Saturday, March 31, 2007

Peter G. Archer

Peter G. Archer was born September 29, 1826, in Glasgow, Scotland, the son of Peter S. (d. 1844) and Ann (d. 1865).

Peter’s father died in Perth, Scotland in 1844 and around 1850, young Peter, along with his mother and older brother Charles, immigrated to the United States, eventually settling in Muskegon, Muskegon County, Michigan by 1854. By 1860 Peter was living with his older brother and his family along with their mother, Ann, in Muskegon where he worked as a farmer.

Peter was 34 years old and probably still living in Muskegon when he enlisted in Company H on May 13, 1861. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers”, was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties.) Sometime in the summer of 1862 he injured his back and was admitted to Chesapeake hospital at Fortress Monroe. According to the report of one of the agents for the Michigan Soldiers’ Aid Society, who had been visiting the various hospitals in Fortress Monroe, Virginia and Baltimore, Maryland, Archer was in Chesapeake hospital near Fortress Monroe, suffering from an injured back. The agent reported that his injury was not severe and that he would “be well soon.” Indeed, he soon recovered and returned to the Regiment.

Peter was killed in action at Second Bull Run (Groveton), on August 29, 1862, and was presumably among the unknown soldiers who remains were reinterred in Arlington National Cemetery.

In 1862 his mother applied for a pension (application no. 13,446), but the certificate was never granted. She died in 1865.

Orlin A. Andrus

Orlin A. Andrus, also known as “Andrews”, was born 1841 in Ohio, the son of William B. (b. 1810) and Lucretia (b. 1811).

New York native William married Vermonter Lucretia and they eventually settled in Ohio. (William may have been living in Strongsville, Cuyahoga County, Ohio in 1840.) By 1850 Orlin was attending school with his younger brother Robert and living with the family in Royalton, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, where his father worked as a carpenter. Sometime in the late 1850s Orlin’s family left Ohio and settled in western Michigan. By 1859-60 he was working in Grand Rapids as a carpenter with his father William and residing with his family in the Third Ward on the north side of Wenham Avenue between Division and Sheldon.

Orlin was 20 years old and probably still living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company K on May 13, 1861; he was possibly related to Chandler Andrews who also enlisted Company K.

In any case, Orlin died of consumption at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia on August 12, 1862, and was buried in Glendale National Cemetery: section C, grave no. 168.

No pension seems to be available.

Orlin’s father apparently remarried to a woman named Emily (possibly named Wheeler, b. 1825) and by 1870 he was working as a carpenter and living with his second wife and two teenage Wheeler children in Fremont, Sheridan Township, Newaygo County; also living in Sheridan Township was his son Robert.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Chandler Andrews

Chandler Andrews, also known as “Andrus”, was born 1829 in Massachusetts or Ohio.

By 1850 Chandler was working as a laborer and living with the Parr family on a farm in Euclid, Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Chandler was probably living in Euclid where he married Eliza J. (b. 1835) on June 23, 1852; they had at least two children: Charles E. (b. 1853) and Mary E. (b. 1858). Chandler may have moved to Michigan shortly afterwards and if so he may have purchased 40 acres of land in Ionia County. In any case it is fairly certain that between 1853 and 1858 Chandler moved his family from Euclid to Michigan, eventually settling in Caledonia, Kent County, and by 1860 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife in Caledonia.

He was 32 years old and living in Brownville, Caledonia Township, when he enlisted in Company K on May 13, 1861. (Chandler may have been related to Orlin “Andrus” who also enlisted in Company K.) In the summer of 1861 reports were apparently circulating among his family and friends at home that he was sick and absent from the Regiment. George Miller of Bowne, Kent County and a member of Company A who probably knew Andrews before the war, wrote home to his own family in Kent County in August of 1861, that “Chancie Andrews is alive and [has] been with this Regiment all the time.”

As the spring campaign got underway in eastern Virginia in early April of 1862, Chandler was taken ill near Yorktown, Virginia and by at least May 4, 1862, he was a patient in the military hospital at Yorktown. According to Lieutenant Milton Leonard of Company K, on or about April 10, while the Third Michigan was at Yorktown, Virginia, Chandler “while in the usual course of duty, and by necessary exposure which could not be avoided, he was taken ill with a severe cold which resulted in his death . . . of quick consumption.” Lieutenant Leonard added that the day before he was taken ill Chandler was detailed with a work party building a road.

Chandler did indeed die of consumption at the general hospital in Yorktown, on June 19, 1862, and was buried at Yorktown National Cemetery: grave no. 1078 (see photo G-508).

His widow received pension no. 64995. She was still living in North Brownville, Caledonia Township, but in June of 1865 married one Abraham Hawkins. The following year Eliza surrendered her pension in favor of her children who received a pension as minor children (no. 64995).

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Samuel Anderson

Samuel Anderson was born 1846 in Tallmadge, Ottawa County, Michigan, possibly the son of Wilbert (b. 1821) and Lyda (or Lydia Woodbury (?), b. 1828)

New York native married Massachusetts-born Lyda or Lydia and they eventually settled in Tallmadge, Ottawa County. By 1850 it is possible that Samuel was the same Samuel “Andrews” living with his parents in Allendale, Ottawa County. That same year one Thomas Woodbury (b. 1808 in Massachusetts) was living with his daughter (?) Sarah (she would marry Roderick Ackley in 1864; Roderick was also a former member of the Old Third) in Tallmadge next to Hiram Bateman and his son Henry and Reuben Randall, all of who would eventually join the Third Michigan infantry. By 1860 Samuel “Anderson” was attending school and living with a wealthy miller named Thomas Woodbury (probably his maternal grandfather) and his family in Lamont, Tallmadge Township. (Thomas owned some $9000 worth of real estate and had apparently remarried to one Delphina, b. 1819 in New York. Her last name may have been Miller. In any case, several Miller children were also living with the Woodbury family in Tallmadge as well and were listed after Sarah and Samuel Anderson.)

Samuel stood 5’5” tall with brown hair, brown eyes and with a dark complexion, and was an 18-year-old farmer living in either Lamont, Ottawa County or in Muskegon County when he enlisted on February 3, 1864, at the age of 18 in Company E, in Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Muskegon and was mustered in on February 4. Samuel joined the Regiment on February 10 and was listed as missing in action on May 12 at Spotsylvania, Virginia, and it seems that Samuel had in fact been taken prisoner. In any case, he was transferred as a prisoner-of-war to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and was reported as a prisoner through November of 1864.

Although he was listed as mustered out as a prisoner-of-war (no date given), it is quite possible that he died either in prison or shortly after being released. In any case, there is no further record.

Curiously sometime in the late 1860s the War Department was asked by persons unknown to investigate Samuel’s military history, and, on February 10, 1868, the War Department placed a notation in his service record stating that their “Investigation fails to elicit any further information relative to this soldier.”

There seems to be no pension available.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Rev. Joseph Anderson

Joseph Anderson was born in 1802 or 1806 in Scotland.

Joseph was married to a woman named Sarah and they had at least three children: Rose (b. 1837), Elsie (b. 1842) and Thomas (b. 1846).

Joseph lived for some years in Canada, but sometime after 1846 -- and possibly sooner -- left Canada for the United States. Sarah allegedly deserted and abandoned Joseph and his children around 1854, and in 1856 he was living in Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, Michigan when he was granted a divorce from Sarah on those grounds. (Curiously, the circuit court commissioner connected with these proceedings was one Hiram Peake, who may have been related to Lucy Peake, Joseph’s second wife.) By the late 1850s Joseph settled in Grand Haven, Ottawa County where he served first as a Presbyterian minister, then as a Congregationalist pastor. At one time he was also the Bible agent for the American Bible society.

On August 23, 1857, Joseph delivered a guest sermon at the Grand Rapids church of Mr. S. N. N. Greely. One observer wrote afterwards that Rev. Anderson

delivered a very effective discourse last evening at Mr. Greely’s church from the text “My people do not consider’, Isaiah 1:3. Not the least impressive portion of his lecture, was, when -- after impressing upon his hearers the immensity of the soul’s interests, about which they are so careless, compared with worldly matters which they so laboriously “consider” -- the speaker suddenly sat down, saying, “we will pause to consider.” Then, after a pause, during which it seemed as though, throughout the house, every breath was suspended, when he rose with the slowly enunciated question, “have we considered?” It was solemnly impressive, and suggestive of material for reflection, while, when engrossed in business cares through the week, we are inclined to “consider” upon grosser matters, which sooner or later must fade and pass away as a dream.
Aside from whatever charisma with which he may have impressed some of his parishioners, there arose in late 1857 some controversy about his views on the issue of Slavery. A correspondent for the Eagle wrote in mid-December that
Grand Haven would be a dull, uninteresting and apathetical place indeed, during the suspension of navigation, were it not for some great and portentous idea, set afloat in our community from the pulpit, lyceum or bar -- more often the latter -- that furnishes a fruitful topic of discussion pro and con., in the offices, stores, groceries, taverns and groggeries, by their respective inmates. On last Thanksgiving day, the Rev. J. Anderson touched a chord of the “harp of a thousand strings”, that vibrated pleasantly and in congeniality with the feelings and sentiments of the larger portion of his congregation, while it produced discordant and grating sounds upon the tympanums of others.
The subject selected was Slavery, in a moral point of view, and its debasing and demoralizing influence upon society and our country at large; and though the Rev. gentleman at the outset promised that his subject had designedly no connection whatever with any political question that might at present agitate the country, yet certain of the standard bearers of the Democracy of our country took exception to the entire discourse, though forced to acknowledge the truthfulness of the arguments and facts adduced so clearly, boldly and unhesitatingly by the speaker, while descanting upon the evils inflicted upon the communities and our country at large by the ‘peculiar institution.’
. . . . [I]t is a part and parcel of the slavocratic policy to shut the mouths of all preachers upon the subject of Slavery in public, and stifle the utterance in the pulpit of a single note discordant to its peculiar tenets -- even though its adherents acknowledge that the minister, in his relation to his congregation and his God, is morally and religiously bound to act the part of a faithful watchman, “to lift up his voice and spare not”, when he is conscious of the approach of an enemy whose moral aspect threatens to overwhelm society and the church with intestine broils and commotions, that, if not checked, will most seriously endanger if not totally destroy their peace and prosperity. Though the writer is as much opposed as any one to making the pulpit a political rostrum, and ministers stump orators, yet he is the last one to take upon himself the fearful responsibility of saying to any one occupying the exalted position of the minister of the gospel, thus far shalt thou go and no farther, when they are to declare the “whole counsel of God” upon every subject that concerns the moral growth and perfection of their fellows. And if the sentiments now and then uttered in the pulpit, setting forth in burning characters the moral deformities and hideousness of Slavery, and the leaven of corruption that if infuses into the very vitals of society, offend friends and sympathizers of that institution, it is no fault of our religion, but of their politics.
The Rev. J. Anderson is the man for the times, and for the place he now occupies. -- Unassuming, yet bold and intrepid; possessing a mind of more than ordinary comprehension, and well posted in the moral and political phases of all leading questions now agitated, he administers the most withering rebukes upon every species of immorality, vice and corruption. His discourse, a few Sabbaths ago, upon Intemperance as it exists in our midst and throughout our County, was an eye-opener, and has produced much profitable reflection on the part of the sober-minded; and his discourse on Thanksgiving day will eventually result in good, notwithstanding it has caused an unusual amount of gaseous words and senseless, faultfinding remarks from the opposition.. The reverend gentleman enters the field manfully and undauntingly, with a seeming determination to battle for the truth, regardless of the opinions or prejudices of his hearers.
The question of Anderson’s position regarding the church’s relationship to the issue of slavery continued on into 1858, and involved one of his former parishioners in Ottawa County, the influential William Ferry; apparently Ferry had publicly criticized Anderson’s stand on the church and slavery. Anderson, not wishing to be perceived as a “radical”, wrote an open letter on May 17 in which he replied to various charges made by Ferry in a letter printed in the Enquirer of May 15.
[P]ermit me to say, that during my long ministerial life I have only once touched the subject of slavery in the pulpit, and then only in such a way as I believe met the approval of Mr. Ferry himself. Had the newly elected Regent of our University, then, any reason to apply to my pulpit ministrations the terms “Abolitionism rampant in the pulpit of Grand Haven”?
Mr. Ferry is mistaken when he says I gave “a most hearty denunciation to the American Tract Society, for not publishing tracts on Slavery for distribution all over our land.” The simple facts are, that the society instructed its executive officers to publish a tract on the duty of masters to their slaves. The officers refused. I condemned the course of the latter, but sustained that of the former. I believe in men performing those duties to their employers which they are paid to perform. Should not the Regent of our University be better posted on the subject which he ventures to write?
I do not believe in ecclesiastical bodies incessantly talking on the subject of Slavery to the exclusion of other matters which may more legitimately claim their attention; hence, at the last meeting of the Grand River Association I moved to lay on the table a resolution on Slavery, but not all from the reason Mr. Ferry gives, viz.: ‘It would not be policy to pass it.’ Mr. F. marks and italicizes these words as though they were mine. He is mistaken -- I never used such words. I am not ashamed to declare on all proper occasions my utter abhorrence of, and perfect hostility to, the whole system of Slavery; but I do not wish to be misrepresented. Should not the Regent of our University be a man who knows whereof he affirms?
The Rev. Anderson believed that the issue between himself and Ferry revolved not around “slavery” but around a more local problem.
Mr. Ferry says, “a new church has been formed at Grand Haven, called the first Congregational Church. The Rev. Joseph Anderson, the denunciator above referred to, was the nucleus around which this church was gathered.” Ah, there it is! The old saying holds true -- “Murder will out”. This explains the origin and animus of the whole article. I have dared to organize a Congregational Church in Grand Haven, by the will of the sovereign people, without authority from any other quarter [i.e., Ferry]. Well, brother Ferry, why should you be annoyed at this? If I choose, and others choose, to travel to heaven in a Congregational omnibus, rather than a Presbyterian one, what cause have you to complain? Am I any worse man, or minister, than I was on the 18th day of January last, when the Presbyterian Church and Society by a unanimous resolution (which was moved by W. M. Ferry, Jr.) voted that I should be called their Pastor? Now, Mr. Ferry is a Christian, the son of an aged minister, and newly elected Regent of the University. We put it to him, whether the spirit of his article was in harmony with these solemn and important relations? We wish the Regent of the University to remember the motto of the Scotch thistle -- “Ue’no me impune lacessit.”
Less than two years later a much more serious controversy surrounded Anderson. In late 1860 he fell afoul of Edward Parks, the Ottawa County Prosecuting Attorney. In late December Parks alleged that Anderson had come to his home while he was away on business and made improper advances against his wife. In a letter written to the Enquirer in early January, Parks said that
I have heretofore respected Mr. Anderson; myself and family attending his church in preference to any other, have contributed to his support. He came to my house while I was away attending to my regular business. He attempted improprieties with my wife, unworthy of a man much less (if possible) a Minister, thereby insulting her as well as an insult to myself. I allow that I am capable of taking care of, and protecting myself and those that are dear to me when it is necessary. I feel enraged again at him, and openly expressed myself as wronged. A committee of young men from his Church called to settle the matter, I told them that Mr. Anderson must do one of three things, either make a public confession, leave town or be horse-whipped. At a prayer meeting after this he denied of taking improper liberties. I heard of it. I then determined to, and did, horse-whip him. The attempt to turn the blame of this affair on Wm. H. Parks, my brother, or any one else in order to create sympathies or cover up an outrage, is cowardly and mean. The fact is he did all he could to prevent me, and would give me no advise what to do. I acted as I thought I was entitled in doing, and think any man would have done as I did. I alone am responsible for what I have done. My wife is well known in this place and needs no certificate of propriety of conduct. A strong attempt has been made to crush me and my family. I have only to appeal to the manhood of men to sustain me. I am willing to abide by that decision. I married my wife in Troy, Mich., her name was Maria Martin; she was the daughter of Rev. John Martin, a Baptist Minister.
The Congregationalist church in Grand Haven stood solidly behind Anderson, however, and a week later voted a series of resolutions in support of him and his family. An investigation by several church members claimed that in fact William Parks (the brother) had sworn revenge on Anderson, but Edward had discounted this idea in his letter to the papers, quoted earlier. The church also went so far as to vote Anderson a $200 increase in his annual salary, and in 1862 he was still preaching at the Congregationalist church in Grand Haven.

