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The only Michigan colored regiment in the war was the 102d U. S., raised by Col. Henry Barns, of Detroit, organized by Lieut. Col. W. T. Bennett, and in March, 1864, took the field in command of Colonel H. L. Chipman, then a captain in the regular army, who had procured a leave of absence for that purpose. The regiment first faced the enemy at Baldwin, Florida, in August following, where it was suddenly attacked by a force of rebel cavalry, which it easily repulsed and scattered, and by its splendid conduct on that occasion fully convinced its officers of the reliable and gallant fighting qualities of their men. But these qualities were more fully manifested at Honey Hill, S. C., on November 30th following, at Tillifinny December 7th, and at Devereax Neck on the 9th by a detachment of the regiment, consisting of twelve officers and three hundred men, that had been sent from Beaufort to join the forces of General Foster. This detachment was commanded by Capt. Montague, Col. Chipman being in command of a brigade. At the points named the officers and men referred to, most gallantly engaged a superior force of the enemy, sustaining an aggregate loss in these affairs of sixty-five in killed and wounded; Capt. A. E. Lindsey being among the killed and Lieut. H. H. Alvord among the severely wounded.

From the 11th to the 18th April, 1865, the right wing, in command of Col. Chipman, was engaged on a most hazardous and daring expedition from Charleston, S. C., to join General Potter on the Santee river, striking it at Nelson's Ferry, distant about seventy miles. The march was made through the country held by the enemy, the command subjected to great danger of attack from superior force, and of being cut off from all reinforcements and overwhelmed, enduring much hardship and fatigue, and meeting a large body of the enemy's cavalry, which, after a brisk and vigorous light, were driven off. Encountering the rebels again on the 18th, while on the march in the direction of Camden, a skirmish ensued. On the 19th the command succeeded in rejoining the left wing.

The left wing had marched from Georgetown on the 5th, commanded by Major Clark, with an expedition under command of General Potter. After much hard marching and considerable skirmishing with the enemy on the 8th, 15th, and 17th; and on the 18th, near Manchester, met the enemy in force at Boykins, when, with the 54th Massachusetts colored infantry, it flanked the rebels attacking them with much spirit and gallantry, driving them in great disorder in the direction of Statesburg. Next day the two wings again united, and under command of Col. Chipman, came up with the enemy near Singleton's plantation, when a successful flank movement was made by the regiment, which resulted, after a most gallant brush, in forcing him to abandon a strong position, and in routing him most thoroughly.

The regiment being encamped on the 20th and 21st, having companies A, B, and C (under command of Major Clark) on the picket line, on the morning of the 21st company A was attacked by two hundred of the enemy, which it handsomely repulsed. At 12 M., on the 21st, the enemy sent in a flag of truce, with dispatches from General Beauregard, stating that Generals Sherman and Johnston had cease hostilities, when the column marched back to Georgetown, arriving there on the 25th.

On the 29th the regiment received orders to proceed to Charleston, and next day embarked on transports, arriving at that point the same day, and went into camp on Charleston Neck, where it remained until May 7th, and then broke camp and marched for Summerville, and reaching there on the 8th, encamped until the 18th, then proceeded by rail to Branchville, and thence, on the 25th, to Orangeburg, where it was engaged on provost guard and fatigue duty until July 28th, when it marched for Winnsboro', arriving there on the 3d of August, and during the remainder of that month was engaged on the same duties as at Orangeburg. Sometime in the month following the regiment returned to Charleston, where it was mustered out of service September 30th, and proceeded to Michigan, arriving on October 17th at Detroit, where it was paid off and disbanded.

While the regiment was engaged during its term of service in many other battles and skirmishes, and behaved well in every respect, the actions above referred to will always be recognized as prominent in its creditable history.

Source: The Red Book Of Michigan: a civil, military and biographical history By: Charles Lanman pages 408-409

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