Monday, December 31, 2007

John M. Brown

John M. Brown was born in 1842.

John was 19 years old and probably living and working in Newaygo County, Michigan, when he enlisted with the consent of the Justice of the Peace in Company K on May 13, 1861. During the opening phase of McClellan’s “Peninsular” campaign in Virginia, John was left sick at the hospital in Yorktown, Virginia, where he remained hospitalized from about May 4, 1862 through September.

From the battlefield at Fredericksburg, Virginia, on December 15, John wrote home to Michigan to a woman named Mariette, whom he had apparently known before the war.

With pleasure I attempt to scratch a few words to let you know that I am well. We have been in three days fight, and we are lying now on the brow of a hill supporting a battery. There is not much firing at the present time. The pickets [are] shooting some. There is wounded and dead men lying on the battlefield within 20 rods of us, and we went out with a flag of truce yesterday and today for permission to bring our wounded away and bury our dead, and the Rebs wouldn’t accept it, so the men has to lie on the field hollering for help and then we [dare] not go and get them. I can see them this present moment. Our pickets & the Rebel pickets is within talking distance. We can see the rebels. The main body of them is a half a mile of us. We are in the center. They are fighting on the left wing & right. There is some hard fighting before we can take the heights the rebels has possession of. We can see the rebels plain, and there is orders for us not to shoot unless they go to advance. I don’t know what minute I have to advance, so I cant write much & another thing, I can’t think of half of what I want to write, for my mind is on the fighting & I can’t think of anything else. Write soon. Perhaps I may get your letter, and I may be lying cold. There was some killed in my regt & a good many in the brigade. I will write more about it next time. I can’t express my feelings to you at present. Oh it looks hard _ men with their heads blowed off. Read this if you can. I got a letter from you the other day. Your friend, John M. B[rown]

He eventually recovered enough to be assigned on detached duty and by March of 1863 was reported on duty at Brigade headquarters. He apparently remained on detached service from the regiment and in April he was reported to be on recruiting duty, probably in Michigan.
John soon rejoined the Regiment, however, and was shot in the right knee on July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, probably while the Regiment was hotly engaged in the Peach orchard on the second day of the battle. He was subsequently hospitalized in Gettysburg where his leg was amputated at the First Division, Third Corps hospital.

John died of his wounds on July 12, 1863, at a hospital in Gettysburg, and was initially buried on Michael Fiscel’s farm and subsequently reinterred in Gettysburg National Cemetery: section D, grave 13.

There is no pension available.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Hiram Brown

Hiram Brown was born 1848 in Sparta, Kent County, Michigan, the son of Clark R. (b. 1810) and Lucy (b. 1816).

Connecticut native Clark married New Jersey-born Lucy and moved to New York before 1834. Clark eventually brought his family on to Michigan between 1836 and 1838 and by 1850 were still living in Sparta, Kent County. By 1860 Hiram was attending school with seven of his siblings, and living with his family in Sparta. (His father owned some $8000 worth of real estate.)

Hiram stood 5’10” with black eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was an 18-year-old farmer possibly living in Sparta, Kent County when he enlisted in Company F on January 22, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Sparta, and was mustered the same day. (He might have been related to Henry Brown who enlisted in Company F on February 5, 1864.)

He joined the Regiment February 17 at Grand Rapids and was wounded in the leg sometime in early May, probably during the various actions at the Wilderness or Spotsylvania, Virginia. He was transferred to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and was absent sick from June 2 through November of 1864. He apparently recovered his health and eventually rejoined the Regiment. According to Hiram, at a battle before Petersburg on April 2, 1865, he was hit in the left fore-arm by a musket ball which struck just below his left elbow, passing through. He was subsequently sent to City Point hospital where he remained for about three weeks and was then transferred to Lincoln hospital in Washington, DC. He remained at Lincoln hospital until he was discharged for disability on June 6 or 16, 1865, at Lincoln Hospital in Washington, DC.

After the war Hiram returned home to Sparta where he worked for many years as a farmer. In 1870 he was working as a farm laborer and living with his parents on the family farm in Sparta. In 1880 Hiram was working as a laborer and living with his older brother Ezra and his family in Sparta. He was living in Sparta in 1883 and in Tyrone, Kent County in 1890.

Hiram was married to a woman named Ann; they divorced in August of 1892.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, a Protestant, and in 1880 he applied for and received pension no. 227,469, drawing $10.00 per month by 1901.

He was possibly living in Hersey, Osceola County in 1901 when he was admitted as a single man to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 3620) on May 20, 1901.

Hiram, who was probably on furlough from the Home, died on August 2, 1901, in Hersey and was buried there.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Henry Brown

Henry Brown was born 1849 in Niles, Berrien County, Michigan, the son of Robert (b. 1820) and Ellen (b. 1820).

Canadian-born Robert married Ireland native Ellen (she was unable to read or write in 1860) and by 1844 they were living in Canada. Between 1844 and 1849 the family settled in Michigan and by 1850 Henry was living with his family in Division 10 of Berrien County. By the late 1850s Robert had settled his family in Grand Rapids, Kent County, where he worked as a railroad contractor.

By 1860 Henry was attending school with his younger sister Sarah and living with his family in Grand Rapids’ Fifth Ward. Sometime in the latter half of 1860 Robert left home on business and was never seen again. According to Charles Ellet, who knew the Brown family before the war (and who would join Company B, Third Michigan infantry in the spring of 1861), “on or about the year 1859 or 1860 Robert Brown left [Grand Rapids] on business. He being a railroad contractor at times he was away for several months. At the time he left the last time in year 1859 or 1860 he never returned. I do know that he was a good, kind and affectionate husband. . . .”

