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Digitally Transcribed by: Cheryl Canty & Wendy Bruce
Special thanks to my husband Todd for his help with military terms.

15 pages



Appearing in the May 3rd, 1862 issue of the "Democrat", Flint, Michigan

BEAUFORT, S.C. April 7th, 1862.

Our Regiment is still at its old camp, in this Newport of South Carolina, with an occasional change from the regular routine of camp life, by a two weeks tour, at the advance posts, on the Coosaw River, doing picket duty. The rebel pickets are always visible on the opposite side, but do not trouble us any. A small force from our Brigade crossed the river one day last week and drove in their pickets. There were a few shots exchanged, but resulted in no injury to our troops.

We have, as you are aware probably, received a new General, a live Major General, in place of Sherman, who has been assigned to another command, somewhere in the West, it is reported. _--------- A new Military Department has also been formed, called the Department of the South, consisting of South Carolina, Georgia, and part of Florida, of which our forces form the northern division, the whole under command of general Hunter, with his head-quarters at Hilton Head.

Whether advance will be made from this point or not, of course, we are unable to say --- wee are as much in the dark as you at the North. But if one should be made, the people of Michigan may rest assured that the 8th will do her duty.

The health of the regiment is improving, being a less number in the Hospital now, then at any time since landing in the South, and those who are at present under charge of the Surgeons are improving. There has been but few deaths lately, among them Joseph Davis, musician of Co. "G", the first and only death in the company since leaving Flint, or since the formation of the company. He was a good and faithful soldier, and his loss is much regretted by the Company. The mortality list of our Regiment has been no longer than some others in the Brigade, exclusive of those killed in action.

The weather is becoming quite warm, and reminds us Northerners of July and August, and if it were not for the sea breeze, the heat would be almost unendurable.

Colonel Fenton and all those immediately from Flint are well and in good spirits. Quartermaster Gregory is still flourishing around with his business airs, and makes as good a Quartermaster, if not better, than any in the Brigade.

Respectfully, etc.



The following appeared in the Thursday, July 3rd, 1862, issue of the "Democrat", Flint, Michigan:

Colonel Fenton's Official Report.

Headquarters First Brigade

Second Division, James Island

June 17, 1862

Captain ????rd Stevens, Assistant Adjutant General, Second Division.

Sir --- I have to report for the information of the Brigadier General commanding Second Division, the part taken by this brigade in the attack of yesterday on the enemy's batteries.

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.

After 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 quiet and silence, Lieut. Lyon, aid to General Stevens, in advance with guide. First, two companies, C, Captain Ely, and II, Captain Doyle, of the Eighth Michigan Volunteers, for the advance skirmishers and attacking party; second the remaining companies of the Eighth Michigan under command of Lieutenant Colonel Graves; third Seventh Connecticut Volunteers, Lieutenant Colonel Hawley, followed by a section of the Connecticut Battery; fourth, Twenty-eighth Massacusetts Volunteers; Lieutenant Colonel Moore. On passing the house beyond the marsh, the advance was fired on by the pickets, and two at least of company H, Eighth Michigan, wounded. Silence was still preserved, no shots returned, but the four men of the enemy's pickets were captured and sent to the rear. The two advance companies were deployed into line beyond the hedge, and marched towards the enemy's works, followed by the Eighth Michigan, which came up into line on the march. Advancing with this regiment, as they formed into line in open field, in view of the enemy's works, and observing as well as practicable his position, I deemed it desireable to gain ground to the right, for the purpose of flanking his left in the assaults, 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 Lieut. Belcher, acting Aid, to bring up the Seventh Connecticut, to form on the left of the Eighth Michigan, and Lieutenant Br?ckett, acting Assistant Adjutant General, to bring up the Twenty-eight Massachusetts to the support of the two former, taking my position in the front and center, to receive and direct the other regiments as they advanced.

The order to fire but use the bayonet was obeyed, and the advanc companies reached the perapet of the works at the angle on our right and in front, engaging the enemy at the point of the bayonet. They were closely followed by the remaining companies of the regiment. During our advance the enemy opened upon our lines on exceedingly destructive fire of grape, canister and musketry, and yet the regiment pushed on as veterans, divided only to the right and left 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 slope on our right at the marsh and slope and trees on our left. They maintained their position partially covered, doing good execution as sharpshooters. Further details and honorable mention of gallant officers will be found in Lieut. Colonel Graves report.

