bless our nation's banner, long may it wave and dip;
We'll fly it while our life-blood runs - we 'don't give up the ship.'"
4th Congressional district was the field assigned to the 21st regiment, which
had its rendezvous at Ionia, with the Hon. J. B. Welch as commandant of camp,
and the counties of Barry, Ionia, Montcalm, Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon, Oceana,
Newaygo, Mecosta, Mason, Manistee, Grand Traverse, Leelanaw, Manitou, Osceola,
Emmet, Mackinac, Delta, and Cheboygan constituted the sections for recruiting,
which commenced on the 15th of July, 1862, and on the 4th of September following
the regiment was mustered into the service of the United States, with the
Colonel, Ambrose A. Stevens,
Saranac. Lieutenant Colonel, William L. Whipple, Detroit. Major, Isaac Hunting,
Grand Haven. Surgeon, William B. Thomas, Ionia. Assistant Surgeon, John Avery,
Otisco. Second Assistant Surgeon, Charles R. Perry, Lowell. Adjutant, Morris
B. Wells, Ionia. Quartermaster, Martin P. Follett, Fair Plains. Chaplain,
Theodore Pillsbury, Hastings.
The companies were mustered
in under the following officers:
A. Captain, Francis P.
Minier, Ionia. First Lieutenant, Allyn W. Kimball, Ionia. Second Lieutenant,
John Morton, Ionia.
B. Captain, James Cavanaugh, Grand Rapids. First Lieutenant, Benton D. Fox,
Lowell. Second Lieutenant, Albert G. Barr, Grand Rapids.
C. Captain, Leonard O. Fitzgerald, Hastings. First Lieutenant, Perry Chance,
Hastings. Second Lieutenant, Marion A. Russell, Hastings.
D. Captain, Jacob Ferris, Ionia, First Lieutenant, James B. Roberts, Ionia.
Second Lieutenant, James A. Knight, Greenville.
E. Captain, Alfred B. Turner, Grand Rapids. First Lieutenant, Edward Dunham,
Grand Rapids. Second Lieutenant, Selden E. Turner, Hastings.
F. Captain, Elijah H. Crowell, Greenville. First Lieutenant, Robert Mooney,
Greenville. Second Lieutenant, Eben R. Ellenwood, Greenville.
G. Captain, Harry C. Albee, Grand Haven. First Lieutenant, Edgar W. Smith,
Grand Haven. Second Lieutenant, George W. Woodward, Wright.
H. Captain, Seymour Chase, Cannonsburg. First Lieutenant, Loomis K. Bishop,
Cannonsburg. Second Lieutenant, Robert B. Robinson, Grand Rapids.
I. Captain, John A. Ellsworth, Saranac. First Lieutenant, Herman Hunt, Hastings.
Second Lieutenant, James H. Truax, Hastings.
K. Captain, Herman Baroth, Ionia. First Lieutenant, Albert G. Russell, Hubbardston.
Second Lieutenant, Eli E. Burritt, Ionia.
The regiment left its
quarters at Ionia on the 12th of September in command of Colonel Stevens,
1,008 strong, under orders to report at Cincinnati. It was immediately pushed
forward into Kentucky via Louisville, and became early engaged in the realities
A beautiful silk flag was provided by the ladies of Ionia and delivered to
the 21st Regiment on the 6th of September, 1862, at that city. The center of
the flag was decorated with the American eagle, holding its quiver of arrows,
olive branch, etc. Over this a small National flag, and beneath it the words "Union," "Constitution." An
excellent speech was made by L. B. Soule, Esq., on behalf of the ladies, to
which Colonel A. A. Stevens, commanding the regiment, appropriately replied.
Afterwards speeches were made by Z. Chandler, T. W. Ferry, and F. W. Kellogg.
At the same time there was presented a flag by the children of the Grand Haven
Sunday-schools to Company G of the regiment.
