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Ink signed cdv of 1st Michigan Cavalry POW
Ink signed cdv of 1st Michigan Cavalry POW George L. Foster. Wear as shown.

$350.00 plus shipping

Residence Shiawassee County MI; 18 years old.

Enlisted on 8/22/1861 at Detroit, MI as a Private.

On 9/4/1861 he mustered into "C" Co. MI 1st Cavalry He was discharged on 8/22/1864 He was listed as: * POW 2/14/1863 Brentsville, VA Intra Regimental Company Transfers: * 3/6/1864 from company C to company H

The regiment left the state Sept. 29, 1861, for Washington, D. C., and went into camp at Frederick, Md., where it remained several months.

The First comprised a part of General Banks' forces and in February, 1862, moved to Harper's Ferry and later entered the Shenandoah Valley, advancing as far as Winchester, pushing the confederates before them.

The First distinguished itself in many skirmishes while advancing up the valley and companies and detachments made a number of brilliant charges which attracted the attention of General Banks and received from him complimentary mention in orders.

General Banks had too small a force to hold his advanced position and the confederates planned to get in his rear and overwhelm him in front and flank and capture his command. Banks fell back to Martinsburg and continued to Williamsport, fighting most of the way, as the confederates had succeeded in getting between him and Williamsport and at the same time pressed his rear guard with forces that outnumbered the Union troops. In this trying movement the First Cavalry did splendid work and only retired from the difficult position held when greatly outnumbered by the enemy.

The First remained at Williamsport until June 12, when it took part in General Pope's Virginia campaign. It was in General Banks' command when he fought the battle of Cedar Mountain, July 16, where he was badly defeated.

The First was engaged at Manassas Aug. 30, suffering severely in that battle, the brave and chivalrous Colonel Brodhead being among the mortally wounded.

The regiment during the early months of 1863 was assigned to duty in front of the defenses at Washington and held a long line, making the work arduous and exacting and requiring the regiment to be alert night and day. During this period it had several skirmishes with the enemy, losing a number in killed and wounded.

The First, in command of Colonel Town, was assigned to the famous Michigan Cavalry Brigade, consisting of the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Cavalry, and served with the brigade until the close of the war.

The brigade was in command of General Custer in June, 1863, during the Pennsylvania campaign and in July the First was with the brigade at Gettysburg and made a saber charge upon Hampton's brigade of confederate cavalry, one of the most desperate as well as brilliant charges of the war. The First drove a whole brigade in confusion from the field and turned what appeared to be a defeat of the Union forces into a complete victory. The regiment lost at Gettysburg 11 officers and 80 men killed, wounded or missing.

On the fourth of July one squadron of the First, under Colonel Stagg, charged the enemy at Fairfield Gap, driving the confederates out and holding it until the entire column passed. Two officers were killed and 17 men were killed or wounded in this charge.

The fourteenth of July the First took part in the severe engagement at Falling Waters, where the Cavalry brigade captured 500 prisoners, one gun, three battle flags and a large quantity of small arms. The First captured two of the battle flags, one major and 70 men, who surrendered to Sergeants Alfonso Chilson and James B. Lyon.

The regiment returned to Virginia and was constantly on duty with the brigade, meeting the enemy at many places, and was at James City in October. Here Kilpatrick's division, of which the Michigan Brigade formed a part, was attacked by the enemy under Fitz Hugh Lee and a desperate battle ensued. Custer's brigade was surrounded and he determined to cut his way out with the saber.

The First and Fifth regiments were formed in column of battalions, ordered to draw sabers and, while the band played "Yankee Doodle," went forward at a full gallop, scattering the foe in their front, and afterward secured a place of safety for the whole command.

Nov. 19 the First met the enemy at Buckland's Mills in a severe engagement and at Morton's Ford on the 26th.

In December 370 of the First Cavalry re-enlisted and went home to Michigan on a thirty-day furlough.

In February, 1864, General Kilpatrick started on a raid to Richmond, taking with him the members of the First who did not re-enlist, and they shared all the vicissitudes, dangers and hardships of the raid, actually going over the first line of works at Richmond, but were unable to go further and returned to the army after severe fighting and many losses.

The First, after the term of veteran furlough, reassembled at Camp Stoneman, D. C., March 1, 1864, and was joined by a battalion of newly organized troops that had been recruited the previous December. May 5th it crossed the Rapidan and entered upon the campaign of 1864.

