8th REGIMENT. MICHIGAN INFANTRY,
ORGANIZED AUGUST 7, 1861.
DIARY OF WM. M. FENTON, COL.
8th MICHIGAN INFANTRY
8th REGIMENT MICHIGAN INFANTRY
ORGANIZED AUGUST 7, 1861
Wm. M. Fenton, App't Colonel.
(Mich. Genl. Order No. 52)
August 19, 1861
Order No. 60
App't Lt. Frank Graves; Major- Amasa B. Watson; Surgeon Hurlburt
B. Shank; Ass't Surgeon, Samuel R. Wooster.
At Camp Anderson near Grand Rapids, Mich., Regiment rendezvoused and was
recruited and drilled until
Marched to cars and thenee by rail to Detroit and boat to Fort Wayne.
Encamped west of Fort Wayne.
Mustered into service of the United States by Capt. M.R.Wisner.
Rec'd orders to march and left on Steamers "Ocean" and "May Queen" for
Cleveland - Friday evening.
Saturday morning arrived at Cleveland.
(Sunday) arrived by Railroad at Harrisburg having been kindly treated at
Cleveland and Pittsburg (Especially cared for by F. F. Myers, Reg.Gen'l.Ticket agent, C & P HQ- Cleveland).
Regiment arrives after tedious railroad riding from Harrisburg - at 10
1/2 A.M. at Baltimore and at noon arrived at Washington.
Encamped on Maridian Hill in Col. Tait’s Prov’l Brigade.
Named encampment "CAMP WILLIAM."
Harvey Soule, Private Co. "E" died of fever and was buried at Columbus
Hospital, Meridian Hill.
Oct. 9th and 10th
Struck out tents at 7 A.M. and marched to Washington enrout to Annapolis,
Md. Where er arrived at 4 A.M. (Oct. 10th) and after daylight were quartered in the Naval School Yard – being part if
the 2nd Brigade, Gen’l T.?. Sherman’s Division – Brig. Gen’l.
Col.Norse, 21st Marched Station at Post.
Shipped with regiment of Board the Steamer "Vanderbilt" off Annapolis at
night – 79th Highlanders came on board- no field officers – Capt. Morrison, sent captain in command of that regiment.
Men of 8th Regiment detailed and worked all night until lighter and the steamer bringing down balance of regiment and equipage
and trans-shipped hay and straw.
1 A.M. Gen’l Isaac Stevens and Staff came on board. Monday morning
at daylight under way.
10 1/2 A.M. arrived off Fortress Monroe and came to anchor in the midst
of a large fleet.
Morning sailed with fleet bound south.
Nov. 1st and 2nd
Heavy blow from S.E. and S.W. – fleet scattered.
3 A.M. – Sunday fair weather – fleet coming in sight –
off Port Royal
Nov. 4th. & 5th
Anchored with fleet off Prot Royal, S.C. Lay at anchor cannonading between
our gun boats and rebels.
Nov. 6th, 1861
Off Port Royal, S.C. – still at anchor; boats alongside ready for
orders to go to ships of 3rd Brigade. Wind fresh and sea rough.
VICTORY AT PORT ROYAL
Nov. 7th, 1861
The fleet headed by the ??bush took south point at Port Royal – entrance
Hilton Head and hoisted Stars and Stripes. Fort and cannons, etc. taken 3rd brigade – now 5 P.M. landing opposite point
(Bay point) taken at same time.
At reveille commenced disembarking from the Vanderbilt and landed on the
beach at Hilton Head, west point of Port Royal, entrance South Carolina – that A.M. the fort (Fort Walker) in possession
of our troops – at night bivouacked on the sand.
Same as 8th.
Sunday – rec’d camp and garrison, equipage, and some carried
by hand and regiment encamped south of Fort at Hilton Head. 50th Penn. and Round Head of 2nd Brigade on our left.
Gen. Viels – 1st brigade – right
Gen. Wright, 3rd " left and rear
(The 79th Highlanders on opposite shore, Bay Point – Gen’l.
Stevens heads 2nd on our front – Gen’l Sherman division head 2nd R.C. at the Port.
From Nov. 11th
Fatigue duty – landing stuff and receiving it on the Beach for Brigade
and Division – after work on trenches – at fortification in advance. Brigade Guard and Picket duty, etc.
Nov. 6th and (7th –Saturday)
Struck tents and 7th landed at Beaufort, 50th Penn. and Round Heads proceeding
– Beaufort deserted.
Sunday – 8th
Deserted – all quite. Regiment carves tress in front of headquarters
Beaufort, S.C 1861
Dec. 8th to 18th
Time employed incamp at drill – scouting, parties, fatigue duties,
etc. Ladies Island – Lieut. Porter commanding party. (see report of Dec 16th)
With Lieut. Brown – took a picket of 6 prisoners, Regiment moved
out 6 miles on Shell Road, Capers Place – I was ordered out with two companies, A & ? to East shore, Brick Yard,
Capt. Elders station to make reconnoisence in banks of opposite shore - moved out into main channel – found enemy in
force – were fired on by battery – lost one man (Burns Foote) see report.
See record advance Party, P.R. Island
Placed in command of Advanced Party. Port Royal Island 8th Mich. 79th Highlanders
& Lt. Ransom with Battery (sec.) 2 gun flying artillery.
(Cut off in image) ...that and ?ilne Plantation opposite.
With Highlanders skirmished out to the front from Seabrook to lower point
of woods near Coosaw River – opposite Brick Yard – being North front of island.
Brigade drill at our headquarters.
December 18th to 31st Inclusive
Employed drilling and picketing
Ladies Island – Lt. Brown and Porter
Brick Yard – Capt Elder
Shore – Lt. Doyle and McCoy
Highlanders on the front.
