2nd. Michigan Volunteer Infantry, "E" Company 1861-1865
The Second Michigan Volunteer Infantry was recruited and enlisted for Federal duty under the first proclamation of President Lincoln on April 13, 1861, calling for 75,000 volunteers of the organized militia of the States to serve three months service. From the following militia companies, the Regiment was formed and accepted into Federal service as a three month Regiment. Whereupon the companies rendezvoused under that order; but, under subsequent instruction from the war department it was re-organized and re-enlisted as a three year Regiment, allowing those who so desired to withdraw from Federal service. The members of the companies who remained were recognized as in the service of the State until mustered into the service of the United States. The militia accepted into Federal service were the "Detroit Scott Guard", the "Adrian Guard", the "Hudson Artillery" (as Infantry), the "Flint Union Guard", the "Battle Creek Artillery" (as Infantry), the "Constantine Union Guard", the "East Saginaw Guard", the "Kalamazoo Light Guard", the "Kalamazoo No. 2" and the "Niles Company". With the exception of the "Kalamazoo No. 2" and the "Niles Company", the Regiment was made up of these uniformed companies and ordered to wait at their home locations in organized units until needed.
The companies assigned to the Regiment had been anxiously waiting at their respective locations for acceptance into service and on receipt of the order on the 25th. of April to rendezvous at Detroit, with remarkable promptness immediately commenced their movement, all being in camp by the 27th., much to the surprise of the Colonel who had expected that many days would elapse before they would reach camp, as a consequence of which, the quarters they reported to were not prepared for their reception.
While in the process of organization the Regiment was ordered to Fort Wayne, near Detroit, where its recruitment was completed, being mustered into Federal service on May 25, 1861, with 1013 officers and men on its rolls, making them the first of the three year Regiments to be raised in the State. The Regiment moved from Fort Wayne on June 06th., for the field in Virginia, arriving in Washington D.C. on June the 10th., a few day's later took up quarters at camp Winfield Scott on Washington Heights near the "Chain Bridge".
The Ladies of Niles gave a National Colors of silk to Company E before it left that city to join the Regiment in Detroit, which afterwards became the Regimental Colors. The flag was carried by the Regiment through all of its hard fought battles up to and including Fredricksburg, when it had became so tattered by wear and by some 40 bullet holes, that it was deemed unserviceable and was transferred back to the ladies who treasured it highly. It possesses a gallant record, having come out gloriously from every engagement it was in, while eleven of its upholders or defenders were either killed or wounded.
The Regiments first engagement was at Blackburn's Ford on July 18, 1861, with a small loss in wounded, serving in General Tyler's Division, Colonel Richardson being in command of the Brigade and Lt. Colonel Chipman having been appointed a Captain in the regular army, the command of the Regiment devolved upon Major Williams.
The Regiment, although not actually engaged at Bull Run, had the dubious honor, together with the Third Michigan, of covering the retreat of the Union troops from that disastrous field. During the winter the Regiment lay near Alexandria. In March, under the command of Colonel Orlando M. Poe, Lieutenant of the U.S. Engineer Corp, who had been commissioned a Colonel September 16, 1861, they entered on the Peninsular Campaign of 1862 under the command of, General McClellan, serving Berry's Brigade, Kearny's Division, Heintzelman's Corp, being the Third Brigade, Third Division, Third Corp, taking part in the Siege of Yorktown, participating in the following engagements, Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, Richmond, White Oak Swamp, Charles City Cross Roads, and Malvern Hill. Its casualties at Williamsburg were 17 killed, 38 wounded and 5 missing, at Fair Oaks, 10 killed and 47 wounded, in the actions around Richmond, 2 were killed with 19 wounded. At Williamsburg the Regiment was under the immediate command of Colonel Poe, with Lieutenant Colonel Williams commanding on the right, Major Dillman on the left.
