Captain Smith W. Fowler - Inventory Number: HIS 044
Autobiography of Captain Smith W. Fowler of the 6th Michigan Infantry 1877.
Presented by Captain Fowler to his Wife. Front cover detached but present.
Smith W. Fowler:
Enlisted on 6/19/1861 at Fort Wayne, MI as a Captain at 32 years of age.
On 8/20/1861 he was commissioned into "H" Co. MI 6th Infantry
He Resigned on 5/20/1862 at New Orleans, LA
Buried: Manistee, MI
MICHIGAN Sixth Infantry. (Three Years)
The Sixth Infantry was organized at Kalamazoo and was mustered into the United States service August 20, 1861. It was composed of the following companies: " Berrien County Rifles " of Niles, " St. Joseph Volunteers " of St. Joseph, " Schoolcraft Light Guard " of Schoolcraft, " Dowagiac Light Infantry " of Dowagiac, " Wolverine Rifle Rangers " of Marshall, " Saline Sharpshooters " of Saline, " Littlejohn Light Guard " of Allegan, " Eaton Rifles" of Charlotte, "Albion Rifle Rangers" of Albion, and " Beardsley Guard " of Niles. The field, staff and line officers of the regiment at organization were as follows:
Colonel, Frederick W. Curtenius, Kalamazoo. Lieutenant Colonel, Thomas S. Clark, Monroe. Major, Edward Bacon, Niles. Surgeon, Charles V. Mottram, Kalamazoo. Assistant Surgeon, Simeon S. French, Battle Creek. Adjutant, Curtis W. Kilborn, Kalamazoo. Quartermaster, Le Grand W. Perce, St. Joseph. Chaplain, Elizur Andrews, Niles.
A. Captain Eli A. Griffin, Niles. First Lieutenant, William W. Thayer, Battle Creek. Second Lieutenant, Seldon F. Craig, Niles.
B. Captain, William W. Wheeler, St. Joseph. First Lieutenant, Augustus W. Chapman, St. Joseph. Second Lieutenant, Le Grand W. Perce. St. Joseph.
C. Captain, Garrett J. Spitzer, Schoolcraft. First Lieutenant, Joseph Roberts, Schoolcraft. Second Lieutenant, Curtis W. Kilborn, Kalamazoo.
D. Captain, Charles E. Clark, Dowagiac. First Lieutenant, Frederick J. Clark, Dowagiac. Second Lieutenant, James A. Ellis, Dowagiac.
E. Captain, James Winters, Marshall. First Lieutenant, Sylvester Cogswell, Marshall. Second Lieutenant, Charles Heine, Marshall.
F. Captain, John Cordon, Saline. First Lieutenant, Henry A. Harris, Saline. Second Lieutenant, Seymour Howell, Saline.
G. Captain, Chauncey J. Bassett, Allegan. First Lieutenant, Henry Stark, Otsego. Second Lieutenant, Alfred C. Wallin, Chicago, Ill.
H. Captain, Smith W. Fowler, Jackson. First Lieutenant, Peter D. Montgomery, Eaton Rapids. Second Lieutenant, William S. Trask, Charlotte.
I. Captain, Harrison Soule, Albion. First Lieutenant, Alfred J. Ralf Jonesville. Second Lieutenant, Charles S. Fasset, Sandstone.
K. Captain, David Bacon, Niles. First Lieutenant, Horace Cummings, Niles. Second Lieutenant, John Jacks, Edwardsburg.
The regiment, under the command of Colonel Frederick W. Cortenius of Kalamazoo, started from its rendevous to join the army of the Potomac, August 30, 1861, with an enrollment of 944 officers and enlisted men.
While the Sixth expected to become a part of the Army of the Potomac the fortunes of war placed most of its service in the southwest, on the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico. The regiment was recruited for the infantry arm of the service and served as such until July, 1863, when General Banks converted it into a regiment of heavy artillery on account of its valuable and faithful service, his official order stating that the regiment is " to retain, until otherwise officially designated, its infantry number, and to, have the organization, pay, clothing, and equipment prescribed by law and regulations for troops of the artillery arm."