On December 18 or 28, 1859, Joseph married Vermont native Lucy Peake (b. 1832) in Lamont, Ottawa County, and they had at least one child, a daughter Louise (b. 1863). By 1860 Joseph and Lucy, along with three of Joseph’s children were living in Ottawa, Ottawa County.

In the spring of 1862, Rev. Anderson, who was living in Grand Haven, replaced the Rev. Dr. Francis Cuming of Grand Rapids as chaplain to the Third Michigan Infantry. He was commissioned April 1, 1862, and appointed chaplain the same date. On May 14, the editor of the Grand Haven News reported that “As much as we regret losing the benefit of the sound teachings and wholesome spiritual doctrine, discoursed to us from Sabbath to Sabbath, by Mr. A., if our country has a stronger claim to his services than his congregation we bid him God speed on his mission of love and patriotism.”

“I have the honor,” wrote Colonel Stephen Champlin of the Third Michigan to Michigan Adjutant General John Robertson On Monday, April 28, “to report the election by the commissioned officers of this regiment, of the Rev. J. Anderson of Grand Haven, Michigan, to the post of chaplain of this regiment,” replacing Rev. Cuming. “His commission should date from the 1st of of April AD 1862. Please forward commission. I have written Mr. Anderson to furnish you with his name in full that the same may be inserted in his commission.”

On May 5 Rev. Joseph Anderson wrote Adjutant General John Robertson “I am informed by Colonel Champlin of the 3 Mich. Infantry, now or lately occupying Camp Winfield Scott before Yorktown in Virginia, that I was duly elected Chaplain of that Regiment on the 28th ult. and at the same time I am commanded to report myself to you that my commission may be fitted out and sent to me as above, dating from the 28th ult. He also informs me that he has duly notified [Michigan] Governor Blair of my appointment.”

By May 26 he was in Baltimore on his way to join the regiment in Virginia. On June 1, in the immediate aftermath of the Battle of Fair Oaks on the 31st, Rev. Anderson wrote to the editor of the Grand Haven News reporting on his journey as well as on his observations since arriving in Virginia and the state of the regiment after the battle.
I left Baltimore at 5 o’clock P.M. on Monday [26th] and arrived at Fortress Monroe next morning, and left in a government boat the same day and arrived at White House Landing, on the Pamunkey River, the same evening. I slept on board, and next day arrived at Dispatch Station, by rail, where I met a train of provision wagons, from our Michigan Third. I got aboard one of them and arrived at Headquarters about 5 o’clock P.M. The tents were pitched in a wood. All baggage beyond a traveling bag prohibited. I accordingly was compelled to send back my trunk across the Chickahominey, in the rear. Soldiers are living n little shelter tents, and sleeping on the ground. So my first acquaintance of camp life was coffee and hard crackers, and a bed of cedar boughs, with a blacnket thrown over me. Friday we received the [order] to march. We struck tents and marched three miles in advance and pitched again. In the afternoon Capt. Lowing [of Company I] and I took a stroll of six or seven miles. I wished to see and examine for myself the character of the country and its inhabitants.
The inhabitants are very sparse – houses generally inferior to ours – no paint – sometimes they are whitewashed, and very generally the underpinning is not all round, but like the Dutch Church, at Grand Haven, partial only. The chimneys are invariably built outside. I have not seen anything like a barn. The state of agriculture is retched – above all you can conceive. They plough with one horse only, and never deeper than from six to eight inches, and this is the case, not merely in this portion of the State, but I have it from the most reliable information that the same is true all the way from Norfolk here, which is one of the best portions of the State, being the peninsula between the York and James Rivers.
The roads are beyond description. Just imagine the worst roads possible, and then believe they are ninety-nine times worse than your imagination and you may then come near the truth. You may believe this to be an exaggeration. Well, may be it is. But when you consider the character of the soil -- sandy clay – and that here it has rained almost every day since I came, and that cannon, ambulances, and heavy army wagons are constantly passing and repassing, you can scarcely imagine the terrible state of the roads. Ben. Luce [regimental sutler from Grand Rapids] told me that one passing three miles he counted no less than seven dead horses and mules. Do not, then, be surprised that the movements of our army are so slow.
The manners and education of the people are at a very low ebb; but few can read and write – and this is true of some who are far above the “mud-sills” of society. I called into several houses, the owners of which occupied a thousand acres of land and one hundred niggers. There was no carpet except on one room. The lady had none of the fineness of finish that a northern lady would have. The children (not the nigger children) were barefooted and dirty, and the young geese and chickens were running through the sitting room.
Col. Champlin [commanding the Third Michigan] who is now lying beside me, wounded in yesterday’s battle, but not dangerously, said to me a few moments ago that “the civilization of the inhabitants was no higher than that of the dark ages.”
Capt. Lowing and I returned drenched to the skin. I had a change of everything but pants and these I borrowed from our quartermaster. The night was the most tremendous of storm of rain, thunder and lightning I ever witnessed. I had to get up and shake the water from my quilt which soon soaked through, but so tired was I that I slept most of the night – a rough beginning, you will say, to the experience of my camp life. Upon rising in the morning the booming of cannon and musketry, about two miles off, proved that the battle with the rebels had commenced. The enemy attacked Gen. Casey’s and [Gen.] Couch’s Divisions, and drove them in, and then our Division, under General Kearney, was ordered up to assist Casey’s Our Third Regiment went forth like brave fellows, as they are, but soon the wounded and dead began to come in. I filled a canteen with water – I regretted that I had no spirits – and helped to assuage the thirst of the wounded and dying. I cannot describe to you the affecting scene. Capt. Judd is missing; his brother George lost an arm, but may recover. [He will.] Our Colonel is wounded in the hip – not dangerously; I have remained with him all night. I hear that Don Lovell is wounded [he is], but have not seen him, and I am informed the wound is not mortal. I heard since it is insignificant. In the midst of the bustle and confusion of a room where soldiers are constantly passing and re-passing I now write this, and rumors the most contradictory prevail. We have beaten back the rebels, however, that is certain; and our brave Regiment are now in the rifle pits, ready, should the opportunity be offered, to meet them again. The booming of cannon is still to be heard; and a moment ago we sent up a balloon.
The news (but not credited) has arrived that Richmond is in our possession, being taken by our army on the right; but the real facts of the case you will learn sooner and better from the papers than from me. All our commissioned officers are safe except those I mentioned and Capt. Lowing and his Lieutenant [Simon Brennan].
Now you perceive that my experience of camp life has begun pretty roughly. While our Regiment was on the advance I went to my tent to pray – and if I ever prayed earnestly in my life I prayed then; and, although the rifled cannon balls and shells were flying through the air, yet I felt not a single feeling of fear, but, on the contrary, all was peace and confidence within.
With much love to all friends, for they are too numerous to mention, and with this prayer, that the blessing of God may descend on my beloved church and society, I am, yours truly, J. Anderson.
The following day, Monday morning, June 2, Rev. Anderson added
There were killed of our regiment twenty-five; missing twenty-three; one hundred and four were wounded. Among the wounded are Capt. Lowing and his Lieutenant [Simon] Brennan. All hearts are saddened for the loss of Capt. [Samuel] Judd. He may have been taken prisoner. [No, killed in action.] I conveyed our wounded colonel to the railroad depot, to be sent to the hospital at Baltimore. And there were the wounded lying in the field waiting to be conveyed away. They were too numerous to count and the sight too depressing to describe. Our Regiment bore away the honors. I heard a despatch from a Brigadier general in which he used the words, “God bless the Third Michigan Regiment! To them belongs the honors of the day.”
I slept last night on my bag, and my head leaning on a box. The alarm that the enemy were upon us aroused us all, but the alarm was false. I was sent for by the Tenth Mass. Reg., last evening, to perform the funeral service of Capt. Smead. I briefly and kindly addressed the men and received the thanks fo the whole regiment. Our camp is within seven miles of Richmond. To give you interesting items would require days; but we have repulsed the enemy – thank God – but we expect them again at any moment.
Rev. Joseph Anderson writing under the name “Josephus” to the Detroit Free Press, and who was on the field on May 31, wrote home that
The attack of the enemy was made with a greatly superior force concentrated upon our line, with the evident purpose of flanking us, and thus cutting off our communication with the Chickahominy and destroying our supplies.
Early on the morning of the 31st, Casey's and Couch's divisions were attacked by a large force of the enemy, and were taken by surprise, and after some hours' fighting were driven from their position, and compelled to fall back with some disorder. General Kearny's division was then ordered up to their assistance. Of this division, General Berry's brigade composes a part, consisting of the Second, Third and Fifth Michigan Volunteers, and the 37th NY -- the 3rd Michigan leading the advance. The fortunes of the day were soon changed. The rebels, who were rejoicing in the prospect of a complete victory, and of accomplishing their well planned purpose, were repulsed with great slaughter. As, however, I am connected with the 3rd Michigan, what I have to say more directly refer to them, and but incidentally to the others, and yet without at all detracting from their bravery.
The 3rd, commanded by Colonel Champlin, had taken position in the rear of a redoubt on the right. The distance from this to the battlefield of Fair Oaks was about one and a half or two miles, which was traversed with as much speed as the nature of the ground would permit. They at once deployed into line, their right wing resting on an abattis, while the left was thrown forward, at a double-quick into a thicket of pines, to the right of which was a slashing of oaks, from behind which the rebels kept up a steady and galling fire upon our men. Captain Judd commanded a corps of 50 sharpshooters of the 3rd Michigan, and lost his life while bravely encouraging his men to penetrate the fallen timber. But nothing could daunt the determined courage of our brave regiment, who overcame every obstruction, and, charging the enemy, drove them back with great slaughter until they reached a fence, where they again made a stand. At the commencement of the action, the brave Colonel Champlin received a severe wound in the hip, and yet, wounded as he was, continued to give orders for a time, but was obliged to retire to the rear. The command then devolved upon Lieutenant Colonel Stevens, who again rallied his brave and resolute, but fatigued men, and pressing forward, attacked the enemy in his new position. Just then the Michigan 5th were ordered up to his assistance, and with the 3rd continued to drive the enemy some 80 rods further, where they made a further stand, and where the heat of battle raged furiously, until our ammunition was well-nigh expended, and Major Pierce, of the 3rd, at great hazard to himself, volunteered to return and obtain a supply, and also further orders from General Berry.
About 5 o'clock p.m., one of the most brilliant exploits of the day was performed. In the ardor of pursuit, the Michigan 3rd and portions of the 5th Michigan and 63rd Penn., who, in the absence of their officers, were under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Stevens, had pressed the enemy in front, while the right and left wings of our troops were equally pressed by the enemy, and retiring, left this brave party exposed on their right and left flanks, so as to become isolated. Colonel Stevens perceiving his position, with consummate prudence, assisted by Major Fairbanks of the 5th and the senior Captains of the New York 63rd, retired upon our main body without loss, in the very face of the enemy, who had them almost in their power, but who had been so severely handled by this heroic band that they feared to take advantage of it.
Night closed the contest; our troops, however, occupied the ground which they held in the morning. Colonel Champlin lay wounded in an ambulance in the rear, and would not retire until he knew the fortunes of the day, and received orders from Brigadier General Berry. I was at his side when the dispatch arrived, in which I noted these words: “God bless the Michigan Third -- to them belongs the honor of the day.” The wounded soldier retired well satisfied.
Martin Clapper of Company I, and also from Ottawa County, wrote to his father on June 6, and related the following incident during the battle of Fair Oaks in which the Rev. figured prominently.
I had forgotten to tell you about our new Chaplain Mr. Anderson of [Grand Haven]. Yes he arrived last Friday I think. He was ordered by General Kearney [?] to go into the woods & help carry out the wounded, he being in the rear of the battle standing in a wheat field. The Chaplain looked up to the general as much to say I rather guess you do not know who I am. When the general asked him who he was, “I am,” said he, “the Chaplain of the Michigan 3d.” Said Kearney, “I don’t care a d______ who you are you start & carry off wounded men.” This is a story that our band leader tells, he being engaged carrying away wounded & happened to be resting near where the conversation took place. I think its rather rough on our Mr. Preacher & perhaps in the coming battle he will keep clear of General Kearney.
Well I had several chats with him. He seems very sociable & common. Talks a good deal with the boys & I guess will be thought a good deal of.
On Sunday, June 15, Eli Hamblin of Company F, Third Michigan, wrote home to his parents that he had just come from Sabbath service:
We had had our meeting and have had a good one. It is the first one we had had this spring. Our old chaplain [Francis Cuming] went home when we left Washington and we have a new one now [Joseph Anderson]. It is the first time he has preached to us. We like him first rate. He is a good man. We like him better than we did the other [Francis Cuming]. He is an old man but he is a clever old scotchman. He is around with the men and talking with them and but the other one was not so he talked well to us.
Although it was reported back home in Ottawa County in late June that Rev. Anderson had been suffering from fever and diarrhea, in fact he was present for duty with the Regiment in June and July during the Peninsular Campaign.

