|4th Regiment Michigan Volunteer Cavalry|
Michigan state flag
|Active||August 28, 1862 to July 1, 1865|
4th Michigan Cavalry was a regiment of cavalry in the Union Army during the American Civil War. It was noted as being the regiment that captured the fleeing President of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis, as the Confederacy collapsed in the spring of 1865.
The regiment was organized at Detroit, Michigan, and mustered in on August 28, 1862. Among the men who served in the 4th Michigan Cavalry was James Vernor, Sr., who after the war became a well known pharmacist and the developer of Vernor's Ginger Ale. Another early recruit was future Michigan politician Levi T. Griffin.
The 4th Michigan was under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Dudley Pritchard of Allegan, Michigan. After training and drilling, it left the state on September 26 for duty in Louisville, Kentucky, and was soon attached to the 1st Brigade, Cavalry Division, Army of the Ohio until November 1862. Other assignments during the war included:
- 1st Brigade, Cavalry Division, Army of the Cumberland, to January, 1863.
- 1st Brigade, 2nd Cavalry Division, Army of the Cumberland, to October, 1863.
- 2nd Brigade, 2nd Cavalry Division, Army of the Cumberland, to November, 1863.
- 1st Brigade, 2nd Cavalry Division, Army of the Cumberland, to November 1864.
- 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, Wilson's Cavalry Corps, Military Division of Mississippi, to November 1864.
- 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, Cavalry Corps, Military Division of Mississippi, to July 1865.
The 4th Michigan Cavalry was involved in the capture of Macon, Georgia, on April 20, 1865, along with Col. Henry Harnden and the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry. Subsequently, a detachment of the regiment participated in the pursuit and capture of Jefferson Davis at Irwinville, Georgia, on May 10. Among the troopers credited with playing a key role in identifying and capturing Davis were George Munger and Andrew Bee. Also involved in the capture of Davis was Corporal John William Bowles of Company M. The 4th was assigned to routine duty at Macon and then at Nashville, Tennessee, until the end of June. The regiment mustered out on July 1, 1865.
The initial strength of the regiment was 1,233. During its term of service the regiment gained 984 troops, for a total of 2,217 men. Of that number, 3 officers and 48 enlisted men were killed or mortally wounded in battle, and 2 officers and 341 enlisted men perished from disease.
- The Life and Times of General B. D. Pritchard by James J. Green (Allegan: Allegan County Historical Society, 1979)
- Harper's Weekly (27 May 1865)
- Michigan History Magazine (May/June 2000)
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