About I Fear We Shall Never See Home Again.
Imagine being a young man who has come of age during the early days of the American Civil War and may now go off to war without needing your parent’s approval. Such was the case of William Lester Faurot and four of his closest friends from Coldwater, Michigan. When President Lincoln called for more troops, the boys from Coldwater enlisted, without hesitation, in the 18th Michigan Infantry Regiment, Company G. Like all young men, they were full of bravado and untested courage as they trained for war. “I’m gonna kill me some Rebs,” was often their vow. That would all change during the following three years and nine months. In a detachment of approximately 400 soldiers combined, from the 18th Michigan and the 102nd Ohio Volunteer Regiment, their first and only major combat experience would be against an estimated 4,500 troops under the command of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest. Despite such overwhelming odds, the courageous detachment fought as if they were a force equal in size to their enemy. Within sight of their objective, now out of ammunition, they discovered that their objective had already surrendered. They too were forced to surrender. During the six months that followed, the boys from Coldwater would experience horrid conditions beyond what they could ever have imagined, the stifling heat of summer, the brutal freezing cold of winter, starvation, illness, the threat of being killed by the guards, and then a flood, but they would survive. The worst was over, and with great joy in their hearts, they were returning home to their loved ones. Sadly, life still had one last cruel twist of fate for them, known as the steamboat Sultana.