Scarce Autograph of General John Clem - Also known as "Johnny Clem" The Drummer Boy of Shiloh. First Day Cover dated, "June 18th 1933 - Newark Ohio - Home of John L. Clem". Boldly signed on the front "Jno. L. Clem / U.S. Army" with notarized affidavit of how the Autograph was obtained!
John Lincoln Clem:
Residence was not listed; 11 years old.
Enlisted on 5/1/1863 at Nashville, TN as a Private.
On 5/1/1863 he mustered into "C" Co. MI 22nd Infantry
He was discharged on 9/19/1864
(Subsequent service in US Army)
He was listed as:
* POW 10/10/1863 Chattanooga, TN (Exchanged)
born 8/13/1851 in Newark, OH
died 5/13/1937 in San Antonio, TX
Buried: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA
Colonel John L. Clem, who occupied Quarters #9 on Staff Post in 1902-03 and 1909-1911, was better known as "Johnny Shiloh" or as it says on his tombstone, "The Drummer Boy of Chickamauga."
A drummer boy in the Union Army at the age of 10, Clem earned a promotion to sergeant at the age of 12 by being the only soldier in his regiment to stand with his commander during a rout. By using Johnny as an example, the commander was able to re-form his unit and win the day. Clem's exploits were portrayed in the Disney film, "Johnny Shiloh."
John Lincoln Clem, was born in Newark, Ohio, on August 13, 1851. In May 1861 he attempted to enlist in the Third Ohio Volunteers but was rejected because of his youth. He attached himself unofficially to the Twenty-second Michigan Infantry and participated in the battle of Shiloh as a drummer. He enlisted shortly thereafter and participated in the battle of Chickamauga, in which, at the age of twelve, he shot a Confederate colonel who demanded his surrender. After the battle, the "Drummer Boy of Chickamauga" was promoted to sergeant and placed upon the roll of honor, the youngest soldier ever to be a noncommissioned officer in the United States Army.
In October 1863, Clem was captured in Georgia by Confederate cavalry while detailed as a train guard. The Confederate soldiers took his uniform away from him which reportedly upset him terribly--especially his cap which he said had three bullet holes in it. He was exchanged a short time later, but the Confederate newspapers used his age and celebrity status to show "what sore straits the Yankees are driven, when they have to send their babies out to fight us." After participating with the Army of the Cumberland in many other battles Gen. Thomas assigned Clem to his staff as a mounted orderly, until he was discharged in 1864.
He returned home and graduated from high school in 1870. After he attempted unsuccessfully to enter the United States Military Academy at West Point, President Ulysses S. Grant appointed him second lieutenant in the Twenty-fourth United States Infantry. Clem graduated from artillery school at Fort Monroe in 1875, transferred to the quartermaster department in 1882, and rose to the rank of major general by the time he retired in 1916. During his last years in the army he was the sole remaining Civil War veteran on active service.
Clem spent a number of his army years in Texas. From 1906 to 1911 he was chief quartermaster at Fort Sam Houston; after retirement he remained in Washington for a few years, then returned to San Antonio. He married Anita Rosetta French in 1875. She died in 1899, and he married Bessie Sullivan of San Antonio in 1903. Clem was the father of two children. He died in San Antonio on May 13, 1937, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
CIVIL WAR HERO IS REPRIMANDED - Drummerboy of Chickamauga May Be Recalled for Blunder in Philippines
Washington. Sept 3. Colonel John M Clem, Chief Quartermaster of the Philippine Division, has been reprimanded by General Humphrey, Quartermaster General, for his action in turning into the United States Treasury the sum of $43,000 as unexpended balance of the appropriations on the last fiscal year, when, as stated at the war department, the money was actually needed to meet necessary expenses for army transportation and other work of the quartermaster's department.
It is said the service will be embarrassed by Colonel Clem's action, as it seriously interfered with the work of the quartermaster's department.
General Humphrey has informed Colonel Clem that his action is disapproved, and would not have been taken if he had had a proper conception of his duties. The money, having been turned into the treasury, is now beyond the control of the war department, and officials say it will have to be reappropriated by congress to meet existing obligations. It is not unlikely that Colonel Clem will be relieved of his present duties and recalled to the United States.
Colonel Clem is one of the heroes of the War of the Rebellion, and is known as the drummerboy of Chickamauga, because of his gallant conduct in the battle while serving as a drummer in the Twenty-Second Michigan Volunteer Infantry.
John Lincoln Clem (August 13, 1851 – May 13, 1937) was a United States Army general who served as a drummer boy in the Union Army in the American Civil War. He gained fame for his bravery on the battlefield, becoming the youngest noncommissioned officer in Army history. He retired from the U.S. Army in 1915, having attained the rank of brigadier general in the Quartermaster Corps; he was the last veteran of the American Civil War still on duty in the U.S. Armed Forces. By special act of Congress on August 29, 1916, he was promoted to major general one year after his retirement.
