Jerome F. Briggs was born around 1843 in Fulton, Oswego County, New York, the son of Vermonters Hiram (b. 1814) and Mary (b. 1822).
Hiram may have been living in Caledonia County, Vermont in 1840. Hiram moved his family to Michigan sometime between 1845 and 1848, and by 1850 Jerome was attending school with his younger sister Lydia and residing with his family in Dallas Township, Clinton County, Michigan. By 1860 Jerome was living with his older sister Lydia and they were both living with the John Parks family on a farm in Dallas just a few doors away from Hiram and his family.
Jerome stood 5’6” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 18 years old and working as a farm laborer in Clinton County, probably the Dallas area, when he enlisted at the age of 18 in Company D on May 13, 1861. (Interestingly Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County.)
He was present for duty with his company during the battles of Williamsburg in early May of 1862 and Fair Oaks on May 31. He suffered an injury to one of his ankles when a “cannon wagon” ran over his foot on or about July 1, 1862, near Charles City crossroads, and was captured at White Oak Swamp, Virginia, that same day. (He was first reported reported absent sick in August of 1862 and then missing in action on September 21, 1862 at Washington, DC.) He was confined at Belle Isle prison in Richmond and admitted to the prison hospital upon arrival, where he remained until he was paroled at Aiken’s Landing on September 13. According to the Richmond Dispatch of September 15, 1862,
Three thousand three hundred of the Yankee prisoners left Richmond on Saturday for Varina to be exchanged. – Such as could not walk were conveyed away in wagons. The officers, of which there were 61, went in carriages, provided for the purpose. As the long line filed past the C. S. Prison, on Cary Street, they greeted their less lucky compeers with a feeble cheer. A small cavalry escort accompanied them down. Another large gang were started for Aiken’s landing, on James River, yesterday morning. During Saturday and Sunday five thousand two hundred and twenty-eight were sent away. This leaves on hand only about seven hundred, a good many of whom are in the hospital under treatment for wounds or disease, who were unable to bear removal. Three Yankee women and eight Yankee deserters, or rather men who came over to us and professed to be such, were sent from Castle Thunder. Though these deserters professed to have left their brethren in great disgust, they were very willing to be sent back to the North. The departure of the prisoners will save the Confederate Government an expense of about $4,000 per day, which was the average that their food as soldiers cost.
Jerome was reported to the paroled prisoner detachment at Camp Banks, Virginia on November 17, 1862.
Jerome was sick in the hospital from November through December, and discharged on January 19, 1863, at Camp Banks for loss of power in the right leg from a compound fracture of the tibia, which resulted from the accident which occurred in July of 1862.
After he left the army Jerome resided in New York state then in Michigan (Hiram and his family were still living in Dallas, Clinton County, in 1870), finally settling in Dallas, Texas, where he was living by late May of 1884 when he applied for a pension (no. 516,917), but the certificate was never granted.
He married Ermine Louck in Cleburne, Texas.
Jerome reportedly died in Dallas, Texas, probably in the summer of 1884, and was presumably buried there.
In December of 1913 Ermine applied for a pension in August of 1884 (claim no. 774,119), based presumably on Jerome’s war service, but the certificate was never granted; Ermine remarried civil war veteran James McCammon and she eventually applied for and received a widow’s pension (no. 571,557) based on his service. In December of 1913 Ermine now listed as Ermine Louck was living in Fort Worth, Texas when she applied for a pension (no. 1019875) based on Jerome’s military service but the certificate was never granted