Conflict, War and Military History in Michigan


The books and articles below are about War and military history in Michigan.


Frontier Conflict with Indians

Revolutionary War

War of 1812

Mexican War

Civil War

World War 1 and After


Old Fort Michilimackinac: Reproductions of two maps…

Ann Arbor: Univ of Michigan 1938
Go to Book

(title continued) “…from the papers of General Thomas Gage in the William L. Clements Library with a reconstructed drawing of the fort by Raymond McCoy and a Foreward by Kenneth Roberts”

Fort Michilimackinac

“The Conquest of St. Joseph, Michigan, by the Spaniards in 1781”

Missouri Historical Review
Alvord, Clarence WalworthGo to Book

Reprinted from the Missouri Historical Review, April 1908, pp 195-210

“Recollections of the “Patriot War” of 1838-9 [1837-8], on This Frontier”

Historical Collections Vol 10, 1887, 414-424

Lansing: Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society
Bishop, LeviGo to Article

1837-38 saw widespread plotting in Canada to overthrow the British government, and many people in Michigan were preparing to help in the effort. Secret societies known as ‘hunters’ lodges’ sprang up in Michigan along the Canadian border, often including leading citizens. The author was a resident of Detroit at the time and, as a private in the State Militia played a minor role in one memorable incident. This article both recounts his own memories and provides a history of the movement.

“That Windsor Battle”

Historical Collections Vol 7, 1886, 82-88

Lansing: Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society
Dougall, JamesGo to Article

(title continued) ” … The Account of it from a Canadian Standpoint”

The suppression of the Canadian revolutionaries in the “Patriot War”.

“The “Patriot War”; The Battle of Fighting Island”

Historical Collections Vol 7, 1886, 89-92

Lansing: Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society
M’Farlan, RobertGo to Article

The author was a participant in the battle.

Old Fort St. Joseph; or, Michigan under Four Flags…

Lansing: Wnkoop Hallenbeck 1907
McCoy, Daniel Go to Book

(title continued) “… delivered before the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society at its Thirty-second Annual Meeting, June 7, 1906”

Fort St. Joseph, Niles MI

Military History in Michigan

Report of the Adjutant General

Lansing: State of Michigan
Michigan Adjutant General, comp.1856-1866|1871-1918

These two links contain most of the Adjutant General’s annual reports for the range of years shown.

Michigan Military Records, the D. A. R. of Michigan Historical Collections: Records of the Revolutionary Soldiers Buried in Michigan …

Lansing: Michigan Historical Commission 1920
Silliman, Sue Imogene Go to Book

(title continued) ” … the pensioners of territorial Michigan; and the soldiers of Michigan awarded the “Medal of Honor”

Military pensions, Medal of Honor


Frontier Conflict with Indians

Journal of Pontiac’s Conspiracy, 1763

Detroit: Michigan Society of the Colonial Wars 1912
Burton, M. Agnes, ed. Go to Book

This book contains the original 1763 journal text in French with English translation, together with an introduction to the document. The author of the original journal is unknown. It was the most important historical document for reconstructing the Pontiac’s conspiracy, and formed the basis of Francis Parkman’s history (also found on this webpage).

Pontiac’s Conspiracy, Siege of Detroit

Military History in Michigan

The Conspiracy of Pontiac and the Indian War after the Conquest of Canada

Boston: Little, Brown 1870
Parkman, FrancisGo to Vol 1|Go to Vol 2

Francis Parkman may have been America’s most famous historian in the 19th century, and is still well-known for books on the Oregon Trail and the French in North America. He is also still highly regarded for his prose, although there is less consensus about the quality of his historical interpretation. Historian C. Van Woodward wrote that “…Modern sensibilities will be nettled by his casual stereotypes of national character and by the sharp distinction he draws between “civilization” and “savagery”.” (Foreword to Parkman’s Montcalm and Wolfe: The French and Indian War, p. xxx.)

Pontiac’s Conspiracy, Siege of Detroit

Pontiac’s Siege of Detroit

Detroit: Wayne University 1951
Peckham, Howard H.Go to Book

A 20-page narrative of events.