Born with the surname Klem in Newark, Ohio on August 13, 1851, he is said to have run away from home at age 10 in May 1861, after the death of his mother in a train accident, to become a Union Army drummer boy. First he attempted to enlist in the 3rd Ohio Infantry, but was rejected because of his age and small size. He then tried to join the 22nd Michigan, which also refused him. He tagged along anyway and the 22nd eventually adopted him as mascot and drummer boy. Officers chipped in to pay him the regular soldier's wage of $13 a month and allowed him to officially enlist two years later. Research has shown that Clem's claims about the 3rd Ohio and running away from home in 1861 (rather than in either 1862 or 1863) may be fictitious.
A popular legend suggests that Clem served as a drummer boy with the 22nd Michigan at the Battle of Shiloh. The legend suggests that he came very near to losing his life when a fragment from a shrapnel shell crashed through his drum, knocking him unconscious, and that subsequently his comrades who found and rescued him from the battlefield nicknamed Clem "Johnny Shiloh." The weight of historical evidence however suggests that Clem could not have taken part in the battle of Shiloh. The 22nd Michigan appears to be the first unit in which Clem served in any capacity, but this regiment had not yet been constituted at the time of the battle (mustering into service in August 1862 – four months after the Battle of Shiloh). The Johnny Shiloh legend appears instead to stem from a popular Civil War song, "The Drummer Boy of Shiloh" by William S. Hays which was written for Harpers Weekly of New York. The song was written following the Battle of Chickamauga in September 1863, and may have been written with Clem in mind because he had already become a nationally-known figure by that time.
Regardless of his entry into service, Clem served as a drummer boy for the 22nd Michigan at the Battle of Chickamauga. He is said to have ridden an artillery caisson to the front and wielded a musket trimmed to his size. In the course of a Union retreat, he shot a Confederate colonel who had demanded his surrender. After the battle, the "Drummer Boy of Chickamauga" was promoted to sergeant, the youngest soldier ever to be a noncommissioned officer in the United States Army. Secretary of the Treasury, later Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and fellow Ohioan, Salmon P. Chase, decorated him for his heroics at Chickamauga. Clem's fame for the shooting is also open for debate, despite press reports supporting the story into the early 20th century. It is possible that he wounded Col. Calvin Walker, whose 3rd Tennessee opposed the 22nd Michigan towards the end of the battle.
In October 1863, Clem was captured in Georgia by Confederate cavalrymen while detailed as a train guard. The Confederates confiscated his U.S. uniform which reportedly upset him terribly—including his cap which had three bullet holes in it. He was included in a prisoner exchange a short time later, but the Confederate newspapers used his age and celebrity status for propaganda purposes, to show "what sore straits the Yankees are driven, when they have to send their babies out to fight us." After participating with the Army of the Cumberland in many other battles, serving as a mounted orderly, he was discharged in September 1864. Clem was wounded in combat twice during the war.
Clem graduated from high school in 1870. In 1871, he was elected commander/captain of the "Washington Rifles" a District of Columbia Army National Guard militia unit. After he attempted unsuccessfully to enter the United States Military Academy, after failing the entrance exam, President Ulysses S. Grant appointed him second lieutenant in the Twenty Fourth United States Infantry in December 1871. Clem was promoted to first lieutenant in 1874. Clem graduated from artillery school at Fort Monroe in 1875. He was promoted to captain in 1882 and transferred to the Quartermaster Department where he stayed for the rest of his career. He was promoted to major in 1895.
During the Spanish–American War in 1898 he served as depot quartermaster in Portland, Oregon as well as department quartermaster for the Department of Columbia. He then served in the occupation of Puerto Rico as depot and chief quartermaster in San Juan.
Clem was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1901 and to colonel in 1903. He then served from 1906 to 1911 as chief quartermaster at Fort Sam Houston in Texas.
Clem reached the mandatory retirement age of 64 on August 13, 1915, when he was retired and promoted to the rank of brigadier general, as was customary for American Civil War veterans who retired at the rank of colonel, becoming the last veteran of the American Civil War to serve in the U.S. Army. On August 29, 1916, he was promoted on the retired list to the rank of major general.
After retirement he lived in Washington, D.C. before returning to San Antonio, Texas. He married Anita Rosetta French in 1875. After her death in 1899, he married Bessie Sullivan of San Antonio in 1903. Sullivan was the daughter of a Confederate veteran, leading Clem to claim that he was "the most united American" alive. Clem was the father of three children. Clem was a companion of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States and the Military Order of Foreign Wars.
He died in San Antonio on May 13, 1937, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia.
