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Federal Regiment

4th Michigan Infantry

Organized: Adrian, MI; mustered in 06/20/1861
Disbanded/Mustered out: Detroit, MI 06/29/1864


Commanding Officer on the Antietam Campaign:
  Col. Jonathan W. Childs


This Regiment's Chain of Command:
  Army - Army of the Potomac
  Corps - Fifth Army Corps
  Division - 1st Division, 5th Corps
  Brigade - 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 5th Corps

Unit history

Formed in the southern part of the State in June 1861, the Regiment served in the defenses of Washington until Spring 1862, when they joined the Army of the Potomac on the Peninsula Campaign and at Manassas.

On the Antietam Campaign

The Regiment was in reserve with their Division at Antietam on 17 September, but saw brief action at Shepherdstown on the 19th and 20th, as reported by their Brigade Commander, BGen Griffin:

[on the 19th ...] "The enemy occupying the opposite side of the river with artillery and sharpshooters, the Fourth Michigan Regiment was moved forward as skirmishers and to drive the enemy from the banks. Our artillery, having been massed, opened a sharp fire on the enemy's guns, causing him to abandon them. By direction of Major-General Porter, the Fourth Michigan was ordered to cross the river and take them. This duty was handsomely performed, the regiment, about 300 strong, fording the river (some 300 yards in width and 3 feet in depth) in face of the enemy's infantry fire, and forming on the opposite side, advancing and delivering its fire with such effect and determination as to cause the brigade opposing it to fall back in great confusion."

"It was now getting quite dark, and the regiment only succeeded in finding two pieces of artillery and several caissons, or parts of caissons. After remaining on the opposite bank some two or three hours it was recalled. The regiment lost 1 man killed (Corpl. John Gordon) and 7 men wounded."

"The next morning (the 20th), as soon as it was light enough to see, the Fourth Michigan and Sixty-second Pennsylvania crossed the river with some horses from Battery D, Fifth Artillery, commanded by First Lieutenant Hazlett, and brought back three guns, several caissons and one battle-flag, picked up on the field, returning to camp about 8 o'clock a. m."

Battlefield Tablets for this Unit

Tablet #33: Fifth Army Corps - 15 Sep, 2 PM to 16 Sep, 12 PM
Tablet #18: Morell's Division, Fifth Army Corps - 16 Sep, 12 PM to 17 Sep, 8 AM
Tablet #26: Morell's Division, Fifth Army Corps - 17 Sep, 8 AM to 17 Sep, 2 PM

After the Antietam Campaign

The unit continued in service with the AoP including action at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Spottsylvania, and on to Petersburg. At expiration of their term in 1864, veterans and new recruits reconstituted the Regiment, which served in the West til the end of the War.

References & Notes

Basic unit data from Dyer.1

We have 5 individuals in the AotW database who were on the Maryland Campaign with this unit:


Co. Rank Name Casualty? Details*
APvtEbert, John Died (d)   11/30     We have some details for this person
EPvtBrown, George B.WIA   09/17
EPvtLuce, Moses Augustine        We have a picture for this person We have some details for this person
FPvtBuck, Luman KIA   09/19     We have some details for this person
F&SColChilds, Jonathan W        We have a picture for this person We have some details for this person


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1   Dyer, Frederick H., A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, Des Moines, Iowa: The Dyer Publishing Co., 1908  [AotW citation 509]