1st Regiment Michigan Engineers
and Mechanics















The organization of the Michigan Engineers was specially authorized by the War Department, to be composed principally of engineers and mechanics. The authority to raise it with the sanction of the Governor of the State, was given to Wm. Innes, of Grand Rapids, a practical civil engineer, who was appointed the Colonel and vested with the full power to designate its officers, to be commissioned by the Governor.

The recruitment of the Regiment commenced in August, 1861, which progressed rapidly, when by the end of October was reported ready for muster, which was accomplished on the 11th of December, by Captain Mizner, of the U.S. Army, the muster to take effect from the 29th. of October.

The Regiment, under the command of Colonel Innes, left Marshall, the place of its rendezvous, with an aggregate strength of 1032 officers and men, on December 17th., with orders to proceed to Louisville,Ky, there to be assigned to the Army of the Ohio, under the command of General Buell, when upon reporting, were assigned to duty in four detachments. One under the command of Colonel Innes, to report to General McCook, 1st. Division, at Munfordsville,Ky, consisting of companies "B", "E" an "I", another detachment, under the command of Lt. Colonel Hunton, to report to Lebanon,Ky, to General Thomas, 2nd. Division, comprising the companies "D", "F" and "G". The third detachment was to report to New Haven,KY, to General Nelson, 3rd. Division,the fourth detachment to report to General Nelson, 4th. Division, at Bacon Creek,Ky., with companies "A" and "K".

During the month of January, 1862, these detachments were engaged in various duties. Those under the command of General Mitchell, comprised the first Union troops to enter Bowling Green, after the Confederates evacuated it, while those under the command of General Thomas were engaged in the battle at Mill Springs,Ky. on January the 19th. On February the 14th., companies "B"' "E" and "I", set out for Nashville,Tn., where the whole Regiment was then concentrating, while during the march, constructed railroad bridges at Franklin, Columbia, and Murfreesboro, along with other localities.

On April the 3rd., the Regiment commenced the march with Buell's, Army of the Ohio, to Pittsburgh Landing,Tn., reaching there on the 15th., in time to help Grants Army out of a disastrous position, then turning it into a Federal victory. On the 1st. of June the Regiment, or most thereof, marched to Corinth,MS, thence to Huntsville and Decatur,Al., along the route of the Tennessee and Alabama Railroad, building over 1300 feet of bridges, cleared out one blown up tunnel, built 700 feet of trestle, over 65 feet high, all the while laying over three miles of track.

In August, the Regiment, set out for Louisville, arriving on the 25th. of that month, remaining until October, at which time they set out for Perryville, where they were involved in the engagement there, remaining in the area until the 12th., at which time they set out for Nashville, arriving there on the 31st. While in the Nashville area they constructed nine bridges before setting out on the march to Lavernge,Tn., where on the 1st. of January 1863, it became most signally distinguished, where its gallant conduct on that occasion, gives it a most noted page in the history of the War.

While the battle for Stone River was raging, the Regiment was ordered to remain at Lavernge to protect the communications through the area. Positioned on a prominence overlooking the area, they were savagely attacked by Confederate cavalry, under the command of General Wheeler. The Confederates, 3000 strong, with 3 pieces of Artillery, demanded an immediate surrender of the Engineers, when they refused, attacked them in force, but were spiritedly repulsed. Seven times the southern horsemen charged, seven times they were driven back, suffering heavy loss in the attacks, the Confederates withdrew, leaving the Engineers in possession of the town and its vital communications.

From January 1st. to June 29,1863 the Regiment remained in Tennessee, building a total of nine bridges, then in July built a bridge at Bridgeport, over 460 feet long, another at the Duck River 350 feet in length. In November of 1864, the Regiment was assigned to the 14th. Corp, then set out with General Sherman on the March to the Sea, being associated with all of the movements of that army, whichn whenever a strong point in the line of communications was needed the Regiment did the necessary construction work, in addition to its normal duties of railroad line repair on all of the major networks between Atlanta, Savannah and Bentonville.

When the Confederate Army's surrendered, the Regiment was at Goldsboro with the 20th. Corp, then marched to Raleigh, from where on the 30th., moved with the 17th. Corp on the march to Washington, where on the 24th. of April, marched with that Corp in the Grand Review, then went into camp at Georgetown, until July 1st., when they were ordered to Nashville, where they were mustered out of the federal service on September 22nd, sent by rail to Jackson,Mi, arriving there on the 25th., they were paid off and disbanded.

During their term of federal service, they were engaged at:

Chattanooga,Tn Perryville,Ky
Farmington,Ms Bentonville,N.C.
Atlanta,Ga Lavernge,Tn
Corinth,Ms Mill Springs,Ky

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

Total Enrollment--3200
Died of Wounds--7
Killed in Action--6
Died of Disease--342
Total Casualty Rate...11.1%

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