Henry stood 5’2” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion, and was an 18-year-old painter probably living in Grand Rapids (or perhaps in Muskegon, Muskegon County) when he enlisted with his mother’s consent as a Musician in Company F on February 5, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Muskegon, and was mustered the same day. (He might have been related to Hiram Brown of Sparta, Kent County, who would enlist in Company F on February 17, 1864.)

Henry joined the Regiment February 18 at Camp Bullock, Virginia, and that winter he tented with Asa Daniels, who was from Clinton County. Asa wrote home to his father, Andrew Daniels, sometime in early Spring of 1864 saying that “There is a young fellow here and he is in the same tent and he says that he wants you to write to him. His name is Henry Brown. He is the one that wrote my letters last winter.”

Henry was absent sick from May until he was transferred to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. (His mother claimed that he contracted dysentery at Boydton Plank road on September 24, 1864.) Henry remained absent sick through December. Henry was mustered out of service on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war Henry returned to Michigan and was working as a painter and living with his mother and two younger siblings in Grand Rapids’ Fourth Ward. He was still living in Grand Rapids when he married Mrs. Lydia Barga or Bargy (b. 1845), also of Grand Rapids, on April 13, 1875, in Grand Rapids. By 1880 Henry was working as a house painter and living on Spring Street in Grand Rapids with his wife Lydia (several doors away lived another former member of the Old Third, Orin Huntley).

However, this marriage was reportedly rendered void when it was discovered that Lydia married Henry prior to her divorce from her first husband. Lydia claimed in early 1887 that she had indeed been married before, in 1855, to one Henry Bargy, in New York, but that they separated in 1867 and she never heard from him again “either directly or indirectly excepting that immediately after her separation . . . Bargy was sentenced to imprisonment for a criminal offence and she was advised that a divorce was unnecessary and consequently never applied for a divorce, and up to the time of her remarriage [to Henry Brown] and subsequently to the [1887] she has never heard directly or indirectly whether [Bargy] was living or dead, but on the contrary presumed him to have been dead.” It is not known what became of all this.

Henry was possibly a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, but the association records remain unclear about this.

Henry died of chronic diarrhea on November 3, 1886, in Big Rapids, Mecosta County and was presumably buried there (or he may be buried in Gratiot County).

Henry's mother was living in Grand Rapids in 1890 and in Big Rapids in 1891; she was granted a dependent mother’s pension no. 569099. Lydia was living in Big Rapids (box 305) when she applied for a pension (claim no. 349,473)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Eli W. Brown updated 2/24/2008

Eli W. Brown was born March 20, 1840, in Columbus, Warren County, Pennsylvania, the son of William F. (1818-1894) and Mary (Ploof, b. 1822).

Massachusetts native William married New York born Mary, and they eventually settled in Pennsylvania (William’s father and family had settled in Warren County, Pennsylvania in about 1833. In 1840 there was one William Brown living in Columbus, Warren County, Pennsylvania, and one William T. Brown living in Freehold, Warren County, Pennsylvania.) By 1850 Eli was living with his parents -- his mother was listed as unable to read or write -- and two younger siblings on a farm in Freehold, Warren County, Pennsylvania. In1856 Eli reportedly left Warren County and moved westward, eventually settling in Eaton County, Michigan, where he lived until 1858, settling thereafter in Portland, Ionia County. Eli’s father William was probably living in Michigan when he married Michigan native Louisa M. Miner (d. 1887) in 1857.

It appears that William was probably living in Michigan around 1859 when his son Jay was born. In any case, William soon returned to Freehold, Warren County, Pennsylvania, and by 1860 was working as a laborer and living with his wife Sarah and four sons – but not apparently including Eli.

Eli stood 6’1” with blue eyes, black hair and a black complexion and was a 21-year-old farmer possibly living in Lyons, Ionia County when he enlisted as Fifth Corporal in Company E on May 13, 1861. (Company E was composed in large part by men from Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties, as well as parts of Ionia County.)

He was wounded on May 3, 1863, at the battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia, but apparently quickly recovered. According to Andrew Kilpatrick, also of Company E, Eli was a Private present for duty with the regiment in late May. According to Kilpatrick, Eli was under arrest in mid-June of 1863, and indeed he was reported as absent under arrest from June through July of 1863, offense(s) unknown. He was listed as absent sick from August of 1863 through February of 1864, when he probably rejoined the Regiment near Brandy Station, Virginia, and reenlisted on March 9, 1864, crediting Grand Haven, Ottawa County.

Eli was absent on veteran’s furlough in April, and probably rejoined the Regiment on or about the first of May. In any case, Eli was absent in the hospital when he was transferred to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He remained hospitalized through July of 1864, and was mustered out of service on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war Eli returned to Michigan and was probably living in the vicinity of North Star, Gratiot County, when he married Michigan native Lucy J. Delap (1840-1890), on August 16, 1865, in North Star.

He and Lucy were living in Bad River, Gratiot County in 1870, the same year he purchased nearly 170 acres in Gratiot County, and indeed he lived in Gratiot County (possibly for a time around Stella), from the time he was discharged until May or June of 1871 when he moved to Grand Island, Hall County, Nebraska. He remained in Grand Island until the fall of 1876 when he moved to Sidney, Nebraska remaining there until the spring of the following year. He then settled in Black Hills, Bismarck, South Dakota, living there until 1880 when he moved to Billings, Montana; he was reportedly living in Billings in the early 1880s. He moved around quite a bit until about 1885 when he returned to Michigan, settling in Manistique, Schoolcraft County.

