1st Regiment Michigan Volunteer Engineers and Mechanics


HISTORICAL NOTES:

This regiment was organized at Marshall and was mustered in Oct. 29, 1861. It left the state Dec. 17 and reported to Gen. Buell at Louisville. Cos. B, E and I, under Col. Innes, were ordered to report to Gen. McCook, at Munfordville, then moved for Bowling Green, and on the 28th for Nashville. Cos. D, F and G, under Lieut. -Col. Hunton, were ordered to report to Gen. Thomas at Lebanon. They took part in the battle of Mill Springs, Ky., and joined the regiment at Columbia in April. Cos. C and H, commanded by Maj. Hopkins, were ordered to report to Gen. Nelson at New Haven, Ky., and joined the regiment at Nashville in February. Cos. A and K, under Capt. J. B. Yates, were ordered to report to Gen. Mitchell at Bacon creek, Ky., and accompanied the first Union troops into Bowling Green after its evacuation by the enemy. The regiment was ordered to Shiloh in April and built several bridges en route with such rapidity that Buell was enabled to reach the field in time to bring victory out of disastrous defeat. It received special mention by Buell. Cos. A and K, under Maj. Yates, left Nashville with Gen. Mitchell's division, going to Huntsville, Ala., and was employed during May in running trains over the Memphis & Charleston and Nashville & Decatur railroads. The other eight companies moved towards Corinth, building roads and placing siege guns, and in June proceeded towards Decatur, building bridges and trestles, and putting the railroad in running order. In July the entire regiment was at Huntsville, actively engaged in track replacing and bridge and trestle work. In August Co. E was detached for fortification work at Huntsville. Cos. A, B, D, G and H were sent to Nashville and occupied until the middle of September in bridge building. C, F, K and I were sent to Stevenson and joined the regiment at Gallatin. The entire regiment took up the march for Bowling Green, thence for Louisville, and Cos. A, C and K took part in the battle of Perryville, where they were joined by the others on Oct. 12. The regiment moved to Nashville and went into camp at Mill creek, where it built nine bridges. It was ordered to La Vergne Jan. 1, 1863, and engaged in a skirmish. Its wagon train, in position of a half circle, with hastily constructed breastworks of logs and brush, was attacked by Wheeler's cavalry, numbering over 3,000, with a section of artillery, and 315 officers and men fought this force for 5 hours, repulsing seven assaults, the horsemen charging up to the very breastworks and the enemy's artillery being constantly employed. The enemy drew off at night with a loss of 50 killed and more wounded. By this repulse the rear of the army and most of its baggage train was saved. A correspondent said of it: "The scene was at times thrilling beyond description. The rebel horde dashed their horses against the circular brush fence with infuriated shouts and curses. * * * They were met with staggering volleys. Horses and riders recoiled again and again until they despaired, and soon swept away through the dense forests. * * * Truly, this was one of the most gallant affairs of the campaign." A standard of organization having been established in 1862, the regiment was allowed 12 companies of 150 each. From Jan. 1 to June 29, 1863, it was employed in general construction and repair work in the vicinity of La Vergne, Murfreesboro, Smyrna and Nashville, and on Oct. 31 was stationed at Elk creek. Its excellent work in putting into position greatly needed pontoon bridges at Chattanooga was specially noticed in orders. During the winter, spring and summer, the regiment was constantly employed in building trestle work, bridges, store houses, blockhouses and hospitals, in saw-mill work at Chattanooga and Bridgeport, and along the railway lines as far south as Decatur and Stevenson, Ala. It was ordered to Atlanta Sept. 25, and in October 148 reenlisted as veterans, which with the recruits enabled the regiment to maintain its full organization. It was constantly employed on the Atlanta campaign and on the march to Savannah, keeping up with the army, tearing up railroad track, destroying bridges and building roads. On Jan. 26, 1865, it took transports for Beaufort, S. C, and joined the march to Goldsboro, N. C, during which it destroyed 30 miles of track, built 8 or 10 bridges and made miles of corduroy road. Cos. L and M, detached at Stevenson the previous summer, constructed defenses at that point assisted on the defenses of the Nashville & Chattanooga railroad, on Nov. 28 were moved to Elk River bridge, and were stationed in detachments along the line of the road to Murfreesboro, building blockhouses. Most of these detachments were at Fort Rosecrans during December. On Dec. 5 a detachment from Co. L was captured, after 6 hours hard fighting, while acting as train guard. Cos. L and M left Murfreesboro March 1, 1865, moved by rail to New York, by water to Beaufort, N. C, and joined the regiment at Goldsboro March 25. The regiment moved from Goldsboro to Raleigh and from there to Washington. It participated in the grand review and was then ordered to Nashville. It was mustered out, Sept. 22, 1865. Its original strength was 1,032: gain by recruits, 2,168; total 3,200. Loss by death, 342. (Dyer states 1 Officer and 12 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 351 Enlisted men by disease. Total 364. ) Its entire service was arduous and of the highest importance. Although not engaged in many battles as a fighting regiment it was often under fire while engaged in constructing fortifications, roads and defenses for the army or in the destruction of railroads and public works used by the enemy.

