Michigan Soldiers of the American Civil War<br />A Presentation of Sloan-Longway<br />Created by Kathryn Benard<br />
Why is it important to study the Civil War?<br />What were some of the causes of the Civil War?<br />Why is it important to look at the stories of soldiers of the Civil War?<br />
Col. Norman Hall, Monroe County<br />Only Michigan Resident present at the bombing of Fort Sumter<br />Grew up on a farm, went to a one room- schoolhouse, and then attended West Point<br />Was at West Point at the same time as Gen. Custer<br />Led the 7th Michigan Infantry troops<br />Considered a hero at the Battle of Gettysburg. His troops were an integral part of defeating Confederate Troops there.<br />Died soon after the war at the age of 30 from a disease he had contracted at the beginning of the war.<br />Is buried at West Point, not far from his West Point colleague Gen. Custer.<br />Photo courtesy of monroenews.com<br />
Alden C. Bayley, Battle Creek<br />Was a Battle Creek farmer<br />Enlisted in 1862, leaving his wife and two children at home<br />Wrote riveting letters home describing feelings of loneliness, patriotism, anxiety, and the desire to come home<br />Describes the camp at Warrenton, Mo.: 11 men to a tent, one acted as a cook… clay and mud lie all around them<br />Describes the food as barely pieces of ham, dried and smoked… the soldiers would envision their meals as much more than they were.<br />His regiment was a cavalry one, and the men would have to try to find all the horses and mules they could get their hands on. This wasn’t an easy task.<br />
George W. Clute, Mount Morris<br /><ul><li> From Mount Morris, Genesee County
Served as a corporal in Company I, of the 14th Michigan Volunteer Infantry
Armed only with a saber at Bentonville, N.C., he went after the colors (flag) of the Confederate Troops.
Was shot in the leg but was able to take the colors of the 40th North Carolina (from a lieutenant).
For his bravery he won a Congressional Medal of Honor.
38 medals of honor would go to Michigan Men for their bravery during the war.
After the war, Clute returned to Thetford Twp./Mt. Morris to return to farming. He became Marshal and Village President of Mount Morris. He passed away in 1919. </li></ul>Photo Courtesy of Beyer and Keydel.<br />
Marvin J. Eldridge, Burton<br />President Lincoln had issued a rally for volunteers in October of 1863. He asked for 300,000 men<br />Flint was a highly patriotic city at the time, thus urging Marvin to enlist.<br />It is believed he was enlisted with Company G of the 6th Michigan Cavalry.<br />He left for service January 11, 1864.<br />Marvin would write many letters home describing the sickness he saw all around him in the camps. <br />Was mortally wounded in Mechanicsville (Richmond area), Va. On May 28, 1864. <br />He would die a few days later at 19 years, 6 months, and 23 days, as listed on his tombstone.<br />
John R. Benjamin, Flint<br />8th Michigan Infantry Regiment<br />Would write about the hardships the troops faced… “You have no idea about the hardships of these raids. For example: Our horses were saddled every day for forty-eight successive days; the heat, the horrible dust, and the great lack of water were terrible… One day I counted 147 dead horses by the roadside.”<br />He would later describe the food…”Rations are very short; hard tack and pork and a spoonful of coffee for three days… some of our boys are not slow to mend our fare by an occasional stray chicken, turkey, or pig.”<br />
Do you know any of the stories of local Civil War soldiers?<br />Think about the names of towns around the Flint area. Are any of the towns associated with names from the Civil War?<br />
Col. William McCreery, Flint<br /><ul><li> Had worked at his father’s lumber mill in Genesee Twp.
Became clerk for his father who had become Treasurer of Flint
He had just began to practice law in Flint when the war broke out
Volunteered with Company F of the Second Michigan Infantry
was promoted to sergeant before the troops left Michigan, soon becoming captain.
Was wounded twice at Williamsburg, and became Lt. Colonel of the 21st Michigan. Would become Colonel shortly thereafter.
Was wounded again, this time by a bomb, at the battle of Chickamauga in 1863. He was attempting to carry an injured general from the battlefield. He was captured and taken to Libby Prison.
The Union soldiers kept at the camp dug a 60 foot hidden tunnel in which 109 men escaped in one night. 48 of those men were able to make it all the way to rejoin their troops. McCreery was one of those men!
They had a homemade map, and with the help of a Negro who they came across in the swampy areas (gave them clothes and food), they made it back to their troops.
Had to leave war early due to medical discharge (illness and complications of wounds)
Became Flint’s mayor in 1865 and 1866. Operated a lumber mill. He became founder and director of Citizens National Bank and of two rail systems that built a rail line from Flint to Port Huron. He was elected State Treasurer in 1874.