Through his military career Clem held the following ranks:
Musician and Lance Sergeant, Co. C, 22nd Michigan Infantry – 1 May 1863 to 19 September 1864
2nd Lieutenant – 18 December 1871
1st Lieutenant – 5 October 1874
Captain – 4 May 1882
Major – 16 May 1895
Lieutenant Colonel – 2 February 1901
Colonel – 15 August 1903
Brigadier General (Retired) – 13 August 1915
Major General (Retired) – 29 August 1916
MICHIGAN Twenty-Second Infantry. (Three Years)
On July 15, 1862, Governor Austin Blair issued General Order No. 154, directing the raising of six Regiments of Infantry, designated the Fifth Congressional District, composed of the counties of Livingston, Lapeer, Macomb St. Clair and Sanilac as the territory in which the Twenty-second Michigan Infantry Volunteers should be recruited, naming Pontiac as the place of rendezvous, and appointing ex-Governor Moses Wisner as Commandant of Camp. On August 8, 1862, the Field and Staff Officers were commissioned, and on the 31st of July following commissions were issued to the officers of the line. On August 29, 1862, the regiment having its full quota of officers and men, was mustered into the United States service. The officers were as follows:
Field and Staff.
Colonel, Moses Wisner, Pontiac.
Lieutenant Colonel, Heber Le Favour, Detroit.
Major, William Sanborn, Port Huron.
Surgeon, Abram P. McConnell, Pontiac.
Assistant Surgeon, Wells B. Fox, Hartland.
Adjutant, Edgar Weeks, Mt. Clemens.
Quartermaster, Thomas C. Boughton, Pontiac.
Chaplain, Asher E. Mather, Pontiac.
Co. A. Captain, Ezra C. Hatton, Farmington. First Lieutenant, Edward M. Wisner, Pontiac. Second Lieutenant, William Albertson, Pontiac.
Co. B. Captain, Alonzo M. Keeler, Shelby. First Lieutenant, William Hulsart, Bruce. Second Lieutenant, Henry W. Howgate, Armada.
Co. C. Captain, John Atkinson, Port Huron. First Lieutenant, Jefferson J. Wilder, Capac. Second Lieutenant, John Sackett, Port Huron.
Co. D. Captain, Townsend C. Beardslee, Pontiac. First Lieutenant, Almeron S. Mathews, Pontiac. Second Lieutenant, Elijah Snell, Independence.
Co. E. Captain, Henry Carlton, Newport. First Lieutenant, Hazzard P. Wands, St. Clair. Second Lieutenant, Thomas C. Jackson, Ira.
Co. F. Captain, Alfred Ashley, New Baltimore. First Lieutenant, George W. Robertson, Mt. Clemens. Second Lieutenant, Heber B. Pearson, New Baltimore.
Co. G. Captain, Joseph Goetz, Mt. Clemens. First Lieutenant, William C. Stockton, Mt. Clemens. Second Lieutenant, Augustus Czizek, Mt. Clemens.
Co. H. Captain, Henry S. Dean, Green Oak. First Lieutenant, William A. Smith, Marion. Second Lieutenant, Louis Brown, Howell.
Co. I. Captain, Frederick W. Kimberk, Brighton. First Lieutenant, Walter Bowers, Lyon. Second Lieutenant, James Page, Lyon.
Co. K. Captain, Alexander G. Galbraith, Lexington. First Lieutenant, Henry Breidenbach, Lexington. Second Lieutenant, John A. Simons, Lexington.
September 4, 1862, the regiment left its camp on the Fair Grounds at Pontiac, and marched 1000 strong to the railroad depot, and took the cars for Detroit. Late that evening it took boat for Cleveland, at which place it arrived on the morning of September 5th. Here the regiment had its first issue of the rations on the march. From Cleveland it proceeded by rail to Cincinnati, where it arrived at midnight. It marched from the depot to the Fifth Street Market House, where at 2:00 o'clock a. m., September 6th, it ate breakfast provided by the city of Cincinnati. Before leaving the tables, the men were ordered to fill their haversacks, an order, however, it was never necessary to repeat during their term of service, when there were rations in sight. After breakfast, the regiment crossed the Ohio River on a pontoon bridge to Covington, Ky., and retired to rest on the paved streets of that town. Hard as was the bed, sweet was the sleep of these 1000 tired men, unaccustomed to carrying arms and knapsacks.