On June 22 he was with the Regiment at Camp Lincoln, near Richmond, when he wrote to a friend in Grand Haven,
your welcome letter was this moment received, creating much joy, but not unmixed with regrets – joy to hear from you, from my dear little church and society, and from friends, the remembrance of whom is precious in “this land of darkness and shadow of death.” I cannot tell you how good a letter from home reads here; you could only estimate it by being here sometime yourself. It rejoices me, too, that our Grand Haven friends have thought of our brave, wounded and sick soldiers. My Heaven’s choicest blessings descend upon them for it –may they be repaid richly for it from Him who has all the stores of nature and grace at his disposal. And yet my regrets, and those of our brave officers and men here, to whom I read that part of your letter about the box of good things in preparation, are, that, instead of being forwarded to the Soldiers’ Aid Society, it was not forwarded direct to the Regiment. You would then have been sure that our men only would have received the benefit. The truth is, that although that Society is doing a good work, yet our general hospitals, to whom these supplies go, are filled with the sick and wounded from the whole army, and few, comparatively, of our Michigan soldiers receive the benefit of them. But the worst is that these hospitals have a bevy of superintendents, stewards, nurses, etc., many of whom have families there, so that these supplies find a place at their tables, it is to be feared, fully as much as at the bedsides of the sick and wounded – nor can the strictest supervision and sanitary regulations prevent this, with so large an army and so extended a hospital department, scattered over the whole Union – and, besides, the sick in our hospitals compose but a part of the suffering and sick of our Regiments. We have now in our Regiment sixty-one privates and two commissioned officers on the sick list, who are lingering and bearing up against disease, and refuse to go to a hospital, hoping soon to get well, and some of them hoping against hope. Oh, what untold blessings would a box of jellies and cordials, which our ladies could make, impart to those worn and dispirited brave men, who are living on hard crackers, and coffee harder to the stomach than the crackers to the teeth, and drinking water that does not deserve the name! To these men your box of jams, jellies and cordials would have been a mine of wealth as well as of health. Our Adjutant, who sits beside me, told me, more in earnest than jest, when I read to him that part of your letter about the box and its destination, “Convey to the ladies the sentiments of my entire disapprobation.”
Why, brother S--, I myself would have often given a dollar for a single draught of ale, if I could get it. I am just recovered from fever and diarrhea, and it fortunately happened that I had ten lemons, half of them rotten, for which I had traveled miles, searching among the Sutlers of our army, and paid for them one dollar and twenty five centers! And they were invaluable. I could not tell you the fabulous prices we pay for things. Think of twenty-five cents for a single copy of a newspaper, sixty cents a pound for butter, the same for cheese – and both to disgusting for me to look at – yet eagerly bought and eaten by others. And then there are several of our officers who, tho’ on duty, and do not wish to report themselves sick, yet are borne down by fevers and dysentery while manfully fighting the battles of their country. The fact is, that the hospitals are full of the willfully sick and lazy, as well as the really sick, while very many of our brave men are nobly doing their duty with broken down constitutions, and are looking anxiously for the reduction of Richmond and then to return to their homes.
The romance, brother, of war you have at home – the stern reality is in the field. I now write about fifteen rods in the rear of our breastworks, and my desk is the bottom of a barrel – it has been sometimes a stump. We are about two miles form the enemy’s camp. Their shot and shell frequently fly over and around us – the latter come through the air with a hissing sound which is almost a scream. There lies at my tent door a twelve -pound shell, which did not explode, and was taken up by one of our men. Almost every day the command is given “Fall into line” expecting an attack. Last night there was heavy cannonading and volleys of musketry on our right, and, though very poorly and feverish, I was compelled to arise and pack up, with the expectation of retiring to the rear, but lay down again. We expected an attack today, but all seems quiet. Our regiment occupies the very front line; and on our left, sixty rods’ distance, an immense swamp. The whole of the peninsula is full of swamps, and this part not much improved, but mostly overgrown with timber – and yet this is the earliest settled part of Virginia, the land of Capt. Smith, Pocahontas and old Powhatan. The climate is exceedingly bilious, and after nightfall the air injurious to foreigners. The country is entirely ruined by the war – fences mostly burned up, and nay crop there was, eaten as forage for the horses. You can have no idea of the immense stores needed for such a vast army.
In my letter, which was published in the News, there were some inaccuracies about the battle; it was written too soon after it to be entirely correct. There was one, however, which I saw in a copy of the News, sent to Don Lovell, which, as he is not here, I opened and found it stated that the people here plough their land only seven or eight inches deep. Whether this mistake is mine, or the printer’s, I know not, but it should have been, in order to be correct, tow or three inches, instead of seven or eight inches.
I have been generally well since I came here – that is as well as any northern man usually is, coming here at this season of the year, and considering the regularity of my habits and the perfect contrast of camp life, a contrast which is as wide as the poles.
At the moment Lt. Col. Stevens, who commands the regiment since the departure of Col. Champlin, has entered my tent, and having told him the kindness of the Grand Haven ladies, in preparing a box of good things for our brave soldiers, he exclaimed, with a sigh, “I wish you could write in time to countermand its destination.” He too has been among the ailing.
The weather is now warm and the roads are improving. . . . Mr. Avery, from Grand Rapids, was here. We are so glad to see him we almost devoured him. He brought home the body of our brave Capt. Judd, in a metal case. His company mean to erect a monument [they do] to his memory, with a suitable subscription, costing $250. He deserved it.
When the fruit season arrives, I beg our ladies to remember the value of a box of currant wine, etc. Oh, how I could wish to spend one hour at Mr. Wart’s strawberry bed! You cannot think what a strong craving this climate and our hard camp life creates for the acids of fruits, etc. There is no fruit here of any kind. Wonder if Virginia was created when the rest of the world was! Even a draught ofg water from own well would be priceless.
I have more writing to do than I can attend to. Therefore tell R—that when I write to you I write to her and to everyone in Grand Haven. You will find in the Detroit Free Press of the 14th inst., a true account of our Regiment’s part in the battle of Fair Oaks. Signed “Josephus” which is from my own pen. I wish brother B—[Barns of the News?] would reprint it.; and I wish much he would send me his paper regularly.
I read our dear Sabbath School’s address to our Regiment, which drew tears from some eyes. Tell the dear children, superintendent and teachers, that I remember them daily at our Father’s throne. God bless little Charley Goff. When I go home tell him he shall have a half dollar instead of a penny. Tell all my dear friends that if I do not mention them by name it is for want of room, not want of will. God bless you brother, brother B--, my dear little church, and society, and all my friends.

P.S. I lost my horse. It was stolen. I cannot afford another, so must foot it now. . . . I wear only woolen – that is, half-cotton striped shirts and have not undressed since I joined the regiment. I would not know to sleep on a good bed now.
In early July Joseph wrote home to the editor of the Grand Haven News, to give him “a brief summary of events in the army of the Potomac, for the past ten days.”

I find the papers are conflicting in their statements. What I write you may depend upon. And, first, I would say a few words of the position of our army before Richmond.
If you look at any good map of Virginia you will perceive the Chickahominy River running into the James, a considerable distance below Richmond, on the left, but having its source much nearer the right. This river flows through a swampy country, partly impassable when it is swollen by rains. On the left our army had crossed the river in its approaches to Richmond, but not so on the right. At the battle of Fair Oaks the river was in our rear, and swollen by the long rains the country behind us and there was not a single loophole for retreat. Some days before the battle I mentioned this fact to several officers, but was met with a “pooh! Geo. B. McClellan never retreats”. Now, however brave a General may be, and however victorious an army, yet one of his first and chiefest works is to provide against disaster by securing a means of retreat. There had been a small bridge placed across this stream, at low water mark, but in the flood it was swept away. The rebels, therefore, showed great tact in attacking us just at the crisis when retreat was entirely cut off from us, and nothing saved our whole army from disaster and ruin but the intrepid bravery of our troops, tho’ unequally matched against a superior foe. Again, any one who looks at the position of our army before Richmond will see that at any time we were liable to be flanked, both on our right and left, whenever the enemy had sufficient force to accomplish it. This is proven by the fact of the raid of fifteen hundred horsemen, who, leaving Richmond, passed our left wing, around at White House Landing, in our rear, and gave such a fright to the host of sutlers there, and had they been of sufficient force could have done us real damage. They returned to Richmond on the right, having raveled round our whole army. you see from this the precarious nature of the position of our army before Richmond, and that it only required sufficient force to enable the enemy to flank us, and to cut off our communications. Thus, while the people at home were looking for and rejoicing in the speedy prospect of the fall of Richmond, and while most of our army vauntingly uttered the belief that we would be there in a week, the real fact was that we held our ground before Richmond on sufferance, and just because the enemy had not all the force necessary to accomplish what they meditated, and which, so soon as they obtained, they did accomplish.
On Tuesday, the 24th ult., McClellan, wishing to advance his lines, ordered strong reinforcements to drive back the enemy’s pickets, which was met with strong resistance. So that, although partially successful, at first, yet our pickets were driven back again, and we on Wednesday occupied the same position as before. On Thursday our right wing, under McCall, Porter and Keyes, wished to make an advance, so as to get possession of a hill, in front, which occupied a commanding position. The contest was deadly, and at first with some advantage on our side, but in the evening we were driven back with loss. The next day Friday, the rebels were determined to follow up their advantage, and attacked our right with an overwhelming force, and, lest reinforcements should be sent from any other part of our line, they attacked our whole line and kept it engaged while they threw and overwhelming force upon our right, which was thereby driven back, and a large force upon our flank, and, to add to our disaster, it was ascertained, also, that a large force of the enemy had possession of the railroad in our rear, that White House Landing had been deserted and our communications completely cut off. The peril of our position was imminent. It is said that the enemy sent in a flag of truce, giving Gen. McClellan until Saturday afternoon to surrender his whole army. How true this may be I cannot tell. But, on Saturday morning, the order was issued for each man to be provided with three days cooked rations and one hundred and fifty rounds of cartridge. Saturday all was quiet and still; the roar of cannon and rattle of musketry had died away.
I went to the hospital but what a sight met my eyes! The wounded and dying were there, torn and lacerated and mangled. I noticed one poor fellow, while bleeding himself, trying to wipe the temples of his dying brother. Another calls to me, “O, sir, will you write two letters for me?” I wrote for him, to his father and brother, expressing the hope that he would be permitted to return home to get well. Poor fellow! his home is the grave! Another, who lost an arm, was quite in good spirits, and described with briskness and energy his share in the battle. Another, an Irishman, was wounded in the temple by a musket ball, and strange as it may seem, instead of penetrating it actually flattened against the skull! I would not believe it until I handled the ball.
That night we had orders to hold ourselves in readiness to move. All night the noise of heavy wagon trains was heard in the rear, before we departed. We left several regiments and a strong artillery force to cover our retreat. I have no time, and I am incompetent to describe to you our retreat, commencing on Sunday, until Thursday, when we arrived at Harrison’s Point, on James River. The retreat of a large army in the face of an enemy of superior force is always a difficult and dangerous task. But our retreat was managed well. Our army and artillery teams were immense. The rebels pursued in great force. But I have no doubt that we killed of them more than they did of us. At one place we came in our march to a ridge of commanding heights, where we planted immense batteries of artillery, and, as the rebels pursued, they had to cross at an immense slough, where we had torn up the bridge, and we poured upon them one incessant stream of shells and balls which they returned. It seemed as if hell itself was opened and emitted sheets of smoke and flame. I never heard any thing to be compared to such a fearful cannonade. We drove the rebels back, and it is said that their dead lay piled in heaps. One of their balls fell within ten feet of me and spattered me with mud. After that, which was Tuesday, their pursuit was continued with less vigor, and we were then so near our gunboats, on James River, that their shells combined with ours towards the discomfiture of the enemy.
Doubtless our loss, in army stores burned up, cannon left behind, sick, wounded and prisoners, who have fallen into their hands, must be immense. Still, our retreat was wise. We were on the James River. Our communications are protected by our gunboats. The place is more healthy for our troops. But why our army, especially after the fall of Norfolk, did not make this River the base of operations, without being compelled to fall back upon it, I cannot tell.
Although on our retreat, I lived upon crackers and cold water, and slept with the sky for a canopy, yet I am well. This part of Virginia is far more beautiful and better cultivated that the Chickahominy country. Except we get large reinforcements we can not enter Richmond for a long time.
The express box has not come to hand, I hear it is at Fortress Monroe, but when I shall get it I can not tell, but hope soon. Love to everybody, and with prayers and best wishes for church and society, Sabbath-school, superintendent and teachers, and with love to brothers Taplin and Van der Vene.
From the regiment’s encampment along the James River, Rev. Anderson wrote to the Detroit Free Press on August 8, describing the recent events in the regiment along with several other observations about chaplains as well as the situation of the recently exchanged prisoners of war.

