"Look to your arms, boys,
Your friends tried and true;
How the blood warms, boys,
The foe is in view."
Monroe, Michigan was the place of the rendezvous of the 15th Regiment. It was recruited under the direction of Colonel John M. Oliver, of that place.
The organization of the regiment being completed, it was mustered into service on the 20th of March, 1862, and left its camp at Monroe, in the command of Colonel Oliver, on the 27th of the same month, with 869 names on its rolls.
FIELD AND STAFF
Colonel, John M. Oliver, Monroe. Lieutenant Colonel, John McDermott, Detroit, Major, Stephen Walsh, Saginaw. Surgeon, Levi M. Garner, Holly. Assistant Surgeon, Horace P. Woodward, Blissfield. Adjutant, James G. McBride, Monroe. Quartermaster, Michael Twoomey, Monroe. Chaplain, Thomas M. Brady, Detroit.
COMPANY STAFF OFFICERS
A. Captain, John H. Waterman, Burr Oak. FirstLieutenant, William J. St. Clair, St. Clair. Second Lieutenant,Jonathan Snook, Burr Oak,
B. Captain, Richard Loranger, Detroit. First Lieutenant, Moses A. Lapoint, Monroe. Second Lieutenant, James G. McBride, Monroe.
C. Captain, R. F. Farrell, Detroit. First Lieutenant, John Considine, Detroit. Second Lieutenant, John Stewart, Detroit.
D. Captain, Henry A. Peel, Detroit. First Lieutenant, Erastus A. Pratt, Howell. Second Lieutenant, Andrew J. Bishop, Howell.
E. Captain, Austin E. Jaquith, Trenton. First Lieutenant, Augustus H. Phelps, Monroe. Second Lieutenant, Malcom Swayze, Port Huron.
F. Captain, Thomas M. Brady, Detroit. First Lieutenant, Malvin W. Dresser, Lyons. Second Lieutenant, James F. Adams, Monroe.
G. Captain, James J. Cicotte, Detroit. First Lieutenant Stephen M. Richards, St. Clair. Second Lieutenant, Francis X. Solean, Monroe.
H. Captain, George M. Boardman, Petersburg. First Lieutenant, Samuel P. Clark, Monroe. Second Lieutenant, Isaac N. Stout, Deerfield.
I. Captain, George A Strong, Monroe. First Lieutenant, Henry F. Wallace, Corunna. Second Lieutenant, John Edwards, Corunna.
K. Captain, George W Bowlsby, Monroe. First Lieutenant, George P. S. Baker, Blissfield. Second Lieutenant, Charles W. Barnaby, Monroe.
The destination of the regiment being the army then serving with General Grant in Mississippi, it reached Pittsburg Landing on the day before the battle of the 6th and 7th of April, 1862 and its participation in that action cost the regiment Captain George A. Strong, Lieutenant Malvin Dresser, 31 men killed, and 1 officer and 63 privates wounded, with 7 missing. ( Note: My Great Grandfather, Lawrence Cronin was one of the wounded that day at Shiloh)
From General McCook's official report, commanding 2nd. division, Buell's army:
"I take great pleasure in calling your attention to the conduct of Colonel Oliver and a portion of his regiment, the 15th. Michigan. When my division was marching on the field, Colonel Oliver, at that time unknown to me, requested the privilege to place himself under my command. His regiment was attached to General Rosseau's brigade, and during the day was under the hottest fire, when he and his officers and men acted with conspicuous gallantry."
At the attack on Corinth, Mississippi, by the rebel force on the 3rd. and 4th. of October following, the 15th., in command of Lieutenant Colonel McDermott, and then in the 2nd. brigade, commanded by Colonel Oliver, 6th. division (McArthur's), formed the outposts of the Union army, and its pickets and skirmishers were the first engaged, its casualties in that affair being thirteen killed, thirty-two wounded and five missing. Up to November 1st. it had participated in engagements and skirmishes at Pittsburg Landing, April 6th.; Farmington, May 9th.; siege of Corinth, from May 10th. to 31st. Inka, September 19th.; Chewalla, October 1st.; and on the 3rd. and 4th. at Corinth.