BATTLE OF COOSAW RIVER
PORT ROYAL FLEET
2 1/2 o’clock A.M. Marched from camp to Duck Creek (500 strong) –Embarked
at daylight – at 11 1/2 landed at Adams Mouse on Mainland Coosaw River – at 1 P.M. commenced march to Port Royal
Ferry Battery – enemy opened fire on us from the right from a marked battery with shells. Charged upon them with seven
companies as skirmishers. Found them supported by Infantry and Cavalry. After a brisk skirmish in which apparently 40 to 50
men of the enemy were killed and wounded, withdrew and left the field and bivouacked on grounds in rear of Port Royal Ferry
Battery which had been cleaned out by shells from Gun Boats.
Our loss was:-
Watson, wounded in left thigh – doing well.
Armstrong. Co. A. wounded in right leg (died 4th)
Co. A. wounded in right leg (doing well)
Private, Edward Brooks
Co. A. wounded and missing (since found dead on field and body recovered and buried at Beaufort).
Drill in companied battalion and brigade.
Feb. 24th to March 10th.
Moved to advanced posts – and served there.
Capt. Pratt left to Picket causeway at Ferry with Co. "B" and balance regiment
returned to Beaufort.
Drill and Camp – to
April 9th – 10th.
Regiment moved to Tybee Island and reported to Brig. Gen’l T.A.Gilmore
– After dark moved in rear of Battery Mallock.
April 10th and 11th.
Bombardment of Fort Pulaski
2 P.M. Fort surrendered. Bivouacked at Cost’s Point.
Moved 9th (or 7th) Company to Wilmington Island as an escort to Lt. Willson, Top Eng.
AFFAIR AT WILMINGTON ISLAND – GEORGIA
Left Goat’s Point at ----A.M. and arrived off Wilmington Island at
---- P.M. Landed Co’s "C" and "B" at Serivins’ Plantation. Moved Steamer further up and landed Co’s, "H",
"G", "E" "D" and parts of "A" and "F" combined. Co’s. "H" and "G" went up to Turner’s Creek as boat escort to
Lt. Willson, Top Eng. – Co. "?" by mistake took wrong road to right and came across a picket post of the rebels. Rebels
advanced in force. Co. "C" fell back to reserve – followed by rebels. –at 4 P.M. encampment became general lasting
until sunset, then we charged in enemy after flanking them to our right with Co. "K" and drove them 3/4 mile. Retired into
boats in good order and was not further molested. Brought in three rebel prisoners – all died before getting aboard
boat - see enemy busy in carrying off dead and wounded; loss on both sides heavy, considering forces
engaged – 300 on our side, of whom about 200 engaged, and 800 of the side of the enemy – our loss 11 killed and
34 wounded - among the killed Adjt.Pratt shot in head and instantly
killed while engaged in aiming his musket – laid off Island until 4 A.M. of the 17th then left for Tybee – arrived
there – landed regiment – boat took killed and wounded to Hilton Head –
Affair at Willmington Island
|Adjt. M. Miner Pratt
|Timothy Condon, Private
|George W. Spearbeck
|Charles A. Bailey
|James H. Barton
|(lives) Henry W. Caldwell
||Wounded right shoulder & neck (mortal) not
-living in Florence, Onsida County, N.Y.
|(lives) Charles D. Long
||Wounded left arm and left hip (mortal) not
|(lives) Warren Cole
||through both hips, (mortal) not so.
|Aylmer Y. Jennings
||left thigh (serious)
||left hip (since died) (serious)
|Simon C. Guild, Captain
||right leg (slight)
|Fred'ck M.Badger, Act'g 2nd Lieut
||wounded through body (since dead)(mortal)
|Franklin Moore, Private
||wounded left foot (severe)
||through right thigh (serious)
||right hand (serious)
||in right side and back (serious)
||in right leg (serious)
||in right leg (serious)
|Lymen A. Andrews, Private
||wounded in right hip (serious)
|Benj. B. Church, Capt.
||in right thigh (slight)
|Walter D. Smith, Corporal
||in shoulder and body (mortal)
|Andrew J. Coburn, Private
||in lower jaw (serious)
||in right thigh (serious)
||in right thigh (serious)
|Stephen H. Waters
||in left foot (slight)
||in right side if head (slight)
||in left side (serious)
||in right foot (slight)
|George Jennings, 1st sergeant
||in left leg (serious)
|George Kelly, Private
||in right eye (slight)
||in left shoulder (serious)
|(*) John R. Bunting, Corporal
||in left ankle (serious)
||in right hip(serious)
||in right hand (serious)
|William B. Colf
||in right shoulder(serious)
|Richard H. Henkinson
||in left wrist (serious)
||in left wrist (serious)
|(*) gunshot wound resulting in
April 17th and 18th
In command at Goat’s Point. See page 100 and following for report.
DESCRIPTION OF BEAUFORT, S.C.
Special Order No. 46 – Brig. Gen’l. S.A. Gilmore.
April 18th and 19th
Embarked in "Ben Deford " – and about noon 19th arrived in
Beaufort. General Stevens turned out with the Brigade and escorted the regiment to its old headquarters.
April 18th and 19th
Presentation of Flag
April 25th, 1862
Gen’l Stevens presented the Regiment a beautiful stand of colors
– the free offering of the citizens of Genesee County, Michigan, accompanied by the following communications.
See Rg’l record (orders book) pages 54, 55 and 56
Reg’t of Mich. Vol.
At Beaufort in voile.
Co’s "C" and "E", Capt. Lyon sent to Adv’d party
Capt. Walbridge, central.
