The 6th Michigan Volunteer Infantry first deployed to Baltimore, where the soldiers’ exemplary demeanor charmed a mainly secessionist population. Their subsequent service along the Mississippi River was a perfect storm of epidemic disease, logistical failures, guerrilla warfare, profiteering, martinet West Pointers and scheming field officers, along with the doldrums of camp life punctuated by bloody battles. The Michiganders responded with alcoholism, insubordination and depredations.
Yet they saved the Union right at Baton Rouge and executed suicidal charges at Port Hudson. This first modern history of the controversial regiment concludes with a statistical analysis, a roster and a brief summary of its service following conversion to heavy artillery.