The attack by the rebels of the Confederate Sates upon Fort Sumter, April 12, 1861, the fall of that fortress, and the proclamation, April 15, of President Lincoln, calling for 75,000 men for three months' service in behalf of the Union, roused the military ardor of our people to the highest pitch of enthusiasm. The response was prompt, and the rush to arms instantaneous. A war meeting was held at Luce's Hall, April 15, 1861, which was addressed by Col. A. T. McReynolds and others. The hall was filled to overflowing, and a spirit of intense patriotism was manifested. The pervading sentiment was to the effect that the Union must be preserved at all hazards and that the people of this county and valley would come to the front to a man, if need be, armed and equipped, for the support of the National Government. A second Union meeting was held on the 22d of April, which was marked by still greater intensity of feeling, and the determination to put forth every possible effort in the loyal cause. The ladies of Grand Rapids caught the patriotic fervor, and held a meeting, April 23, in Mills & Clancy's Hall, Mrs. S. S. N. Greely presiding, and Mrs. S. L. Withey acting as secretary, at which they resolved: "That the ladies of the Valley City are not unmindful of the perils which threatened our country, and they appreciate the patriotism which impels their fathers, husbands, brothers and sons to take the field in defense of the Flag of our Union."
April 20, the officers of the enlisted military companies of the city held a meeting at the armory of the Valley City Guards. Brig. Gen. Wm. A. Richmond presided, and Harvey J. Hollister was Secretary, and then there was reported the organization of a regiment for the war. This was the Third Michigan Infantry. Here it may be remarked that on the 16th of April a State military meeting had been held in Detroit, at which it was estimated that $100,000 would be needed immediately, to meet the exigency of the occasion, though the President had only called upon Michigan for one Regiment of Infantry, armed, clothed and equipped. The State finances at this time being at a low ebb, it was determined at once to make an effort to raise the amount by subscription, trusting to the State for reimbursement, a confidence which afterward proved to be well founded. At that meeting $23,000 was subscribed, and in less than two months the amount reached $81,020. Ransom C. Luce of Grand Rapids subscribed $100 for this fund.
FILLING A REGIMENT
The Third Regiment (Infantry) was encamped on the fair grounds, just south of the city-"Cantonment Anderson". It was mustered May 21 into State service, and June 10 into the service of the United States. The Valley City Guards tendered their services, were accepted, and formed a company in that regiment. The roster of the Guards was as follows:
Captain, Samuel A. Judd; First Lieutenant, Frederick Shriver; Second Lieutenant, Charles D. Lyon; Third Lieutenant, John Dennis; Orderly Sergeant, Edward S. Earle; Second Sergeant, George E. Judd; Third Sergeant, James Cavanaugh; Fourth Sergeant, Edward Hunt; Fifth Sergeant, Thomas Greenly; First Corporal, Miles Adams; Second Corporal, A. C. McKenzie; Third Corporal Joseph Herkner; Fourth Corporal, Charles H. Carey.
Bogardus, Peter A.
Buck, Henry O.
Budington, E. D.
Burns, J. G.
Crittendon, Israel C.
Ferris, Wm. P.
Goodrich, E. C.
Hinsdill, Chester B.
Johnson, Harley M.
Judd, Elliott E.
Lovell, Don J
Luce, H. C.
McCrath, John W.
Mann, John M.
Marsh, J. G.
Pierce, Edward S.
Powers, Daniel H.
Rose, Charles H.
Smith, Ray V.
Taggert, C. M.
Tracy, B. C.
Truax, John K.
Williams, Henry F.
"THE BOYS ARE MARCHING."
Cantonment Anderson was a veritable bee-hive of busy preparation during the month of May. From all the country about came in the volunteers, and scores of enlistments were added daily, until the regiment started for the field June 13, with its ranks swollen to 1,040 men. On the fourth of June, a delegation of thirty-four young ladies, representing the States of the Union, visited the camp, bearing a beautiful silk banner, on which was the inscription in letters of gold: "Presented by the ladies of Grand Rapids, to the Third Michigan Infantry." This banner was fashioned and wrought by Miss Mattie Ferguson, and she did not live to see it again; though it came back after less than two years of service in the field, begrimed and tattered and torn, riddled with bullets, and its folds baptized in blood, but unstained by a single act of dishonor on the part of that gallant body of patriots. It was a notable day in Grand Rapids when these soldiers started out to take part in what proved to be the most sanguinary struggle of the Nation. There was a general suspension of business in the city, as the regiment marched in solid ranks through the streets to the railway station, a benediction of mingled pride and cheers and tears, and prayers for the success of the noble cause for which they had volunteered. No such pageant had ever before been seen here, though similar scenes were destined to become familiar before the trouble ended.
There was no abatement of this patriotic ardor, and determination to defend the Union cause, and support the arm of the Government. On the contrary it grew stronger and more intense as the conflict deepened. In response to the succeeding calls of the President in that year, for 500,000 men, here as well as elsewhere volunteers came rushing in for enlistment. In the language of the soldier boys of those days "the woods were full" of patriots. The pervading feeling and the strong beating of the public pulse were well indicated in the poetic response of Halmer H. Emmons, at a war-meeting held in Detroit in July, 1862, to the call of the President for 300,000 additional troops:
If you look up all our valleys, where the growing harvests shine,
You may see our sturdy farmer-boys fast forming into line;
And children from their mothers' knees are pulling at the weeds,
And learning how to reap and sow, against their country's needs;
And a farewell group stands weeping at every cottage door-
We are coming, Father Abraham, three hundred thousand more!
You have called us and we're coming, by Richmond's bloody tide
To lay us down, for freedom's sake, our brothers' bones beside;
Or from foul treason's savage grasp to wrench the murderous blade,
And in the face of foreign foes its fragments to parade.
Six hundred thousand loyal men and true have gone before-
We are coming, Father Abraham- three hundred thousand more!
Even the youth caught the ardor of loyalty, patriotism, and military enthusiasm, and in May, 1861, while the "Old Third" was filling its ranks, the boys organized a military company which they called the Cadets, but soon changed its name to the Grand Rapids Greys. After a few months' of drill, many of the officers and members of this company, enlisted in the regular service, but the organization was kept up at home until near the close of the war. The following is the roster of the "Greys" as first organized:
Captain J. C. Herkner; First Luiet., H.M. Moore; Second Lieut., W.H. Martin. First Serg., D.H. Powers; Second, G. Stevenson; Third, Frank Lyon; Fourth, Silas Pierce. Corporals-C. F. Kendall, C.H. Deane, F. Reynolds, T. Mitchell. Privates- J. Mann, S. W. Baxter, H. H. Chipman, M. M. Moore, C. T. Stoner, G. C. Pierce, E. D. Harvey, Fred B. Perkins, C. B. Carpenter, O. Budington, M G. Huntly, J. D. Utley, W. L. Wilbur, F. R. Rose, C. W. Calkins, F. Burr, A. D. Rathbone, W. D. Smith, Wm. S. Hovey, A. F. Armstrong, Albert Henry, Levi Chase, L.H. Rindge, Ed. Ringuette, John Stewart, Porter Sinclair, John Burr, Tileston A. Comstock, D. C. Southwick, Salem Chapin, E. E. Winsor, Wm. H. McNeil, J. Coats.
THE SERVICE IN THE FIELD
Kent county sent 4,214 men to the war.
SERVICE IN THE FIELD-FIRST INFANTRY-THIRD INFANTRY 577
Of the regiments raised in this State, the Second, Third, Sixth, Seventh and Tenth Cavalry were rendezvoused while forming and mustered in, at Grand Rapids. Also the Third Infantry and the Third Infantry reorganized were mustered here. Of other regiments, any considerable portion of which was made up from Kent county, were the First Cavalry, mustered at Detroit; the First Engineers and Mechanics, mustered at Marshall; the Eighth Infantry, mustered at Detroit; the Fourteenth Infantry, mustered at Ypsilanti, and the Twenty-first Infantry, mustered at Ionia. The Fifth, Thirteenth, Fifteenth, Sixteenth, Twenty-fifth and Twenty-sixth Infantry, and the Fourth Cavalry, had each some representatives for this part of the State. Companies B, C, and K of the First Light Artillery, and the Thirteenth Battery, also went from Grand Rapids. There were also volunteers from this county among the U. S. Sharpshooters and the First Michigan Colored Infantry. It may safely be said that no troops in the Union did more gallant service, or made a better record than those who went from this Valley. Of those of the above organizations which drew most largely from this city and valley, upward of 3,500 men were killed in action or died of wounds or disease while in the service-"fell under the flag in defense of the Union". There is no record to show the exact number of those who were citizens of Grand Rapids. Some soldiers from this section served in organizations of other States, but this number as compared with the whole number is inconsiderable; a few, also, were in the Regular Army. The sketches of regiments, batteries and other commands here appended are necessarily brief; and only those are included in which Kent county had a considerable representation. Nor does the proper award of praise for gallant services and noble deeds to the Boys in Blue from our own midst imply the withholding of just acknowledgment of the courage and bravery of their foes in the rebel army; for, however mistaken were the latter in their cause, and even in some instances atrociously inhuman, their valor is indisputable. Only the leading names of field and staff officers, as a rule, are given in these outlines; but in another place are presented in brief the military records of all commissioned officers of this city and county.
This regiment was raised for three months, and afterward reorganized for three years' service; was then mustered at Ann Arbor, with a strength of 960 officers and men, and left the State September 16, 1861, in command of Col. John C. Robinson, then a captain in the U. S. Army. Lieut. Co., Horace S. Roberts, Detroit; Major, Franklin W. Whittlesey, Ann Arbor. The reorganized regiment was officered principally by men who had served in the three months regiment. On its arrival at Washington it was reviewed by President Lincoln in person. It led the advance into Virginia, in the spring of 1862, under Col. Roberts, successor to Col. Robinson, who had resigned. During that year it participated in eight engagements, losing its Colonel, 88 men and ten officers. A considerable number of its officers and men were from Kent County. It performed well its part during the war, and was mustered out at Jackson, July 12, 1865, having lost in the line of duty, 243 men.
The "Old Third" under command of Col. Daniel McConnell, who had for some time held a commission as a Colonel in the Uniformed Michigan Militia, was mustered in at Grand Rapids June 10, and left the State for the Potomac, June 13, 1861-Lieut. Col, Ambrose A. Stevens; Major, Stephen G. Champlin; Surgeon, D. Willard Bliss; Asst. Surgeon, Zenas E. Bliss; Quartermaster and Commissary, Robert M. Collins. This regiment was attached to Richardson's Brigade, and in five days after leaving Grand Rapids was in the action at Blackburn's Ford. It afterward belonged to Berry's celebrated brigade, of Kearney's Division. Col. McConnell having resigned, it went into the campaign of 1862 under the command of Col. S. G. Champlin. It fought at Williamsburg May 5, at Fair Oaks May 30, at Charles City Cross Roads June 30, and on July 1 at Malvern Hill. At Fair Oaks its losses were severe- 30 killed, 124 wounded and 15 missing, including among the killed Capt. Samuel A. Judd, and among the wounded Col. Champlin. The Third was also engaged at the second battle of Bull Run, losing heavily, and at Chantilly. After the disablement of Col. Champlin, the regiment was under the command of Col. Byron R. Pierce, until his promotion to the office of Brigadier General. Under his command it was engaged at Chancellorsville, and afterward at Gettysburg. In all the annals of war, never was bestowed higher praise upon any body of men, than upon the gallant "Old Third" of Michigan. A correspondent of the New York Tribune, writing June 4, 1862, in relation to Michigan troops at Fair Oaks, said:
They fired away every one of their sixty cartridges to a man, and then gathered everywhere the unconsumed cartridges from the boxes of the dead and wounded, and economically used them. A North Carolina regiment, sent against the Third Michigan, had its front file wholly knocked down by a volley. The next file turned to run. A line of bayonets depressed behind them hold them fast. "Charge!" ordered the Michigan Colonel. Over the rail fence leaped our men, with a yell that ever smites terror. Their bayonet points were not waited for. The Carolinians broke and ran.
