Monroe County Library System,  Monroe, MI 48162


Bygones of Monroe:


Wednesday Was 50th Anniversary.

First Military Company Organized Here April 16, 1861.

For many of our citizens it was with something of a shock at the rapid flight of time that they awakened to the fact that this week marked the fiftieth anniversary of the outbreak of the civil war. The younger generation, perhaps, gave scant heed to the circumstance, if, indeed they noted it at all. While to the aged veterans, to the families whose circle was broken by war's fatalities, to others who had suffered and endured during that dark period, the 12 th of April was at once recognized as the anniversary of the firing upon Fort Sumter, to our present generation that date this week marked merely the opening of the American League baseball season.

Yet to many this week and next are fraught with memories.

On April 15, 1861, began the bombardment of Fort Sumter, the beginning of the civil war.

On April 14 th , the fort surrendered.

On April 15 th the citizens of Monroe held a preliminary meeting with a view toward arranging for some definite manner of expressing their sentiments upon this crisis, and a military committee was appointed.

On April 16 th the military committee met and appointed a sub-committee to circulate the roll for signatures. Twenty-five had already signed the same.

On April 17 th the sub-committee met at the city hall to receive further signatures of enrollment.

On April 20 th the organization of the first military company was perfected by the election of officers. A resolution was then passed naming it the "Smith Guards" in honor of Col. Jos. R. Smith, U. S. A., a citizen of Monroe.

On May 21 st , the company was presented with a stand of colors by the ladies of Monroe. The guards paraded in the court house square in their new uniforms and made a very striking appearance. The uniform consisted of gray cassimere frock coat, trousers with red stripe, gray cap with gilt trimming. On May 29 th the company left for Adrian, where they had been ordered to go into camp. Their departure brought out the population in a body, and hundreds came from out in the country, to bid them Godspeed. While there were many moist eyes, few fully realized the serous possibilities of the oncoming campaign, for to the people in the north the putting down of the rebellion was considered the easy task of a few months of fighting.

The Smith Guards became Co. A, 4 th Mich. Regt. This regiment was recruited from among the southern tier of counties of the state, and as the war was expected to be a short one, the term of enlistment was only three months, according to the first call of the president. The companies were lettered in alphabetical rotation, the Monroe company being given the letter "A" because it was the first one recruited. On June 25 th , 1861, the regiment left its rendezvous at Adrian and started for Washington, D. C., where it arrived on July 2 nd and went into camp with the 2 nd and 3 rd Michigan, to aid in the defense of the capital.

Of the members who served in the Smith Guards there are now living in the city and immediate vicinity: Jason P. Root; Frank B. Nelson, Frank Benderitter, Adam Kronbach, John B. Roberts and William Gibson. Of those who were taken prisoner, George D. Paul suffered the greatest hardships, he being captured at Gettysburg and held a prisoner in Libbey and Andersonville for eighteen months before being released. We give below a complete roster of the officers and members of this company, together with brief data about their service and fate during the war:


Capt. C. L. Luce; prom. Col. 17 th


1 st . Lieut. J. M. Oliver; transferred to

15 th Mich.

2 nd Lieut. A. M. Rose: killed at

Malvern Hill.

3 rd Lieut. I. Diffenbaugh: mustered

out Aug., '62.

Sergt. George Spalding; prom. Col.

12 th Tenn. cav. In '64; brev. brig.

gen. U. S. Vol. in '65.

Sergt. George Bradford: prom. Lieut.

in '62.

Sergt. James Redfield: prom. Lieut.

in '62.

Sergt. John Q. Adams: prom. 15 th


Sergt. Con. Paulding: died in Aug.,


Corp. William Paulding: dis. Feb., '62

Corp. A. Bowen: prom. 15 th Mich

Corp. Frank B. Gale: killed at Mal-

vern Hill.

Corp. Richard Lassey: taken

prisoner at Gettysburg.

Corp. W. C. Brown: prom. to Lieut:

wounded at Gettysburg.

Corp. Harry Kendall: died at Vander-

burg, Va; Sep., '61.

Sergt. John. C. Wipple: wounded at

Gaines' Mills; prom. to 18 th Mich.


Austin Chas. F.: killed at Malvern


Ansell, H. J: wounded at Malvern

Hill and Gettysburg.

Baker, N. E: discharged Oct., '61.

Benson, Adelbert: killed at Gettys-


Benderitter, Frank: served three


Beeman, Geo. W: served three years.

Billings, Edgar M: served three

years and re-enlisted in '64.

