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Michigan Black Regiment

102nd Regiment United States Colored Troops (from Detroit)
George de Baptiste was a driving force of the Underground Railroad and active member of the Black Baptist Church of Detroit in Book Six, De Baptiste was active with William Lambert in developing the 1st Michigan Colored Infantry. With the help of Henry Barns, editor of the Detroit Tribune, the organization of nearly 900 men was drawn from Detroit and Ontario from where many former runaway slaves returned to the United States to fight the Confederacy. In 1863 they trained at a farm in Detroit and later became known as the 102nd Regiment United States Colored Troops. They lost 10 percent of their troops fighting the Confederacy in the south in 1864. Read More 
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Draft dodging

The draft dodger
Draft Dodging:
As with all wars using conscription, there are those unwilling to participate. Reasons are financial, religious, opposition to a cause or sometimes common sense. All of these were common in the War Between the States which was dramatically shown in the motion picture, Gangs of New York. As always, the most effective remedy was wealth. In the North it was frequently a lack of support for the cause. In the south (like my characters from Charleston) there was support of the cause, but not necessarily at the cost of one’s own skin. Our friend Shakley, was a master at profiting by all of the above. Read More 
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Louis Kreis and the Civil War

Louis Kreis' watch
Louis Kreis and the Civil War:
Louis is in fact my great-great uncle who immigrated with his family to Detroit as a young boy in 1853. He did lie about his age to join the war and was injured. I found his war record, which includes the weird story of his injury. I also have his Civil War watch. The engraving of his company remains visible on cover. Read More 
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Detroit in the Civil War

George Armstrong Custer
The Civil War in Detroit:
The story of the Detroit regiment comes from the historical record (with some romance and intrigue added by yours truly). Most of the names are accurate, like Horace Dodge, Louis Kreis, Napoleon Trombley and George Armstrong Custer, who did graduate at the bottom of his class at West Point, and whose leadership at Gettysburg, was more successful than his later adventure at Little Big Horn. More on Louis Kreis next week. Read More 
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