Superior Id’d Union Officer’s McDowell Cap
Superior Id’d Union Officer’s McDowell Cap – Worn by Orin Head, 1st Lieutenant of Adjutant of the 8th New Hampshire Infantry; Lt. Head’s name is on the inside of the crown. The cap retains its original regimental insignia affixed to the front of the cap. The deep, blue color of the English broadcloth wool body of the cap is excellent, as is the condition of both the brim and chinstrap; the latter is held in place by two New Hampshire staff, cuff buttons. The lining, a quilted black satinette, is in very good condition, exhibiting some minor separations. The sweatband is in fine condition and firmly attached to the interior. In place on the interior of the crown is an old, typed label that states: “Head / Hocksett, NH”.
Orin M. Head
|Residence Exeter NH; 26 years old. Enlisted on 5/27/1861 as a Private. On 7/2/1861 he mustered into “B” Co. NH 2nd Infantry He was discharged for promotion on 10/14/1861 On 12/29/1861 he was commissioned into Field & Staff NH 8th Infantry He was discharged on 3/19/1864 Promotions: * 1st Lieut 10/14/1861 (1st Lieut & Adjutant as of 8th NH Infantry) Other Information: born in Exeter, NH died 2/16/1908 (Invalid filed 1-26-1891 # 983800; widow filed # 885664) After the War he lived in Allegheny, PA|
8th NH Infantry
( 3-years )
|Organized: Manchester, NH on 12/1/61
Mustered Out: 10/28/65 at Vicksburg, MSOfficers Killed or Mortally Wounded: 8
Officers Died of Disease, Accidents, etc.: 2
Enlisted Men Killed or Mortally Wounded: 94
Enlisted Men Died of Disease, Accidents, etc.: 256
(Source: Fox, Regimental Losses)
|Mar ’62||May ’62||1||Butler’s NO Exped||Army and Dept of the Gulf||New Organization|
|May ’62||Oct ’62||Camp Parapet||Army and Dept of the Gulf|
|Oct ’62||Jan ’63||Indpt Commands||Army and Dept of the Gulf|
|Jan ’63||Aug ’63||1||3||Army and Dept of the Gulf|
|Aug ’63||Jan ’64||2||3||19||Army and Dept of the Gulf|
|Dec ’63||Jul ’64||4||Cavalry||Army and Dept of the Gulf||Mounted Inf|
|Sep ’64||Dec ’64||Post Natchez||District of Vicksburg||Department of the Tennessee|
|Jan ’65||Oct ’65||Post Natchez||District of Vicksburg||Department of the Tennessee|
NEW HAMPSHIRE V0LUNTEER INFANTRY
|(Known as First New Hampshire Cavalry, December 16, 1863, to February 29, 1864, and as Second New Hampshire Cavalry, March 1 to July 25, 1864.) By JOHN M. STANYAN, late Captain Eighth Regiment New Hampshire Volunteer infantry, and Historian of the Regiment. ENLISTMENTS for the Eighth Regiment began early in the month of September, 1861.The first company went into “Camp Currier” at Manchester, N. H., on October 12, and on the 9th of December the regiment was full. On January 25, 1862, it was transferred from “Camp Currier” to Fort Independence, in Boston Harbor. On February I6 six companies under the command of Col. Hawkes Fearing, embarked on the ship ” E. Wilder Farley,” destined on the “Butler Expedition” to reach Ship Island in Mississippi Sound. On the 18th day of February the four remaining companies, Lieut. Col. O.W. Lull commanding, left for the same destination on the ship “Eliza and Ella.” On March 18, 1862, the first named arrived at Ship Island; and on March 29, after a very stormy and uncomfortable passage, the “Eliza and Ella” anchored at the rendezvous, and the regiment pitched its camp at about two miles from the landing, and the nearest of any to a passable drill area on a sandy patch. On April 9, 1862, the regiment was in line with fourteen thousand troops passing in review before Maj. Gen. B. F. Butler, commanding. On April 25 General Butler, having arrived in New Orleans, ordered through Brigadier-General Shepley, Lieutenant-Colonel Lull with two hundred and fifty men take possession of Forts Pike, Wood, and Macomb. On May 4 the above orders were carried out, Companies A, F, and K being chosen for that purpose. On May 21 the right wing pitched its tents at “Camp Parapet,” just above Carrollton; and on July 6, the last company, F, coming in, the regiment was again together. On September 19, 1862, Companies A, B, G, and K, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Lull, went up to Pass Manchac, and drove in the enemy’s pickets. On October 11 another expedition,: to the Pass was executed by the same officer, with Companies G and H. They surprised the enemy and captured seven rebels. On October 15, at “Camp Kearney,” Carrollton, the regiment formed a part of General Weitzel’s brigade, which included the Seventy-fifth New York, First Louisiana, and the Twelfth and Thirteenth Connecticut regiments, the Sixth Massachusetts and First Maine batteries, Perkins, company of Massachusetts Cavalry, and Barrett’s, Godfrey’s, and Williamson’s companies of