Siege of Detroit, Pontiac’s Conspiracy

Official Report, made by the Commanding Officer, Mr. Dubuisson…

Detroit: Harsha & Willcox 1845
Renaud Dubuisson, Jacques-CharlesGo to Book

(title continued) “…to the Governor General of Canada, of the war which took place at Detroit, in 1712, between the French and their allies, and the Ottagamie and Mascoutins Indians”

Detroit History, Indians of North America-Wars


Revolutionary War

Narrative of Mr. John Dodge during his Captivity at Detroit

Cedar Rapids: Torch 1909
Burton, Clarence Monroe, ed. Go to Book

Reproduced in Facsimile from the second edition of 1780 with an introductory note by Clarence Monroe Burton.
Dodge was a trader living in Detroit who was made a prisoner during the American revolution by the British commander of Detroit, Lieutenant Governor Henry Hamilton. His narrative describes the inhuman treatment of prisoners at Detroit. Hamilton, who fueled Indian attacks on American settlers with generous bounties for scalps, was later brought before a grand jury in Montreal for executing a Frenchman for theft.

Indian captivities, United States history, Revolutionary War, Detroit history


War of 1812

Historical Memoranda of the Territory of Michigan

Detroit 1904
Burton, Clarence Monroe, ed.Go to Book

This is a reprint of a long 1819 article from the weekly “Detroit Gazette”. It was intended as a history of Michigan territory, but most of the article relates to Michigan’s military history during the War of 1812.

War of 1812

A Journal, containing an accurate and interesting account of the hardships, sufferings, battles, defeat, and captivity of those heroic Kentucky volunteers and regulars…

Philadelphia: Lippincott 1854
Darnell, Elias Go to Book

(title continued)”… commanded by General Winchester, in the years 1812-13. Also, two narratives by men that were wounded in the battles on the River Raisin and taken captive by the Indians”

The battle of River Raisin in January 1813, also known as the Battle of Frenchtown, took place at the present-day town of Monroe. It was the biggest engagement of the War of 1812 in Michigan.

Darnell’s narrative begins when his Kentucky regiment prepared in August 1812 to cross the Ohio River and join the army of General Hull in Detroit. Their orders soon changed, and the regiment was in the Northwest marching, pursuing minor actions against the Indians or in camp until the mid-January Battle of the River Raisin. This is a very interesting chronological description of about 80 pages written from the point of view of an ordinary soldier, describing the hardships of military life, the battle itself, and Darnell’s subsequent experience as a prisoner.

The other two narratives are fairly brief; about 10 pages each. Mallary and Davenport were both wounded during the battle, and afterward were separately carried off the field and made prisoners of the Indians. Each of their stories are entirely concerned with their adventures as prisoners after the battle.

See the resources on this site for: The War of 1812

For U.S. history of the War of 1812, see also on this site: Babcock, Kendric Charles, The Rise of American Nationality 1811-1819 in Section 973.5 on U.S. History; Constitutional Period to 1845

War of 1812, Battle of River Raisin, Personal narratives

“Battle and Massacre at Frenchtown, Michigan, January, 1813”

Historical Collections Vol 22, 1894, 436-443

Lansing: Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society 1894
Dudley, Thomas P. Go to Article

The Battle of Frenchtown was also known as the Battle of the River Raisin, and was fought in present-day Monroe. This article is in a pamphlet with several other articles, and page numbers are confusing. Go to the first page #2, and then go to the previous page.

This is an article that begins with an account of the battle, which is mainly in the third person and reflects the author’s presence there as well as a reading knowledge of the battle. When the battle is over, Dudley switches to a first-person account of his experiences after being wounded and taken prisoner by Indians.