By 1890 Eli was still living in Manistique, and although the following year he was reported living in Manistee, Manistee County, he was back in Manistique by 1892. He left Manistique in 1893 or 1894, and by 1894 was residing in North Star, Gratiot County; he was still living in North Star in 1897 and in 1898. For many years he worked as a farmer and as a builder and contractor.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association and a Protestant. In 1890 he applied for and received pension no. 715,363, drawing $12.00 per month by 1902.

Eli was a widower when he was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home on August 6, 1900 (no. 3436).

Eli died of stomach cancer at the Home on October 29, 1903, and his body was sent to North Star for burial. (See photo G-665).

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Charles Brown

Charles Brown was born 1830, Baden, Germany .

Charles left Germany and immigrated to the United States, eventually settling in Michigan by 1863.

He stood 5’8” with hazel eyes, dark hair and a fair complexion and was a 33-year-old chair-maker who had possibly just moved to Erin, Macomb County from New York City when he became a substitute for George Pressel, who had been drafted on February 17, 1863, for 9 months from Erin. Charles subsequently enlisted in Unassigned on March 3, 1863, at Erin for 3 years, crediting Erin.

There is no further record.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Anderson Brown

Anderson Brown was born 1844 in Ashtabula or Williamsfield, Ashtabula County, Ohio.

In 1840 there was one John G. Brown living in Williamsfield, Ashtabula County, Ohio. By 1850 there was an Anderson Brown attending school with four of his older siblings and living with his family in Island Creek, Jefferson County, Ohio, where his father worked as a laborer. Anderson eventually left Ohio, possibly with his family, and moved westward, settling in Michigan.

Anderson was an 18-year-old laborer possibly living in Coldwater, Branch County when he enlisted in Company G on September 27, 1862, at Coldwater for 3 years, crediting Coldwater. He joined the Regiment on October 9, 1862, at Upton’s Hill, Virginia. He was absent sick in June of 1863, but eventually returned to duty. Anderson was taken prisoner on January 4, 1864, while on picket duty near Eldora, Virginia. He was confined first at Richmond, Virginia -- possibly in Libby prison -- on January 8, and subsequently transferred to Andersonville prison at Americus, Georgia on March 10, 1864.

Anderson was admitted to the prison hospital on September 11, where he died of chronic diarrhea on September 15, 1864. He was buried in Andersonville National Cemetery: no. 8869.

There appears to be no pension available.

Friday, December 21, 2007

John Brooks

John Brooks was born 1840, in Wayne County, Michigan, the son of Joseph (1815-1887) and stepson of Olive (b. 1837).

In 1850 John was attending school and living with his father, New York native Joseph who was working as a butcher in Plymouth, Wayne County. John and his father eventually settled on the western side of the state and by 1860 John was working for and/or living with the Norman Cummings family in Sparta, Kent County. In the meantime, Joseph had married his second wife, Michigan native Olive and they were living in Sparta as well.

John stood 5’10” with gray eyes, black hair and a dark complexion, and was 21 years old and living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861. (He may have been related to Frederick Brooks who also came Wayne County but who enlisted in Company G.) John was reported as a pioneer from July of 1862 through October, and he was probably still on detached service when he reenlisted on December 23, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia; crediting Courtland, Kent County.

He returned home on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864 and probably rejoined the Regiment about the first of February. From April of 1864 through June he was a Brigade pioneer. For reasons unknown, at some point he was reduced to the ranks.

John was still on detached service as a Brigade pioneer when he was transferred to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and he remained on detached duty through August of 1864. He was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war John returned to western Michigan, and was living in Sparta when he married Ohio native Albina Mercy Place (b. 1844) on December 31, 1865, probably in Sparta. (Albina was the younger sister of Arthur Place who had also served in Company F. Arthur, too, lived in Sparta after the war.)

John and Albina were still living in Sparta in 1870; also living with them was 12-year-old Michigan native Barney Brooks who was probably John’s half brother (in 1860 2-year-old Barnabus Brooks was reported living with Olive and Joseph Brooks in Sparta). And nearby lived Joseph and his wife Olive and their family. By 1880, however, John and his family had "disappared" from the official record. In 1880 Joseph and Olive were reported still living in Sparta.

John may have died in Ottawa County, but was buried just over the Kent County line in Lisbon cemetery: lot 14, grave 1. (No death certificate appears to be available, however.) Joseph and Olive are both buried in lot 14, Lisbon cemetery as is another son, Andrew (b. c. 1840).
Curiously, lot no. 37 in Lisbon cemetery (which has no interments listed) is owned by one A. Place, however “Arthur” Place is buried in Greenwood cemetery in Sparta.

There appears to be no pension available.

Frederick Brooks

Frederick Brooks was born July 21, 1844, in London, England.

Frederick immigrated to the United States, and eventually settled in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, where he was living when the war broke out.

He stood 5’7” with a light complexion, grey eyes and light hair and was a 16-year-old mechanic residing in Detroit, when he enlisted with the consent of his parents in Company G on May 8, 1861. (He may have been related to John Brooks who also came Wayne County but who enlisted in Company F.)

In August of 1862 Frederick was reported as a company washerman, and from September through November of 1862 he was a company cook. On about June 20, 1863, Fred claimed later, he contracted rheumatism; he also suffered from hemorrhaging of the left lung and an injury to his right groin.