The regiment therefore is frequently referred to as the " Sixth Infantry " and also as the " Sixth Heavy Artillery."
The regiment spent the winter of 1861-2 in camp at Baltimore, Md., and the following spring was embarked upon steamers for Fortress Monroe, where it arrived Feb. 23, 1862.
Again embarking with other Union troops, it proceeded by sea to Ship Island, Miss., and soon after was sent to join General Butler's forces in an attack upon New Orleans, La., and arrived at the city May 2d, after the fall of Forts Jackson and St. Phillips and the capture of the city. From this point the regiment, as a whole or in detachments, made many excursions into the surrounding country and up and down the Mississippi River, capturing and destroying public property and confederate supplies, many of the excursions being of extremely hazardous nature.
August 5, 1862, the Sixth made a brilliant record in assisting to repulse a heavy attack on the Union forces at Baton Rouge, and in a desperate charge upon the enemy's works captured the flag of the Ninth Louisiana battalion. The regiment suffered severely in killed and wounded in this engagement and General Thomas Williams, U. S. A., in command of the Union forces, was killed.
In January, 1863, the regiment participated in an expedition under General Weitzel to Bayou Teche, destroying the rebel gunboat "Cotton " and also took part in the expedition against Ponchatoula in March, where the regiment had nine men wounded, but captured a number of the enemy.
In April the Sixth was engaged at Amite River and Tickfaw River and made a raid upon the Jackson railroad at Pangipabo, where it captured sixty prisoners and destroyed an immense amount of public property.
From May until July the Sixth was engaged in the siege of Port Hudson, when it received special commendations for its gallantry and daring. It made a desperate charge upon the enemy's entrenchments on the 27th of May and though the works were carried at the point of the bayonet, the attack was unsuccessful by reason of the overwhelming numbers of the Confederates. After the siege of Port Hudson the regiment remained there until March, 1864, when 247 men re-enlisted and started for Michigan on veteran furlough.
The regiment re-assembled at its former camp at Kalamazoo after the expiration of the thirty days furlough and returned to Port Hudson, where it arrived May 11. The Sixth moved to Vicksburg, Miss., where it served as engineers, and then moved to White River and soon after to Ashton Ark. The regiment was divided into detachments to serve as heavy artillery and was stationed at Fort Morgan, Fort Gaines, Dauphin Island, and Mobile Bay.
The regiment performed valuable service under its assignments as heavy artillery until August, when it received orders to return to Michigan. It arrived at Jackson August 30 and was paid off and discharged September 5, 1865.
during its term of service met the enemy at Sewell's Point, Va., March 5,1862;
Fort Jackson, La., April 25, 1862; Vicksburg, Miss., May 20, 1862; Grand Gulf,
Miss., May 27, 1862; Amite River, Miss., June 20, 1862; Baton Rouge, La., August
5 and 17, 1862; Bayou Teche, La. January 14, 1863; Ponchatoula, La., March 24, 25 and 26, 1863;
Barataria, La., April 7, 1863; Tickfaw
River, La., April 12, 1863; Amite River, Miss., May 7, 1863; Ponchatoula, La.,
May 16, 1863; Siege of Port Hudson, May
23 to July 8, 1863; Tunica Bayou, La., November 8, 1863; Ashton, Ark., July 24,
1864; Fort Morgan, Ala., August ,23,
1864; Spanish Fort, Ala., April, 1865- Fort Blakely, Ala., April, 1865; Fort Huger, Ala.,
April, 1865; Fort Tracey, Ala., April, 1865; siege of Mobile, Ala., from March
20 to April 12, 1865.
Killed in action...........................................45
Died of wounds.............................................25
Died in confederate prison.................................13
Died of disease...........................................432
Discharged for disability (wounds and disease)............327
Inventory Number: HIS 044