The Seventh Connectucut Volunteers, Lieut. Colonel Hawley, formed into line as they advanced, reaching a point in the open field, in front of the tower with their left, resting in the bushes skirting the marsh, when I ordered their march 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 in good order under a continued shower of grape and cannister, as well as musketry an nearing the work.

In the meantime one section of the Connecticut Battery had opened on the enemy from 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 names to the report of Lieut. Col. Hawley commanding.

The Twenty-eigth Massacusetts Volunteers filed through the first hedge, and came rapidly up, after the advance of artillery which preceeded them, forming column of companies, and then coming into line, and arriving near the Seventh Connecticut filed up to the left flank. For a short time the left of the two regiments were clustered together in the bushes, but the march of the Seventh Connecticut cleared them. The Twenty-eight then filed up to the obstructions a short distance from the enemy's intrenchments, near the tower, opening fire upon them. Lieutenant Colonel Moore's report embraces further particulars of the section of this regiment, to which I respectfully refer. All the regiments behaved well, subjected as they were to the most galling and raking fire until they retired.

The storm of grape and canister, as well as musketry, continuing, and many of our officers and men being disabled orders were received to withdraw the troops. My command was then withdrawn and re-formed behind the main hedge, from which and advance was again made to the cover of a ditch or second hedge, in support of a field battery which was pushed forward. In the woods on out right, near the angle of the fort, were posted some of the enemy's sharpshooters. They were also in rifle pits, and under cover in the rear as well as in the house, which was filled with them. From those, and other covers in and about the fort, and on its right, a constant fire of musketry was kept up by the enemy, who was in considerable force. The second Brigade of the Second Division was promptly pushed forward to our support, and from all accessible points the enemy were vigorously replied to. I have no doubt they suffered a severe loss of killed and wounded. from the enemy's floating battery or hulk, to our right and front, at least four shots were fired. When the order to retire was given, I sent Lieut. Fenton, Acting Aid, to our extreme right and front to recall our 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 regiments were re-forming behind the hedge, one hundred or more of the Eighth Michigan still remained at the angle, and were recalled by Lieut. Belcher, who rode over the field to bring in all who were able to move. The field of battle was furrowed across with cotton ridges, and many of the men lay there loading and firing as deliberately 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 orderlies hit in some way. During the engagement the Eighth Michigan's colors were carried on to the parapet, and after the men first withdrew, were unfurled to protect them from shots of friends in the rear.

While the fire was hottest, and during the days action, through the efficient attention of Surgeon Francis ??con, an Assistant Horace Porter of the Seventh Connecticut, Surgeon Wilson of the Eighth Michigan, and Surgeon Connell, and Assistant Snow of the Twenty-eighth Massachusetts Volunteers, with their respective corps, speedy relief was afforded to the wounded who were accessable. Orders having been given to that affect about nine o'clock, A.M. this command was withdrawn, and returned to camp in good order.

The conduct of all the officers of the command who came under my notice was gallant without exception. The men behave with admirable bravery and coolness. I regret to report the heavy loss in this command, which is not yet precisely ascertained, but at last reported amounts to three hundred and forty-one killed, wounded and missing of which one hundred and eighty-two are reported in the Eighth Michigan Volunteers, eighty-five in the Seventh Connecticut and seventy-four in the twenty-eighth massachusetts.

I will transmit, at the earliest practicable moment, a correct list of names Etc., which is in preperation. Lieut. Breckett, Assistant Adjutant general, Lieutenant Belcher and Fenton, Acting Aids, were active and efficient. Lieut. 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 force engaged were as follows:

Field & Staff
Regiments Officers Line Officers Rank & File
Eighth Michigan 4 21 509
Seventh Connecticut 7 18 573
Twenty-eight Mass* 6 18 520
Total 17 57 1602

* Two companies were on fatigue duty.

Accompanying this are copies of reports of regimental commanders, and a rough sketch of the scene of action, not claimed to be entirely correct, but as near as could be made from the view had under fire on the field of battle.

I am, very respectfully,
Your obedient servant

Wm. M. Fenton

Colonel Eighth Michigan Volunteers, Commanding First brigade.