In July of 1863 Frederick was sent to the hospital (probably Pattison Park in Baltimore, Maryland), where he remained through November, and was transferred to the Seventy-first company, Second Battalion, Veterans’ Reserve Corps on December 15, 1863, reportedly due to “hemorrhage of the lungs”. Frederick may have been transferred to the VRC as early as September of 1863, but this is uncertain. (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.)

Why he was transferred to the VRC remains a mystery. Apparently he suffered from some debilitating disease or perhaps the effects of being wounded, but the record is unclear on this point.

In any event, he was eventually discharged from the Seventy-first company, Second Battalion, VRC, at Pattison Park hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, on June 9, 1864.

It is not known if Frederick returned to Michigan after his discharge from the army. In fact he soon settled in Memphis, Tennessee after he left the army, and for some years worked on the railroad.

He was residing in Tennessee when he married his first wife, Mary J. Shelby (d. 1877), in Winchester, on September 20, 1870. They had at least three children: Louisa Shelby (1871-1872), Fred Shelby (b. 1873), William Edward (b. 1874) and John (b. 1879).

Fred married his second wife, Eliza Harsh, on June 19, 1878, in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, and they had at least one child, a son Frank J. (b. 1879).

By 1880 Fred was working as a traveling agent for an oil works and living with his wife and children in Chelsea, Shelby County, Tennessee. By 1892 Fred was residing at 174 Fourth Street in Memphis.

He and Eliza were divorced in Memphis, in November of 1900 (he was the defendant), and he married a third time to one Laura Aycock, in August of 1907, in Memphis.

In 1908 Fred and his wife left Tennessee and moved briefly to Texas, then Oklahoma, probably in Paoli, Garvin County, Oklahoma, finally settling in Kanasas. Fred was back in Kansas, apparently living in Crawford County in the fall of 1913 when he sued Laura for divorce on the grounds of desertion and abandonment, and was granted a divorce from her on October 16, 1913. By April of 1915 Fred was residing in Frontenac, Crawford County, Kansas.

In 1880 he applied for and received pension no. 881557, drawing $25.00 per month by 1914, $30.00 per month by 1919 and $50.00 per month by 1923.

Fred was admitted to the National Military Northwestern branch National Military Home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from Knoxville, Tennessee on October 29, 1917. He was admitted to the Danville Branch, National Military Home on December 4, 1919, transferred to the Mountain Branch, National Military Home on December 22, 1919, readmitted to the Danville Branch from the Mountain Branch Home on February 12, 1920 and discharged on May 3, 1920. He was subsequently admitted to the National Military Northwestern branch National Military Home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 4, 1920 and discharged on August 16, 1921 and readmitted on October 1. Fred eventually moved in with his son Fred S., at his home at 2324 West. Street in Morgan Park, Illinois, near Chicago.

Frederick became seriously ill in late August of 1923, and never recovered. He was listed as a widower when he died of chronic nephritis and myocarditis at his son’s home in Morgan Park, while he was on leave from the National Military Home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on September 2, 1923. Fred was reportedly buried in Mt. Hope cemetery in Chicago.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

John Broad

John Broad was born around 1833 in England.

John eventually immigrated to the United States and by the late 1850s had settled in Michigan.
He was living in Lansing, Ingham County, when he married New York native Charlotte Sherman (nee Baldwin?, 1830-1907) on October 27, 1859, in Lansing (she had been married one before, probably to a Mr. Sherman and had one daughter by her previous marriage).

By 1860 John was working as a farmer and his wife was working as a dressmaker and they were living in the Lansing's Second Ward; John's stepdaughter Mary, also called Minnie, was living with them as well. (Also living with them in 1860 was a 50-year-old New York "tailoress" named Bethany Baldwin.)

Shortly after the war broke out John became a member of the Lansing militia company called the “Williams’ Rifles”, whose members would serve as the nucleus of Company G, Third Michigan infantry.

John was 28 years old and still living in Lansing when he enlisted in Company G on May 10, 1861. He was wounded severely in the left arm and face on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and eventually admitted to the hospital on David’s Island in the East River, New York harbor. On July 14, from David’s Island he was sent home on furlough to recover from his wounds, and by late July he was back home in Lansing where he was interviewed by the editor of the Lansing State Republican. John explained that during the battle of Fair Oaks he was left behind

in charge of some commissary stores, while the Regiment was ‘double quicked’ to the point to meet the enemy. When the Regiment had arrived at the point of attack, and were about to open fire on the enemy, the commissary guard [John] having taken a musket belonging to a wounded soldier in the hospital hard by came up puffing and blowing in an awful way, and after pausing a moment to recover breath, cried out to the officer in command: “Lieutenant, did you think I could stay guarding two barrels of pork, while the boys were fighting? No sir! I could not do any such thing. I want to pitch in along with the rest.” “Fall in”, was the reply, and he did fall in and fight bravely. He fired six times, and as he was loading for the seventh round, he received a ball in his left arm shattering it terribly, and at the same moment a buck shot entered his cheek, passed across under his nose, and lodged in his right temple, where it remains. For a time he was deprived of his sight entirely, but has now so far recovered as to be able to see with his left eye, but not much with his right. His arm is doing well and he expects to report himself for duty on the 15th of August.

A Detroit newspaper which printed the same story added that “the ball still remains in his face, but he says he feels no pain from it, but merely a great weight in his cheek.” According to later testimony, John was shot “in the left arm . . . splintering the bone badly also buckshot or piece of shell struck under the left eye and passed through and lodged under the right eye causing partial blindness.”

