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1st Michigan Colored Infantry
in the American Civil War

Regimental History
First Michigan Colored Infantry (102nd U. S. Colored Troops). Cols., Henry Henry Barnes, Henry L. Chipman; Lieut. -Col., William T. Bennett; Maj., Newcome Clark. This regiment was organized in the fall of 1863 and was mustered in Feb. 17, 1864. It left the state March 28 and joined the 9th army corps at Annapolis. On April 15 it took transports for Hilton Head, S. C. Col. Barnes resigned and was succeeded by Capt. Chipman of the U. S. army. Detachments were employed on picket duty for a month and the regiment then garrisoned at Port Royal and Beaufort until Aug. 1, when it embarked for Jacksonville, Fla. It was engaged at Baldwin with a force of cavalry, which it repulsed, and then made a circuit of eastern Florida 100 miles in 5 days. It built a fort at Magnolia and then returned to Beaufort, reaching there on Aug. 31. It was on picket duty by detachments at Coosa, Lady's and Port Royal islands, that at Lady's island having a skirmish with a force that attempted to land, under cover of night, driving them off. A detachment of 300, with the troops under Gen. Foster, was engaged at Honey Hill in November and joined in repelling a charge, maintaining a steady line and fighting desperately, hauling off 2 pieces of artillery which had been abandoned. A correspondent, speaking of the determination of the men to continue fighting after being wounded, said : "Such bravery I never saw before. I have known men to fight as well and bravely as ever men fought, but never before have I known men to fight on after being severely wounded." A detachment was also engaged at Deveaux neck in December. The regiment came together at Deveaux neck Jan. 24, 1865, and moved to Pocotaligo. It destroyed the railroad and built breastworks, and a bridge across the Ashepoo river. It proceeded to Charleston neck and took transports for Savannah in March, where it was for a time on picket and fatigue duty. It returned by transport to Georgetown, the right wing being ordered thence to Charleston neck, and made a daring expedition to join Gen. Potter on the Santee river, through a country held by the enemy, a distance of 70 miles. A large body of cavalry attacked it on the way, but it was driven off after a vigorous fight. The left wing left Georgetown with Potter's forces and was engaged in several skirmishes. Near Manchester it joined in flanking the enemy, driving him from the field in disorder. The two wings united and were engaged in a spirited contest with the enemy at Singleton's plantation, in which the regiment was victorious. Co. A, on picket, repulsed an attack by a force of 200. The regiment returned to Georgetown and was ordered to camp at Charleston neck. On May 7 it proceeded to Orangeburg and was on provost and fatigue duty there until July 28, when it was ordered to Winnsboro for similar service. It was mustered out at Charleston Sept. 30, 1865. Its original strength was 895: gain by recruits, 551; total, 1,446. Loss by death, 140.

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

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