13th Regiment Infantry













The Thirteenth was organized at Kalamazoo under the direction of Colonel Charles E. Stuart of that city and mustered into the service of the United States on January 17, 1862, with an enrollment of 935 officers and men. The Regiment left the state on February 12, under the command of Colonel Michael Shoemaker, who was commissioned in place of Colonel Stuart, who had resigned, and proceeded to Nashville, Tenn. It was assigned to Wood's division of General Buell's army, then marched to Pittsburgh Landing to reinforce General Grant, when they arrived there at the close of the two days fighting.

After the occupation of Corinth, Miss., General Buell's army marched east along the Memphis and Charleston R.R., to repair it. The Thirteenth arrived at Stevenson, Ala. on the 18th of July, where it helped to build strong fortifications, as that place was then a depot of supplies and contained vast stores for the army.

General Buell moved his headquarters to Dechard, north of Stevenson, on the line of the Nashville and Chattanooga R.R., leaving on the Thirteenth with a small garrison to hold Stevenson. Here Colonel Shoemaker received a series of orders, one day to evacuate the post and fall back to Dechard, then the next to remain and defend the place to the last extremity. Bridgeport, Ala., south of Stevenson, was abandoned on the 25th, its small force joining the garrison at Stevenson. Huntsville, Ala., was also abandoned, and upon the arrival of the trains carrying the stores from that place, with the Tenth Wisconsin Infantry, the whole command was ordered to withdraw and proceed to join the army at Dechard. The Confederates attacked before the Union forces left Stevenson; but, were repulsed. Then a long march continued night and day over horrible roads across the mountains until Cowan was reached, where Colonel Shoemaker learned the army had left Dechard. He pressed forward, reaching Tullahoma, September 2nd, where he joined General Smith's division of Buell's army. Colonel Shoemaker was highly complimented by the commanding General for bringing in all his forces, artillery and baggage without loss of either men or equipment.

The Thirteenth, with the balance of the army, then fell back to Nashville, joining in the pursuit of General Bragg's army to Louisville, Ky.

In December the Regiment belonged to the Third Brigade, First Division of General Thomas's Corp, joining the army commanded by General Rosecrans on his advance upon Murfreesboro, Tenn.

The army was engaged at Stone River the 30th and 31st of December 1862, where in January 1863, it distinguished itself by its desperate valor, being most warmly commended for the heroic work that checked the onward rush of the Confederate forces. The Brigade, of which the Thirteenth formed a part, was commanded by Colonel Charles G. Harker, when it was detached from its division and sent to the extreme right of the Union line, where the attack had crushed that wing, when it formed a line in the immediate front of the Confederates as a desperate conflict ensued. The Union forces were steadily pressed back by the Confederates; but, the Thirteenth held its position until nearly surrounded when it fell back a short distance and reformed, continually showing a bold front to the attacking forces. Colonel Shoemaker ordered a bayonet charge; whereupon the Thirteenth spring forward with a yell, driving the Confederates from the field in confusion while capturing a large number of prisoners. The Regiment lost nearly a third of its strength in killed and wounded in the action on this part of the field. It recaptured two pieces of artillery of the Sixth Ohio Battery, which had been abandoned when the Union forces were driven back by the furious onslaught.

The Thirteenth commenced its advance toward Chattanooga in August, marched over the Cumberland Mountains, crossed the Tennessee River at Shell Mound and was one of the first regiments to march into Chattanooga on the morning of the 13th of September. It proceeded almost at once to Chickamauga, where it was engaged the 19th and 20th of September, coming in contact with the Confederate forces near the Lee and Gordon's Mills, where before the close of the battle, lost 107 killed, wounded and missing out of a total of 217 men, the numbers of officers and men the Regiment carried into the action. Such a record tells how the Thirteenth sustained its part in this historic engagement far more eloquently than words can describe.

