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10th Michigan Cavalry
in the American Civil War

Regimental History
Tenth Michigan Cavalry. Cols., Thaddeus Foote, Luther S. Trowbridge, Israel C. Smith; Lieut. -Cols., Luther S. Trowbridge, John H. Standish; Majs., Israel C. Smith, Cicero Newell, Wesley Armstrong, Peter N. Cooke, Harvey E. Light, Henry W. Sears. This regiment was organized at Grand Rapids and was mustered in Nov. 18, 1863. It left the state Dec. 1, being ordered to Lexington, Ky., and was engaged at House mountain in Jan., 1864, after which it moved to Burnside Point. On Feb. 29 it moved for Knoxville, thence to Strawberry plains, and in April met the enemy at Rheatown, Jonesboro, Johnsonville, Watauga and Bean's gap. At Jonesboro the enemy in force held the bridge, occupying a strong redoubt and rifle-pits. About one-third of the regiment was dismounted and charged on the double-quick, carrying the works and driving the enemy into a large mill near by, a gallant affair with an inferior force. The regiment was also engaged at Powder Spring gap, Dandridge, Greenville, White Horn, Morristown, Bean's station, Rogersville, Kingsport, Caney branch, New Market, Williams' ford and Dutch Bottom. At Bean's station two companies routed the enemy, charging him for 2 miles. The regiment was later engaged at Sevierville, Newport, Morristown, Greeneville, Mossy creek, Bull's gap, Blue Springs, Strawberry plains, Flat Creek bridge and Rogersville. At Blue Springs the enemy was dislodged from a strong position after a determined fight and pursued for 7 miles. At Strawberry' plains a detachment of 125 under Capt. Standish, and 150 from other commands made a successful defense of the post against an attack by 6,000 cavalry under Wheeler. During this time 7 men of the 10th held McMillan's ford on the Holston river for 3 hours against a brigade of cavalry, killing nearly 50, but were surrounded and captured. Gen. Wheeler remarked: "If I had 300 such men as you, I could march straight through hell." The same day, 72 men under Maj. Smith routed 400 Texas cavalry, capturing their commanding officer a lieutenant-colonel and nearly 40 prisoners. The regiment was again engaged at Greeneville, Sevierville and Jonesboro in September. At Greeneville it participated in an action with Morgan's forces, charging his first camp and routing it and then repelling an advance with carbines. In October and November it was engaged at Johnston's station, Watauga bridge, Chucky bend, Newport, Irish Bottoms, Madisonville, Morristown and Strawberry plains, where 700 men in trenches repulsed a force of 5,000. It was engaged at Kingsport, Bristol and Saltville in December, destroying the salt works at the last named place. It also fought at Chucky bend in Jan., 1865, then encamped at Knoxville until March 21, then moved to upper East Tennessee and joined the raid into North Carolina, during which it destroyed 100 miles of track and several bridges belonging to the Tennessee & Virginia railroad. It made a forced march of 95 miles in 22 hours, reaching Henry and engaging the enemy on April 8, defeating a superior force. The regiment was detached at Salem and one battalion under Capt. Cummins destroyed $300,000 worth of the enemy's stores at High Point. The other two battalions numbering 250 men, were sent to destroy the bridge over Abbott's creek. Two companies under Capt. Roberts sent in advance succeeded in the work assigned them, and in the meantime the balance of the regiment encountered Ferguson's brigade of Wheeler's cavalry, 1,200 strong, just at daybreak. The enemy attacked in force, but was held back by relieving squadrons in a retreat of 6 miles, 2 men being taken prisoners while the enemy lost over 50 killed. The same day, Maj. Smith, with 20 men armed with Spencer repeating rifles, crossed Grant's creek at Salisbury on a log and fired a flank volley which threw the defending force into confusion. The whole command, taking advantage of the situation, crossed by a small bridge, drove the enemy from his works and captured over 1,300 prisoners, 14 pieces of artillery and a large quantity of supplies. The regiment was also engaged at Statesville and Newton. It was then ordered to Tennessee, where it served until it was mustered out at Memphis, Nov. 11. Its original strength was 912; gain 1,138; total, 2,050. Loss by death, 271.

Footnotes:
Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing Company, 1908 - Volume 3

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