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‘ [62] since that which defiled after Noah into the ark.’1 It sustained some slight attacks only, and in its last thirty-one hours marched forty-eight miles, reaching Brashear May 28.

On May 21, 1863, an encounter took place, with some loss, at Plains Store, La., in which a brisk artillery fire was interchanged, followed by a charge from the Confederates, of which the 48th Mass. (Col. E. F. Stone) bore the brunt, being sustained by the 49th Mass. (Col. W. F. Bartlett). The loss was not, however, large.

In both the two assaults on Port Hudson (May 27 and June 14, 1863) the regiment suffering most severely was the 38th (Colonel Ingraham), the loss beginning with Lieut.-Col. W. L. Rodman of New Bedford, who commanded on the second day.2 Next to this in losses came the 53d (Colonel Kimball), which suffered heavily on both days, the 31st (Colonel Gooding), the 49th (Colonel Bartlett), the 4th (Colonel Walker), the 48th (Colonel Stone), the 50th (Colonel Messer) and the 52d (Colonel Greenleaf).

When the assault on Port Hudson was ordered for the 27th, a storming party of two hundred volunteers was called for, nearly half that number coming from the 48th Mass. Lieut.-Col. James O'Brien of that regiment (of Charlestown, Mass.) was assigned to the leadership of the party, which contained fifteen line officers and seventy-seven enlisted men of the regiment. Of these, one-half were to carry fascines and cotton bags for filling the ditch, while the 48th and 49th Mass., with other regiments, were to support them. When the order was given for the stormers to advance, O'Brien shook hands with the officer who brought it, and turning to his men, who were sitting or lying about him, said in the coolest and most business-like manner, ‘Pick up your bundles and come on!’ The whole corps was at once put in motion. ‘A truly magnificent sight,’ says the historian of the 19th Army Corps, ‘was the advance of these battalions, with their colors flying and borne sturdily toward the front, yet not for long. Hardly had the movement begun when the whole force —officers, men, colors, stormers and all—found themselves inextricably entangled in the dense abatis under a fierce and continuous discharge of musketry and a withering cross-fire of artillery. Besides the field-pieces bearing directly down the road, two twenty-four pounders poured upon their flank a storm of missiles of all sorts, with fragments of railway bars ’

1 Irwin, p. 156.

2 See memoir in Harvard Memorial Biographies, I, 64.

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