The First Michigan Sharpshooters Volunteer Regiment fought during the Civil War. The regiment was recruited from all over the state, but recruits had to pass a test of marksmanship to join. Company K of the regiment was made up of Native American volunteers. Among other distinctions, this regiment is credited with having been the first to enter Petersburg April 3, 1865, as well as the first to plant a flag over that city to signal the end of its siege, paving the way for the capture of Richmond.
In 1915, the state legislature authorized the survivors of the regiment to place a monument on the Capitol grounds. The survivors raised the money for the monument themselves. The monument was designed and built by Frank D. Black of Grand Rapids.
The plaque on the north side lists the regiment's first and second lieutenants but also notes the history of the regiment.