During the forenoon, the regiment was marched to the front, without ammunition, and formed in line of battle to resist a reported attack about to be made by the Confederate forces under the command of General E. Kirby Smith. Company H was ordered forward as skirmishers, to "feel the enemy," without a round of ammunition, which it proceeded to do until relieved by troops provided with ammunition; this line of battle was formed on a knoll in the center of a field of cabbage, and this first experience of the regiment in war was dubbed by the men as the "Battle of Cabbage Hill." After it was all over, the men laughed heartily, but while "the battle was on," it did not appear so funny. At midnight, the regiment retired in "good order," the battle having resulted in a great slaughter of Southern cabbage. Here the regiment was assigned to the Third Brigade, Second Division, Army of Central Kentucky, with which it served until April, 1863. The regiment remained in a fortification on Covington Heights until the evening of September 7th, when it marched one mile to the front and went into camp, where it remained until 1:00 o'clock a. m., when the bugle sounded "strike tents," and it marched back to Camp Wallace, when it had its first experience in building fortifications, a work in which it was engaged until September 18th, at which date it marched five miles to Florence, Ky., and camped on the Fair Grounds at that place. September 19th it marched nine miles south of Florence; on September 20th it moved eight miles in a southerly direction; September 21st it marched back over the route it had come to within twelve miles of Covington, Ky., and went into camp, naming its resting place "Camp Walton." From the 21st of September to October 9th it remained in this camp, forming line of battle from one to five times a night to meet threatened attacks by John Morgan's Cavalry. From Camp Walton, it moved to Williamston, naming its halting place "Camp Wells." There it remained until 11:00 o'clock p. m., October 14th, when all who were fit for duty proceeded to Cynthiana, where they arrived at 9:00 p. m., October 15th. The detachment left at Camp Wells, with the camp and garrison equipage, marched for Lexington, reaching that place October 21st. At Georgetown, through which town this detachment passed, it had an experience in returning slaves to their masters, which General Q. A. Gilmore ordered them to do.
With one exception he is the only United States officer that ever gave such an order to the Twenty-second Michigan Infantry. On the night of October 18th, Company H was ordered to proceed up the railroad and take possession of and hold Townsend's Bridge, which it did. That night, this Company was ordered "to proceed to Paris, take possession of the town, and hold same at all hazards." The company reached Paris at 4:00 o'clock a. m., October 18th, took possession of the town, and captured 100 of Humphrey Marshall's command. At 7:00 o'clock a.m., information was received from Lexington that John Morgan entered that place the evening before with 2,000 cavalry and a battery, and that he would move on Paris the next morning. Information of Morgan's plans was dispatched by handcar (three negroes furnishing the motive power), to Colonel Wisner at Cynthiana. At 2:00 p. m. of that day, Colonel Wisner left Cynthiana with the regiment and a battery, arriving in Paris at 7:00 p. m., making the march of eighteen miles in five hours; this was quick time for infantry, and a cavalry regiment dubbed the Twenty-second "The Marching Regiment." John Morgan, learning that Paris had been reinforced, did not attack the town. Upon a Confederate prisoner, a letter was found written by Humphrey Marshall to his wife, informing her that he had been ordered to move with his command out of Kentucky into Virginia by way of Pound Gap; this information was communicated to General Gordon Granger at Cincinnati, who ordered Colonel Wisner "to follow Humphrey Marshall, if he followed him to 'Davy Jones' locker." In obedience to this order, the regiment left Paris in pursuit of Humphrey Marshall. Fortunately, however, Humphrey Marshall's command of about 5,000 had so much the start of Colonel Wisner and his 800 men, that he did not overtake him. On this march the regiment passed through Lancaster to Athens, Ky., where it received orders to proceed to Lexington, where it arrived October 26, 1862. The detachment left at Camp Walton, with the camp and garrison equipage, had reached Lexington in advance of the main body.
When the regiment left Camp Walton on October 9th it moved "in light marching order," without tents, which every old soldier understands and never forgets, if, as in this instance, the march is late in the fall, and the ground most of the time covered with snow. Tents were a luxury the regiments had not enjoyed for seventeen days and nights.
From October 26, 1862, to February 21, 1863, the regiment remained in Camp Ella Bishop at Lexington, Ky. Here it learned the terrible fact that bullets are not the only danger incident to the life of a soldier. The four months spent in Lexington were months of suffering, with but little good to compensate therefor. The rigid discharge of picket duty in open fields, without shelter from the cold and storms of winter, without fires, sleeping on the damp ground, not permitted to use straw which was generously offered by citizens, brought sickness, suffering and death upon the regiment. Scores of noble men lie sleeping in the cemetery at Lexington, who died in consequence of exposure in picketing their own camps, to prevent Union soldiers from entering the town of Lexington, for there was not an armed enemy within the state at that time. Mrs. Sanborn, wife of Colonel Sanborn, spent the winter in camp, and the men of the regiment will never forget how much she did to alleviate their suffering--she was their good angel. On January 4th, 1863, Colonel Moses Wisner died after a lingering illness from disease contracted while in the faithful discharge of his duty; his last words were expressions of love for his country, sympathy and hope for the well being of his Regiment. Governor Blair in his annual message to the Legislature referred to the death of Colonel Wisner as follows:
"Intelligence has been received of another of the great sacrifices we make to save our country. My predecessor, ex-Governor Moses Wisner, Colonel commanding the Twenty-second Regiment of Infantry, died at his post of duty in Kentucky, on the 4th day of January. His conduct is his best eulogy. A man of great intellectual, as well as physical power, in the meridian of life, surrounded by all the comforts of family, home and friends, he obeyed the call of his country and took the field. Deeply imbued with a love of those free institutions which had done so much for his country and himself, he put away from everything but this service, and went forth at the head of his regiment to peril all in defense of the Union. As a commanding officer of patriotic volunteers, he was successful in an eminent degree, as he had been in all the walks of life. He died of the diseases of the camp, in the midst of his command, in the doing of his duty. More than this need not be said. For him the pomp and circumstance and the battle are no more. To his family and friends he leaves the rich remembrance of an honorable fame, and to the State he loved, the pride that she had so noble a citizen. To you, gentlemen, the representatives of the people, is committed the duty to fitly commemorate his services."
