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Michael Wallick - 27th Indiana Infantry, Co. B

Rank: Corporal, promoted to 4th Sergeant

Place of enlistment: Daviess County, Indiana- August 10, 1861

Mustered into Federal service: September 12, 1861

Service Time: 3 years

Born: March 6, 1817 - Bedford County, PA

Age at enlistment: 44 

Height: 5'8"  black hair, gray eyes

Civilian occupation: Farmer

Family Lineage
Michael, son of "Bunker Hill" Michael, son of "Bedford" Michael, Son of Hans Michael and Esther Wallick 

                                                                                         Michael Wallick, c. 1904

Michael WallickOn a warm August afternoon in 1861, Michael Wallick, age 44, left his wife, his five children (ages 6 to 18) and his Indiana farm to go into the little village of Raglesville and enlist in the Union Army. There he joined friends and neighbors from Daviess County and they all marched off to Camp Morton, Indianapolis, to help quell the southern uprising. This group of men was to become Company B of the 27th Indiana Volunteer Infantry and Michael was, at the time, old enough to be a father to many of them.  It is not too surprising that he joined to fight in “The War of the Southern Rebellion”, given his staunch Republican sentiments.  Also, as a young boy he undoubtedly heard his family tell of the adventures and hardships his grandfather, “Bedford County” Michael (1740-1823), endured during the American Revolution.  "Daviess County" Michael (1817-1905) now joined a regiment that was destined to fight in some of the Civil War's most famous battles.  
Michael was born in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, March 6, 1817 and by is lineage he could rightfully be called Michael IV.  His great-grandfather, “Hans Michael” (1706-?) came to the New World from the Palatinate region of Germany in 1732 and settled in York, Pennsylvania.  His grandfather, “Bedford County” Michael (1740-1823), helped settle the Upper Juniata Valley on the Pennsylvania frontier (near present day Altoona) and fought in our country’s War of Independence.  His father, “Bunker Hill” Michael (1775-1845), moved the family west in 1822 to Tuscarawas County, Ohio, where “Daviess County” Michael was raised and spent most of his young adulthood.  There he became a farmer and in 1847 laid out 12 tracks of land that comprise the present day village of Dundee, Ohio.  In 1851 he moved his young family west to Daviess County, Indiana, and settled on a farm in Madison Township.

The 1850’s saw an explosion in regional conflicts between the North and South.  Slavery was an open sore that had festered for many years in the United States and it aggravated all other points of disagreement between the two factions.  With the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law, Kansas-Nebraska Act, and John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry, southern Indiana quickly became a battleground of ideologies between those with pro-southern sympathies and the Unionists.  Many of the Daviess County residences still had family members living in the south.  Michael and his companions were firmly committed to the preservation of the Union and served in the army for three years to help make what were in reality two nations, one nation. 

In this titanic national struggle, “Uncle Mike” (as he was called by his comrades) saw action in both the western and eastern theaters of the war.  In the spring of 1862 he and his regiment were part of the Union's effort to defeat Stonewall Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley.  In the process, Michael was wounded and captured at Buckton Station and then experienced the hell of a Confederate prison for three months.   While Michael was in prison his regimental brothers took part in the bloodiest day of battle in American history, the Battle of Antietam.  There his regiment sustained heavy casualties in "The Cornfield."    Michael was released from prison in September of 1862 and helped the Union Army avoid disaster the following spring at the Battle of Chancellorsville.  But perhaps the most glorious day for the regiment was when they made their ill-fated charge in "The Swale" at the Battle of Gettysburg Many men were needlessly sacrificed in the ill-advised attack.  Michael then moved to the western theater of war where his regiment helped chase the Confederate Army out of northern Georgia and fought them all the way to Atlanta.   During this campaign he was again  wounded at the Battle of Resaca.  After the fall of Atlanta Michael and the men of the 27th Indiana were mustered out of service and they returned to Daviess County.

              Journey of the 27th Indiana Infantry during the Civil War
                                  (map from A History of Daviess County)
            Michael Wallick with the 27th
Indiana Volunteer Infantry


AUG 10   Michael enlists as a corporal in what becomes Company B of the 27th Indiana Volunteer Infantry. 

Michael and the men of Company B, 27th Indiana, assembled on this field in August of 1861 before marching off to war .  The park is located on Co. Rd. 1000 N. in Raglesville.
Lions Park
SEP 12- DEC   Company B is mustered into Federal service on September 12th   and  departs from Camp Morton, Indianapolis, for operations around Camp Frederick, MD and the upper Potomac River, .



   The regiment continues to be active in northern Virginia and Maryland.  They also help guard the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and its junctions.

