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1st Michigan Sharpshooters
in the American Civil War

Regimental History
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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