OLD THIRD REGIMENT

On the first call for soldiers to resist the action of the rebels, Col. Daniel McConnell, who was in command of a regiment of amateur soldier, was commissioned to raise a regiment, to be known as the "Michigan Third Volunteers."

McConnell had had some military experience in the Mexican war, where he served as lieutenant The camp was at the Fair Grounds, south of the city of Grand Rapids.

The recruiting went on for a time, and the regiment was fast filling up, when the order came on requiring the enlistment for three years, or during the war. This necessitated the disbandment of the enlisted men, and a re-enlistment, Most of those who had enlisted for three months, re-enlisted for three years.

The regiment was hurried to Washington. It left Grand Rapids, and proceeded by rail to the capital.

It was a new scene for the denizens of the Valley to witness the department of its citizens as soldiers. The day was one long to be remembered. The streets were thronged as the dusty column moved to the depot. Flags were flying, handkerchiefs were waving, and hats were doffed, as they moved along. At the depot there were few tearless eyes. The compressed lips of the soldier, as he bade adieu to the dear once, there building him "Good-bye," showed the strength of the purpose that had nerved his soul. The feeling of all was well expressed by one who, leaving wife and little ones behind, said to the writer: "Not all the wealth and honors of earth could tempt me to go, as I am going if it were not a dread necessity. But, being as it is, they could not tempt me to stay back."

They went--the record that follows will show that they did good service in the field. Its subsequent history is given in the annual reports of the Adjutant-General, which are here copied in full:

This regiment left Grand Rapids for the seat of war on the Potomac, June 13, 1861, having upon its muster rolls the names of 1,040 officers and enlisted men. There had been 123 added to this number on the first of July, 1862. The Third was in action at Blackburn’s Ford, July 18, 1861. It encamped for the winter near Alexander, with the Second and Fifth, forming part of the same brigade, and was moved to the conclusion of that campaign. It fought at Williamsburg, May 5th, at Fair Oaks, May 30; at Glendale (or Charles City Cross Roads), June 30; at Malvern Hill, July 1, and at Groveton (or Ball Run), August 29. Its losses at Fair Oaks were 30 killed, 124 wounded, and 15 missing. Its last return showed an aggregate for the 30th of November, of 669, present and absent. It was in Birney’s Division of Stoneman’s corps of the army, of the Potomac, and had for its officers:

Name: Rank: Date:
Stephen G. Champlin Colonel October 28, 1861
Byron R. Pierce Lt. Colonel July 25, 1862
Moses B. Houghton Major September 24, 1862
James F. Grove, Surgeon September 24, 1862
Walter B. Morrison Assistant Surgeon August 1, 1862
----------- -------------- 2d Assistant Surgeon
Elisha O. Stevens Adjutant January 1, 1862
Robert M. Collins Qr. Master May 13, 1861
Joseph Anderson Chaplain April 1, 1862
Edwin S. Pierce Captain May 13, 1861
Stephen G. Lowing Captain October 28, 1861
Isreal S. Geer Captain December 26, 1861
Isreal C. Smith Captain January 1, 1862
George E. Judd Captain June 23, 1862
Simon Brennan Captain September 1, 1862
William L. Lyon Captain October 29, 1862
George W. Dodge Captain October 25, 1862
Frederick A. Stowe Captain October 25, 1862
Almon D. Borden Captain September 26, 1862
Silas M. Pelton 1st Lieutenant January 2, 1862
Joseph Mason 1st Lieutenant June 9, 1862
Daniel S. Root 1st Lieutenant July 1, 1862
Thomas I. Waters 1st Lieutenant August 5, 1862
Benjamin C. Tracey 1st Lieutenant September 1, 1862
David C. Crawford 1st Lieutenant September 22, 1862
Byron E. Hess 1st Lieutenant September 26, 1862
Andrew Nickerson 1st Lieutenant October 29, 1862
Alfred Pew 1st Lieutenant October 20, 1862
George W. Remington 1st Lieutenant October 25, 1862
Charles H. Carey 2d Lieutenant October 28, 1861
Theodore Hetz 2d Lieutenant January 2, 1862
Thomas Tate 2d Lieutenant April 3, 1862
Homer I. Thayer 2d Lieutenant June 9, 1862
Miles S. Adams 2d Lieutenant July 1, 1862
Peter V. Bergroon 2d Lieutenant September 1, 1862

 

Calvin P. Mc Taggart 2d Lieutenant September 24, 1862
Julius D. Fanger 2d Lieutenant September 26, 1862
George Hubbard 2d Lieutenant October 29, 1862
James D. Bennett 2d Lieutenant October 25, 1862

 