THE ???K

We prefer not to say much of the week's operations before Richmond, until we get more light. Six days of hard fighting seem to have resulted in the loss of 20,000 of our troops, and the falling back of McClellan's army seventeen miles, leaving more or less of his heavy siege guns in the hands of the rebels. He has abandoned the York River side of the peninsula, and transformed his base of operations to James River. By the latest intelligence we have, it appears he had selected this, Turkey Inlet on the James River, about thirty miles from Richmond; and established his own head-quarters at Harden's Landing. The army is in co-operation with the Gun Boats. General McClaellan claims a victory. and as we are told that most of the covenants were strictly in accordance with his long preconcerted wishes and plans, it should be "persocution" of that General to doubt that we have gained some great advantage. But it is very???ifo?t that we are no nearer to Ricmond as yet. Of course we find the sterotyped fact, that the rebels outnumbered us two to one -- in what engagement has it been otherwise? Gen. ?tone???'s Division was out off, and retreated through Yorktown to Fortress Monroe. Stonewell Jackson is reported killed, and Magruder a prisoner. On the other hand, the rebels are supposed to have captured several Union Generals, including McCall and Reynolds.

The worst anticipations have been realized from James Island. The particulars will be found in our correspondence. Gen Benham has gone North under arrest, for making the advance contrary to orders; and the Island has since been evacuated by the federal forces.

At his own request, Gen ?r??on? has been relieved of his command, which is now held by ?????.

The special correspondence of the (several words, cannot be read here) that order's ???ter fl??? opened upon lower batteries at Vicksburg on the 16th, and closed at 7 o'clock.on the following day the bombardment was renewed, and the rebel batteries replied. The Federals were reported to be landing troops at ?arrenton, near Vicksburg. A large number, it is supposed, were landed on the Louisiana shore, but the particulars are so meager that it is impossible to form any opinion as to the results. ?in? of Parragut's Vessels have arrived above the city.

Dispatches from Colonel Fitch represent the federal army of General Curtis in Arkansas as bordering on a starving condition while General ?indman is ??n?eing him very severely.

(The above taken from the WOLVERINE CITIZEN, Flint, Saturday, July 5, 1862.)


The following appeared in the Thursday, July 3rd, 1862 issue of the "Democrat" Flint, Michigan:


Hilton Head Hospital,

June 22, 1862

Friend Jenny:- I am distressed to be under the necessity of communicating the disaster we have received in our Regiment. Nearly one third of the regiment are either killed or wounded. - Enclosed you will find a list of casualties in companies A and C. We had a terribly contested field as the casualties show. Company C suffered more than any other company in the fight. We went in with fifty men, and lost in killed, wounded and missing twenty-eight. - They were in the midst of the battle for four hours at least, about a dozen of them jumping into the fort, and using the bayonet. When last seen, Emory Curtis was seen to bayonet two, and then fight his way with the butt of his musket. We went onto the field about four in the morning and came off about half-past nine. Col. Fenton was sick and not able to sit upon his horse when he left the camp. but overtook us before we reached the field, and was the coolest man on the field till we left it. Our regiment was the first on the filed, and the last off, as I was ordered by General Stevens to bring them off as a rear guard, and then Lieut. ??r?m and myself remained with about a dozen men and burned the buildings that the rebels had used for cover. If we had been closely supported the fort would have been ours, but the regiment nearest was at least eighty rods in rear, and before they came up, ours were all disabled, and the next would not go into the same place against four cannon loaded with grape and canister besides at least a thousand muskets. The carnage was terrible. Gen. Stevens told me on the field, that the battle at Melino del Roy in Mexico was not to be compared to what our regiment stood in this battle. We went into the field on the morning of 16th of June with four hundred and sixty men, and out of the number we lost in killed, wounded and missing, one hundred and ninety-seven. You can judge where we were. Col. Fenton, Brush, Capt. Lyon, Newell, Turner, nor ?aram were either of them wounded. -- I was hit on the point of the shoulder, the ball passing back on the shoulder blade near the back bone, where it was taken out that evening, the first volley fired in the morning from the fort.