Same relieved by "I" and "C" – Capt. Lewis, Adv’d party
relieved by "E" Lt. Cottrel, central.
Reconnaissance from Port Royal Ferry up to Pocotalye by Col. Christ, 50th Penn. Co. "H". 8th Mich, accompanying – the balance of rgt. in reserve. Corporal Bishop of Co.
June 1st, Sunday
Left Beaufort for Stone River – shipped our gun boat "Alabama", Capt.
?anier 4 A.M. – hospitable entainer up to 3rd
Light snow on bay – landed at Old Battery, Stone River, James Island,
S.C. and bivouacked in a heavy rain.
Monday, Jun 4th
Relieved – 28th Mass. on picket – drove in the enemy’s
back to old ground at the causeway and bro’t out a "secosh" cannon.
Bivouacked at – Lt. Houses in advance, remaining there and pitching
tents and being the advance regiment, pickets only in our advance.
June 7th, Saturday
Div. Genl’s Wright and Stevens formed 1st Brigade, 2nd Division,
8th Mich. 7th Conn. 28th Mass. Placed in command of Col. Fenton (Lt. Col. Graves of 8th Mich) Occasional alarm and under arms.
Battery built down at point beyond Lt. Houses’ picket reserve, and
Batteries of gun boats opened, cannonading both sides.
1st Brigade, 1st Division, U.S. Forces
James Island, S.C.
Attack ordered by Gen’l Benham on enemy’s entrenchments at
Sessionville. Brigade under marching orders at 11 A.M. At 2 A.M. in line and on the march. At daybreak captured enemy's 1st
picket of four men.
Co’s "C" and "?", 8th Mich. In advance; 8th Mich and 7th Conn following section – Conn.
Batter, 26 Mass.
Works attacked without firing a gun, Advance mounted the parapet at a charge bayonet.
in 8th Michigan Rgt. 182 – for detail see reports and lists, - see Copy of Brigade Report, page 106.
June 16th to 21st
Picketing – occasional ?rlass and command under army.
21st Gen. Benham relieved
21st Brig. Gen’l Wright in command
Lt. Col. Graves appointed inspector eng.
Forces divided, Gen’l Stevens, 1st Division, Gen’l Williams,
2nd Division, 1st Brigade, 1st Division, Col. Fenton commanding, 8th Mich; 7th Conn, Lt. Col. Hawley, 28th Mass, Lt. Col.
Moon, Col. Fenton resumed command 6th Mich. Capts. Ely & Lyon acting field officers. Lt Col. Linagor absent.
2nd Brigade, 1st Division, Col. Leasure 79th N.Y. 100th Penn. 46th N.Y.
1st Brigade Col. Charfield
2nd Brigade, Col. Welch
6th Conn, 97th
Penn, 47th N.Y.
45th Penn, 76th Penn, 3rd N.H. 3rd R.I.
Conn. Battery - Hamilton Battery
Infantry - Corps of Engineers
1st Brigade, 1st Division, U.S. Forces
Camp St. William, James Island,
June 21st to 30th
Engaged on picketing and fatigue work, building rifle pits – batteries,
proving guns and mortars and again drawing them back to landing preparatory to leaving ------ several alarms in meantime and
some men wounded by enemy’s shells.
At daylight heavy cannonading and all the camps aroused – picket
firing during the night.
Fatigue duty drawing back guns, etc. preparatory to evacuating James Island.
Bright’s Division withdrawn. Batteries same (withdrawn)
2nd Regiment, Col. Leasure’s Brigade engaged on picket
duty and pickets drawn into our camp.
2 1/2 A.M. Baggage moved to landing
7 A.M. embarked on "Cosmopolitan’ At light 8th Mich. Bivouacked at Hilton Head.
Some 28th Mass. arrived. Went up to camp
Notice to move to Beaufort.
Embarked on "Ben Deford" and was ordered to Smith’s Plantation. At
night (4 companies ashore) ordered to remain in status quo and prepared to embark for Virginia --------Men without food-------Marched
and sailed to Beaufort.
A.M. sailed to Hilton Head -----ALL DAY WITHOUT FOOD----OR WATER----
50th Penns. Joined us in place of 7th Co. Mich.
Loaded baggage on "Vanderbilt"
July 13th – Sunday
Embarked on same vessel ----50th Penn. and 8th Mich. for Virginia, 28th
Mass. Sailed 13th for Mississippi.
Headquarters 1st Brigade
July 13th Sunday
A.M. Embarked 2nd Regiment, 8th Mich. 50th Penn.
Inspection of arms, etc. fine weather, but salt beef and port only for
food – not even potatoes.
Arrived off Fortress Monroe and with Gen’’ Stevens and staff
called on Gen’l Dix (28th Mass).
Penns. 5th landed – no tents had
5th Mich. Landed – no tents – I went up to Camp Grover.
Regiments all in bivouack – no tents.
Regiments tents pitched --------
of Brigade Division changed (20th) to
"1st Brigade, 1st Division
Burnside Expedition" – Newport News, Va.
Monday, July 21st to 27th
Drills durning the week
Monday, July 28th
Wednesday, 30th, July, 1862
Wm. M. Fenton left for Michigan under Recruiting Orders
Left Fortress Monroe and went via Baltimore and New York on Recruiting
Service for 8th Michigan Regiment.
On Recruiting Service in Michigan. Obtained a good umber of recruits. Continued
until I heard of march, date of 8th Mich. And applied to be relieved – could not get relieved and got order from Lt.
Col. C.R. Smith, Supt. Vol. Rgt. Service to proceed to Washington with squad of recruits for several regiments.
Sept. 15th – Monday
Arrived at Washington and applied to Adjt. General to be relieved.
Sept. 19th and 20th.
