Wednesday, September 07, 2016

John W. Morgridge - update 9/7/2016

John W. Morgridge was born November 12, 1842 in Maine, the son of Maine natives Lorenzo (b. 1819) and Vienna (b. 1811).

By 1850 John was attending school with his siblings, one of whom, his younger brother William, would also join the 3rd Michgian in 1861, and living with his family in Parkman, Piscataquis, Maine. Lorenzo took his family and left Maine sometime after 1851 and eventually settled in western Michigan. By 1860 John was working as a toll collector and living with another toll collector by the name of Elisha Faxon in Grand Rapids’ 4th Ward, Kent County. (That same year Felix Zoll, who would join Company C in 1861, was living with his wife just two houses away from Morgridge. In any case, John’s brother William and father Lorenzo were both living in Paris, Kent County. )

John was living in Grand Rapids when he joined a local militia company, the Grand Rapids Artillery, on July 16, 1860. The GRA was commanded by Captain Baker Borden, and would serve as the nucleus for Company B, also commanded by Borden, of the 3rd Michigan Infantry.

John was 19 years old and probably still living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted (as “John Morgraye”) in Company B on May 13, 1861. (His younger brother William enlisted in Company B in December of 1861.) He was discharged for disability on June 15, 1862.

John probably returned to Kent County where he reentered the service as “John Morgridge” in Company C, 10th Michigan Cavalry on November 28, 1863, at Paris, Kent County for 3 years, and was mustered the same day at Grand Rapids, crediting Paris. The regiment was organized in Grand Rapids between September 18 and November 18, 1863, when it was mustered into service. It left Michigan for Lexington, Kentucky on December 1, 1863, and participated in numerous operations, mostly in Kentucky and Tennessee throughout the winter of 1863-64.

Most of the 10th Michigan Cavalry’s primary area of operations would eventually be in the vicinity of Strawberry Plains, Tennessee. In January and February of 1864 he was sick at Camp Nelson, Kentucky and sick in Michigan in December. By March of 1865 he was reported sick at Knoxville,

Tennessee and he remained absent sick through May of 1865, although he was admitted to Harper hospital in Detroit on June 27, 1865. He was honorably discharged on August 3, 1865.

No pension seems to be available.

John eventually returned to Michigan and was possibly living with his brother William in Montcalm County, when he died on November 26, 1869, and was buried in Crystal Cemetery, Montcalm County.

Amasa Tolford Duram - update 9/7/2017

Amasa Tolford Duram was born on October 14, 1829, in Waterloo, Seneca County, New York or 1833 in Port Byron, Cayuga County, New York, the son of New York natives Tolford (1806-1878) and Sylvia Collins (b. 1805).

In 1840 there was one Tolford Duram Jr. living in Mentz, Cayuga County, New York. By 1840 there was a Tolford Duram living in Waterloo, Seneca County, New York. Tolford and Sylvia were probably married in New York sometime before 1829. By 1850 the family had settled in Waterloo, Seneca County, New York, where Tolford worked as a boatbuilder and Amasa (“A. T.”) was employed as a boatman with his older brother “W. B.”; another brother Andrew “A.T.”) was attending school. Andrew would also join the 3rd Michigan infantry. Tolford eventually moved his family to western Michigan and by 1860 he was farming in Polkton, Ottawa County.

Amasa stood 5’6” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was either 32 or 28 years old and perhaps still living in Polkton, Ottawa County or Oakfield, Kent County when he enlisted in Company F on November 9, 1861, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered December 23 at Detroit, crediting Oakfield. (He was an older brother of Andrew Duram and probably the cousin of Samuel Duram of Company I.)

Amasa was on detached service driving an ammunition wagon from at least October of 1862 through February of 1863, and from March through July he was with the Brigade wagon trains. In September or October of 1863, he was tried by a Regimental court martial and fined $13.00, although the offense(s) remains unknown. He was an ambulance driver for the Third Brigade in October and November, and reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Grand Rapids. He was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864, possibly in Michigan, and returned to duty in late January. By March of 1864 was on detached service in the Division hospital, probably as ambulance driver.