Louisiana Cavalry. On October 24 the brigade sailed for Donaldsonville, landed, and on the 26th followed the Bayou Lafourche in a westerly direction, the Eighth and Perkins’s cavalry being transferred to the right bank. At Georgia Landing, or Labadieville, the enemy were in ambush, but were driven. A general engagement ensued which resulted in a Union victory, seventeen of the enemy being killed, including their colonel, McPheeters, a large number wounded, and one hundred and seventy prisoners being taken. Our regimental loss was, twelve killed, thirty-two wounded, and one missing. Among the killed were two of the best of our line officers, Captains Warren and Kelliher. The brigade pushed on to Thibodeau. There, by the appointment of General Butler, Lieut. Col. O. W. Lull held court as provost judge, Company B detailed as provost guard. On December 30 the brigade was broken up. Company B remained at Thibodeaux, and the remainder of the regiment marched to Baton Rouge, and1 camped opposite on the west side of the river. The destruction of the rebel armed steamer “Cotton” occurred in the first part of January, and Lieutenant-Colonel Lull in that affair acted as chief-of-staff to General Weitzel. On January 23, 1863, the regiment moved to the east side and quartered in tents on the Bluff, comprising, with the Fourth Wisconsin, the One Hundred and Thirty-third and One Hundred and Seventy-third New York regiments, and Nims’s battery, the second brigade of Emory’s division, and commanded by Acting Brig. Gen. Halbert E. Paine. At this time Lieutenant-Colonel Lull, with Company B, returned from Thibodeaux and rejoined the regiment. On February 7, at 3 A. M., the brigade, with the regular battery under Lieutenant Norris (in place of Nims), under command of General Paine, started for Indian Village on Bayou Plaquemine. It was intended to rout a force of Confederates supposed to be on an island at the junction of the bayous Plaquemine and Grossetete, but by orders from General Emory the exploration of the country was left to Colonel Currie, and General Paine with the Eighth and his own regiment, the Fourth Wisconsin, returned to Plaquemine and embarked for Algiers, where the force remained in camp until March 5, when the two regiments went up the river, and on the 10th the brigade was reunited at Baton Rouge. On March 13, under orders, the brigade started towards Port Hudson, at the head of Emory’s division. At 11 P. M. bivouacked. At 2 A. M. on the 14th advanced again. At 11 A. M. reached the twelve-mile post from Baton Rouge. The fleet having passed Port Hudson, General Banks ordered a return, saying that the “object of the expedition had been accomplished.” On the 20th returned to Baton Rouge, and had daily brigade drills on the race course, 28th, it moved to “Camp Indiana,” beyond the cemetery. On April 3 the Second Brigade, under General Paine went to Algiers, kept up the daily brigade drills until the 7th, and then started for Brashear City en route of first Red River expedition. It was found that the enemy were well fortified at Bisland near Centreville. During this and the following day the Eighth was in the front line of attack, and at the final advance on the 14th the General planted the flag of the Eighth on the crest of the enemy’s works. At Opelousas on April 20 Company G was ordered to become mounted infantry. On May 8 the regiment reached Alexandria and camped on the Red river below the city. On the 15th the Third Division, which included our Second Brigade, marched under the command of General Paine in the direction of Port Hudson, and on the 23d took position on the right of the line of investment at the Big Sandy, over which we advanced on the 25th. In the assault on the 27th the regiment ran over all opposition and was soon in the first line of attack, driving all of the enemy not killed or taken prisoners within the lines of their fortifications; but this was not accomplished without the serious loss of one hundred and twenty-four killed and wounded out of the regimental attacking force of two hundred and ninety-eight. Here, also, we lost the energetic and brave Lieutenant-Colonel Lull, who was leading the regiment. An assaulting column of about three thousand men was prepared to advance on the works on June 14. As the special order No. 130 read, “the advanced skirmishers should be of the best troops, they and the storming party might each be a well-tried regiment.” Gen. Halbert E. Paine commanded this force, and the Eighth New Hampshire and the Fourth Wisconsin were in the advance as skirmishers. The attack was a success, and if the following column had dashed forward Port Hudson would have surrendered at that