Joined the regiment - was told to make application in writing – did
so. Got order as further personal application started – was detained at Relay House and so on to Frederick.
Stayed in camp with 20th Michigan near ?o?sboro.
Reported to regiment and Gen’l Wilcox in command 1st Division, 9th
Army Corp. and assumed command.
Made order for promitions, Brigade formed – and Col. Fenton put in
command 79th N.Y. (Lt. Col. Morrison) 8th Mich. (Maj.Ely) 46th N.Y. Lt. Col. Gorherds) 17th Mich. Col. Withington (Lt. Col.
Incidents while absent on Recruiting Service – Rec’d from Capt.
Lyon – 8th Mich. August 1st – 3rd to Sept.19th, 1862.
Broke camp and moved to Newport News landing – 4 companies embarked
on "St. Cecile".
Col. Stevens – "White Foam".
Steamer burst boiler and put back.
4 companies embarked on Gun Boat "Pioneer"
Sailed to ????? ????? – and went by cars to Fredericksburg moved
across the Rappahannock thru town
Detailed for picket
Cannonading towards Culpepper
Stored knapsacks, etc.
In camp -----------
Aug. 12th and 13th.
Three days rations cooked, broke camp, recrossed river.
Marched to Bealeton Station, Alexandria, & Richmond – R ? bivouacked
VIRGINIA AND MARYLAND CAMP ??, 8th MICHIGAN, Aug. & Sept. 1863
Crossed Culpepper, S.C. and out 3 miles.
Marched to rear Macoon Fords.
Aug. 17th and 18th.
In camp – inspection – marched at 11 P.M.
Crossed Rappahannock at Barnets Ford.
30 miles marched followed by rebel cavalry.
Enemy drove in out pickets – we marched up to Kelley’s Fords.
Crossed the ford on a reconnaissance and returned.
Marched to Bealston Station in line – supporting "Benjamin"
battery – rain all night –
Sept. 5th and 6th
In camp near Meridian Hills.
Marched towards ???sburg.
Sept. 8th and 9th.
Camp and march to Brookville.
Sept. 10th and 11th.
Camp and Damascus, 12 miles
To Frederick, Md (14)
To Middleton (13)
Engaged in battle of South Mountain – 13 wounded, none killed
Sept. 15th and 16th
Moved near Sharpsburg
Engaged in Battle
of Antietam – 4 killed and 23 wounded
Sept. 18th and 19th
Went into camp near Sharpsburg.
1st brigade, 1st Division, 9th Army Corps Pleasant Vally, Md. Col Fenton
in command of Brigade, Gen’l Wilcox of Div. – Gen’l. Burnside’s Corps. See page 20
Sept. 24th, -Wednesday
Brigade formed – Moved to Antietam Creek.
Moved to Antietam Iron Works (south of Creek) and encamped in column of
regiments. Time occupied in picket duty and drill until (Blank)
Moved up the river – cannonading in advance.
Enemy shelled up. ?o forced passage at White Sulphur Springs.
Marched to Warrenton, thense towards Warrington Junction ---- Junction
bivouacked at 12 1/2 at night.
Marched to Junction.
Marched towards Warrenton 3 miles, about face and back – thence to
Greenwich – a hard march.
Marched to Menassa's Junction and near Centreville.
Engaged in battle of Bull Run (a few wounded)
Heavy fire on regiment – some killed and wounded, retreated to Centreville.
Supported a Battery – brisk cannonading, no casualties.
Moved to rear of Centreville and crossed the Fairfax Pike. Attacked
the enemy at Chantilly – heavy loss left field and arrived at Fairfax Court House at daylight ----- Genls. Stevens and
??orney killed – several wounded, killed and missing of 8th Michigan in battle of Chantilly.
Left for Alexandria – arrived at Meridian Hills.
Sept. 3rd and 4th.
In camp and moved for Washington.
Oct. 11th – Saturday
At 5 P.M. moved Brigade to Beaverton en route to Frederick – bivouacked
Oct. 12th – Sunday
9 A.M. Took rail for Frederick, Md. Arrived at 12 to 2 P.M. ??onocady ?ts.
and Frederick. Col. Welch’s Brigade proceeded and was ordered to Ft. of Rocks – my command stationed. 17th
and 46th N.Y. with section of battery on right of town – 8th Mich. And 79th N.Y. with same left (toward Baltimore) on
look out for revel cavalry, (Stuart’s Raid). Col. Allen, 1st Maine Cavalry commandant of post – reported to him.
Oct. 13th and 14th.
Same duty – Sunday alarms
Oct. 15th and 16th.
Ordered to march – marched past Jefferson via Knoxville – back
to camp ---- and was assigned to command of 1st Division, 9th Army Corps. (enlistment in regular army took place here to 26th
Oct. 16th and 20th.
In command of 1st Division.
(20th) Relieved by Col. Leasure, 100th Pa. ranking col.
Moved over in heavy rain to Camp near Lovettsville, Virginia.
Wednesday, Oct. 29th.
Moved just outside Waterford, Va. ---moving after dark and encamped below
Thursday, Oct. 30th.
Col. Welch’s Brigade moved tour left, - Col. Christ’s Brigade
still on our left – took around in line.
Friday, Oct. 31st.
Saturday, Nov. 1st.
In camp – Brig. Gen’l. ?????, assumes command of Division.
Sunday, Nov. 2nd.
Monday, Nov. 3rd.
At noon took line of march, 13 to 14 miles, from Battle grounds (light
Artillery and Calvary) arrived at point near Upperville after dark.
Smoke seen near Ashby Gap – Stuart’s Cavalry said to be driven
Tuesday, Nov. 4th.
