Michigan in the Civil War

Browse by Name: McCreery, William B.

McCreery family

William M. Fenton, from the family papers

The McCreery and Fenton families were prominent Genesee County, Mich., residents some of whose members distinguished themselves in local and state government, as soldiers during the Civil War, and in the United States diplomatic service.

William M. Fenton series:

William M. Fenton (1808-1871), for whom the city of Fenton, Mich., was named, was a lawyer, state senator (1846), lieutenant governor (1848, re-elected 1850), mayor of Flint (1858), and Democratic candidate for governor (1864). During the Civil War, although in his fifties, Fenton raised some of the first troops in the state. His initial appointment was as major in the 7th Michigan Infantry. He later transferred to command of the 8th Michigan Infantry. In 1863, he was discharged with the rank of colonel.The William M. Fenton series of the collection includes a record book of the 8th Michigan Infantry (Aug. 1861-Mar. 1863) official correspondence, orders, and rosters of the regiment, Fenton's reminiscence of the 1863 South Carolina expedition (typescript only), and letters and a diary of a number of soldiers:

Horatio Belcher, from Wells B. Fox,
What I Remember of the Great Rebellion.
Lansing, Mich., 1892.

Horatio Belcher, captain, of the 8th Michigan Infantry. A diary (Aug. 11-31, 1862) of the campaign around the second battle of Bull Run.

William E. Christian, of Genesee County, Mich. One letter (Aug. 8, 1861) regarding a commission. Christian served in Company G, 8th Michigan Infantry.

Richard N. Doyle, of Greeneville, Mich. He served in Company H, 8th Michigan Infantry. Three letters (Dec. 3, 1862 and Aug. 11 and Oct. 24, 1863).

Ralph Ely, from Wells B. Fox, What I
Remember of the Great Rebellion.
Lansing, Mich., 1892.

Ralph Ely, of Alma, Mich., colonel commanding the 8th Michigan Infantry. Two letters (June 1 and Sept. 17, 1863).

Asa Gregory, of Flint, Mich. One letter (June 19, 1861) regarding a commission. Gregory served as first lieutenant and quartermaster in the 8th Michigan Infantry.

David E. Harbaugh. One letter (Sept. 11, 1861) regarding a commission. He served as first lieutenant and adjutant in the 8th Michigan Infantry.

William Humphrey, of Adrian, Mich., colonel of the 2nd Michigan Infantry. One letter (Mar. 1, 1864).

Edward Marine. One letter (May 15, 1861) regarding a commission. His unit has not been identified.

Charles H. McCreery,
from the family papers

Charles H. McCreery, of Flint, Mich., captain, of Company F, 8th Michigan Infantry. Typescripts of one letter (May 20, 1864) and a Civil War reminiscence (written 1867).

William Wheeler, of Genesee County, Mich., He served in Company G, 8th Michigan Infantry. One letter (Dec. 28, 1864).

William H Withington, of Jackson, Mich., colonel of the 17th Michigan Infantry. One letter (Apr. 16, 1863) regarding Fenton's resignation.

William B. McCreery series:

William B. McCreery (center)
with two unidentified
sergeants,
from the family papers

Fenton's son-in-law, William B. McCreery (1836-1896), also served in the Civil War. As colonel in the 21st Michigan Infantry, McCreery was wounded and captured at the Battle of Chickamauga and imprisoned for a time at Libby Prison, but escape with others through the famous tunnel. After the war, he became involved in public service.

The William B. McCreery series of the collection includes orders and official correspondence of the 21st Michigan Infantry, two letters from McCreery (Aug. 6, 1862 and June 21, 1864), and letters from several other soldiers:

John Avery, of Otisco, Mich., surgeon of the 21st Michigan Infantry. One letter (Oct. 12, 1864).

Seymour Chase, of Cannonsburg, Mich., major commanding the 21st Michigan Infantry. One letter (Oct. 15, 1863) from Chattanooga describing McCreery's capture.

Emil Flaten, of Saginaw County, Mich. One letter (Dec. 17, 1861) from Washington, D.C. Flaten served in Company H, 2nd Michigan Infantry.

Dr. C. C. Jackson. One letter (Sept. 12, 1864) from Lookout Mountain. His unit has not been identified.

Charles H. McCreery, captain, of the 8th Michigan Infantry. One letter (Dec. 6, 1864), from outside Petersburg, Va.

Orlando B. Willcox, from Byron M.
Cutcheon, Story of the
Twentieth Michigan Infantry. Lansing, Mich.,
1904.

Orlando B. Willcox, general commanding the 9th Army Corps. One letter (Apr. 3, 1864).

Reuben McCreery series:

The Reuben McCreery series of the collection contains one letter (Oct. 14, 1863) from Allen B. Morse, of Ionia, Mich., lieutenant, of the 21st Michigan Infantry, describing William McCreery's capture, and one letter (Oct. 28, 1863) from McCreery in Libby Prison to his father.

Ada Fenton McCreery series:

The Ada Fenton McCreery series of the collection contains six letters (Apr. 30, 1862-July 12, 1863 and July 1, 1864) from William McCreery to his wife.

This collection is available on microfilm for interlibrary loan.

Finding aid available online