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The 2nd Michigan joined other USV units to fight at Antietam
Daniel Flora, 20th Illinois/2nd Michigan and survivor of the battle provided this after Action Report
Report of action at theBattle of Antietam
September, 21st 1862
It is with pleasure that I may write the after action report of the action taken by 5th company 1st Regiment USV at the battle of Antietam.
Friday the 14th instant the regiment with its brigade formed at 6PM and marched out of camp and took its place in line near a cornfield. The regiment advanced and met the enemy in a sharp contest. 5th Company soon became separated from the regiment and was quickly cut off and almost surrounded. The company stumbled through the corn attempting to regain its position with the regiment. After much searching and fighting with the enemy, the company was reunited.
Saturday the 15th the brigade was roused at 6AM, at 11AM the regiment was ordered to be formed on its colors 7th Ohio) it is of note that I mention I had the honor bestowed on me to bear the national colors of the 7th Ohio Infantry for the Saturday action. The brigade having marched out of camp came to its position facing the Dunkard Church. The regiment being chosen to lead the attack advanced to the church and engaged skirmishers of the enemy. The regiment held firm, even when casualties began to take effect. We successfully drove the enemy back even when they brought reinforcements. The regiment held and the colors never faltered, but waived defiantly at the foe. Our losses were not severe.
In the afternoon at 1PM the regiment was again formed on its colors and marched out. Again we took our position facing a sunken road. The regiment boldly advanced amidst a storm of musket and cannon fire. We came over a slight rise and there met the enemy. We soon suffered terrible casualties, while causing great slaughter to the rebels. We were then retired behind the rise and again made an advance on the enemy, our losses became severe and we retired, leaving many of our dead and wounded on the field. We took time to reorganize; on our left the Irish brigade 3rd USV) made their advance on the sunken lane and suffered the same. The Philadelphia Irish of the 69th Pennsylvania 2nd USV) came up behind the Irish brigade and assisted in adding their weight to the battle. Finally a regiment was able to outflank the sunken lane and we charged the fence with the colors in the lead. Severe losses drove the rebels to retire. The lane though not as severe in casualties was still a sobering sight of what those who fought there must have witnessed.
Sunday the 16th the regiment again was roused and looked to its arms and duties until 12 PM. We then formed and marched out and were place in readiness to take the lower Bridge later to be named Burnside’s Bridge. The 11th Connecticut and 6th New Hampshire went out and formed a skirmish line. Slowly the fire intensified and they made an attempt to cross the bridge. After repeated charges a successful charge got one Regiment across and allowed the others to file across and form on the other side. A sight to behold was the 9th New York "Hawkins Zouaves" as they crossed the bridge and form. A few minutes they took a canister shot in their ranks, they left many of their dead and wounded on the field. Repeated charges were made to keep the enemy from advancing, the 11th CT and 6th> NH were forced back and left the 9th NY 2nd USV cut off from the bridge. It is safe to say that the army was pushed back and it was a loss.
Though we lost many, the Company as well as the Regiment fought nobly, and it is without a doubt that I may say that they brought credit to their respective states.
Your Obedient Servant
20th Illinois/2nd Michigan
Click here to read about the 2nd Michigan's Messena Weekend August 2012
Click here to read about the 2nd Michigan at Upper Canada Village in July 2008
Click here to read about the 2nd Michigan'sMassena Weekend August 2006
The 2nd Michigan was invited to participate in the re-dedication of the Lincoln Memorial and the ceremony to lay wreaths at the Tomb of Unknown Civil War Soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. We were joined by several other units and camped in front of the Manassas Museum and close by the Bull Run battlefield. The pictures below show the activities of Saturday , May 30, which, by the way, is the "real" Memorial Day.
|Our camp is the group of tents to the left.||We form up in our camp and prepare for the day.|
|At our Capitan's command, we march off to join the other units for inspection and transport to the Mall.||The units assemble to prepare for transport.|
|We march towards the Lincoln Memorial. Note the tourists reaction.|
|Our soldiers fall in line preparatory to marching to in front of the Memorial.||All units in formation in front of the Memorial.|
|Two of our civilians.||After the ceremony, all units marched to Arlington Cemetery for the wreath laying ceremony|
|After forming up, the soldiers marched to the Tomb of the Unknown Civil War Soldiers|
|Passing in review. Note the reversed muskets, done only in Arlington.|
|The Tomb of the Unknown Civil War Soldiers||After the ceremony, a few minutes to relax.|
|Back in camp, dinner!|
Captain: George C Woods Commanding, 2nd Division 6th Corps. September 19, 1863
I have the honor to submit the following report of the action taken by elements of Company E of the, 2nd Michigan Volunteers at Tupper Lake on the 17th instant:-
While encamped at Tupper Lake, our captain received orders to investigate reports of Rebel activity in and around the area.
|The ladies of our unit are cooks without equal and if you leave our camp hungry, the fault lies with you.||I am conferring with our lieutenant over a meal, little knowing the we would be soon engaged with a result we could not anticipate.||Two of our privates prepare rounds and otherwise maintain a high state of vigilance for which we are known.|
While we were preparing noon meal, our caption was briefed on Rebel activity and was ordered to prepare to march to meet the enemy.
|The reports were quite accurate as we would be facing overwhelming numbers with enemy forces comprised of elements of the 55th Va. Co. D Vol. Inf., 13th N.C. Vol. Inf., 1st Virginia Calvary (Dismounted), 1st Georgia (1) and CSA 55th Va. Co. B (Artillery Infantry, with Mortar).||Our soldiers were galvanized into action and immediately made preparation to engage the enemy.||Our captain formed our company for a quick inspection before marching out to give battle to the rebels.|
We were formed into line and march quickly to where we had been told the enemy was to be found.