The First was among the forces commanded by General Sheridan in his celebrated raid in the rear of Lee's army and took part in the severe engagements that were fought both in the advance upon Richmond and the return. Major Brewer, with one battalion of the First, charged the enemy conducting 400 Union prisoners to Richmond and re-captured all of them.

On the eleventh the enemy's forces under General J. E. B. Stuart's command was encountered at Yellow Tavern and a sanguinary encounter took place. While the balance of the brigade was confronting the enemy the First was formed in column for a charge. It moved forward under Lieutenant Colonel Stagg, meeting a severe fire of grape and canister from a battery concealed on the right, but, nothing daunted, the regiment advanced with cheers and yells, though it had to cross five fences and a narrow bridge.

The men rode straight for the battery and captured it with a large number of prisoners. The confederate forces were completely routed and the greatest cavalry commander of the confederacy, J. E. B. Stuart, was mortally wounded and died in Richmond shortly afterward. General Sheridan found the city of Richmond too strongly fortified to be taken by assault and marched by the way of Gaines' Mills and rejoined the Army of the Potomac.

The First, with the balance of the brigade, took part in the severe engagement at Hawes' Shop May 28, where the battle raged for hours with great fury, each side obstinately contending every inch of ground. The country was wooded and the fighting was necessarily on foot and the loss on both sides was heavy. The enemy was completely defeated, but the victory was won at great sacrifice of life.

May 31 the First was at Cold Harbor and during a spirited engagement with infantry, artillery and cavalry Major Brewer of the First made a saber charge upon the enemy and broke his line, when the confederates threw down their arms and fled, leaving their dead and wounded on the field.

This position was an important one and orders were received to hold it at all hazards and the troops of the Michigan Cavalry Brigade slept on their arms during the night. Soon after daybreak that portion of the line held by the First Michigan was attacked by a large force of the enemy, which was repulsed. During this attack Captain Brevoort, one of the most gallant officers in the command, was killed and Captain William B. Heazlitt was wounded. The cavalry held this line until near noon, when it was relieved by the Sixth Corps.

On June 2d the regiment moved toward the Chickahominy and encamped at Bottom's Bridge, where it remained until June 4th, when it moved to the old Church Tavern, thence on the fifth to Shedley's, near Hawes' Shop, and on the sixth to Newcastle Ferry. On the seventh the regiment crossed the Pamunkey river and marched about a mile beyond Aylett's, where it remained until the next morning and then moved to Henning creek and went into camp. On June 9th encamped at Young's Bridge and on the evening of the tenth arrived within three miles of Louisa Court House. On the 11th and 12th of June the regiment was engaged with the rest of the brigade in the battle of Trevillian Station, in which battle Captain Carr, Lieutenants Pulver and Warren of the regiment were killed and Captain Duggan and Lieutenant Bullock were wounded.

On the night of June 12th, when the brigade retreated, the first marched all night. On the twenty-eighth it crossed the James river.

The last of July the First was ordered to Washington to take part in the Shenandoah campaign under General Sheridan. It shared all the vicissitudes of the numerous battles that culminated in driving General Early and all confederate forces out of the valley. The campaign was a brilliant series of successes and the First maintained its most honorable record and was conspicuous for its gallantry in many of the decisive victories won. No brief or abridged history of a cavalry regiment can do justice to the officers and men of the organization, for it frequently is separated from its brigade and division and is required to plan its own advance and attack and the hazardous positions such a command often finds itself in requires the coolest judgment, a fertility of resources and the highest skill to extricate itself with honor and credit. To write the history of a cavalry regiment requires a daily memorandum, for its constant movements night and day and the detachments sent on perilous scouts cannot be covered by a brief statement of its campaigns.

In February, 1865, the First was a part of the forces under General Sheridan when he moved against the enemy's communications at Gordonsville and in March fought the confederate cavalry under General Rosser at Louisa Court House, defeating the enemy and destroying a large amount of public property. The First helped to destroy the locks, acqueducts and mills on the James river canal, the destruction of which was a serious embarrassment to General Lee. It returned to the White House after this successful raid March 19 and immediately took part in the momentous movement when the Army of the Potomac was swung around General Lee's right. It fought at Five Forks and clung close to the enemy during the memorable days of the pursuit of General Lee's army, everywhere striking hard blows that helped to deprive the enemy of his wagon trains and artillery, fighting desperately at Sailor's Creek, where the Michigan Brigade destroyed 400 wagons and captured sixteen guns and cut off General Ewell's corps from General Lee's army, when General Ewell and his corps of 6,000 surrendered.

