12th Regiment Michigan Infantry













The Regiment left the state March 18, proceeding to St. Louis, Missouri, where it embarked on steamers for Pittsburgh Landing, Tenn. When it arrived it was assigned to Colonel Peabody's Brigade, General Prentiss' division, Army of the Tennessee. At the time the Twelfth joined the army commanded by General Grant, the Brigade's, Divisions and Corp were not numbered and organized as they were later in the war. The Regiment, with others newly organized and with no actual field experience, were pushed to the front, and from reports of the commanding officer, no adequate precautions or means of defence were taken to guard against a surprise attacks by the Confederates. Evidences seemed to multiply that the Confederates were in force somewhere in the vicinity, so Lieutenant Colonel Graves obtained permission of the Brigade Commander, to send two companies of the Twelfth under Major Powell, as an advance picket. These companies were attacked at daylight, slowly being driven back to camp; but, their stubborn resistance gave some timely notice of the approach of the attacking force.

Sunday morning, April the 6th, the Confederate army under General Albert Sidney Johnston delivered a crushing blow upon the Union lines at Pittsburgh Landing. The want of organization caused the Union troops to fight by detachments, causing the solidity of the Union army not to be brought, to resist the compact lines of the Confederates as a unit force, resulting in disaster.

Prentiss' division fought as heroically as men could fight under such discouraging circumstances, although swept from their first line by the rush of the attack, losing large numbers in killed or captured, the division fought desperately until the afternoon when overpowered and exhausted, most of it surrendered.

During the battle of Sunday, General Johnston was killed and General Beauregard assumed command of the Confederate forces.

The troops laid upon their arms during the night, then before morning General Buell's Army arrived, when the battle resumed, culminating on monday in driving General Beauregard and his troops from the field. The losses of the Twelfth in this engagement was serious.

The Regiment during the rest of the year occupied stations at Boliver, Tenn., Iuka, Miss., and Metamora, Miss., then spent from November 1862, to May 1863, guarding the Mississippi Central R.R., with headquarters at Middleburg, Tenn.

At this place in December a detachment of the Regiment was besieged in a block house which was gallantly defended against an attack by General Van Dorn's forces, estimated at 3,000 strong.

Colonel Graves refused to surrender, succeeding after an engagement of two and a half hours in driving off the Confederate forces. The command was complimented by General Grant in General Orders for this brilliant work.

The Regiment was ordered to Vicksburg, Miss., in June, 1863, where it took post at Hayn's Bluff, remaining there until the fall of Vicksburg.

In July of 1863, the Twelfth was comprised in a force under the command of General Steele, when he attacked Little Rock, Ark. At this point the Regiment veteranized, 334 men re-enlisting, then in January 1864, started for Michigan on veteran furlough. After the expiration of the 30 days furlough, the Twelfth reassembled at Niles returning to Little Rock, where it arrived on April 1st. The Regiment was engaged in long marches and frequent skirmishes with the Confederates in addition to doing picket and guard duty until October, when it arrived at De Vall's Bluff, Ark. They continued to occupy posts in the area wherever their services were needed until they were ordered to re-assemble at Camden, Ark., where they were mustered out of Federal service on February 15, 1866.

From there, the Twelfth started at once for Michigan, arriving at Jackson, the 27th of March, when it was paid off and disbanded the 6th of March, 1866

During their term of Federal service they were engaged at:

Battle of Shiloh, Tenn., April 6-7, 1862. Advance on and siege of Corinth, Miss., April 29-May 30. Pursuit to Booneville June 1-6. Moved to Bethel June 5, thence to Jackson, Tenn., June 13, and duty there until August. At Bolivar until November. Guard duty along Mississippi Central Railroad from Hickory Valley to near Bolivar with Headquarters at Middleburg, Tenn., until May, 1863. Action at Middleburg December 24, 1862. Regiment complimented by General Grant in General Order No. 3 for gallant and efficient services on successfully defending their post against a force of 3,000 Confederates under Van Dorn. Moved to Memphis, Tenn., thence to Vicksburg, Miss., May 31-June 3, 1863. Siege of Vicksburg, Miss., June 4-July 4. Surrender of Vicksburg July 4. Moved to Helena, Ark., July 25-27, thence to Clarendon August 13, and to Duvall's Bluff August 22. Steele's Expedition to Little Rock September 1-10. Engagement at Bayou Fourche and capture of Little Rock September 10. Duty at Little Rock until January 14, 1864. Veterans on furlough until February 21. March to Pine Bluff April 26-28. Train guard to Steele's army until April 30. Duty at Little Rock until June 22. Operations against Shelby north of the Arkansas River May 13-31. Expedition to Clarendon June 25-29. Clarendon June 25-26. Duty at Duvall's Bluff until August 30. Expedition in pursuit of Shelby August 27-September 6. Gregory's Landing, White River, September 4. Duty at Duvall's Bluff, guarding railroad, provost and fatigue duty until June 6, 1865. Hazen's Farm near Duvall's Bluff November 2, 1864 (Detachment). Moved to Little Rock June 6, thence march to Washington June 13-22, Guard public property at several points by detachments, with Headquarters at Camden until January 28, 1866. Companies "A," "B," "C" and "F" march from Washington to Camden July 8-22, 1865. Company "E" to Arkadelphia July 19-22, 1865. Companies "H" and "K" to Camden September 26, 1865, and Companies "D," "G" and "I" to Camden November 1, 1865. Company "F" assigned to duty at Paraclifta September 30. Regiment assembled at Camden and mustered out February 15, 1866.

Total Enrollment...........2357
Killed in Action.............29
Died of Wounds...............26
Died in Confederate prisons..17
Died of Disease.............316
Discharged for Wounds.......221
Total Casualty Rate..........25.8%

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