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Re: Muster dates

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  • dean_essig
    Bill, That settles it with some authority, especially the material about the lack of training their arms before the battle. Good unit, not yet trained. FWIW,
    Message 1 of 10 , Feb 2, 2008

      That settles it with some authority, especially the material about the lack of training their
      arms before the battle. Good unit, not yet trained.

      FWIW, the park's files give the regiment 525 men at Antietam, the marker at South
      Mountain says they had 500 there (before the losses).


      --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "Bill and Glenna Jo Christen" <gwjchris@...>
      > Posted by: "dean_essig" dean_essig@... dean_essig
      > Gallagher cites Ida V. Brown Michigan in the Civil War as the source for the drilling
      > information.
      > I take it you are arguing that they should fall into my "green" category (along with the
      > other limited service time regiments)? I rather wish they had more service at Antietam to
      > add to their good performance at South Mountain to make the evaluation clearer.
      > Dean,
      > Brown's Michigan Men in the Civil War was first published in 1959 as a bulletin of the
      University of Michigan's Historical Collections. Miss Brown was the archivist. It was
      updated again in 1977. It is a descriptive index to over 500 collections of letters, diaries
      or other material related to Michigan during the Civil War, which can be found at UM's
      Bentley Library in Ann Arbor. There are over thirty collections that pertain to the
      Seventeenth Michigan. I have read them all and would have to dig through my files to find
      out the exact quote, but I do not recall one off hand. I am, as it happens, preparing a talk
      for later this summer on the first six months in the life of the regiment and the fighting at
      South Mountain.
      > There is a passage in Michigan in the War compiled by Michigan Adjutant General. John
      Robertson in 1882:
      > "The organization of the regiment commenced under the direction of Colonel James E.
      Pitman, then State Paymaster, whose excellent drill and discipline enabled the regiment to
      leave for the front in a very creditable condition" [1]
      > [1] John Robertson, comp., Michigan in the War (Lansing: State of Michigan, 1882), 374.
      > By the end of July 1862, only 500 recruits for the regiment had arrived at the Detroit
      Barracks. Colonel Withington did not take command until 11 August. Uniforms and
      equipment were not issued until four days before the regiment left Detroit on 27 August
      1862. There is no record that any target practice occurred before the regiment left for
      Washington, D.C. or during the week the regiment was at Fort Baker before being ordered
      to join the Ninth Army Corps. They were cutting wood.
      > I would agree that the regiment was schooled in military drill, but it had little
      experience with their weapons (mostly Lorenz rifle-muskets).
      > The score card:
      > South Mountain: 27 killed, 114 wounded (Company A was detached and remained in
      Frederick--returned to the regiment by 16 September). The regiment was steady under
      fire, made a charge in the afternoon, helping to rout Drayton South Carolina Brigade.
      > Antietam: 18 killed, 87 wounded . The regiment was steady under fire at the Sherrick
      farm and then participated in a charge towards Sharpsburg near the Rohrbach Mill (below
      and south of the National Cemetery today) late in the afternoon. There is an unconfirmed
      story that a Confederate regiment was waving what appeared to be the US National Colors
      and the Seventeenth's movements was not a charge but a plain advance.
      > I estimate the strength of the unit was around 750 on 14 September (Company A
      detached, sick left behind and a few stragglers and deserters). The leadership (field & staff
      and company officers) was a factor in overcoming the lack of experience. Ironically, at
      Spotsylvania (May 1864), this same battle-tested regiment (of no more than 250 men at
      the time), would suffer a severe loss and have its colors captured along with nearly half of
      it soldiers. Here too, the leadership would play a roll (Withington had resigned in March
      1863 and the colonel in May 1864, Constance Luce did not have the same leadership
      rating or approval of the men. The lieutenant colonel, Frederick Swift (a captain at South
      Mountain and Antietam), under Luce was later awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions
      at Campbell's Station, Tennessee. But of course this was beyond the timeframe of your
      > Bill
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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