Although John was reported absent sick from June through November in the New York hospital, he was still home in Lansing in August, possibly on furlough from David’s Island hospital in New York. On August 5, 1862, Lieutenant Joseph Mason, then commanding Company G and detached on recruiting service in Michigan, wrote to Colonel Smith in Detroit that he had “been round the different towns adjacent to Lansing and find that the feeling among the people is, that they will go when ‘obliged to’. I have found two of my company here who have been wounded at Fair Oaks. They are not in condition to return to their company, as their wounds are not yet healed. They are men who could exert considerable influence here were they detailed. The names are John Broad and William Clark.” Nevertheless, on August 11 John reported for duty at Detroit Barracks. According to one source, John was sent to a hospital in Detroit (probably Harper hospital), where he remained through October.

By the end of 1862 John had still not fully recovered from his wounds, but had nevertheless apparently returned to the Regiment. He was reported in the Regimental hospital from December of 1862 through September of 1863, although one wonders if he ever did in fact rejoin the regiment. He was reported on detached service in late April of 1863, serving with a supply train. (Interestingly, he was a recipient of Kearny Cross, supposedly for his participation in the battle of Chancellorsville, May 3, 1863.)

In any case, he was treated for congestive fever from February 12 until the 28th and returned to duty. He was then treated for syphilis from September 24 until the 27th, for gonorrheal orchitis from October 31 until November 18, for syphilis from November 23 until December 4 when he was apparently returned to duty. He was in the Regimental hospital in February when he was treated for influenza from the 28th until March 3, 1864, and returned to duty. He was mustered out on June 20, 1864, at Detroit.

After his discharge from the army John returned to his home in Lansing. “We were glad to welcome back to his home,” the editor of the Republican wrote on June 29, 1864, “that well tried and brave veteran, John Broad, of this city, Company G.”

Three years later, in 1867, Broad took a job as janitor in the State Capitol building in Lansing, a position he held for more than twenty years. By 1870 he was working as porter at the state capitol and living with his wife, his stepdaughter “Minnie” Sherman and Bethany Baldwin in Lansing’s First Ward. And by 1880 he was working as a constable and living in Lansing with Charlotte and his stepdaughter Mary. Indeed, he lived in Lansing the rest of his life. In 1910 he was living in Lansing’s Fifth Ward.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association and the Grand Army of the Republic Foster Post No. 42 in Lansing until he was suspended on December 16, 1884, and dropped on April 1, 1885. Apparently he was reinstated in May of 1894, but again suspended in June of 1897 and dropped in June of 1898.

In 1864 he applied for and received pension no. 57,667, drawing $14.00 per month in 1883, and $40 per month by 1906 and 1915.

John was probably living with his step-daughter, Minnie Sherman at her home at 424 N. Cedar Street, in Lansing, when he was taken seriously ill on September 2, 1915. He never recovered and was a widower when he died of apoplexy at his step-daughter’s home on September 4, 1915.

He was buried as an indigent soldier on September 8 in Mt. Hope cemetery in Lansing: section G, lot no. 16, grave no. 8.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Charles F. Brittain

Charles F. Brittain, also known as “Brittam”, was born January 29, 1836, in Hartford (or Harford), Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, the son of William F. (b. 1806) and Catharine (Case, b. 1807).

New York native William married Connecticut-born Catharine in the fall of 1833, by a minister of the Universalist church, in Hartford (or Harford), Pennsylvania. The family moved from Pennsylvania and sometime between 1843 and 1847 settled in Illinois where they resided for some years. sometime after 1849 they left Illinois and moved to Michigan, eventually settling in Ottawa County. By 1860 Charles was a cooper living with his older brother James and his wife Mary E.; James was employed as a mail contractor. That same year Charles’ family was living in Spring Lake, Ottawa County; and living with them was a farm laborer named Jerry Richardson who would also join Company H. In fact Charles referred to “Jerry” in a number of letters home (see below). And living next door was Miner Emlaw who too would join company H. During 1861 and 1862 Charles’ father William delivered mail between Ferrysburg and Muskegon and kept a hotel in Ferrysburg as well.

Charles stood 6’0” with blue eyes, fair hair and a light complexion, and was 25 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.)

Although Charles was reportedly discharged for hepatitis on August 20, 1861, at Hunter’s Farm, Virginia, in fact he was never discharged at all and remained on duty with the regiment. On September 28, he wrote home to his mother that he had received her letter the day before and was glad to hear from her.

I have just finished writing Jim [?] a long letter and now I will write you all the news I have got. I am pretty well at present and I hope these few lines will find you the same. I can’t tell whether I shall come home or not this fall but I see may be I will. . . I am sure I have no news to write you. I have written the news before. I have some money and I will send some home when St. Clair [?] comes back and you can keep it for me till I come. You can take it to Pennsylvania with you and if I meet you there I can use it. If I don’t [meet you, you can] use it if you want it I don’t need much money here. I have enough to eat and wear and that is all I want here. I don’t know when I shall [see a] battle. I should not wonder if we never had one. I think it is as likely that way as any. at any rate I hope so. I won’t think there is any danger but that we all come home in the spring if we want to. Jerry’s leg is very sore. I think he will have to be discharged before long if his leg won’t get better. I suppose Bill Read has got home before this if he has he can tell you all about us. I know I can get my discharge if I have a mind to but I don’t like to till the rest are. I should like to come home first rate. I don’t think it is right to come till the rest do. I cannot think of any more to write so good day for the present. Write as soon as you get this.