|We set off from camp, in good order, ready to fulfill our mission and thwart the rebel forces.||We made a brief halt and inspected weapons as we knew we would soon be engaged.||Imagine our delight when we were joined by the 11th NY Middlesex Artillery. This would certainly be an advantage in our meeting with the enemy forces.|
While our battery deployed to support our advance, we formed into two lines of battle; the left wing under Sergeant Marshall while the right wing was under my leadership. Our captain retained overall control providing expert and fearless leadership.
|Our captain and our color bearer advance with us towards the rebel's location.||In the meantime, our battery loads their gun, knowing that soon they called on.|
Advancing on towards the trees, the enemy responded and we became hotly engaged. We were instantly under heavy fire from the enemy which we returned with a good will. As We advanced towards their line, we labored under a decided disadvantage, which will account for our losses. The enemy had the advantage in numbers as my unit filled the intervals in open ground. As the enemy advanced from the trees, their fire was most intense and galling. It was then when we suffered our first and most severe loss.
|The enemy immediately engages our skirmish line with the most intense fire I can recall.||Our battery responded with shot and shell to assist us.||Alas, our brave captain was struck down by a rebel mini ball, leaving us for a better place and a great sadness in our hearts.|
As we advanced to drive the enemy from their position, we were heavily pressed in front and on our right flank as the enemy brought fresh forces which was much greater than mine. While engaged in a valiant and spirited fire, I then saw that this large force was marching our right flank and would soon cut off our line of retreat so ordered my unit to retire.
|Our battery answers the rebel fire.||Not only were we outnumbered, the rebels were supported by artillery.||The enemy fire began to have its effect on our soldiers.|
While doing so we received the most distressing fire, which caused several casualties and began to force us from the field.
|More enemy reinforced the rebel lines.||We fell back to regroup.||Our boys gave as good as they received.|
We reformed again and fell back towards our battery, all to no avail
|With our captain taken from us, I ordered the color bearer to fall in with our wing. We must protect our colors.||The canoneers were under such intense fire that they could not load their piece.||We thought we could rush the enemy and still carry the day as they might flee.|
I was obliged to leave my dead and seriously wounded on the field as we were overwhelmed and most our brave boys were lost.
|We supported the brave cannon crew...||but it was not to be. I got off one more round but...||was quickly overwhelmed and captured.|
As I was loosely guarded, I was able to make my way back to our lines and prepare this report. I am proud to say the conduct of my men throughout the entire day is deserving the highest praise. Their coolness and courage in resisting a force which they could plainly see was much larger than that of their number. I cannot pass over lightly, but feel somewhat recompensed for my loss by the knowledge that the few that are left are of the same material as the gallant spirits of those who have fallen.
I have the honor to be, Captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant, Walter L. Weart Corporal, 2nd Michigan, Company E
|After to battle, both sides gather to accept the cheers of the audience.||A moment of silence is observed to honor the soldiers who are defending our liberty today||A final inspection and the unit is dismissed until the next call to battle.|
Walton New York
Our second outing was at Walton, NY on May 27 and 28. Our unit "galvanized" or put on Confederate uniforms in order to provide enough solders to have a proper re-enactment. The real soldiers of both sides fought and died for their beliefs so when we put on a Confederate uniform, we show it the same respect as we would our own. It is also very interesting to see the "war" from the other side, especially when we were out numbered and out gunned!
This was also the "debut" of our unit's quilt. The ladies of Company E work on a quilt during the season as a fund raiser as we sell raffle tickets. Not only is the fund raiser very successful, the quilt is beautiful! The quilt is authentic to Civil War and tells a "story". Each lady makes one or more squares then when they are sewn together, they all work on the actual "quilting".
|The warriors relax for a few minutes before more drilling and marching.||Our Sergeant drills our soldiers. Looking sharp!||Our Captain briefs our Sergeant while a Private looks on.|
|A very impressive Union battery.||Our Sergeant checks our Corporal's musket while our Caption looks on. We in Confederate uniforms for today's battle.||Our detail lines up after weapons inspection.|
|Always time for more drill.||We fall in and are about to recover our muskets from the stack.||Ready to take the field.|
|Our boys are in this line.||Our boys prepare for a charge by the Union soldiers.||This is the Union line that our boys had to face as Southern soldiers.|
|Those sneaky Rebs attempt to grab our flag!||The debut of the quilt with three of our ladies showing off their handy work.|
Our first event was May 6 and 7 at Elmira New York and this was an outstanding event. We "fought" in an area very reminiscent of the Wilderness and both sides put on a first class show for the very large crowd of spectators who were most appreciative of our brave boys in blue or gray.
|The 2nd Michigan fell in with other units to prepare to meet the enemy.||We're waiting for the officers to give us our instructions.||Weapons are inspected for a safety before we take the field.|
|The building is a Union supply depot and we expected an attack by a near by Confederate column. Our artillery set up a battery to support us if attacked.|
|Our artillery opens on the advancing Confederate column.||We advance to engage the enemy.||A burst of musket fire erupts and the battle is on!|
|Note our brave captain is looking over the field but the enemy is the other direction.||We keep it hot and ...||advance to a rough breastwork of fallen logs.|
|We have driven off the attackers and now our officers confer and congratulate each other on a splendid victory while we warriors just stand and wait.||We march back to camp victorious, to fight again another day.|
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