Michigan in the Civil War

Stevens, William Collin, 1837-1921.

Correspondence (1861-1865) between Stevens and members of his family while he was serving as first lieutenant in Company G, 3rd Michigan Cavalry, and captain and major in the 9th Michigan Cavalry. Stevens and his father discuss the war and politics as well as home affairs. There are good accounts of camp life, foraging parties, marches, skirmishes, and battles with the Army of the Tennessee. There are descriptions of the siege and surrender of Atlanta; the destruction of roads and railroads; his duties at Hendersonville at the close of the war until civil law could be established; and his relationship with the people he met. Stevens was from Northfield, Mich. After the war he graduated from the University of Michigan Law School, and from 1883-1887 was Auditor General of Michigan.

The collection contains letters from five other soldiers:

W. N. Barrett, possibly a Confederate soldier, but no definite identification has been made. One letter (Sept. 1861) from Camp Reynolds in Iuka, Miss., to his "dear girl."

William Fleming Breakey, of Ann Arbor, Mich. Five letters (May 1862)describing a journey from Chicago to the camp of the 3rd Michigan Cavalry in Tennessee. One letter (Sept. 5, 1862) written from "Halls Hill," Va., to his father-in-law, William Stevens. He describes mail call in camp; the second battle of Bull Run or Manassas, the confused and disorganized retreat to Centreville, and the great loss of life. Breakey was with the 16th Michigan Infantry as assistant surgeon (1862-1864). He became a professor in the University of Michigan Medical School.

Daniel M. Caldwell, of Pontiac, Mich. A letter (June 2, 1864) from Little Rock, Ark., to William Stevens. He expresses his opinion and interpretation of governmental and military affairs in Arkansas; characterizes the people of the area and General Steele; gives news of the men in his regiment and of the duties they are performing. Caldwell was in Company G, 3rd Michigan Cavalry, rising from second lieutenant to captain, 1861-1864.

James I. David, of Trenton, Mich. A letter (Feb. 22, 1864) written to Governor Blair in praise of Captain William C. Stevens. David entered the service as quartermaster in Company K, 1st Michigan Cavalry, and became colonel in the 9th Michigan Cavalry, 1861-1863.

Francis W. Kellogg, colonel of the 3rd Michigan Cavalry, 1861-1862. One letter (Aug. 24, 1861) from the cavalry's headquarters in Grand Rapids, Mich.

This collection is available on microfilm for interlibrary loan.