After Gettysburg in 1863, the Third was engaged at Wapping Heights, then in August proceeded to Alexandria, and thence to New York, to aid in preserving the public peace during the then pending draft, and later to Troy, N.Y., where it was stationed two weeks. Returning to the Army of the Potomac in September, it took part in the advance on Mine Run in November, engaged in several skirmishes, and finally encamped at Brandy Station on the 2d of December. Near the end of this month, 207 of the regiment re-enlisted as veteran volunteers. It afterward took part in the Battle of the Wilderness and engagements at various points in Virginia in May, and at Cold Harbor June 7, 1864. About this time four companies of this regiment were merged in the Fifth Infantry, and served with it until the close of the war. The "Old Third" having been mustered out of service at Detroit, on the twentieth of June, 1864, orders were issued to reorganize the regiment, which was completed in the following October, under Lieut. -Col. M. B. Houghton, to whom that duty was assigned, with 800 officers and men on the rolls of the new organization. October 20, under Houghton's command, the regiment proceeded to Nashville, thence to Decatur, Alabama. Between that time and the close of the war it was engaged at many points in the South; moving in the latter part of 1865 into Western Texas, where it was engaged for a time on provost guard duty. Early in the spring of 1866, the regiment was ordered to Victoria, Texas, where it was mustered out of service May 26, and started for Michigan. Arriving at Detroit June 10, the men were there paid off and disbanded. The enrollment of this regiment was 1,109, its losses were 158, of whom two died of wounds, and 156 of disease, a heavy loss considering the time of service, owing largely to severe marching under a hot sun and in unhealthy country.
ISRAEL CANTON SMITH, from his connection with the army during the late war, and with the Michigan State troops since that time, and his extensive business relations, enjoys a wide acquaintance among the citizens of this State. His father, Canton Smith, and his mother, Ann Angell, were married in Scituate, R.I., their native town. They were of Quaker decent. Moving to Michigan in 1837, they settled at Grand Rapids, where the subject of this sketch was born March 12, 1839. His early education was received in the public and private schools of Grand Rapids, and two years at Albion College. His business career began with lumbering on the Muskegon River, where his father owned a mill; and after a brief experience in the same business in Chicago, and a year's absence in the South he returned to Grand Rapids, and entered the law office of James Miller. Pursuing his legal studies for about twelve months he was seized with an attack of the then raging gold fever, and in 1859 joined a party starting for Pike's Peak, but which finally decided to go through to California from Fort Kearney. After many hardships and several narrow escapes from hostile Indians, they arrived at their destination 114 days from the time of leaving the Missouri River. Following a brief but comprehensive California experience, young Smith returned home by the way of the Isthmus of Panama, and soon afterward went to St. Louis, Missouri, where he engaged as clerk of a steamboat running on the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. He returned to Grand Rapids in 1860, and again entered the office of James Miller, to complete his law studies. When the war broke out, he gave up the law and enlisted as a private soldier in Company E of the Old Third Regiment, Michigan Infantry. Before the regiment left the State, he was
BIOGRAPHY OF GEN. ISRAEL C. SMITH
promoted to Second Lieutenant, and in July, 1861, on the first Bull Run battlefield, was again promoted to First Lieutenant and Adjutant. January 1, 1862, he was offered the position of Aid-de-Camp on General I. B. Richardson's staff, which he declined, to accept a Captaincy in his own Regiment, Company F. He was at the siege of Yorktown, served through the Peninsular Campaign, and was mentioned in general orders by General Phil. Kearney for gallantry at the Battle of Fair Oaks. At the second battle of Bull Run Captain Smith was with his Regiment, the grand "Old Third", in the thickest of the fight. At an important crisis of the battle, while advancing under a heavy fire from the front and both flanks, the right of the regiment broke. Captain Smith, whose company was near the left of the line, taking in the critical situation, sprang to the front, ordered and led a charge that drove the rebel line from its position, and when forced by numbers to fall back, his men kept up a bold resistance, firing in retreat. While leading the charge, Captain Smith was wounded twice, back of the shoulder, and still carried one of the balls as a memento of the occasion. He was on the staff of General Barry at the Battle of Fredericksburg, and was soon after appointed by General Daniel E. Sickles, commanding the Third Corps, Assistant Inspector General and assigned to the Third Brigade, First Division, Third Army Corps. At the Battle of Chancellorsville, where he was on the staff of General Heyman, who commanded the Brigade, he was assigned to the right of the line in the famous "Night Charge" when Stonewall Jackson was killed. During the battle on the second day the right of the line broke. Captain Smith gave his horse the spurs and dashed away at full speed to rally the regiment, when a cannon ball tore off the top of the horse's neck just in front of the saddle. It was a close call, but, instantly dismounting, he rallied the regiment back to its line. The army fell back to Chancellorsville House, where the rebels, after killing the horses of one of the Union batteries, drove the cannoneers from the guns and advanced to take the battery. Captain Smith called for volunteers, charged down the plank road and dragged the guns within the Union lines. At the Battle of Gettysburg, General De Trobriand commanded the Brigade. After the troops were placed in position it was found that the line was not connected on the left. Captain Smith found some troops and got them into position to fill the gap just as Longstreet's column charged. The rebels were repulsed, but advanced again, and a regiment stationed at a point on the line at the right of the wheat field broke badly. Captain Smith rode in among them and rallied the men back to their original position. But here his horse was shot and he received a wound in his right leg, fracturing the bone just below the knee. The ball still remains in the leg. Captain Smith was mentioned in the reports for gallantry at this battle. The following is an extract from General De Trobriand's book, "Four Years in the Army of the Potomac:"
His horse turned on his hind legs as if ready to fall. A ball had passed through the shoulder of the animal and the leg of the rider. The latter turning toward me, showed me on the front of his boot a round hole, from which the blood was flowing freely. "Go to the ambulance as quickly as possible," I told him, "your horse is still able to take you there." Captain Smith saluted me with perfect coolness, expressed to me the regret he felt in not being able to be of further service to me, and went off without hurrying.
On account of his wounds he was granted leave to return home, where he had been but a short time and was still on crutches, when, in August, 1863, he was promoted Major of the Tenth Regiment Michigan Volunteer Cavalry, and ordered to take command of the camp at Grand Rapids. In the fall the regiment was ordered to Kentucky and joined the Army of the Ohio; thence into East Tennessee, where Major Smith was kept busy for a time leading the advances made by the infantry corps in making reconnoisances toward the Virginia line. In April, 1864, the regiment attacked the fort at Watauga Bridge. After a sharp fight, the fort was carried. Major Smith led the charge and was the first man inside of the works, and as he went over the parapet the rebels rushed out on the opposite side. He charged the rebel General John Morgan at Morristown. In this fight Morgan was discovered with his cavalry drawn up in line halted. The commanding officer rode back to the rear, where Major Smith was marching with his battalion, and explained to him the situation. Smith asked him why he did not order a charge. The reply was: "Do you want to charge him?" Smith said, "Yes," and instantly moved out, galloped past the other two battalions, came into line on the jump, charged and drove Morgan from the field. He was soon after appointed Acting Assistant Inspector General for the District of East Tennessee, serving in that position in the Departments of the Ohio, Cumberland, Twenty-Third Army Corps and Cavalry Corps; and on the staff of the following named officers: General Davis Tillson, General Alvin C. Gillem, General Jacob Ammon, and General George Stoneman. While a member of General Gillem's staff, and the cavalry division were driving Morgan's cavalry back to the Virginia line, General Tillson, learning of the approach of General Wheeler's rebel cavalry division, who were trying to find a ford to cross the Holston River, dispatched a locomotive to Bull's Gap for Major Smith, with orders for him to come to Knoxville. Taking command of what cavalry could be mustered, about one hundred men, he moved out with instructions to observe the movements of the rebels and ascertain if possible their numbers and objective point. Nine miles from Knoxville his command received a terrific volley from a rebel regiment in ambush. He instantly charged and broke through the rebel line, and in a chase of three miles captured about sixty of their number. In the midst of the exciting pursuit Major Smith noticed some rebel artillerymen running up a couple of guns directly in his front, not over a hundred yards distant; a cavalry regiment behind the artillery; another cavalry regiment coming up through the woods on his right, and still another on his left, and at once discovered that he had charged right into the heart of General Wheeler's camp, and was nearly surrounded by some 5,000 rebels, who had crossed the river during the night. Making the best of a very desperate situation, he ordered his command to fall back. The rebels rushed him for five miles, repeatedly defeating his attempts to check them. Major Smith came out of the fight with only eighteen men of the original one hundred, and the rebels recaptured the prisoners; but he had accomplished his mission and obtained the information wanted by the commanding general. Soon after Major Smith was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of his regiment. In November, 1864 General Gillem was hard pressed by the rebel General John C. Breckinridge at Bull's Gap, and had asked by courier for re-enforcements and ammunition. Colonel Smith, with about four hundred men and one piece of artillery on a flat car, was ordered to take ammunition through from Knoxville to Bull's Gap, and render General Gillem what assistance he could. He left Knoxville about dark, his train backing up, which brought the flat car with the piece of artillery in front. On reaching Morristown, where he made a halt, he saw a number of stragglers coming from the direction of Bull's Gap. This was about midnight. The moon shone bright and clear, making it quite light. Soon General Gillem's forces were discovered making for the rear in a demoralized condition, singly and in squads, having been broken to pieces by Breckinridge's command of rebel cavalry. Colonel Smith put his troops upon the train and fell back one mile west of Morristown, where he placed them in position; one flank resting on a swamp, the other protected by Gillem's cavalry, the troops forming in eschellon behind rail fences, the car with the gun in the center of the line. The railroad and wagon road ran side by side, as they do most of the way from Knoxville to the Virginia line. Colonel Smith's plan was to check the rebels and give Gillem's artillery and train time to get to the rear. About 12:30 o'clock the rebels were heard coming through the town, noisy and jubilant over their success, and advancing rapidly. When the head of the column came to within a few paces of Colonel Smith's position, he halted the advance and asked, "Who comes there?" The answer was, "Rebs." Colonel Smith gave the order to fire. The artillery poured in its canister and the troops opened fire which was most destructive. Riderless horses were flying in every direction, and the rebel column broke and fled back through town. At the same time the engineer on the train became frightened and started for the rear, carrying off the piece of artillery, and leaving Colonel Smith with his command dismounted, forty miles outside the Union outposts, without any support, and his left flank unprotected (General Gilman's troops breaking and making for the rear at the first fire), and with Breckinridge in his front with thiry-five hundred men. It was not a desirable situation; but
BIOGRAPHY OF GEN. ISRAEL C. SMITH
