at this place, it formed part of the third brigade, first division, Nineteenth Army Corps; its colonel commanding the brigade.
On the 14th of March, the regiment took up the line of march for Port Hudson. During the night, the water-batteries at that point were passed by the fleet under command of Commodore Farragut, but not without very stubborn resistance on their part, which disabled the frigate “ Mississippi,” so that she was blown up and abandoned by her officers and crew.
The object of the expedition having been accomplished, the next morning, at daybreak, the troops fell back to Montecino Bayou, eight miles from Port Hudson, where they bivouacked until the 18th. At twelve o'clock, M., on the 17th, the second brigade was ordered to march, at a moment's notice, three miles through the swamp to the Clinton Road, to resist a threatened attack of the enemy; but they did not come near enough to give the Union " boys ” a shot. The enemy was mounted.
Next day the troops returned to camp, and, on the 19th, ser out on another expedition. Landing at a point opposite Port Hudson, they penetrated the country a few miles; but, finding the roads impassable on account of a crevasse, they were obliged to return to camp at Baton Rouge. Here the regiment remained during the month of April.
On the 12th of May, it left Baton Rouge with three hundred enlisted men and eighteen officers in light marching order. On the 13th, it took up the line of march towards Port Hudson to support the Illinois cavalry in destroying a bridge at Clinton.
At Clinton Plains, on the morning of the 21st, the enemy were found in position, and opened upon the advance of the brigade with a very brisk fire. A sharp artillery-duel commenced at the distance of nine hundred yards. The troops, being re-enforced by four guns of Holcomb's Vermont battery, drove the enemy back, and advanced as far as Plains Store, where the latter was formed in two lines of battle. After a brisk artillery-fire of about an hour, the enemy retired. When the brigade was about to bivouac for the night, the enemy again attacked in the rear; but a charge from the Fourth Massachusetts, with the assistance of the Illinois cavalry, drove him from his position. For the next twenty-four days, the regiment was constantly under fire.
On the 17th of June, it was relieved with its brigade, and sent back to Plains Store to repel a premeditated attack on that place.
July 2, the Thirtieth, at a moment's notice, made a forced march to Springfield Landing to intercept a column of rebel cavalry making a raid on the supply-trains of the army. The march was made in excellent time and order. On the 8th, Port Hudson surrendered. On the 9th, the regiment left its position at Plains Store, and proceeded by steam towards Donaldsonville. On the 11th, advanced four miles into the country on a reconnoissance. On the 13th, an engagement took place at Rock's Plantation.
The nature of the ground preventing his movements from being seen, the foe advanced in strong force, and flanked the Union troops on the right and left. Their position had now become almost hopeless. The guns of the battery had become too hot to be used, and the cannoneers reduced to four. The horses having all been killed or wounded, Capt. Fiske, not wishing to abandon the guns to the enemy, went with Lieut. Barker and others over the bank where the enemy's shot were falling like hail-stones, fixed a rope to one of the guns, and brought it away: the others they were obliged to abandon, the enemy being not more than twenty yards distant.
During the month of August, the regiment was in camp at Baton Rouge.
The autumn months were mainly occupied by short reconnoissances and foraging expeditions, without any thing of marked interest transpiring. The watchfulness demanded, and the fatigue endured, were, however, none the less on that account.
November found the regiment in winter-quarters near New Iberia.
By the 1st of January, 1864, nearly three-fourths of the regi. ment had re-enlisted.
On the 8th of January, these removed to Franklin, and, on the 16th of February, prepared to leave for Massachusetts on a furlough of thirty days.
Leaving Franklin, they proceeded to Algiers, and thence embarked on board “ The Mississippi,” and sailed for New York, March 6. Arriving there on the 16th, they were transferred to “The Empire State,” and reached Boston on the 19th. Here they were received by the State authorities, marched to Boylston Hall, where their arms were deposited, and they were dismissed to their homes.
The regiment re-assembled at Boston on the 18th of April, and were ordered to Galloupe's Island, Boston Harbor, to await transportation.
May 3, the Thirtieth embarked on board “ The Cassandra " for New Orleans, where it arrived on the 16th, and encamped on the old battle-ground at Chalmette. Col. Dudley here took command of the regiment; remaining with it, however, but two days.
Lieut.-Col. Whittemore resigned; and, Col. Dudley having been assigned to a brigade, Capt. S. D. Shipley took command, June 12.
On the 14th, the regiment took part in a review of all the forces by Major-Gen. D. E. Sickles, and, on the 26th, was assigned to the first brigade, first division, Nineteenth Army Corps.
July 2, the Thirtieth left Morganza on board the steamer "Mississippi,” and arrived at Fortress Monroe on the 12th, and immediately proceeded to the defence of Washington. It was employed in this neighborhood until the 10th of August, when Gen. Sheridan assumed command of the force collected there.
A rapid advance was now made, the regiment having been detailed to guard the ammunition-train.
On the 19th, it rejoined the brigade near Winchester, and was assigned the position of fifth battalion in column.
The brigade immediately advanced about a thousand yards through a thick wood, and deployed, bringing the regiment on the extreme right of the line, with its right resting on a deep ravine, through which ran a small stream. The fire of the enemy was now very brisk along the line. The thick woods partially screened them from our view, and prevented good execution from our fire. We remained in this position under a cross-fire of artillery (a battery having opened on our flank, fortunately firing, however, a little too high), and maintained our line intact, in spite of the passage through it of various detachments of regiments which had broken from the charges of the enemy.
At half-past three o'clock, P.M., the enemy was forced back, and our line advanced, driving them from our works and the town of Winchester, on the outskirts of which we bivouacked for the night at six o'clock, P.M. The casualties in this engagement were two killed and ten wounded.
The next morning, at daylight, we followed in pursuit of the enemy, and bivouacked near Strasburg.
On the 22d, led by Capt. A. F. Tremain, the Thirtieth made a gallant charge upon the enemy at Fisher's Hill, driving him from a strong position, and capturing several thousand rounds of ammunition.
The pursuit of the enemy was continued as far as Mount Crawford, ten miles from Harrisonburg, - which point was reached on the 29th of September ; and, the next day, the whole force returned to Harrisonburg; thence, on the 6th of October, it moved back to New Market; and, on the 10th, the Eighth and the Nineteenth Corps fell back across Cedar Creek, and camped near Middletown. On the 15th, the Thirtieth made a reconnoissance; but nothing worthy of note transpired until the 19th, when victory was so suddenly snatched from the hands of the rebels, and what seemed to them a glorious success changed into a most disastrous defeat and rout.
Space will not allow a detailed account of this battle, which has been given in the history of other regiments engaged.
We will only add the following from an official report:
It was now nearly noon. Gen. Sheridan had arrived from Winchester, and rode along the line, promising the men that they should be in their old campgrounds at night. He was everywhere received with great enthusiasm. At half-past twelve o'clock, P.m., the enemy attacked, but were driven back. Every thing was quiet till half-past three o'clock, P.M., when we were ordered to advance. On reaching the edge of the woods, the enemy were found in a strong position behind a stone wall across an open field. A charge was ordered, in which our brigade took the lead. In the centre of the field, Capt.