We are now in the dog days. There is a good deal of sickness in camp, the seeds of which I believe to have been sown amid the swamps of the Chickahominy – the miasma and water of which were impregnated with death; here the water of the wells is good, and the air, when we have any, appears salubrious. In the neighborhood of our division there is a mill-pond which affords the pleasures of a bath and invites to frequent ablutions, after rain it overflows, and to stand under the dam and receive the falling flood is an enjoyment in the way of a shower bath the like of which I never experienced. It is a luxury imparting not merely cleanliness but health and vigor. The banks of the pond are strewed with garments of all kinds, thrown away by our men, and many of them good ones too, which would be a godsend to the rebel soldiers, could they get them, even although they be peopled by a peculiar specimen of animalculae, too vulgar to mention to ears polite. It is to the shame of our men that they do not observe personal cleanliness sufficiently. When in the trenches, on the march, or amid the deadly or active struggle of war, this may be difficult, if not impossible, but there is no excuse for the want of it in camp. You can easily perceive how woolen garments, saturated with fetid matter, exhaled form the body, worn night and day, need frequent cleansing, and yet this is so neglected that many of the men wear them until they become so filthy or infested with vermin that they are compelled to cast them away.
A word about Chaplains. The correspondent of the N. Y. Times, in a communication from Harrison’s Landing, gives some rough stories about Chaplains. He says he heard of some of them “peddling socks at thirty-five cents apiece, and lemons at five cents,” but the account bears its own refutation on the face of it, for I never could buy a lemon for less than ten cents, and I have traveled miles and miles through camp at times to get them even at that price. And in the same passage he quotes, or rather misquotes, the text of a certain Chaplain’s sermon, showing at once that whatever value he may have as a newspaper correspondent, his biblical scholarship is not of a high order. Now it is a fact that our army Chaplains comprise many men of the ripest scholarship and highest order of intellect and purity in the ministerial ranks of our country; and at the same time it is also to be deplored that some have been employed who either were not ministers at all, or, being unfitted for it, had retired from the ranks to pursue some more congenial or lucrative employment, and sought the Chaplaincy, therefore, or were chosen to it, from interested or party motives, and their character casts a dark shadow over them. Some, again, appeared very well in the pulput at home, amid the surroundings of a quiet, respectable parish, a convenient church, and a nicely cushioned pulpit, but when called to execute the duties of their office, amid the roughness and hardships of camp life, the clash of arms, the deadly strife of battle, or the difficulties and dangers of a retreat they were recreant [?] to their trust, neglected their duties entirely and at length returned to the ease and quiet of home life. One of these last inserts in the Adrian [Michigan] Expositor, of July 25, as reasons for his resigning, among others. That “he was doing nothing.” This testimony, as coming from his own lips, must be owned to be true, but then a question arises whether his “doing nothing” arose from his own wishes, or that he had nothing to do. No one who knows anything of our army will, assert the latter. Another reason was, he had conscientious scruples about “receiving pay for imaginary services which he did and could not render.” Now it is a rather remarkable that it took him near a whole year to find this out, and yet he received the pay for that time without any scruple. The fact is, Chaplains, like other men, have their heart in their work, or they have not, and, if not, they will act out their nature like other men.
Some of our men have returned from Richmond [prisons] on exchange. They give a deplorable account of the scarcity of provisions. They had each a quarter of a loaf of bread a day, fresh meat twice a week, but without salt. They state salt to be from 50c to $1 a sack, according to size. Sometimes they were a whole day without any rations. One of them gave twenty-five cents for a teaspoonful of salt. Everything, they said, was correspondingly high. There were no medicines to be obtained for the sick, and mortality was very great. They state that there are no strong fortifications around the city, and that they were treated kindly, and permitted to express themselves freely about the rebellion. They think there is yet a strong Union feeling in Richmond. They were not deprived of their money, and could at any time get ten dollars Confederate money for five of ours, showing conclusively that even the Richmondites believe the Union is yet to prevail over Rebeldom.
Reports have been prevalent of the descent upon our fleet of the new Merrimac [CSS Virginia]. There need be no apprehension, however, upon that score. If she dares attempt it she will never return. You cannot have any correct idea of the strength of our fleet in the waters of the James.
Reports find their way into the papers that the army is kept constantly supplied with fresh bread from a bakery in Fortress Monroe. This is not true, certainly not as regards our division. Our Brigade Quartermasters will perhaps twice a week supply the officers with bread, but there is none for the common soldier. Occasionally they are able to purchase a loaf in a division who have had the care and foresight to establish bakeries for themselves, but this is the exception, not the rule.
We are on the eve of active operations, which it would not be wise to proclaim, but which you will hear of in due time. Our army is exercised in regimental or brigade drill every day, and are in fine spirits. Large additions have been made to it, from the return of absentees and exchanged prisoners.
In late August of 1862 Rev. Anderson wrote to Dwight Cutler, in Grand Haven, describing the recent movement of the Third Michigan to Alexandria from the Peninsula and also discussing his own future.

Dear Sir: The army of the Potomac, after a slow, fatiguing march of ten days, the privations and trials of which I cannot enumerate, arrived from Harrison’s Landing, on the James River, at Alexandria, on the Potomac, on Friday last, the 22d, and immediately, as quick as cars could be had to convey them, were sent off by rail to the neighborhood of the Rappahannock. The officers of our regiment left all their tents and baggage at Alexandria, and took nothing but their blankets, intending the sky only for a tent. They expected severe fighting, and they will doubtless find it so. [Indeed they will on August 29 at Second Bull Run.] And hence Col. Poe, who is in command of our Brigade, and Major [B. R.] Pierce, of our regiment. Detailed me to remain in Alexandria and to hurry on the troops without delay as they arrived. So, having some time on my hands, I came up to Washington and received some of my pay. . . .
I intend to resign and return home at the end of October next, if I am spared, and you may tell the church and society so. A letter from Grand Haven has not reached me for a long time. It appears as if all the world had shaken hands with me and bade me a final adieu. I do want to hear so much from Grand haven. How you are all doing -- what you are doing – who is alive, dead, married, enlisted or run away to Canada.
I had a great notion to take the cars this afternoon for Chicago. And surprise all of you with a visit for a few days, and would have done so but for two reasons: It is against military law to go without leave of absence, and, although my own officers would not complain, yet I would be giving the benefit of my example to what is wrong and demoralizing to the army, and, further, it would cost me about fifty dollars for the pleasure of saying “How do you do?” so I must deny myself the pleasure. You should know, too, that I cannot resign when I please – even although my regiment were all satisfied – yet Major General Kearney, at the head of our division, may refuse consent, and often does so – for he thinks that no officer should resign but upon some occasion of the utmost emergency. However, I mean to try it in October, it not before. My health is poor, and I want to rest. I mean, if I can, to go out into the country and stop with some farmer for a few days, if I can find one to take me. . . .
With kind remembrances to all my friends, and hoping to see them all in due time, I am yours very truly, J. Anderson.
On September 1, from Alexandria, Rev. Anderson wrote to the Detroit Free Press,