On October 9, Charles wrote home to his mother informing her that he was well.

I receive[d] a long time ago stating that you was going to Pennsylvania the last of this month but you [needn’t] expect to see me there. I am better of[f?] here each co[mpany] has a good room for those that are not very well. It has a good fire place in and we have our own times and I think it is as well to stay here and get pay and get my clothes and board as it is to come home and lay around all winter. But if there is any fighting done I shall be ready for that whether I am well or not. Mr. St. Clair [?] is here and I was glad to hear from [him] that you was well. He said that he stopped at your house when he came away and talked with you. He said that you was all well. I was glad to see the old man as ever I was any body. I suppose that you received the money and letter that I sent. . . . If I can get to Washington or Alexandria before St. Clair goes [?] home I will send my likeness but I don’t think I shall be able to do it for they keep us pretty close [?] for we have orders to march or to be ready to at a moment's notice. It [is] very raw wintry weather here and [a] great many of the men have bad colds. I have not had much colds yet. I have a first rate appetite but I can’t get much bread and meat to eat but I am getting so that I relish it pretty well. I can tell you that it don’t go half so hard as it did at first. There is more companies now drilling at sham fighting in plain sight of our window. It is a pretty sight to see them, but I have drilled till I am tired of it and I don’t have to drill any more than I have a mind to and that ain’t much. I can tell you Jerry has a sore leg yet and I don’t think he will get well very soon if he stays here and lays on the ground [in] this rainy weather. I should like to see you but I don’t think it would be [right] to come home right away for I could not do anything if I did come home and I should want to get back if I did. I can’t make up my mind to come home yet. I should think you might write to me a little oftener. I am sure you have a chance to write as I do for I have writ[ten] when I get a chance and when I get a chance I have to write on my knee or on an object, for I shan’t write any more till I hear from you. Mind that now St. Clair brought a box of blankets for different ones that was sent by their friends. I suppose when it is opened I shall find one from you for I know that you have got plenty of them. A good blanket would [be] very acceptable to me just now for it is cold here. The next move we make I think we shall got to Mount Vernon where we shall see Washington’s tomb and then I shall see some things more to write about. I have written about everything that I have seen and more too so I have nothing more to write of any importance and for that very reason you must not expect much but however I will try to fill out this sheet with something so that you may know that I am alive and kicking. I should think that you might send me some papers to read or something else. It [is] very lonesome here without anything to read. I buy a great many papers but that takes up the change pretty fast you know and I haven’t any too much of that. Any reading matter that you can send me I shall be very glad to get. If you go to Pennsylvania write while you are there and I will answer it.

Charles then brought up a subject that apparently had been weighing on his mind for some time. He felt distressed that his father paid little or no attention to him since he left for the army.

I wonder what the reason is that father don ‘t write. I don’t hear a word from him. I haven’t heard hardly a word from him since I left. I thought he did care something for me when I left but it seems he don’t or else he would say something to me. Tell him he must take good care of the big horses and not work them too hard and when I come [home] I shall have money enough to buy another team as good as them. I am going to save my money so that if ever I do get back I can have something to start with the word with and if I don’t it will do some body some good. Next payday I will send home at least thirty dollars and maybe more and you can take care of it till I come back. I don’t know but I might say a little more about the war. They say that there is a large force of secessh [not far] from Alexandria but I don’t know how true it is nor I don’t care. I should like to have them to do the fighting and stick to it till they fighting is done for. I want to come home and I don’t want to come home till the rest do. But it don’t look well to come home alone and leave the rest of it. One of our men just came from another camp and he heard that we will have to drive the rebels off of our new camp ground; if they are on it we shall drive them off and like enough have a hard brush but we don’t feel afraid of trying our luck with them at any rate for we want to smell powder. I think it will be good that the regt that is going to take over this place has just arrived and I think that we shall leave tomorrow. Bill Townsend [Moses Townsend] is going to get his discharge. He has not done anything since he came here and says he won’t if he stays a year and I believe him for he is the greatest shirk [?] that I ever saw. The captain [Emery Bryant] is not released yet and I don’t know when he will be but I hope he will be before long for I don’t like Charley Spang at all. Pete Bergevin is a first rate fellow and so is Bill Ryan. We have not trouble with them. I don’t know if I have any more to write at present so good day. Write as soon as you can and see if you can [write] as well as I have done. You must excuse my writing and make the best of it you can; if you can’t read it get some body else to read it for you; you must take it as it means not as it reads.

In early December he was with the regiment at Fort Lyons, near Washington, when he wrote home to his mother (and never addressed to his father) that “I just received your letter and was very glad to hear from you. I am feeling first rate better than I have for years. I am sorry to hear that [you] have got rheumatics. I hope you will get better soon. Any more news I have not got but I will try to fill up the sheet with some thing.”

He then goes on to relate how three men of the company, George A. and George W. Bennett and Hugh Boyd have recently deserted and will probably be shot if they are ever caught. (In fact they would all three return to duty under the President’s Proclamation of Amnesty in April of 1863.)

