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5th Michigan Infantry
in the American Civil War

Regimental History
Fifth Michigan Infantry. Cols., Henry D. Terry, Samuel E. Beach, John Pulford; Lieut. -Cols., Samuel E. Beach, John Gilluly, Edward T. Sherlock, Solomon S. Matthews, Daniel S. Root; Majs., John D. Fairbanks, Edgar H. Shook. This regiment was organized at Detroit and was mustered in Aug. 28, 1861. It left the state Sept. 11, and remained in camp near Alexandria, Va., during the winter, participating in a skirmish at Pohick Church. It was assigned to Berry's brigade, Kearny's division, in the Peninsular campaign, was at the siege of Yorktown, and in the battle of Williamsburg, where it lost 34 killed and 119 wounded out of 500 participating. It charged the enemy three times carrying his works with the bayonet, and killing 65 of his number. At Fair Oaks, out of 300 in action the regiment lost 30 killed, 119 wounded and 5 missing. It fought at the Chickahominy, Peach Orchard, and at Charles City cross-roads, where its losses were 51. It charged through a thick growth of pines under murderous fire, drove the enemy before it, and recovered ground lost by other troops. It fought at Malvern hill, Groveton, the second Bull Run, Chantilly, and was engaged at Fredericksburg, losing 10 killed and 73 wounded, Lieut. -Col. Gilluly, commanding, being among the killed. The regiment remained in winter quarters near Falmouth, was engaged at the battle of Chancellorsville on the 3d, participating in a midnight bayonet charge that was dashing and successful, losing, however, 7 killed (among them Lieut. -Col. Sherlock, commanding), 43 wounded and 31 missing. On June 11 it started toward Gettysburg, and in that battle lost 105 in killed, wounded and missing in one hour's work. It was engaged at Wapping heights and was sent to Troy, N. Y., in August to preserve order during the draft. On Sept. 12 it returned to its corps on the Potomac and was engaged at Auburn heights, Kelly's ford, Locust Grove and Mine run, after which it went into camp near Brandy Station, where the requisite number reenlisted to make it a veteran regiment, and on Dec. 28 it was ordered home on furlough. It returned to camp at Brandy Station Feb. 14, 1864, and was assigned to the 2nd brigade, 3d division, 2nd corps. On May 3 it entered upon the year's campaign, beginning with the battle of the Wilderness, where it participated in a desperate struggle and charge. It was under heavy fire at Todd's tavern, the Po river, Spottsylvania, where it participated in a charge and captured 2 stands of colors, and at the North Anna it charged and carried the enemy's works under a heavy fire. It was at Totopotomy, capturing a strong line of works, and fought at Cold Harbor, where the remnant of the 3d Mich, was permanently consolidated with the 5th. The regiment reached the front of Petersburg on the 15th and was heavily engaged in the early assaults on the enemy's works. It fought at Deep Bottom, at Strawberry Plains, Poplar Spring Church, the Boydton road, where it captured a large number of prisoners, and then garrisoned Fort Davis. Its losses during the year were 73 killed, 365 wounded and 101 missing. It was in an engagement at Hatcher's run in March, 1865, and on April 2, it participated in the general assault on Petersburg, which resulted in the evacuation of the city, and the 5th is reported to have been the first regiment to raise its colors on the enemy's works. It was in the engagements at Sailor's creek where it took a stand of colors and 145 prisoners, and was also at Appomattox Court House when Lee surrendered. It participated in the grand review at Washington and was mustered out at Jeffersonville, Ind., July 5. Its total enrollment was 1,950. Loss by death, 398.

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

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