date; but the enemy finally became discouraged at the constant and persistent attrition and yielded on July 8, at which time the volunteer storming column, their services happily not called for, marched at the head of the forces, and our own Eighth in second place in recognition of its work at the siege, and it was further complimented by having its camp ground within Port Hudson directly under the Stars and Stripes waving from the flagstaff of the Post. The regimental loss at this assault was one hundred and thirty killed, wounded, and missing, out of two hundred and seventeen that advanced. Following the siege of Port Hudson came the inglorious attempted attack upon Sabine Pass. Our regiment left Baton Rouge on September 3, 1863, and sailed down within sight of the earthworks at the mouth of the Sabine river. After much privation and suffering they got back to Algiers on September 12. The Second Brigade was now formed under Brig. Gen. James W. McMillan. It consisted of the Fourteenth Maine, Twenty- sixth Massachusetts, Eighth New Hampshire, and the One Hundred and Thirty-third New York. The second Red River expedition now was inaugurated, and on October 3 the regiment left Bisland and marched slowly to the northward. Opelousas was reached on October 24, and on October 27 the first anniversary of the battle of Georgia Landing was celebrated at Vermillion bayou. New Iberia was reached on November 12, and on December 12 a parcel of three hundred recruits was brought to the regiment. On December 21 General McMillan issued an order, detaching the Eighth from his brigade in order that it be changed into cavalry. Horses and saddles had been drawn on the 13th, and on January 1, at Franklin, talk of re-enlistment had begun. On the 6th the regiment was ordered to New Orleans through “snow two inches deep.” On the 6th at Brashear City, on the 10th at Algiers, and on the 13th at Steam Cotton Press in New Orleans. February 19 General Order No. 25 was issued directing that the names of battles “Georgia Landing”,” Bisland,” and “Port Hudson” be inscribed upon the regimental colors. For the space of two months the regiment was drilled in cavalry tactics for eight hours a day. The men were armed with satires, Sharpe’s breech-loading carbines and Remington revolvers. The remainder of the brigade was now made up of the Third and Sixth Massachusetts, the Third Maryland, and First Texas Cavalry, Col. N. A. M. Dudley, of the Sixth Massachusetts,commanding. On March 2, 1864, at 4 P. M. the regiment crossed the river, and on the 6th reached Labadieville, passed through Thibodeaux on the 7th, Tigerville on the 8th, and reached Brashear City on the 9th, there remaining until the 13th. On that date the advance force of cavalry under Gen. A. L. Lee left Franklin, and the Second New Hampshire Cavalry with it, arrived at Alexandria on the 19th. It then advanced to Bayou Rapides, where, still skirmishing lightly with the enemy daily, the regiment remained until the 26th. It then marched to Henderson’s Hill, on the 29th moved to Cane river, and on the 30th entered the town of Natchitoches, still driving the Confederates. On April 2 it made a reconnoissance to Crump’s Hill, returning at night; and on the 3d and 4th advancing towards Pleasant Hill. At this date General Lee was ordered to report to Brigadier-General Franklin until further orders, and the cavalry to advance towards Shreveport. General Franklin refused “to support Lee with a brigade of infantry,” and on the 7th the Second New Hampshire Cavalry reached Wilson’s Farm, where a sharp engagement ensued, resulting in its holding the ground. On Tuesday morning, April 8, the regiment was in “poor condition for work but full of courage,” and joined the brigade as it came up, advancing towards Mansfield (Sabine Cross Roads). It was soon ordered out upon the right flank to protect the advance; Company D, being sent out upon a road parallel to, and distant from the Manstield road, two miles, struck a superior force of the enemy about noon. The main body of the Second New Hampshire Cavalry attacked the Confederate infantry at just 12 M. and found it in strong force at the Cross Roads, and were repulsed with loss. They retreated a short distance and then, with a fresh supply of ammunition, held the front line of skirmishing for over two hours, being then relieved and ordered to support the batteries. The thin line of infantry gave way under a heavy rebel charge at 4 P. M., and the retreat commenced. The Second New Hampshire Cavalry slowly falling back, and only finding shelter at night four miles at the rear–behind the immovable wall of the Nineteenth Army Corps under General Emory. Still retreating, the