to give Gillem's battery and train still further time, he held to his position. The rebels came through the town, where Colonel Smith could dimly see the lines forming, and heard General Breckinridge give the order to move "forward." He waited until they came within close range, when he opened fire and checked them, but only for a moment. When he saw that he could hold the position no longer, he sent for Colonel Kirk, whom he had posted on the left of the road, to join him with his forces, and then began to fall back, but before that officer had time to form a junction with his (Smith's) troops, the rebel cavalry charged down the road and cut him off. Colonel Smith here whirled and gave them a volley, and then moved into the dark woods. The rebels were attracted by General Gillem's artillery and train, and thinking that they had Colonel Smith and his command sure, moved down the road with the main column; he was thus enabled to keep out of their reach, and traveled through woods and fields until daylight, keeping his direction by the noise the rebels made in the road. At daylight he moved farther back and traveled until seven o'clock that evening, when he arrived at Strawberry Plains, forty miles by rail from Morristown, having halted but twice, once for three minutes, and at another time for five minutes, in eighteen hours' march. As he came up to Strawberry Plains, he was obliged to strike the river below the bridge and move up under its banks, as the rebels were placing pickets along in front of the bridge to cover all the approaches. Colonel Smith had an important position with nearly every Union expedition that was undertaken in East Tennessee in 1864 and 1865, and during that time had many skirmishes and minor actions with the rebel cavalry. During the winter of 1864 and 1865 General George Stoneman was assigned to the Department of the Cumberland, and Colonel Smith was appointed Assistant Inspector-General on his staff. In the great raid in the spring of 1865, General Stoneman, in command of five thousand cavalry and a light battery, moved over the mountains into North Carolina, thence over the mountains back again into Virginia, constantly skirmishing with the enemy and destroying many miles of railroad. Moving back again into North Carolina, General Stoneman came in front of Salisbury, N.C., where a rebel prison was located. Here he was met by a strong body of the enemy posted behind a deep and muddy stream. The rebels drove back our advance, having taken up the planks of the bridge and posted several batteries on the other side of the stream. General Stoneman ordered Colonel Smith to take two squadrons, go down through the woods, dismount, cross the stream and charge the batteries. After much difficulty, he succeeded in getting his men across on logs, and formed them in open order in the woods, ordering them, when they saw him jump the fence, all to do likewise, fire their carbines, and yell as loudly as possible, at the same time making a rush for the batteries. As the troops charged through the fields, the rebels, thinking that the whole of Stoneman's force had crossed the stream and were on their flank, limbered up their guns and rushed to the rear. By the time Colonel Smith reached the road, the Union troops had replaced the planks on the bridge and commenced moving across with the cavalry. Mounting a soldier's horse, he took command of what troops had crossed and charged down the road. The rebels had again formed in a piece of woods, and allowed him to come up within short range of the guns, when they opened fire from twelve pieces of artillery. Colonel Smith's horse was shot from under him, he himself receiving a scratch on the hand from the sharp point of an exploding shell, and his forces were driven back; but he soon had a fresh command, charged the rebels again, driving them through the town, in the face of a raking fire delivered from cross streets, alleys and houses. Colonel Smith led the troops, charging through the town, and on reaching the far side he captured the first piece of artillery and the battery flag, which was afterward presented to him by General Stoneman. Subsequently all the artillery was captured (sixteen pieces) and nearly two thousand prisoners. The next day he was given command of two regiments, with orders to drive back a body of cavalry that was advancing from the east, and destroy a railroad bridge. Returning the same night, he was ordered to take the advance of Stoneman's column and clear the road between Salisbury and Statesville, which was infested by rebel cavalry. The column moved just after dark. Colonel Smith started with four squadrons at a gallop, and in the fifteen miles to Statesville his command was fired upon five different times by strong forces posted in the road; but his own men never fired a shot, only yelled and charged the enemy; thus clearing the road each time without giving the rebels time to destroy the bridges. Arriving at Statesville, he found there was a rebel column at the far side of the town, occupying about two-thirds of it, but he held the balance with his small force until the arrival of General Stoneman's column, about two o'clock in the morning. The column re-crossed the mountains into East Tennessee near Asheville, where Colonel Smith led a charge and captured a rebel battery, which was the last of his engagements during the war. He was again assigned to General Gillem's staff and stationed at Chattanooga. He was made Colonel of his regiment, and soon after, at his own request, was relieved from staff duty and moved his command to Memphis, where he remained until November, 1865.He was then ordered to take his regiment to Michigan, where it was mustered out of service. Colonel Smith was commissioned Brevet Brigadier-General to date from March 13, 1865. Besides his other duties in East Tennessee, General Smith while on staff duty inspected each month from one to three cavalry regiments, three infantry regiments, two heavy artillery regiments, nine light batteries, the forts and fortifications of Knoxville, and occasionally the troops and works at Cumberland Gap and other points occupied by Union troops. Having enlisted as a private, he passed successively through every grade from Second Lieutenant to Colonel of cavalry and Brevet Brigadier-General, and participated in nearly all of the battles of the Army of the Potomac, from first Bull Run to Gettysburg, and the cavalry engagements in East Tennessee in 1864 and 1865. General Smith's high standing with the general officers under whom he served, is best attested to by the many responsible positions to which he was assigned by orders, such as the following: By Major-General Daniel E. Sickles, commanding the Third Corps, Army of the Potomac, acting Assistant Inspector-General Third Brigade, First Division, Third Army Corps; by Major-General John M. Scofield, commanding Department of the Ohio, acting Assistant Inspector-General Second Brigade, Fourth Division, Twenty-third Army Corps; by General Scofield, member of a Board to examine candidates for commissions in the First United States (colored) Heavy Artillery Regiment; by General Scofield, member of a Board to examine certain officers cited before it by General Jacob Ammon as to their fitness to hold their commands; by General Davis Tillson, to convey inside of the rebel lines by flag of truce a number of prisoners and important dispatches; by General Scofield, one of three commissioners to proceed with flag of truce to the rebel lines and confer with commissioners appointed by the rebel General, John Morgan, with reference to an exchange of non-combatants of East Tennessee, held as prisoners by the United States Government and by the Rebel Government; by General Tillson, to proceed to the Irish Bottoms, East Tennessee, where a brigade was stationed on the Little Pigeon River, and direct its operations; by General Tillson, assigned to duty as acting Assistant Inspector-General of the District of East Tennessee, Fourth Division, Twenty-third Army Corps; by General Alvin C. Gillem, acting Assistant Inspector-General, Calvary Division, Twenty-third Army Corps, by General George Stoneman, acting Inspector-General, First Cavalry Division, Department of the Cumberland. The following very complimentary quotation is from a letter to the Adjutant-General, Washington, D.C.:
Headquarters Fourth Division Department of the Cumberland, Greenville, East Tennessee, April 28, 1865. General:- I have the honor to recommend that Lieutenant-Colonel I. C. Smith, Tenth Michigan Cavalry, be appointed Colonel of the First U. S. C. Artillery, Heavy. Lieutenant-Colonel Smith has served under my command, or immediate observation, for the past eighteen months. His conspicuous courage, capacity and gallantry have made him the object of admiration of the entire command. He has upon his person several scars from wounds received in battle, in which he has repeatedly exhibited the most distinguished bravery and fortitude. I know of no officer of his rank possessing a more brilliant and deserving record in the entire army. The undersigned raised and organized the First U. S. C. Artillery, Heavy, and feels warmly interested in its reputation and success, and feels quite sure that in neither of these respects will the regiment be inferior to any in the service, should Colonel Smith be made its Commander. Hoping that my application may meet with your approval, I am respectfully your obedient servant, Davis Tillson,
The recommendation was endorsed as follows:
GEN. ISRAEL C. SMITH-FIFTH INFANTRY
Knoxville, Tenn., May 1, 1865. Respectfully forwarded with the remark, that the recommendation and statements of General Tillson are fully endorsed. It gives the undersigned pleasure to have the opportunity of testifying to the merits of Colonel Smith., which are unsurpassed by any officer of my acquaintance. I hope this application will be granted. . George Stoneman,
These two officers were graduated of West Point. General Stoneman complimented him of his coolness in action, and that his command were never demoralized. Parson Brownlow, Provisional Governor of Tennessee, in recognition of General Smith's gallantry as a soldier and hard rider, presented him with a bronze statuette of a thoroughbred horse, and the General was appointed Second Lieutenant in the Eighth United States Cavalry, but decided to return to the walks of civil life. After being mustered out of the service, he assumed the management of the National Hotel, which stood where now stands the Morton House, in Grand Rapids. He married, in 1867, Ada Elizabeth Meeker, born in New York City, daughter of William D. and Abbie R. Meeker, and grand-daughter of the late Judge Edward Mundy, who was distinguished as Lieutenant-Governor, Attorney-General and Judge on the Supreme Bench of Michigan. General Smith removed to Kansas City in 1867 and opened a hotel, the Pacific House, of which he was the proprietor for three years. In 1870 he engaged in cattle raising and mining, making his headquarters at Denver, with one cattle ranch in Colorado and one in New Mexico. During his residence in Denver, he commanded a "crack" military company, the Governor's Guards. His only child, Morton Fitz Smith, was born in that city. In 1878 he returned to Grand Rapids, and in company with George B. Morton bought the old National Hotel property and erected the Morton House. In 1875, the city having been visited by several destructive fires, General Smith was appointed Fire Marshal. In 1876 he was appointed agent for the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad and Star Union Line. In 1878 after he had reorganized the Fire Department, and established its present high standard for efficiency, he resigned his position with the Department. In 1881 the Legislature passed a bill placing the Police and Fire Departments of Grand Rapids in the hands of five commissioners, General Smith being one of the five original members mentioned in the act. He was also at that time Captain General of the Commandery of Knights Templar, DeMolai No. 5. In 1882 he resigned his position with the railroad company, the Captain-Generalcy of the Commandery and his position as Police and Fire Commissioner, to accept the general management of the Barnhart Lumber Company, operating at Duluth. In June, 1887, he was appointed Superintendent of Police by the Board of Police and Fire Commissioners, and in a short time placed the Department in an advanced position for discipline and general efficiency. He resigned the position in February, 1889, to accept that of general manager of the Converse Manufacturing Company, controlled by James W. Converse, of Boston, In 1874 General Smith accepted the Captaincy of the Grand Rapids Guard, and when the companies were organized into Regiments, he was appointed Colonel of the Second Regiment. In 1884 he was appointed Brigadier-General of the Michigan State troops and held the command until his term expired, January 1, 1889, having served in the State troops for fifteen consecutive years. General Smith is a member of St. Mark's Episcopal Church, of Custer Post G. A. R., and of the Michigan Commandery of the Loyal Legion, of which he was elected Vice Commander in 1889, and Commander in 1890. In March, 1890, he was appointed by the Governor of the State one of the Board of Managers of the Soldiers' Home. The following is from the pen of one who has been intimately connected with General Smith in business, military and social circles for many years, and is therefore valuable testimony to the General's worth as a citizen and soldier:
His physical appearance is that of a born soldier, erect, active and dignified. He has been a citizen of Grand Rapids from boyhood and has contributed his full share toward the growth and development of the city. Both n public and private life, his course has been such as to commend him to the confidence and esteem of his fellow-citizens. He has established a repute for business and personal integrity that gives him a foremost place among the representative men of Grand Rapids, where he has come to be regarded as an upright, enterprising, honored and respected citizen, whose merit and worth entitle him to the enjoyment of honorable position accorded him by his fellows.
The Fifth was organized at Fort Wayne, and mustered into service at Detroit, August 28, 1861, with an enrollment of 900. Colonel, Henry D. Terry; Lieutenant Colonel, Samuel E. Beach; Major, John D. Fairbanks. This regiment took park in battles at Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, Malvern Hill, Chantilly, Fredericksburg, and many other places, acquitting itself handsomely. It continued in active service until the close of the war, and was mustered out July 8, 1865. Not many of its men were from Grand Rapids, though 100 or more were from Kent county. Its ranks were considerably swollen toward the close of the war by consolidation with it of fragments of other regiments, so that during its service it had in all an enrollment of 1,950 officers and men. Its losses under fire and by disease footed up 398.
