Michigan at War

Michigan has a long military history dating back to the earliest explorations of the state  through to the present day. This collection contains materials related to Michigan's federal and state military systems, role in military conflicts and the people involved and affected.

Items to Explore

Michigan Men in the War – Civil War Letters

Compiled by Civil War aficionado, Elden Davis, this series highlights letters written by Michigan soldiers and originally published in newspapers during the 19th century.  Each booklet contains transcribed letters from a specific soldier, providing insight into their unique war-time experiences and perspectives. With quirky titles such as ‘Brag is a good dog, but holdfast is better’ and ‘The boys call them Sharpfellers’, the letters contain accounts of troop movements, camp conditions, and  original poetry expressing somber sentiments about their experiences.   Each soldier wrote with a unique style and vitality that takes the reader back to a time and place of danger and apprehension while simultaneously recording details of commonplace camp activities.  In addition to the soldier’s writings, Davis has included (when available) factual data on the individual soldier, photographs of monuments or other relevant sites and uniquely appropriate illustrations.

Michigan 31st Volunteer Infantry - Images from Cuba

Images from the 31st Volunteer Infantry while posted at and around Cienfuegas, Cuba during the Spanish-American War in 1898 and 1899.