After the battle of Chickamauga the Regiment was in the trenches about Chattanooga, taking part in the movements about Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge.

In November 1863, the Thirteenth was organized with other Regiments into a Brigade of Engineers, then was attached to the headquarters of the Army of the Cumberland. In January of 1864, the Regiment veteranized, 173 men re-enlisting, then returned to Kalamazoo, where it arrived on the 12th, thereupon was furloughed for thirty days. It returned to Chattanooga the 20th of April with a large number of recruits, being soon actively engaged in the construction of military hospitals on Lookout Mountain, then joined in the pursuit of General Forrest, until November, when it joined the army of General Sherman, being assigned to the Second Brigade, First Division, Fourteenth Corp. It marched with Sherman to the Sea and reached Savannah, Ga. on the 16th of December. After the city surrendered, the Thirteenth marched with Sherman's Army through South and North Carolina, meeting the opposition at several points and fighting a pitched battle with General Johnston and Hardee's forces at Bentonville, N.C. the 19th of March, where the Regiment sustained heavy loss, the last battle of importance being fought by Sherman's Army.

After General Johnston's surrender the Thirteenth marched to Washington, D.C. where it took part in the Grand Review on the 24th. On the 9th of June the Regiment proceeded to Louisville, Ky., where it mustered out of service on July 25th, then proceeded to Jackson, Mich., where it was paid off and disbanded on July 27, 1865.

During their term of Federal service they were engaged at:

March from Nashville, Tenn., to Savannah, Tenn., to reinforce Army of the Tennessee, March 29-April 7, 1862. Battle of Shiloh April 7. Advance on and siege of Corinth, Miss., April 29-May 30. Pursuit to Booneville June 1-12. Buell's operations in Northern Alabama and Middle Tennessee on line of the Memphis & Charleston Railroad June to August. Duty at Stevenson, Ala., July 18 to August 31, building forts and stockades and guarding the railroad. March to Louisville, Ky., in pursuit of Bragg August 31-September 26. Pursuit of Bragg to Wild Cat, Ky., October 1-16. Nelson's Cross Roads October 18. March to Nashville, Tenn., October 22-November 7. Duty at Nashville, Tenn., until December 26. Advance on Murfreesboro December 26-30. Battle of Stone's River December 30-31, 1862, and January 1-3, 1863. Duty at Murfreesboro until June. Middle Tennessee or Tullahoma Campaign June 23-July 7. At Hillsboro, Tenn., until August 16. Passage of the Cumberland Mountains and Tennessee River and Chickamauga (Ga.) Campaign August 16-September 22, Expedition from Tracy City to Tennessee River August 22-24 (Detachment). Occupation of Chattanooga September 9. Lee and Gordon's Mills September 17-18. Battle of Chickamauga, Ga., September 19-20. Siege of Chattanooga September 24-November 23. Chattanooga-Ringgold Campaign November 23-27. Battles of Chattanooga November 23-25. Stationed on the Chickamauga; engaged in picket duty and cutting timber for warehouses in Chattanooga until February 17, 1864. Engineer duty at Chattanooga and stationed at Lookout Mountain constructing military hospitals until September, 1864. Relieved from Engineer duty and pursuit of Forest into Northern Alabama September 25-October 17. Joined Sherman's army at Kingston, Ga., November 7. March to the sea November 15-December 10. Skirmishes at Dalton, Ga., November 30 and December 5 (Detachments). Siege of Savannah December 10-21. Campaign of the Carolinas January to April, 1865. Averysboro, N. C., March 16. Battle of Bentonville March 19-21. Occupation of Goldsboro March 24. 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 19. Grand Review May 24. Moved to Louisville, Ky., June 9-15. Mustered out July 25, 1865.

Total Enrollment--2093
Killed in Action--47
Died of Wounds--33
Died in confederate Prisons--7
Died of Disease--253
Discharged for Wounds--216
Total Casualty Rate--26.6%

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