When I wrote you last, the Army of the Potomac had been under marching orders for some days, but the where and the when still remained a mystery to us. On Friday, the 15th, the mystery began to be solved, for before day-light our tents were all struck, a hasty breakfast taken, and the long column began its march. The army was divided into separate columns, took different routes, and departed on different days, and this less obstructions would be met with on the march. Whoever has seen, or conceived of an army on the march, with its immense column of baggage wagons, ambulances and artillery, will easily conceive the necessity of punctuality in obedience to orders; when this punctuality is omitted the column is delayed – wagons, ambulances and artillery block up the passage, and the whole mass is thrown into confusion. Of this we have had more than enough of experience; and the arrest of officers for neglect could not prevent the unpleasant consequences.
Weary and overcome with fatigue, heat and dust, and exposed to the damps of night, we arrived at Yorktown on Tuesday, where a part of the column embarked on Wednesday, and another part at Newport News, and arrived at Alexandria, on the Potomac, on Thursday, where Col. Champlin, of the Third Michigan, although not yet completely healed of his wounds received at the battle of Fair Oaks, met his old companions in arms, and was received with enthusiastic demonstrations of joyful greeting. Such was the press of troops to join Pope’s army, that only on Saturday could our brigade find a passage by the Warrenton railroad.
You will have seen ere this reaches you how Stuart’s rebel cavalry, some 1,200 strong, again, as at White House [Landing], in the Peninsula, got into our rear and surprised Pope’s headquarters at Catlett’s Station, seizing papers, money, and several prisoners. How he could have done this unaided by traitors in our own ranks remains a mystery. You will have seen, too, how, while Pope retired across the Rappahannock and expected an attack from the enemy in front, Jackson stole a march upon him, and taking a circuit round the Blue ridge Mountains, marched his forces sixty-two miles in less than two days, and without tents or baggage, and but two day’s provisions in their haversacks, passed through Thoroughfare Gap and fell upon our communications, completely flanking us. Thus, while the enemy was looked for in front, he was in our read, had seized upon our depot of provisions, clothing, supplies, etc., at Manassas Junction, and appropriated all that was needful to his naked and famished troops, and destroyed our railroad trains and all the stores which he could not appropriate.
Thus was all communication between Washington and our army cut off for several days. I have it from good authority that before [rebel general] Longstreet’s division passed through Thoroughfare Gap, McDowell was ordered up to prevent his passage, and thus his junction with [general] Jackson; but that instead of promptly obeying the order, he delayed until it was too late, and thus Jackson’s force, which might have been taken prisoner or cut to pieces, was strengthened, and Pope’s plan defeated. Whether this is perfectly correct or not, such is the current rumor and belief here, and founded upon respectable authority. Certain it is, that the movements of McDowell are held in suspicion by all the officers of the Army of the Potomac; and in the Streets of Washington the exclamation from the lips of officers is often heard when his name is mentioned, denouncing him in good, set terms, and declaring that “he ought to be hanged”. I only state to you the current opinion and belief, and that upon authority worthy of credit.
No sooner had Pope knowledge of the fact that he was outflanked, and his communications cut off than he broke up his camp at Warrenton, and with his whole force marched on Manassas Junction, which he found Jackson had evacuated a short time before and retired to the old battleground of Bull Run. Pope pursued, and on Friday morning, the 29th ult., came up with this enemy, who had been reinforced by Longstreet. A tremendous battle from morning until night succeeded, the results of which, though upon the whole favorable to us, yet were by no means decisive. We pushed the enemy from his position, but were unable to pursue our advantage. It would be impossible, in the brief outline which I send you, to note the varied incidents of success, defeat, valor, or blunder, as the case may be, which that eventful and hard fought day disclosed. Let me simply mention the part which the Third Michigan acted, which, while it adds to their dear earned laurels, adds also to the number of their heroes who bravely fell upon that fatal field.
The enemy lay to the right of an unfinished railroad track and ours to the left. The road being elevated. Served as a breastwork to each party. The enemy moved a colum down with the purpose of outflanking us. Preventing this, Gen. Kearney ordered up the Third Michigan, One hundred and fifth Pennsylvania, and Twelfth Indiana, to cross the railroad and attack the advancing column, which had extended its left wing for the purpose of flanking. The three regiments crossed the track, and the Third advanced in obedience to the order, but, either from misconceiving the order or neglecting to, or from whatever other cause cannot now be ascertained, these two regiments designed to support the Third in their adventurous yet all important movement, failed to perform their part and remained stationary, while the Third, with that courage and daring which has ever marked them in the hour of danger, advanced under the guidance of their brave commander, whose wounds were not yet entirely healed, nor his body invigorated since the battle of Fair Oaks. How frequently have we seen mind triumph over the decays and weaknesses of the body, and the nerves strung to tension, and the whole inner man elevated in the presence of some grand or interesting object which absorbs the whole faculties of the soul; the body is borne along by the impelling power of the current within. Thus our brave little Colonel, forgetful of bodily defects and weaknesses, was carried along by the ardor of a heroic enthusiasm. The enemy opened upon the little advancing band with a front and a flanking fire, while, strange and unaccountable as it may seem, yet it is no less true, that the Sixty-third Pennsylvania Regiment, on the left side of the railroad, which should have supported our left flank, poured in for the space of ten minutes a galling fire. Thus attacked in front and the two flanks, this heroic little band pushed on, drove the enemy form their position and could have retained it, but, having gained their object, they found themselves alone and isolated from those who should have sustained them. They were compelled to retire, and it is believed that nothing but the dense smoke of battle preserved any of them alive.
Their loss, however, was fearful. They went into battle with only 233 – for the fatigues of the march had caused many to fall out of the ranks – and they lost, in killed 24, wounded 165. Lieut. [Byron] Hess, killed [in fact he survived the war]; Captain [Fred] Schriver, Captain [Israel] Smith, Lieuts. [William] Ryan and [Simon] Brennan severely though not mortally wounded. [All survived the war.] I am unable to give a list of the commissioned officers and privates killed and wounded. Thus, out of 233, there remained but 103. The stragglers who have since come in may increase the regiment to 200. Thus, a regiment which, about fifteen months ago, numbered 1,040, is now reduced to a mere skeleton. Our brave little colonel, having to command on foot, fell and was carried off the field. The muscles, but newly knit, unable to bear the strain, were again lacerated and the wounded pained him afresh; he is now laid up in Alexandria.
Saturday the rebels concentrated their whole force and attacked our lines, and we fell back to the strong position at Centreville, with our right extending to Fairfax. No fighting Sunday, and no news which can be relied on from the field, Monday or today, although cannonading has been heard briskly. No Washington papers published last night. We are all in the dark. No man can leave for Washington without a pass and the passport system is stringent.
Major B. R. Pierce, with that coolness and courage for which he is remarkable, did himself great credit, and sustained his former name as a brave and fearless officer, and the whole of the officers and men maintained the fame so dearly earned on the battlefield of Fair Oaks. J. Anderson.
Although Rev. Anderson did not in fact resign that fall he was absent with leave in Alexandria, Virginia, in December of 1862. He had in fact been a patient in First Division general hospital, Fairfax Street branch, in Alexandria. According to the Adjutant General’s Office, he was absent sick at Alexandria since sometime in September of 1862, and by February of 1863 he was still absent sick at Alexandria where he remained through March when he resigned his commission on March 14, 1863, on account of disability. (He was the last chaplain to serve with the Third Michigan.)

According to a statement made by Michigan Adjutant General James Robertson, on March 14, 1863, Rev. Anderson was discharged from the Old Third because his responsibilities “His constitution has been impaired by the . . . influence of the Peninsular Campaign so that he is at his advanced age unable to perform his duties in the field.” His resignation was accepted on March 25 and Joseph was honorably discharged on March 28, 1863 (per General order no. 43, War Department, March 22, 1863).

Apparently, Rev. Anderson had decided to accept an appointment as hospital chaplain, probably at the Fairfax Street hospital in Alexandria. On March 26, 1863, he formally notified Secretary of War Stanton that he had been nominated by President Lincoln and confirmed by the United States Senate as Hospital Chaplain, although it is not clear as to what his duties were. Indeed, apparently shortly after he resigned from the Third Michigan Joseph returned to Michigan. On April 16 the Grand Haven News reported that he had in fact returned home on the previous Thursday (April 8) and even preached a sermon the following Sunday. It as also noted that he was appointed as a Chaplain in the regular army and would be stationed in Cleveland. He was to depart for Ohio on May 1.

It is unclear whether Rev. Anderson ever did go to Cleveland. In any case, he was soon posted to the U. S. hospital in Detroit (probably Harper hospital) where he was working as chaplain when he returned to Grand Haven in early September of 1863. In January of 1864 he was suffering still from the effects of his serving in the field and sought medical treatment in Detroit, possibly at Harper hospital where he was serving as chaplain. For reasons unknown, and while still working as hospital chaplain in Detroit, sometime in April of 1864 Rev. Anderson dissolved “the pastoral relation” between himself and the First congregational church in Grand Haven. In any case, he served in that capacity until he was mustered out of service on August 4, 1865.

It is not known if the Rev. Anderson ever returned to Grand Haven or Ottawa County after the war. He was the hospital chaplain at Harper hospital in Detroit in August of 1865, and in 1865-66 was listed as the assistant rector of St. John’s church in Detroit, and as chaplain of the U.S. barracks in Detroit. He was also listed as boarding on the corner of Woodward Avenue and High st. in Detroit.

In 1865 he applied for and received a pension (no. 371360).

Joseph eventually left Detroit and may have settled for a time in Augusta, Kalamazoo County. In May of 1869 he accepted a call to the Congregational church, in South Haven, Van Buren County, remaining in that position until September of 1871 when he resigned, although he reportedly preached for about six months in 1872, presumably in the same church. He was working as a clergyman and living with his wife and one child in South Haven in 1870 and listed as a retired minister and living with his wife and daughter Louise (b. 1863) in 1880 in South Haven. He probably lived in South Haven the rest of his life.

Joseph was a member of the Star of the Lake Lodge, F. & A. M. as well as a charter member of the Grand Army of the Republic Zachariah Chandler Post No. 35, of South Haven (founded in July of 1881).

Rev. Anderson died of “disease of the brain and paralysis” at his home in South Haven on Saturday, on April 2, 1882, and was buried in Lakeview cemetery in South Haven, section 5, lot no. 9, grave no. 2.

His widow, Lucy, applied for and received a pension (no. 232,312).

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Elliott Crippen Anderson

Elliott Crippen Anderson was born July 20, 1840, in Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan, the son of William (1802-1887) and Deborah (Benton or Denton, 1806-1888).

His father was born in either New York or in Canada and married Deborah in 1825 (born in Nova Scotia), probably in Ontario. In any case they were living in Bayham, Elgin County, Ontario by 1826 and resided there until at least 1835. By 1837 they had moved to Middlesex County, Ontario and by 1840 had settled in Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan. By 1843 they had settled on a farm in Walker, Kent County where they resided for some years. In 1850 Elliott was living with his family and attending school in Grand Rapids; by 1860 he was working as a farm laborer in Walker, Kent County.

Elliott stood 6’ tall, with gray eyes, light hair and light complexion, and was 21 years old and probably still living in the Grand Rapids area when he enlisted in Company B on May 13, 1861. (Company B was made up largely of men from Grand Rapids, and many of who had served in various local militia units before the war, in particular the Grand Rapids Artillery, under Captain Baker Borden, who would also command Company B.) Elliott was wounded in the left hip on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia. According to Rebecca Richmond, teenage daughter of William Richmond, one of Grand Rapids’ leading businessmen, “young Anderson was severely wounded” at Fair Oaks. The Detroit Advertiser & Tribune reported in August that Elliott was a patient in the New York City hospital, although in fact by then he had been sent home to recover his health.

On August 5, 1862, Dr. Charles Shepherd of Grand Rapids wrote the War Department that he had examined Anderson and found him to be suffering from “contractions of muscles and shrinking of limb” as a consequence of his wound of May 31, and that he was “incapacitated for duty”. Nor did Dr. Shepherd think Anderson would be able to resume his duties in a period of less than 30 days. As a consequence, Elliott was discharged on September 2 at Detroit Barracks, for “a gunshot wound of the left hip and thigh near the great trochanter implicating the sciatic nerve.”

Although reportedly discharged on September 2, by the New Year Elliott had still not received his discharge papers. And on January 3, 1863, Anderson wrote from his home in Grand Rapids to Lieutenant Colonel Smith in charge of the army depot in Detroit and Major Howard, also in Detroit, that he was at home on furlough still awaiting his discharge paper. "If my discharge and pay certificates are complete, please send them to P. R. L. Peirce of Grand Rapids. . . . If Mr. Howard has them will be please also forward blank acct to Mr. P.” He was discharged from the army Detroit Barracks on September 27, 1864, for a gunshot wound of the left hip and thigh “near great trochanter.”

Elliott married Adeline “Addie” Maria Covell (1843-1927) on December 23, 1863, and they had at least three children: Edward F. (b. 1864), Albert E. (b. 1866) and Arthur Ream (b. 1873).

Elliott remained in Grand Rapids through at least 1866, but by 1873 was living in Buda, Illinois. By 1880 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and family in Macon, Bureau County, Illinois, and he reportedly lived in Illinois for some 14 years. He eventually moved to Iowa and by 1886 he was living in Shelby, Iowa, and apparently lived for a time in Omaha, Nebraska. In any case, Elliott soon returned to Shelby where he was living in 1907 and for many years worked as a stockman.

He retired from his trade as a stockman about 1908 and by 1910 was living in Albany, Oregon (where his son Edward lived); he was still living in Albany, Oregon in 1911 but by the following year was living in Santa Monica, California.

In 1879 Elliott applied for and received pension no. 179,004, drawing $72 per month by 1925.

Elliott eventually returned to Oregon, and by 1922 he was reportedly suffering from chronic bronchitis and, according to his physician, Dr. B. R. Wallace, was “very feeble and unable to take care of himself and is so nearly helpless as to require the regular personal aid and attendance of another person.” Elliott was residing at 127 W. 4th Street in Albany in 1922.

He was living at 1024 W. 8th Street in Albany, Oregon, when he died on June 3, 1925. He was buried in the Masonic cemetery in Albany.

His widow was living at 127 W. 4th Street, Albany, Oregon, and received pension no. 966266, drawing $30 per month by the time she died in 1927.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Charles B. Anderson

Charles B. Anderson was born 1840 in Rochester, Monroe County, New York, possibly the son of James (b. 1796) and Eliza B. (b. 1805).

New Jersey native James married New York-born Eliza, and they eventually settled in New York where they resided for some years. Sometime after Charles was born the family settled in western Michigan and by 1850 Charles was attending school with his older sister Nancy and they were living with their family on a farm in Otisco, Ionia County. Charles was still attending school and living with his family in Otisco in 1860.

He stood 5’10” tall, with black eyes, sandy hair and a light complexion, and was 21 years old and working as a teacher possibly living in Ionia County when he enlisted as Fourth Sergeant in Company K on May 13, 1861. In September of 1862 he was reportedly “commanding the company”, and the following month was transferred to the non-commissioned staff as Commissary Sergeant. He was absent sick in a hospital in Washington, DC in November of 1863. Although he was listed as hospitalized through February of 1864, he was well enough to reenlist on December 21, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia. He was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864 and if so he probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February.

At some point Charles was detached from the company to the commissary department and he was transferred as Commissary Sergeant to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He was still listed on detached service, probably with the commissary department, in May and June. He was mustered out of service on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

In 1870 James Anderson was still living in Otisco, and by 1880 Eliza was living as a widow with her daughter Nancy in Otisco. (Nancy is also reported to be buried in Otisco cemetery.)

According to SUVCW Graves’ Registration Project Charles B. is buried in Ionia County, but this cannot be presently confirmed.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

George Ames

George Ames was born 1838 in Seneca County, New York.

George eventually left New York and was possibly living in Ottawa County, Michigan when he married 18-year-old New York native Elizabeth Olmsted (b. 1843) on February 7, 1861, at Polkton, Ottawa County; they had at least two children: Delia L. (b. December 10, 1861) and Frederick I. (b. March 29, 1863). (Elizabeth was the sister of Lewis Olmstead who would also join the Third Michigan.) They were living in Greenfield, Wayne County in December of 1861, but had moved back to Ottawa County and were living in Wright by March of 1863 when their son Frederick was born.

George stood 5’8” with blue eyes, light hair and with light complexion, and was a 26-year-old farmer probably living in Tallmadge, Ottawa County when he enlisted on January 14, 1864, in Company E for 3 years at Grand Rapids, crediting Ada, Kent County; he was mustered on the same day. (His brother-in-law Lewis Olmstead would also enlist in Company E the following month.)

