Men from first Michigan Sharpshooters, Company K, May 14, 1864

Michigan Library Gets Grant for Native American Sharpshooters Documentary

ICTMN Staff
11/29/11

The Michigan Humanities Council awarded 14 grants totaling $193,167 to support local cultural and historical projects in November. One of those grants went to the Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University to support its completion of a documentary called The Road to Andersonville: Michigan Native American Sharpshooters in the Civil War.

According to a press release, the film will document the history of the Native American soldiers of the first Michigan sharpshooters during the Civil War, and the grant will support its completion and distribution.

On June 1, 1863, Michigan started recruiting Native Americans to serve in the Civil War. “The result was the famous Company K, an all-Indian company of soldiers,” says a Historical Dates in Michigan’s History page on the library’s website.

“These men did not have to serve, [but] they realized if southerners were successful, they would be nothing better than slaves,” David Schock, the film’s producer, told CM-life.com.

Frank Boles, library director, told Central Michigan Life the film should be done by late summer or early fall. He said there isn’t an official date set, but it will premiere on WCMU, a public television station run by the university.

The film will also be shown through PBS television, local screenings and an interactive website, all of which the $15,000 grant will help cover. Schock says the grant is a good start, but will need more to complete the project.

“It gets expensive for the time and equipment,” he told CM-Life.com. “It would be helpful to raise some more. We’ve looked toward the tribes [for additional funding], but nothing yet.”

To read more about Company K, visit SeekingMichigan.org.

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