1863 : 24th Michigan Infantry Regiment Suffers 73% Casualties on Gettysburg’s 1st Day, Including One Spartan

July 1, 2018 all-day

Iron Brigade - Painting by Don Troiani

“Iron Brigade” – painting by Don Troiani showing the 24th Michigan in the Herbst Woods on July 1, 1863

Michigan infantry suffered the greatest loss of any northern regiment in Civil War fighting.

The Twenty-Fourth Michigan Infantry regiment of the Iron Brigade engaged advancing Confederate forces at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, during the Civil War. In savage fighting, the Twenty-fourth Infantry suffered 73 percent casualties (363 of 496 men) on the first day of the three-day Battle of Gettysburg. (Their Confederate opponents (the 26th North Carolina) would suffer equally attrocious casualties (687 out of 843 men).

MAC student Gilbert A. Dickey, one of the seven students of the MAC class of 1861 who received special exemptions to depart the University early to begin training as Army engineers, something the military was in dire need of at the time, was a casualty in this engagement.

Gilbert Dickey
Other participants included the men of Michigan’s 16th Infantry, part of the troops that defended Little Roundtop, considered by many to be the most important engagement of the three-day battle.

And finally, it was the cavalry charges of Custer that prevented Confederate forces from attacking Union defenders from behind at Cemetery Ridge during Pickett’s Charge. Custer was born in Ohio but grew up in Monroe and the town promotes its connection to the noted Civil War warrior.

For more information, see “24th Michigan Infantry at Gettysburg”, Iron Brigader Blog.

“No Man Can Take Those Colors and Live” : The Epic Battle Between the 24th Michigan and 26th North Carolina at Gettysburg, The Civil War Trust.

24th Michigan Volunteer Infantry Monument at Gettysberg.

Josh Burbank, “Paying the Iron Price: The Spartan of Gettysburg”, Campus Archaeology Program Blog, November 5, 2014.

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