On the death of Colonel Wisner, Lieutenant Colonel Heber Le Favour was promoted to Colonel; Major William Sanborn to Lieutenant Colonel; and Captain Henry S. Dean to Major of the regiment.
On February 21st the regiment under the command of Colonel Le Favour marched from Lexington to Hickman Bridge on the Kentucky river, camping that night in the snow on what was known as the Scott farm. The next day it marched to Danville, where it remained until the afternoon of February 23rd, when it retraced its steps to Hickman Bridge, arriving there at midnight, tired and foot-sore, the men lying down on the bare ground without tents to sleep if they could. Scarcely had they rolled themselves in their blankets, when an order was received from General Gilmore, directing the regiment "to return to Lexington as soon as possible." At 1:00 o'clock a. m. it was moving in that direction. The camp equipage was unloaded from the wagons, and left under guard at the Bridge, and as far as possible, men who could march no longer were loaded into the wagons following the rear of the column. At daylight the regiment reached Nicholasville, where it took cars for Lexington. Upon arrival at the latter place Companies B, E, G, and K, under command of Major Dean, were ordered to proceed to Cynthiana to guard that place against a threatened attack. The detachment reached Cynthiana late in the afternoon of February 25th, tired and hungry, without rations, and no government stores to draw upon. Six wealthy Confederate sympathizers were requested to furnish and cook rations for these four companies.
To the credit of those parties be it said that during the two days they kept a boarding house for Union soldiers they "set a good table." February 26th this detachment was ordered to rejoin the regiment at Lexington where it remained until March 21st, when it was again ordered to proceed to Danville. A few days previous to this, Colonel Le Favour was thrown from his horse and very seriously injured; so seriously, that he was unable to resume duty until the May following. Under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Sanborn the regiment marched for Danville as part of a force, consisting of two regiments of infantry, one of mounted infantry, one of cavalry and a battery. A Confederate force under General Pegram had crossed the Cumberland River from Tennessee into Kentucky, with evident designs upon a depot of Government supplies stored at Danville. To the protection of these, the force of which the Twenty-second Michigan was a part, was hurrying. On March 21st the regiment marched from Lexington to Danville, distance forty miles, in eighteen hours; that night it was quartered in a church, the next morning it moved out one mile on the Stanford road and went into camp. In the meantime, the Government stores had been loaded into wagons, and the train started in the direction of Hickman Bridge, on the Kentucky river. At 11:00 o'clock a. m., March 25th, the enemy made his appearance, opening fire upon the regiment from his mountain howitzers; line was formed to meet the attack, but it was evident that he was after the train, and not a fight, as he immediately moved around the left of the line, taking a short cut through the fields to reach the pike on which the train was moving. The regiment was ordered to fall back through the town to protect the rear of the train. As it came up with the train, the enemy opened fire on the regiment from among the timber growing along side the pike. Lieutenant Colonel Sanborn moved the regiment by the flank behind a stone wall on the side of the pike, and commenced a vigorous return of the enemies' fire. Just then, General Carter and staff rode up, and ordered Lieut. Col. Sanborn to detach the three left companies of his regiment, under command of the Major, with a section of artillery to continue the fight and to move the rest of his command up with the train. During the afternoon, until the last wagon was safely across the Kentucky River, this detachment with the artillery moved to high ground, first on one side and then on the other of the pike, firing over the train to repulse the enemy in his repeated attacks upon the train. In this skirmish, the regiment had two men wounded and one captured. The regiment reached the Bridge late at night, tired, wet (it having rained all the afternoon), and hungry, and laid down in the mud and rain to sleep. The next morning, the regiment was ordered out on the Danville road to see if it could find the enemy, which it did, and posted a picket line; here it remained for two days, with occasional firing by the pickets. March 28th, the regiment returned to Nicholasville, and from there marched to Camp Dick Robinson and camped; the next day, it moved to Lancaster, and from there to Crab Orchard on March 30th. March 31st it moved toward Summerset, on the Cumberland River, in which direction Pegram was retreating with the plunder he had seized during the raid. That night, the regiment camped in the snow, without tents, at Buck Horn Creek. Whoever directed this campaign appeared to be full in the faith that infantry could keep pace with cavalry, and, in fact, the regiment was only eight miles behind Pegram's Cavalry, when it was overtaken by our mounted infantry, and 400 of his command and all his plunder captured at Summerset. April 1, 1863, the regiment was ordered to proceed to Nashville, Tenn., via Lebanon Junction. It arrived at the latter place April 9th, where it was to take cars for Nashville. It was detained at Lebanon thirty-two hours behind stacked arms, beside the cars upon which it was to proceed, because it refused to leave its colored servants in Kentucky. Brigadier General Manson, Post Commander, went so far as to order out a regiment of infantry, a squadron of cavalry, and a section of artillery to enforce his order. Colonel Sanborn firmly refused to obey the order, in which he had the support of every officer and man in the regiment. The matter was finally referred to General Burnside, at Cincinnati, who ordered the regiment "to proceed immediately to Nashville, and to stop quarreling about the nigger," which it did, taking its servants along. The regiment arrived in Nashville on the evening of April 13, 1863, and was assigned to the Third Brigade, Second Division, Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland. It remained at Nashville doing interior guard duty until September 5th. The Twenty-second Michigan and the Eighty-ninth Ohio were temporarily brigaded under the command of Colonel Heber Le Favour of the Twenty-second Michigan, and attached to General Whitaker's Brigade, General Steedman's Division, and General Gordon Granger's Reserve Corps. On Sept. 5, 1863, the Twenty-second Michigan left Nashville for Chattanooga, Tenn., with the following officers:
Lieutenant Colonel Wm. Sanborn, Commanding.