The Eighth Infantry had its first rendezvous at Grand Rapids, and its companies were officered largely from this county. It was mustered in at Detroit, Sept. 21, 1861, and left the State on the 27th of that month. Colonel, Wm. M. Fenton; Lieutenant Colonel, Frank Graves; Major, Amasa B. Watson. October 19 it embarked as a part of the "Expeditionary Corps" under Gen. Sherman, for Hilton Head. During the time from its arrival there to the close of 1862, it had a dozen engagements with the enemy, at as many points in the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, and Maryland. Its assault upon the enemy's works at Secessionville, on James Island, June 16, 1862, was one of the most daring and gallant during the war. The regiment here suffered severely in the loss of men, and among the killed were Captains Benjamin B. Church of Grand Rapids, and Samuel C. Guild of Flint. In 1863 the regiment was transferred to East Tennessee, where it took part in several movements and battles. Again it returned to the Army of the Potomac, and in May, 1864, participated in the Battle of the Wilderness, where was killed Col. Graves, who was then its commanding officer. Col. Ralph Ely succeeded to the command, and the regiment, until the close of the war, continued to do gallant service, participating in many sanguinary battles. It was mustered out near Washington, July 30, 1865, and on August 3 was disbanded at Detroit. It had borne on its rolls 1,792 men, and had lost 403 by the casualties of war.
This regiment was mustered into service January 17, 1862, at Kalamazoo. Colonel, Charles E. Stuart; Lieutenant Colonel, Orlando H. Moore; Major, Frederick W. Worden. Its first battle where it fought bravely, losing 95 men, killed, wounded and missing, was at Pittsburg Landing. Among its other important engagements, it participated in the bloody battle at Stone River, and also at Chickamauga. It had a very active and busy career from beginning to end of its service, closing with the Atlanta campaign and the march to the sea with Gen. Sherman. It was mustered out at Louisville, July 25, 1965, and two days later disbanded at Jackson. Its total enrollment had been 2,084, and its losses numbered 390.
Organized and rendezvoused at Ypsilanti, this regiment was mustered February 13, 1862. Robert P. Sinclair, Colonel; Robert W. Davis, Lieutenant Colonel; Myndert W. Quackenbush, Major. It left Ypsilanti April 17, for Pittsburg Landing. Colonel Sinclair and his Lieutenant, Davis, resigned in September, and the regiment was commanded during the latter part of its service by Colonel Henry R. Mizner. It was a gallant organization, largely composed of volunteers of Irish nativity, who never knew when they were whipped. It took part in many sharp engagements, was in the Atlanta campaign, and particularly distinguished itself at the battle of Jonesboro, Ga., Sept. 1, 1864. Its total enrollment was 1,806 and its losses were 247. It was mustered out at Louisville July 18, and disbanded at Detroit July 21, 1865.
While they were in the field, many laughable anecdotes were told of the quick-witted Hibernians of this regiment. Here is a sample: A soldier obtained leave to go fishing. Meeting with no luck at fishing, and wishing to return to camp with something, he caught a small pig which he found at large near his fishing point, tied it with the string which he had intended to carry fish with, and started for quarters; taking much pains to get within the line of sentinels undetected in his attempt to evade the order against bringing live stock into camp. He succeeded in passing the guards, but before reaching his tent was halted by an officer, who inquired: "Been fishing, Mike?" "Yis Sor." "Caught any?" "Niver a wan." "Bad luck, Mike?" "Yis, Sor." "But you brought in something?" "Niver a hap'orth." "O, yes you have; and don't you know there is an order against bringing pigs into camp?" "Yis, Sor, but I didn't." "You have." "No I haven't." "But what's that behind you?" Mike turned around, and in apparent amazement exclaimed: "Bedad! Some thafe of the worruld has tied an innocent pig to me fish line!" The officer turned away with a grin on his face, and Mike slipped into his tent.
The Twenty-first Regiment was rendezvoused at Ionia, was raised in the Fourth Congressional District, and recruited largely from Kent and Ionia counties. It was mustered in at Ionia, Sept. 4, 1862, and left for the seat of war Sept. 12. Colonel, Ambrose A. Stevens; Lieutenant Colonel, William L. Whipple; Major, Isaac Hunting. This was eminently a fighting regiment, from the beginning to the end of its service. October 8, less than four weeks after leaving camp at Ionia, it was in the battle of Perryville, Ky. From there it moved to Bowling Green, and then to Nashville. It was engaged at Lavergne, Dec. 27, and at Stewart's Creek on the 29th, and also participated in the five days' battle at Stone River, immediately following. This regiment was in the hottest of the fight at Chickamauga, and there was distinguished for its courageous behavior. It served with credit in the Atlanta campaign and "march to the sea." During most of the two weeks prior to the evacuation of Savannah, in December, 1864, the men of this regiment held a portion of the works in the most exposed position on the line in front of that place. Their rations were short, and they suffered much from hunger and cold, being obliged to lie in the trenches, without tents, and very lightly clad, few of them having blankets. During the twenty-five days occupied on the march from Atlanta, only two and a half days rations were issued to this regiment, and its subsistence was procured mainly by foraging upon the inhabitants of the country through which it passed. In the latter part of January, 1865, under the command of Capt. Arthur C. Prince, it marched up the Savannah River; in February crossed into South Carolina, and finally through into North Carolina. Encountering the enemy at Bentonville, it had there a sharp engagement with the enemy, suffering considerable loss. The regimental roster showed a total membership of 1,447, and a loss of 368 by the fortunes of war. It was mustered out at the District of Columbia, June 8, and reached Detroit June 13, 1865, where the men were paid and discharged.
This regiment was organized at Kalamazoo, and drew a portion of one company from Kent county. Colonel, Orlando H. Moore; Lieutenant Colonel, Benjamin F. Orcutt; Major, Dewitt C. Fitch. It was mustered into the service Sept. 22, 1862, and left Kalamazoo Sept. 29. It especially distinguished itself July 4, 1863, by its effective defense of a stockade at Tebb's Bend, in Green River, Ky., against the entire command of the rebel General John H. Morgan. It was engaged in the Atlanta campaign, and in Gen. Thomas' defense of Nashville. During 1864 it participated with credit in several battles in Georgia, and was finally mustered out at Salisbury, N.C., June 24, 1865. Its total enrollment was 968 men, and its total loss 166.
The Twenty-sixth was organized at Jackson, was mustered Dec. 12, 1862, and left the State the next day for the war. Colonel, Judson S. Farrar; Lieutenant Colonel, Henry H. Wells; Major, William O'Donnell. Co. I of this regiment was recruited at Lowell, Kent county. While in camp at Jackson the regiment was present by the ladies of that place with a magnificent silk flag. It was assigned to provost duty in Alexandria, Va., where it remained until April, 1863. In the summer of that year it was part of the force that was sent to New York to assist in maintaining order during the period of mob lawlessness. After that it was in the campaigns of the Army of the Potomac until the close of the war, making for itself a praiseworthy record. It had a membership of 1,210, while its losses were 259. It was mustered out June 4, 1865, at Alexandria, and on June 7 disbanded at Jackson.
ENGINEERS AND MECHANICS
This regiment was organized under special orders from the War Department, to be composed, as the name indicates, principally of practical engineers and mechanics. Authority to raise it was given to William P. Ennes, a civil engineer, who was appointed Colonel, with full power to designate his officers. Enlistment began in August, 1861. It was rendezvoused at Marshall, was mustered into service October 29, and left the State December 17. Colonel, William P. Innes; Lieutenant-Colonel, Kinsman A. Hunton; Major, Enos Hopkins; Surgeon, William H. DeCamp. At this time it comprised ten companies, but was subsequently recruited to twelve companies of 150 men each, by Captain P.V. Fox of Company D. In the early part of its service six of the companies were commanded by Grand Rapids men. This regiment won special distinction, not only in its legitimate work as an engineering corps, but also on several occasions as a fighting force. Reaching the field in December, and reporting to Gen. Buell at Louisville, Kentucky, it was assigned to duty in four detachments- one to report to Gen. McCook, commanding at Mu1nfordville, Kentucky; one to Gen. Thomas, at Lebanon; one to Gen. Nelson, at New Haven, and the fourth to Gen. Mitchell, at Bacon Creek. These during January, February and March, 1862, were engaged in various duties, the chief of which was building railroad bridges. In April, Col. Innes with his field and staff and eight companies, were with Buell's Army of the Ohio, in the march for the field of Shiloh, Mississippi, reaching there April 15. On the way they built several road bridges, and the celerity of their work, enabled Gen. Buell to reach the scene of action in time to aid Gen. Grant to bring compete victory out of threatened defeat. From its entry into the service, to the close of the war, this was an extraordinarily busy regiment. Sent here and there, detachments of the engineers were constantly at work, where building or repairs of roads or bridges were needed. Its services were especially valuable to the Government, and highly appreciated, giving it a National as well as a State reputation second to few or none in the history of the War of the Rebellion. Its three years' time expired October 31, 1864, and such of its officers as desired to leave the service were mustered out, including Col. Innes. But by re-enlistments it maintained its full strength and organization, until the close of the war, receiving frequently from Gens. Rosecrans, Thomas and others commanding, highly complimentary mention, of the labors and the gallantry of its officers and men. The amount of bridge and railroad building done by this regiment, looking back upon its record, seems almost marvelous. Besides its regular engineering duty, it participated in nearly a dozen serious engagements with the enemy; notably at Farmington and Corinth, Mississippi; at Perryville, Kentucky; at Chattanooga, Tennessee; at the siege of Atlanta, Georgia, and it won meritorious distinction in its gallant defense of Lavergne, Tennessee, during the famous battle of Stone River. Capt. P.V. Fox and the pontoniers under his command, received special compliments from Maj. Gen. Thomas for putting a bridge across the river at Brown's Ferry near Chattanooga, October 26, 1863, during a sharp fight. The Engineers and Mechanics went into the field with an aggregate strength of 1,132, which during its service was increased to a total enrollment of 3,200, officers and men. Its losses were, thirteen men killed in action or died of wounds, one officer, Capt. James W. Sligh, by railroad accident, and 342 died of disease. The regiment was mustered out September 22, 1865, at Nashville, and three days later disbanded at Jackson. Surgeon William H. DeCamp, of this command was appointed Post Surgeon and Medical Director in charge of the hospitals at Harrodsburg, Kentucky, in October, 1862, and for his efficient and humane management received a card of acknowledgment from fourteen surgeons of the Confederate Army. There were several thousand sick and wounded rebel soldiers in those hospitals.
WILLIAM POWER INNES was born in New York City January 22, 1826, and entered upon the hustling work of a busy life at the early age of thirteen years, when he took upon himself the partial support of a widowed mother, a sister and a brother. His early education he owes to that beloved mother, never having had any other advantages worth mentioning. He entered into
WILLIAM P. INNES-FIRST CALVARY-SECOND CALVARY
The employ of the Erie Railway as a civil engineer at the age of sixteen, and remained until the completion of that great line of travel. Early in 1853 he left New York and came to Michigan as a civil engineer in the employ of the Detroit, Grand Haven and Milwaukee Railroad Company- then the Oakland and Ottawa- and has since that time called Grand Rapids his home. He remained in the employ of this road until its completion, when he took charge of the then called Amboy and Lansing Railroad, extending from Jonesville to Saginaw, and was with that until 1861. In 1857 he made the first preliminary survey for a road from Grand Rapids to Mackinaw, being the land grant road, afterward merged into the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad. Soon after the battle of Bull Run in 1861, he obtained special permission from President Abraham Lincoln to raise a regiment of engineer officers and soldiers, together with a battery of artillery. He was commissioned Colonel September 12, 1861; entered the field with his command (Michigan Engineers and Mechanics), joining the Army of the Ohio in the fall of that year, and remained in the service a little over three years, part of which time he was Military Superintendent of Railroads of the Department of the Cumberland, under General Rosecrans. In 1865 he entered the service of the railroads in Tennessee, and remained until the fall of 1868, when ill health compelled his return to Michigan. During his civil life in Tennessee he had the general management of the Nashville and Chattanooga and Nashville and North Western Railroads, the latter of which he also managed as Receiver, under Governor Brownlow, for some time. He was also President and Chief Engineer of the Nashville and Tennessee Railroad. After returning to Michigan he gave up active life as a railroad man, although he has done much in that line as consulting engineer. He served as Commissioner of Railroads of Michigan during Governor Begole's administration in 1883-84. For the past few years he has devoted the most of his time to his own private affairs. Early in life he took an active interest in Freemasonry, having filled a number of positions both in subordinate and grand bodies of the State, and at present he occupies the honorable and responsible position of Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter, and Grand Recorder of the Grand Commandery, K.T. He married, June 5, 1850, Arianna A., youngest daughter of David P. Tinkham, of Owego, Tioga County, New York, with whom he passed years of happiness, until July 3, 1881, when she passed into rest, loved and beloved by all. By this marriage there were four children- two sons and two daughters. The youngest son joined his mother a short time ago; the three remaining children are residents of this city.
