That May 13, 1861 enlistment date

Between late April and early June of 1861, men from all over western Michigan found their way into the camp of the Third Regiment at the Kent County Agricultural Fairgrounds, which was renamed Cantonment Anderson for military purposes, located some two miles south of Grand Rapids along the Kalamazoo Plank road. Upon arrival they were usually assigned to a company. The original group as a regiment was formally mustered into state service on May 13, 1861 and into federal service on June 10, 1861.

Even though many of the men joined the regiment before May 13, May 13 is usually given as his date of enlistment in the official records; if a man arrived in camp after May 13 but before June 10 (and was not already a member of a local militia company) his date of enlistment is usually given as June 10. However, for those men who enlisted in several of the companies formed outside of Grand Rapids,  the date of enlistment found in the records probably reflects the date of enlistment into that company or perhaps the date on which that company was accepted into the Third Regiment at Grand Rapids.

Ultimately, however, it may be that the date May 13 was added in the records years after the war to reflect that virtually all the men had been mustered into state service when in fact we know that some men so noted did not even arrive in Grand Rapids until early June. Of course, the date May 13 may have been grandfathered in as a pure formality. After all, if a man was mustered into federal service then ipso facto he had been mustered into state service. It was just a matter of making both state and federal records agree.

That May 13, 1861 Enlistment date