Captain Alonzo M. Keeler, Acting Major.
Abram P. McConnell, Surgeon.
Almeron S. Mathews, Adjutant.
Charles J. Bockins, Quartermaster.
Major Henry S. Dean was detailed on General R. S.
Granger's staff at Nashville, as Acting Inspector General.
The companies were officered as follows:
Co. A. First Lieutenant Wm. Albertson, commanding; Second Lieutenant Geo. W. Button.
Co. B. First Lieutenant Wm. Hulsart.
Co. C. Second Lieutenant Edgar G. Spalding, commanding; Captain John Atkinson was detailed on the staff of General R. S. Granger at Nashville.
Co. D. Captain Elijah Snell; First Lieutenant Lewis Drake; Second Lieutenant Wm. Willetts.
Co. E. Captain Hazard P. Wands; First Lieutenant Louis A. Allor.
Co. F. First Lieutenant George Robertson, commanding; Second Lieutenant Wm. B. Hamilton.
Co. G. Captain Joseph Goetz; First Lieutenant Charles Bassett; Second Lieutenant Edward E. Andrews.
Co. H. Captain Wm. A. Smith.
Co. I. Captain Fred W. Kimberk; First Lieutenant Hamilton J. Woodman; Second Lieutenant Lewis C. Mead.
Co. K. Captain Alex. G. Galbraith; First Lieutenant Henry Breidenbach.
The regiment arrived at Bridgeport, Ala., September 11th, and camped on Seven Mile Island until 7:00 a. m., September 13th. Here it left its baggage in charge of Lieutenants Henry Breidenbach and Wm. Hulsart and marched all day and night, passing over the base of Lookout Mountain at midnight. Here the men were so wearied with carrying their equipments, they slept on foot, jostling each other as they marched up and down the rocky slopes; then some one would waken, and break out in the words of the song, "John Brown's body lies mouldering in the grave, as we go marching on." At 11:00 a. m., September 14th, after a march of more than 40 miles, the regiment reached Rossville, Ga., where every man placed his gun in stack when the command "stack arms" was given. This fact coming to the knowledge of General Gordon Granger, he issued a special order, complimenting the regiment, and commending this example of good discipline to the rest of his command.
September 17th the Twenty-second Michigan, Eighty-ninth Ohio, and the Eighteenth Ohio Battery, with other troops, were ordered to make a reconnoissance in the direction of Ringold. As the regiment passed General Gordon Granger's headquarters, Company B, under command of Lieutenant Chas. Bassett, was detailed to guard the General's headquarters. Late in the afternoon, near Ringold, the enemy's pickets were driven in, and a few shells were thrown into the town, which received noresponse. Some hustling was observed in town, and considerable dust in the distance, as of troops marching away. So the force started back toward Rossville. About 11:00 p. m., after crossing Pea Vine Creek, pickets were posted and the regiment camped for the night, but just as it was being wrapped in comfortable sleep, shells came dropping into the camp. The pickets fell back upon the camp, a circumstance due to the orders given by a Staff officer, who posted them. The pickets
were sent back, the enemy fell back, and the regiment retired to rest, no harm being done. In the morning, the regiment renewed its march for Rossville, where it arived at 1:00 p. m., September 18th. On the afternoon of September 19th General Steedman ordered Colonel Le Favour to report with the Twenty-second Michigan and the Eighty-ninth Ohio to General Whitaker, who was then being attacked by the enemy near McAfee Church.
