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John Wales

Researcher: Jack Flynn

            One of many unsung heroes in the American Civil War was Massachusetts native John D. Wales, born on February 28, 1834. During the war John was involved in a part of what the Union called the Anaconda Plan. John participated in the divide and conquer part of the Anaconda Plan. John D. Wales was part of the 42nd regiment; company B out of the state of Massachusetts. John D. Wales spent most of his time down south and on the Mississippi River. John D. Wales and the 42nd Massachusetts fought many long tiring battles along the Mississippi River. John D. Wales also had a large family and two other brothers that served in the Union Army too. Throughout the Civil War John D. Wales and his two brothers contributed immensely to the Union Army.

            John D. Wales had a large family and some of them also contributed to the war fighting for the Union. John was born into the Wales family by his two parents Otis and Jerusiah Wales. John was part of a family of six kids. John Wales was the third of six. The other kids in the family were Owen, Mary, Abigail, Jonathan, and Julie Ann. John was not the only one in his family who served for the Union. His two brothers, Owen and Jonathan served with him. Before the War John married on February 14th, 1856 to Adelaide B. Whiting, she was twenty years old. During this time John was a carpenter in his home town. That was the personal life of John D. Wales before he volunteered to serve his country.

John D. Wales served a long and honorable military career for the Union Army throughout the civil war. During the Civil War John fought in the western theater down south. He was first organized at Reedville on July 22, 1862; he was called in as a private and asked to serve a one year term. John Wales was deployed down south to Bayou twelve miles northeast of New Orleans, right next to Lake Ponchartrain. Wales was under command of Lieutenant Colonel Stedman while in the New Orleans area. After running guard duty near New Orleans Wales and some of the 42nd Massachusetts were moved to Port Hudson. After winning at New Orleans the Union had one more city to defeat before taking complete control of the Mississippi River and it was Port Hudson. At Port Hudson John Wales was involved with the siege of Port Hudson. The siege of Port Hudson took place on May 23, 1863. Wales was under command of Major General Nathaniel P. Banks along with 30,000 other Union troops. This was the first use of siege warfare the Union has ever used and they did it very effectively. Siege warfare is when the Union just continually bombarded Port Hudson with artillery non-stop. The siege went on for 48 days and worked very successfully. John Wales and the other 30,000 men at Hudson forced the Confederacy to surrender Port Hudson. When John Wales and others took the city, it was the completion of the divide and conquer part of the Anaconda Plan. This was extremely significant to the Union because it took a lot of the heart out of the Confederacy and proved to the Union that the Anaconda Plan is working and it is all coming together. After the battle of Port Hudson, John D. Wales and others were mustered out on August 20, 1863. That concludes the very notable military service records of John D. Wales.

          Before and during the war, John D. Wales was a very productive individual. Before the Civil War John helped support a family and then went off to fight for what he believed was right, which was a united country. John Wales, a married man with a steady job volunteers for the army and fights in the western theater, this is the kind of man that should be honored and praised. John Wales risked everything for the good of his country and did so with a lot of pride.   

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