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13th Michigan Infantry
in the American Civil War

Regimental History
Thirteenth Michigan Infantry. Cols., Charles E. Stuart, Michael Shoemaker, Willard G. Eaton, Joshua B. Culver; Lieut. -Cols., Orlando H. Moore, Theodoric R. Palmer, Peter Van Arsdale; Majs., Frederick W. Warden, Joshua B. Culver, Willard G. Eaton. This regiment was organized at Kalamazoo in the fall and winter of 1861. It was mustered in Jan. 17, 1862, and left the state Feb. 12. Col. Stuart having resigned, Col. Shoemaker took command. The regiment was ordered to Nashville, where it formed part of Wood's division of Buell's army, and was on the forced march for the relief of Grant at Shiloh, reaching the battle-field on the second day. It was then engaged at Farmington, Owl creek, and in the siege of Corinth. On June 2 it moved eastward with Buell's army and was on fortification work and guard duty at Stevenson, Ala., from July 18 to Aug. 21, when the post of Stevenson was placed under Col. Shoemaker's command, the 13th Mich, with four companies from other regiments and Simonson's Indiana battery being left as a garrison, the post becoming a depot of supplies and for convalescents. On the 30th instructions were received to leave, as the enemy was congregating in force. The following morning a force of Confederate cavalry was seen near the fort and scattered by the artillery, skirmishers following until they came upon a heavy force, which fired upon them. The fort was attacked at 10 o'clock, the fight continuing until 3 p. m. Reinforcements arrived at that time and all stores, baggage and convalescents were placed on trains for Nashville. The march for Nashville was begun at 5 p. m., the 13th bringing up the rear and keeping off the enemy's attack. Left far in the rear by the other regiments and the artillery, the regiment joined its division on Sept. 3, after being given up for lost. Nashville was reached on the 6th. The regiment joined in pursuit of Bragg, was engaged at Munfordville, the battle of Perryville, and at Danville. It was stationed at Silver springs, Tenn., in early November and on the 10th joined the forces that drove the enemy from Lebanon. It was on train guard and picket duty at Nashville until Dec. 26, being engaged in the meantime at Gallatin and Mill creek. It moved on Murfreesboro with the 3d brigade, 1st division, Thomas' corps, was on the skirmish line and in the desperate engagements at Stone's river, losing 95 in killed, wounded and missing. When the right wing was being driven back in confusion on the first day of the battle the brigade to which the 13th was attached advanced to the extreme right and formed in line of battle, becoming hotly engaged. The battery supporting the regiment opened rapid fire, but the other regiments of the brigade passed to the rear and thus forced it to take a new position, from which it was again driven with a loss of 2 guns. All the other regiments falling back a second time, the 13th was left alone to meet two brigades. By a steady fire it checked the advance, dropped back to a better position, then charged the advancing brigades with bullet and bayonet, scattering them and regaining the lost ground, retaking the 2 captured guns and capturing 68 prisoners. This gallant act was accompanied by a loss of 35 per cent of its numbers engaged. "Great praise is due this regiment" said the Nashville Union, "for the unparalleled gallantry, both of officers and men, who are said to have fought like heroes. Truly Michigan has reason to be proud of the troops she has sent out." The regiment was stationed at Murfreesboro until June 24, 1863, when it was assigned to the 1st brigade, 1st division, 20th corps, and advanced on Tullahoma, following Bragg after his evacuation of that place. It was in an engagement at Pelham in July and was then in camp at Hillsboro until Aug. 16, when the army advanced into Georgia. It fought at Lookout valley, was in the engagement at Chickamauga making a charge and losing 107 in killed, wounded and missing. The regiment was organized as engineers in November, assigned to duty at Chattanooga, and participated at Missionary ridge. It was stationed at Chickamauga in December and January, and there 173 reenlisted as veterans aad were furloughed home. They rejoined the regiment in April with over 400 recruits and the command was stationed at Lookout mountain during the summer. It was relieved from duty as engineers, Sept. 25, 1864, and assigned to the 2nd brigade, 1st division, 14th corps, joining it at Rome, Ga. It marched to the sea, reached Savannah Dec. 16, and engaged in the siege. It made the campaign of the Carolinas, being engaged at Catawba river, Averasboro and Bentonville, sustaining in the last action a loss of 110, its commanding officer, Col. Eaton, being among the killed. It was in the grand review at Washington, and was mustered out at Louisville on July 25, 1865. Its original strength was 925: gain by recruits, 1,159; total, 2,084. Loss by death, 390.

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

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