Amasa was still on detached service, at Brigade headquarters serving with the supply train, when he was transferred to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and he remained detached as wagoner through May of 1865. Indeed he probably remained on detached service until he was mustered out as a wagoner on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

Amasa returned to Michigan after the war and settled in Coopersville Ottawa County.

He was living in Michigan in 1876 when he applied for a pension (no. 2190854) but the certificate was never granted.

He died of dropsy in Coopersville on January 14, 1879, and was buried in Coopersville cemetery. His original government stone listing him as “A. T. Duram,” is missing (as of September 2016).

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Martin Van Buren Taylor - update 8/31/2016

Martin Van Buren Taylor was born on October 3, 1840, in Pontiac, Oakland County, Michigan, the son of James Hough (born 1811 in Ontario, Canada, died 1873 in Michigan) and Harriet Brewer (born 1811 in New York, died 1854 in Michigan).

James married New York native Harriet on November 11, 1832, in Wilson, Niagara County, New York. and came to Michigan sometime before 1834, and by 1840 had settled in Oakland County. At some point after 1843 James moved his family again, and by 1850 had settled in Eagle Township, Clinton County, where John was attending school with his siblings. After Harriet died in May of 1854, James remarried to Chloe Stansell in July and the family settled in Allendale, Ottawa County. James was serving as a Justice of the Peace in Ottawa County by the early 1860s. Martin may have been living in White Lake, Oakland County in 1860.

Martin stood 5’7’ with blue eyes, brown hair and a fair complexion and was a 20-year-old farmer probably living in Allendale when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861, along with his younger brother Chauncey and older brother James M. Another older brother John A. would join them in 1862. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.)

In 1896 Martin told of how the Regiment was given a furlough just before leaving Michigan in June of 1861. “After our enlistment we were quartered in barracks in Grand Rapids” where they waited “to be mustered in the United States service. About three days before [June 7] the muster in [June 10] we were granted furlough for three days to go home and as soon as we returned from this furlough we were discharged from the state service and immediately mustered in the United States service.” He explained that “the furlough we were granted was not a written furlough, the men were merely told that those who wanted to, could go home for three days before being mustered in the United States service.”

Martin was promoted to Corporal on July 1, 1862, and to Sergeant on November 1, 1862 (see his wartime journal he kept regarding company logistical details). He was reported AWOL in February of 1863, but apparently nothing came of this charge, however. Martin apparently returned to Michigan sometime in late February of 1863.

By early March he had returned to the regiment in its winter quarters at Camp Pitcher, near Washington, DC. On March 9, he wrote to two female friends, Kate and Catharine Hamilton of Grand rapids, how much he enjoyed his recent trip back home.

I must say that I never did enjoy myself better in my life than I did that Monday eve [?] and Tuesday morning I went to the . . . school [and was] well until I came to part with my sister at the depot and there I kept up good spirits as long as I was in their presence but it was lonesome enough to sit in the cars and rehearse the proceedings of the past two weeks or so. But I was not entirely alone as Lieutenants [Thomas] Tate and [Andrew] Nickerson & Sergeant [Charles] Van Dusen all of this regiment were just returning to the regiment.

I came via Canady [sic] and NY city. I left the Rapids on Tuesday morning [and] arrived at Washington on Thursday morning. I went to the Provost Marshal [and] got my transportation pass for to return to my regiment the next day. Stayed with my brother [?] that night . . . . I was a little tardy in getting to the boat the next morning consequently did not leave Washington until yesterday morning. Arrived in camp in the afternoon. You could only imagine how lonesome I was. I know you would pity me, the fact is it was a rainy day & the regiment was nearly all out on picket. They did not return until Tuesday. The time did seem long to me & you young people around there were the subjects of my thoughts a good share of the time.

