University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Thirty-Eigth Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Mass.) Reports, 1862-1865

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Thirty-Eigth Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Mass.)
Title: Thirty-Eigth Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Mass.) Reports
Dates: 1862-1865
Abstract: Guard house reports of the Thirty-Eighth Volunteer Infantry Regiment of Massachusetts, 1862-1865
Extent: 2 vols.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin

Historical Sketch

The Thirty-Eighth Volunteer Infantry Regiment organized in the summer of 1862 as part of a larger recruiting effort in the state of Massachusetts. The Thirty-Eighth boarded the B.S. Baltin in Baltimore, Maryland, to join Lt. General John C. Pemberton in Louisiana as part of General Grant’s Vicksburg Campaign. The unit saw its first combat at the Battle of Fort Bisland (April 12-13, 1863). In May of 1863, the unit engaged in battle at Sandy Creek, Missouri, and took part in several assaults on Port Hudson.

After wintering in Baton Rouge, the Thirty-Eighth joined the Red River Campaign under the command General William B. Franklin. Their mission was threefold: to destroy the Confederate army commanded by Lt. General Richard Taylor; to capture the Shreveport, Louisiana, Confederate headquarter for the Trans-Mississippi Department, in order to control the Red River to the north and occupy east Texas; and to confiscate as many bales of cotton from the plantations along the Red River as possible. The Thirty-Eighth took minor casualties during the failed Red River Campaign and was reassigned to the Army of the Shenandoah. They took part in the Third Battle of Winchester (September 19, 1864), the Battle of Fisher’s Hill (September 20—21, 1864), Battle of Tom’s Brook (October 9, 1864), and the Battle of Cedar Creek (October 19, 1864).

The Thirty-Eighth wintered at Camp Russell near Winchester. When the spring arrived the following year, the unit transferred to Savannah, Georgia, before being assigned to handle and guard the supplies of Sherman’s army in Morehead City, North Carolina. The Thirty-Eighth soon returned to Savannah, where they finally received orders to return to the Twenty-Sixth Massachusetts Regiment. The regiment mustered out on July 13, 1865.


Acton Memorial Library - Civil War Archives. "Thirty-Eighth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Three Years." Acton Memorial Library. (accessed June 16, 2010).

Powers, George Whitefield. The Story of the Thirty Eighth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Dakin and Metcalf, 1866.

Scope and Contents

The Thirty-Eighth Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Mass.) Report, 1862-1865, are composed of guard reports of the regiment concerning men on guard duty, officer of the day, and names of prisoners in the guard house.


Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Index Terms

Subjects (Organizations)
United States. Army. Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, 38th -- Archives.
United States. Army of the Shenandoah.
Baltimore (Md.) -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865.
Winchester (Va.) -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865.
United States -- History -- Civl War, 1861-1865 -- Military life -- Union.
United States -- History -- Civl War, 1861-1865 -- Military personnel -- Union.
United States -- History -- Civl War, 1861-1865 -- Regimental histories -- Massachusetts (Union).

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Thirty-Eigth Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Mass.) Reports, 1862-1865, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.

Detailed Description of the Papers



4L83 Guard house report, August 29, 1862-February 8, 1863
4L84 Guard house report, February 8, 1863-January 5, 1865