C. Frank Shepard papers  1861-1862
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Shepard, C. Frank, b. ca. 1830

Rank : Sergeant

Regiment : 1st Michigan Cavalry Regiment. Co. D (1861-1866)

Service : 1861 August 12-1862 June

In August, 1861, Frank Shepard left his wife, Amanda, and young child at home in Owosso, Mich., and travelled to Ovid to enlist in Company D of the 1st Michigan Cavalry. After gathering at Camp Lyon, near Detroit, the 1st Cavalry was posted to Camp Rucker, Washington, D.C., for the months of October and November, and wintered near Frederick, Md.

In February, 1862, the comparative calm came to an end when the regiment linked up with Geary's 28th Pennsylvania Cavalry to join in Nathaniel Banks' operations in the Shenandoah Valley. Late in February, Banks seized Harper's Ferry, Charlestown, and several other strategic towns on both sides of the Blue Ridge, and by mid-March had forced Stonewall Jackson's forces to evacuate Winchester. During these operations, the 1st Michigan participated in the Battles of Kernstown and Winchester -- where they earned special mention from Banks for helping to avert an even greater defeat -- and in both engagements at Front Royal during May. Shepard, like many others, relished in the self-image of the dashing cavalryman, and was gratified when Geary refered to the "Blue Devils" of the 1st Michigan as "the most Reckless set of Fellows I ever saw" (1862 March 8). In June, however, Sgt. Shepard was discharged from the service on a surgeon's certificate of disability, and remained in Michigan for the balance of the war.