G.A.R. Post: Oliver Morton Post #10 Snohomish, WA
6th MICHIGAN VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Organized: 8/20/61 Kalamazoo
Mustered Out: 8/20/65 New Orleans, LA
Organized in Kalamazoo, Mi. from individual infantry companies with colorful local names, this three-year regiment mustered into the U.S. Army expecting to become part of the Army of the Potomac. Instead, most of the 6th’s service was to be in the “southwest” along the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico. 1862 saw the 6th taking part in the Federal capture of New Orleans, La. January, 1863 found it participating in an expedition to that state’s Bayou Teche.
In July ’63 General Nathaniel P. Banks converted the 6th into a regiment of heavy artillery because of “its valuable and faithful service.” As such, the unit is sometimes referred to as the “6th Infantry” and, at others, the “6th heavy artillery.”
From May until July, 1863 the regiment was engaged in the siege of Port Hudson, La. On 5/27 it made a desperate, but unsuccessful, bayonet charge upon the Confederate works. The 6th remained at port Hudson until late March, 1864 when re-enlistments brought 247 back into the ranks.
The regiment then performed valuable service until 8/65 when it received orders to return to Michigan to be disbanded.
Residence: Eaton, Co. MI Age: 25 years
Enlisted On: 8/2/61 Albion, MI Rank: Pvt.
Mustered In: 8/20/61 Co. "I"
Highest Rank: Pvt.
*NOTE: Charles’ birth surname as well as well as that under which he later, as an adult, entered the U.S. Army, was Kikendall. An “r” was added (perhaps by mistake) to the spelling while in the military as his discharge document reflects “Kirkendall”. That inaccuracy, committed to print, appears to have followed him to the grave.
Charles McNear Kirkendall was born 1836 at Warren Co., Pennsylvania. He joined the Union Army in 1861 and was discharged for disability on 3/2/64 at Port Hudson, LA noting chronic diarrhea which made him totally unfit for duty. The 5’8” farmer had light complexion, gray eyes and brown hair.
On 10-30-67 the former Federal private married Zelpha A. Willis in Eaton, Mi. From that union came Harriet (1869), William A. (1873), Hannah (1871), Harriet 1869, and Lillie M. (1875).
By 1873 Charles had gone, by rail, to Kansas. From here he again traveled by rail to San Francisco where he caught a steamer for Seattle. He then moved to Snohomish where, by 1875 he had purchased 120 acres and built a farmhouse which stands to this day.
Mr. Kikendall died 12/30/86. His remains were later moved to the Snohomish G.A.R. cemetery.
Buried at Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery Snohomish
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