The flag given the regiment was carried through all of its engagements, brought
back to the State, and at a celebration on July 4th, 1865, was formally returned,
on behalf of the regiment, to the ladies by the Hon. John Avery, of Greenville,
the highest ranking officer of the regiment present, and was received on behalf
of the ladies by the Hon. John B. Hutchins, of Ionia.
On the 1st of October following it broke camp at Louisville and entered upon
a long march through Kentucky. On the 8th it bore an important part in the
battle of Perryville, Buffering a loss of 24 wounded (1 mortally) and 3 missing,
Colonel Stevens being among the wounded.
Following is a report of Colonel A. A. Stevens made to Colonel Nicholas Greusel,
now a citizen of Iowa, for many years prior to the war a citizen of Detroit,
and at an early day identified with military organizations in that city. At
the time of making the report referred to he was colonel of the 36th Illinois,
and commanding 37th brigade, 11th division, Army of the Ohio. While Colonel
Greusel during his entire service was an honor to the State from which he held
his commission, he at the same time reflected honor upon the State of Michigan,
his early home, in which he had commenced his military career, and in which
he had so long devoted himself to the building up of the military service of
"At about 11
o'clock A. M. of the 8th instant your order was received to hasten forward
with the rear of your brigade, consisting of the 21st Michigan, 88th
Illinois, and 24th Wisconsin, cousin regiments, to where you were then
engaged, some two miles distant. This order was promptly complied with,
and upon arriving within one-quarter of a mile of your position we were
halted by order of Major General Gilbert, where we remained for a few
moments, when I received an order from Brigadier General Sheridan to
support a section of Barnett's battery on a hill to the left. We remained
in this position about one-half hour, when we were again ordered and
led by General Sheridan in person to take position in line of battle
upon the brow of the hill on the right of Hescock's battery, and in the
rear and support of the 88th Illinois Infantry, who were then hotly engaged.
While taking this position our right wing was brought under fire, and
it was at this time our casualties occurred. After remaining for some
time in this position we were ordered by yourself to form in line of
battle in the cornfield upon the left of the turnpike and in rear of
the 36th Illinois, where I again received your further instructions to
move forward with the two regiments to the edge of the woods in front,
deploy into line of battle on the 36th Illinois, and charge and take,
if possible, a rebel battery which was then harassing our position.
"I had scarcely given the order to advance when I was again ordered to move
to the rear in support of Barnett's battery. This movement was promptly executed,
when we again received your order to take our position in line upon the hill
to the left of Hescock's battery, where we remained until the close of the action.
In conclusion, permit me to add that the coolness and bravery of both officers
and men of this regiment during the engagement was truly commendable, and I humbly
trust will merit your favorable consideration. Lieutenant Colonel Whipple, Major
Hunting, and Adjutant Wells each filled their respective positions nobly, and
rendered very efficient service upon the occasion."
From Perryville the regiment
moved to Bowling Green, and on November 4th proceeded to Nashville, arriving
there on the 12th and encamped, remaining there until the general advance
of General Rosecrans on Murfreesboro. The 21st left Nashville on the 26th
of December, with the army, in command of Lieutenant Colonel McCreery, and
was engaged at Lavergne on the 27th, and at Stewart's creek on the 29th.
It participated with Sill's brigade of Sheridan's division in the five days'
battle at Stone River, sustaining a loss of 17 killed, 85 wounded, including
Captain Leonard O. Fitzgerald, mortally, and 37 missing.
of the Detroit Advertiser and Tribune says:
"We have triumphed!
In all probability the rebel cause is badly crippled, if not wholly defeated
in the southwest. Five days of terrific battle have solved the problem!
General Rosecrans's army commenced its march from the vicinity of Nashville,
Tennessee, on the 26th ult., and with the exception of picket firing,
nothing disturbed their steady march for that day. On the 27th a part
of Sheridan's division drove a small force of rebels from their position
at Nolinsville. Next morning we went on, driving them before us.
