This edition’s artifact concerns a Civil War era photo. The members of First Michigan Engineers and Mechanics Co. C are seated on Lookout Mountain in northern Georgia. Wright L. Coffinberry served as Captain of Co. C. James Cutler of Hastings, who enlisted in Marshall on Dec. 24, 1863, sent this photo home to his wife Julia Cutler. Co.C apparently took a cannon to the top of the mountain but could not lower the muzzle enough to fire on the Confederates.

In a letter dated Sept. 12, 1864, Cutler writes his wife, “…as for me i am tough and well as you will see by this picture that i send in this letter” and lists those seated on the rock. Starting at the point: Captain [Coffinberry?], William Roberts (Rutland Twp., MI); George Dannat (Hastings, MI); Wiset [?]; Andrew Beers (Irving Twp., MI); Thomas Heney (Rutland Twp., MI); Abraham H. Drake (Ionia County, MI); back of him Jefferson Turner (Hastings, MI); Charles Wooding (G. Rapids, MI), James Woodruff; Oscar Young; James Cutler; Russ Allen [?]; all of Hastings, MI. Cutler was stationed on Lookout Mountain in April of 1864. Co. C built a steam mill, cut their own lumber and built “homes” for themselves during their rainy stay.

Charlton Park’s Civil War exhibition, “Test of a Nation: Honor of a County”, is on display in the stone Museum Building.

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