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8th Michigan Infantry
in the American Civil War

Regimental History
Eighth Michigan Infantry. Cols., William M. Fenton, Frank Graves; Lieut.- Cols., Frank Graves, Ralph Ely; Majs., Amasa B. Watson, Ephraim W. Lyon, W. Ely Lewis, Horatio Belcher, Richard N. Doyle. This regiment was organized at Grand Rapids in Aug., 1861, and was ordered to Fort Wayne, Detroit, arriving there Sept. 16. It was mustered in Sept. 23, and left the state Sept. 27 and went into camp at Meridian hill near Washington on the 30th. On Oct. 10 it joined the 2nd brigade, expeditionary corps, under Gen. T. W. Sherman, and moved to Hilton Head by steamer, reaching there Nov. 8 after a small engagement at Port Royal, S. C., the previous day. It moved to Beaufort on Dec. 6 and was under fire at Coosaw river, and Port Royal Ferry. It was in camp at Gray's hill and Beaufort during the month of Jan., 1863, on drill, picket, guard and reconnoitering duty until April 9, when it moved to Tybee island, Ga., and was at the fall of Fort Pulaski. On April 16 seven companies embarked for Wilmington island as an escort and was in a skirmish with the 13th Ga., 800 strong, routing it, but losing 11 killed and 34 wounded. The regiment was on drill and picket duty until June 1, was then attached to the 1st brigade, 2nd division, and participated in the assault on the works on James island, losing 13 killed, 98 wounded, 35 captured and 36 missing, out of a total of 534. It was a dashing affair but unsuccessful. The regiment moved for Newport News on July 5, and on Aug. 4 proceeded towards the upper Potomac. It was at the second battle of Bull Run; fought at Chantilly; was heavily engaged at South mountain and Antietam; moved into Virginia again in September and was at Falmouth from Nov. 18 until Dec. 12. It was engaged at Fredericksburg and then encamped near Falmouth until Feb. 13, 1863, and at Newport News until March 19. It was then stationed at Louisville and Lebanon, Ky., until June, and was in the siege of Vicksburg from June 22 to July 4. It was then engaged at Jackson, moved back to Milldale near Vicksburg on the 23d, and marched toward Crab Orchard early in August, reaching there on the 27th. On Sept. 10 it proceeded to Knoxville, Tenn., remained in camp from Sept. 26 to Oct. 3, and was in the Blue Springs affair on the 10th. It was engaged at Loudon and Lenoir's station, Campbell's station, and in the defense of Knoxville, where it was stationed at Fort Sanders. After the siege it encamped at Blain's cross-roads, where 283 reenlisted as veterans and were furloughed home through February. They rejoined the regiment in March with a large number of recruits. The regiment was engaged at the battle of the Wilderness, driving the enemy from their first line of rifle- pits, and losing 99 in killed, wounded and missing, among them Col. Graves. At Spottsylvania it assaulted the enemy's intrenchments and lost 49. It was then successively engaged at the North Anna, Bethesda Church, Cold Harbor, and the first assaults at Petersburg, losing 49 men, and remained in the trenches constantly under fire until July 30, when it participated in the engagement following the explosion of the mine. It fought at the Weldon railroad, Reams' station, Poplar Spring Church, Pegram's farm, Boydton road and Hatcher's run and was on picket and trench duty through the winter. It assisted in repelling the assault on Fort Stedman in March, 1865, and was in the final assault of April 2. It was among the first to enter Petersburg on April 3. It remained on guard duty until the 20th and took transports for Alexandria on the 21st. On May 9, the regiment entered Washington, was assigned to guard and patrol duty, and was mustered out July 30, 1865. Its original strength was 915 : gain by recruits, 814; total 1,729. Loss by death, 403.

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

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