"We rested on the Sabbath, and early on Monday morning with renewed strength,
we kept on our way to Murfreesboro. Sheridan's division was in the advance each
day, and continued there until after the Wednesday's fight. On Tuesday, the 30th
ult., the rebels made a stand in one of their chosen positions, about three miles
from the town. After a brisk fight (mostly artillery) we drove them, and occupied
their position as far as practicable during the night. The 21st regiment being
in the front, of course was not allowed fires or tents, and indeed we found no
use for them for a brisk musketry fire was kept up during the whole night. Early
on Wednesday, the 31st, the battle opened with renewed vigor. The rebels had
received large reinforcements during the night, and at daybreak rushed upon us
with a vigor admirable even in rebels. A part of our division was at first repulsed;
not, however, without making the rebels feel considerable Yankee powder and Yankee
lead. The rebels attempted to surround us, but in this they were only partially
successful, and finally, after several hours' extremely hard fighting they were
repulsed. Thus, with various success, the fight raged all that day. Five days
in all led on by the arch traitors in command, the rebel army fought the hosts
of the Union.
"Five days the rebels fought, but all in vain. On Saturday night, the 3d
inst., they made their final attack. Under the cover of the storm and darkness
of that night, they thought to surprise us, but General Rosecrans, anticipating
this, was prepared for them. He collected his batteries in a strong position,
and concealed them behind a large body of troops. The rebels made a furious charge
upon these, and our forces gave way to the batteries, when these grim dogs of
war were let loose upon the rebels, and gnawed deep furrows with canister and
grape, and shot and shell, They staggered and fled in dismay at the unexpected
reception. At that moment a whole division of our forces charged upon them, and
left us in undisputed possession of the field."
General Sheridan, in a
portion of his report covering the operations of his division in that important
"The enemy appeared
to be in strong force in a heavy cedar wood across an open valley in
my front, and parallel to it - the cedar extending the whole length of
the valley - varying from 200 to 400 yards.
"At 2 o'clock on the morning of the 31st, General Sill, who commanded my
right brigade, reported great activity on the part of the enemy immediately in
his front. This being the narrowest point in the valley, I was fearful that an
attack might be made, and therefore directed two regiments from the reserve to
report to General Sill, who placed them in position in very short supporting
distance of his lines, At 4 o'clock the division was assembled under arms, and
the cannoneers at their pieces. About fifteen minutes after 7 o'clock, the enemy
advanced to the attack across the cotton field on Sill's front. This column was
opened upon by Bush's battery, of Sill's brigade, which had a direct fire on
its front, and by Hescock's and Houghtaling's batteries, which had an oblique
fire on its front from a commanding position, near the center of my line; the
effect of this fire upon the advancing column was terrible, The enemy, however,
continued to move for- ward until he had reached nearly the edge of the timber,
when he was opened upon by Sill's infantry, at a range of not over fifty yards.
As this attacking force was massed several regiments deep, the destruction to
it was great, for a short time it withstood the fire, then wavered, broke, and
ran. Sill directed his troops to charge, which was gallantly responded to, and
the enemy was driven back across the valley and behind his entrenchments. The
brigade then fell back in good order and resumed its original lines. In this
charge I had the misfortune to lose General Sill, who was killed."
The enemy soon rallied
and advanced to the attack. General Sheridan, after making several movements
with brigades of his division and with his artillery, intending to meet successfully
the advancing enemy, and gallantly attacking at several points against immense
odds without success, finally took a position on Negley's right and placed
his batteries in position. General Sheridan further says:
"In this position
I was immediately attacked, when one of the bitterest and most sanguinary
contests of the whole day occurred. General Cheatham's division advanced
on Robert's brigade, while heavy masses of the enemy, with three batteries
of artillery over the open ground which I had occupied in the previous
part of the engagement, at the same time opened fire from the entrenchments
in the direction of Murfreesboro. The contest then became terrible. The
enemy made three attacks and was three times repulsed, the artillery
range of the respective batteries being not over two hundred yards. There
was no sign of faltering with my men, the only cry being for more ammunition,
which unfortunately could not be supplied on account of the discomfiture
of the troops on the right of our wing, which allowed the enemy to come
in and capture the ammunition train."