At Fair Oaks, the Second, still under the command of Colonel Poe, is conspicuously marked for bravery. After Fair Oaks, Major Dillman assumed command, Colonel Poe and Lieutant Colonel Williams being on leave of absence. The Regiment remained at Harrison's Landing until August 15th, when, in command of Colonel Poe, it took up the march via Charles City in the direction of Williamsburg, reaching there on the 18th. On the 19th marched to Yorktown, the next day embarking on a steamer for Alexandria,reaching there on the 21st, on the 23rd taking a train for Warrenton Junction, from whence it marched to Manassas, arriving there on the 28th at noon. At 3 p.m. left for Centerville, where at Blackburn's Ford met and engaged the Confederate cavalry, repulsing them, reaching Centerville at 6 p.m. On the 29th the egiment, in command of Lieutenant Colonel Dillman, Colonel Poe being in command of the Brigade, continued the march, crossed Bull Run moving to the front, deployed as skirmishers, and on re-crossing Bull Run soon discovered the Confederates in force, where he opened a heavy fire with shell and shrapnel from a number of batteries. Soon the Regiment was withdrawn across the stream under a heavy fire from the batteries. On the 30th, again deployed as skirmishers, moving down the stream by the right flank, re-crossing, it withdrew from the field, being engaged in protecting the flank and rear of the Brigade from the numerous assaults of the Confederate cavalry, and although several furious charges were made, they were gallantly repulsed, then the march resumed, reaching Centerville about 11 p.m.
On Sept. 1st, the Regiment with it's Brigade, broke camp at Centerville, marching in the direction of Fairfax Court House, when about three miles out, they met the Confederate's at Chantilly. At 4 p.m., a severe and bloody engagement took place, continuing till dark, which put an end to the contest, the Regiment remaining on picket duty on the battlefield until 3 p.m., then taking up the line of march for Fairfax, arriving there at sunrise. During the remainder of the month the Regiment made several short marches, finally reaching Fort Ward, where it encamped until the 25th, then marched to Upton's Hill, when in October the Third Corp, in which the Regiment was serving, made a reconnaissance up the Potomac River as far as Edward's Ferry, Md.
On October 11th the Regiment with its Brigade, broke camp, marching in the direction of the Chain Bridge, crossing it, continued the march via Tannytown, Rockville and Darnstown, there bivouacked for the night, resuming the march the next morning, then during the forenoon formed line of battle to meet Stuart's Cavalry. They then proceeded to Edward's Ferry, reaching there at 7 p.m., encamping for the night. Here it remained on picket duty along the canal until the 28th., when the march was again resumed to White's Ford, via Poolsville, then crossed into Virginia, Marching in the direction of Leesburg, arriving there on the 31st.
On November 1st the march was continued via Mellville, reaching there on the 3rd, and Waterloo on the 8th. On the 15th the Regiment was transferred from Berry's Brigade, Birney's Division, Third Corp, to First Brigade, Burns' Division, Ninth Corp, then joined the command at White Sulphur Springs the same day. The next day they marched to Bealton Station, on the Orange & Alexandria Railroad, pushing on to near Warrenton Junction. On the 17th they marched towards Fredricksburg, arriving opposite that place on the 19th., where they were placed on picket duty, on the 21st., they went into camp near Falmouth, when on the 29th. to a point in front of Fredricksburg, where they were placed on duty supporting a battery. The Regiment crossed the Rappahannock River, on the first day of the battle of Fredricksburg, Dec. 12th, being held in reserve during the engagement, but were shelled by the Confederates, sustaining a loss of 1 killed and 1 wounded, they recrossed the river on the 14th, going into camp on the 16th.
In February of 1863, the Regiment with its Brigade moved to Newport News, Va., then on the 19th of March took its route via Baltimore, Parkersburg and Louisville to Bardstown, Kentucky.
Remaining in Kentucky during April and May, then in June, with the Ninth Corp, it reinforced the army of General Grant in Mississippi. It served with distinction in the Grant campaign, being engaged in the Siege of Vicksburg, then on its surrender, moved with the army of General Sherman, a part of which was the Ninth Corp, in pursuit of General Johnston, who then occupied the country in the vicinity of Jackson. Marching from camp at Flour Hill, July 4th, in command of Colonel Humphrey, and serving in the Second Brigade, same Division and Corp, it arrived in front of Jackson on the evening of the 10th. On the 11th the Regiment being deployed as skirmishers, charged and drove the Confederates from their rifle pits in front of town; but, was obliged by superior numbers to retire, with a loss of 12 killed, 36 wounded and 8 missing. On the 13th and 14th, the loss in front of Jackson, was 2 taken prisoners and 1 wounded. On the 18th and 19th, the Regiment burned the depot and tore up the track at Madison Station, on the Memphis and New Orleans railroad. It then moved via Jackson to Hilldale.