Capt. Guild was wounded on the parapet of the fort, cheering on his men -- Lieut. Jas. Donehue was at the head of his company and was struck by a grape shot in the arm. and going through the shoulder was taken out and weighed 15-16 of a pound. Will Tracy fought like a little tiger, firing fourty-six rounds and having his clothes riddled by balls, but got no wounds for his pains. Capt. Lyon was in his place of course, and done nobly, but was not so fortunate as to receive a wound. The wounded are all doing nicely. I would particularize if I had strength.

Truly yours, B.

Company A
Name Injury
Capt. S.C. Giuld
John M. Thornton
A. Bennett
Ira Dilling
Milton Barrows
Albert Persing Slight
Abram D. Terry Seriously
Geo. W. Bennet Slight
Charles D. Allen Slight

Company C
Name Injury
Wm. Hamilton
Sidney B. Castle leg
Henry Nichols leg
Hiram Applebee arm
Horatio M. Flint thigh
Geo. Foot ankle
Eliel E.. Miller lower jaw
H. Belcher left should'r
James Carson
James M. Wright
Edward S. Dart
A. M. Brannock
Franklin B. Howland
J?s. Armstrong
Wm. ?. Caproa
J. A. Francisco
Alvin T. Jones
A. V. Overton
Joseph O'Brian
Benjamin F. Pease
Daniel B. Boyer
Geo. Ball
Emory B. Curtis
Theodore Ganson
John Kinsmen
Peter B. Simonson


The following article appeared in the Thursday, July 3(or 5), 1862 issue of the DEMOCRAT, Flint, Michigan.


From every quarter we hear nothing but praise for the soldiers of the Peninsular State. In a letter before us from an army officer now stationed in New York city, the writer says: "You do not know how proud I am made to feel, almost daily, of my own State and of her brave and noble volunteer soldiers. I come in daily contact with scores of volunteers from regiments belonging to almost every State, and of course have more or less conversation with them, and am made proud to listen to the high en?oniums passed upon them by every man who spoke of them.

"I pay fuloughed and discharged men from New Orleans, Port Royal, the Potomac and Banks' corps, and all testify to the valor and sterling soldierly qualities of the Michigan regiments. ---- They speak of them as the best fighting regiments in the army."

This praise was awarded to Michigan men before the battle on James Island, where the Eighth Michigan so distinguished itself. There is no regiment from this State but will admit that the Michigan Eighth has more than sustained the previous high character of Michigan soldiers for cool bravery in battle, and if they have not won the first position, that regiment is certainly second to no one in the field. No officer from Michigan will hesitate to accord the gallant Colonel Fenton a position in the front ranks of brave men, and entitle to the highest honors of his State. Every one who reads of the deeds of daring bravery performed by the officers and men of the Eighth Michigan, against such fearful odds, must admire the heroic men who so fought for their country. Every man in this regiment, who shall live to return to his own State, will deserve to be welcomed back with every demonstration of joy, for every man has performed his whole duty.

To the brave soldiers who have fallen in battle, Michigan, should erect an enduring monument, one that will proclaim for all time the noble deeds performed by her sons at the call of their country. ---



The following appeared in the Thursday, July 3rd, 1662 Issue of the "Demodrat" Flint, Michigan.


List of killed, wounded and missing of Co. C, 8th Michigan Infantry:

Company C
1st. Lieut. H. Belcher
Corp? Hiram Applebee
Corp?. Eliel E. Miller
Private Cornelius Hays
Private George W. Foote
Private Horatio M. Flint
Private Henry Nichols
Private Sidney D. Castle
Private Wm. Hamilton
James Carman
Edward S. Dart
James ?. Bright
Franklin B. Howard
Albert M. Brannock
Peter B. Simonson
Emory B. Curtis
Theodore Canson
Daniel S. Boyer
James E. Armstrong
Adelbert V. Overton
Benjamin F. Pease
Joseph O'Brien
Alvin Y. Jones
Wm. B. Capron
James A. Francisco
John Kinsman
George Call

Mr. Jenny: - The above is a correct list of killed, wounded and missing of my company, as it stands at present. I am in hopes that some of the missing may yet turn up in some of the hospitals of the other Brigades. The wounded, I think. will all recover. I have no time to write particulars at the present.

E. ?. Lyon,

Captain Co. C.


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