The Sixteenth was organized at Detroit and was originally known as "Stockton's Independent Regiment" as it was organized by Colonel Thomas B.W. Stockton, Flint, but it was afterward given the numerical number of the Sixteenth. It was mustered into service Sept. 8, 1861 with an enrollment of 761 officers and men.The Regiment left Detroit for Washington, D.C., on Sept. 16, 1861 to join the Army of the Potomac. It went into camp at Hall's Hill, Va. for the winter of 1861-61.
In February of 1862 a company of marksmen was recruited at Detroit known as "Brady's Sharpshooters" named after a Frontier General. It was organized by Captain Kiniston .S. Dygert. Who had served under that General.
On the records of the adjutant General's office the company is designated as the first independent company of sharpshooters attached to the Sixteenth Infantry; however, they were more often alternately called "Brady's Sharpshooters" or " Dygert's Sharpshooters" and served with the Regiment until the close of the war.
The Sixteenth took part in the Peninsular Campaign under General McClellan and formed a part of the Third Brigade, First Division, Fifth Corps then commanded by Fitz John Porter, and remained a part of that Corps during its entire term of services.
The Regiment was at the Seige of Yorktown in April 1862 and participated in the engagement at Hanover Court House, Va., in May of 1862. June 27th it fought in one of the most desperate battles of the war at Gaines Mills, Va., where it gallantly contested with the Confederates for the possession of the field. The stubborn resistance by the Sixteenth is forcible illustrated by the casualties as the Regiment lost 3 officers and 46 men killed, 6 officers and 110 men wounded and 2 officers and 53 men missing. Colonel Stockton's horse was shot under him and he was taken prisoner and sent to Richmond, Va., where he remained until the following August before he was exchanged.
The Regiment, under command of Lieutenant Colonel Welch, was engaged at Malvern Hill, July 1, then on Aug. 30 participated in the battle of Manassas, where it was exposed to a destructive fire and gallantly fought heavy masses of Confederates with no thought of yielding the field. In this action the Sixteenth met with a loss of 3 officers and 13 men killed, 4 officers and 59 men wounded.
The Regiment, in command of Lieutenant Colonel Welch, Colonel Stockton having been exchanged and assigned to the command of a Brigade, entered upon the Maryland Campaign and was at Antietam, Md. though not engaged. Immediately after the battle the Sixteenth joined in the pursuit of the retreating Confederates and pushed them across the Potomac River into Virginia.
The Regiment was at Harpers Ferry, Nov. 1, and marched to the Rappahannock River, crossing at Falmouth and participated in the battle of Fredricksburg, where it met with considerable loss.
After a series of marches it was engaged at Chancellorsville and took an important part in that disastrous battle, but held the ground it was assigned to hold though repeatedly charged by the Southern forces.
At Middleburg, Va., June 21st, the Regiment fought a series of spirited engagements following and driving the Confederates for thirteen miles and went into camp at the close of the day's operations near Upperville. Colonel Stockton resigned May 8, 1863, and Lieutenant Colonel Welch was commissioned Colonel May 18, 1863. Under his command the Regiment entered upon the Pennsylvania Campaign and fought in the historic battle of Gettysburg adding a worldwide fame to its laurels in the defence of Little Round Top. This important position was considered by the commanders of both armies to be one of vital importance and was unoccupied until General Warren detached Vincent's Brigade, which was marching with its division to the support of Birney in the Peach Orchard.
The Sixteenth was in Vincent's Brigade and at once commenced the ascent of the rocky mount at the same time Hood's Texas troops commenced the ascent on the opposite side. With almost superhuman efforts Hazlett's battery was dragged by hand up the rugged side of Little Round Top. On the bare summit detached rocks were thrown together for protection against the storm of shot and shell that was crashing with awful destruction in and around the four regiments that had gained the eminence.
As the Confederates climbed by desperate methods toward the summit he was met in a hand to hand struggle with bayonet and clubbed muskets and a most terrible and bloody struggle took place.
Simultaneous volleys of musketry were poured into the faces of the assailants and assailed alike.
Hazlett's battery belched forth in a blaze of fire death laden shot and shell. When the fearful cry arose that the ammunition was exhausted, the grim and smoke blackened Union troops grasped their muskets and with flashing bayonets charged the foe down the rocky and torn side of the hill, driving them behind Devils Den, and the key to the battle line was saved for General Mead's Army.
No more desperate fighting occurred during the Civil War, nor was greater heroism shown on any field than was shown by the Union and Confederate troops who fought on that bloodsoaked hill.
