7th Michigan Cavalry Civil War Round Table Formed by Local Historians
Jerry Pergande to Present Program on Bay City's Gen. Benjamin Partridge
September 18, 2003
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By: Dave Rogers
Gen. George Armstrong Custer commanded the 7th Michigan Cavalry as part of the Michigan Cavalry Brigade. At Hanover, Pennsylvania, on July 3, 1863, Custer issued the famous order to charge, "Come on you Wolverines," that lives in immortal memory.
Michigan In The War is an amazing volume of 1040 pages, published by the state in 1882, listing all the Union Army units and many of the officers and men, along with reports of battles by generals, including actions by the 7th Michigan Cavalry.
The 7th Michigan Cavalry Civil War Round Table is being organized by a group of local historians and will hold inaugural meetings Oct. 15 and Nov. 19.
The first meeting, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15 at the Lincoln Center, 820 S. Lincoln Ave., will feature a presentation on Gen. Benjamin Partridge of Bay City by local Civil War historian Jerry Pergande.
"We will explore Partridge's role in the Battle of Gettysburg, specifically activities on Little Round Top on July 2, 1863," said Pergande, a local attorney.
Partridge, then a colonel, was part of the 16th Michigan Infantry Regiment, and that unit's activities on Little Round Top have been controversial.
"Partridge was an important politician here both before and after the war and we also will explore his contributions to the development of Bay County," said the historian.
The Civil War Round Table here is being named after the 7th Michigan Cavalry unit because of the connection to Capt. James G. Birney IV, son of one of the founders of Bay County, Judge James Birney. Also, about 20 Bay County men served in the 7th Michigan Cavalry, according to Pergande.
Although the 7th was led by Col. William D. Mann, a 21-year-old Detroiter, the unit was incorporatedinto the Michigan Cavalry Brigade, headed at Gettysburg by the famed Gen. George Armstrong Custer.
Young Birney, who was 19 when he enlisted at "Hampton," or Bay City, was wounded and captured on the third day at Gettysburg. A book on the 7th Michigan details Birney's heroic actions, including using the units flag guidon to fight off the confederates.
A committee formed to raise funds to acquire Birney's dress sword, believed to have been presented to him by Gen. Custer after the Civil War, is selling 7th Michigan Cavalry pins as part of the effort. The pins will also be used as membership insignia in the Civil War Round Table.
Persons interested in attending the 7th Michigan Cavalry Round Table meetings may contact Dee Dee Wacksman, 892-1136. Future meetings will feature authors and noted speakers on Civil War topics from around the nation.
"We hope many people become part of local history and learn about our Civil War history and the role played by residents and soldiers from the greater Bay area, Michigan and the nation," said Mrs. Wacksman.
Others involved in the organizational efforts of the 7th Michigan Cavalry Civil War Round Table include Keith Markstrom, of Bay Regional Medical Center; Eric Jylha, broadcaster, of WNEM-TV 5; Robert Sarow, of Learman, Peters and Sarow, attorneys; and Dave Rogers, of Hollister Commercial/Industrial Realtors and local author/historian.
Community Article 291
Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at email@example.com)
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