Firing in that direction –
Wednesday, Nov. 5th
Marched 14 miles, crossed Menassa’s Gap and passed to point below
Hectortown or Oakhill.
Thursday, Nov. 6th
Marched 17 miles thru Salam to Orleans and bivouacked – extreme cold
Friday, Nov. 7th.
Marched in snow storm to a point near Waterloo and bivouacked on
base of hill – 79th on picket in rear – 2 companied on flank. Anniversary of Bombardment of Hilton Head.
CAMP NEAR WATERLOO
Saturday, Nov. 8th
Cannonading in front (picket firing)
Anniversary of our landing at Hilton Head.
Sunday, Nov. 9th.
Inspection and prayer for Gen’l. Burnside, etc. Gen’l McClellan
said to be relieved.
Monday, Nov. 10th.
Tuesday, Nov. 11th.
17th Mich. Sent out to left on picket
Wednesday, Nov. 12th.
Moved Brigade and one section Battery – out to Orleans
and took position against an attack – At Evening relieved by 8th Penn., a cavalry (Capt. Rick ?ainham) – one squadron
and left two companied of 17th Mich. as reserve. Marched back to camp in the
evening --- brot in one prisoner and servant and reported same to Gen’l. Burns.
13th and 14th
Saturday, Nov. 15th
Marched ---- miles to Sulphur Springs and bivouacked all around there skirmishing
A.M. Artillery, etc. --- Order received at night to go to Michigan to recruit for 2nd and 8th Michigan, 2nd Michigan added
to Brigade and Col. ?oe (?a?kin? 7 days) put in command of Brigade.
Sunday, Nov. 16th
Marched 15 miles past Realston Station and near to Harrenton
Junction where Brigade bivouacked.
Monday, Nov. 17th
I (Wm. M. Fenton) left for Michigan by cars for Alexandria - (on Recruiting
service for 2nd and 8th Michigan).
Tuesday, Nov. 18th.
Arrived at Washington.
Wednesday, Nov. 19th.
Procures transportation from Michigan to Baltimore. Detained to get transportation
of Col. Belger.
Thursday, Nov. 20th.
At Pittsburg - same ----
Friday, Nov. 21st.
Via South Shore R.R. arrived at Detroit and ?? Gov. Blair on subject
Saturday, Nov. 22nd.
Arrived at home in Flint at 4 P.M.
Tuesday, Nov. 25th.
At Detroit and saw Governor - reported-
Wednesday, Nov. 26th.
Returned to Flint.
To Detroit - closed recruiting business -
Left Detroit to rejoin command and reached regiment (14th Sunday)
Attack on Fredericksburg - Pontoon thrown over
Fight at Fredricksburg - loss large - were repulsed - 9th Corps not engaged,
but in line of battle onthe loft - Sunday and Monday.
Wm. M. Fenton arrived (Sunday)
Morning joined and took command of 1st Brigade - 20th Mich. Col. Williams
Dec. 15th and 16th
Night - army recrossed Rappahannock - went into old camp opposite
Anniversary of affair on Coosaw River in which Foote was shot - 1st casualty
in Battle in Va.
Dec. 19th and 25th
Inspspection and report made --- picket and camp dutied and drill.
Christmas - no drills.
Review by Gen'l Sumnor, R.G.?.
Review by Gen'l. Burns, 1st Division
Drill of officers and non-com'd officers.
Muster of officers, promoted (by Capt. ?utt?)
Muster of regiment - by commanding officers (Col. Fenton, 8th)
Jan. 1st, Thursday
Quite in camp - Wm. M. Fenton, general officer of the day for Division.
79th, N.Y. gave aplaudid entertainment,
Jan. 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th.
Quite in camp.
Review of 9th Corps by Burnside.
Jan. 7th and 8th.
Wm. M. Fenton, general officer of the day - 8 men drowned crossing to exchange
papers with enemy's pickets, - 1st Conn. Battery - 1 - 45th Penn, Wm. McClellan, Co "E".
Report of same - to 15th camp, etc.
Friday, Jan. 16th.
Wm. M. Fenton, general officer of the day - order for 3 days cooked rations.
Saturday, Jan. 17th.
Gen'l Sedgwick, Commandant 9th, A.G.
Tuesday, Jan. 20th
Order to be ready to move in morning. Troops from Franklin Division pushed
up the Rappanhannock.
9 1/2 P.M. Order to be on line at 4 A.M. Rai, wind and sleet all night
(tents not struck)
Wednesday, Jan. 21st.
Order to be ready at call.
Jan. 22nd and 23rd.
Gen'l Burnside's plan to attack prevented by weather. Roads impassable.
Wm. M. Fenton general officer of the day
Monday, Jan. 26th.
Gen'l Burnside turn over command to Gen'l Joe Booker.
Maj. Ely was promoted to Lt. Col - Capt Lyon to major.
Stormy and bad roads, picket and camp duty ---- Sunday, Feb 1st to 5th
Inspections - camp and picket duty.
(5th) Ordered to move to Fortress Monroe (under Maj. Gen'l Smith, 9th A.G.)
Feb. 6th to 13th
Moving by rail to Aquin Creek.
Balance brigade shipped steamer "North America,"etc.
Anchored off Fortress Monroe - Raining.
Arrived at Newport News - built log huts - covers "A" tents.
Feb. 17th to 22nd.
Meet camp arranged and drilled morning.
Feb. 20th to 22nd.
Left noon - per orders from Division Heandquarters (Gen'l Pos).
VIRGINIA - at Newport News.
(8th Michigan - 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 9th A.C. etc)
Monday, Feb. 23rd.
Wm. M. Fenton, relieved from commandant of 1st Brigade and Gen'l Poe (appointed
by President) placed in command. I was then assigned to command of 2nd Brigade.