Report of Lieutenant Colonel McDermott covering the part taken by his regiment at Chewalla and Corinth:
"We were stationed at Chewalla, a small post some nine miles from Corinth, on the Memphis and Charleston railroad. Attached to us was a company of cavalry commanded by Ford (53rd. Illinois), which was kept on duty night and day. We were always on the alert for any surprise. Our men were engaged night and day on picket duty and building breastworks. On Tuesday, 1st. instant, from information received, I was informed that a large body of the enemy was advancing some eight miles from Pocahontas. I immediately reported the same to headquarters and advanced our pickets, and sent forward our cavalry scouts to ascertain if possible their force and report. They reported a large body advancing, of cavalry and infantry. I immediately reported to headquarters, packed up all baggage and property belonging to the U. S., and sent our trains forward on the Corinth road. On Wednesday morning, 2nd. instant, our scouts were driven in, wounding one man and two horses."
"I then reported the facts to Headquarters and asked for reinforcements, which were promptly furnished, consisting of two regiments and two pieces of artillery under command of Colonel J. M. Oliver, commanding 2nd. brigade. He arrived about sundown and assumed command. During the whole afternoon our scouts and pickets were engaged in skirmishing, falling back slowly and contesting every foot of the way. About 10 P. M. we were ordered to fall back to an elevated spot about one mile from Chewalla, when we formed in line of battle, still keeping our pickets and line of skirmishers there. We rested on our arms all night. About 5 o'clock in the morning of the 3rd., our advance pickets and those of the enemy came in collision at the Tuscumbia, they driving our pickets back to Chewalla, wounding two men and two horses. We had four companies out as skirmishers. We were then ordered to fall back to the junction on the road known as 'Old Smith Road.' There we learned that a large force of the enemy was approaching fast. We were then ordered to fall back to the road known as the 'Alexander Road,' where we arrived about 5 P. M., our skirmishers still contesting every foot of the way. We formed line, were ordered to support one piece of artillery, sent out two companies as skirmishers for the night, and rested on our arms. About 5 o'clock next morning the firing was resumed between our pickets and those of the enemy. Our piece of artillery, after firing about seventeen rounds, was ordered to fall back, which it did. About ten minutes afterward we were ordered to fall back, which we did in good order, taking a position on an elevated spot near the Memphis and Charleston railroad, arriving there about 8:15 A. M. We were then ordered into line to support two pieces of artillery (the 1st. Minnesota). Twice during the forenoon the enemy ascended the hill on double-quick and both times were gallantly repulsed. We stood there under a hot fire until about 4 P. M., which the gun on our right gave way for want of ammunition, causing the regiment on the right as well as on the left to fall back. After retiring some two hundred paces, we rallied, and by the aid of Captain Clark, A. A. General to General Rosecrans, I succeeded in forming line with the 15th. Michigan and a portion of the 14th. Wisconsin. It was here that the following expression was used by the General commanding: 'Well may Michigan be proud of the gallant 15th.' And after a spirited contest was forced to fall back to the camp of the 17th. Wisconsin, when we again rallied; a contest ensued, where in the enemy was nobly repulsed. We were then ordered to fall back to the Seminary to support a battery at that point, which we did, where we rested on our arms for the night. About 4 A. M. next morning (5th) the enemy opened on us a hot fire of shot and shell. About 8 A. M. we were ordered to the Seminary, where we remained the balance of the day. About 7 P. M. we were ordered to be ready to march next morning at 3 o'clock, with three days' rations in pursuit of the enemy. We did so, following them in close pursuit by way of Chewalla, Tuscumbia, Hatchee, and Ripley (taking many prisoners together with arms and equipage), where we arrived on the 10th, and were ordered back to Corinth arriving there on the night of the 12th. Owing to the inclemency of the weather, and after marching a distance of sixty miles since the morning of the 10th. through a drenching rain our men were much exhausted, but in the glorious victory achieved they lost sight of everything but the Union. We arrived at Corinth in good order. Our loss in this affair was thirteen killed, thirty-two wounded, and five missing."
November 2nd., 1862, the 15th. was ordered with its division to move from Corinth, where it had been stationed, to Wolf Creek. From that point the regiment proceeded to Grand Junction, November l9th., to serve as garrison and provost guard. It was also employed, while at Grand Junction, in guarding the Memphis and Charleston railroad and in scouting after guerrillas.