MAR-JUN  Stonewall Jackson's Shenandoah Valley Campaign
   The 27th Indiana is part of the Union force that pursues General Stonewall Jackson’s Corps in the Shenandoah Valley.  General Jackson is outnumbered by the Federals but he continually confounds the Union Army by quick maneuvers up and down the Shenandoah Valley and by fighting when the Federal force has divided itself .  His purpose is to keep as many Union soldiers as possible occupied in the valley while other operations are being conducted near Richmond, VA.  He is tremendously successful.  On March 23, 1862,  Michael and the 27th Indiana are near the hamlet of Kernstown, VA, where the opening battle of the campaign is fought.  In this first engagement the 27th IN is near but not part of the action.  Distant cousins Henry M. Wallick of the 67th Ohio, and William F. M. Wallick of the 13th Indiana fight at the Battle of 1st Kernstown and are even in the same line of battle, but opposite ends.  All three Wallick regiments will be chasing General Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley for the next ten weeks. 

 MAY 23   Engagement at
 Buckton Station- Michael is wounded and becomes a POW.
  Michael’s company and one company from the 3rd Wisconsin Infantry are sent to Buckton Station to prevent the Confederates from disrupting railroad and telegraph communications between Front Royal and Strasburg, VA.  At 2:00 PM the Confederates make their first of two unsuccessful attacks on the railroad station at Buckton Station.  They are easily repulsed.  However, in the course of this engagement (Michael's first of the war) he  is wounded and taken prisoner by the Rebels.  This action is part of Stonewall Jackson's attack on Front Royal during his Shenandoah Valley Campaign.    

         The Manassas Gap Railroad crossing at Buckton Station as it appears today.  
                           Michael was captured near this spot on May 23, 1862.
Buckton Station
MAY 24-SEP 12  
 Michael  becomes a POW and is first taken  to Lynchburg, VA.   He is then transferred to Richmond, VA, placed in  Belle Island Prison, located in the middle of the James River, and eventually held captive in Libby Prison (distant cousin William Wallick will also be incarcerated at Libby Prison in 1863).  Michael’s oldest daughter, Sarah, gets married July 31st while he is a prisoner of war.  One of the commanding officers of Libby Prison during Michael’s incarceration is Henry Wirz, infamous commandant of the future Andersonville Prison.  At the conclusion of the war, Wirz will be the only soldier from the Confederate Army executed for war crimes.

The following account is from Wilbur D. Jones’s book, Giants in the Cornfield:


“Corporal Michael Wallick, sliced in the shoulder by a saber at Buckton, was never treated.  He had ‘a sponge and much cold water applications and kept down the pus and it healed all right.’  Wallick, one of the few Hoosiers imprisoned at Lynchburg, Libby and Belle Isle, (all in Virginia) also contracted rheumatism, sore eyes and a cataract which went untreated.  Private Jones Davis remembered Wallick: ‘We were badly exposed then and had insufficient food, great deal of sickness among the prisoners.’”


Another account of his capture is from James E. Garten’s book Clarksburg and Early Odon, Indiana


“In one skirmish, Mike Wallick, Andrew J. Vest, and Bob Shears of the 27th regiment were captured (at Buckton Station).  The ‘Rebels’ wanted to shoot Wallick because they said he had killed their general.  (No general was involved in the engagement, however, two confederate captains were killed during the fight. Michael may have killed one of them). His fellow prisoners knew that he did it, for ‘Uncle Mike’ was a fine shot.  After a long and heated argument they finally made the ‘Rebels’ believe that the man who did the killing had escaped.  The three were imprisoned at Belle Isle.  The food was bad, as in all other rebel prisons.  Wallick and Vest said that while they sickened on the food, Bob Shears, who had been reared in the slums of Cincinnati, got fat.  It was better than he had been accustomed to at home.”


SEP 13  Michael is paroled at Aikens Landing, Virginia.  On that same day, three of  Michael’s comrades from company B find a copy of General Robert E. Lee’s “Special Orders #191” wrapped around three cigars in an abandoned field outside of Frederick, MD. These lost orders from General Lee to his corps commanders tell General McClellan of the movements to be carried out by the Army of Northern Virginia  for the next four days.  This knowledge helps produce a great Federal victory at Antietam.  It is considered the most  grievous breech of security in the Civil War.


SEP 17  Battle of Antietam.  While Michael is still a prisoner his regiment sees action in “The Cornfield” during the early morning hours at the Battle of Antietam.  This engagement nearly destroys some companies in his regiment.  Michael was fortunate to miss this battle.  There were 440 men engaged and 209 were killed or wounded by the end of the day.  Michael is in Richmond, VA, waiting to be exchanged.