Assumed command 2nd Brigade (Col. Christ absent)
Revier of Corps by Gen'ls. Dix and Smith.
Feb. 26th and 27th
Camp and drill.
Inspection and muster.
Sunday, March 1st.
Camp stormy (Col. Christ returned)
Monday, March 2nd.
Addressed note ro AAA Gen'l 1st Division, Gen'l Wilcox and saw Gen'l ???
requesting to be relieved from command of 2nd Brigade - waiving rank, etc. order made.
Tuesday, March 3rd.
Rejoined regiment 8th Mich. after being 9 months in Brigade command.
March 4th to 9th.
In camp - drills, etc.
Major Lyon, Capt. Newell & Chaplian Taylor resign.
Flag received from Detroit - presented with ceremonies before the Division
(see account) The old FlagU sent home by Maj. Lyon.
March 13th and 14th
Camp, drills, etc.
Sunday, March 15th
Resignation of Col. Wm. M. Fenton, tendered 11th on account of ill health
& Lt. J. R. Fenton (wounded) accepted and ordered for discharge received the 16th.
Monday, March 16th
Wm. M. Fenton, received discharge and issued Farewell address -
Tuesday, March 17th.
Left Newport News for Baltimore with J.B.F. Lt. shipped at Fort Monroe
on Steamer "Adelaide".
Arrived at Baltimore - thence to Washington and received pay - thence by
car for home.
Arrived at Detroit.
Saturday, March 21st
Arrived in Flint.
There are several lists here that need to be
seperated and added to this website.
They will be added when completed.
REPORT OF RECONNOISANCE ON COOSAW RIVER
Headquarters, 8th Michigan Regiment
Camp on Shall Road, Beaufort
Dec. 18th, 1861
Brig. Gen'l. Isaac I. Stevens:
I have the honor to report that
in accordance with your order, I proceeded to make a reconnoisance on the main shore of the Coosaw River, opposite the Brick
Yard at Capt. Elder's Station, with the following force in two Flat Boats and a Cutter. Lieut. Taft, Capt. Elder with 8 men
and myself in the Cutter in advance - Capt. Guild of Co. "A", 54 men and Company "F" 40 men with 10 of Capt. Alder's and Corporal
Hurst and 3 men, 50th Regt. in flat boats. After reconnoitering the upper point, a plantation house and tents, I was satisfied
secessionists had a force too large for us to affect a landing there, at all events, at low tide. The shore was marshy, about
a hundred men in sight and others apparently under cover of trees, etc. on the right down the River and our boat being ahead
of the Flats, we made for the "Mayflower" aground below for the purpose of bailing her and ascertaining if ther observation
of the Force on the main land corresponded with ours. At the Captain's invitaion, I went aboard and a few minutes after our
flat coats approaching the point, we were about to land but as yet on the opposite side of the Main Channel were fired into
by a battery of Flying Artillery which has undoubtedly come from the interior on notice from the Camp above, sent out as to
observed by horseman on our first setting out in boats. One shot struck the boat and one killed Serg't Burns Foote of Co.
"A" - hitting him in the head and killing him instantly. No other damage was done and the battery appeared to have been driven
off by the one gun of the "Mayflower", which was near and opened fire upon it with shot and shell. -- I believe that but for
our boarding the "Mayflower", and for the good use made of her gun, our loss would have been considerable. Had she not been
aground at that spot my command would have been within shot range of the Battery. When fired opened, I ordered the boats to
keep near the South Shore and we succeeded in reaching the point of embarkation after dark by the western passage ----
My observation satisfing me that a conciderable force of the enemy is stationed
to the north within supporting distance of camps and pickets on the shore - and that wothout Gun Boats or Batteried no landing
can be effected or held on that side - at all events by any small force, less than one or more Regiments. Lieut. Taft was
of essential service on this reconnoisance and I have to report that all the men and Officers behaved with coolness and courage.
Very Resp'y. Y'r Obd'd Servant
Wm. M. Fenton, Col.
P.S. The Capt of the "Mayflower" reports works at the Ferry with
on embrasure opening on Causeway and on enfi-lading the river below.
Headquarters, 8th Mich. Regt.
Main Land Prot Royal Ferry,
Jan'y 1st, 1862, 8 o'c, P.M.
Brug. Gen'l Stevens,
I have the honor to report that in compliance
with your order this Reft. was safely at the Adams House on Main Land having effected the crossing in flat boats from Brick
Yard point, Port Royal Island, and took up its line of march toward the enemy's battery at this place at 1 o'c P.M. On our
approach toward the Ferry, we were ordered to attack (as skirmishere) a masked Battery which opened fire on us from the right.
I immediately detached the first two and the tenth companies and directed their march to the left and Front on the Battery.
This was followed by four additional companied to the right and front. The fire of the battery combined with the shells on
our lines until the skirmishers reached the right when it was turned in them and on their approach right, left and front to
within 50 to 100 yards of the enemy's position, a fire of musketry was opened upon them. The force of the enemy, as well as
the Battery, was concealed to a considerable extent by trees, brush and underwood, but appeared to consist of Two Mounted
Howitzers supported buy a regiment or more of infantry and some cavalry.
The skirmishers were measurably protected by brush and furrows and continued
their upon the enemy which was returned by volleys of Musketry and shells from the Battery. Our fire was well directed and
seemed to be effective, One mounted Officer who appeared to be very active, was seen to fall from his horse at which the troops
on the enemy's right were thrown into confusion. Their position seemed to be changing to the rear and as our skirmishers were
called off and the Regiment formed in line, the enemy's fire ceased. The Reg't was then marched to its position in line of
battle in rear of the fort at this point. Lt. Col. Craves led on the left and Major Watson the
right of skirmishers. The Major in leading on his lines received a severe flesh wound. I have to report that Officers and
men behaved with admirable coolness and bravery.