After the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia, the First with its brigade was sent to North Carolina, but returned to Washington, where it took part in the grand review May 23.

The Michigan Brigade was at once ordered to proceed to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., thence to Fort Laramie, Wyoming Territory, where portions of each regiment were consolidated into a regiment designated as the "First Michigan Cavalry." The order assigning this brigade to duty in the West was a most unjust action, after its severe, long and honorable service in the East, and the officers and men endured great hardships in their campaign against the Indians in the far West. The matter was a subject of quite an acrimonious correspondence between Governor Crapo of Michigan and the War Department and Congress eventually made an appropriation to do partial justice to men who were mustered out in Utah with no means of reaching home.

The regiment was mustered out at Salt Lake City, Utah, March 10, 1866, where the men were paid and disbanded.

The regiment and brigade engaged the enemy at Winchester, Va., March 23, 1862; Middleton, Va., March 25, 1862; Strasburg, Va., March 27, 1862; Harrisonburg, Va., April 22, 1862; Winchester, Va., May 24, 1862; Orange Court House, Va., July 16, 1862; Cedar Mountain, Va., Aug. 9, 1862; Bull Run, second, Va., Aug. 30, 1862; Occouquan, Va., Feb., 1863; Thoroughfare Gap, Va., May 21, 1863; Greenwich, Va., May 30, 1863; Hanover, Va., June 30, 1863; Hunterstown, Pa., July 2, 1863; Gettysburg, Pa., July 3, 1863; Monterey, Md., July 4, 1863; Cavetown, Md., July 5, 1863; Smithton, Md., July 6, 1863; Boonsboro, Md., July 6, 1863; Hagerstown, Md., July 6, 1863; Williamsport, Md., July 6, 1863; Boonsboro, Md., July 8, 1863; Hagerstown, Md., July 10, 1863; Williamsport, Md., July 10, 1863; Falling Waters, Md., July 14, 1863; Snicker's Gap, Va., July 19, 1863; Kelly's Ford, Va., Sept. 13, 1863; Culpepper Court House, Va., Sept. 14, 1863; Raccoon Ford, Va., Sept. 16, 1863; White's Ford, Va., Sept. 21, 1863; Jack's Shop, Va., Sept. 26, 1863; James City, Va., Oct. 9, 10, 1863; Brandy Station, Va., Oct. 11, 1863; Buckland's Mills, Va., Oct. 19, 1863; Stevensburg, Va., Nov. 19, 1863; Morton's Ford, Va., Nov. 26, 1863; Richmond, Va., March 1, 1864; Wilderness, Va., May 6 and 7, 1864; Beaver Dam Station, Va., May 6, 1864; Yellow Tavern, Va., May 10 and 11, 1864; Meadow Bridge, Va., May 12, 1864; Milford, Va., May 27, 1864; Hawes' Shop, Va., May 28, 1864; Cold Harbor, Va., May 30 and June 1, 1864; Trevillian Station, Va., June 11 and 12, 1864; Cold Harbor, Va., July 21, 1864; Winchester, Va., Aug. 11, 1864; Leetown, Va., Aug. 25, 1864; Shepardstown, Va., Aug. 25, 1864; Smithfield, Va., Aug. 29, 1864; Berryville, Va., Sept. 3, 1864; Summit, Va., Sept. 4, 1864; Opequan, Va., Sept. 19, 1864; Winchester, Va., Sept. 19, 1864; Luray, Va., Sept. 24, 1864; Port Republic, Va., July 26, 27 and 28, 1864; Mt. Crawford, Va., Oct. 2, 1864; Woodstock, Va., Oct. 9, 1864; Cedar Creek, Va., Oct. 19, 1864; Madison Court House, Va., Dec. 24, 1864; Louisa Court House, Va., March 8, 1865; Five Forks, Va., March 30, 31 and April 1, 1865; South Side Railroad, Va., April 2, 1865; Duck Pond Mills, Va., April 4, 1865; Sailor's Creek, Va., April 6, 1865; Appomattox, Va., April 8 and 9, 1865; and Willow Springs, Dak., Aug. 12, 1865.

Total enrollment...........................................2490 Killed in action.............................................96 Missing in action............................................40 Died of wounds...............................................52 Died as prisoners of war.....................................58 Died of disease.............................................172 Drowned.......................................................2 Killed accidentally...........................................4 Killed by Indians.............................................1 Discharged for disability...................................209

Source: Record of Service of Michigan Volunteers 1861-65