Second Cavalry reached Pleasant Hill, fifteen miles away, on the 9th at 4 A. M., and without rest, started as guard of a train for Grand Ecore, distant twenty-six miles, which place was reached on Sunday morning, April 10. On the 18th General Lee was relieved of his command, also Colonel Dudley, General Arnold and Colonel Davis assuming their places. The duty of the regiment was on picket each day. On the I8th Lieutenant-Colonel Flanders returned from the North and took command. April 21, broke camp and started in the direction of Alexandria. On the 23d occurred the fight at Cane River. The Second New Hampshire Cavalry protected the column, fell back and repulsed the enemy at Monett’s Bluff; and at noon on the 24th, occupied Henderson’s Hill, and went on picket line, repulsed attacks, and at 4 P. M. joined the brigade on the retreat as rear guard. This was continued without intermission until April 29, when they reached the suburbs of Alexandria. Instantly, without rest, the Second New Hampshire Cavalry was ordered to march on scout across the Red river, proceeded in that direction twenty-four miles, and had a brush with a large force of rebels, estimated at two thousand, under the command of General Liddell. It was not until Sunday, May 8, that the regiment had even a partial rest, and General Arnold officially protested against such arduous service. On May 9th left Alexandria and relieved Colonel Lucas’s brigade on the Opelousas road. On the 13th continued the retreat. The Second New Hampshire Cavalry, being the rear guard, was constantly exposed to attack, as at Wilson’s Landing, where Lieutenant Cobbs was murdered. Sunday, the 15th, Lieutenant-Colonel Flanders went on board a river boat, and Captain Healey assumed command. Night and day it was continual skirmishing, hard fighting, and repulsion of the enemy, on through Marksville, Moreauville, at Bayou de Glaize, and Yellow Bayou, to the Atchafalaya river, which was reached on May 18. On the morning of the 19th the regiment crossed that river on “the bridge of boats,” and arrived at Morganzia on May 22. On the 24th the regiment was assigned for duty as cavalry in the Nineteenth Army Corps, Col. E. J. Davis, First Texas Cavalry, commanding. It was employed in scouting on the Atchafalaya and Mississippi rivers. On June 10, in obedience to orders, the horses were turned over to the proper authorities, preparatory to going on the promised veteran furlough. On the 14th all the troops were reviewed by Maj. Gen. D. E. Sickles; and on the 15th, by order of the Department Commander, the regiment turned over all arms and equipments, and started on the 16th for New Orleans, which city it left on July 11, arriving in Concord, N. H., on the 23d. On the 25th official orders were issued, returning it to infantry organization. On August 29 it started on its return trip to Louisiana, arriving at “Camp Parapet” on September 6, but soon left for Natchez, Miss, where during the fall it did garrison and picket duty. This sketch would be incomplete if it failed to record the enforced absence of fifty-five members of the old Second New Hampshire Cavalry, who were captured in the Red River campaign, and spent six months in the rebel prison at “Camp Ford,” Tyler, Texas. Twenty-five were captured on April 8, 1864, at Sabine Cross Roads, and thirty more were added to their number during that campaign. They were exchanged on October 23, and rejoined the regiment at Natchez, Miss., on November I3, 1864. From there expeditions went out occasionally, capturing stores and stock, and the enemy were scarcely ever encountered. The term of service of the regiment expired on December 23, and shortly after the non-veterans and a majority of the officers were ordered home to be mustered out of the service. This occurred early in January, 1865, and the regimental organization of the Eighth New Hampshire ceased to exist. On January 1, 1865, by Special Orders, No. 20, the veterans and recruits of the Eighth remaining in the service, numbering three hundred and sixteen, were organized under the direction of Brigadier-General Brayman, into three companies, and designated as the Veteran Battalion, Eighth New Hampshire Volunteers, and Captain Landers assumed command by virtue of seniority of rank. On the gth of January they crossed the river to Vidalia and went into garrison. The nearest post of the enemy was twenty-five miles distant, and the ground between was swept by both parties. On March 6 the battalion was ordered back to Natchez to do provost duty, with headquarters at the Court House. The news of the capture of Richmond and the surrender of Lee was received with glad enthusiasm, and a triumphal procession