Traverse City Record-Eagle


April 10, 2011

GT County during the Civil War

• 1854: Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which allowed settlers of new territories to vote on whether to allow slavery within their boundaries. It repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820 that banned slavery in all states except Missouri above an imaginary line across the country at the latitude of 36 degrees 30 minutes north. The nation started down path to disunion.

• 1860: Abraham Lincoln elected president on Nov. 6. South Carolina seceded on Dec. 20.

• 1861: Jan. 9—Feb. 1: Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas seceded before Lincoln took office.

• Jan. 29: Kansas was admitted as a state with a constitution banning slavery.

• March 4: Abraham Lincoln inaugurated as the nation's 16th president.

• April 12: Confederates bombarded Fort Sumter in South Carolina and federal forces surrendered.

• April 15: Lincoln declared a state of insurrection and called for 75,000 volunteers to enlist for three months. Michigan was the first "western" state to respond.

• May 13: The 1st Michigan Infantry Regiment of 798 men left for Washington, D.C., and marched past the White House three days later.

• April 17—May 20: Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina seceded from the Union and formed an 11-state Confederacy with a population of 9 million, including nearly 4 million slaves. The Union had 21 states and a population of more than 20 million.

• April 20: Col. Robert E. Lee resigned his commission in the United States Army.

• May 24: Union troops crossed the Potomac River from Washington and captured Alexandria, Va.

• May 29: Richmond became the capital of the Confederacy.

• Sept. 13: Thirteen volunteers from Northport, Traverse City, Leelanau and Centerville left for training.

• August 1862: Francis Zachary Fowler became "The First Martyr From Grand Traverse County to the Slaveholders' Rebellion" in the Second Battle of Bull Run.

Sixty recruits from Grand Traverse and Manistee counties left for Ionia to join Capt. L. Edwin Knapp's "Lake Shore Tigers," which became part of Company A in the 26th Michigan Infantry. Within a year: Sgt. William H. Voice, of Leelanau, died in camp at Jackson on Sept. 22, 1862; P.D. Greenman, of Whitewater, at Fairfax, Va., on March 27, 1863; and George Moody, of Whitewater, at Yorktown, Va., on July 15, 1863.

• Summer 1863: Area volunteer enlistments lagged. Lt. Edwin J. Brooks, of Northport, recruited in area for the 10th Calvary. Traverse Township offered the first bonus of $50. By fall, Grant Traverse still needed to raise 11 men. County offered $1,000 for first 11 men to volunteer. Recruiting continues through winter.

Lt. Garrett Graveraet, of Little Traverse (Harbor Springs), helped recruit northwestern Michigan American Indians into the all-Indian Company K of the new 1st Michigan Sharp Shooters regiment, created by the Legislature as counties found it difficult to fill troop quotas and recruits who shot straight. State lawmakers began to see Indians as excellent marksmen and warriors and changed recruiting laws.

• March 2, 1864: Forty-two volunteers from Traverse, Peninsula and Centerville townships left. Many became part of the 14th Michigan Infantry Regiment and entered active duty near Nashville, Tenn. Recruit Myron A. Moody, of Whitewater, died in a Grand Rapids hospital on March 26, 1864.

• June 10: A draft was held June 10 in Grand Rapids for Whitewater, Elk Rapids, Milton, Centerville, Glen Arbor and Leelanau. A call for 23 men was issued. Some townships raised bounty to $600. The quota was quickly met and men left.

• July 1: Graveraet, a Company K officer, died of infection in a Washington hospital after his arm was shattered and amputated during battle near Petersburg.

• March 1865: Lincoln gave his second inaugural address.

• April 2: Richmond, the Confederate capital, fell.

• April 9: Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered.

• April 14: President Abraham Lincoln assassinated.

• 1867: From 1867 to almost the turn of the century, the Grand Traverse Herald included a phrase from Lincoln's second inaugural address in its masthead: "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right — Lincoln."

Sources: "A History of the Grand Traverse Region," Dr. M.L. Leach, Grand Traverse Herald, 1883; "Michigan: A History of the Wolverine State," Willis F. Dunbar & George S. May, Third Edition; Smithsonian Institution; Grand Traverse Herald 1861-1865; "Supper In the Evening," Al Barnes; "These Men Have Seen Hard Service: The First Michigan Sharpshooters in the Civil War."

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