The First Regiment of Michigan Cavalry was organized at Detroit; was mustered into service at that place September 13, and left for the front September 29, 1861. Colonel, Thornton F. Brodhead; Lieutenant Colonel, Joseph Copland; Majors, William S. Atwood, Angelo Paldi, Charles H. Twon. George K. Johnson of Grand Rapids was the first Surgeon of this regiment; after him Samuel R. Wooster; and about fifty of its men were from Kent County. This, with the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Regiments, constituted the celebrated Michigan Cavalry Brigade, of the Army of the Potomac. Going in with 1,144, it carried on its rolls during it services 3,244 officers and men. Its losses numbered-10 offficers and 92 men killed in action, 5 officers and 46 men died of wounds, and 5 officers and 246 men died of disease. It was mustered out, paid off and disbanded March 10, 1866, at Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Second Cavalry was organized by Francis W. Kellogg of Grand Rapids, then a Member of Congress, under authority given him by the Secretary of War, and was rendezvoused at this city. Lieutenant Colonel, William C. Davis; Majors, Robert H. G. Minty, Seldon H. Gorham, Charles P. Babcock. Surgeon, Charles L. Henderson. It was mustered October 2, 1861, at Grand Rapids, and left November 14 for St. Louis, where Col. Gordon Granger of the U. S. Army took command. Colonel Granger having been promoted to be Brigadier-General, on May 25, 1862, Capt. Philip H. Sheridan of the U.S. Army was appointed Colonel. Sheridan at once assumed command, was soon in the saddle, and in a few days in the spirited fight at Boonville, which resulted in a victory recorded as among the most notable of the minor achievements of the war. July 1, 1862, Sheridan was promoted to be Brigadier-General, and his subsequent brilliant career is well known to all readers of American history. Col. Archibald P. Campbell was then appointed Colonel. The Second was one of the noted active cavalry regiments in the Western Army, and did much to vindicate the cavalry branch of the service from the odium which some of the higher commanders seemed disposed to cast upon it at the beginning of the war. It took prominent part in nearly seventy engagements with in the military histories, and therein it made a record of which the State, as well as Grand Rapids, is justly proud. For a time in the fall of 1863, while serving in the First Brigade, it was in command of Major L. S. Scranton. It bore on its rolls during its term of service, 2,425 names, and encountered a total loss of 338 officers and men, of whom 70 were killed in action or died of wounds, and 266 died of disease. August 17, 1865, it was mustered out at Macon, Ga., and August 26 paid off and disbanded at Jackson.
Simultaneously with the Second, under the superintendence of Col. Kellogg, this regiment was organized at Grand Rapids; was mustered in Nov. 1, and left the State Nov. 28, 1861, under command of Lieut. Col. Minty, for St. Louis, where it was stationed at Benton Barracks. Colonel, Francis W. Kellogg; Lieutenant Colonel, Robert H. G. Minty; Majors, Edward Gray, William S. Burton, Obed H. Foote. The appointment of Col. Kellogg having been made by the War Department, he was mustered in with the regiment, but with his consent was soon after mustered out of service, and on March 7, 1862, Capt. John K. Mizner of the U.S. Army was commissioned Colonel. This was also a fighting regiment and made for itself a splendid record. During November and December 1863, it had very active service, being engaged almost constantly in scouting and various expeditions through Northern Mississippi and Western Tennessee, and at the same time having frequent encounters with the enemy. In January, 1864, 592 of its men re-enlisted, and were mustered in as Veteran Volunteers, after which it had a furlough of thirty days, with rendezvous at Kalamazoo. At the end of 1863 the Third Cavalry had marched more than 10,000 miles, exclusive of marches in separate companies and detachments, and had captured upward of 2,000 prisoners. Its total enrollment during its service was 2,560; total loss 414, of whom 375 died of disease.
It is related that while this regiment was on the march from San Antonio to Indianola, Texas, on the way home in 1866 one night they bivouacked near a ranch. One of the officers asked the woman if she did not fear for his hen-roost, with so many soldiers about. "O, no," she laughingly replied, "I have not had any chickens since Gen. Grant's Illinois regiments went through here."
The Third was mustered out at San Antonio, Feb. 12, and arrived at Jackson March 10, 1866, where it was paid off and disbanded.
This regiment went into rendezvous at Detroit, was mustered into service Aug. 29, and left for the front Sept. 26, 1862, under Colonel Robert H. G. Minty. About three score of its men were from Kent county. It was among the foremost of the fighting forces of the war, did splendid service in the campaign of the Army of the Cumberland, participating in more than a hundred battles and skirmishes, and gave the finishing stroke to the Rebellion by the capture of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States, at Irwinville, Ga., under Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin D. Pritchard of Allegan. In reference to this and another important incident of the war, Chaplain George Taylor of the Eighth Michigan Infantry added the following stanza to a well-known poem:
Ericsson's Monitor with grace,
Michigan, my Michigan,
The Rebel Merrimac did chase,
Michigan, my Michigan;
Our Worden fought that iron-clad,
Yet Michigan more glory had,
When Pritchard caught the woman-clad.
Michigan, my Michigan.At the close of service the Fourth had borne on its rolls 2,217 officers and enlisted men, and had suffered a total loss of 375, of whom 327 died of disease. It was mustered
FIFTH CAVALRY-RUSSELL A. ALGER.
out July 1, 1865, at Nashville, and returned July 10 to Detroit.
This regiment had its rendezvous at Detroit, and was mustered into service there, August 30, 1862. Three or four of its Companies were recruited from Western Michigan, but not a large number of its men were from Grand Rapids. The regiment did hard work and made a splendid record in the field. Russell A. Alger, who went out as a Captain in the Second Cavalry, was made Colonel of the Fifth, February 28, 1863. William G. Beckwith, than whom few saw harder or more adventurous service, and who came home minus a leg, enlisted in Company B, and his record well illustrates the arduous and effective work of the regiment, which lasted until its muster out, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, July 1, 1865. First and last 1,998 names were on its rolls, and its losses numbered 98 killed in action, 24 died of wounds, and 236 died of disease.
RUSSELL A. ALGER was born in the township of Lafayette, Medina County, Ohio, February 27, 1836. On his father's side he can trace his family back through English channels to the time of William the Conqueror. The earliest of the name in this country was John Alger, the great-grandfather of R. A. Alger. He served in the Revolutionary War and took part in many of its battles. Russell Alger, the father of R. A. Alger, married Caroline Moulton, a descendant of Robert Moulton of England, who came to Massachusetts in 1627, in charge of a vessel laden with ship building material, and having a number of skilled carpenters as passengers. It is probable that the first vessel built in Massachusetts was constructed by Mr. Moulton. Both in England and America the Moultons are numerous, and many of them have attained distinction. In 1800 the Alger family went to Ohio and took an active part in the development of that now great State. When he was twelve years old the parents of R. A. Alger died, leaving him dependent upon him a younger brother and sister. With cheerful spirit, he at once engaged in farm work, and for the greater part of the next seven years worked upon a farm in Richfield, Ohio, saving his money and applying it for the benefit of his brother and sister. In the winter he attended the Richfield Academy, where he obtained a good English education. At the age of eighteen he secured a position as a teacher, teaching school during the winter months for several years. In March, 1857, he began the study of law in the office of Wolcott and Upson, at Akron, Ohio, remaining until 1859 when he was admitted to the bar by the Supreme Court of Ohio. He then removed to Cleveland, entering the law office of Otis & Coffinbury, where he remained but a few months, and retired in the fall of 1859 on account of poor health, induced by hard work and close confinement. Soon after he removed to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he engaged in the lumber business. He had just begun to make his presence felt in commercial circles when the war with the South broke out, and in August, 1861, he left for the front, and "from the time of his enlistment until he left the army, the record of his heroic military service is a record of honor." He first enlisted in the Second Michigan Cavalry, and in the autumn, when that regiment was mustered into service, he was commissioned as Captain, and assigned to the command of Company C. His first important service happened at the battle of Booneville, Mississippi, July 1, 1862. That engagement- one of the most important minor batles of the war, and fought against tremendous odds- resulted from an attack by General Chalmers, of the Confederate Army, with seven thousand mounted men- eleven regiments and portions of regiments- upon Colonel Philip H. Sheridan with two small regiments, the Second Iowa and the Second Michigan Cavalry. From the start Sheridan's men fought desperately. Seeing that he was outflanked and in danger of being surrounded, he sent ninety-two picked men, commanded by Captain Alger, with orders to make a circuit and charge the enemy upon the rear with sabres and cheers- the cheers to be a signal for Sheridan to simultaneously charge the enemy in front. The brave ninety-two charged as ordered, and Sheridan immediately dashed upon the front, and so well executed were the two movements that the Confederate forces broke and ran. One hundred and twenty-five of the enemy's killed were buried upon the field, and a large number of their wounded were carried away. Of the ninety-two sent on this forlorn hope forty-two were killed or wounded. Captain Alger was both wounded and captured, but escaped in the confusion of the rebel stampede. For his gallant service in the battle he was promoted to the rank of Major, and it was in this battle that Colonel Sheridan gained his earliest fame, and was soon after promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. Major Alger continued to merit the approval of his superior officers, and October 16, 1862, was promoted to the Lieutenant Colonelcy of the Sixth Michigan Cavalry, and June 8, 1863, Colonel Alger's command entered the village of Gettysburg, being the first of the National forces to reach that place and receive definite information as to the movements of the enemy. In the great battle, then so little expected, which was fought at the very doors of Gettysburg, he with his regiment did most effective service. In General Custer's official report of the part taken by the cavalry at Gettysburg, the name of Colonel Alger frequently appears, and acknowledgment is made of the distinguished part he bore in the engagement. On July 4, 1863, during the pursuit of the enemy which followed the battle, Colonel Alger led the advance with the Fifth Michigan Cavalry, and when near Monterey, on the top of South Mountain, Maryland, with great daring and equally great confidence in his men, he dismounted, crossed a bridge guarded by more than 1,500 infantry, and succeeded in capturing the enemy's train, together with 1,500 prisoners. On July 8, 1863, at the battle of Boonsboro, he was so severely wounded as to be unable to resume command of his regiment until the following September. His subsequent famous charge with his regiment at Trevilian Station, Virginia, on June 11, 1864, when with only three hundred men he captured a large force of the enemy, is memorable as one of the most brilliant and daring deeds of the war. General Sheridan's report concerning this engagement, on file in the War Department, says:
The cavalry engagement of the eleventh and twelfth was by far the most brilliant one of the campaign. The enemy's loss was very heavy. My loss in capture will not exceed one hundred and sixty. They are principally from the Fifth Michigan Cavalry. This regiment, Colonel Russell A. Alger commanding, gallantly charged down the Gordonville road, capturing 1,500 horses and 800 prisoners, but were finally surrounded and had to give them up.
