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Lieutenant William Beekman 2nd Michigan Cavalry

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Item No. CV3004JR Category


Vignette carte view of 1st lieutenant William Beekman of the 2nd Michigan Cavalry. Beekman would muster with “B” Company in October, 1861 as a private. During the last two years of the war he would receive numerous promotions to sergeant, 1st sergeant, 2nd lieutenant and lastly 1st lieutenant in July, 1865. Organized at Grand Rapids, Michigan, the regiment was initially placed in St. Louis at Benton Barracks  with the 2nd Iowa Cavalry. They would be trained and drilled at Benton Barracks under the newly promoted Colonel Gordon Granger. Armed with Colt Revolving Rifles and Allen and Wheelock revolvers, the 2nd Cavalry joined a newly formed cavalry brigade in John Pope’s Army of the Mississippi and would take part in the Battle of Island Number 10. Colonel Gordon Granger was elevated to lead the brigade which consisted of two regiments, the 2nd Michigan and 3rd Michigan Cavalry. Granger’s 2nd Michigan Cavalry helped capture Point Pleasant, 12 miles southwest of New Madrid where the river could be blocked to prevent Confederate reinforcements coming up. They would fight at Perryville, Resaca, Franklin and Nashville before being discharged in August, 1865. The reverse of this view bears a period ink signature reading “Sergt. William Beekman Co. B. 2nd Mich Cavalry”. This would date the image to sometime between January and March of 1864 when William was promoted to sergeant and then to 1st sergeant in March. No back mark on this one. Hard to find unit!

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