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16th Michigan Infantry
in the American Civil War
|Sixteenth Michigan Infantry. — Cols., Thomas B. W.
Stockton, Norval E. Welch, Benjamin F. Partridge; Lieut. -Cols., John V.
Reuhle, Norval E. Welch, Edward Hill; Majs., Norval E. Welch, Thomas J.
Barry, Robert T. Elliott, Rufus W. Jacklin. This regiment was organized
at Camp Backus, Detroit, and was known as "Stockton's Independent
Regiment." It was mustered in Sept. 8, 1861, and left the state on the
16th for Hall's hill, Va., where it encamped until March, 1862. It was
attached to the 3d brigade, 1st division, 5th corps, and was joined in
February by "Dygert's Sharpshooters," an independent company. This
company, with Kin S. Dygert as captain, is designated on the rolls and
records as being "the first independent company attached to the 16th,"
and it served with the regiment during the war. The regiment
participated in the siege of Yorktown, and in the Peninsular campaign
was in the engagements at Hanover Court House, Gaines' mill, White Oak
swamp, Turkey bend and Malvern hill. It then joined Pope's army and was
engaged at Ely's ford and the second Bull Run. In the Maryland campaign
it was present at Antietam, but was not engaged. It pushed the enemy to
Shepherdstown ford, was engaged at Snicker's gap, fought at
Fredericksburg in December, its brigade taking a ridge and holding it
for more than 30 hours. It was engaged at Chancellorsville in May, 1863,
and at Middleburg in June, the work of the regiment was very effective,
both in skirmishing and in company detachment service, a fine Blakely
gun being captured. The regiment reached Gettysburg by forced marches
and took part in that battle, where as a part of Vincent's brigade it
went to the peak of Little Round Top, assisting in dragging the guns of
Hazlett's battery to that position, which was held against Hood's
veterans in a hand-to-hand struggle with bayonets, clubbed muskets and
stones, a struggle almost without a parallel. The New York Tribune's
account of it is one of the most vivid word paintings ever drawn.
Pursuing the enemy, the 16th reached Williamsport on July 11, and was
present at Wapping heights, but was not engaged. It participated in
general movements during the summer and fall, being engaged at Culpeper,
Brandy Station, Bristoe Station, Rappahannock Station and Mine run, and
went into camp Dec. 2. During the month 294 men reenlisted as veterans,
were furloughed in Jan., 1864, and returned in February to winter
quarters at Bealeton Station. The regiment participated in the battles
of the Wilderness, Laurel hill, the Po river, Spottsylvania, the Ny
river, the North Anna, Hanover Court House and Totopotomy. In May Capt.
George Jardine's company of sharpshooters was mustered in at Detroit and
was assigned to the 16th. At Magnolia Swamp early in June, the regiment
drove the enemy from his rifle-pits and resisted all efforts to retake
them. It was engaged at Bethesda Church, Gaines' mill and Cold Harbor,
and reached Petersburg on the 17th, remaining in reserve until Aug. 15.
It fought at the Weldon railroad, Poplar Grove Church, and at Peebles'
farm climbed the works and engaged the enemy in a hand-to-hand fight,
losing 10 killed and 52 wounded. "A more magnificent charge was never
made by any corps in any war," said Gen. Warren. The regiment was
engaged at Hatcher's run in October, was in the trenches during
November, and operated near Petersburg through December. In the final
campaign it was engaged at Dabney's mill, White Oak road, Quaker road,
Five Forks, Amelia Court House and High bridge, and was present at
Appomattox when Lee surrendered. It then marched to Washington, was in
the grand review, moved to Louisville in June, and was mustered out at
Jeffersonville, Ind., July 8, 1865. Its original strength was 761: gain
by recruits, 1,557; total, 2,318. Loss by death, 343.
Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing
Company, 1908 - Volume 3
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