During the winter of 1863 and 1864 Colonel Alger was assigned to special service, reporting directly to President Lincoln, and while so engaged visited nearly every army in the field. It was his fortune to serve in or command regiments better armed than most, and they were frequently engaged in perilous and fatiguing service. At first he served in the West and South, but from the invasion of Maryland by General Lee in 1863 until the day of his retirement, Colonel Alger was with the Army of the Potomac and in constant service except when disabled by wounds. His brigade accompanied General Sheridan to the Shenandoah Valley in 1864 and served through that campaign. On September 20, 1864, he resigned on account of physical disability and was honorably discharged, having during his period of service taken part in sixty-six battles and skirmishes. At the close of the war he was made Brevet Brigadier General for gallant and meritorious services to rank from the battle of Trevilian Station, and on June 11, 1865, he was made Brevet Major General for gallant and meritorious services during the war. When he returned from the scene of war, he removed to Detroit, and in company with Franklin and Stephen Moore, engaged in the lumber trade, dealing especially in long pine timber and also in pine lands.
After a few years the firm of Moore, Alger & Co. was succeeded by the firm of Moore & Alger, and then by R. A. Alger & Co., which continued until 1874, when the corporation of Alger, Smith & Co. was organized with General Alger as President. This corporation has become the largest operator in pine timber in the world. The corporation owns large tracks of pine lands in Alcona County and Alger, Chippewa and Schoolcraft Counties in the Upper Peninsula and also on the Canadian shore of Lake Huron. General Alger is also President of the Manistique Lumber Company, organized in 1882 with a capital of $3,000,000. He also has extensive tracts of red wood lands in California and Washington State, and of pine lands in Wisconsin and Louisiana, and is largely interested in an extensive cattle ranch in New Mexico and is President of the company. He is President and largest stockholder in the Detroit, Bay City and
RUSSELL A. ALGER-WILLIAM G. BECKWITH
Alpena Railroad; owns a large amount of stock in the Peninsular Car Company; the Detroit National and State Savings Banks, in which he is a director; he is also a stockholder in the Detroit Copper and Brass Rolling Mills, and in several other large business concerns. A friend of Gen. Alger writes:
Coming to Detroit at the close of the war, rich only in honors gained in fighting the battles of his country, he entered the business world, and by his exceptional native abilities he long since gained a foremost place among the business men of Michigan. He is a man of strong will, resolute courage, great tenacity of purpose, a high order of financial generalship and rare administrative ability. When a course of action has been decided upon he is self-reliant and trustful of his own judgment and inspires others with perfect confidence in his capacity to accomplish what he undertakes. He is not discouraged or baffled even by the most formidable obstacles, but is fertile in resources, prompt in action, energetic in execution and uniformly successful.
A stanch Republican, General Alger has always been active in the service of his party. But owing to the engrossing cares of his vast business interests he has until late years avoided the honors of political office. In 1884 he was a delegate to the Chicago Convention that nominated Blaine and Logan, and in the same year he was elected Governor of Michigan. In the conduct of the affairs of State he exhibited the same qualities that have made his business career so highly successful. Under his watchful administration the interests of the State were carefully guarded, and all the charitable and educational institutions fostered, protected and enlarged. At the end of his term he laid aside the responsibilities of his office, "secure in the confidence of the people whose good opinion he has so richly earned." In 1888 he was a leading candidate for the Presidential nomination, and would probably have received it had he been a resident of a really doubtful Republican State. He was an Elector at Large, heading the list in his State, in the election of Harrison and Morton. Deep in the affections of the veterans of the late war, he was elected in August, 1889, Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic. Says Mr. Silas Farmer, author of the History of Detroit:
In personal appearance General Alger is tall, slender in form, with an erect, dignified bearing. He is quick and incisive in speech, never brusque, but approachable, courteous and considerate toward all. He begets and retains warm friendships, and those who are numbered among his friends and confidants are sure to be profited by his judgment and helpfulness. Although so deeply engrossed with business duties, he is a lover of books and a devoted patron of art, and is among the first to respond to deserving public enterprise. Possessed of a generous and sympathetic nature, he is ever attentive to the needs of those less fortunate than himself, and does not wait for others, but seeks out opportunities for doing good, and thousands of people have reason to feel grateful for timely benefactions received from him. His public and private achievements, coupled with his irreproachable life, reflect credit upon the State and city of his adoption.
General Alger married, in 1861, Annette H. Henry, a daughter of William G. Henry, one of the pioneers of Grand Rapids, and prominent in the early official life of this place, now a resident of Detroit. They have a family of six children- three daughters and three sons.
WILLIAM G. BECKWITH, an ex-soldier with an artificial leg, a much esteemed
citizen of Grand Rapids, was born at Willet, Chenango County, New York, December
3, 1832. His parents were natives of that State. The family moved to Rochester,
then to Pennsylvania, and in 1845 came to Grand Rapids, and soon settled on a
new farm some distance east of the village. The early educational advantages of
Mr. Beckwith were only those of the country district schools of the time, to
which was added a term in the Union school of this city. The main business of
his early life was farming, with some school teaching. When the War of the
Rebellion came on, he enlisted as a private, August 21, 1862, in Company B of
the Fifth Michigan Cavalry, which was one of the regiments afterward composing
the Michigan Cavalry Brigade. He participated in all the engagements of his
regiment during the following year and up to that at Buckland's Mills, Virginia,
October 19, 1863, where, with many others, he was captured by the enemy. His
adventures during the following eight months, if fully written out, would
constitute a story replete with romance and of thrilling interest. As a prisoner
he was first taken to Richmond, and then to Belle Island, where he was confined
until the early part of February, 1864. His treatment and that of his comrade in
the prison was barbarous and cruel; like what was often experienced during the
war, illustrating the lack of common humanity.
Among the Rebel Confederates who were keepers of or providers for their prisoners of war. These they almost starved and never clothed. On one occasion, Mr. Beckwith relates, so ravenous had hunger made them that a roasted mouse was eagerly devoured as a precious morsel by himself and another- and that was their Christmas dinner. And his descriptions of the "corn pone" bread served out to them in stingy bits, made of corn ground with the cob, unbolted and half cooked and sour and "stringy," corroborate scores of similar narratives given in that trying period. In February, 1864, he was taken out of that filthy place to be sent to Andersonville, with many others. On their way, in South Carolina, he and Comrade E. B. Bigelow, jumped from the cars in broad daylight, and walked leisurely-they were too weak to walk fast-to the woods in sight of the train, and escaped. They took a northwesterly course and traveled much in the night, pretending to be rebels when accosted, some two hundred miles, toward Knoxville, Tennessee, when they were surprised and recaptured. While the captors were taking them back, they grew bold and reckless, and had much sport with the men of the squad having them in custody-catching their guards asleep and threatening to report them, uncapping their guns, putting snow in the caps, and playing other pranks. Suddenly, as the two had planned, they made a dash down the mountainside. Attempts to shoot them were futile, the rebel guns would not fire. They were again overtaken, this time by dogs, and caught. They were then taken to Asheville, North Carolina, and kept a few weeks in a seminary building, where they managed to clothe themselves a little in rebel underclothing by foraging in boxes which they found stored there. Next they were taken back to Camp Vance, Morganton, N. C., and put in a log prison. Some efforts to escape by chopping through the logs were ineffectual, and then they were taken to Salisbury, kept there till the latter part of April, and then started for Andersonville. In less than an hour after the train moved Mr. Beckwith and his companion slid out of a window upon a gravel bank, and as soon as the cars had passed slipped away into the woods. They went back by way of Asheville, and thence struck out toward Knoxville, and, came again upon the route which they had traveled in their first attempt to escape. Getting into Tennessee they found a boat which they took and went down the river. Being very hungry, and coming opposite a good looking brick house, they stopped and Mr. Beckwith proceeded to take a survey of the premises. Passing around the corner he came upon three men dressed in the rebel gray, in conversation with an elderly lady. Putting on a bold face he asked if some hungry men could be fed there. "Depends on who you are," said the woman, straightening up. "Dinner for two Yankees," responded Beckwith. "I reckon, come right along," she said, and their appetites were soon appeased with an excellent meal. The entertainers were Union sympathizers, and the rebel dress which the men wore was a disguise for self-protection. Mr. Beckwith found many such Unionists at heart, during his wanderings. Going down to Danbridge he found the ferryman to be a Union man, and that news had just been received of the Republican Presidential nomination. At once he astonished the few persons about by hurrahing for Lincoln and Johnson as loudly as his lungs, in his tired and exhausted condition would permit. The next morning he reached the Union lines at Strawberry Plains, where he found Colonel Thaddeus Foote in command, and met a number of his Grand Rapids friends who had given him up as lost. From that time he served in all the battles of his regiment until, August 29, 1864, he was shot through the thigh at Smithfield in Shenandoah Valley. While suffering from that wound he came home and voted, and in December went back, and despite the contrary advice of physicians and surgeons rejoined his regiment near Winchester, Virginia. After that he was in all its battles until, at Appomattox, April 8, 1865, he lost his right leg by the explosion of a shell, which also wounded him in several other places and tore his clothing to tatters. He was then nine days in getting to the hospital at City Point, during which his leg was dressed but three times, and he suffered terribly. It had been amputated above the knee, the stump swelled and burst and supervening necrosis destroyed another portion of the bone. Coming home from the army as soon as he was able, he did much farm work on crutches in the following year. In 1866 he was
WILLIAM G. BECKWITH-SIXTH CAVALRY- ELIJAH D. WATERS.
Elected County Register of Deeds, and was twice re-elected; filling that position six consecutive years. He served as Collector of Taxes in the Fourth Ward two years-1873-74. After 1876 he was in the office of the Register of Deeds as Deputy for six years, and has since been engaged principally in examination of land titles, for which business his twelve years of experience in the Register's office had well qualified him. Mr. Beckwith married, January 12, 1871, Maria A. Jipson, a school teacher in Grand Rapids township, who in former years had been one of his pupils. Their children were one son and three daughters, of whom only the daughters are now living. Despite his hard army experience and crippled condition Mr. Beckwith is still an indefatigable worker. In public office he has been found conscientious and efficient, and his record carries on its face testimony to the merits of the man better than could be given in pages of fulsome eulogy.
Organized at Grand Rapids, under authority granted by the War Department to Francis W. Kellogg, Member of Congress, this regiment was mustered October 13, 1862. Colonel, George Gray; Lieutenant Colonel, Russell A. Alger; Majors, Thaddeus Foote, Elijah D. Waters, Simeon B. Brown. Its Quartermaster was Charles H. Patten and its Chaplain was Stephen S. N. Greeley, both of Grand Rapids. A large proportion of its company officers were from Kent County. It left for Washington Dec. 10, 1862. Upon its arrival at Washington it was assigned to the Michigan Cavalry Brigade, and during the following two years performed well its part in severe and continuous duty in that service. The rebel General Pickett, who was taken prisoner in one of the engagements near Five Forks, spoke of a charge made by the Sixth Michigan Cavalry as the bravest he had ever seen. Shortly after Lee's surrender, it was ordered to duty in the Far West, and had a hard campaign in that region. A flag, borne through many battles, and now in the possession of the State, was presented to this regiment while in the field in 1863, by James H. Kidd of Ionia, then Major. Another, a handsome silk banner presented by citizens of Ionia, in the latter part of 1864, carried by the gallant soldiery of this command to the close of the war, the first Union flag that floated over Fort Reno, but a few years ago remained in General Kidd's possession, a highly prized souvenir. The total enrollment of the Sixth was 1,624, and the losses by the casualties of war and by disease numbered 375. It mustered out at Fort Leavenworth, Nov. 24, 1865, and returned Nov. 30 to Jackson, where the men received their discharge.
