8th Regiment Michigan Infantry













Regiment organized at Grand Rapids and at Fort Wayne, Detroit, Mich., and mustered in September 23, 1861. Left State for Washington, D.C., September 27. Camp at Meridian Hill until October 9. Moved to Annapolis, Md., October 9, and attached to Stevens' 2nd Brigade, Sherman's South Carolina Expeditionary Corps, to April, 1862. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, Dept. of the South, to July, 1862. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 9th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to September, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 9th Army Corps, to December, 1862. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 9th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to March, 1863, and Army of the Ohio to June, 1863. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 9th Army Corps, Army of the Tennessee, to August, 1863. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 9th Army Corps, Army of the Ohio, to March, 1864. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 9th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to September, 1864. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 9th Army Corps, to April, 1865. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 9th Army Corps, to July, 1865.

The Eighth Infantry saw service on the Atlantic coast in the Army of the Potomac, also in the western department, marching and fighting in practically all of the Southern States from the Mississippi River to the Atlantic Ocean.

At the organization of the Regiment it was ordered to rendezvous at Grand Rapids; but, was afterwards transferred to Fort Wayne in Detroit, where it was mustered into the service of the United States on the 23rd of September, 1861. It left Detroit, Sept. 27, 1861, arriving at Washington the 30th, with an enrollment of 915 officers and men. The Regiment was assigned to the "Expeditionary Corp", under General T. W. Sherman, seeing service along the coast at Hilton Head, Beaufort, S. C., Coosaw River and Tybee Island, Ga. In April, 1862, the Regiment had a severe engagement with Confederate forces on Wilmington Island, where it lost heavily in killed and wounded. At Secessionville on James Island the Regiment distinguished itself by a bayonet charge upon the Confederate works. Though their ranks were swept by the rebel artillery, not a gun by the Regiment was fired until the parapet was reached. Here the Confederate fire was so great and destructive that it was impossible to enter the works causing the assaulting party to be obliged to withdraw with a loss of 13 killed, 98 wounded, 35 prisoners and 36 missing.

In July the Regiment left James Island. After a series of embarkations and marches, reached Manassas, Va., where it was engaged Aug. 29th and 30th as part of the First Brigade, First Division, Ninth Army Corp. After long marches in the Maryland Campaign of 1862 the Regiment was heavily engaged at South Mountain and Antietam, Sept. 14th and 17th. In March 1863, the Eighth was ordered to Louisville, Ky., and thence to Vicksburg, Miss., where it arrived on the 17th. The Regiment was engaged in the marches about Vicksburg, especially at Jackson, Miss., afterwards starting for Knoxville, Tenn., by way of Crab Orchard and Cumberland Gap, where it arrived on the 26th of September.

When General Longstreet marched through Tennessee the Eighth was among the troops that met him at Campbell Station, West of Knoxville. During the siege, the Eighth was in advanced works suffering much in common with the whole Corp, on account of the inclement weather, the want of clothing, tents, and the scarcity of rations. After General Longstreet withdrew his forces from Knoxville, the Eighth started in pursuit and went as far as Rutledge, East Tennessee, then retired to Blain's Cross Roads. At this camp the Regiment veteranized, 283 re-enlisting, immediately afterwards commenced a 200 mile march across the Cumberland Mountains over horrible roads, in sleety, cold weather, the march averaging 30 miles a day, arriving at Nicholasville, KY., on Jan. 19, 1864. whence it departed for its home state.

The Regiment reached Detroit, Mi., on the 25th and was furloughed for 30 days. After the expiration of 30 days furlough, the Eighth assembled at Flint, starting on the 9th of March, via Cincinnati, to join the Ninth Corp, which was then at Annapolis, Md. On the 4th of May, 1864, the Regiment, with the balance of the Ninth Corp, started on the Grant Campaign of 1864 through Virginia. It formed a part of the First Brigade, Third Division, of the celebrated Ninth Corp, crossing the Rapidan River at Germania Ford on the 5th, soon to be engaged in the battle of the Wilderness on the 6th. In this battle the Regiment reported a loss of 99 killed, wounded and missing. Colonel Graves, commanding the Regiment was killed.