OFFICERS:
Cols., William P. Innes, John B. Yates; Lieut. -Cols. , Kinsman A. Hunton, Garrett Hannings; Majs., Enos Hopkins, Perrin V. Fox, Marcus Grant, Emery O. Crittenton, Joseph J. Rhodes.

ASSIGNMENTS:

Assigned to duty by Detachments as follows: Companies "D," "F" and "G" with Thomas' 1st Division, Army of the Ohio; Companies "B," "E" and "I" with McCook's 2nd Division, Army of the Ohio; Companies "C" and "H" with Mitchell's 3rd Division, Army of the Ohio, and Companies "A" and "K" with Nelson's 4th Division, Army of the Ohio, to June, 1862, Unattached, Army of the Ohio, to November, 1862. Unattached, Dept. of the Cumberland, to muster out.

SERVICE:

Companies "D," "F" and "G" with Thomas at Camp Dick Robinson and Somerset, Ky., constructing roads to Mill Springs. Action at Mill Springs January 19, 1862. Other Companies on Green River, Ky., building storehouses, fortifications, etc., till February, 1862. Advance on Bowling Green, Ky., February 14-15. Occupation of Bowling Green February 15 (Cos. "C" and "H"). Advance on Nashville, Tenn., February 14-28. Engaged in building railroad bridges at Franklin, Columbia, Murfreesboro, etc., till April. 8 Companies moved to Shiloh, Tenn., April 3-15, building bridges and repairing roads. 2 Companies remained with Mitchell and engaged in running trains, etc., on Memphis & Charleston Railroad and Nashville & Decatur Railroad during May. Regiment engaged in advance on and siege of Corinth, Miss., April 29-May 30. Skirmish near Corinth May 9. Buell's Campaign on line of the Memphis & Charleston Railroad in Northern Alabama and Middle Tennessee June to August, building bridges, repairing railroad, etc. At Huntsville, Ala., and building bridges, repairing track and running trains on the Tennessee & Alabama Railroad and the Memphis & Charleston Railroad till August. Companies "C," "F," "I" and "K" at Stevenson, Ala., till August; rejoining Regiment near Gallatin till September. Companies "A," "B," "D," "G" and "H" moved to Nashville, Tenn., August 20-22, and building bridges on the Louisville & Nashville Railroad till September 16. March in advance of the Army to Louisville, Ky., September 16-26. Pursuit of Bragg into Kentucky October 1-22. Battle of Perryville October 8 (Cos. "A," "C" and "H"). March to Nashville, Tenn., October 22-November 7, and to Mill Creek, near Nashville, November 22. Duty there till December 31. Battle of Stone River December 31, 1862, and January 1-3, 1863. Lavergne January 1, 1863. Repulse of Forest's attack. Duty at Lavergne, Murfreesboro, etc., till June 29 building bridges, magazines, repairing railroad and other engineering work. Repairing line of the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad from Murfreesboro to Bridgeport, Ala., till September. Engineering duty at Chattanooga, Bridgeport, Stevenson and on line of the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad, Nashville & Northwestern Railroad, Tennessee & Alabama Railroad and Memphis & Charleston Railroad building block houses, etc., till May, 1864. Chattanooga October 6, 1863. Reopening Tennessee River October 26-29, 1863. Brown's Ferry October 27, 1863. 1 Battalion at Chattanooga May, 1864. 1 Battalion on Memphis & Charleston Railroad building block houses from Decatur to Stevenson, Ala., till June. Companies "L" and "M" at Stevenson, Ala., till November 28, 1864. Regiment on duty on the Atlantic & Western Railroad building block houses, etc., till September. Ordered to Atlanta, Ga., September 25. Old members mustered out October 31, 1864. Duty at Atlanta September 28 to November 15. March to the sea destroying railroad track, bridges and repairing and making roads November 15-December 10. Siege of Savannah December 10-21. Carolina Campaign January to April, 1865. South Edisto River, S. C., February 9. North Edisto River February 12-13. Columbia February 16-17. Fayetteville, N. C., March 11. Averysboro March 16. Battle of Bentonville March 19-21. Occupation of Goldsboro March 24. (Cos. "L" and "M" detached at Stevenson, Ala., working on fortifications there and on Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad building block houses, etc., till December, 1864; then at Nashville, Tenn., till March, 1865. Participated in siege of Murfreesboro, Tenn., December 5-12, 1864. Near Murfreesboro December 15. Co. "L" captured. Rejoined Regiment at Goldsboro, N. C., March 25, 1865.) Advance on Raleigh April 10-14. Occupation of Raleigh April 14. Bennett's House April 26. Surrender of Johnston and his army. March to Washington, D.C., via Richmond, Va., April 29-May 20. Grand Review May 24. Ordered to Louisville, Ky., June 6; thence to Nashville, Tenn. Duty at Nashville July 1 to September 22. Mustered out September 22, and discharged at Jackson, Mich., October 1, 1865.

ROSTERS:

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Michigan. AGO. Records of Service of Michigan Volunteers in the Civil War. Vol. 1. Kalamazoo, MI: Ihling, 1905. E514.3.M62v1. (Alphabetical list of regiment's personnel).

Robertson, John, compiler. Michigan in the War. Lansing, MI: W. S. George, 1880. pp. 165-86. E514.M62. (Brief history of the regiment).

REFERENCES:

Dyer, Frederick H. - A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion

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