19th Michigan Infantry
The 19th Michigan Volunteer Infantry was recruited from several southwestern Michigan communities, and was mustered into Federal service on September 25, 1862 at Dowagiac. The regiment left the state September 25th with strength of 995 men and officers. Its destination was Cincinnati Ohio. In January of 1863 the regiment was transferred to the Army of the Cumberland as a reserve corps.
The regiment's first engagement was at Thompson's Station, near Franklin Tennessee, on March 5th 1863. The regiment was severely tested in this battle and after exhausting their ammunition, the 19th was forced to surrender. The men were eventually paroled and sent north.
Following this surrender and parole, the regiment was reorganized June 8th 1863 and was sent south. The next major action was on May 15th 1864 at Resaca, Georgia. It was here that the 19th charged a Confederate battery, capturing all four guns. This was accomplished while the regiment was under fire from the enemy's infantry.
In November of 1864, the 19th became part of the 20th Corps and joined General Sherman's March to the Sea. Many skirmishes followed, with the regiment taking an active part. These included the siege of Atlanta, and the capture of Savannah in 1864, as Sherman marched to the sea.
The brigade then moved into North Carolina, in the direction of Raleigh, and so on the 16th of March 1865 met a heavy enemy force near Averysboro, where a fierce battle ensued. The regiment was ordered to assault the enemy's works. They gallantly and promptly obeyed. This resulted in the capture of the works and two pieces of artillery and many prisoners. The regiment proceeded to Raleigh where it remained until the surrender of General Johnston's army. It then proceeded to Alexandria Virginia, and then to Washington D.C. where it participated in the Grand Review of General Sherman's Army. The 19th Michigan returned to Jackson, Michigan on June 13, 1865 and was disbanded.
The reactivated 19th Michigan Infantry was formed in 1963 by Louis E. Capek. Nine members made up the first roster, one of whom, Jim Platt, is still very active with the unit. Presently, there are 12 active members on the roster. A majority of the members are seasoned N-SSA veterans, having been with the association for much of its history.
The 19th Michigan Infantry's participation in NWT and national skirmishes has increased dramatically in recent years. Since 1990 when the unit was only fielding one musket team on the line, the 19th has expanded its participation in the N-SSA by forming a carbine team. It has also recently field a four person revolver team, which typically places well within the region. Most recently, several members of the team have come together to participate in the NWT and N-SSA's growing Smoothbore team competition. Members of the team also shoot in the Breechloading Rifle match with their Henry rifles.
The 19th Michigan's first love is skirmishing, but many members of the unit are also actively involved in related Civil War period activities - parades, muzzle loading demonstrations, dress competition at the N-SSA national level, gun building and local Civil War round tables.
The unit remains active throughout the winter months with an annual meeting and dinner party. When the skirmishing season begins, you'll find the members enjoying the camaraderie of their teammates and fellow skirmishers at regional and national skirmishes throughout the year. The 19th Michigan Volunteer Infantry is currently actively recruiting new members and firmly believes there is always room around the campfire for more friends.