This regiment, on the 1st of November, 1862, left Edward’s Ferry, Md., and marching by Warrenton, encamped at Falmouth, November 23d. Crossing the Rappahannock on the 13th of December, it was under fire three days at the first battler of Fredrickburg, sustaining a loss of 9 in wounded. Re-crossing on the 15th, it occupied its former camp. January 20th, 1863, the regiment marched with its corps to United States Ford, but without crossing the river, returned to camp near Falmouth, where it lay until April 28th. Breaking camp at that date, it crossed the Rappahannock May 1st, United States Ford, and moved up near Chancellor’s House. In the engagement at Chancellorsville it sustained a loss of 63 killed, wounded and missing. Breaking camp again on the 11th of June, the regiment marched via Centreville, Edward’s Ferry and Frederick City, to Gettysburg, Pa., over dusty roads and during an intense heat. It was engaged in the actions of the 2d and 3d of July, at Gettysburg, where its loss was 41n killed, wounded and missing. Having followed the retreating enemy at Williamsport, it marched thence to Harper’s Ferry, crossed the Potomac and moved to Manassas Gap. It was engaged at Wapping heights, but without loss. On the 17th of August, the regiment proceeded to Alexandria, and from there to New York, whither it had been ordered to aid in the preservation of the public peace during the then pending draft. Remaining there some days, it moved to Troy, N.Y., where it was stationed two weeks. It then repaired to its brigade in the Army of the Potomac, arriving at Calpepper September 17th. On the 11th of October, falling back across the Rappahannock by way of Auburn Heights, it had a slight skirmish with the rebels, with a loss of 1 wounded. Moving thence by Manassas and Centreville, it lay at Fairfax Station four days, and thence moved forward to Catlett’s Station, where it encamped November 1st, 1863. The alterations and casualties of the year were as follows:

Died in notion or wounds, 28; died of disease, 13; discharged for disability, 168; discharged by order, 22; deserted, 20; missing in action, 27; officers resigned, 9; officers dismissed, 2; wounded in action, 59; joined regiment, 22; present and absent November 1st, 1862, 701; present and absent November 1st, 1863, 467.

The regiment was in the 3d Brigada, 1st Division, 3d Corps Army of the Potomac. It had the following officers:

Name Rank Date Additional Info.
Byron R. Pierce Colonel Jan. 1, 1863
Lieut Col July 25, 1862
Major Oct. 28, 1861
Capt. May 13, 1861
Edwin S. Pierce Lieut. Colonel Jan. 1. 1863
Captain May 14, 1861
Moses B.Houghton Major Sept. 1,1862
Captain May 13, 1861
James F. Grove Surgeon Sept. 24, 1862
2d Asst Surgeon Aug. 15, 1862
Walter B.Morrison Asst, Surgeon Aug. 1, 1862
---------- --------- 2d Asst.. Surgeon
---------- --------- Adjutant
Robert M. Collins Quartermaster May 13, 1861
------------ -------- Chaplain
Stephen G.Lowing Captain Oct. 28, 1861
1st Lieut. May 13, 1861
Isreal S. Geer Captain Dec. 26, 1861
2d Lieut. Aug. 1, 1861
George E. Judd Captain June 23, 1862
1st Lieut. Oct. 28, 1861
2d Lieut. Aug. 1, 1861
Simon Brennan Captain Sept. 1, 1862
1st Lieut. Oct. 28, 1861
2d Lieut. Aug. 1, 1861
Daniel S. Root Captain Feb. 5, 1863
1st Lieut. July 1, 1862
2d Lieut. Nov. 18, 1861
Thomas J. Waters Captain March 25, 1863
1st Lieut. Aug. 5, 1862
2d Lieut. Oct. 28, 1861
Thomas Tate Captain March 28, 1863
1st Lieut. Sept. 1, 1862
Benj. C. Tracey 1st Lieut. Sept. 1, 1862
2d Lieut. Jan. 1, 1862
David C. Crawford 1st Lieut. Sept. 22, 1862
2d Lieut. July 19, 1861
Andrew Nickerson 1st Lieut. Oct. 20, 1862
2d Lieut. Aug. 5, 1862
Alfred Pew 1st Lieut. Oct. 20, 1862
2d Lieut. May 21, 1862
Geo,W. Remington 1st Lieut. Oct. 25, 1862
2d Lieut. Sept. 22,1862
Theodore Hetz 1st Lieut. Jan. l, 1863
2d Lieut. Jan. 2, 1862
Homer L. Thayer 1st Lieut. March 25, 1863
2d Lieut. June 9, 1862
Calvin P.McTaggar 1st Lieut. March 28, 1863
2d Lieut. Sept. 24, 1862
Julius D. Fanger 2d Lieut. Sept. 26, 1862
George Hubbard 2d Lieut. Oct. 20, 1862
Milton Leonard 2d Lieut. Feb. 5, 1863
Rufus W. Skeels 2d Lieut. Feb. 21, 1863
Jerome TenEyck 2d Lieut. March 30, 1863