After the battle of Gettysburg the Sixteenth crossed the mountains and started the pursuit of the Confederate army over the Potomac River at Berlin on the 17th. It was constantly on the march, skirmishing and fighting and participating in the different movements with the army of the Potomac. The months of August, September, October and during the year marched over 800 miles.
At Kelly's Ford on the Rappahanock River the Sixteenth demonstrated its gallantry again under fire and after capturing the Confederate works remained at the Ford until November 26.
In December 294 members of the Sixteenth re-enlisted and the Regiment returned to Michigan on veteran furlough. It reassembled at Saginaw and on the 17th of Feb., 1864, joined its Brigade in the army of the Potomac.
It was in winter quarters at Bealton Station, Va., until May 1 and the 6th and 7th of the same month participated in the battle of the Wilderness where it lost 35 Killed and wounded.
The Regiment participated in all the movements in this campaign with it's Corps, meeting the Confederates at Spottsyvania and at other places during the flanking operations of General Grant's army. Crossing and re-crossing the North Anna River and then marching rapidly upon Hanovertown.
A company of sharpshooters was recruited at Detroit and mustered into service May 3, 1864 and was known as "Jardine's Sharpshooters" as it was organized by Captain George Jardine and was designated as the Second company of sharpshooters attached to the Sixteenth.
In June the Regiment was constantly skirmishing with the Rebel forces and during the 2nd, 3rd and 4th was engaged at Bethesda Church. From this point it moved to Cold Harbor and crossed the Chickahominy River at Long Bridge. It crossed the James River Aug. 15, and took part in the Siege of Petersburg.
At Peebles Farm on September 30 the Regiment distinguished itself with the same gallantry that actuated its members at Gettysburg. In a charge upon the South's works the Sixteenth had the center of the line and Colonel Welch was one of the first to reach the entrenchments; but was instantly killed at the moment he mounted the parapet. The Regiment lost 10 killed and 42 wounded before the works were in the possession of the Union troops.
The Sixteenth took part in many of the movements of the Fifth Corps in the vicinity of Petersburg during the siege. February 7, 1865, it was engaged with the Confederates at Dabney's Mills and on March 25th at Hatchers Run, at White Oaks Swamp the 29th, at Quaker Road the 31st and at Five Forks April 1st. It followed the Confederate army when General Lee retreated from Richmond and came in contact with the Confederates frequently until the surrender at Appomattox Court House, on the April 9th.
In May the Regiment took up it's line of march for Washington, D.C. where it arrived on the 12th and participated in the Grand Review with the army of the Potomac on May 23. June 16th the Regiment was ordered to Louisville Ky., where it arrived on the 21st. It was mustered out of service at Jeffersonville, Ind., July 8 and returned to Michigan to arrive at Jackson on the 12th and was paid and disbanded July 25, 1865.
|White Oaks Swamp,VA||Hanover Court House,Va.||Turkey Bend,Va.|
|Malvern Hill,Va.||Harrisons Landing,Va.||Ely's Ford,Va.|
|Bull Run,Va.||Antietam,Md.||Shepardstown Ford,Va.|
|Snickers Gap,Va.||Fredricksburg,Va.||U.S. Ford,Va.|
|Brandy Station,Va.||Cross Roads,Va.||Rappahanock Station,Va.|
|Wilderness,Va.||Mine Run,Va.||Laurel Hill,Va.|
|Po River,Va.||Spottslyvania,Va.||Ny River,Va.|
|North Anna,Va.||Noel's Turn,Va.||Hanover,Va.|
|Tolopotomy,Va.||Magnolia Swamp,Va.||Bethesda Church,Va.|
|Cold Harbour,Va.||Gaine's Mills,Va.||Petersburg,Va.|
|Petersburg & Norfolk R.R.||Weldon Railroad,Va.||Peeble's Farm,Va.|
|Hatcher's Run,Va.||Dabney's Mill,Va.||White Oak Road,Va.|
|Quaker Road,Va.||Five Forks,Va.||Amelia Court House,Va.|
|High Bridge,Va.||Appomatox Court House,Va.|
Organized at Plymouth and Detroit, Mich., July to September, 1861.
Left State for Washington, D.C., September 16, 1861.
Attached to Butterfield's Brigade, Fitz John Porter's Division, Army of the Potomac to March, 1862.
3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 3rd Army Corps, Army of the Potomac to May, 1862.
3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 5th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to July 1865.
|Killed in Action||173|
|Died of Wounds||54|
|Died in Confederate Prisons||8|
|Died of Disease||104|
|Discharged from Wounds||211|
|Total Casualty Rate||25.1%|