Leaving Hilldale August 4th, the Regiment proceeded, via Cincinnati and Covington, to Nicholasville, Ky., from thence to Crab Orchard, where it encamped August 30th. Breaking camp on the 10th of September, the Second marched via Cumberland Gap to Knoxville, Tennessee, where it arrived on the 26th. It remained in camp in the neighborhood of Knoxville until Oct.8th when on the 10th again in the Second Brigade, took part in the engagement at Blue Springs, where its loss was 1 wounded. On the 20th it arrived again at Knoxville, whence it moved via London to Lenoir, where on Oct. 31, began building winter quarters.
In the meantime the Confederates, under General Longstreet, had commenced their advance on Knoxville, when the Regiment, in command of Major Byington, Colonel Humphrey being in command of the Brigade, was again ordered into the field to assist in checking them. On the 14th it fell back with the army toward Knoxville, being engaged again at Loudon, November 14th. At Lenoir Station on the 15th, and especially at Campbell's Station on the 16th, where a sharp action took place, the Regiment losing 31 killed, wounded and missing. On the 17th it fell back with the army to Knoxville, brisk skirmishing being kept up with Longstreet's men during the movement.
The Regiment actively assisted in the Defence of Knoxville until the 4th of December, when the Southern troops withdrew. The hardships and privations of the siege were very great, the men suffering especially from want of sufficient food and clothing. On November 24th the Regiment charged the Confederate works with a loss in casualties of 86. Among the killed were Adjutant Noble and Lieutenant Galpin, and among the mortally wounded were Major Byington and Lieutenant Zoellner.
A portion of the picket in front of Fort Saunders was made up of details from the Second Michigan, in command of Captain Charles H. Hodskin, when, on falling back took possession of a ditch in front of the fort, a portion of which they continued to hold until the rebel forces were driven from the attack. Four companies of the Second Michigan, A, H, G and F, in command of Captain Emil Moores, occupied a short rifle pit adjoining the left rampart of Fort Saunders, being on that side of the fort not fronting the Confederates; but, on the side facing Knoxville, which was not enclosed by a wall or rampart, and when the main attack was made these companies moved inside the fort defending a portion of the principal works. The other six companies K, B, I, E, C and D, in command of Captain J. V. Ruehle Jr. were in the rifle pit, extending from the right rampart of the fort, the Twentieth Michigan being between them and the fort.
December 8th, the Regiment marched, in command of Captain Ruehle, to Rutledge, where on the 15th met the Confederates at Thurley's Ford, proceeding on the 16th to Blain's Cross Roads, where it remained until the middle of January 1864. At this place 198 members of the Regiment re-enlisted as Veteran Volunteers. From Blain's Cross Roads it proceeded to Strawberry Plains and Knoxville, thence to Erie Station, where it encamped until February 4th. Here it received orders to report to Detroit, arriving there on the 24th, the returning veterans were furloughed for 30 days.
Rendezvousing at Mt.Clemens, it was ordered on the 4th of April 1864, to proceed to Annapolis, Maryland to rejoin its Corp, which in the meantime had moved from East Tennessee to reinforce the Army of the Potomac. On the 22nd the Regiment left Annapolis for Washington, where on the 5th of May, in command of Colonel Humphrey, then in the First Brigade, same Division and Corp, crossed the Rapidan River and joined the army. Taking part with that army in the great campaign upon which it had just entered, the Second suffered its greatest privations and glories.
On the 6th of May, it participated in the battle of the Wilderness, losing 6 killed and 32 wounded and missing. On May 9th it marched to Fredricksburg via Chancellorsville. On the 10th, 11th and 12th it was in the battle of Spottsylvania Court House, where it lost 2 killed and 9 wounded, Captain Farrand being one of the killed. Captain Farrand was in command of the Regiment, a part of the 12th , Colonel Humphrey having been placed temporarily in command of a Brigade. While Farrand had command, a rebel Brigade, under General Wilcox, advanced rapidly and unexpectedly on a battery of four guns, of the Nineteenth New York, killing or wounding every man before a gun could be fired, taking possession of some of the guns. Farrand instantly called for volunteers from the Second, who manned the remaining guns, putting in a double charge of cannister to those, that were already loaded, and with these guns loaded to the muzzles, opened a terrific and destructive fire on the Confederate Brigade, with great slaughter, checking it and driving it from the attack, saving the rest of the battery and preventing an overwhelming charge on the remaining union troops in the vicinity.
