Profile of Captain John G. Mudge

John G. Mudge

Capt. Mudge's CDVReverse side



Photos of Captain Mudge's Presentation Sword and Watch, engraved with his name and regiment, courtesy of the owner, Ken Fox.

The following recollection of the June 14, 1863 assault on Port Hudson is taken from "Stories of Our Soldiers" by Civil War correspondent 'Carleton' for the Boston Journal issues of November 1892 to February 1893.



Capt. John Green Mudge was born in Winchester, N. H., March 26, 1823. He removed to Petersham, Mass., at the age of 25.

In 1862 he raised a company of volunteers in Petersham and adjoining towns, receiving a commission as Captain of Company F, Fifty-third Regiment, M. V. M. He enlisted for nine months, leaving Camp Stevens, Groton, Nov. 29, 1862, and was ordered to Louisiana with his regiment to serve in the Department of the Gulf under command of Gen. Banks. He was at the capture of Fort Bisland April 13, 1863. The Fifty-third, joining the besieging forces before Port Hudson, Capt. Mudge was engaged with his company during the siege, and, until the surrender July 9, in several skirmishes and assaults. During one of the most disastrous of these assaults, which occurred June 14, Capt. Mudge was wounded by a minie ball, losing the lower portion of the left ear.

In a letter written in the woods near Port Hudson, he tells of this ill-fated attempt upon the enemy's works as follows:

On the morning of the 14th, a bright , beautiful Sunday morn, our leaders selected for an assault upon a portion of the works the Eighth New Hampshire and Fourth Wisconsin, who were to go forward as skirmishers, two companies of the Fourth Massachusetts and two of the One Hundred and Tenth New York, with hand grenades to throw over the parapet; then the Thirty-eighth Massachusetts as first line skirmishers, and the Fifty-third Massachusetts as second line, to support and balance the brigade, to storm in column and also to be followed by the First and Second Brigades of Gen. Paine's Division. At the command, forward, we all dashed off at daylight, rushing on until within two or three rods of the works into a ravine upon the top edge and fired upon the enemy whenever they put their heads over the parapet.

We lay there a few moments when Gen. Paine came forward, and in a loud, clear voice ordered the Thirty-eighth and Fifty-third Massachusetts to charge over the parapet into the enemy's works.

Company F rose up manfully and with heroic bravery charged up the parapet until nearly every man who reached the brow of the hill was either killed or wounded.

Col. Kimball, who stood in the bottom of the ravine, seeing us fall back ordered me again to charge. I replied that I had not a man left standing to make a charge.

He was satisfied that we had done all that could be required of us!

Oh, what a sad sight! And a painful time I had in dragging out the wounded of my brave company. Never can I think of that sad scene and be happy.

Out of 34 men who followed me into battle 22 were killed, wounded and missing. [The actual breakdown was: 5 killed; 15 wounded; 2 missing, who were captured and then released several days later. WGB]

Capt. Mudge was mustered out of service Sept. 2, 1863, and died in Boston March 22, 1891. He joined the Samuel G. Wood G. A. R. Post of Barre, Mass. a few years before his death.



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Created 1/1/1999, updated 5/13/2000

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