The Twenty-second Michigan took position on the left of the road and the Eighty-ninth Ohio on the right, with the Eighteenth Ohio Battery in the road in the rear, commanding a large field below and in front. This field gradually descended to a creek, bordered with thick brush and scattering timber. From this brush the enemy's sharpshooters came out into the open field to a log house, nearer to them than to the Union lines, with the intention of picking off some of the officers, or most exposed men. They soon opened fire through the spaces between the logs of the old house at the battery men. They seemed to think they had a safe place, until the Battery sent some shells crashing into their hiding place, setting the slivers flying about their heads. They were soon hugging the ground on the way back to the brush without having wounded a man. Night came on, and here the regiment slept on its arms for the first time. The night was cold, and without provision for it. No casualties resulting, except that one man accidentally discharged his rifle during the night, and disabled one of his toes. The morning was calm and beautiful, reminding one of the beautiful, sunny days of childhood, not a sound disconsonant with Holy Sabbath, which it was. Nothing in sight five miles away to betoken the fierce and bloody conflict of Chickamaugua that was that very day to test the courage of the Twenty-second Michigan Infantry. After roll call, and the men were getting ready to receive their rations, orders came from General Granger for General Steedman to report to General Thomas at once. Some men in their hurry to fall into line, took a handful of hardtack, others speared their bayonets into pieces of bacon, hoping to find time and opportunity to divide and share with each other for, at least, a slight breakfast.
Soon the artillery began to be heard, and the march was through fallen timber and among brush piles, so that the idea of breakfast was abandoned, the bacon dropped, and the ear was given to the roar of artillery. Soon an open field was reached--the road led past buildings that the day before had been used as field hospitals. Some dead were still on the ground beneath the trees. All that could be seen or heard was stimulating to the braver, and unnerving, perhaps, for the weaker soldier, but soon the enemy's fire across the line of march brought thoughts of present personal danger. By shelling, the enemy were attempting to prevent the passage of the column through between the heels of the horse shoe shape into which General Thomas' forces had been pressed by the enemy. The regiment had no time or opportunity to defend itself--it was hastening to the relief of others worse pressed.
A short halt in a corn field near General Thomas' position, that the officers might get directions to the place of direst necessity. While the men could not see over the rising ground, the roar of artillery and the rattle of musketry was too near and too fierce to make things attractive. Soon orders came to go in on General Brannan's right. Making its way over the low enclosure of the corn field into the woods, the regiment formed line of battle as it hurried up and to the right of Snodgrass Hill, and charged over Horse Shoe Ridge, led by Lieutenant Colonel Wm. Sanborn, down into the thickest of the fight. Captain F. W. Kimberk of Company I did not participate in this charge; Second Lieutenant Lewis C. Mead took command of the Company; First Lieutenant Hamilton J. Woodman being in command of a detail guarding a supply train. Here the Twenty-second Michigan, with the Eighty-ninth Ohio on its right, under Colonel Le Favour, met a most deadly fire from the enemy--the slaughter was fearful--Lieutenant Colonel Sanborn was seriously wounded while leading the regiment and taken to the rear; Captain Wm. A. Smith was mortally wounded, Color Sergeant Philo Durkee of Company A was struck in the breast by a grape shot-he fell mortally wounded--clasping the flag in his arms, he sealed his devotion to it with his blood upon its folds. Corporal Richard A. Stansell of Company H took the flag from the dying grasp of Sergeant Durkee, and gave his life for the flag, a musket ball passing through his brain. Corporal Pearl Mitchell of Company F raised the flag amidst the storm of shot and shell that soon carried away his left arm; Corporal Jonathan Vincent rushed for the flag and defiantly waved it in the face of the enemy--he fell severely wounded; Colonel Le Favour, coming up at this instant, shouted "Take up the flag." First Sergeant Wm. F. Atkinson took the flag and handed it to Sergeant Oscar Kendall, who, with a knowledge of the enemy's determination to put down the flag, threw away his rifle, took the flag, and with a courage and daring none can describe, planted it by his side, and stood as erect and fearless as God ever made man to stand for any cause. Corporal Fred Herger and one or two others of the Color Guard were killed; Captain A. M. Keeler, having taken command of the regiment after Lieutenant Colonel Sanborn was wounded, received orders to move the regiment back into line on the crest of the ridge where it joined Snodgrass Hill. There was a cessation of firing, and after closing up the broken ranks, the men were ordered to lie down. Within thirty minutes after the crest was occupied, two divisions of Longstreet's veterans furiously charged the Union lines. The men had been carefully instructed to select their men and fire at their hearts. The men lying upon the ground until the enemy were within easy range, quickly sprang to their feet and dealt them a fearful slaughter. For a minute the
firing was terrible, but the enemy were soon driven back. Captain Snell was mortally wounded and taken to the rear. Captain Galbraith was wounded but refused to be taken off the field. He asked Captain Keeler to examine the wound, who unbuttoned his waistbands, and putting his fingers in the wound found that the ball had been stopped by a bone and had glanced out. Captain Galbraith went back to his Company; Captain Goetz received a wound in his face, and brushing his hand over the wound went right in again; Lieutenant Spaulding was wounded, but remained with his Company. Word was sent back that the Twenty-second was nearly out of ammunition. Soon the enemy reformed, and came again determined to stay--the attack was desperate, and lasted for some minutes. The reply was brave and telling, and a charge broke and drove the enemy back again.
