The Seventeenth Infantry, the celebrated "Sonewall Regiment of the Union", rendezvoused and mustered in at Detroit on May 29, 1862, when after a short period of training and equipping was sent by rail to Washington, D.C., Attached to 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 9th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to April, 1863. Army of the Ohio to June, 1863, and Army of the Tennessee to August, 1863. 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 9th Army Corps, Army of the Ohio, to January, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 9th Army Corps, Army Ohio, and Army Potomac, to April, 1864. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 9th Army Corps, Army Potomac, to May, 1864. Acting Engineers, 3rd Division, 9th Army Corps, to September, 1864. Acting Engineers, 1st Division, 9th Army Corps, to April, 1865. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 9th Army Corps, to June, 1865.
On the 17th. the Regiment was again deperately engaged at Antietam, sustaining a further loss of 18 killed and 87 wounded. After the single bloodiest day in American warfare the Regiment was on the front skirmishing with the fleeing Confederates, losing yet another man. The Regiment then left with its command returning to Virginia.
The Seventeenth left Waterford, VA, on November 29th, and marched via Warrenton to near Falmouth, where it encamped from the 18th. to December 12th. It crossed the Rappahanock River with the army at Fredericksburg, but did not participate in the battle that ensued there. On the 14th. of February, 1863 the Regiment embarked on steamers at Aquia Creek for Newport News, where it encamped until the 19th. of March, when it proceeded, in command of Colonel Luce, by transport to Baltimore, thence by rail to Louisville, KY, then on to Bardstown. April 3rd. it moved to Lebanon, thence to Columbia on the 29th. Marching from Columbia, it arrived at Jamestown on the 31st. of May. The Ninth Corp having been ordered to reinforce General Grant in Mississippi, then proceeded by rail to Cairo, IL, then down the Mississippi River to the Yazoo River. Disembarking, the Regiment went into camp near Hayne's Bluff, MS. June 22nd. it was ordered to Milldale Church, there to be engaged in erecting fortifications. Leaving Milldale on the 4th. of July, it participated in the advance on Jackson, arriving before that town on the 10th., after a series of skirmishes. The Regiment lost before Jackson, 1 man who was mortally wounded.
Returning to Milldale, it embarked August 3rd. heading for Kentucky, arriving at Crab Orchard on the 24th. Marching from there, it engaged in the movements made by the Army of the Ohio into eastern Tennessee, in September and October. At Knoxville on the 14th. of October, ti marched to Lenoir Station.
Like the Second, Eighth and Twentieth Infantry, which were in the same Corp, the Regiment had traveled over 2100 miles during the year.
The Regiment, then attached to the 3rd. Brigade of the 1st Division of the 9th. Corp remained there until the morning of the 14th., when it marched to Louden, to oppose the advance of General Longsteet, then moving on Knoxville. It lay under its arms during the night, and on the following morning commenced falling back, closely followed by the Confederates. It continued to retreat acting as a rear guard for the rest of the Corp. While crossing Turkey Creek, Longsteets men attacked in force, causing a severe engagement to occur. In this action the Regiment lost 7 men killed, 19 wounded and 10 missing.
During the retreat to Knoxville, and during the Seige of Fort Saunders, the men suffered greatly, especially while being besieged, from the want of proper and sufficient rations. When the seige was lifted by the retreating Confederates the 17th. was ordered to Annapolis, MD where 200 new recruits were incorporated into its ranks.
From Annapolis the Regiment set out with the Grant Campaign of 1864, when in May of that year it lost 7 men killed and 39 wounded at the Wilderness. In the action on the 9th. the Regiment was detached from its Brigade to support a battery. Crossing the Nye River it secured, by rapid movement, an important position, repulsing the charging Confederates who were endeavering to take possesion of that ground. The Regiment was actively engaged in the movements of the 10th. and 11th., when on the 12th. they charged the southern works at Spottsylvania Court House. In this charge the Regiment lost 23 killed, 73 wounded and 93 taken prisoners. The loss in prisoners was owing to the Regiment being surrounded by a greatly superior force.
On the 16th. of May the Regiment was designated as an engineer troop and served in that capacity the remainder of the year. It moved with its Corp from the North Anna River, thence to Cold Harbor, across the Chickahominy and the James Rivers to the Seige Petersburg, where it remained until the city fell. From the time it arrived in front of Petersburg untill its fall the Regiment was actively building and reconstructing fortifications, all the while being held in reserve, if needed as infantry.
After Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House, the Regiment proceeded to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Grand Review, remaining there until June 3rd., when it was mustered out of service and started for Detroit, arriving there on the 7th., to be paid off and disbanded.
During their term of federal service, they were engaged at:
Maryland Campaign September 6-22, 1862. Battle of South
Mountain September 14. (Regiment afterwards designated the "Stonewall
Regiment" for its achievements in this battle.) Battle of
Antietam September 16-17. Duty in Maryland until October 30. Movement
to Falmouth, Va., October 30-November 18. Battle of Fredericksburg,
Va., December 12-15. "Mud March" January 20-24, 1863.
Moved to Newport News, Va., February 14, thence to Louisville,
Ky., March 19. To Bardstown, Ky., March 29. To Lebanon April 3.
To Columbia April 29, and thence to Jameston, Ky., and duty there
until June 4. Moved to Vicksburg, Miss., June 4-12. Siege of Vicksburg
June 14-July 4. Advance on Jackson, Miss., July 4-10. Siege of
Jackson July 10-17. Destruction of Mississippi Central Railroad
at Madison Station July 18-20. At Milldale until August 3. Moved
to Covington and Crab Orchard, Ky., August 3-24. March to Knoxville,
Tenn., September 10-26. Action at Blue Springs October 10. Duty
at Lenoir October 20 to November 14. Knoxville Campaign November
4-December 24. Lenoir Station November 14. Action at Campbell's
Station November 16. Siege of Knoxville November 17-December 5.
Repulse of Longstreet's assault on Fort Saunders November 29.
Operations in East Tennessee until March, 1864. Moved to Nicholasville,
Ky., thence to Annapolis, Md., March 17-April 5. Campaign from
the Rapidan to the James River May 4-June 15. Battles of the Wilderness
May 5-7; Spottsylvania May 8-12; Ny River May 10; Spottsylvania
Court House May 12-21. Assault on the Salient May 12. North Anna
River May 23-26. Ox Ford May 23-24. On line of the Pamunkey May
26-28. Totopotomoy May 28-31. Cold Harbor June 1-12. Bethesda
Church June 1-3. Before Petersburg June 16-18. Siege of Petersburg
June 16, 1864, to April 2, 1865. Mine Explosion, Petersburg, July
30, 1864. Six Mile House, Weldon Railroad, August 18-21. Poplar
Springs Church, September 29-October 2. Reconnoissance on Vaughan
and Squirrel Level Roads October 8. Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher's
Run, October 27-28. Fort Stedman, Petersburg, March 25, 1865.
Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9. Assault on and fall of Petersburg
April 2. Occupation of Petersburg April 3. Pursuit of Lee April
3-9. Moved to Alexandria, Va., April 24-27. Grand Review May 23.
Mustered out June 3, 1865.
|Killed in Action--91|
|Died of Wounds--39|
|Died of Disease--152|
|Total Casualty Rate--26.1%|
Reference for history & rosters: Record, Seventeenth Michigan Infantry, Civil War, 1861-1865. Published by authority of the Senate and House of Representatives of the Michigan Legislature, under the direction of Brig. Gen. George H. Brown. Adjutant General. Ihling Bros. & Everard, Stationers, Printers and Publishers, Kalamazoo, Mich.