ELIJAH DUDLEY WATERS was born July 20, 1830, at West Falls, Erie County, New York. His early education was obtained at the common schools of that vicinity and at the Aurora Academy. In 1857 he came to Grand Rapids, and soon, with his brother, Daniel H., engaged in the meat packing business on the east side of Canal street, between Lyon and Crescent avenue, which was continued until the breaking out of the War of the Rebellion. October 13, 1862, he was commissioned Major of the Sixth Michigan Cavalry, and went to the field with that regiment. On its way to the front, in December of that year, Major Waters had charge and command of a portion of the regiment, and on account of the difficulties attending transportation in those days, the journey to Washington occupied about a week. An incident of that trip illustrative of the sensitive nature and humane disposition of Major Waters, as well as of his self-assertion in an emergency, is related by some of his men. In consequence of delays on the route, their supplies became exhausted, and at a station in Pennsylvania he asked the railroad train officials to stop and give him time to feed his men and horses. They refused, saying they were running that road. He replied: "You may be running this road, but I am running this train." Thereupon he ordered the train side-tracked, and the men and horses were unloaded, rested and fed. His men lustily cheered him for this act of kindness, and soon thereafter they reached Washington in fine spirits. He remained with the regiment in front of Washington during the winter; but in the spring following was obliged to resign on account of ill health, and was honorably discharged May 7, 1863. Major Waters was popular with the men of his command, and spoken of by members of the regiment as thoroughly patriotic and the very soul of honor. Returning to Grand Rapids from the war, with his health partially restored, with his brother, Daniel H. Waters, he engaged in manufacturing, and together they built up in a few years what was destined to become one of the most successful business enterprises in the city-the manufacture of bent-work wooden ware. In 1859 Mr. Waters served the city as Director of the Poor, and was Alderman for his ward in 1860-61. In 1867 he united with the St. Mark's Episcopal Church. He died in this city, January 11, 1868, leaving a wife and two children. In business life, though cut down at his prime, he had thoroughly won the public confidence and esteem; and at the time of his death was rapidly gaining a most honorable position among his fellow men. One who knew him well, at that time wrote of him, "In his friendships and in all his dealings he was true as steel. He loved the truth and could not be tempted to be dishonest. He could be trusted without bonds. He was generous to a fault. The poor loved him, for he was their friend. None suffered from want within his knowledge, if in his power to relieve. He died young, but lived long enough to be gratefully remembered by all our citizens."
This body was also raised by the Hon. F. W. Kellogg, of Grand Rapids, and was mustered in January 16, 1863. Colonel, William D. Mann; Lieutenant Colonel, Allyn C. Litchfield; Majors, John S. Huston, George K. Newcomb and Henry W. Granger. The first battalion, in command of Co. Mann, left for the seat of war Feb. 20, and the other companies joined it in May. The regiment did signal service with the Michigan Brigade in all their prominent battles, notably at Gerrysburg. It was with the Sixth in repelling a large rebel force at Winchester, Aug. 11, 1864, and showed great gallantry during the closing movements of the war, and up to the final surrender at Appomattox. After this, it went with the Michigan Cavalry Brigade into the frontier service of the West, and, like the Sixth, made a grand record in the Indian campaign among the Rocky Mountains. Total enrollment, 1,179; losses, 322. The regiment was mustered out at Fort Leavenworth, Dec. 15, 1865, and returned to Jackson Dec 20, where it was paid and disbanded.
GEORGE G. BRIGGS of Grand Rapids, was born January 24, 1838, in Wayne County, Michigan. His father, Nathan H. Briggs was a native of Massachusetts and came to Michigan about 1835, settling first in Wayne County, subsequently removed to Sturgis, St. Joseph County, and engaged in mercantile business, dying there a few years later; his wife was Hannah Carpenter, a native of Pennsylvania, of Quaker extraction, now 69 years of age and residing in Battle Creek, Mich. All of their four children were sons, of whom the subject of this sketch was the eldest. He attended the common schools until about 14 years of age, when he entered a mercantile house at Battle Creek, where he remained in the capacity of clerk for three years. Six months were then spent in Olivet College, which he left to accept the position of book-keeper in the principal mercantile house of Galesburg, Ill. After five years' service in that capacity he resigned it and returned to Battle Creek, purchasing an interest in the firm of Averell, Briggs & Co. until 1862, when he disposed of his business interests and commenced active participation in the raising of troops for the service of the Government, to whose welfare his life and energies were devoted for the ensuing four years; the record itself demonstrating the inestimable value of these services. Through his efforts a cavalry company was raised, composed largely of his friends and acquaintances in and about Battle Creek; of which he was appointed First Lieutenant, and which became a part of the Seventh Michigan Cavalry. Before leaving for the front, Lieut. Briggs, making a farewell visit to his friends at Galesburg, was by the citizens of that place presented with a sword, as an expression of the esteem in which he was held by them. He entered the service Sept. 13, 1862, as First Lieutenant in the Seventh Michigan Cavalry; was promoted to Adjutant, July 1, 1863; Captain, March 22, 1864; Major, May 19, 1864; Lieutenant Colonel, Oct. 12, 1864; Colonel May 26, 1865. The Seventh Cavalry Regiment, of which Colonel Briggs was an officer, formed a part of the Michigan Cavalry Brigade. This Brigade won for itself a name second to none in the Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Potomac, and from January, 1863, to the surrender of Lee, it met
BIOGRAPHY OF GEORGE G. BRIGGS.
the enemy in skirmishes and general engagements fifty-six times. Col. Briggs fought with his regiment at Gettysburg; was in the campaign under Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley, and rendered distinguished services at Winchester, Cedar Creek, Five Forks, Sailor's Creek and Appomattox. On the day of Lee's surrender Colonel Briggs met and conducted the flag of truce party to Gen. Custer, and with them returned to Gen. Lee's headquarters with Custer's reply. In July, 1864, the Confederate Army under Gen. Early attempted the capture of Washington. Col. Briggs, then returning from leave of absence, was in the city, and was placed in command of the troops in remount camp, with which, after a night's march, he made a successful fight in front of Fort Storms, on the 11th, and held an advanced position on the 12th, when the enemy withdrew. Colonel Briggs was twice slightly wounded and had four horses killed from under him in battle. He was taken prisoner at Buckland's Mills; escaped two days later, and after a week of dodging within the enemy's lines, again entered the camp of his friends. After the surrender of Lee, Col. Briggs marched two regiments of the brigade across the western plains, and was in command of all the cavalry in the South Sub-District of the Plains, with headquarters at Fort Collins, near Denver, for several months. The command was then moved to Salt Lake City, where, in December, 1865, the Colonel was mustered out of service. The command under Col. Briggs, while in Colorado, operated against the tribes of Indians then upon the war-path, and performed valuable service in protecting settlers and guarding the stage lines over the mountains to Fort Hollech. At one time the command performed the pleasing task of rescuing from the Indians an emigrant train which had been surrounded for two days, and but for such timely succor some two hundred men, women and children would have been slain. It will be seen that the services of Col. Briggs in the army were of an arduous and important character; that he "won his spurs" amid the smoke of those great conflicts which destroyed the rebellion and restored the Union. The Colonel enjoyed the love and confidence of all his men, and at the close of his service the officers of his regiment presented him with an elegant watch as proof of their esteem. This watch the Colonel still carries, and it is treasured by him as a possession above price. Returning east immediately upon his discharge from the army, and coming to Grand Rapids, he was, in the following May, united in marriage to Miss Julia R. Peirce, youngest daughter of the late John W. Peirce, one of the earliest settlers in Grand Rapids, who was, until his death, Oct. 4, 1874, a leader in both social and business circles here. A partnership was entered into between Col. Briggs and his father-in-law, under the firm name of Peirce & Briggs, in the dry goods business, which was continued until 1869, when the Colonel withdrew from active participation in this enterprise, and became one of the organizers of what is now known as the Michigan Barrel Company. This company was incorporated in 1870, with a capital of $300,000; Col. Briggs becoming, on its organization, Secretary and Treasurer, serving as such for a period of seventeen years, and retaining his interests as stockholder to the present. As an officer of the company his time was devoted to its management, and, largely through his efforts, the business, still in existence, has been one of the most successful of Grand Rapids' many prosperous manufacturing institutions. He has been a stockholder and member of the Board of Directors of the National City Bank, which succeeded to the expiration of the charter of the latter in 1885. In 1883 Col. Briggs organized and was elected President of the Peninsula Novelty Company, of Boston, Massachusetts, patentees of the automatic button fastener, in the manufacture and control of which an important and successful business has been developed. The Colonel is extensively interested in real estate in Grand Rapids, owning some of the prominent business blocks in the city; is a stockholder in the Valley City Street and Cable Railway Company, of Grand Rapids, and a stockholder in the Hazeltine & Perkins Drug Company. In 1868 the Colonel was elected to represent the City of Grand Rapids in the State Legislature and served therein on Committee on Military Affairs and Geological Survey. In the same year he was a delegate to the National Republican Convention at Chicago, which nominated Grant and Colfax, serving as one of its secretaries, and as an officer of the Convention was one of the committee who went to Washington to notify Gen. Grant of his nomination. Since that time Col. Briggs, although a thorough Republican and an ardent supporter of the principles of that party, and with many apparent capabilities for an efficient public officer, has invariably refused political nominations which have been urged upon him; confining his public services to an earnest effort to promote the interests and welfare of his adopted city. Through his instrumentality, the organization, in 1881, of the Board of Police and Fire Commissioners, was secured; and, as its President during the first two years of its existence, he contributed largely to placing the Board upon a sound and efficient basis. He became a member of the Board of Public Works in 1885 and since May, 1888, has been its President. He was one of the incorporators in 1887 of the Grand Rapids Board of Trade, was elected its first President, and is now serving his second term in that capacity. By an act of the State Legislature passed in 1887, an appropriation having been made, the Governor was authorized to appoint a commission of three to secure the erection of suitable and appropriate monuments on the Gettysburg Battlefield, to the various regiments of Michigan troops which participated in the great victory there won. Gov. Luce appointed Col. Briggs a member of this commission, which at its first meeting elected him chairman, thus reposing in him the bulk of the arduous labors and responsibility necessary to the carrying out of the objects of the appropriation. This work, with many months of devotion on the part of Col. Briggs, was successfully prosecuted, and on the 12th of June, 1889, with imposing and fitting ceremonies, in the presence of the Governor and various officers of the State, the members of the commission appointed, hundreds of surviving Michigan soldiers, and other, the monuments were dedicated to the heroes whose lives were there sacrificed in the maintenance of the honor and integrity of the Union. The only secret society of which Col. Briggs in a member is the military order of the Loyal Legion. He was instrumental in the organization of the Peninsular Club, the leading social organization of Grand Rapids, and was it President for one year. April 2, 1890, he was appointed Postmaster at Grand Rapids. A citizen of Grand Rapids, who, during all the years Col. Briggs had been a resident here, has been his friend and frequent associate in both business and social life, portrays him as follows:
Physically, Col. Briggs is an attractive man, having a good head, clean cut and handsome features, far removed from the common-place; his physiognomy indicates a quick mind, and a will active to support it; his bearing is such as to attract the attention of strangers, giving to them a favorable impression, and begetting in them a desire to know who he is; he has a suavity of both manner and speech, that is adapted to the most varied environments, hence he has always at command a fund of good sense, and the ability to use it. He has a wide acquaintance both in Michigan and elsewhere, and wherever known, his reputation is in harmony with his superior ability, and that extended field of useful activity that he has traversed to the great credit of himself, and to the honor of Michigan. Socially, Col. Briggs has few peers, being a delightful companion, all find his presence most enjoyable; notwithstanding his unusual equipment for social life, he gives but little time to society, yet in it, he shines as a star of the first magnitude. As a business man, he has had an extended and most successful experience, standing in the van, among our most able and sagacious men; he is endowed with a generous public spirit, having given largely of his time and experience to the public without compensation; in this community where he has lived so long, he has the respect of all good citizens, and is justly recognized as actively contributing to the enterprise and good name of Grand Rapids.