See the resources on this site for: The War of 1812

War of 1812, Battle of River Raisin, Personal narratives

Military History in Michigan

A Chapter of the History of the War of 1812 in the Northwest…

Cincinnati: Miami 1872
Hatch, William StanleyGo to Book

(title continued) “Embracing the surrender of the northwestern army and fort, at Detroit, August 16, 1812; with a description and biographical sketch of the celebrated Indian chief Tecumseh”

This is essentially two books. The first, of about 87 pages, is a very well-written account of military events surrounding the surrender at Detroit. The author was present as a volunteer in the Cincinnati Light infantry, and claims that as acting assistant quartermaster he was in close contact with the officers and heard their discussions and reactions throughout. It was written as a first-person narrative, but his intervening research on the topic enabled him to fill in details he did not witness.
The second half of the volume is the biographical sketch of Tecumseh. The author claims to have had considerable familiarity with Indians in the region, and treats Tecumseh and the Shawnees with great respect.

See the resources on this site for: The War of 1812

For U.S. history of the War of 1812, see also on this site: Babcock, Kendric Charles, The Rise of American Nationality 1811-1819 in Section 973.5 on U.S. History; Constitutional Period to 1845

War of 1812, Old Northwest, Detroit history, Shawnee chief Tecumseh

Hull’s Surrender of Detroit

Philadelphia: Potter 1875
Lossing, Benson J.Go to Book

A 20-page historical article.

See the resources on this site for: The War of 1812

For U.S. history of the War of 1812, see also on this site: Babcock, Kendric Charles, The Rise of American Nationality 1811-1819 in Section 973.5 on U.S. History; Constitutional Period to 1845

War of 1812, Old Northwest, Surrender of Detroit

The Robert Lucas Journal of the War of 1812 during the Campaign under General William Hull

Iowa City: State Historical Society of Iowa 1906
Parish, John C., ed. Go to Book

By the time war broke out in 1812 Robert Lucas had risen to Brigadier General of the Ohio Militia, and had been tendered appointment in April 1812 as a Captain in the regular army of the United States. A few days afterward there was a call for volunteers, and, instead of waiting for his officer appointment to be formalized, he enlisted as a Private in a volunteer company commanded by his brother. The journal records the campaign from April 25 to August 16, 1812, when Detroit was surrendered. Lucas served as a scout, guide and ranger, and these duties enabled him to be familiar with many facets of the campaign.

Incidentally, twenty years later Lucas was elected Governor of the State of Ohio.

See the resources on this site for: The War of 1812

For U.S. history of the War of 1812, see also on this site: Babcock, Kendric Charles, The Rise of American Nationality 1811-1819 in Section 973.5 on U.S. History; Constitutional Period to 1845

War of 1812, Old Northwest, Detroit history, Personal Narrative

War on the Detroit: The Chronicles of Thomas Vercheres de Boucherville and The Capitulation by an Ohio Volunteer

Chicago: Lakeside Press 1940
Quaife, Milo Milton, ed.Go to Book

Thomas Vercheres’ very literate journal begins with his arrival in Canada in 1803 as a newly hired employee of the New Northwest company and his journey to Sault Ste. Marie. The second reprint in the volume was originally published in 1812 as The Capitulation, or A History of the Expedition Conducted by William Hull, Brigadier-General of the Northwestern Army.

War of 1812, Detroit history, Surrender of Detroit, Personal Narrative, General William Hull


Mexican War

“Michigan Soldiers in Mexico”

Historical Collections Vol 7, 1886, 112-121

Lansing: Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society
Toll, Col. Isaac D.Go to Article

(title continued) ” …Outline of the March of the 15th U.S. Infantry from Vera Cruz to the City of Mexico, 1847 “



Civil War

Michigan Men in the Civil War

Ann Arbor: University of Michigan 1959-196?
Brown, Ida Cecilia 1st Volume|Supplement 1|Supplement 2|4th Volume

In 1959 the Michigan Historical Collections at University of Michigan published its bulletin #9 entitled “Michigan Men in the Civil War”, which described the institution’s rich manuscript collections relating to Michigan citizens who served in the Civil War. In 1960 and 1966 two supplements were published, adding descriptions of additional material in the collection. Finally, the fourth volume, which is essentially a third supplement, was published in 1977.

American Civil War, Regimental histories

Four Years Campaigning in the Army of the Potomac

Grand Rapids: Dygert 1874
Crotty, Daniel G.Go to Book

Sergeant Crotty served in the Third Michigan Volunteer Infantry, and gives a lively account of his experiences from his enlistment in June 1861 through the end of the Civil War and his return to Michigan.