General Sheridan in specially
mentioning by name various brigade, regimental, and battery commanders of
his division, - one of whom was Lieutenant Colonel W. B. McCreery, 21st Michigan,
"I refer with
pride to the splendid conduct, bravery, and efficiency of the following
regimental commanders and the officers and men of their respective commands."
Draper, in his history
of the war, says:
"In the dawn
of the last day of the year (1862), while Rosecrans's left was rapidly
crossing Stone river to make its expected attack, Bragg with his left
had already anticipated him. Coming out of a fog which had settled on
the battlefield, he fell furiously upon Johnson's division, and so unexpectedly
that two of its batteries were taken before a gun could be fired. The
Confederate success was decisive. Johnson's division which was on the
extreme national right was instantly swept away. Davis, who stood next,
was assailed in front and on his uncovered flank. He made a stout resistance
but the shock was too great; he was compelled to give way with the loss
of many guns. And now the triumphant Confederate left, the center also
coming into play, rushed upon the next division - but that was commanded
"Rosecrans's aggressive movement was already paralyzed; nay, more, it had
to be abandoned. He had to withdraw his left for the purpose of saving his right
and defending his communications. He must establish a new line.
"The possibility of doing this - the fate of the battle - rested on Sheridan.
He was furiously assailed in front by the Confederate division of Withers; on
his flank, uncovered by the overthrow of Johnson and Davis, he was attacked by
their victors. McCown and Cleburn. The front attack he received with such an
artillery and musketry fire that the Confederates were not only checked and broken,
but were pursued across the field to their entrenchments. Then by retiring his
right and reserves, he swung his line around so as to come perpendicularly to
its former direction. He faced now south instead of east and stood parallel to
the Wilkinson turnpike. The Confederate division in front of him and greatly
overlapping him in this, his new position, were at once held in check. Before
they could advance to the Nashville roads and so seize Rosecrans's communications,
Sheridan must be put out of the way.
"But it took an hour to do that. As his antagonists pressed on his flank
he changed his front again. Pivoting on the right flank of Negley's division,
he wheeled round his line so as to face to the west, thereby covering the rear
of Negley's line. With Negley he was now forming a wedge. Here he withstood an
impetuous attack of Cheatham's division and other heavy masses. All three of
his brigade commanders had been killed, his ammunition train had been captured,
he could not resist much longer, for the cartridge boxes of his men were empty.
The time had come when even Sheridan must fall back. But it he had no powder
he had steel. The fixed bayonets of his reserve brigade covered him, and he retired
unconquered and unshaken out of the cedar thicket toward the Nashville road.
In this memorable and most glorious resistance he had lost 1,630 men. 'Here's
all that are left!' he said to Rosecrans whom he had saved and now met."
The American Conflict
contains the following:
to re-form in the woods behind his first position, but his right was
too thoroughly routed, and was chased back rapidly towards our center.
A large portion of this (Johnson's) division was gathered up as prisoners
by the rebel cavalry; the rest was of little account during the remainder
of the fight.
"McCook's remaining divisions, under Jeff. C. Davis and Sheridan, had repulsed
several resolute attacks on their front, when the disappearance of Johnson's
division enabled the rebels to come in on their flank, compelling them also to
give ground, and, though repeated efforts were made by Davis and his subordinates
to bring their men again up to the work, their fighting did not amount to much
"Sheridan's division fought longer and better, but of his brigade commanders
General I. W. Sill was killed early in the day, while leading a successful charge,
and colonels Roberts and Schaeffer at later periods, each falling dead at the
head of his brigade while charging or being charged. This division fought well
throughout, but was pushed back nearly or quite to the Nashville turnpike, with
the loss of Houghtaling's and a section of Bush's batteries."
