On Friday, December 15, the Zeeland Historical Society hosted the monthly School Bell Series at the 1881 New Groningen Schoolhouse on Paw Paw Drive in Zeeland.
Ken Kolk presented, "A Civil War Christmas: The Dutch Company of the 25th Michigan Volunteer Infantry in 1862." Civil War reenactor, Cherrie Weener, brought Civil War artifacts to enrich the presentation.
In late summer of 1862, Albertus Van Raalte of Holland called together all the young men of the "Kolonie" and urged them to enlist. Enlist they did, and most became part of company I of the 25th Michigan Volunteers, also known as "the Dutch company." By Christmas they were in Mumfordville, Kentucky, waiting to be sent to the front.
These soldiers received their orders in Dutch and carried their Bibles from home. They were noted for their discipline, their piety, and their effectiveness in battle. They were responsible for a stunning rout of the confederate John Hunt Morgan, but that victory fell on the same day as Gettysburg and so it was little noticed and the unit all but forgotten.
Source: Kolk, Linda. “A Civil War Christmas: The Dutch Company of the 25th Michigan Volunteer Infantry in 1862.” Timeline, vol. 46, no. 4, November 2019, p. 4.