Although the day before the Twenty-second had taken the precaution to put forty rounds in each cartridge box and forty rounds in the pocket of each man, the long continued firing had entirely exhausted the ammunition of many men--more was called for. An Orderly came back, saying "Ammunition would be sent, but hold the ground at all hazards." What ammunition the men had was divided, and all that could be gathered from the cartridge boxes of the dead was distributed. General Granger, anticipating another charge at this point, sent orders, "to stand firm and use the cold steel." After an ominous silence of a few minutes, the enemy came again, but a well directed fire, followed by a charge, broke the last line of the day. Of this last attack, General Longstreet, on visiting the Chickamauga battlefield, in an article in the Atlanta Constitution, under the heading, "After Twenty Years," is made to say: There, pointing to Snodgrass Hill, "On that crest occurred the last collision of the day. A body of Federals made a gallant rally--it was then night--I threw my men on them, and my men melted away like shadows into darkness." Here ended one of the fiercest battles of the Civil War. The Twenty-second Michigan and Eighty-ninth Ohio were still holding the ground they had been ordered to hold at all hazards and with the cold steel. It was so dark no further fighting seemed possible, so dark that the blue could not be distinguished from the gray. Colonel Le Favour, coming near Captain Keeler asked, "have you any orders for the Twenty-second Regiment?" He replied, "I will go to the right and see." He did not return, but in a few minutes a body of troops were seen coming from the right, one from the left, and another from the rear. Then came an order to "throw down arms." The moon was rising, but there was no ammunition to give a ray of hope. This was the first intimation of defeat that the Twenty-second had received, and there was no alternative. The Sixth Florida, Fifty-fourth Virginia of Triggs Brigade, Preston's Division and Buckner's Corps, took the arms and colors of the regiment. As the Twenty-second was being taken away, another regiment of the enemy fired on them and their guards. The guard ordered "Lie down," and shouted, "You are firing on your own men." Nearly all dropped to the ground to escape a second volley. Lieutenant Albertson and John L. Clem, the regimental marker, feigning themselves dead, did not rise, and thus escaped a long imprisonment. The regiment was taken to General Preston's headquarters. He called for the ranking officer. Captain Keeler went forward, and was asked to what Regiment, Brigade, Division and Corps his command belonged, and what position it occupied in the fight? He asked how many men Gordon Granger had in his Corps. When told that there were between three and four thousand, he replied, "That's a damned lie; we know he had more men than that. Well, you fought like devils, we will use you well." Colonel Le Favour was captured with the Eighty-ninth Ohio when he went to the right for orders; the Twenty-second was taken after that, while waiting for orders. It claims that it was the last regiment to leave the line of battle, and that orders to leave the field should have been sent to this Brigade, while all the others were withdrawn, unless it was necessary to sacrifice this command to save the rest of the army. All the other Federal forces had received orders to retire to Rossville, and had gone. The last orders received by these two regiments were "to hold the ground at all hazards; stand firm and use the cold steel." The Twenty-second Michigan, when taken prisoners, numbered 178 men and 14 officers. That morning 500 men and officers answered to roll call. These prisoners were delivered at Libby Prison on the evening of September 30th, 1863. The next morning, the enlisted men were taken to other buildings, and afterwards sent to Belle Isle, Danville, Florence and Andersonville prisons, where nearly half of some of the companies died of starvation and cruel exposure. No pen can describe their inhuman treatment; the officers were kept in Libby Prison until May, 1864, and then moved to Macon, Ga., whence they were taken to Charleston, S. C., and placed under fire of the Union guns in the siege of Charleston; from there they were taken to Columbia, S. C., until Sherman's march compelled the enemy to move them to Charlotte and Raleigh, N. C., where they were paroled and passed through the Union lines near Wilmington, N. C., March 1, 1865. While every officer and man of the Twenty-second Michigan who participated in the battle of Chickamauga did his whole duty, Lieutenant Colonel Sanborn was conspicuous for his bravery. General Whitaker in transmitting a copy of his report of the battle to Governor Blair, speaks as follows of Colonel Le Favour and the conduct of the regiment:
Fort Whittaker, Opposite Lookout Mountain, Near Chattanooga, Oct. 12, 1863.
Sir: Having had the honor of commanding the Twenty-second Michigan, Colonel Le Favour, in my brigade, in the battle of Chickamauga, and being personally observant of their undaunted heroism, let me urge you for the good of the service, and as a reward to a chivalrous officer, to use your influence for the promotion of Colonel Le Favour.
Respectfully yours, etc.,
W. C. WHITAKER, Brigadier General Fourth Army Corps.
Inventory Number: DOC 119