The regiment, in command
of Colonel McCreery, Colonel Stevens having resigned on account of ill health,
remained at Murfreesboro, employed on picket duty and as guard for forage
trains, until June 24th, 1863, when it advanced with the army on Tullahoma.
During July it was stationed at Cowan and Anderson Station, on the Nashville
and Cumberland railroad. Subsequently it occupied Bridgeport, under General
Lytle, who commanded the brigade to which the 21st was attached. September
2d the regiment crossed the Tennessee, and advanced with the corps of Major
General McCook to Trenton, Ga., from whence it crossed the mountains to Alpine,
30 miles from Rome; thence made a forced march toward Chattanooga, between
the mountain ranges, and came into line of battle at Chickamauga September
19th. The following day the regiment participated in the battle of Chickamauga,
sustaining a loss of 11 killed, 58 wounded, 35 missing, 3 prisoners. Of the
missing, 21 were known to be wounded. Lieutenant Colonel M. B. Wells was
among the killed, and Captain Edgar W. Smith, being mortally wounded, died
October 13th following, while Colonel McCreery, commanding the regiment,
was severely wounded and taken prisoner. In this engagement the regiment
belonged to the same brigade as at Stone River, and then commanded by General
Lytle, was serving in Sheridan's division of the 4th corps. On September
20th, while the division was advancing to the support of General Thomas,
it became heavily engaged, and captured prisoners from four different rebel
divisions. The 21st was in the hottest of the fight, behaved with great courage,
never yielding except when overcome by immense odds, but after a brave but
fruitless effort against a perfect torrent of the enemy was compelled to
In General Sheridan's report
is found the following extracts:
"On the morning
of September 20th I rearranged my lines and formed myself in a strong
position on the extreme right, to which I had been assigned, but which
was disconnected from the troops on my left.
"At about 9 o'clock the engagement again opened by a heavy assault upon
the left of the army, while everything was quiet in my front. To resist the assault
that was being made on the left the Interior divisions were again moved. * *
* * *
"Immediately afterwards I received orders to support General Thomas with
two brigades, and had just abandoned my position and was moving at double-quick
to carry out the order when the enemy made a furious assault with overwhelming
numbers on Davis's front, and coming up through the unoccupied space between
Davis and myself, even covering the front of the position I had just abandoned,
Davis was driven from his lines, and Laiboldt, whose brigade was in column of
regiments, was ordered by Major General McCook to charge, deploying in front.
The impetuosity of the enemy's charge, together with the inability of Laiboldt's
command to fire in consequence of the ground in his front being covered with
the men of Davis's division, who were rushing through his ranks, caused this
brigade also to break and fall to the rear. In the meantime I had received the
most urgent orders to throw in my other two brigades. This I did at a double-quick,
forming the brigade of General Lytle - composed of the 36th and 88th Illinois,
24th Wisconsin, and 21st Michigan - and Colonel Bradley's brigade, now commanded
by Colonel W. H. Walworth, to the front, under a terrible fire of musketry from
the enemy. Many of the men were shot down before facing to the front. After a
stubborn resistance the enemy drove me back nearly to the Lafayette road, a distance
of about 300 yards. At this point the men again rallied, drove the enemy back
with terrible slaughter, and regained the line of the ridge on which Colonel
Laiboldt had originally been posted. In this charge we took a number of prisoners,
and the 51st Illinois captured the colors of the 24th Alabama.
"Here, unfortunately, the enemy had strong supports, while I had none to
relieve my exhausted men, and my troops were again driven back to the Lafayette
road, after a gallant resistance. In this engagement I had the misfortune to
lose General Lytle, commanding my first brigade, and many of the best and bravest
officers of my command."