The top of the enemy from the well directed fire of our skirmishers cannot
be less than forty.
Our loss is seven wounded and two missing. A list if appended.
I have the honor to be
Very Respectfully, Your Ob't Serv't
M. Fenton, Col.
Headquarters, 8th Mich Vol's. On Board Steamer "Honduras" 11 o'c
P.M. April 16, 1862
Lieut K.L.M Berger
A Ass't Adj't Gen'l
Tybee Island, Georgia
I have the honor to report for the information of the General commanding
That in compliance with the special orders, No. 41, I embarked with 7 companies of the 8th Mich Regt. as an escort to
Lieut.J. H. Wilson, Tp Eng. on a reconnoisance of Wilmington Island. Two companies under command of Capt. Pratt were landed
at Serivens' plantation with orders from Lt. Wilson to skirt Turner's Creek on the left. The other five companies were ordered
to skirt Turner's Creek on the right - a third was to take the road to the right towards the Ferry at Carston's Bluff to protect
a boat party up Oakland Creek and the remainder to secure the landing.
After on company of the five was landed Lieut.
Wilson proceeded in a boat to Turner's Creek. Owing to the small number of boats and the distance from the Steamer which was
grounded some delay occured on the disembarketion.
I directed Lt. Col. Graves to follow with the 2nd comapny to skirt
Turner's Creek, but being misdirected he took the road to the right towards Carston's Bluff and on landing with the remaining
companied I received information that the enemy were in force at Fleetwood's Plantation and to the left of the road. This
rendered the reconnoisance of the Oakland Creek with boat unsafe and I ordered the companies in and stationing the remaining
companied to guard against an attack at our landing, sent out strong pickets on both roads.
I beleive the advance of conmpanies
to the right instead of along Turner's Creek saved my command as it sooner enabled me to post the men to advantage and take
a position which the enemy's approach could be observed.. The enemy proved to be the Georgia 13th about 800 strong, armed
with Enfield rifles. As they approached about 4 o'c, P.M. with a strong body of skirmishers in the skirtings of wood below
the road, the companies I had stationed to the right and left of the road in accordance with my instructions opened fire.
I immediately sounded the charge for the advance of companies in rear of the first line. The first line mistaking the
signal, fellback to the next cover. A constant and effective fire was kept up on both sided from cover of trees and bushes
for an hour or more. Lt. Wilson who had returned with boat party here proved of great service to me. He took a party at my
request to the left and I ordered a company to the right to flank the enemy.
Both operations were successful and in a
few moments the enemy retreated in confusion leaving several dead on the field followed by our men with loud cheers. It being
now about sunset I recalled our troops and giving to Lt. Wilson the command of pickets stationed to guard against suprise,
formed the companied in line as orginally posted, sent the dead and wounded in boats to the ship and gradually had very quietly
under cover of night, withdrawing the men sent them on board as fast as our limited transportation would allow ------- at
the last trip of the boats I embarked, accompanied by Lt. Wilson, Lt. Col. Craves and the remainder of my command at about
10 o.'c. P.M. and immediately brought on board the teo companied left at Serivan's plantations. After the enemy retreated,
we were unmolested. It is due to the officer and men of the command to say that generally they behaved with cool and intripid
Adjutent Pratt fell dead by my side gallantly fighting, musket in hand and cheering on the men.
I regret to say was comparatively heavy, 10 killed and 3? wounded out of a command of 300 men of whom not over 300 were engaged.
Among the wounded is acting Lt. Bedger of Co. "C" (*) who was in charge of the advanced pickets and exhibited undaunted courage.
He with one of his men were made prisoners. Both escaped and were brought in when the enemy retreated.
The captain of
the "Hondures" is deserving of great credit for his kindness to the wounded. Indeed, he afforded us every facility for the
comfort of officers and men in his power.
I resoectfully refer to Lt. Wilson's report which I have read and contains some
facts not embraced in this report, -Among others in relation to the men detailed in charge of the field piece on board ship
who were vigilant and attentive.
Your Ob't Serv't
Wm M. Fenton.
(*) Since died.
Headquarters, 1st Brigade
2nd Division, N. ?.?.S
S.C. June 17, 1862.
Capt. Hazerd Stevens,
A.A. Gen'l, 2nd Division,
I have to report for the information of the Brig. Gen'l. Command
2nd Division, the part taken by this Brigade in the attack on yesterday on the enemy's Battories -Agreeable to orders the
brigade was in readiness to move at one o'clock, A.M., 16th and at two o'clock in line, moved to the two houses.
specific orders were received from Brigadier General Stevens, who advanced with us, and at the head of the line, the brigade
was put in motion by the right flank in perfect quite and silence, Lieut. Lyon, Aid to General Stevens, in advance, with guide.
First, two companies, C, Captain Ely, and "E", Captain Boyle, of the 8th Michigan Volunteers, for the advance skirmishers
and attacking party; second, the remaining companies of the 8th Michigan under command of Lieut. Col Graves; third, 7th Conn.
Vol., Lieut. Col. Hanley, followed by a section of the Connecticut Battery; fourth, 28th Mass. Volunteers, Lieut. Col. Moore.
On passing the house beyond the marsh the advance was fired on by the pickets, and two at least of company H. 8th Michigan,
wounded, Silence was still preserved, no shots returnedm but the four men of the enemy's pickets were captured and sent to
the rear. The two advance comapnied were deployed into line beyond the hedge, and marched towards the enemy's works, followed
by the 8th Michigan, which came up into line on the march. Advancing with the regiment, as the formes into line in open field,
in view of the enemy's works, and observing as well as praticable his position, I deemed it desirable to gain ground to the
right, for the purpose of flanking his left in the assults, and advancing the other regiments into position for effective
fire on his infantry, supporting their works, and ordered an oblique march which was executed promptly and in good order.