He was not sent out to the Regiment until February 10, 1864, and was transferred to Company E, Fifth Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. George was reported as missing in action on October 27, 1864, following the engagement at Boydton Plank road, Virginia, and in fact had been taken prisoner on October 27. He died of scurvy on March 23, 1865, in either Libby prison, Richmond, Virginia, or in West’s Building Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.

George was possibly buried in Richmond (if he did in fact die there), or in Baltimore, but in any event it appears that his remains were returned to Ottawa County and that he was buried in Marne cemetery. In fact, according to Van Eyck’s Ottawa County in the Civil War, as well as Ottawa County cemetery records, there is a stone memorial for “George Ames” in Marne (formerly Berlin) cemetery, Ottawa County, and the inscription “reads that George died while a prisoner at Libby prison, d. March 23, 1865.” (Also buried in Marne is one Hiram Ames, b. c. 1838.)

In May of 1865 Elizabeth was living in Ottawa County and in Berlin, Ottawa County, in October of 1865 when she applied for and received a widow’s pension (no. 62280); and in 1867 Elizabeth was listed as guardian when she applied for and received a minors’ pension (no. 105308). Elizabeth remarried in 1866 to one Calvin Martin. By 1870 Elizabeth and Calvin and Freddie Ames were living in Wright, Ottawa County; that same year Lillian was living with the Eli Sheldon family in Berlin, Ottawa County. Also living with the Sheldon family was Elizabeth’s brother Lewis Olmstead and his wife.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Alfred B. Ames

Alfred B. Ames was born February 23, 1841, in St. Lawrence County, New York, the son of Henry.

(There was a Henry P. Ames reportedly living in Potsdam, St. Lawrence County, New York in 1840 and a Henry Ames living there in 1815, 1820, 1830 and 1850. There was another Henry Ames living in DeKalb, St. Lawrence County in 1830 and in Canton, St. Lawrence County in 1840.)

In 1850 there was one Alfred Ames living in Elizabethtown, Essex County, New York, and in 1860 one living in Groton, Tompkins County, New York.

In any case, sometime before the war broke out Alfred left New York and moved westward, settling in Michigan.

He stood 5’10”, with blue eyes, a light complexion and light hair and was 20 years old and working as a farmer living in Muskegon County when he enlisted in Company A. (Assuming Alfred was living in Muskegon when war broke out, in 1927 he claimed to have enlisted on April 12, 1861, in Muskegon, which would have placed him with the “Muskegon Rangers”, a local militia company formed in mid-April in Muskegon which would become the nucleus for Company H. If Ames did in fact enlist in Muskegon he must have been transferred from Company H to Company A soon after the company arrived in Grand Rapids, which was on May 15. )

George Miller, also of Company A and a tentmate in the winter of 1861-62, wrote home on November 21, 1861, that he thought Ames “a very disagreeable self-conceited fellow.”

By September of 1862 Alfred was detached to Brigade headquarters as a hostler, and in April of 1863 he was guarding baggage. Alfred was treated for opthalalgia from March 4 to March 7, and from September 19 to 28 and October 4 to 7 and 9-10 he was treated for gonorrhea. He was sick in October, apparently in a hospital in Washington, DC, and in fact, he was being treated for gonorrhea from October 3, 1863 through March 14, 1864. Although reportedly returned to duty, in fact he was apparently still being treated for gonorrhea from March 19 until June 9, and it is quite possible that he never did rejoin the regiment but remained in a Washington hospital until mustered out on June 20, 1864.

It is not known if Alfred ever returned to Michigan after his discharge from the Third Michigan -- although he may have resided briefly in Harrisburg, Ottawa County.

Alfred eventually reentered the service as a private and substitute on October 16, 1864, for one year, in Company A, Eighth Illinois infantry. He was treated for a “contused wound” on October 25, 1864, and soon returned to duty. He was subsequently treated for “inflammation of the pleura” from October 28 to November 2 and again returned to duty. He was on detached service as an ambulance driver from March 8, 1865 to April 2. By July of 1865 he was again undergoing treatment for gonorrhea. Alfred was discharged from the army on October 14, 1865, probably in New Orleans, Louisiana.

After he left the army Alfred returned to Illinois (probably Chicago and possibly Berryville) where he lived off and on from about 1866 to 1890, and reportedly worked as a farmer for some years.

Alfred was married to Arvilla De Voe in 1866 in Hainesville, Illinois and was apparently married a second time to one Martha Stevens. Alfred had at least two children: Emma (b. 1867) and Helen Ames Duel, and possibly one stepdaughter, a Mrs. Maud Champlin (living in Ipswich, South Dakota in 1929).

He resided in Chicago, Illinois from 1866 to about 1871 when he moved to Sioux City, Iowa, where he remained until about 1884 when he returned to Illinois, settling in Chicago; he was living at 1092 Harrison Street in Chicago in 1891. For many years he worked as a farmer. From 1897 probably until about 1927 he lived in Wisconsin, and by 1911 he was living in Breed, Oconto County, Wisconsin.

Sometime in 1920 Alfred moved in with one William Flynn, in Breed, Wisconsin, and was living in Breed in 1924. In 1925 Flynn testified that Alfred’s physical condition had deteriorated. He was “unable to dress himself, he is growing more feeble and helpless daily,” and he had “to sit in a position with his feet elevated” as a result of his having a double hernia.

In 1890 he applied for and received a pension (no. 685,992), was drawing $72.00 per month in 1927.

Alfred was admitted to the hospital at the Michigan Soldiers’ Home on November 2, 1927, with a double inguinal hernia and arteriosclerosis. He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association and a Protestant.

Alfred remained at the Home until he died a widower, on August 31, 1929, of senility. Although he requested that his body be sent back to his half-brother, D. R. Ames in Libertyville, Illinois, in order to be buried at Ivanhoe, Illinois, he was interred in the Home cemetery: section 7 row 22 grave no. 17.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Charles A. Althouse

Charles A. Althouse also known as “Auldhouse”, was born July 27, 1835, in Switzerland, the son of Michael and Margaret (Bowne).

Both his parents were reportedly born in Switzerland. In any case, sometime before 1860 Charles immigrated to the United States, eventually moving westward and settling in western Michigan. By 1860 Charles was a laborer living at a boarding house in Norton, Muskegon County, and working in Ira Smith’s lumber business.

Charles stood 5’8” with hazel eyes, brown hair and a fair complexion, and was 25 years old and probably living in Muskegon when he enlisted in Company H on May 13, 1861. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers”, was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties.)

On August 29, 1862, during the battle at Second Bull Run (also referred to as “Groveton”), Charles was shot in the left shoulder joint, “the ball entering in front two inches below the clavicle and lodging in the tissues about the joint causing partial paralysis of the arm,” and by early September was reported as a patient in Columbian College Hospital and “doing well”.

In fact, according to the War Department, Charles was treated for wounds from September 1 through November 20. He was discharged on account of his wounds on November 20, 1862, probably at Columbian College hospital, Washington, DC, or possibly on November 18 at Camp Pitcher, Virginia. The minie ball remained in his arm for the rest of his life, lodged under the shoulder blade.

In 1862 Charles applied for and received a pension (no. 24,843), drawing $6.00 per month by 1883.

Following his discharge Charles returned to Michigan and was residing in Muskegon where he was working as a sawyer in the mid-1860s, but had probably moved to Big Rapids, Mecosta County when he married his first wife, Ohio native Margaret Stine (1834-1881) of Dalton, Newaygo County, on September 12, 1864, in Big Rapids. They had at least six children: Harvey W. (b. 1865) Lillie (b. 1869), Priscilla M. (b. 1872), Eddie W. (b. 1875), Mina A. (b. 1877) and Frederick (b. 1880).

Charles lived variously in Muskegon, Newaygo and Mecosta counties. He was living in Big Rapids in 1870 and in 1875, and working as a laborer and living with his family in Big Rapids in 1880.

On October 14, 1883, he married his second wife, Eveline Bishop, in Lumberton (?), Michigan, and they had at least two children: Samuel C. (b. 1886) and John L. Victor (b. 1887).

He was in Hungerford, Newaygo County in 1883 and in Norwich and Woodville, Newaygo County in 1888, 1890. 1894 and 1898, and in Big Rapids in 1902 where he worked as a laborer.

He was probably living in Big Rapids when he was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 3925) on October 27, 1902. He became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association the following year, and was possibly a member of the Grand Army of the Republic Andrews Post No. 294 in Big Rapids; in religious matters he was a Protestant.

Charles was discharged from the Home February 8, 1908, and returned to Big Rapids where he lived for a short time, before he was readmitted to the Home the following September.

Charles remained in the Home until he died of stomach cancer on April 4, 1911. Rev. Stark held his funeral at the Home at 2:30 p.m. on April 7, and Charles was buried in the Home cemetery: section 5 row 10 grave no. 14.

In 1920 there was a Victor Althouse (b. 1887 in Michigan) and an Albert Althouse (b. 1868 in Michigan), living in Portsmouth, Virginia.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Benjamin Alspaugh

Benjamin Alspaugh, also known as “Allspaugh” or “Alspauch”, was born July 22, 1842, in Sandusky, Ohio, the son of Henry and Eva (Herring).

In 1840 there was one Henry “Alspeck” living in Ballville, Sandusky County, Ohio. By 1850 Benjamin was attending school and living with the George Orr family in Ballville, Sandusky County, Ohio. (That same year a number of Alspaugh children were scattered to various other families in Ballville as well.) By early 1861 Benjamin had left Ohio and settled in western Michigan, possibly in Ionia County.

He stood 5’9” with hazel eyes, fair hair and dark complexion, and was a 18-year-old farmer possibly living in Ionia County when he enlisted with the consent of the Justice of the Peace in Company D on May 13, 1861. (Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County.)

Ben was present for duty in late summer of 1861, but by the end of October was reported sick in his quarters and by the end of December was sick in a hospital in Alexandria, Virginia. He was on detached service serving as a hospital attendant as of February 28, 1862, probably in Alexandria. He remained detached through April, and by the end of June he had returned to duty and was reported as company tailor in July of 1862. He was listed as sick in the hospital in August where he also served as a nurse, and by the end of October Benjamin was in Cliffburne hospital in Washington, DC. He remained in the hospital until December 24, 1862, when he was discharged for a varicocele at Washington, DC.

It is not known if Benjamin returned to Michigan after his discharge from the army. He may in fact have returned to his family home in Ohio where he reentered the service in Company I, Forty-first Ohio infantry, on October 10, 1863, at Salem, Ohio, for three years, and was mustered on November 18.

By February of 1864, he was on recruiting duty in Ohio, but had returned to the Regiment by the end of April. He was wounded by a gunshot in the left arm and chest on May 27, 1864, while his company was engaged at Pickett’s Mills (near Dallas), Georgia. Benjamin later claimed that “the ball passed in just above his left elbow and passed through and came out on the under side of his arm about half way between his elbow and shoulder joints, fracturing the same, and destroying the use of his arm by cutting all the muscles.” He also claimed “another ball struck his breast bone fracturing the bone [and] some pieces have come away.”

He was subsequently transferred to Camp Dennison, Ohio where he remained through the summer. By the end of October, he had been transferred to a hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, where he apparently remained through April of 1865, and was quite likely transferred to Company A, Seventeenth Regiment of the Veteran’s Reserve Corps perhaps as early as January 16, 1865. (The VRC was made up of men who while ambulatory were generally incapable of performing regular military tasks due to having suffered debilitating wounds and/or diseases and were assigned to garrison the many supply depots, draft rendezvous, camps, forts, prisons, etc. scattered throughout the northern cities, thus freeing able-bodied men for regular military duty.)

Sometime after the end of April Benjamin was transferred to a hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana. Benjamin himself reported that he was treated in hospital no. 1, in Nashville, where he remained from June 16 until sometime in November, and that he was transferred to the VRC in November, after which he was sent to Indianapolis with the VRC. He very likely served as a guard at the rebel POW camp, Camp Morton just outside of Indianapolis. If so, the camp commandant was another former member of the Old Third, Colonel Ambrose Stevens.

In any event, Benjamin was reportedly discharged Indianapolis for disability on May 1, 1865. Apparently he suffered from “contraction of tendon of biceps & atrophy of muscle & arm contracted to a right angle” as a result of his wounds.

Benjamin probably returned to Ohio after his discharge, and was living in Oak Harbor, Salem Township, Ottawa County, Ohio, when he applied for pension no. 71953 (for service in the Ohio infantry), and was drawing $72.00 per month by October of 1927.

He married his first wife Ohio native Susanna or Susan Hall (b. 1845?) in Tiffin, Ohio, in 1866, and they had at least seven children: Isaac (b. 1867), Henry, Albert A. (b. 1869), Willie F. (b. 1874), Edward, Alta (b. 1877) and Myrtle (b. 1879).

Benjamin and Susan were living in Ohio probably from 1867 until at least 1879 when Ben moved his family to Nebraska, settling on a farm in Loup, Merrick County by 1880. He apparently returned to Michigan by 1894 when he was residing in Bertrand, Berrien County (as was another civil war veteran named Henry Alspaugh).

