Twenty- First Michigan*

   The Twenty-first was recruited in the Fourth. Congressional District and was mustered into service Sept. 4, 1862, with an enrollment of 1,000 officers and men.

The field, staff and line officers at organization were as follows:

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.

        A. Captain, Francis P. Minier, Tonia. 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 C. 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 V. Woodward, Wright.

H. Captain, Seynour 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 was rendezvoused at Ionia and it left that place for Cincinnati, Ohio, the 12th of September, and upon arrival proceeded to Louis­ville, Ky. It was soon to experience the realities of war, for the 8th of October it served in Sheridan's division at the battle of Perryville, and, though newly organized, received flattering notice from the commanding general for its splendid deportment in this hard fought engagement.

After the battle of Perryville the Twenty-first joined General Rose­crans' army at Nashville for a forward movement upon Murfreesboro. Sheridan's division, having the advance, came in contact with the enemy at Lavergne and Stewart's Creek and skirmished heavily with him until he made his stand at Stone River.

The division to which the Twenty-first belonged was on the right of the Union line, which was crushed by the savage onslaught of the enemy and driven back to the Nashville pike. Sheridan's men were wherever the fighting was the fiercest. For hours the fate of the battle rested upon him and his division, which fought with reckless daring, being compelled to, change front under fire several times, but always maintaining a compact body and only yielding ground after other troops had retired and his am­munition exhausted. His men were assailed in front and in flank, his three brigade commanders were killed, but he brought his forces from the field in good order, ready to renew the conflict when, supplied with ammunition. In the five days' fighting in front of Stone River the Twenty-first lost 17 killed, 89 wounded and 37 missing.

Colonel Stevens resigned Feb. 3, 1863, on account of ill health, and William B. McCreery, who had formerly served in the First Infantry, was commissioned Colonel of the Twenty-first, the same date of the resignation of Colonel Stevens.

During June and July, 1863, the regiment it was at Tullahoma, Cowan and Anderson Station and occupying Bridgeport. Ala., where the brigade was commanded by Colonel Lytle.

The Twenty-first was in General McCook's corps and was engaged at Chickamauga, Ga., in one of the most desperate battles of the war. General Sheridan's division was on the right of the line when General Longstreet made his fierce assault, and the Twenty-first was where the battle raged fiercest. The Union troops were cut to pieces by the terrific fire of the enemy, and with their ranks broken, General Lytle killed, they slowly fell back a few hundred yards, but did not lose their organization, as did other troops on that part of the line. Colonel McCreery was severely wounded and fell in the hands of the enemy and the regiment lost heavily in killed and wounded during the three days of carnage. The Twenty-first was specially complimented by General Sheridan for the splendid work it did during the battle.

After the battle of Chickamauga the regiment was placed in the Engi­neer Corps and was diligently at work during the summer, building bridges and hospital buildings around Chattanooga, and in November, under com­mand of Colonel Bishop, joined the Fourteenth Corps at Kingston, Ga., and proceeded to Atlanta.

The regiment marched with its corps from Atlanta to Savannah, where it arrived the 10th of December.

After the fall of Savannah the Twenty-first started on its long march through South and North Carolina, and reached Bentonville, N. C., where, it suffered severely in an attack upon the enemy's works March 19. It fought with its usual gallantry, but this was the last severe engagement, the regiment was called upon to take part in. Upon the retreat of the enemy from Bentonville the Twenty-first marched to Raleigh, and when General Johnson surrendered to General Sherman the Twenty-first, with the balance of the Fourteenth Corps, marched to Richmond, Va., and then to Washington, D. C., where it took part in the grand review May 24.

   The regiment was mustered out of service June 8 and was paid off and disbanded at Detroit, Mich., June 22, 1865.

The Twenty-first participated in encounters with the enemy at Perryville, Ky., Oct. 8, 1862; Lavergne, Tenn., Dee. 27, 1862; Stewart's Creek, Tenn., Dec. 29, 1862; Stone River, Tenn., Dec. 29, 31, 1862, and Jan. 1, 2, and 3, 1863; Tullahoma, Tenn., June 24, 1863; Elk River, Tenn., July 1, 1863; Chickamauga, Ga., Sept. 19, 20 and 21, 1863; Chattanooga. Tenn., Oct. 6, 1863; Brown's Ferry, Tenn., Oct. 27, 1863; Mission Ridge, Tenn., Nov. 26, 1863; Savannah, Ga., Dec. 11, 18, 20, and 21, 1864; Averysboro, N. C., March 16, 1865; Bentonville, N. C., March 19, 1865.

 

Total enrollment.......................1515

Killed on steamer Sultana.......................1

Killed in action..........................43

Died of wounds........................ 29

Died in confederate prisons.....................4

Died of disease.......................279

Discharged for disability (wounds and disease)............198

 

* From: Record of Service of Michigan Volunteers in the Civil War, Volume 21

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