Among the names of the
officers mentioned by General Sheridan as specially distinguished are Colonel
W. B. McCreery (wounded and taken prisoner) and Lieutenant Colonel Morris
B. Wells (killed), 21st Michigan.
The American Cyclopedia, 1863, has the following:
"The battle was
finally opened about 9.30 A. M. by a forward movement of General Breckenridge,
accompanied by General Cleburn, against the left and center of General
Rosecrans. Division after division was pushed forward to assist the attacking
masses of the enemy, but without success. The ground was held by General
Thomas for more than two hours. Meantime, as General Reynolds was sorely
pressed, General Wood was ordered, as he supposed, to march instantly
by the left flank, pass General Brannan, and go to the relief of General
Reynolds, and that Generals Davis and Sheridan were to shift over to
the left and close up the line. General Rosecrans reports that the order
was to close up on General Reynolds. General Wood says that General Brannan
was in line between his and General Reynolds's division.
"A gap was thus formed in the line of battle of which the enemy took advantage,
and striking General Davis in his flank and rear, threw his whole division into
confusion. Passing through this break in General Rosecrans's line, the enemy
cut off his right and center, and attacked General Sheridan's division, which
was advancing to the support of the left. After a brave but fruitless effort
against this torrent of the enemy he was compelled to give way, but afterwards
rallied a considerable portion of his force, and by a circuitous route joined
General Thomas, who had now to breast the tide of battle against the whole army
of the enemy. The right and part of the center had been completely broken, and
fled in confusion from the field, carrying with them to Chattanooga their commanders,
Generals McCook and Crittenden, and also General Rosecrans, who was on that part
of the line."
After the battle of Chickamauga
the regiment, in command of Lieutenant Colonel S. K. Bishop, was detached
from its brigade by order of General Thomas, and was placed under General
Smith, Chief Engineer of the Department, and performed duty as engineer troops,
forming part of Engineer Brigade, and was on that duty during the engagement
of Mission Ridge. It was stationed, until the 11th of June, 1864, on the
north side of the Tennessee River, near Chattanooga, and was employed in
building a bridge over the river, and in the erection of storehouses in Chattanooga.
At the above date the regiment was ordered to Lookout Mountain, where it
was engaged in building hospitals, running mills, and in the performance
of the usual picket duty, until the 20th of September following, when it
was relieved from further duty with the Engineer Corps. On the 27th of September
the regiment left Lookout Mountain for Tullahoma, thence it proceeded to
Nashville. Joining the forces under General Rosseau, it participated with
them in the pursuit of the rebels under General Forrest, beyond Florence,
Ala., returning to Florence on the 11th of October. On the 14th, the regiment
was ordered to Chattanooga, and on the 18th to proceed to and garrison Dalton,
Ga. On the 30th of October, the regiment was relieved at Dalton, and was
ordered to join its corps. During the year it had traveled between 480 and
On November 1st, 1864,
the 21st, then in command of Colonel Bishop, was at Dalton, Ga., where it
received orders to march to Kingston and join the 14th army corps, and on
arriving there was assigned to the 2d brigade, 1st division, when it started
for Atlanta, and on the march assisted in tearing up the railroad track and
destroying everything in its rear, reaching that point on the 15th, and on
the following day after the destruction of that place, moved with General
Sherman's army towards Milledgeville, arriving there on the 22d, and then
took up a line of march in the direction of Augusta, and on reaching within
about forty miles of that point, turned directly south towards Savannah,
and arrived at the works in front of that place on the 10th of December,
and there relieved a part of the 20th army corps, which held a portion of
the works on the south side of the canal, being the most exposed position
on the whole line. There the men being obliged to stay in the trenches, without
tents and lightly clad, few of them having blankets, suffered extremely from
cold, and also from hunger, as their rations were short. The regiment continued
in that position until the 15th, when it moved back north of the canal, and
remained there until the evacuation of Savannah on the 21st, and then encamped