SEP 18   Michael is finally exchanged and begins his return trip to his regiment.


OCT–DEC  The 27th Regiment has  guard duty from Harper's Ferry to Fredricksburg, VA.




 JAN 20–24 "The Mud March"   The regiment participates in General Burnside’s disastrous “Mud March”.  In December the general had been humiliated by his defeat at Fredricksburg, VA.  To right the reversal General Burnside plans  a winter offensive (against the wishes of his subordinates) and will attack the rear of General Lee's army in order to destroy his supply line.  Two days of unseasonably warm weather and heavy rains turn the Virginia dirt roads into a quagmire.  The Army of the Potomac becomes paralyzed in knee-deep mud, making movement impossible.  This is the last straw for President Lincoln and the bungling General Burnside is relieved of command.

MAR 13   Michael is promoted to 1st Sergeant.


 MAY 2-3   Battle of Chancellorsville.  General Robert E. Lee is at his best and most bold in this battle in the wilderness of  Virginia.  He breaks all the conventional rules by splitting his army before a superior force not only once, but twice.  He sends General Stonewall Jackson on an end-run flanking movement that takes the Union commanding general, "Fighting Joe Hooker", totally by suprise.  General Hooker is known for his aggressive spirit in battle, but for some reason his nerve leaves him when he becomes the supreme commander at Chancellorsville.

Michael and the 27th Indiana bravely withstand a  crushing evening attack made by General Jackson’s Corps at the end of the first day of battle.  This helps forestall a Federal panic and collapse.  The repulse of this late day charge, together with the next morning's counterattack at Fairview, helps avoid a general rout of the Union Army.   The counterattack on the second day is with fixed bayonets and Colonel Silas Colgrove, commanding officer of the 27th Regiment, reports that "the Rebels fled before us like sheep."  Michael's regiment is engaged in hand-to-hand combat with soldiers from North Carolina and pushes them back into a tangled abatis (a network of field fortifications lying on the ground, usually with sharpened tree branches pointing outward to slow charging infantrymen).  Colonel Colgrove reports that the Rebels "became mixed up in a perfect jam, our men all the time pouring in the most deadly fire.  I can safely say that I have never witnessed on any other occasion so perfect a slaughter."

For the next three hours the 27th Indiana's brigade counters numerous Confederate attacks and only withdraws after they have exhausted their supply of ammunition.  The brigade is then moved to the rear and off the front line of battle.  By midday the whole Federal Army has to retreat due to the poor decisions made by the Union high-command.  The numbers alone tell the story of the fierce fighting Michael's regiment sees at the Battle of Chancellorsville.  On May 1st there are 300 men present for duty.  Two days later 36 men have been killed and 114 wounded, a casualty rate of fifty-percent.

This monument to the 27th Indiana Infantry is located between the battlefields of Hazel Grove and Fairview.   The regiment fought here on the night of May 2nd and the morning of May 3rd.  During this engagement they sustained heavy losses. 

Footstone marking the extreme left flank of the 27th Indiana
Two small granite stones mark the exact location of the 27th Indiana Infantry's  left and  right  flanks.

                 The monument below is positioned between the two flank markers.

Monument to the 27th Indiana at Chancellorsville

               The monument reads:

      3rd BRIGADE, 12th CORPS
  MAY 2nd TO 9 AM MAY 3rd 1863          
         PRESENT FOR DUTY 300
      KILLED 36, WOUNDED 114
       MUSTERED IN AUG. 1861
          TOTAL ENROLLED 1,101
     KILLED 172, WOUNDED 505
         DIED OF DISEASE, 120  

Looking from Fairview to Hazel Grove where Michael and the 27th Indiana were deployed at Chancellorsville.  Hazel Grove is approximately one mile in the distance, at the end of the open ground.  The monument to the 27th Indiana is on Paxton-Berry Road, which runs through the woods to your left and parallel to the battlefield.

 JUL 1–3   Battle of Gettysburg.  The 27th Indiana is involved in a controversial early morning attack at Gettysburg.  Most people are familiar with General Pickett's tragic charge that was made on the last afternoon of the three-day battle.  Michael's regiment will also make a hopeless and disastrous charge on the third day of battle and will suffer the same end result as General Pickett.  Many men of the 27th will be needlessly butchered due to a misunderstanding of orders and an aggressive colonel demonstrating his fighting spirit.
First Day of Battle- The 27th Indiana has been marching all day from Littlestown and arrives at Gettysburg at about 4:00 PM.  They spend the night near Wolf Hill and receive orders to form and entrench  the next day at the base of Culp's Hill. 

