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Cornelius Dugan

          Cornelius Dugan was one of the many to fight in one of the bloodiest wars ever, the Civil War.  He lived in Franklin Massachusetts with his family. His father’s name was David Dugan Senior, and his mother was Sarah Newell.  He had a sister named Josie. The grave of Cornelius Dugan can be found at the Beaver Pond Cemetery in his hometown, Franklin. Although, Dugan was not a general of the war and he is not regularly recognized as a hero, he still played an extremely important part in the Civil War. 

            At the start of the war Dugan was a member of the 33rd Massachusetts Regiment. It was organized at Camp Edwin M. Stanton in Lynnfield during June and July of 1862. At first the 33rd Regiment was a twelve-company regiment, and Cornelius Dugan was part of company K.  Alberto C. Maggi was the colonel of the regiment. Maggi led his troops out of Camp Stanton on August 14th and they set off for Washington.  The 33rd regiment arrived in Washington on three days later, on the 17th.  The men in Dugan’s regiment did patrol duty at Alexandria.  On April 1, 1863 a new Colonel was appointed, Colonel Underwood was the one who was now command.  In May the troops went to Chancellorsville and only suffered a small loss.  They then went on to Gettysburg and from July 1st to July 4th and were posted on East Cemetery Hill, but Dugan was not there to join them. Cornelius Dugan was transferred from Regiment 33 to the 3rd Cavalry.

            In the 3rd Massachusetts Cavalry Dugan was under the direction of the Commander, Captain Henry A. Durviage.  He was also taking orders from the Major, Caption Read. Dugan was enlisted in the 3rdCavalry during one of the most important battles of the Civil War, the Battle of Port Hudson. 

            Cornelius Dugan and the rest of the third Massachusetts Cavalry captured the Confederate Flag at the Battle of Port Hudson. The cavalry was doing service in Louisiana at the time.  They went into service because of the consolidation of other Massachusetts Regiments.  Although Dugan was not present for this, the Cavalry sailed from Boston Harbor to Ship Island on the Gulf of Mexico on January 13, 1862.  They eventually made it to Louisiana, which led them to Port Hudson. The 3rd Cavalry was constantly in fights battling with the enemy, confederate troops. Which is why, when they captured the flag at Port Hudson it was such a great feat.

            Port Hudson was an extremely important site. New Orleans had fallen to the Federal troops in April 1862.  This meant that Confederate control of the Mississippi River was in serious jeopardy.  The Confederate troops needed Port Hudson in order to re-gain control of the Mississippi River.  On August 15, 1862 confederate troops went to Port Hudson. The siege of Port Hudson was 48 days long.  It began on May 23, 1863. There were only 30,000 Union Troops present, under the command of Major General Nathaniel P. Banks, while there were 6,800 confederate troops under the command of Major General Franklin Gardner. The Union army launched huge assaults against the 4.5-mile long stretch of earthworks that were protecting Port Hudson. Those assaults were extremely bloody and severe.  It was one of the bloodiest battles throughout the entire Civil War, and Cornelius Dugan was present for it. Because the siege took so long the confederate troops nearly ran out of ammunition and had no food. They had to resort to eating mules, horses, and even rats. Confederate troops finally surrendered, and on July 9, 1863 the Union army was able to enter Port Hudson. 

            The 3rd Massachusetts Cavalry was in front of the Union siege at Port Hudson.  They served as one of the main armies the led to the surrender of the fort. Colonel Chickering was made Provost Marshall of the city that he, Dugan, and his fellow soldiers were able to capture.  After the fall of Port Hudson they did out-post duty and fought the confederate soldiers on count-less occasions.  They even took part in the Red River Expedition where 9 men were killed and 73 were wounded and went missing. They lost 157 horses in addition. The red river happened to be the primary route for the shipment of supplies from Texas to the center of the Confederacy, which was why Union control was so important.

            The third Massachusetts cavalry also served at Jackson, Pleasant Jill, Yellow Bayou, Fisher’s Hill, and Cedar Creek.  In addition to being present at all those battles they served many more duties.  They traveled all over the United States to fight in battles and help out other Union Soldiers.  Because of these soldiers the Union was preserved.  Also the horrible practice was slavery was finally abolished.  The third Massachusetts Cavalry lost 5 officers during various services.  There were 101 enlisted men that were killed fulfilling duties to their countries.  Many men were mortally wounded.  2 officers and 180 enlisted men died because of diseases. The death total hit 288.

            Cornelius Dugan served his country well.  He served under company K of Regiment 33.  He also served under the 3rd Massachusetts Cavalry. The Siege of Port Hudson proved to be a crucial part of the Civil War.  It also turned out to be one of the bloodiest battles.  His family back in Franklin was very proud of him, and he should be celebrated as a hero. He served in many important battles and did his duty for the United States, without his bravery the world would not be as it is today.

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