January 13, 1862
Governor Austin Blair approved a joint resolution asking Michigan’s congressional delegation to use their influence to assist the exchange of prisoners of war.
The legislative request focused on obtaining the release of Colonel Orlando B. Willcox, who had languished in a southern prison since his capture on July 21, 1861, at the Battle of First Bull Run. Commander of the First Michigan Infantry Regiment, Willcox was finally exchanged on August 19, 1862. The following day, promoted to brigadier general. Years after the war, he received the Medal of Honor for heroism at First Bull Run.
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