I feel a little more at home now [that] the boys are here. But still I would give (now) all of my old shoes to be back there & free from the army [and] have peaceable times again.

Now you said you would write if I would, pray do so. You cannot imagine how much consolation it is for a soldier to hear from his friends while away off down here in an enemy’s country weith no associates but soldiers.

I would be very much obliged to you for your picture, iff you feel so disposed as to send them.

Give my respects to all the inquiring friends, if any there be
.

By late April the regiment had changed its location and the men were busy constructing new quarters for themselves. Still, Martin took time to wrote to his friends, the Hamilton sisters in Michigan, to express his condolences on the recent death of their father.

Permit me once more [he wrote on April 21] to address a few lines to you in reply to your ever welcome letter of the 24th ult. which was happily received and eagerly perused. But sad was the news it contained. I tell you girls I did feel sad to hear of the death of your poor father. To think that you should be left without a father to counsel and guide you. As you know that ll young people no matter what time[of life] do need a counsellor for many a young person has been ruined by being left alone in this dark world & not seeing . . . full enough.

I know full well how to sympathize with you dear friends.

I presume you can remember when my mother died, it was on the 7th day of May, 1857.

So I was quite a small boy then.

And notwithstanding I have a good step mother, yet it does not seem like home.

I am sorry that I did not go on and see your father when I was there. But I suppose that all is for the best, so says the scriptue. The old must die and the young may die. We know not how soon it may be the fate of one of us to follow him. But we must hope for the better. Look always up on the bright side and make ourselves as happy as possible for this is a world of sorrow and trouble at the best. Well I must change the subject for I am incompetent of advising you feel as though I needed some one to aid me in this unfriendly world.

However girls do the best you can and I will try and do the same.

We have changed our quarters since I wrote you before. We are about two and a half miles from the old camp. It is a very rolling country. Our camp is situated on the side of a hill in a little pine grove surrounded by hard wood such as oak, hickory, beech, a little holly and . . . good spring water. Our houses are all nearly of a size neatly arranged in line by company in columns at company distance. The streets between the companies are turnpiked with . . . sidewalks (four feet in width) in front of the houses. My tent mates are Brothers John & James. Our house is built of three-inch plank . . . 10 ft. 6 in long by 6 ft 8 in wide [and] 5 ft high. A good door on wooden hangings [with a] better floor than the most of the Virginia houses have. A neat little table fastened to the side of the house by leather hinges and a large arm chair of our own manufacture. And what makes it so comfortable and pleasant in rthe evening is the . . . little fire place. All who call on us say we have the most comfortable house in the camp.


Martin was promoted to First Sergeant on March 1, 1864, and was mustered out on June 20, 1864, at Detroit.

Following his discharge Martin returned to Michigan and married his first wife Alicia Matilda Brennan (1848-1911) on December 10. 1865 in Allegan County, and they had at least seven children: William Alexander (1867-1937), Harriett Elizabeth (1870-1961), Florence E. (1873-1875), Annie E. (1875-1904), Ella Maud (1878-1885), Bertha Rebecca (1880-1970) and Nellie A. (1883-1959).

He and Alicia were living in Georgetown, Ottawa County in 1870 and in Kalkaska, Kalkaska County in 1870. They mau have lived for a time in Wyoming, Kent County, but sometime in late 1876 or early 1877 Martin and his brother James joined their brother John A. in Kansas.

By 1880 Martin was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Ohio, Morris County, Kansas. Martin remained in Kansas from 1877 until perhaps late 1886 or early 1887 when he probably moved back to Ottawa County. He was reported living in Eastmanville and in Allendale in 1888, in Conklin, Ottawa County in 1890, in Wright, Ottawa County in 1894 and by 1896 he was living in Grandville, Kent County, working as a lumberman, carpenter and farmer. By 1900 he and his won William were living in Pennington, South Dakota.

Martin was a member of the 3rd Michigan Infantry Association, a Protestant and he received pension no. 738,771, drawing $12.00 in 1910, increased to $30.00, then $40.00 and finally to $50.00 by 1918.

