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[449] force returned, after a march of thirty-five miles, and three fights—all in twenty-four hours. The night was pitch dark; the shot and shell ploughed incessantly; but the men held their positions, went and came through mud knee-deep. At this time, nearly two hundred men were on detached service; but not one of them ever deserted, or was court-martialled for dereliction of duty.

April 8.—The regiment was ordered to be ready to leave Suffolk, and preparations were made, when the order was countermanded, as an immediate attack from the enemy was anticipated. April 11, a large force, under General Longstreet, laid siege to Suffolk. Colonel Follansbee was placed in command of the front; the position was occupied by the New-York One-hundred-and-thirtieth, Massachusetts Seventh Battery, Sixth Massachusetts Infantry. An attack was immediately expected; and from this time onward a continual skirmishing was kept up for twenty-three days, mostly between sharpshooters, gunboats, and artillery, though several times the engagements assumed the proportions of smart battles.

On May 4, the enemy fell back from his position, and made a precipitous march towards Fredericksburg; and our forces started in pursuit, capturing several hundred prisoners. During the twenty-three days siege, the regiment was severely taxed, and much exposed; but the singular good fortune that has ever attended it did not fail here: its loss was very slight.

May 13.—The regiment started with others towards the Blackwater, for the eighth and last time. Colonel Foster commanded the whole, and Colonel Follansbee commanded Foster's brigade. The object was to protect workmen engaged in taking up the rails of the Seaboard and Roanoke Railroad. During the three fights of this expedition, the Sixth suffered quite severely; but the forces held their position, protecting the workmen till the track from Carrsville to Suffolk was taken up. The Sixth then returned to Deserted House on the 19th, and bivouacked, on the ground for which it fought, June 30.

Under command of General Corcoran, the regiment moved to Windsor, May 20, to protect workmen in taking up the rails of the Norfolk and Petersburg road. Here it remained until the

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