                                                                                Monument to the 27th Indiana
                                                                                     at the base of Culp's Hill
27th Indiana Infantry Monument at GettysburgSecond Day of Battle- 
8:00 AM  Michael and his regiment march to Spangler's Spring at the base of Culp's Hill and they become the extreme right of the Union Army at Gettysburg.  In the morning, skirmishers from the 27th have a long-range duel with the famed Stonewall Brigade.  The regiment spends the day entrenching at their new position near Rock Creek.  At 6:00 PM the regiment is ordered south toward Little Round Top to help bolster that position, which has been under heavy attack all day.  As they march toward their assigned position near the Wheatfield they are exposed to artillery fire.  There are only a few casualties.  After 45 minutes they are ordered to counter-march back to their original position at Culp's Hill.  When they return they find that the Confederates have taken their old position and occupy the breastworks.  The men are furious that the Rebels now benefit from their hard day's labor and want to retake the works immediately, but they must wait until the next morning. 

Third Day of Battle-
5:00 AM.  The 27th Indiana's brigade and regimental commander, Colonel Colgrove, receives orders to advance two regiments across the swale (or meadow) and retake the Union position that was lost the preceding day.  What was actually ordered has been disputed and a controversy about the orders arose immediately after the battle.  Colonel Colgrove insisted that the officer from headquarters who communicated the orders to him demanded that two regiments from his brigade cross the swale and retake the entrenched  position.  General Ruger, the commanding officer at headquarters, remembers Colonel Colgrove being ordered to "advance skirmishers at that point (the swale) and, if not found in too great a force, to take two regiments and dislodge the Confederates from the breastworks."  By not advancing skirmishers first (to test the strength of the Rebel works) the 27th Indiana and 2nd Massachusetts march into a suicide attack.  Colonel Colgrove writes:

"the enemy was entirely sheltered by the breastworks and ledges of rock.  It was impossible to send forward skirmishers.  The enemy's advantages were such that a line of skirmishers would be cut down before they could fairly gain the open ground that intervened.  The only possible chance I had to advance was to carry the position by storming it."

Confederates fired at the 27th Indiana from behind breastworks (represented below by the stone wall) which the Indianans had constructed the previous day to use against the very enemy that now possessed them.  The 27th Indiana and 2nd Massachusetts charged across open ground to the right of the picture.

Confederate position at The Swale

Below  is "The Swale" where the 27th Indiana and 2nd Massachusetts of Colonel Colgrove's brigade charged at Confederate breastworks on the morning of July 3, 1863.  There are three Indiana  monuments in this picture.  The monument  that is in the shade and to the left is to the 27th Indiana Infantry.  The tall memorial to the right is dedicated to all Indiana regiments who fought at Gettysburg.  Between those two memorials is a small stone marker that shows the farthest advance made by the 27th Indiana before retreating.  This picture is taken from the Confederate  perspective.  The Hoosiers advanced out of the left woods near the regimental monument and charged toward the camera.  The Swale at Spangler's Spring is stop #13 on the Gettysburg National Park Battlefield Auto Tour. 

The Confederates outnumber the Federals two to one in this attack.  Lt. Colonel Charles Mudge of the 2nd Massachusetts Infantry, upon receiving his orders asks, "Are you sure that is the order?"  The orderly answers in the affirmative.  Lt. Colonel Mudge then says, "Well, it is murder, but that's the order."  He does not survive the charge.  It is said that Colonel Colgrove, upon receiving his orders, is dismayed but cool.  He pulls on his nose, which he does when pondering a difficult problem, and repeats, "It cannot be done; it cannot be done."  Pausing and looking upward he then says, "If it can be done, the 2nd Massachusetts and the 27th Indiana can do it."

Michael's regiment first has to make a complex marching movement to begin the charge.  In the first 100 yards the 27th maneuvers down a slope that is thickly covered with oak and hickory saplings.  They then pick up the pace as they enter the clearing of the swale.  A Confederate volley decimates the men of the 27th but the survivors merely close ranks and continue.  The fire grows more intense and the two regiments have to fall back and retreat to there own breastworks.  Immediately the Rebels mount an ill-conceived counterattack that is easily beaten back by the 27th Indiana and 2nd Massachusetts.  For the rest of the day the troops must remain under a boiling hot sun amidst the groans of the wounded and decaying bodies of the dead.

