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17th Michigan Infantry
in the American Civil War
|Seventeenth Michigan Infantry. — Cols., William H.
Withington, Constant Luce. Lieut.-Cols., Constant Luce, Lorin L.
Comstock, Frederick W. Swift; Majs., George C. Lyons, Thomas Mathews.
This regiment was organized at Detroit, and became known as the
"Stonewall Regiment" later. It was mustered in Aug. 21, 1862, and left
the state on the 27th for Washington, where it was assigned to the 1st
brigade, 1st division, 9th corps, for the Maryland campaign. It was
first engaged at South mountain,, where it won high honors, charging
over a stone wall and scattering a strong force in its front — from
which it received its sobriquet, capturing 300 prisoners and driving the
enemy down the slope of the mountain. Gen. Willcox characterized it as
"a feat that may vie with any recorded in the annals of war." Its loss
was 27 killed and 114 wounded. In the battle at Antietam it lost 18
killed and 87 wounded. It then moved to a position near Falmouth and was
present, but not engaged, at Fredericksburg. It moved to Newport News in
Feb., 1865, on March 19 to Baltimore, thence to Bardstown, Ky., on April
3 to Lebanon, and on the 29th to Columbia. In June it reinforced Grant
at Vicksburg, being engaged there until July 4. It was then in the siege
of Jackson, returned to Kentucky in August, and joined the movements of
the Army of the Ohio in East Tennessee. It was engaged at Blue Springs,
Loudon, Lenoir's station and Campbell's station, and as part of the 3d
brigade, 1st division, 9th army corps, assisted in the defense of
Knoxville, being stationed in Fort Sanders. After the siege it encamped
at Blain's cross-roads until it joined the Army of the Potomac near
Warrenton Junction, Va., in March. It was in the battles of the
Wilderness, Ny river and Spottsylvania, where it occupied the crest of a
hill for which the enemy was making, just as the latter came up the
other slope, repulsing them handsomely. Its succeeding movements were of
the most gallant nature, being in the terrific assault at the "bloody
angle," where it lost 23 killed, 73 wounded and 93 prisoners, out of 225
engaged. On May 16 it was detailed as engineer troops and through the
rest of the campaign fought at the North Anna, Bethesda Church, Cold
Harbor, Petersburg, the Crater, the Weldon rail- road, Reams' station,
Poplar Spring Church, Pegram's farm, the Boydton road and Hatcher's run.
It remained near the Appomattox river during the winter and in the
attack of the enemy on Fort Stedman in March, 1865, the regiment as
skirmishers repelled those of the enemy, capturing 65 prisoners. It was
engaged at Petersburg until the surrender on April 3, and was on guard
and provost duty until the 24th. It was then ordered to Washington,
participated in the grand review, and was mustered out at Tenallytown on
June 3, 1865. Its original strength was 982: gain by recruits, 97;
total, 1,079. Loss by death, 283.
Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing
Company, 1908 - Volume 3
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