For histories of the Civil War, see also on this site: Section 973.7 Civil War on U.S. History; 1845 through the Civil War

American Civil War, Regimental histories, Army of the Potomac, 3rd Michigan Infantry Regiment

Military History in Michigan

History of the Twenty-fourth Michigan of the Iron Brigade

Detroit: Winn & Hammond 1891
Curtis, O. B.Go to Book

American Civil War, Regimental histories, 24th Michigan Infantry Regiment

Regimental Publications & Personal Narratives of the Civil War: A Checklist. Vol. 1, Part 6 – Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin

NY: New York Public Library 1961-1972
Dornbusch, Charles EmilGo to Book

This is Part 6 of a 7-part work, which covers Civil War histories of 17 participating northern states. Part 6 covers Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. According to the compiler’s Preface, every battery and regiment is listed, and arranged numerically by arm of service – Artillery, Cavalry and Infantry. Any publications that could be associated with a particular battery or regiment are listed under that unit, including regimental histories, personal narratives, reunion proceedings, unit rosters and even sermons preached at soldiers’ funerals. Personal narratives by individuals who served under more than one unit are found under the unit of their first service.

Many or most of these articles and books are likely available online, free. For assistance in finding these, see our blog post Searching for eBooks.

For histories of the Civil War, see also on this site: Section 973.7 Civil War on U.S. History; 1845 through the Civil War

For biographies of Civil War Generals, see:
– Grant, F. D., ed., Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant in Century Past Biographies: G & H
;
White, Henry Alexander, Robert E. Lee and the Southern Confederacy, 1807-1870 in Century Past Biographies: I, J, K & L;
Sherman, William Tecumseh, Personal Memoirs in Century Past Biographies: S;
Johnston, Robert M., Leading American Soldiers in Century Past Collective Biography G – P;
Bradford, Gamaliel, Confederate portraits in Century Past Collective Biography A – F;
Bradford, Gamaliel, Union portraits in Century Past Collective Biography A – F

Civil War regimental histories, Civil War personal narratives

Personal Reminiscences of Samuel Harris

Chicago: Rogerson 1897
Harris, SamuelGo to Book

Harris, a native of Rochester, Michigan, helped raise a company of Cavalry there in 1862 and served in it as 1st Lieutenant through the remainder of the Civil War.

American Civil War, Regimental histories, Soldiers, Michigan-Rochester

A Soldier’s Diary; The Story of a Volunteer, 1862-1865

1905
Lane, DavidGo to Book

Lane enlisted in August 1862 and was assigned to the 17th Regiment of Michigan Volunteer Infantry. This literate account of his Civil War experiences, mostly in campaigns in Virginia, runs through April 1865.

American Civil War, Regimental histories, 17th Michigan Infantry Regiment, Soldiers

Personal and Historical Sketches and Facial History of and by Members of the Seventh Regiment Michigan Volunteer Cavalry, 1862-1865

Detroit: 7th Michigan Cavalry Association 1902?
Lee, William O.Go to Book

The Seventh Michigan Cavalry was one of four brigades making up the Michigan Cavalry Brigade. Brigadier General George A. Custer, later of Little Big Horn fame, assumed command of the brigade enroute to Gettysburg in 1863, where it played a key role. The Michigan Cavalry Brigade, according to the Introduction, sustained the highest losses of any mounted brigade at Gettysburg, and the highest rate killed of any mounted brigade throughout the war.

American Civil War, Regimental histories, 7th Michigan Cavalry Regiment, Soldiers

Record of Michigan Volunteers in the Civil War, 1861-1865

Kalamazoo: State of Michigan 1900
Michigan Adjutant General, comp.Go to Book

All 46 volumes are at this link. Start the search for a particular service-member in Alphabetical General Index to Public Library Sets of 85,271 Names of Michigan Soldiers and Sailors Individual Records, on this web page below, where you’ll find the right volume and page in this set.

