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1st Michigan Sharpshooters
in the American Civil War
|First Michigan Sharpshooters. — Col., Charles V. De
Land; Lieut. -Cols., William H. H. Beadle, Asahel W. Nichols; Majs.,
John Piper, E. J. Buckbee. This regiment was organized at Kalamazoo and
Dearborn in 1862-63. Six companies were mustered in July 7, 1863, and
left the state for Indianapolis and thence to Seymour, Ind. They
attacked Morgan's rear-guard at North Vernon, Ind., July 13, and at
Pierceville on the 14th, capturing some prisoners. They then returned to
Dearborn to finish recruiting, four additional companies being mustered.
The regiment left the state the second time on Aug. 16, and was sent to
Chicago to guard prisoners. On Feb. 14, 1864, it was assigned to the 2nd
brigade, 3d division, 9th army corps, joining it at Annapolis in March.
The regiment was engaged at the battle of the Wilderness and
participated at Spottsylvania, where it lost 34 killed, 117 wounded and
4 missing, being one of those to rally from the terrible onslaught in
the hand-to-hand encounters following simultaneous charges of the
contending forces, when, borne back by superior numbers Burnside's army
was breaking. Attacked on front and flank with a storm of shot and
shell, it held its ground, stayed the tide and repulsed the enemy. It
was also engaged at Ox ford on the North Anna, Totopotomy, Bethesda
Church and Cold Harbor. It reached Petersburg on the 16th and
participated in the charge on the 17th, assisting in repelling repeated
assaults, taking 88 prisoners and the colors of the 35th N. C.
Surrounded and compelled to surrender or cut its way out, it took the
latter alternative, its loss being 31 killed, 46 wounded and 84 missing.
It led its brigade in the charge of July 30, entering the works and
taking some 50 prisoners. It was engaged at Weldon railroad, Reams'
station, Poplar Spring Church, Pegram's farm, Boydton road and Hatcher's
run, and was then on trench and picket duty until spring. Cos. I and K
assisted in repelling the assault on Fort Stedman, March 25, 1865, and
in the charge that drove the enemy behind his works captured more
prisoners than they had men engaged. The regiment made a demonstration
on the left of the enemy's works on April 2, getting a hold on them
which was maintained for an hour under terrible fire. On the morning of
the 3d it was ordered to advance and at 4 o'clock moved forward, being
among the first to enter the city, raising the flag over the court house
as the surrender was being received by its brigade commander. Its
division (Willcox's) held an extended line of 2 miles on April 2,
captured 2 forts, 9 guns and nearly 1,000 prisoners, and on the 3d the
regiment led the assault that resulted in the capture of the enemy's
lines, guns, tents, prisoners without number and the city itself. After
Lee's surrender it moved to Georgetown, participated in the grand review
at Washington, and was mustered out July 28. Total enrollment, 1,364;
loss, by death, 263.
Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing
Company, 1908 - Volume 3
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