Captain James R Slayton, Co.F 13th Michigan Infantry

Captain James R. Slayton

May 6, 2015

Captain James R. Slayton
Commanding Co. F, 13th Michigan Infantry

Great Grandfather of Mark E Slayton (pictured below)

 

Letter from an otherwise unidentified member of the 13th by the name of Orville to the Editor of the Jackson Citizen. Headquarters, 13th Michigan V.V. I. Lookout Mountain, Tenn. June 14, 1864 Editor Citizen: Not seeing anything in any of the Michigan papers the 13th Infantry, I venture a few remarks, which, I hope, may interest its friends at home. On the 18th day of January last, the skeleton of the heroic old 13th, then consisting of about 165 brave fellows, re-enlisted as veterans, at Chattanooga, Tennessee, and early in February returned to Michigan, as a nucleus around which the present organiza­tion was formed. The regiment left Jackson on the 26th day of March last, with 885 enlisted men, and arrived, by rail and boat, at Nashville, April 4th, without accident.

Here the mettle of the recruits was to be tried; for, after waiting for three days, and failing to obtain transportation to Chatta­nooga, order came for us to march to that place, a distance of 165 miles, which was accomplished in less than 13 days, arriving on this the “Alps of Tennessee,” on the 20th day of April, where the regiment has since remained, and being attached to the first Engi­neer Brigade, are mostly on duty, as engineers and mechanics. [skip] A squad from this regiment, under the energetic direction of Capt. James R Slayton, of your city, have erected at Chatta­nooga a mammoth Railroad Depot, one of the most extensive structures for army supplies in this department. Your city may well be proud of such and officer as Captain Slayton. This young and gallant soldier was chiefly instrumental in raising, organizing and put­ting into the field one of the best companies of the old 13th, in which he was mustered as 2nd Lieut. He was highly complimented by his superior officers for his bravery at Shiloh, Stone River, Chickamauga and Chattanooga, and was appointed Captain of his Com­pany (F) on the 2nd day of February, 1863.

As a token of the esteem in which he was held by the brave boys of his command, he was presented by them a splendid sword, sash and belt. In February last he returned to Michigan with his veteran company, reduced to a squad of only 13 men, and with his characteristic energy, recruited his company to over 120 men, and returned here, where his enter­prising business habits and abilities were called into requisition in erecting the monster Government Depot above mentioned. The admirable military and business qualifications of the young Captain (not yet 26 years of age) did not escape the keen eyed guardians of Uncle Sam’s interest at that important point, and Captain Slayton at once found in his hat a commission, direct from old Abe, as Captain in the 1st Regiment of U.S. Engineers, as an officer of the regular service, and is now assigned to duty as Acting Major of the 1st Battalion of his regiment. I had almost forgotten to say he was made the recipient by his new company in the 13th, while at Nashville, of a second magnificent sword, sash and belt. Should you deem the above worthy of publication; I will give you another sketch anon, but will be more brief. Yours, &c., Orville

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