Martin was back living in Grandville in 1906 and in fact resided in Grandville until he was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 5707) on July 26, 1910, and discharged at his own request on October 14, 1915. He was readmitted on May 3, 1917, discharged on March 5, 1919, and eventually moved out west.

On December 15, 1919, he was admitted as a widower to the National Military Home in Leavenworth, Kansas, and discharged at his own request on July 11, 1921. (Virtually the same dates apply to his admission and discharge form the NMH in Losa Angeles.) By 1920 he was living in the National Military Home in Malibu, Los Angeles County, California. He was soon back at his home in Grandville and was again admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home on April 12, 1921, and discharged for the final time on November 16, 1923. He was readmitted to the Leavenworth Home on September 1, 1925 and discharged at his own request on October 15, 1925.

Martin married his second wife, Ohio native and widow Mrs. Mary Jane Way Bremner (b. 1849) On August 23, 1923, in California. By 1925 he had reportedly moved to La Honda, California. By 1930 he and his wife Mary were living in La Sierra Heights, Temeschal Township, Riverside County, California; also living with them was Mary’s daughter from a previous marriage, Elizabeth Bremner (b. 1891 in Michigan).

Martin died on June 12, 1930 in Arlington, California, and his body was sent back to Michigan where it was buried in Grandville Cemetery.

John Abram Taylor - update 8/31/2016

John Abram Taylor was born on April 3, 1836, in Michigan, son of James Hough (born 1811 in Ontario, Canada, died 1873 in Michigan) and Harriet Brewer (born 1811 in New York, died 1854 in Michigan).

James married New York native Harriet on November 11, 1832, in Wilson, Niagara County, New York. and came to Michigan sometime before 1834, and by 1840 had settled in Oakland County. At some point after 1843 James moved his family again, and by 1850 had settled in Eagle Township, Clinton County, where John was attending school with his siblings. After Harriet died in May of 1854, James remarried to Chloe Stansell that July and the family settled in Allendale, Ottawa County. James was serving as a Justice of the Peace in Ottawa County by the early 1860s.

John A. was 26 years old and living in either Allendale or Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company I on November 5, 1862, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Grand Rapids, joining his three younger brothers Chauncey, James and Martin. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.)

John A. joined the Regiment December 26, 1862, at Camp Pitcher, Virginia, and by late April he was sharing a tent with his two brothers James and Martin. John was shot in the right shoulder on May 2, 1863, at the battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia, the bullet exiting near the upper part of his arm. He was subsequently hospitalized, and transferred to 78th Company, 2nd Battalion, Veterans Reserve Corps (VRC) on January 15, 1864, at Washington, DC.

He was eventually discharged from the VRC and returned to Allendale.

In January of 1865 he married Amanda Jane Todd (1850-1909), and they had at least three children: Charles H. (b. 1866), Frank J. (b. 1871) and Anna M. (b. 1873). Following the death of Amanda, John may have married a third time to a Susan McFarline. In 1867 John applied for and received a pension (no. 82351).

John was a member of the 3rd Michigan Infantry Association. He worked as a farmer on 78 acres in section 9 until about 1876 when he moved his family to Indiana and then on to Kansas, where he was joined by his two brothers James and Martin. All three brothers remained in Kansas from 1877 until about 1887 when they moved to Arkansas. They were living in Little Rock in 1900 and in about 1902 both James and John moved to the Oakland, California area, where John worked for some years as a cabinet-maker; brother Martin returned to Ottawa County. John was living as a widower in Oakland, California in 1910.

John A. died on August 27, 1915, in Oakland, and was buried in Mountain View cemetery in Oakland, California. Curiously, however, the dates of birth & death are left blank in the space reserved for them on his headstone. It is possible that he was buried in another location, quite likely with his third wife. In fact, according to the SUVCW database, he died in 1918 and was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Battle Creek, Calhoun County, although this has yet to be confirmed.