The monument below indicates the farthest point advanced made by the 27th Indiana in its attack at The Swale.  The Rebels fired behind breastworks at the bottom of the tree line.
27th Indiana marker showing the farthest advance made by the regiment in the attack

                     Four color bearers were killed and four more wounded in the attack.
The 27th Indiana and 2nd Massachusetts lose 38% of their men in the assault at "The Swale" of Spangler's Spring.  Tactically, little is accomplished in this attack.  However, the charge does force a realignment of the defending Confederate forces, leading to a late- morning Union victory on Culp's Hill.  Colonel Colgrove, known to enjoy the attack, is accused of exceeding his orders when he makes the charge at The Swale, but General Ruger defends the Colonel and officially concludes that it was an honest misunderstanding of orders.  Here at Culp's Hill, on this last morning of battle, Union and Confederate  forces are engaged in continuous  combat for approximately seven hours, the longest sustained action at the Battle of Gettysburg.  

 AUG 15-SEP 5    The 27th Indiana is posted in New York City during the summer draft riots of 1863.  It is the worst civil insurrection in American history, excluding the Civil War itself.


OCT 3-30   Michael is home on furlough most of the month and returns to duty November 1st. 

NOV-DEC.  The 27th is moved the the western theaterof the war and guards the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad at Tullahoma, Tennessee.




JAN–APR  Preparations for the Atlanta Campaign   Michael is transferred from Co. B to Co. F on February 13, by order of the colonel.


 MAY 4-The Atlanta Champaign Begins.  The 27th steps out of camp near Chattanooga, Tennessee to begin its march to Atlanta, Georgia.


 MAY 14-15    Battle of Resaca, GA.  Both “Daviess County” Michael and Charles F. Wallick (a distant cousin from Peru, IN who is in the 87th Indiana Infantry) are engaged in this battle. They are within a few hundred yards of each other and never know it.  It is also very likely that they don’t know of each other’s existence due to the great distance in their family tree branches.  Charles' regiment, the 87th Indiana, is placed at the center of the Union line with Michael’s regiment cattycorner and behind them in support.  However, as the battle progresses, Michael and the 27th are moved to the far left of the Union line where they are engaged in combat and achieve a great victory.  At 4:00 PM that afternoon, Michael and his regiment are ordered by their colonel to lie on the backside of a knoll that is in the path of a Confederate advance.  Being hidden from the oncoming enemy, the trap is set.  When the Confederates are within 35 yards, the colonel gives his signal and the men of the 27th Indiana rise up to deliver a massive volley into the ranks of the 38th Alabama.  The 27th Indiana captures not only the Alabamians' battle flag (a feat of great honor in the war), but also their colonel along with 35 prisoners.   This battle is where Michael receives his second wound of the war when a confederate shell fragment creates a contusion on his left hip. 
Michael and Charles F. Wallick were both on the field below at the beginning of the Battle of Resaca.  Later, the 27th Indiana was moved north to check a Rebel advance.  In this battle Michael was wounded in the left hip by a cannon shell fragment.
Rasaca Battlefield, where Michael & Charles F. Wallick both fought

MAY 27  
Michael is admitted to Jefferson County General Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, for treatment of the wound he received at the Battle of Resaca. 

JUN  28- AUG  Sergeant Wallick is moved to Madison Medical Hospital in Madison, Indiana, for recuperation from his hip injury. 

SEP 1   Michael reports  back for duty in the field.   He has missed the final push to and siege of Atlanta with his regiment, but will be with them at the conclusion of the regiment's service.   

SEP 2   Atlanta surrenders and the Confederate Army evacuates the city.

SEP 12   Michael is mustered-out of Federal service at Camp Morton, Indianapolis and returns to Daviess County, Indiana.   

Michael returned to Daviess County after being discharge from the 27th Indiana and two months later his eighteen-year old son, William Huette, enlisted in the army.  Jane Wallick, Michael's wife, lost a husband for three years to the war then loaned a son to the conflict (see the William "Huette" biography).  Michael became a charter member of his local *G.A.R. Post #474 in Raglesville, Indiana. 

The G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) was a fraternal organization of Union veterans that became a powerful political entity in the late nineteenth century.  For forty years after the war, no Republican politician could win a  presidential candidacy without the support of the G.A.R).

By 1900 Michael had retired from farming and was living in Oden, Indiana.  He died on February 13, 1905 and is buried with his wife, Jane, in the Raglesville, Indiana, Cemetery.     

                      Sergeant Michael Wallick of the 27th Indiana Infantry, 1817-1905
                        Michael Wallick




William Huette    38th IN


Daniel      20th OH
David    139th OH
Elijah   102nd OH
Henry     67th OH
David H  102nd OH



      Song- Battle Cry of Freedom




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