Diary of Orrin Brown, Chattanooga, Tennessee
There was 4 detailed out of our mess to do guard duty today, we were marched up to the Military Prison and in the fournoon we went to the Post head quarters with 10 prisoners to clean up the Yards and in the afternoon we were down on main street ditching with 12 prisoners, there has been a great many horses and mules came in from the front today and some of them were verry poor. I saw a fig tree today byt the fruit was green. Two of our prisoners got into a fight this afternoon but did not do much damage. There has 25 of our squad gone up the Tenn. river to guard an Island so I dont think we will go to our regament very soon, there was and agent of the U. S. C. Commition gave us some more papers today so we have papers to read every two or three days. We came in from guard about 6 Oclock PM. We have not been drilled any yet. The day has been verry warm so that a person would hunt for a shady place to sit down in.
The 14th Regiment, Michigan Infantry (in which Pvt Orrin Brown found himself) was organized and mustered into service in February 1862, at Ypsilanti and Detroit, Michigan. The unit was attached to the 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, Army of Mississippi, with their first major action at the siege of Corinth, Miss. at the end of April. In September, they were stationed at Nashville in the 2nd Brigade, 13th Division, Army of the Ohio. In November, the unit was assigned to 1st Brigade, 4th Division, Center 14th Army Corp, Army of the Cumberland, operating in the Nashville area (the 14th designation co-incident with the Army of the Cumberland).
In January 1863, the XIV Corps was organized from the Center wing of the 14th Corp under Major General George H. Thomas, with the 14th Michigan in the 1st Brigade, 4th Division with duty in the Nashville, Franklin and Murfreesboro area. From June to October, the unit was assigned to 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, Reserve Corp, when it was activated to 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 14th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland under Major General John M. Palmer (after Dec 1863, Columbia, Tenn. Dept. of the Cumberland). The Regiment was supposed to be converted to cavalry at one point, and some records indicate at least portions were (I’m still trying to sort that out).
In May 1864, the 14th Michigan was attached to the 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 14th Army Corps until it was mustered out the end of July 1865. Brigadier General Richard W. Johnson commanded the Corp briefly in August 1864, followed by Major General Jefferson (Jef) Columbus Davis of Indiana (that could get a bit confusing!). The Regiment saw action in Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign from June to September, 1864, and engaged in operations against Hood in North Georgia and North Alabama through the beginning of November while Pvt. Brown waited to join them. He would have been joined battle-tested veterans. Through the course of the war, the Regiment lost 1 Officer and 58 enlisted men killed, and 3 Officers and 184 enlisted men to disease.