Bissonette, Samuel H: killed at


Bisbee, Chas. E: wounded at Chancel-

lorsville prom. Lieut. in '65.

Bussires, John: re-enlisted in '63.

Bruner, Chas.: killed in battle of the


Bronson, Edwin: dis. for disability

in '64.

Brimingstool, H. J: served three


Carney, S. B: taken prisoner at


Cicotte, E: dis. Nov., '61.

Cisco, A: dis. July, '61.

Couture, Samuel S: served three


Conlin, John: served three years.

Curtis, Benj: served three years.

Chase, James: served three years.

Charter, Jackson: served three years.

Chapman, Jonathon: re-enlisted in '63.

Dickinson, John: served three years.

Discher, John: wounded and prisoner at Gettysburg.

Downing, C: dis. in '63.

Duffield, William: dis. in '61.

Duffield, J: served three years.

Eaton, H. W: killed at Malvern Hill.

Fournia, J: killed at Malvern Hill.

Fournia, P: served three years and re-enlisted.

Gibson, William H: wounded at Fredericksburg.

Griffin, H: dis. July, '61.

Gonier, Xavier: served three years.

Guior, Andrew: dis. July, '62.

Grueneisen, Geo.

Haberfelder, T: killed at Chancellorsville.

Heald, J: served three years.

Herman, F: died in hospital in '61.

Hoffman, F: killed at Chancellorsville.

Hall, Miffin W.: hospital steward: served three years

Henderson, D: transferred to invalid corps: dis. Nov. '63.

Hinsdale, James W: wounded at Malvern Hill: dis. in '63.

Knaggs, W. J: wounded at Malvern Hill: dis. in '63.

Knabe, August: killed at Malvern Hill.

Kronbach, Adam: served three years.

Lassey, William: served three years.

Leonard, Freeman: died in hospital at Harrison Bar, July, '62.

Leonard, John: died at Wind Mill Point, Va., Feb., '63.

Laird, D. C: died of wounds received at Gettysburg.

Ladd, Chas. H: killed at Gettysburg.

Mosier, Aaron: killed at Malvern Hill.

Navarre, Isaac: killed at Malvern Hill.

Nolan, Thomas: re-enlisted in '63.

Nelson, Frank B: wounded at Fredericksburg: served three years.

Olney, Geo. W: taken prisoner at Gettysburg: served three years.

Owen, George W: wounded at Malvern Hill: served three years.

Paul, George D: wounded and taken prisoner at Gettysburg: served three years.

Plues, Sherman D: wounded at Malvern Hill: dis. for disability Sep., '62.

Parker, S. S: dis. in '62.

Pence, W. H: dis. in '63 and re-enlisted.

Pardon, J.

Robinson, Henry: wounded at Gettysburg.

Robert, John B: wounded at battle of the Wilderness.

Root, Jason P: served three years.

Spaeth, Fred: wounded at Chancellorsville.

Susor, Jos: dis. in '63.

Stewart, William: dis. in July, '62.

Teachout, Chas: killed at Malvern Hill.

Taylor, A. A: wounded at Harrison Landing: served three years.

Taylor, E. C. H: prom. to sergt. major.

Thurlack, Chas: killed at Gettysburg.

Turner, James A: served three years.

Villette, Chas: dis. for disability March, '63.

Watkins, William: killed at Fredericksburg.

Watson, Clark: killed at Malvern Hill.

Walters, John: killed at Malvern Hill.

Wagoner, L: dis. Sep., '61.

Woodward, E: wounded at Malvern Hill.

Whipple, John G. C: taken prisoner at Gettysburg.

Wells, Chas: died of wounds received at Malvern Hill.

Yates, Geo: prom. to Lieut.


Recruited to Company.

Baker, J. F: wounded at Gettysburg.

Baker, Perry: wounded and died at Richmond.

Corser, G. W: dis. for wounds received at Gaines' Mills.

Charter, Warren.

Davidson, August: taken prisoner at Gettysburg.

Fournia, S. D.

Griswold, Geo: wounded at Malvern Hill.

Lassey, john.

Regal, Isaiah: wounded at Gettysburg: trans. to V. R. C. in Jan., '64.

Scranton, A: taken prisoner at Gettysburg.

Sumner, S: wounded at Chancellorsville.

Swarthout, Thomas: killed at Malvern Hill.

White, W. C: killed at Fredericksburg.

Weiss, N.

Kidder, Samuel P: served three years.

(The Monroe Democrat, April 14, 1911.)

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