The Tenth Cavalry was raised under the direction of Col. Thaddeus Foote. It had its rendezvous at Grand Rapids. Its recruitment began July 4, 1863, and it was mustered into service November 18. Colonel, Thaddeus Foote; Lieutenant Colonel, Luther S. Trowbridge; Majors, Israel C. Smith, Cicero Newell and Wesley Armstrong. The regiment left this city December 1, going to Lexington, Ky. In February, 1864, it moved into East Tennessee, where on the 25th of April it made a gallant and successful charge upon the enemy, at Watauga, driving the rebels from their works in great disorder; Major Israel C. Smith being the first man to enter the redoubt, and Captain Benjamin K. Weatherwax the second. The enemy took shelter in a large mill near at hand, and in an unsuccessful attempt to drive them from that position, Capt. Weatherwax lost his life. The Tenth was highly complimented by General Schofield for its behavior on this occasion. From the beginning of its service, the Tenth Cavalry was engaged in very lively work, participating
TENTH CAVALRY-OTHER ORGANIZATIONS
During the fifteen months from January, 1864, to the close of the war, in no less than fifteen battles and skirmishes. It has a brilliant record, and one of which any people might well be proud. It was mustered out of service at Memphis, Tennessee, November 11, 1865, and returned to Michigan in command of Col. I. C. Smith, arriving at Jackson November 15, where it was disbanded. Its total membership had been, while in the service, 2,050. Its losses were 271, of whom 20 were killed in action, 11 died of wounds and 240 of disease.
Battery B of the First Light Artillery was organized at Grand Rapids, and was raised at the same time with the Second Cavalry. All its officers were from Detroit. It was mustered November 26, 1861. Its first engagement with the enemy was at Pittsburg Landing, April 6, 1862. Its total membership was 235, and total loss 35. It made a fine record, and was mustered out at Detroit, June 18, 1865
The rendezvous of Battery C was at Grand Rapids, but none of its original officers were from this city. It left for the field in the Western Army, December 17, 1861. It had a busy and useful term of service, participated in engagements in most of the Southern States, and was mustered out at Detroit, June 22, 1865, having borne on its rolls 239 officers and men, and lost 34 by the fortunes of war.
Battery K was also organized at Grand Rapids, and here mustered into service February 20, 1863. It officers were from Detroit, and it was composed chiefly, if not wholly, of volunteers of German descent. It was a gallant and useful corps, and engaged during the war on duty in fortifications and on gunboats and transports, and saw much hard service. It went in with 104 names on the rolls, increased to 208 before it was mustered out, at Detroit, July 12, 1865. Its losses in service were only 14 men.
The Thirteenth Battery, organized at Grand Rapids, went into the U. S. Service Jan. 28, 1864. The most of its service was in forts and fortifications in the vicinity of Washington. After the assassination of President Lincoln, it assisted in the arrest of the conspirators, Harold and Mudd. It was mustered out of service July 1, 1865. Total enrollment during its term of service 257; losses, thirteen.
Two or three companies of the First and one of the Second Regiment U.S. Sharp Shooters were in part recruited at Grand Rapids. This was an arm of the service that was of great use in the war, much more valuable in fact than the slight prominence given it in the military reports would seem to indicate. Recruitment of Sharp Shooters began in the fall of 1862, but the First Regiment was not mustered n until July 7, 1863. The greater part of the campaign of these troops was in conjunction with the Army of the Potomac, and this force, then in the Brigade of Col. Ralph Ely, was the first to enter Petersburg when that place was surrendered to the Union arms. It took part in many important engagements in Virginia, and was mustered out of service July 28, 1865, and on the 7th of August was paid and disbanded at Jackson. Its entire enrollment was 1,364, and 263 was the total of its losses.
One regiment of colored men was raised in the State, originally known as the First Michigan Colored Infantry, afterward designated as the 102d Regiment U.S. Colored Troops. Its Colonel was Henry Barns of Detroit. Some of the companies of this force were filled in part from Grand Rapids. The regiment left Detroit March 28, 1864, and it is certainly true, of this body at least, that on many occasions "the colored troops fought nobly." They were in ten different engagements between July, 1864, and May, 1865, in the State of South Carolina. September 30, 1865, they were mustered out at Charleston, and soon after disbanded at Detroit.
The Eleventh Cavalry, organized at Kalamazoo, had upon its staff Major Henry I. Wise of Caledonia, Kent county; also Assistant Surgeon O. J. Bissell and Chaplain Charles Clutz of Grand Rapids.
Company K. of the First (Lincoln) Cavalry- at regiment organized and commanded in the field by Col. A.T. McReynolds, of this city- was recruited here by Capt. Anson N. Norton, with Henry W. Granger and Franklin G. Martindale as Lieutenants, all of Grand Rapids.
JAMES WEBB LONG was born at Hillsborough, Orange County, North Carolina, June 20, 1840. His father Edwin Ramsay Long, was an officer in the Second United States Infantry, and when James was an infant was ordered to Buffalo, New York, where the regiment was stationed. In 1844 the regiment was ordered to Detroit. Lieut. E. R. Long read medicine, and graduated at the Rush Medical College, Chicago; but died as a result of a cut received while making a post mortem examination. From Detroit, Major Long's mother went to North Carolina with her children, remained a year, then returned to Buffalo, where they lived until her death in 1851, she having in the meantime been married to William Lovering, Jr. Soon after her death James W. Long was sent to North Carolina to complete his education, under the care of his grandfather, the Hon. John Long of Randolph County, in that State. There he graduated in the higher branches, including languages, from the collegiate institute presided over by the Rev. Simcon Colton, D.D.; first President of Amherst College. He then went into a store and learned mercantile customs and practical book-keeping, afterward studied medicine and read law. In 1859 Major Long came north to Buffalo, soon secured the position of local editor of the Buffalo Commercial Advertiser; afterward became correspondent of the Buffalo Courier, and then Washington correspondent of the Commercial Advertiser; being also at the time a paid correspondent for Russell & Tollman's Boston Musical Journal. In Washington, Mrs. Edith Grimsley, a relative of the wife of Abraham Lincoln, procured for him, as a personal favor to herself, an appointment as Second Lieutenant in the Second Regular Infantry (his father's old regiment), his commission dating August 5, 1861. Joining his company at Rolla, Missouri- the captain of which, Gen. Nathaniel Lyon, had been killed at Wilson's Creek- he found a brigade of regular troops under the command of Gen. Frederick Steele. Lieut. Long was appointed Assistant Adjutant General, retaining command of his company. The subsequent movements were: To St. Louis; thence to Jefferson City, participating in the Pope campaign; then into camp at Sedalia, from which he was ordered with two companies of the Second to join the rest of the regiment at Washington, D.C. He spent the winter of 1861-62 in Washington on provost duty; afterward participated in the campaigns of the Army of the Potomac until the battle of Gaines's Mill, June 27, 1862, where he was severely wounded, being shot in the foot, in the left wrist and through the right side of the face, thoroughly disabling him. While convalescing at Buffalo, he was detailed on recruiting service. On his way to rejoin his regiment he was stopped in Washington by an order to report in person to Maj. Gen. Heintzelman, commanding the Department, and was afterward assigned to duty as mustering officer for the defenses south of the Potomac, where he remained until promoted to a captaincy, where he rejoined and took command of his company (H) in the field at Beverly Ford, Va., in 1863. The regiment was sent from there to New York to assist in quelling the draft riots; returned to camp at Beverly Ford; then took part in the Virginia campaigns, Major Long being in command a large share of the time; participating in the battles of the Wilderness and Spottsylvania, from which place he was ordered to Alexandria for treatment, and from there to Annapolis when he was placed in military command at the officers' hospital. Next he was ordered to Louisville, Ky., on mustering duty, then to Newport on recruiting service, and from there to Trenton N.J., and at the latter place filled the position of recruiting officer, mustering officer, Assistant Adjutant General, Post Adjutant, officer in charge of drafts and credits, A.A.Q.M. and A.A.C.S. Subsequently Major Long was ordered, in succession, to Newport Barracks; to Louisville, Ky., with regiment; to command of Post of Jeffersonville, Indiana; to Louisville again; to command of Post of Warsaw, Ky.- at which place, February 19, 1867, he married Annie, daughter of Hon. L. Graves; back to Louisville; to Atlanta, Ga., where he was placed on "waiting orders" on account of physical disability resulting from his wounds, and directed to await orders at Warsaw, Ky. While there he was detailed on duty as Indian Agent for the State of Michigan, and ordered to Detroit to relieve William H. Brockway. The following notice of his administration of the office is taken from the History of Isabella County:
JAMES W. LONG- THE JUDD FAMILY
Major Long held the position of Indian Agent during the most important period of its existence. The country in which the Indian Reservations were situated was being stunted in its growth by the Indian lands not being taxable or the titles transferable. Major Long set to work earnestly, and to him Isabella county owes the flourishing condition of its northern portion, by reason of his procuring the Indians their patents from the Government. Although the duties were onerous and in hundreds of cases required the most critical judgment, as he was necessarily the sole arbiter and judge, yet, with different interests pressing their claims upon him, he so conducted the immense business that when he resigned he carried with him not only the respect of all classes of citizens, but the unqualified endorsement and confidence of the Indian Department at Washington, and the lasting good will of his Indian wards.
In 1871 Major Long resigned this position, removing to Saginaw City and afterward to Isabella County. During his military service he received two brevets for gallant and meritorious service in action- one being Brevet-Captain, for Gaines's Mill, Va., the other Brevet-Major, for the Battle of the Wilderness. Soon after settling in Isabella County he assumed the editorship of the Enterprise at Mt. Pleasant; afterward became editor and proprietor of the Times at the same place, and in 1884 purchased the Farwell (Clare County) Register, running both papers in the Republican cause during the Alger political canvass of that year. Major Long has been connected with journalism during the greater part of his life, beginning as early as 1858 as a contributor to the Newberne, N.C., Daily Progress. He has also had published thirty-six pieces of original music, vocal and instrumental, all of which have met with favor. His family ancestry and connections, both paternal and maternal, were prominently political and literary as well as military in their history. Five children have been born to Major and Mrs. Long, of whom but one daughter is now living- Annie Fitch, born at Mt. Pleasant, Mich., November 21, 1873. In the State Legislature, session of 1885, Major Long was clerk of the House Committees on State affairs and Labor Interests, and subsequently assistant Engrossing and Enrolling Clerk. The bill creating the Soldiers' Home was practically placed in his hands, after being referred by request to the Committee on State affairs. With others, he worked earnestly for the passage of the bill, and when it because a law, Gov. Alger appointed him as one of the officers of the Home. He first went to Lansing, where under Col. Samuel Wells, the office was opened, but after a short time it was removed to Grand Rapids, where it has since remained. Major Long has been connected with the Home since its organization, and is now its Adjutant and Quartermaster.
The Judd family are worthy of mention for their prominence in good citizenship, patriotism and enterprise. Samuel Judd was born at South Hadley, Mass., May 29, 1806. The family came to Grand Rapids in 1852, and here he was in active business for many years. In 1868 he was appointed Crier of the U.S. Court, and held that position eleven years. He died at his home in this city March 27, 1890. Samuel A. Judd, son of the above, was in business here at the breaking out of the Rebellion in 1861, and enlisted in the Third Regiment, Michigan Infantry; was Captain of Company A. He was killed in action at Fair Oaks, Virginia. George E. Judd was born at South Hadley, Mass., March 23, 1838, and came with his family to Grand Rapids in 1852. He enlisted in the same regiment with his brother; lost his left arm at Fair Oaks; was then commissioned as Captain of Company A; afterward transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps. Retired May 28, 1867, with the rank of Captain. In 1888 he was elected to the State Legislature from the Second District of Kent County. Elliott E. Judd in early youth was office boy in Daniel Ball's Bank; afterward a teller in that and in First National Bank; from 1868 nearly twenty years in the hardware trade, and later in saddlery ware trade at 102 Canal street.Document Source: Baxter, Albert, History of the City of Grand Rapids, New York and Grand Rapids: Munsell & Company, Publishers, 1891. (Name Index)
Contact county coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org