The regiment remained at Grand Junction and at La Grange until June 5th., 1863, when it was ordered, in command of Colonel Oliver, to Vicksburg, Miss., with the 1st. division, 16th Corps, to which it had been attached since January 1st. Arriving at the mouth of the Yazoo, June 11th., the 15th. proceeded up the river and disembarked at Hayne's Bluff. Having been attached temporarily to the 9th. Corps, it participated with it in the advance on Jackson on the 4th. of July. The Big Black river was crossed on the 6th. (this regiment leading) on rafts and by swimming, and until the arrival of the national forces before Jackson, the regiment was engaged in skirmishing with the rebels. It participated in the movements of the 9th. Corps until the enemy was driven back across the Pearl River, on the 17th. On the 23rd. it began its march back to the Big Black. It was here attached to the 2nd. brigade, 4th. division, 15th. army corps. This corps having been ordered to reinforce the Army of the Cumberland, the regiment arrived at Memphis, Tenn., October 8th. and at Corinth, Miss., on the 17th. On the following day it proceeded to Iuka, where it remained until October 25th., and on the 1st. of November it arrived at Florence, Ala.
Leaving Florence in command of Lieutenant Colonel Jaquith, November 2nd. 1863, the 15th. proceeded, via Fayetteville and Winchester, Tenn., to Bridgeport, whence, on the 16th. it marched to Stevenson, and on the 17th. to Scottsboro, Ala. During the months of January and February, 1864, the regiment remained quietly in camp at that point
Becoming a veteran organization, with 186 re-enlistments, the regiment left Scottsboro on the 17th. of March, 1864, and arrived at Detroit on the 22nd., where it was furloughed for thirty days, at the expiration of which time it again went into rendezvous at Monroe, whence it proceeded to Chattanooga, Tenn., arriving there on the 4th. of May. Encamping at Rossville, it moved from that place to participate in the Georgia campaign, taking part in the engagements that occurred during the movement on Resaca. On the 17th. the command marched to Dallas, via Adairsville. Entrenching, it remained in its works, with occasional skirmishing, until the 1st. of June, when it moved to near New Hope Church, and on the 5th. to Ackworth. On the 10th. the regiment, in command of Major F. S. Hutchinson, marched to Big Shanty, and on the 15th. moved to the right of the line, and with its brigade supported a force which attacked and drove the enemy from their works. Marching on the 19th., the command moved to the right of the railroad facing Kenesaw Mountain, where it remained until the 25th. Moving to Marietta on the 3rd. of July, the regiment marched thence on the 4th., and on the 8th. arrived at Nickajack creek, and entrenched in view of the enemy's works.
Marching via Marietta to Rossville, the regiment crossed to the south side of the Chattahoochee river on the 14th. On the 17th. it moved to Cross Keys, and on the 18th. marched towards Decatur, going into line of battle, though not becoming engaged. On the 20th. it moved forward, via Decatur, several miles, and on that and the following day engaged in skirmishing with the enemy. The enemy attacked in force about noon of the 22nd., and a severe engagement ensued, the regiment capturing two rebel battle-flags and 176 prisoners; its loss being four killed and six wounded.
Lieutenant Colonel Hutchinson, Commanding the regiment, says:
" On the 22nd July, 1864, the regiment attached to the 15th. A. C. The rebel army under General Hood, attacked the 17th. A. C., which was on its extreme left, early in the morning in flank and in rear, driving it back and inflicting severe loss. At about 1 o'clock the 15th. was ordered to fill a gap upon the extreme left of the corps, about one mile distant from the position it then occupied. The regiment moved on double-quick, and upon coming into line near the position indicated found it in possession of the enemy. It moved forward in line and struck the enemy upon the flank, capturing 17 officers, 167 men, and colors of the 5th. Confederate Infantry, and 17th. and 18th. Texas Infantry (consolidated). This was-the advance of two divisions who were massed in the wood but a short distance in the rear. The promptitude with which the movement was executed deterred the remainder of the force from making a forward movement, which, had it taken place, must inevitably have broken our lines, thus bringing great disaster upon our army. The flag of the 5th. Confederate Infantry was forwarded to Michigan That of the 17th. and 18th, Texas was presented by the regiment to Lieutenant Colonel William T. Clark, Assistant Adjutant General, Department Army of the Tennessee."
On the 27th. the 15th. proceeded to the extreme right of the army. While advancing in line on the 28th. the enemy attacked and were driven off with heavy loss,. their dead and wounded being left on the field. The casualties in the regiment during the action were 33 wounded. During the remainder of the month and until the 26th. of August the regiment was engaged in the trenches before Atlanta, skirmishing almost daily with the rebel troops, Captain Charles H. Barnaby being killed in action on the 13th. On the 28th. it moved on the Atlanta & Montgomery railroad, which, on the following day it assisted in destroying. On the 30th. the regiment marched to the east side of Flint River Jonesboro, and entrenched. An assault made by the enemy on the 31st. was repelled with heavy loss. On the 1st. of September the skirmishers advanced and captured a number of prisoners at Jonesboro. Moving forward to Lovejoy's Station on the 2nd., the regiment entrenched and there remained until the 5th, having continued skirmishing with the enemy.
