Today we take a look at “My Brave Mechanics:” The First Michigan Engineers and Their Civil War by Mark Hoffman (Wayne State University Press). Hoffman is deputy department director of the Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries and the book features the letters, diaries, regimental records, and local newspaper accounts of the 1st Michigan Engineers and Mechanics. From the WSU Press page for My Brave Mechanics:
As volunteer engineers for the Union army, the First Michigan Engineers and Mechanics regiment was made up of skilled artisans, craftsmen, railroad men, and engineers whose behind-the-scenes work was crucial to the Union victory. Charged with maintaining the Union supply line in the western theater, the engineers constructed and repaired a staggering number of bridges, blockhouses, fortifications, railroads, and telegraph lines to keep the Union army functioning in the aftermath of battle. â€œMy Brave Mechanicsâ€ traces the history of this little-known unit, revealing their substantial engineering accomplishments as well as their combat experience.
If you’re a Civil War buff, you should definitely check out the Michigan Civil War Soldiers photography collection, over 1300 photos from the Archives of Michigan’s digital collection.
The Michigan Notable Books program annually selects 20 of the most notable books published in the year. The selections are reflective of Michigan’s diverse ethnic, historical, literary, and cultural experience. You can click to view more Notable Books featured on Absolute Michigan and learn more about the program at www.michigan.gov/notablebooks.