It is unclear what became of Susanna; one source claimed Benjamin deserted her.

In any case, Benjamin was living in Alden, Antrim County when he married Harriet “Hattie” Ritter, on June 15, 1910, in Bellaire, Antrim County. She had been married twice before. According to Hattie, “I had known Alspaugh but a short time before we were married. But I had known his people for twenty years before that even took place and had heard about him through them. When we had revival meetings at Central Lake [Antrim County] where I was living, he came there and took a great interest in the meetings and having gotten better acquainted we soon got married.”

According to Hattie’s later testimony, Benjamin deserted her sometime after they were married. In fact, in June of 1915, Benjamin left Hattie to attend a soldier’s reunion Traverse City, Grand Traverse County, for four days and from there he went to Oak Harbor, Ohio to take care of his dying sister. After she died he went to live with his nephew, John Rhineberger.

Shortly afterwards Benjamin left Michigan and returned to Ohio and was living in Ottawa County, Ohio, when his wife Hattie attempted to gain access to part of his pension. According to Hattie,

The first year after we were married my husband and I got along pretty well. The first thing that brought discord came through my daughter, Maude Ritter. . . . It was not her fault; it was no one’s fault. Alspaugh paid her way here from Central Lake, she was sick, and she was to stay here until she could get better and work out. Now what happened was this: She saw an advertisement in the newspaper where a work girl was wanted to work in a family in Harbor Springs. She answered it through the mails. About the time she thought she should have an answer she started to go to the post office. Then soldier [Alspaugh presumably] bossed her. He told he that as long as she was under his roof she had to obey him and he forbade her going to the post office. I wanted her to go because I desired that she should get the place. So she went to the post office and when she returned he put her out of the house. He did it kind of roughly but he did not throw her out. He carried her out. Then I took her to Mrs. Harpers’ house here and got her shelter and she later got a place in Bellaire. While he was putting my daughter out of the house and was about to tread on her dress, the best one she had, I tried to get the train of her dress out of her way and he threw me up against a post and hurt my arm so that I had to have it bandaged. The arm bled freely. I went away with the girl but I did not stay at Harper’s place. I went to Old Lady Tyler (dead), she bound up my arm for me. Alspaugh had made his threats what he would do to me if I came home and so I did not go home until I got Prosecuting Attorney Meggison to home with me. It seems to me it was away over a week at that time and when I did come back I came with Meggison because I was afraid to come back myself. I was always afraid of him because of his awful temper, swore at me so much, damned my soul to hell and wanted to domineer over me in all respects and show his authority. When I came back he would not let me have anything to eat for pretty nearly a week, he would go down town and buy his eatables and got into that little room and eat them and would make his coffee in the woodshed. I wrote to Meggison asking if I could buy some groceries at the store on his credit but Meggison wrote me a very saucy letter and did not tell me whether I could do this. This all occurred in 1911, latter part of July and forepart of August. I remember that it was not long afterwards that the resorters were returning to their homes. After I came back to the house we lived together thereafter until he left me June 15, 1915, but never as man and wife should live. He never took me anywhere and would not allow anyone to come and see me. He would dress up and go away to the reunions just like a single man, would never offer to take me. He would not give me any money; if I asked him for any he would say: “It is too bad about you; I have no money for you.” I asked him for ten cents to buy postage stamps with one day and he said the same thing, said he had no ten cents for me. I never refused to cohabit with him. He locked me out of his room the next night after I came back after he had put my daughter out of the house and he always kept the room locked afterwards. The night of the day we were married we slept in this house. That night at bed time he said: “No Hattie, you have been used to sleeping by yourself, you better sleep in that little front bedroom.” I thought he was joking or playing a trick on me. So I went and got in bed with him and I slept with him right along until he put my daughter out of the house. After that I could not get into his room. He kept the room locked and carried the keys in his pocket. The room had two doors, one opened into another room in the house, one out onto the porch. He claims that I would not clean up his room and wash the bed clothes but I could not get into his room and even if I had been able to get into the room I had nothing with which to clean it with, no soap, nor any money to buy any. All the time we slept together (in that same room) it was kept clean and nice. But he continually smoked in bed even when I slept with him and I complained about that. Then he would damn and curse me and say “Oh, you are so nice!” There were four years I could not get into that room. It then got into a filthy condition, was full of bed-bugs, and he mashed their carcasses on the walls and the blood-stains are there yet. And he set the bed on fire and one time we had quite a conflagration, the house nearly burned up, it was in danger of burning. He went out and locked the door with his pipe in there burning, and that set it afire. He called on Hattie” that day to carry the water. I carried the water and he dashed the fire out. That was the first time I had been in that room for a long time. But as soon as the thing was over he locked it up again.
As I stated I never refused to cohabit with him but he did refuse to do so with me in the manner I have stated above.
When he locked me out the first time I rapped on the door and Called, “Ben, let me in”, but he would not answer. During all this four years I did his cooking for him and we ate at the same table. He provided well when he was there but when he would go away (and he sometimes would go to Ohio or out to work at the carpenter trade) he would leave me nothing. He went to Ohio one time and stayed seven weeks and never wrote me or sent me any money and I had a hard time getting something to eat. But his people always came to my rescue. His own people have been my main stand-by. That same fall, 1911, I was to take the Ross cottage washing in order to make a little money. Elias Alspaugh’s wife, my sister-in-law, told me I could get the wash. My husband heard what was said to me and he went and locked all the utensils up, tubs, washboards, kettles, and everything, in the shed on the back end of our lot and I could not get them. Then I appealed to Mr. Meggison to see if I could have the soldier to provide for me. But while he was here I asked him about the matter of my husband locking my washing utensils up and he said they were mine to use and that I would be justified in breaking the lock and with two witnesses present, Lena Tyler and Lena Anderson, I broke the lock.
No one can make me say I do not like the man because I do not like his ways. He is a rough, profane man, one with a very loud voice, and was always abusing me.
Q. Now it appears that he went away June 15, 1915, you and he had been living in the same house some four years just prior to that date, eating at the same table, but not sleeping together?
A. Yes, about four years that arrangement had been in effect but we lived in the same house five years to a day.
Q. State al the circumstances attending his final departure on June 15, 1915.
A. He went away on the morning train south, to Traverse City. The train goes about 9 a.m. I knew he was going to the Soldiers’ Reunion there that day. He was all dressed up and sat out on the porch until about train time. He was just as jolly that morning as he could be, talking to the neighbors, and bantering with them. The last thing he did was to bring in an armful of wood and place it in the wood box. Then he went into his little room, locked the screen door, the door covered by the screen door, then came out locked the other door form the outside, placed the keys in his pocket and went to the train. He took no grip; he took his trunk. He told Ben Holly and his wife (now in Richmond, Indiana) that he was taking his trunk so that they would not steal his blankets, that they stole them the year before [presumably at the reunion?] That was his excuse. It seems that he intended to go away and leave me because he never came back but I had no intimation that he was going to desert me, the neighbors did not know anything about it either. No, he and I had had no words about the time he went away, everything had been running on as usual. He stopped at Traverse City because other old soldiers told me they had seen him there. But from there he went to the Soldiers’ Home in Grand Rapids and stayed until just before pension day in September (1915) and then he went to Oak Harbor where he has since remained. [The Pension Bureau concluded that Benjamin in fact had never been a member of the Home in Grand Rapids.]
No, I have never received a letter from him since he went away and he has not contributed to my support since he went away. I have been on the town twice since he went and they wanted to place me in the County [Poor] House but I would not go there. I hear from him indirectly through his people here.
Q. Do his people here take your side of this matter or his side?
A. Oh, they all take my side; they stand up for me and they help me. They almost kept me through the last winter. I would not wish to neighbor with better people than his people here. He has one brother here, Elias Alspaugh.
Q. Are they not unfriendly to soldier?
A. Well, when my husband went away they were not on such good terms. My husband did them a mean trick. Nobody can keep on good terms with my husband.
Q. The soldier stated in answer to your allegations that you first left him; that he put the girl out of the house because she was of bad moral character; is that a correct statement?
A. I stated that I went away with the girl when he put her out of the house and that I returned in about a week. But my daughter was not of bad character, she was a good girl.
Q. Soldier alleges that since that episode you never treated him right; never did any washing, mending, nor care for his bed room, that he had to hire his washing and mending done; what have you to say in regard to that statement?
A. Why I have explained why I could not do those things. He kept everything under lock and key. I could not get at his things, so how could I do these things? I did all my housework just as far as I could get at things. After this episode soldier phone to my daughter at Bellaire at Mr. Matthewsons [or Matthews], where she was employed, and asked her to come and stay a week with us. She came and soldier bought her a beautiful dress while she was here and the whole week she stayed there was nothing good enough on the table for her. Soldier felt sorry for what he had done, probably. This was in the spring of 1914, I believe.
Q. He alleges that you continually found fault with him, that he did not dare to take a bath in the house for fear of getting some water on the floor; that he had to bathe out in a shed; that you told the neighbors that he soiled the bed, that he was impotent, and caused a public scandal, in a word; how about that statement?
A. I deny those statements. While we were cohabiting together I washed his feet often and they smelled awful. And I would have bathed him all over all the time if he woould have allowed me to do so. There is no truth in that statement. No, I did not find fault with and nag him. I would not have dared to do so. He would have cursed and swore at me. Once when I asked him for money he said “You are always nagging”, that was what he said to me one time. I do not remember that he ever soiled the bed. I know that he made that statement. I have a photographic copy of his allegations. I did tell a neighbor woman that he was afflicted with selfabuse [masturbation?] and that was what ailed his head.
Q. Did you call your husband vile and indecent names?
A. No I never did.
Q. He states that you did so.
A. it is not so; I was not brought up to use bad language. I never swear profanely. Neither do I ever use vile or indecent language. My husband is very untruthful. He will also steal.
Q. Now, he states that the reason he went away that it was impossible for him to live with you or in the same neighborhood on account of your talk and gossip about him; is that so or not so?
A. That is not so. It was he who did the gossiping. I did not get any chance to go about and gossip about him. He did not like for me to go any place nor for anyone to come to visit me but after he went away I went about among the neighbors to learn what he had been telling on me. I was afraid of him; I was afraid he would knock me down. No, I never said that I sent my first husband to the penitentiary. Soldier heard my testimony in the Listenberger case when I made my statement before Mr. Grant sims, a pension examiner. I told Mr. Sims that my first man had been sent to jail and that under other circumstances he might have been sent to the penitentiary. Soldier lay on the lounge and heard all this and stated when I got through “The old woman has the thing down fine.” I never made the threat that I would send my last husband, Alspaugh, to the penitentiary. I never threatened to drive him away either. I would have been afraid to do so. But he put me out of the house the first September after I married him. That was over his putting up some stoves. He misconstrued a peaceable remark I made and took umbrage at it and opened the door and said “Go” and I went up to his folks but when he found out that he did not understand what I said he got me back again.
Q. If he should wish to come back here would you live with him again?
A. No, I will not live with him anymore. I am free from him and if I can get a support from him I would rather not have him about, he is too quarrelsome.
Benjamin testified on April 24, 1916, that his wife left him on or about July 12, 1911. “She left me,” he added, “for the reason that I no longer would keep her daughter in my house.” Benjamin further stated that he “put her daughter out of the house because she was a woman of a ban [sic] moral character, [and] ever since that time my wife has not treated me as a wife ought to treat her husband.” Apparently Hattie went to the County prosecuting attorney, Thomas Meggison, who asked Benjamin “if I could not take Mrs. Alspaugh back.” Ben replied, “that I did not chase her out.”

Hattie returned to their home and, according to Benjamin’s statement, “began packing up her things preparing to leave the way it looked to me, but she did not leave.” He added that “from the time she came back she never done any washing, mending or took care of my” bed or bedroom and that if he “wanted any washing or mending done I had to do it either myself or hire it done.” Furthermore, they “did not cohabit together from that time on” and Hattie slept in one room and Benjamin in another. He noted that his wife continually found fault with him. “I did not even dare to take a bath in the house for fear of getting a few drops of water on the floor.” As a result, “I had to take a bath in the shed.”

He reported that one night in the fall of 1911, while suffering from diarrhea, “I could not get out of me bed soon enough [and] left a few spots on the bed sheet.” He said that Hattie went around the neighborhood telling their neighbors “I had done a job in bed.” Apparently Hattie also told their neighbors that Benjamin “was no good any more [and] that I could not get an erection.” She also called Benjamin “vile and indecent names and never did treat me with kindness and respect so that it became impossible for me to live with her any longer, or live in the same neighborhood on account of the talk and gossip of my wife.” Benjamin also testified that Hattie “told me that she sent her first husband to the penitentiary and that she would send me there also. She further said that if she could not send me to the Penn. [sic], then she would drive me away the same as she did her second husband, Martin Ritter.”

According to the statement of Thomas Meggison, Hattie contacted him in the summer of 1915. She swore to him that Benjamin threatened her with bodily harm or death. Meggison then went to their house to investigate the charges and “found that there was no foundation for the complaints” and that in fact “he was satisfied that the real instigator of the trouble was” Hattie herself. Meggison further stated that Benjamin stayed with Hattie, at his urging, longer than Meggison believed he should have, and that when he did leave her he left “her with a comfortable small house to live in.”

