6th Regiment Michigan Infantry













Organized at Grand Rapids, Mich., May 28 to October 13, 1862. Mustered in October 13, 1862. Duty at Grand Rapids, Mich., until December 10. Left State for Washington, D.C., December 10, 1862. Attached to Provisional Cavalry Brigade, Casey's Division, Military District of Washington, to February, 1863. Provisional Cavalry Brigade, Casey's Division, 22nd Army Corps, Dept. of Washington, to March, 1863. 1st Brigade, Stahel's Cavalry Division, 22nd Army Corps, to June, 1863. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac, to March, 1864. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac and Middle Military Division, to June, 1865. District of the Plains, Dept. of Missouri, to September, 1865. Mustered out November 24, 1865. District of Dakota, Dept. of Missouri, to November, 1865.

The Regiment, under the command of Colonel Frederick W. Cortenius of Kalamazoo, started from its rendezvous to join the Army of the Potomac, August 30, 1861, with an enrollment of 944 officers and men. While the Sixth expected to become part of the Army of the Potomac, the fortunes of war placed most of its service in the southwest, on the Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico. The Regiment was recruited for the Infantry arm of the service serving as such until July, 1863, when General Banks converted it into a Regiment of Heavy Artillery, on account of its valuable and faithful service, his official order stating that the Regiment is "to retain, until further official notice, its infantry number, and to have the organization, pay, clothing and equipment as prescribed by regulations for troops of the artillery arm." The Regiment is therefore frequently referred to as the Sixth Infantry and also the Sixth Heavy Artillery.

The Regiment spent the winter of 1861-62 in camp at Baltimore, Maryland, where from the following spring embarked upon steamers for Fortress Monroe, when it arrived Feb. 23, 1861. Again embarking with other Union troops, it proceeded by sea to Ship Island, Miss., from there soon after, was sent to General Butler's forces in an attack on New Orleans, La., arriving at that city May 2nd, after the fall of Forts Jackson and St. Phillips and the capture of the city. From this point the Regiment, as a whole, or in detachments, made many excursions into the surrounding country up and down the Mississippi River, capturing and destroying public property and Confederate supplies, many of the excursions being of a highly dangerous nature. August 5, 1862, the Sixth made a brilliant record in assisting to repulse a heavy attack on the Union forces at Baton Rouge, when in a desperate charge upon the Confederate works, captured the flag of the Ninth Louisiana Regiment. The Sixth suffered severely in killed and wounded in this engagement, including General Thomas Williams, in command of the Union forces who was killed.

In January 1863, the Regiment participated in an expedition under General Weitzel to Bayou Teche, destroying the rebel gunboat "Cotton". They then took part in the expedition against Ponchatoula in March, where the Regiment had 9 men wounded; but, captured a number of Confederate's. In April the Sixth was engaged at the Amite River and the Tickfaw River, followed by a raid on the Jackson Railroad at Pangipabo, where it captured 60 prisoners and destroyed an immence amount of contraband property. From May until July the 6th., it was engaged in the Seige of Port Hudson, where it received special commendation for its gallantry and daring. It made a desperate charge upon the Confederate entrenchments on the 27th of May, going through the works with a bayonet charge, the attack was unsuccessful by reason of the overwhelming numbers of the defending Confederates. After the seige of Port Hudson, the Regiment remained there until March of 1864, when 247 men re-enlisted and started for Michigan on veteran furlough.

The Regiment re-assembled at its former camp at Kalamazoo after the expiration of the thirty days furlough, then returned to Port Hudson, where it arrived on May 11th. The Sixth moved to Vicksburg, Miss., where it served as engineers, then moved to White River and soon after to Ashton, Ark. The Regiment was divided into detachments to serve as heavy artillery to be stationed at Fort Morgan, Fort Gaines, Dauphin Island and Mobile Bay.

The Regiment performed valuable service under its assignments as heavy artillery until August, when it received orders to return to Michigan. It arrived at Jackson August 30th, was paid off and discharged on Sept. 5, 1865.

During their term of Federal Service, they were engaged at:

Duty in the Defenses of Washington, D. C., until June, 1863. Scout from Centreville, Va., to Falmouth, Va., February 27-28, 1863. Marstellar's Place, near Warrenton Junction, May 14. Reconnaissance up the Catoctin Valley June 27-28. Occupation of Gettysburg, Pa., June 28. Action at Hanover, Pa., June 30. Battle of Gettysburg, Pa., July 1-3. Hunterstown, Pa., July 2. Monterey July 4. Smithburg July 5. Williamsburg and Hagerstown July 6. Boonsboro July 8. Hagerstown July 11-13. Falling Waters July 14. Ashby's Gap July 17, 18 and 20. Berry's Ford July 20. Battle Mountain, near Newby's Cross Roads, July 24. King George Court House August 24. Expedition to Port Conway September 1-3. Advance from the Rappahannock to the Rapidan September 13-17. Culpeper Court House September 13. Somerville Ford September 14. Raccoon Ford September 14-16. Somerville Ford September 15. Reconnaissance across the Rapidan September 21-23. Madison Court House September 21. White's Ford September 21-22. Robertson's Ford September 23. Bristoe Campaign October 8-22. James City October 8-10. Bethesda Church October 10. Near Culpeper and Brandy Station October 11. Gainesville October 14. Manassas Junction October 15. Groveton October 17-18. Gainesville, Catlett's Station and Buckland's Mills October 19. Advance to line of the Rappahannock November 7-8. Stevensburg November 8. Mine Run Campaign November 26-December 2. Morton's Ford November 26. Raccoon Ford November 26-27. Demonstration on the Rapidan February 6-7, 1864. Kilpatrick's Raid on Richmond February 28-March 4. Fortifications of Richmond March 1. Campaign from the Rapidan to the James River May 3-June 24. Battles of the Wilderness May 5-7; Todd's Tavern May 5-6; Brock Road and the Furnaces May 6; Todd's Tavern May 7-8. Sheridan's Raid to James River May 9-24. Beaver Dam Station May 9. Ground Squirrel Church and Yellow Tavern May 11. Meadow Bridge and fortifications of Richmond May 12. Hanover Court House May 21. On line of the Pamunkey May 26-28. Hanovertown Ferry, Hanovertown, and Crump's Creek May 27. Haw's Shop and Aenon Church May 28. Totopotomoy May 28-31. Old Church and Mattadequin Creek May 30. Bethesda Church, Cold Harbor, May 31-June 1. Bottom's Bridge June 1. Sheridan's Trevillian Raid June 7-24. Trevillian Station June 11-12. Newark or Mallory's Cross Roads June 12. Black Creek or Tunstall's Station and White House or St. Peter's Church June 21. Jones' Bridge June 23. Muddy Branch, Md., July 26 (Detachment). Demonstration north of the James River July 27-29. Deep Bottom July 27-28. Ordered to Washington, D. C. Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign August 7-November 28. Tell Gate, near White Post and Winchester, August 11. Cedarville or Front Royal August 16. Kearneysville and Shephardstown August 25. Leetown and Smithfield August 28. Smithfield Crossing, Opequan, August 29. Berryville September 4. Charlestown September 9. Locke's Ford, Opequan Creek, September 13. Sevier's Ford, Opequan Creek, September 15. Battle of Opequan, Winchester, September 19. Fisher's Hill September 21. Clifford September 22. Luray September 24. Port Republic September 26-28. Mt. Crawford October 2. Luray Valley October 8. Tom's Brook "Woodstock Races" October 8-9. Battle of Cedar Creek October 19. Edenburg November 7. Near Kernstown November 11. Expedition into Loudoun and Faquier Counties November 28-December 3. Raid to Gordonsville December 19-28. Madison Court House December 21. Liberty Mills December 22. Near Gordonsville December 23. Expedition to Little Fort Valley February 13-17. 1865. Sheridan's Raid from Winchester to James River February 27-March 25. Occupation of Staunton and action at Waynesboro March 2. Duguidsville March 8. Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9. Dinwiddie Court House March 30-31. Five Forks April 1. Scott's Cross Roads April 2. Tabernacle Church or Beaver Pond Creek April 4. Sailor's Creek April 6. Appomattox Station April 8. Appomattox Court House April 9. Surrender of Lee and his army. Expedition to Danville April 23-29. March to Washington, D.C., May --. Grand Review May 23. Moved to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, June 1. Powder River Expedition and operations against Indians on the plains until November. Consolidated with 1st Michigan Cavalry November 7, 1865. Companies "I" and "M" served detached from Regiment February, 1863, to May, 1864. Attached to Jewett's Corps of Observation February to June, 1863. Guard and patrol duty along the Potomac to prevent blockade running across that river to Baltimore, Md. Stationed at and operating about Rockville, Great Falls, Edward's Ferry, Poolesville and White's Ford, Md.. until June, 1863. Skirmish at Oakland, Md., April 26 (Co. "I"). Skirmish with Moseby at Seneca Mills, Md., June 10. Gettysburg (Pa.) Campaign June-July. Forced march during night of July 3 from Fredericksburg. Va., and action with Lee's Bridge Guard at Falling Waters July 4. Detachment of 140 men surprised and dispersed a much larger force guarding Lee's Pontoon Bridge swinging on the Virginia side of the Potomac, capturing men and ammunition and completely destroying the pontoons and trains which General Lee admitted delayed his army seven days. Occupation of Harper's Ferry July 7. Attached to Well's Brigade, Maryland Heights Division, Dept. of West Virginia. Operating from Harper's Ferry and having almost continuous Raids, Expeditions and skirmishes in the Shenandoah Valley, Mechanicsville Gap and Moorefield Valley until April, 1864. Skirmish near Harper's Ferry July 14, 1863. Halltown July 15. Waterford August 8. Skirmishes at Charleston and on the Berryville Pike October 18. Expedition from Charleston to near New Market November 13-18. Skirmishes at Woodstock, Edenburg and Mt. Jackson November 16. Operations in Hampshire and Hardy Counties, W. Va., January 27-February 7, 1864. Skirmishes near Romney February 2, Moorefield February 4 and Smithfield February 5. Ordered to rejoin Regiment in Army of the Potomac April 25, and Joined May 3, 1864.

Total Enrollment--1992
Killed in Action--45
Died of Wounds--25
Died in Confederate Prisons--13
Died of Disease--432
Discharged for Wounds--327
Total Casualty Rate--42.3%

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