I then dispatched Lt. Belcher, acting aid to bring up the 7th Connecticut to form on the left of 8th Michigan, and Lieut.
Brackett, acting Aact. Ajt. General to bring up the 28th Mass. to the support of the two former, taking my position in the
front and centre, to receive and direct the other regiments as the advanced.
The order not to fire but use the beyonet,
was obeyed, and the advance companies reached the parapet of the workd at the angle on our right and in frint, engaging the
enemy at the point of the bayonet. They were closely followed by the remaining comapnied of the regiment. During our advance
the enemy opened upon our lines an exceedingly destructive fire of grape, canister and musketry, and out the regiment pushed
on as veterans, divided only to the right and left by by a sweeping torrent from the enemy's main gun in front. This brought
a portion of the regiment to the left, near the tower or look-out, and a brisk fire of musketry was soon opened on both sides.
The enemy's fire proved so galling and destructive, that our troops on the parapet were obliged to retire under its cover
and that of the ditch, and ?loy? on our right at the marsh and slope and trees on our left. They maintained their position
partially covered doing good execution as sharpshooters. Furthur detail and honorable mention of gallant officers will be
found in Lieut. Colonel Graves' report.
The 7th Connecticut Volunteers, Lieut. Col. Hawley, formed into line as they advanced,
reaching a point in the open field, in front of the tower with their left, resting on the hunches skirting the marsh, when
I ordered their marsh by the right flank across the field, and up to the support of the troops on the right. I personally
directed the movement which was executed on good order under a continual cover of grape and cannister as well as musketry
on nearing th works.
In the meantime our section of the Connecticut Battery opened on the enemy fro our left, and the
march of this regiment at first was between two fires - I refer for further particulars of the action of this regiment, and
honorable mention of men to the report of Lt. Col. Hawley, commanding.
The 8th Mass. Vols. filed through the first hedge
and came rapidly up after the advance of artillery which proceded them, forming into line, and arriving near the 7th Conn.
filed up to the left by the flank. For a short time the left of the two regiments were clustered together in the bushes, but
the march of the 7th Conn.cleared them. The 28th then filed up to the obstrustions, a short distance from the enemy's entrenchments,
near the tower, opening fire upon them. Lt. Col. Moore's report embraces other particulars of the action of the regiment to
which I respectfully refer. All the regiments behaved well, subjected, as they were, to almost galling and raking fire until
they retired. The storm of grape and cannister as well as musketry continuing and many of our officers and men being disabled,
orders were received to withdraw and reformed behind the main hedge, in support of a field battery which was pushed forward.
In the woods on our right near the eagle of the fort were posted some of the enemy's sharpshooters, they werer also in
rifle site and under cover in the grass as well as in a house which was filled with them. From these and other corners in
and about the post and on its right as constant fire of musketry was kept up by the enemy who were in considerable force,
the 2nd Brigade of this 2nd Division was promptly pushed forward to our support and from all accessable points, the enemy
was vigorously replied to ----- I have no doubt they suffered a severe loss in killed and wounded. From the enemy's floting
battery, to our right and front, at least four shots were fired. When the order to withdraw was given, I sent Lt. Fenton to
our extreme right and front to recall the men there. At this time he found them near the angle of the fort, and directed them
to fall back which was done by most of the troops, but after the regiment were reforming behind the hedge, a hundred or more
of the of the 8th Mich. still remained at the eagle and were recalled by Lieut. Belcher, who rode over the field to bring
in all who remained able to move. The field of battle was furrowed across with cotton ridges. Many of the men lay there loading
and firing as though on their hunting grounds at home. All the horses connected with my command were either killed or wounded,
and all my aids and orderlied hit in some way.
During the engagement the colors of the 8th Michigan were carried on the
parapet and after the men first withdrew were unfuried to protect them from shots from friends in the rear. While the firing
was hottest and during the day's action, (CUT OFF IMAGE)through the efficient attention of Surgeon Francis Bacon and Asst.
Surgeon Borace Porter of the 7th Connecticut, Suregon Wilson of the 8th Michigan, and Surgeon Connel and Asst. Snow of the
18th Mass. with their respective corps speedy relief was afforded to the wounded who were assessible.
Orders having been
given to that effect about 9 o'clock A.M. this command was withdrawn and returned to camp in good order. The conduct of all
the officers of this command who came under my notice was gallant without acception, the men behaves with admirable bravery
and coolness. I regret to report a heavy loss of this command which is not yet precisely ascertained, but as last reported
amounts to 314 killed, wounded and missing of which 182 are reported in the 8th Michigan, 65 in the 7th Connecticut Vols.
and 74 in the 28th Mass. Vols. I will transmit at the earliest practicable moment a correct list of names and which is in
preparation. Lt. Brackett, A.A.A.G. Lt. Belcher and Fenton acting aids were active and efficient. Lt. Belcher was wounded
slightly as he supposed at the time and continued through the entire affair on duty, although on his return to quarters he
had a ball extracted from his shoulder. His wound, however, is not dangerous. The forces engaged are as follows:-.
Field & Staff
Field & Staff
Rank & File
Accompanying this are copies of reports of regimental commandors, and a
???? sheet of the scene of action, not claimed to be entirely correct but as near as can be made from the view had under fire
on the field of battle.
I am, very Res'p
Y'r Ob't Serv't
Wm. M. Fenton
Colonel Eighth Michigan Volunteers,
Commander First Brigade