occurred; but the exultation was of short duration, for soon came-the news of the assassination of the president; and a sad column passed through the streets following the roll of the muffled drums, while the great guns of the fort struck the half-hours during the day. On October I7, 1865, Special Order No. 6 was issued. Extract: “The Eighth New Hampshire Veteran Battalion will be put en route for Vicksburg preparatory to its muster out.” Accordingly on October 29, the muster rolls having been signed, the battalion under the command of Capt. D. W. King embarked for Cairo. There the remnant of the Eighth took the cars for home; and at 10 P. M. on Tuesday, November 7, reached Concord, N. H., where the veterans were received by Adjutant-General Head, and Governor Smyth welcomed them to the hospitalities of the Old Granite State. At “Camp Gilmore” on November 9 the battalion was paid off and discharged. This closes a brief account of the campaigns of a regiment that passed almost the whole of its term of service in an extreme southern state, its record of time being from its muster in to its final discharge, three years, ten months, and nineteen days. The Eighth New Hampshire Volunteers was at Ship Island, Miss., attached to First Brigade, Department of the Gulf, March 18 to May, 1862: at “Camp Parapet,” near Carrollton, La., in Department of the Gulf, May to October, 1862; attached to Reserve Brigade, Department of the Gulf; October, 1862; Second Brigade, Third Division, Department of the Gulf, January 13, 1863; Second Brigade, Third Division, Nineteenth Army Corps, August 29, 1863; Fourth Brigade, Cavalry Division, Department of the Gulf, January, 1864; on veteran furlough, July, 1864 (the men who did not re-enlist, and recruits remaining at Carrollton, La.); at Natchez, Miss., in District of Vicksburg, September to December, 1864. The Veteran Battalion, Eighth New Hampshire Volunteers, was at Natchez, Miss., January 1 to October 28, 1865. E N G A G E M E N T S . Labadieville (or Georgia Landing), La. Oct. 27, 1862 Bayou Teche, La., (Co. B) Jan. 14, 1863 Port Hudson, La. Mar. 14, 1863 Bisland, La. April 12-14, 1863 Siege of Port Hudson, La. May 23 to July 9, 1863 Sabine Pass, La. Sept. 8, 1863 Henderson’s Hill (or Bayou Rapides), La. Mar. 21, 1864 Natchitoches, La Mar. 31, 1864 Crump’s Hill ( or Piney Woods ), La. April 2, 1864 Wilson’s Farm, La. April 7, 1864 Sabine Cross Roads, La. April 8, 1864 Monett’s Bluff (or Monett’s Ferry ), La. April 23, 1864 Cane River, La. April 24, 1864 Near Alexandria, La. April 25, 1864 Alexandria, La. April 26, 1864 Near Alexandria, La. April 27 to May 7, 1864 Snaggy Point (or Pineville), La. May 1, 1864 Govenor Moore’s Plantation, La. May 2, 1864 Moreauville (or Mansura, or Marksville), La. May 14-16, 1864 Bayou de Glaize, La May 17, 1864 Yellow Bayou, La May 18, 1864|
The 8th New Hampshire Infantry at Port Hudson
In May of 1863, as Major General Ulysses S. Grant’s army was advancing on Vicksburg, Mississippi, another Federal force was surrounding the only other Confederate stronghold left on the Mississippi River at Port Hudson, Louisiana, about 110 miles to the south. Major General Nathanial Banks’ 19th Corps with over 30,000 troops, faced roughly 7,000 Confederates under Major General Franklin Gardner in the well fortified garrison. Banks planned on capturing Port Hudson quickly and then marching north to assist Grant at Vicksburg. But Nathanial Banks was no Ulysses Grant, and the fighting at Port Hudson would last longer and cost more lives than the 19th Corps commander anticipated.
One of the 19th Corps regiments that bore the brunt of the fighting was the 8th New Hampshire Infantry, under the command of Colonel Hawkes Fearing, Jr. The 8th New Hampshire was one of four regiments in the Second Brigade of the Corps’ Third Division. The regiment had been in Louisiana for over a year, had seen action and taken casualties, but not on the scale they would experience at Port Hudson.
Port Hudson Assault of May 27th
With his forces assembled at Port Hudson, Banks decided to take the garrison by storm on May 27th. Colonel Fearing had been given command of the Second Brigade, and Lieutenant
Colonel Oliver Lull would lead the 8th New Hampshire in the assault. “Boys, eat your suppers, say your prayers, sleep well, and in the morning we will attack Port Hudson” Lull told his men on the night of the 26th. “Some of us will be sure to fall, but you know that all good soldiers go to heaven”. In the morning, Lull penned a note to his family. “This morning we storm Port Hudson, many of us will never see another day; if I am one, I shall have done my duty. Good bye, God bless you, dear father, mother, all.”