Considered one of the most notable soldiers from Flint</li></ul>Photo Courtesy of Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan<br />
Col. William M. Fenton, Flint<br />Was in his fifties when the Civil War began. <br />Had been a mentor of William McCreery<br />Began his appointment to the 7th Michigan Infantry as Major<br />Was transferred to the 8th Michigan Infantry where he would become Colonel<br />Was discharged in 1863<br />Had been a lawyer and state Senator (1846) before the war<br />He also had a great political career before the war as Lt. Governor (1848, and re-elected in 1850)<br />Became Mayor of Flint in 1858.<br />Was Democratic Nominee for Governor in 1864<br />The town of Fenton was named after him!<br />Photo Courtesy of Bentley Historical Museum, University of Michigan<br />
Major Irving M. Belcher, Flint<br />His family came to Flint in 1854<br />He attended Flint’s Union High School<br />At 18 enlisted in the Flint Union Blues, which was known as Company A, 3rd Regiment of the Michigan National Guard<br />Became 1st Lt. of the 16th Michigan Infantry<br />Was promoted to Captain of the 16th<br />Continued to be promoted until he became a Major <br />Was honorably discharged for disability after the Battle of Appomattox In April, 1865<br />Participated in a “Grand Review” by Lincoln and insisted on being lifted into his saddle to ride with his regiment.<br />Died In August, 1865 as he was making his way back to Flint. He was 23 years old.<br />
Warren and Charles Gustin, Davison<br />Warren was a private in Company K, 23rd Michigan Infantry from Davison, MI.<br />Was sent to Andersonville Prison, surviving to return home to Genesee. <br />Charles was in Company E of the 23rd, enlisting at 22 years old (in Saginaw).<br />
Colonel T.B.W. Stockton, Flint<br />Graduated from West Point<br />Fought in both the Civil War and Mexican War<br />Resigned from the Army at the end of the Civil War but had returned home to Flint in 1863.<br />Became and engineer and businessman upon his return<br />Married Maria Smith, daughter of Jacob Smith, one of the first fur-traders to settle in Flint.<br />Had a significant influence on the Flint area- economically, physically, and culturally<br />Built a large brick home called “Spring Grove”<br />Donated 20 acres of his property to build the Michigan School of the Deaf (Court and Miller Roads)<br />Died at the age of 85, in Flint.<br />Photo Courtesy of Bentley Historical Museum, University of Michigan<br />
S.C. (Simon) Guild, Flint<br />Was a school teacher in Flint<br />When the Civil War began, he enlisted as a Captain <br />A Student, Charley Gardner insisted he go with him as a drummer boy. Charley was 13 ½ years old.<br />Guild guarded Charley like a father, especially when Charley’s father himself died in battle.<br />Their relationship was the center of many conversations, although it is disputed.<br />Charley was devastated when Guild died in battle. He had lost a teacher, friend, father, Captain, and lover that day.<br />
How would you react if your teacher told you that they were joining the war effort?<br />How did some of these soldiers make a difference in the Flint area? <br />
Frederick Alber, Manchester<br />Born in Germany in 1838<br />Enlisted in Manchester, MI. at age of 24.<br />Enlisted with Company A of the 17th Michigan Infantry, serving in battles such as at Spotsylvania Court House<br />Is known for rescuing an officer who had been captured by the Confederates, thus capturing two Confederates in return. He shot down one and knocked the other over using the butt of his musket.<br />Received the Medal of Honor for bravery.<br />Died in 1913, and is buried in Oregon Township (Lapeer County).<br />
References<br />Archives of Sloan Museum. Catalogue, Civil War, pp. 4-5, 18-19, 21.<br />Army Career Short for Flint Civil War Soldier (1964, May 9). The Flint Journal, page unknown.<br />Bentley Historical Museum, University of Michigan. (n.d.). Michigan in the Civil War. Retrieved March 3, 2010, from http://bentley.umich.edu/research/guides/civilwar/civilwar_search.php?id=499<br />Beyer, W.F. and Keydel, O.F. (1907). Deeds of Valor. Volume 1: p.491. Detroit, Perrien-Keydel Co.<br />Col. McCreery’s Civil War Exploits Recalled: Mass Prison Escape Included; Promotions Came Rapidly. (1955, September 4). The Flint Journal, page unknown.<br />Congressional Record- Senate S14578. (n.d.) Tribute to Civil War hero Frederick Alber. Retrieved March 9, 2010, from http://0-www.gpo.gov.library.colby.edu/fdsys/pkg/CREC-1999-11-10/pdf/CREC-1999-11-10-pt2-PgS14578-2.pdf<br />Donnelly, Doug. (2009, May 10). “County Has Big Civil War History”, Monroe News, http://www.monroenews.com/article/20090510/NEWS01/705109968<br />Flint’s McCreery Was Adventurer. (1965, December 28). The Flint Journal, page unknown.<br />Helped to Dig the Libby Prison Tunnel. (1901, February 7). The Flint Evening Globe, page unknown.<br />Libby Prison. (1890). The Flint Journal, page unknown.<br />Medal Winners Grandsons Here. (Circa 1965). The Flint Journal, page unknown.<br />Union Soldier Tells His Tale: Civil War Hardships: Sickness, Dirt on Battlefield. (1974, March 7). The Flint Journal, page unknown.<br />University of Michigan- Flint. (n.d.) Scholarships in History. Retrieved March 9, 2010, from http://www.umflint.edu/history/scholarships.htm<br />
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