Michigan Adjutant-General’s Department, American Civil War, Soldiers

Michigan in the War

Lansing: State of Michigan 1882
Michigan Adjutant General, comp.Go to Book

This is a one-volume report compiled from reports in the Michigan Adjutant General’s office and ” … on file in the War Department at Washington, of the services of Michigan regiments, batteries, and companies in the late war [Civil War].”

American Civil War, Regimental histories, Militia

Alphabetical General Index to Public Library Sets of 85,271 Names of Michigan Soldiers and Sailors Individual Records

Lansing: State of Michigan 1915
Michigan Secretary of StateGo to Book

This alphabetical index indicates the company and regiment of each individual veteran, and shows where to find his entry in the Record of Michigan Volunteers in the Civil War, 1861-1865, also found on this web page.

Reports produced by state Adjutant Generals on the service of soldiers and units in the Civil War were far from perfect reflections of their records. The excellent “Introductory” (page 5) explains why this was so.

American Civil War, Regimental histories, Militia, Registers

Andersonville Diary; Escape and List of the Dead

Librivox
Ransom, John L.Go to Audio Book

John L. Ransom was the quartermaster of Company A, 9th Michigan Volunteer Cavalry during the American Civil War and a Union prisoner in the infamous Confederate prison at Andersonville, Georgia. This is his diary which he published some few years after the end of the Civil War. The Andersonville prison was overcrowded to four times its capacity, with inadequate water supply, reduction in food rations, and unsanitary conditions. Of the approximately 45,000 Union prisoners held at Andersonville’s Camp Sumter during the war, nearly 13,000 men died.

American Civil War, Andersonville Prison, Georgia-Andersonville, Military prisons, Prisoners of war

History of the Services of the First Regiment Michigan Engineers and Mechanics During the Civil War, 1861-1865

Grand Rapids: 1921
Sligh, Charles R.Go to Book

American Civil War, Regimental histories, 1st Michigan Engineers and Mechanics Regiment

A Hundred Battles in the West: St. Louis to Atlanta, 1861-65, the Second Michigan Cavalry

Detroit: Thatcher 1884
Thatcher, Marshall P., CaptainGo to Book

Subtitle: “with the armies of the Mississippi, Ohio, Kentucky and Cumberland, under Generals Halleck, Sherman, Pope, Rosecrans, Thomas and others; with mention of a few of the famous regiments and brigades of the West”

American Civil War, Regimental histories, 2nd Michigan Cavalry Regiment

The Story of the Twenty-fifth Michigan

Kalamazoo: Kalamazoo 1897
Travis, Benjamin F. (Lt.)Go to Book

Civil War history of an infantry regiment.

American Civil War, Regimental histories, 25th Michigan Infantry Regiment

A Brief History of the Tenth Michigan Cavalry

Detroit: Friesema Brothers 1905
Trowbridge, L. S. (General)Go to Book

(title continued) ” … together with half-tones of the photographs of all its officers, from its organization to its muster out, and a map showing the theater of its active operations”

American Civil War, Regimental histories, 10th Michigan Cavalry Regiment


World War 1 and After

Michigan’s Polar Bears; The American Expedition to North Russia 1918-1919

Ann Arbor: University of Michigan 1965
Doolen, Richard M.Go to Book

The author made use of a large collection of resources collected by the University of Michigan and described in The Polar Bear Expedition: American Intervention in Northern Russia, 1918-1919; A Guide to the Resources in the Michigan Historical Collections, found on the Michigan Documents and Collections page of this site.

World War (1914-1918), Russia (Federation)-Arkhangel’sk, Regimental histories, 339th Infantry

Michigan State Troops

Lansing: Michigan State Troops 1947
Michigan State TroopsGo to Book

Established in 1940 to take the place of Nation guard units that were transferred to federal service, about 6,000 troops were organized for home service. This volume has brief histories for each of the units that were stationed in various places around the State of Michigan.


To receive links to free history articles and resources every day in your Twitter or Facebook feeds, follow:

Century Past History (Twitter)

History of the Great Lakes States (Facebook)


Your comments and feedback are welcome!