Charles described to his mother how his friend in the company, Jerry or Gerry (probably Jeremiah Richardson) “is a good hearted fellow. I have had one fight on his account. I don’t like to see him abased for he will do anything for me that he can and we never have no trouble. The quartermaster told me today that [we?] was going to have some rifles. That is a pretty sure sign that [we] are going to do something. I think we shall have some fun before long. We have got new clothes and good ones. If I could I would send new overcoat home for it is a nice one. . . . You need [not?] trouble yourself about my sleeping [well] for I sleep warm enough if you get a good chance you may fix up the old big woolen blanket that I used to have on the boat and send it out here and you may tell Ellen to write me a letter.”

On January 27, from Camp Michigan, Charles wrote home to his “respected father.”

I received your kind letter today and hastened to answer it. My health is good. I am sorry that you are not very well but glad to hear that you [are] doing well. You must take good care of the chestnuts and not let them get poor for I shall be home in the spring and by then I want to have some fun with them. . . . I have 20 dollars saved and in about six weeks I shall 26 dollars more and I will send it to you if you want it. I have lent my money to our Lieutenant until next payday then I am going to send it home by express if I don’t get a chance to send it by private conveyance and you can use it if you want. There is no war news at present. Some think that we shall make an advance as soon as the roads get settled enough so that we can and others say that we will never move until we move for home. I don’ like the idea of staying here a year and not seeing one battle you know[but the one we] lost Bull Run and there is a fair prospect of losing all the rest of the battles. I am getting a little homesick and tired of camp life. There is too much confinement here to suit me. I am a strong temperance man since I came here the reason is because I can’t get anything stronger than coffee to drink. You know what I told about the mail I hope you will get it; I should like to have it myself if you don’t want it but you will want it for you can’t do as well at anything else. Give my respects to Chancey Allen and to my Abbott. I don’t know if I have any more to write at present so good by. From your affectionate son, Charles F. Brittain.
Write as soon as you can for I [would] like to get a letter from you.

And the very next day he wrote to his “Dear Mother”,

As I have time I will write a few lines to let you know that I am well and hope you [are] the same. There is not much news to write so I will write for myself this time. I want you to make me up a box of something good to eat; you may send me some butter and a bottle of wine if you have it and such other things as you have. Tell father to send me a bottle of good rum and I will make good use of it and I will send him 40 dollars in six weeks. If you send it you must send it right away for it you do not maybe I shall be away.. Mark it Alexandria and put my name on it; if you mark it as I tell you it will come free. . . . I have got a pass for two days. No more at present from your son, Charles F. Brittain Co H third regt of Mich Alexandria D C in care of the Mich. Soldier’s Relief Association.

On February 5, 1862, Charles wrote to the editor of the Grand Haven News in his desire

to let the people in the vicinity of the Grand River Valley know that the Third Michigan Regiment of Infantry are doing service to their country. I will tell you what the Muskegon Rangers and the Georgetown company did on Monday last, while out on picket service: Capt. Lowing, of the Georgetown Company, made up a party of about eighty picked men, from the foregoing named companies, and made the furthest reconnaissance that has ever been made. We went as far as Occoquan village, fourteen miles below Alexandria. We discovered nothing of unusual interest on the way. Arriving at Occoquan village we found rebels plentiful. They seemed to be having a regular jollification, and did not see us until we had approached within forty rods and fired upon them, killing four or five, and driving the rest to their houses. There were none of our party hurt. We returned in good time to save ourselves, for there was a large force [which] followed us.

On February 22, Charles was with the regiment at Camp Michigan when he wrote his “dear mother”

I received your kind letter today and was glad to hear from you. I am well and hope these lines will find you the same. There is not much news to write at present time. They are celebrating the 22 [Washington’s birthday] today [and] they have been firing cannon all day and tonight the capitol will be illuminated so that it will look like one immense flame of fire and most all of the house sin the City will be illuminated. We have very easy times here and enough to eat such as it is. I have got the box you sent me and ate it most all up but the box and wrote to you about it two or three times. John Smith wants to know where Bob Lavake [?] is. The weather is warm and rainy and lots of mud. There has been no snow here to amount to anything. I will send you some grape vines before long. It is not quite late enough yet for them to do well. I shall send 40 dollars home in the spring. There is so much gab here that one can hardly write at all here. There is no more news. There is a fair prospect of our coming out before a great while and I hope the time will be short. Give my respects [to] every body and excuse my mistakes. Tell some of the folks to write to me and I will answer their letters. The more letters I get the better for I don’t have much to do only to write. I hope that I shall have something to write about. From your son, Charles Brittain

And on March 16, again still with the regiment at Camp Michigan, Charles wrote to his mother:

As I have the time to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well and hope these few lines will find you the same. We are under marching orders and expect to start every day. The weather is fine at present and the mud is drying up very fast. The quartermaster and one captain and one private out of the Pennsylvania 63rd got shot out on picket day before yesterday but it was all carelessness. I saw two prisoners come in today; one of them was said to be a captain and the other was [a] citizen. If we don’t march we shall have to go on picket next Sunday. I shall start the box home tomorrow. You need not send me any more until I tell you to for maybe then I can’t get it when I want anything. I will let you know. I am very much obliged to you for the things that you sent and should be glad of some more but there is no certainty of my getting it if you send one. I suppose you know the picture that is in the letter; if you don’t they are good soldiers both of them and don’t be afraid for the devil. I am on guard today and shall be until nine o’clock tomorrow. We shall get our pay in a day or two if nothing we shall get next week at any rate and the I shall send it home and you can let father use it if he needs it and you can let him have the twenty if he wants it. There is no more news to write so I shall have to wind up. Write as often as you can. From your affectionate son, Charles F. Brittain.