Benjamin testified in October of 1917, that after he and Hattie were married they lived together

In the village of Alden, Antrim County, for five years to the day after we were married, and I could not stand it any longer to live with her and then I left her June 15, 1915, and have not seen her since then and have had no correspondence with her since them and she has never written to me since I left her, not a word of correspondence either way between us since I left her.
I did not tell her the day I left, that I was going to leave her, but I had told her many times before that, that I was going to leave her if she did not stop her nagging and bullyraging me, and she had made her brags to me that she would drive off and had told our neighbor James M. Park that she was going to drive me off and he had told me she told him she would drive me off before I left her. Just as soon as I married her I took her to my little home there in Alden and she wanted to drive me off, so that she and her daughter would have my home, as that was what she told to Minerva Soper, who told me. I told the claimant a good many times that Minerva Soper had told me that she, claimant, wanted to drive me away so that she could have my home. She would shut the neighbor’s chickens up in the wood house and try and get me to kill them and she said she would cook them, and I knew she was trying to get me in a trap and would be the first one to tell it and to get me in trouble. I would let the chickens out and shoo them home, as they were Mrs. Soper’s chickens. I got afraid of claimant’s lying tattling tongue and had to leave her.
Question – why did you not tell her on June 15, 1915, or just shortly before you let [sic] her, that you were going to leave her for good and not return?
Answer – I did not, that was all. I had told her just a few days before I left her that I was going to leave her, if she did not do any better, and she did no better was the reason I left her. She would not clean my room or do my washing, as she would never give me any reason. Since I left her she has claimed she did not clean my room because I kept my door locked, but there is not a word of truth in that statement. There were two doors to my room; one an outside door that was kept locked and the other was form the dining room, and that door from my room to the dining room would shut but would not be locked as it was a warped door and could not be locked. There was a lock on that door but no key for it while I was there and never was locked while I was there.
The first trouble I had with my wife was a little over a year after we were married, over her daughter Maud Ritter. [She] came to our house sick and was there ten months. While she was sick I paid the doctor bill and for some clothes for her, and after the doctor told me she was well and able to support herself, I told her I wanted her to leave and support herself. I did not want here around there, as she was not what she ought to be anyway, and the claimant told me that Maud could stay there as long as she pleased. The first time I told Maud to leave she went away and was gone seven days and came back and I found her there when I came home at noon, and told her she could not stay there and if she was there when I came home to supper I would put her out. When I came home to supper Maud was still there and I told her she would have to leave, and she said she would not as she was sick and her mother told her she could stay there if she wanted to, and I then put my hands under Maud’s arms and dragged her out in the yard, and all the time I was taking her out her mother kept fighting me and struck me and nearly tore my shirt off and called me an old brute. I said brute or not I did not want her there. I took Maud out in the yard and sat her down on the ground and she got up and went down town and her mother went with her, and claimant was then gone a month, and twice while she was away she brought atty. Meggison there to the house. The last time she brought Meggison there she told him I had threatened to kill her, and I asked him if he believed any such stuff as that and he said he did not, right before her. Meggison asked me if I would take her back, and I said I did not chaise [sic] here away, was all the answer I made. Then the next morning she came back and said she was going to leave and commenced packing her things and was three weeks packing up her things, but she never left. For the first week after she came back I did my own cooking and I do not know where she ate her meals, and then she got to cooking and setting things on the table for me to eat, and I told her if she could not sit down and eat with me she need not cook for me and after that she would sit down and eat with me. I would not eat the food she cooked for me unless she would eat the same food, as I was afraid she would dope me, as she was up to all kinds of tricks.
Up to the time I put Maud out we occupied the same bed, but when she came back after I put Maud out she took the room where Maud had been. I asked her three nights . . . to come on and go to bed in my room and she told me to shut my mouth, as she would go to bed when she got ready. After I asked her three times to come to my room to bed, I made up my mind I would not ask her any more and I never did. She left my house and my bed on her own hook when I put Maud out, and she came back on her own hook as I never asked her, but when she did come back I did ask her to come on and go to bed in my room, but she sat up all night in a big chair the first night after she came back, and after I asked her three nights to come to bed in my room I never asked here again. Sometimes after that she would be gone for 3 or 4 days at a time, but I did not know where she would go as I did not bother about her. Sometimes she would ask me for money and I would give it to her and sometimes I would not. I gave her money for clothes and what ever she needed as long as I was with her. I did everything in my power to try and get along with her, but it was no use, as there was not a day but what she would find fault with me in way or another so I could not stand it any longer. Maud never came back to my home and stay over night after I put her out of the house. I would allow her to come back to visit her mother when she wanted to but to stay any length of time. I left her because she was all the time finding fault with me and lying about me. She would tell the neighbors I would steal, and went with another woman and would take things out of the house and give them away, and the she would tell dirty stories about me, that I had lost my manhood, such dirty stories about that, around to the neighbors, and I could not stand it any longer. I stood it as long as I could and then got out.
I have never applied for a divorce from her, and never expect to, as I would not spend another cent for her. When I left the claimant, I went to the soldier’s reunion at Traverse City, Mich., four days, and then I went to my sister at Oak Harbor, Ohio, as she was helpless, and took care of her until she died last August, and since then I have been making my home with my nephew, John Rhineberger. I never expect to live with my wife again and never expect to have any thing further to do with her.
I admit my wife is of good moral character and in needy circumstances, but she left me in the first place and when she came back she did not come back as my wife as she never occupied the same room with me as my wife and did not treat me the way a wife ought to. She got whatever she wanted at the store of C. H. Coy, for three months after I left her and I paid the bill and then notified Mr. Coy not to sell her anything more on my account.
I did not forbit Maud Ritter to go to the post office for any mail of her own., Why should I? I did forbid them from getting my mail. When I put Maud out of the house claimant claimed I hurt her arm, and had her arm bandaged and made a great fuss over it, and had Dr. Hoag look at it and he just laughed and said it was not hurt. There was not a scratch on it. That is just one of her lies. I did not lay a hand on her, and never did, I would not be guilty of such a thing. After I put Maud out I did not take the claimant any places, as I did not care to, but she went places wherever she wanted to and could have anyone come and see her she wanted to. I did not swear at her, because I am not a swearing man and never was. I am a member of the church, and not a swearing man. I did not lock her out of my room the night after she came back after I had put Maud out as I never locked her out of my room. She never was without soap, and all things that a woman needed to keep house with, as she always had plenty of everything, as can be proven at Mr. Coy’s store. I never did smoke in bed. One day when I was in my room the corner of the mattress caught afire and half a wash basin put it out, and that was as near as the house came to burning down. I never did know what caused that fire, but had my own idea about it.
The seven weeks she speaks of when I was in Ohio, was when I was called to Ohio, at the time my sister was sick and I was then with my sister until she died, and claimant knew where I was at that time and I had made arrangements at the grocery store for her to have whatever she wanted before I left, and she always had what ever she wanted from the store whenever I was away. I did not write to her because I never had much education and cannot write much besides my name and it is difficult for me to write.
I did lock my wash tub and wash board in my shop shed, because my tub was a large tub and she did not use it as she had a tub and wash board of her own that she used, and I did not want mine standing out to the weather if it was not to be used. I did tell her she could take in washing, because if she could not do my washing for me she could not take in washing for some one else. The lock to that shed never was broken while I lived there. I never went to the Soldiers’ Home at Grand Rapids after I left her. I never went to any Soldier’s Home.
I did think claimant’s daughter, Maud, was of bad moral character, because some man telephoned my house, and I answered the phone, when the man wanted her to come to Traverse City and stay with him.
After I put Maud out of my house, about the spring of 1911, Maud did come to my home while I was away for 2 or 3 days. I did not telephone or ask her to come, but when I came back she was there, as she had been working for Mr. Matthews in Bellaire, and he had given her some cloth for a dress but there was not enough of it and I got her some more to finish it as she was nearly naked and needed the dress, and I had enough of a heart in me to give her a dress when she needed it. Maud was there maybe a week at that time, as I would not have her there any longer, but I did not want to keep her away from coming to see her mother, but I did not want her, and she was not in my home overnight while I was there after the time I put her out. The time she was there nearly a week, after I had put her out, I was away at work and got home only about once a week. She never washed my feet but one time and that was in hot water when I was sick in bed. She would not let me bathe myself in the house for fear I would splash the floor, and I did have to go out in my shop to bathe myself.
She has called me vile and indecent names lots of times, all kinds of names. (Here deponent repeats the names she called him some of which are so indecent they are not fit to make a record of.)
The first September after we were married we did have some words and she said she would go away, and I said well then go if you want to, and she did got to my brother, to my brother Elias, but I did not open the door and tell her to go.
She went out herself, and came back that same evening, and said she had not said she was going to go, and I said well then I did not understand her, and that was all there was to that. Some things she did not talk plain any way as her upper teeth were all gone.
I never had any words nor any trouble with my brother Elias before she got in the family and then I had trouble with him and all kinds of trouble.
Lena Tyler is a gossip and so is the whole family of my brother Elias. If she was present when the lock of the door to my shop was broken, it has been since I left there, as it was never broken before I left.
As to the disposition of Hannah Alspaugh, I do not want to hear it as I would not believe her under oath, and do not want any thing to do with her.
I never did smoke in bed while I lived in the house of my brother Elias. I would lie on the lounger and smoke sometimes, and he did that himself.
I do not care to hear the testimony of Victor F. Tyler, as he has been in the insane asylum at one time and I do not think he is now responsible for any thing he says. He is my brother’s son-in-law, and he is as big a gossip as his wife Lena. He is not a willful liar, and I always liked him, but I do not think he is responsible.
As to the final statement of my wife, that she knocked at my door and call[ed] out to get in my room after she came back to my house after I put her daughter out, when she went away for a month, I will say it is false as she never did knock at my door and never called to me. She was gone a month before she came back. I never did keep her locked out of my room, and I never had a key for that door. I did tell the neighbors she would not wash my room and would not wash my clothes or keep my room clean, and she took neighbors in there herself to show them how dirty the room was when I was not there and how could she do that if it was locked?
I did keep my washing utensils locked up as I have stated, as she used her own. She did keep the rest of the house clean, except my room, as she is a good house keeper and a good cook, but she would never clean my room and never would do my washing after I put her daughter out of the house. She would never give me any reason why she would not clean my room or do my washing.
I did have Mrs. Carruthers do some washing for me, and had others do my washings for me.
It was shortly before I put Maud out of the house that she went to the preacher, John Priestly, who now lives in Kewagan, about seven miles from there, and complained to Priestly that I did not provide enough for them to eat, so Mr. Priestly went to the dep. Sheriff, Leonard Armstrong, to go with him to my house to investigate, and they walked in while I was at home, but I did not know they were coming. I sat still in my chair and told them to go through the house and they went where they pleased, and they looked in the pantry, and when they left, Mr. Priestly said he was satisfied they had both lied, meaning my wife and her daughter. My tool chest never had a lock on it. I never did ask Maud to come to my home after I put her out, I did not want her there.
As to the testimony of claimant’s daughter, Maud or May, she did visit at my home for 3 days in July 1910, and in November she came again for over night and December 1910 she came again just after her still born child was born, and she stayed at my home continuously for ten months until I carried her out, as I have described. I did not throw here out through the screen door. She knew why I put her out. I never did request her to return to my home after I put her out, and when she did return, it was when I was away at work. She never bought me a Christmas present. She had nothing to buy anything with.
At the time I left claimant to go to Traverse City, to the reunion, June, 1915, I had decided to leave her at that time, for good, before I left home. It was premeditated, as I thought that was a good time and a good excuse to get away without any wrangle or saying any thing about it and I never intended to go back to claimant when I left her as I thought the easiest way to get away from her was the best without any more words with her.
According to the report of the special investigator examining the case for the Pension Bureau, Hattie had been “divorced from two former soldier husbands.” Still, Hattie and Benjamin reportedly “lived harmoniously together form the date of their marriage until June, 1911, when the pension forcibly put the [Hattie’s] daughter out of his house, and from [that] time until [Ben] left [Hattie], June 15, 1915, the situation” was, as one of the witnesses reported, “’a rough house’.”
The evidence clearly shows that from the date the pensioner drove the claimant’s daughter from his house the claimant did all in her power to make the pensioner’s home life unbearable; and that on account of such treatment and her stories about the pensioner (unfit to print) he was justified in leaving. The claimant’s witnesses, although relatives of the pensioner, are prejudiced against him, and their knowledge of the facts is not so good as that of his witnesses who live in the immediate neighborhood.
By December of 1916 Benjamin was living in Oak Harbor, Ohio, reportedly taking care of one of his sisters who was dying of cancer. By 1918 he was living in Green Spring, Sandusky County, Ohio. By 1920 he was living in the Ohio State Soldiers’ Home in Perkins Township, Erie County, and in August of 1925 was living in the Home suffering from near-blindness, deafness and senile dementia.

Benjamin was probably living at 4124 Vermont Avenue in Detroit, when he died on October 25, 1927. He was presumably buried in Detroit although it is also possible that his body was returned to Ohio for interment.