At daylight on the 27th, the 8th New Hampshire formed in line of battle. Fearing had placed two of his regiments in line in front of the 8th New Hampshire and 4th Wisconsin. The lead regiments were ordered to charge, but Rebel fire soon stopped their assault and broke up the line. Fearing then ordered his second line forward.
Lull positioned himself about 12 paces in front of the regimental color guard, waved his sword and ordered the 8th New Hampshire forward. Almost immediately, he was shot in the thigh and carried from the field. “Don’t let the regiment break; we can whip them” he yelled as he was being carried from the field. The wound was fatal and Lull died that evening.
The 8th New Hampshire and 4th Wisconsin drove a Confederate skirmish line back to the garrison’s fortifications. Some of the attackers reached the ditch in front of the works, but no support came up, and Fearing’s men were forced to withdraw. Some found cover and fired at any exposed Confederates they saw until they could make it back to Union lines.
The Confederate defenders held against the Union piecemeal attack and the assault of May 27th failed. The 8th New Hampshire had 124 killed and wounded out of 298 engaged. Total Federal casualties were just under 2,000.
Banks began siege operations, but drew up plans for another attempt to take Port Hudson by storm. In mid June, he was ready.
Port Hudson Assault of June 14th
The 19th Corps’ Third Division was selected to lead the attack of June 14th. The division commander, Brigadier General Halbert E. Paine, would personally lead the assault column with the 8th New Hampshire (with Captain William M. Barrett now in command) and 4th Wisconsin deployed in front as skirmishers. The ground they were to advance across offered little cover. On the evening of the 13th, the 8th New Hampshire’s regimental chaplain wrote in his diary that he “had prayers in my tent this evening by request of many who do not usually come.”
Early in the morning of the 14th after a huge artillery bombardment, Paine led his men forward. When they had advanced to within a hundred yards of the Confederate defensive positions, the Rebels opened fire. The skirmishers reached the enemy works and some climbed the parapet only to be shot off the wall or captured. The rest were driven back. Heavy Confederate fire prevented the rest of the column from mounting any kind of meaningful attack. Paine himself was wounded “and when we lost Gen. Paine, we lost the battle” wrote the 8th New Hampshire’s Lieutenant D.W. King.
The June 14th attack failed at all points along the front. At a cost of 203 men killed, 1401 wounded and 188 missing, the Federals had gained nothing, while inflicting just 47 total casualties–22 killed, 25 wounded–on the Rebel defenders.
The Federal wounded and dead lay between the lines in the hot Louisiana sun for three days, and the stench from decomposing bodies became so overwhelming that the Confederates agreed to return the bodies to the Federals if Banks would call a truce, which he finally agreed to do. The Rebels returned over 100 dead bodies that had decayed to the point where most were unrecognizable. “I saw 114 dead soldiers buried in one long grave” the regimental chaplain wrote in his diary adding “I cannot get the scenes out of my mind”. Incredibly, there was one surviving wounded man who was returned to the Federals. Corporal Charles Conant of the 8th New Hampshire’s Company F had managed to stay alive. Conant had been shot through both legs, his wounds were full of maggots, and his face was black and swollen, but he made it through the ordeal and was the only one to make it out alive. He survived his wounds and the war.
The 8th New Hampshire went into action on the 14th with 217 officers and men, and had 122 total casualties. “Only ninety-seven men and two officers report for service, and some of those are wounded” wrote Lieutenant King on June 19th.
Banks returned to siege operations, but planned on yet another assault, despite the failures of the first two. This time he called for 1000 volunteers, with promises of promotions, medals, and other honors for those who volunteered. The 8th New Hampshire had had enough of frontal assaults against entrenched positions, and only three volunteered for what was being referred to as Banks’ Forlorn Hope.
There was no third assault. On July 4th, Confederate forces at Vicksburg surrendered to Grant, who would be free to send reinforcements to Port Hudson. With his men short of everything and no relief in sight, Gardner felt he had done all he could do and surrendered on July 9th.
The fighting at Port Hudson from May 23rd until the Confederate surrender had cost the 19th Corps nearly 4400 total casualties. The 8th New Hampshire suffered a total of 258 total casualties, the most of any Union regiment engaged, with 30 killed, 198 wounded, and 30 missing or captured for a total of 258.