On the 6th. the command withdrew to Jonesboro. On the 8th. it proceeded to East Point, where it remained during the month. Leaving that point on the 4th. of October the regiment marched via Marietta, Altoona, Kingston, Rome, Calhoun, Resaca, Snake Creek Gap, Lafayette, Summersville, and Galesville, in Georgia, and Little River, King's Hill, Cedar Bluff, and Carr Springs, in Alabama, and participated in the skirmishes and engagements that occurred during the pursuit of the rebel army under Hood, in Northern Georgia and Alabama, the regiment marching during this month 200 miles.
The 15th., serving in 3rd. brigade, 2nd division, 15th. corps, on November 1, 1864, left Cave Springs, Ala., and moved via Marietta and Powder Springs, Ga, to Atlanta, arriving there on the 12th., where it remained until the 14th., when it commenced the march with the army of General Sherman to Savannah, which was continued without interruption until arriving at Clinton, where it had a slight skirmish with the enemy on the 20th., having three men wounded. On the 21st. the march was resumed, arriving at the Ogeechee river December 10th., and remaining near Fort McAllister until the 27th. It then marched to Savannah, and encamped until the 14th. of January following, when it embarked on transports for Beautort, S. C.; arriving there on the 15th., it established camp within one and one-half miles of the city. Continuing at that point until the 27th., it then marched to Garden's Cross Roads, and on the 30th. took up its line of march towards Orangeburg, arriving there on February 15th., when it marched to Columbia, and arrived there on the 17th,, and on the 19th. resumed the march to Cheraw, via Liberty Hill and Kelly's Bridge, reaching Cheraw March 5th., and on the 7th. started for Fayetteville, N. C., which it reached on the 13th., and on the 14th. marched for Goldsboro, and on the 19th. was at Bentonville, The regiment was detailed on the 21st. as guard to a supply train for Kingston, arriving there on the 24th,, and returning to Goldsboro on the 28th.
Breaking camp on the 10th. of April, the regiment, in command of Colonel Hutchinson, who had been promoted to the colonelcy to rank from January 14th., 1865, with Oliver appointed a brigadier general, marched towards Raleigh, and arrived there on the 14th., remaining there until the 28th: it then took up its line of march for Richmond, Va., reaching there on the 6th. of May, and marching for Washington on the 8th., arrived on the 21st., and participated in the grand review of General Sherman's army on the 24th. The regiment was encamped near Washington until June 1st., when it started for Louisville, Ky , via the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, arriving at that point on the 7th; on the 28th. embarked on transports for Little Rock, Ark,, reaching there July 7th., where it was stationed until August 21st., when it took transports for Cairo, and thence proceeded by rail to Michigan, arriving at Detroit on September 1st., where it was paid off and discharged.
The 15th. met the enemy at Pittsburg Landing, Tenn., April 6 and 7, 1862; Farmington, Miss., May 9, 1862; siege of Corinth, Miss., May 10 to 31, 1862; Iuka, Miss., September 19,1862; Chewalla, Miss., October 1, 1862; Corinth, Miss., October 3 and 4, 1862; siege of Vicksburg, Miss., June 11 to July 4, 1863; Jackson, Miss., July 11 to 18, 1863; Resaca, Ga, May 14, 1864; Big Shanty, Ga, June 15, 1864; Kenesaw, Ga, June 25, 1864; Decatur, Ga, July 20, 21, 1864; siege of Atlanta, Ga. July 22 to August 25, 1864; Atlanta and M R. R , Ga, August 29, 1864; Jonesboro, Ga, August 31, 1864; Lovejoy's Station, Ga, September 2, 1864; Clinton, Ga, November 20, 1864; Fort McAllister, Ga, December 13, 1864; Orangeburg, S. C., February 14 and 15, 1865; Congaree Creek, S. C , February 15, 1865; Saluda Creek, S C., February 16, 1865; Columbia, S. C., February 17, 1865; Fayetteville, N. C., March 13, 1865; Bentonville, N C., March 19, 1865.
The membership of the 15th. was 2,371, and its losses 337, as follows: Killed in action, 2 officers and 48 men; 1 officer and 18 men died of wounds; and of disease, 4 officers and 264 men.