about three-fourths of a mile from the city. During the 25 days occupied
on the march from Atlanta, only two and a half days' rations had been issued
to the regiment, it being mainly supplied with subsistence procured by foraging
on the inhabitants of the country through which it passed. The regiment remained
at Savannah, refitting, reclothing the men, and getting ready for the campaign
through the Carolinas, until the 20th of January, 1865 following, when in
command of Captain A. C. Prince, it marched up along the Savannah river to
Sister's Ferry, where it lay until the 5th of February, then crossed into
South Carolina, still continuing the movement in the vicinity of the river
until nearly opposite Columbia, when a direction was taken towards that point,
and on arriving there turned to the left, crossed the Black and Saluda rivers,
and struck the railroad at Winnsboro, where it assisted in destroying the
track as far north as Blackstock Station; then changing the direction eastward,
crossed the Great and Little Pedee rivers about eight miles north of Cheraw,
then crossed the Wateree at Rocky Mountain, on pontoons made from wagon boxes
covered with tent flies and canvas, the high water having carried away the
pontoon bridge. While crossing, the brigade, being the rear guard, was much
annoyed by the enemy's cavalry, but succeeded in getting over the entire
corps' train, when the march was resumed in the direction of Fayetteville,
N. C. Reaching there, Cape Fear river was crossed on the 13th of March, and
moving forward, met the enemy at Averysboro on the 16th, and after a severe
engagement he retreated during the night; continuing the march, again encountering
the enemy at Bentonville, on the 19th, where the regiment became heavily
engaged, losing six officers and eighty-six men, killed and wounded, out
of 230, and after the retreat of the enemy from that point the march was
resumed, and crossing the Neuse river, arrived at Goldsboro on the 25th,
after a march of sixty-four days from Savannah, during which time only twelve
days' rations had been issued to the regiment, the main supply having been
obtained by foraging on the country on the line of march. The regiment remained
in camp near Goldsboro until April 11th, when again in command of Colonel
Bishop, a movement was commenced in the direction of Raleigh. Reaching there
on the 14th, it then marched to Haywood, on Cape Fear river, where it remained
until the surrender of Johnston's army, when the regiment, with its division
and corps, started for Richmond, in company with the 20th corps. The two
corps being destined for the same point, entered on a friendly race, which
resulted in the 1st division, 14th corps, in which was the 21st Michigan,
reaching that point ahead of any other troops, marching 280 miles in less
than eight days. From Richmond the march was continued to Washington, D.
C., where the regiment participated in the review of General Sherman's army
on the 24th of May, and on the 8th of January was mustered out of service,
when it proceeded to Michigan, arriving at Detroit on the 13th, and on the
22d was paid off and disbanded.
The 21st participated in
encounters with the enemy at Perryville, Ky., October 8, 1862; Lavergne,
Tenn., December 27, 1862; Stewart's Creek, Tenn., December 29, 1862; Stone
River, Tenn., December 29, 31, 1862, and January 1, 2, and 3, 1863; Tullahoma,
Tenn., June 24, 1863; Elk River, Tenn., July 1, 1863; Chickamauga, Ga., September
19, 20, and 21, 1863; Chattanooga, Tenn., October 6, 1863; Brown's Ferry,
Tenn., October 27, 1863; Mission Ridge, Tenn., November 26, 1863; Savannah,
Ga., December 11, 18, 20, and 21, 1864; Averysboro, N. C., March 16, 1865;
Bentonville, N. C., March 19, 11, 1865.
The reports of the regiment
show a membership of 1,477 officers and men, while its losses were 1 officer
and 40 men killed in action, 2 officers and 31 men died of wounds, 3 officers
and 291 men of disease, being 368 of a total.
NOTE. - Colonel
McCreery was severely wounded and taken prisoner at Chickamauga, September
20th, 1863. He was taken to Richmond and confined in Libby Prison, where,
with others, he engaged in digging the celebrated tunnel through which he
made his escape on February 9th following. On reaching the union lines he
telegraphed his father as follows:
Va., Feb. 15th, 1864.
To RUBEN McCREERY,
I have made escape from "Hell" (Libby Prison), and am again in God's
country, - will be home soon.
WM. B. McCREERY,
Colonel 21st Michigan Infantry.
In the War, compiled by John Robertson, Adjutant General; W. S. George & Co.,
Lansing, 1882; pp. 412-419)
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