The Eighth was in the assault on the Confederate works at Spottsylvania on the 12th and suffered severely. The Regimental commander reported a loss of 49 officers and men in this assault. At Bethesda Church, on June 3rd, the Regiment, in a desperate encounter with the southern forces lost 52 killed, wounded, and missing. The Eighth crossed the James River on the 15th, then lost an additional 49 officers and men on the 17th and 18th before Petersburg.

The Regiment occupied different positions during the Siege of Petersburg, almost always under fire, then took part in the battles along the Weldon R.R., Ream's Station, Poplar Grove Church, Fort Steadman, and when Petersburg finally fell it was one of the first of the Union Regiments to march into that city.

After the surrender of General Lee, April 9, 1865, the Eighth moved to City Point, where it embarked on transports for Alexandria, Va., reaching on Washington, May 9th. The regiment, under Colonel Ralph Ely, started for Michigan on August 1st and arrived in Detroit on the 3rd, where it was paid off and disbanded.

During their term of Federal service they were engaged at:

Sherman's Expedition to Port Royal, S. C., October 19-November 7, 1861. Capture of Forts Walker and Beauregard, Port Royal Harbor, November 7. Hilton Head, S.C., November 8. Occupation of Beaufort, S.C., December 7. Chisholm Island December 17. Port Royal Ferry, Coosaw River, January 1, 1862. Guard and picket duty at Beaufort until April. Reconnoissance up Bull River February 23-26 (Detachment). Duty at Battery Halleck, Tybee Island, during siege of Fort Pulaski April 1-12. Bombardment and capture of Fort Pulaski April 10-11. Reconnoissance to Wilmington and Whitmarsh Islands and action April 16. Duty on Port Royal Island until June. Pocotaligo May 29 (1 Co.). Operations on James Island, S.C., June 1-28. Battle of Secessionville June 16. Evacuation of James Island June 28-July 7. Moved from Hilton Head, S.C., to Newport News, Va., July 12-17, thence to Fredericksburg, Va., August 4-6. Operations on the Rapidan and Rappahannock Rivers until August 27. Pope's Campaign in Northern Virginia August 27-September 2. Battles of Groveton August 29; Bull Run August 30; Chantilly September 1. Maryland Campaign September 6-22. Battles of South Mountain September 14; Antietam September 16-17. March up the Potomac to Leesburg, Va., thence to Falmouth, Va., October 11-November 18. Battle of Fredericksburg, Va., December 12-15. "Mud March" January 20-24, 1863. Moved to Newport News, Va., February 13, thence to Kentucky March 19-23, and duty at various points in that State until June. Moved to Vicksburg, Miss., June 7-14. 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 18-22. Camp at Milldale until August 4. Moved to Covington, Ky., thence to Crab Orchard, Ky., August 4-18. Burnside's Campaign in East Tennessee. March to Knoxville, Tenn., September 10-26, and duty there until October 3. Action at Blue Springs October 10. Knoxville Campaign November 4-December 24. Lenoir November 15. Campbell's Station November 16. Siege of Knoxville November 17-December 5. Camp at Blain's Cross Roads until January 8, 1864. Veterans marched over Cumberland Mountains to Nicholasville, Ky., over 200 miles, in midwinter, and reached Detroit January 25. Ordered to Annapolis, Md., March 9, and duty there until April 23. 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 16-19. Siege of Petersburg June 16, 1864, to April 2, 1865, Mine Explosion, Petersburg, July 30, 1864. 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. Assault on and fall of Petersburg April 2. Fort Mahone April 2. Occupation of Petersburg April 3. Guard Southside Railroad until April 20. Moved to Alexandria April 20-23. Grand Review May 23. Guard and patrol duty at Washington, D.C., until July 30. Mustered out July 30, 1865.

Total Enrollment--1715
Killed in Action--134
Died of Wounds--87
Died in Confederate Prisons--7
Died of Disease--181
Discharged for Wounds--278
Total Casualty Rate--40.0%

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