 

On the 7th of November, 1863, the Third Infantry moved forward with the Army of the Potomac to Kelly’s Ford, on the Rappahannock, and thence marched to Brandy Station, on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, where it went into camp. On the 20th, the regiment took part in the Mine Run campaign, engaging the enemy on the 27th, at Locust Grove, and on the 30th at Mine Run. Having fallen back with the army, it again arrived at its camp at Brandy Station, on the 2d of December, having lost during the movement 31 killed, wounded and missing. On the 23d of December, 180 of the regiment re-enlisted as Veteran Volunteers. Returning to this State, these Veterans were given the usual furlough of thirty days, at the expiration of which they returned to the regiment Crossing the Rapidan at Ely’s Ford, on the morning of the 4th of May, 1864, the regiment advanced and encamped at Chancellorville. On the three following days the regiment participated in the battles of the Wilderness, sustaining a heavy loss. It was also engaged at Todd’s Tavern, on the 8th. On the 12th, at Spottsylvania, it participated in the successful charge of the 2d Corps, capturing a number of prisoners and two rebel battle flags. Prior to this engagement the Third was consolidated temporarily with the Fifth Infantry. The regiment also took part in the engagement on the North Anna River; thence it marched to the Pamunky, which it crossed on the 27th, and advanced toward Cold Harbor. In addition to the engagements mentioned, the Third also participated in a number of minor actions and skirmishes. Its loss during the month of May was 31 killed, 119 wounded and 29 missing. On the 9th of June, at Cold Harbor, Va., the regiment, with the exception of the re-enlisted men, and such as had joined since the date of original organization, and certain designated officers, were ordered to proceed to this State for the purpose of being discharged. The remaining officers and men were formed into a battalion of four companies, and attached to the Fifth Michigan Infantry. The order consolidating these regiments was confirmed by special orders of the War Department, issued on the 13th of June, 1864. On the 20th of June, the organization which had been one of the first in the field, was formally mustered out of the U. S. Service.

The alterations and casualties from November 1st to date of muster out, were as follows:

Died in action or of wounds, 35; died of disease, 6; discharged for disability, & c., 166; transferred, 354; missing in action, 39; re-enlisted as veterans 207.

This regiment was consolidated with the 5th Infantry, June 13th, 1864, and on the 20th the original organization was formally mustered out of service. During the war it was engaged as a regiment in the battles and skirmishes named below, up to and including June 7th. The portion of it consolidated with the 5th remained in service until the close of the war, and participated in all the battles in which that regiment was engaged subsequent to its consolidated therewith.

BATTLES AND SKIRRMISHES

Location Date
Blackburn’s Ford, Va. July 18, 1861
Bull Run, Va. July 21, 1861
Siege of Yorktown, Va. April 4, to May 4, 1862
Williamsburg, Va. May 5, 1862
Fair Oaks, Va. May 31, 1862
Savage Station, Va. June 29, 1862
Peach Orchard, Va. June 29, 1862
Glendale, Va. June 30, 1862
White Oak Swamp, Va. June 30, 1862
Malvern Hill, Va. July 1, 1862
Bull Run, Va. (2d) Aug. 29, 1862
Chantilly, Va. Sept. 1, 1862
Fredericksburg, Va. Dec. 13, 1862
Chancellorsburg, Va. May 1,2,3, 1863
Gettysburg, Penn. July 23, 1863
Wapping Heightss, Va. July 23, 1863
Aubuirn Heights, Va. Oct. 1, 1863
Kelley’s Ford, Va. Nov. 7, 1863
Locust Grove, Va. Nov. 27, 1863
Mine Run, Va. Nov. 29, 1863
Wilderness, Va. May 5,7,1864
Todd’s Tavern, Va. May 8, 1864
Po River, Va. May 10, 1864
Spottsylvania, Va. May 12, 1864
North Anna, Va. May 23,24,1864
Coal Harbor, Va. June 7, 1864
Petersburg, Va. June 16,22, 1864
Deep Bottom, Va. July 27, 28, 1864
Strawberry Plains, V a. Aug. 14, 17, 1864
Popular Spring Church, Va. Sept. 30, 1864
Boydton Road, Va. Oct. 27, 1864
Hatcher Run, Va. Feb 2-Mar. 25, 1864
Boydton Road, Va. April 3, 1864
Sailor’s Creek, Va. April 6, 1864
New Store, Va. April 8, 1864
Apponmattox Ct. Home, Va. April 9, 1864
Siege of Petersburg, V a. From June 17, 1864 to April 3, 1865

Transcriber: Barb Jones
Created: 21 May 2010
URL: http://kent.migenweb.net/military/civilwar/3rdRegt.html