On the 23rd of May the Regiment, now in the Second Brigade, was engaged at Ox Ford, on the 23rd and 24th at the North Anna River, then on the 30th at Tolopotomy, Lieutenant Nelson Fletcher being among the killed on the 24th. On the 3rd of June, again in the First Brigade, it was in the battle of Bethesda Church, losing 2 killed and 36 wounded, including Lieutenant George S. Williams among the severely wounded, who died of his wounds on the 15th following. From Bethesda Church the Regiment marched to Cold Harbor, where it was engaged on the 7th. On June 12th, then in the Second Brigade it crossed the Chickahominy River, then on the morning of the 14th and during the night of the 15th crossed to the south side of the James river, participating in the engagement before Petersburg on the 17th and 18th, losing on the 17th., 8 killed, including Captain James Bradley, with 74 wounded, and 4 missing. On the 18th the Regiment was in command of Lieutenant Colonel March, Colonel Humphrey having command of a Brigade, being specially assigned to it on the field. The loss of Second on this day was 14 killed, 69 wounded and 2 missing, Colonel March and Lieutenant Sherman being among the wounded, the latter dying of his wounds on the 18th of August.
During the attack which followed the exploding of the mine on the 30th of July, the Second, in command of Captain John L. Young, lost 6 killed, 14 wounded and 37 missing. Captain Young and Lieutenant John G. Bush being among the killed. Withdrawing from in front of Petersburg, the Regiment marched with its Corp to the Weldon Railroad, where in the action of the 19th of August, on this road, the Regiment lost 1 killed, 2 wounded and 2 missing. In command of Lieutenant Colonel March, Colonel Humphrey being still in command of the Brigade, it participated in the movement on the right flank of the Confederate army, where on the 30th of September, in the engagement at Popular Spring Church, it lost 7 wounded and 12 missing. The Regiment remained in camp from the 30th of September to the 27th of October, near Peeble's Farm House.
On the 27th, in the advance on the Boydon Plank Road, it lost 7 wounded and 7 missing, including Captain Frederick Schneided, who was wounded and taken prisoner. On the 28th it returned to its camping ground by Peeble's House, where it was employed in constructing fortifications, and on the usual picket duty until the 29th, when it moved, with its Corp, about 10 miles to the right, on the old City Point and Petersburg Railroad, where it relieved a part of the Second Corp at that point and was engaged in the trenches assisting in the Siege of Petersburg. On the 25th of March 1865 the Regiment, under the command of Captain J. C. Boughton, participated in the affair at Fort Steadman, sustaining a heavy loss.
On the 3rd of April the Regiment was engaged in the Capture of Petersburg, with slight loss, after which it moved to the South Side Railroad, about 18 miles from the city, remaining there until the 18th, when it embarked at City Point, under the command of Colonel Frederick Schneider, and reaching Alexandria, remained there a few days before moving into camp at Taneytown, near Georgetown, when on the 23rd day of May 1865, it passed in the Grand Review of the Army of the Potomac, before the President of the United States. On the 27th of May it was detached for duty in the city of Washington, where it went into its last camp, in Kalorama Park. Having been mustered out of service on July 28, it started out for Michigan, arriving in Detroit the 1st of August, where it received a great ovation by a very large concourse of citizens, in a grand welcome reception. On Aug. 8, it was paid off and disbanded. During their term of Federal Service they were engaged at:
Blackburns's Ford,Va./ Manassas,Va./ Bailey's X'Roads,Va./ Kunson's Hill,Va./ Yorktown,Va./ Williamsburg,Va./ Fair Oaks,Va./ Richmond,Va./ White Oak Swamp, Va./ Charles City,Va./ Malvern Hill,Va./ 2nd.Manassas,Va./ Grovton,Va./ Chantilly,Va./ Fredricksburg,Va./ Vicksburg,Ms./ Jackson,Ms./ Blue Springs,Tn./ Loudon Station,Tn./ Lenoir Station,Tn./ Campbell's Sta.,Tn/ Knoxville,Tn./ Fort Saunder's,Tn./ Thurley's Ford,Tn./ Strawberry Plains,Tn./ Wilderness,Va./ Ny River,Va./ Spottsylvania,Va./ Ox Ford,Va./ North Anna River,Va./ Tolopotomy,Va./ Weldon R.R.,Va./ Bethesda Church,Va./ Petersburg,Va./ Ream's Station,Va./ Poplar Springs,Va / Pegram Farm,Va./ Boydon Road,Va./ Hatcher's Run,Va./ Fort Steadman,Va./ Appomatox Court House,Va./
|Total Enrollment--1,819||Killed in Action--118||Died of Wounds--100||Died in Confederate Prisons--15|
|Died of Disease--109||Discharged from Wounds--208||Total Casualty Rate.......30.2 percent|
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