These Men Have Seen Hard Service recounts the fascinating history of one outstanding Michigan regiment during the Civil War. A compelling political, social, ethnic, and military drama, this book examines the lives of the 1300 men of the First Michigan Sharpshooters for the first time, beginning with the regiment's inception and extending through post-war activities until the death of the last rifleman in 1946. Beyond presenting numerous anecdotes about the men and officers and their contributions during the war, Raymond Herek provides insight into the medical community of the time, the draft, other commands in the same division, the politics endemic in raising a regiment, and Michigan's Native American contingent. The extensive appendices will be of particular use to genealogists, Civil War enthusiasts, and historians, because they list the men in the regiment, and also battle and camp casualties.
About the Author
Raymond J. Herek is chair of the social studies department at Alcona Community High School where he teaches history and English. He also teaches history at Alpena Community College and has published widely on the subject of military and regional history.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Real stories about real people who are brought back to life through the words of this author. After reading the book, I felt like I knew each of these brave men personnally. I could not have done what they did and I have a new respect for those that live through any war. Some of these people could very well be ancestors to many of us that live in Michigan and that no one told us about. EXCELLENT READING!
Relying on journals, Michigan State Archives and the National Archives, the author conducts some original research to cover the inception of the 1st MSS from Col. Deland's earlier service in the Union Army as a Captain and the formation of the 1st MSS. While highly drilled and trained for skirmishing, the 1st MSS saw active service only during the final year of the war. Prior to that, they guarded a POW camp and was briefly detailed to contain Mosby's Raiders. When the 1st MSS did become part of the Army of Potomac, it suffered greivous losses as did many other regiments. However, it earned for itself a reputation of being a hardfighting and dependable regiment. Perhaps one of the most interesting companies was Company K which was composed of Native Americans. The Indians of Company K taught the rest of the regiments to fundamentals of camouflage and of stalking. Prior to going into battle, they did not hesitate to 'roll in the dirt' or stuff leaves into their uniforms. Hunters from birth, they were naturally among the best shots in the regiment. As other regiments did not seek Indian recruits, it is quite possible that one of these soldiers met Wyman White (2nd USSS) and taught him to 'Make self like Corn.' The author performed a credible job of presenting the story of a regiment which is long forgotten and overshadowed by other units. It is a story well worth telling and well worth reading.