Charles was admitted to the 3rd Division hospital near Yorktown, Virginia, on April 27, suffering from remittent fever. He was reported to have died at Yorktown, on May 19, 1862, presumably of fever. If in fact he did die at Yorktown, he was presumably among the unknown soldiers buried at Yorktown National Cemetery.

In 1880 William applied a dependent father’s pension (no. 261698), which was eventually rejected. By 1883 he was still living in Ferrysburg, Ottawa County; it is not known what became of Catharine, his wife.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Francis Brinnick

Francis Brinnick, also known as “Brummick” or “Brunnick”, was born 1836 in Michigan.

In 1850 there was a 56-year-old shoemaker listed only as “Mr. Brinnick”, born in Ireland, living and working with another shoemaker named Thomas Perinton (?) in Jackson, Jackson County, Michigan; also living with him was his son (?) James J. Brinnick, born c. 1841 in Michigan and attending school in 1850. In any case, by 1860 Francis was living in Dallas, Clinton County with the Jacob Drake family. (Also living with the Drake family was one Jane Brinnick, age 20 also born in Michigan.)

Francis was 25 years old and still living in Clinton County when he enlisted on May 23, 1861, in Company C. He was taken prisoner on November 30, 1863, at Mine Run, Virginia, and confined first at Richmond on December 30 -- probably in Libby prison. He was subsequently sent to Andersonville, Georgia on March 18, 1864. According to prison medical records he was admitted for diarrhea to the prison hospital on March 13, 1864 and returned to the prison the following day. Francis recovered but was returned to the hospital on June 8 for diarrhea and scorbutus (scurvy).

He died of dysentery on July 1, 1864, and was buried in the National Cemetery at Andersonville: no. 3479.

There appears to be no pension available.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Cyrus Loren Brigham

Cyrus Loren Brigham was born July 31, 1837, in Madison, Madison County, New York, the son of Timothy (b. 1816) and Wealthy A. (b. 1814 ).

On March 24, 1836, New York natives Timothy and Wealthy A. (d. 1887) were married in Eaton, Madison County, New York, and settled in Eaton where they were living by 1850. Sometime between 1850 and 1852 Loren’s family moved from New York to Illinois and by about 1857 they had settled in Sparta, Kent County, Michigan. By 1860 Loren was working as a farm laborer and living with his family in Grand Rapids’ Fourth Ward, where his father was a shoemaker.

Loren (or Laren) stood 5’6” with gray eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 23 years old and probably still living in Grand Rapids (or in Polkton, Ottawa County) when he enlisted in Company B on May 13, 1861. In July of 1862 he was reported working as an officers’ cook, and he was quite probably wounded on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run. In any case, he was present for duty when he reenlisted on December 23, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, for three years, crediting Grand Rapids. He subsequently returned home to Grand Rapids on veteran’s furlough in early January of 1864.

He rejoined the Regiment on or about the first of February, and was transferred to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. Although he was reported as absent sick in August, he eventually rejoined the Fifth Michigan, and was wounded by a gunshot to the stomach on April 6 or 7, 1865, probably at Sayler’s (or Sailor”s) Creek, near Appomattox court house.

Loren died of “a penetrating wound to the abdomen by a musket ball” on April 7, 8 or 9, 1865, in the Second Division hospital (Ninth Corps) at Burkville, Virginia. Originally buried at Burkville Station, Virginia, he was reinterred in Poplar Grove National Cemetery: original division E, section E, grave no. 701.

About 1871 Loren’s family moved to Woodland, Barry County, and then settled in Englishville, Kent County around 1876. In 1872 his mother applied for and received a pension (no. 228881?).

They were residing in Englishville when Wealthy died in 1887. Timothy applied for and received a dependent’s father pension (nos. 364619 and 241471 respectively).

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Jerome F. Briggs

Jerome F. Briggs, also known as "James," was born 1843 in Fulton (?), Vermont, the son of Hiram (b. 1814) and Mary (b. 1822).

Vermonters Hiram and Mary were presumably married in Vermont and may have been living in Caledonia County, Vermont in 1840. In any case, Hiram moved his family to Michigan sometime between 1845 and 1848, and by 1850 Jerome was attending school with his younger sister Lydia and residing with his family in Dallas Township, Clinton County, Michigan. By 1860 Jerome was living with his older sister Lydia and they were both living with the John Parks family on a farm in Dallas just a few doors away from Hiram and his family.

Jerome stood 5’6” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 18 years old and working as a farm laborer in Clinton County, probably the Dallas area, when he enlisted at the age of 18 in Company D on May 13, 1861. (Interestingly Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County.)

He was present for duty with his company during the battles of Williamsburg in early May of 1862 and Fair Oaks on May 31. He suffered an injury to one of his ankles when a “cannon wagon” ran over his foot on or about July 1, 1862, near Charles City crossroads, and was captured at White Oak Swamp, Virginia, that same day. (He was first reported reported absent sick in August of 1862 and then missing in action on September 21, 1862 at Washington, DC.) He was confined at Belle Isle prison in Richmond and admitted to the prison hospital upon arrival, where he remained until he was paroled at Aiken’s Landing on September 13. According to the Richmond Dispatch of September 15, 1862,

Three thousand three hundred of the Yankee prisoners left Richmond on Saturday for Varina to be exchanged. – Such as could not walk were conveyed away in wagons. The officers, of which there were 61, went in carriages, provided for the purpose. As the long line filed past the C. S. Prison, on Cary Street, they greeted their less lucky compeers with a feeble cheer. A small cavalry escort accompanied them down. Another large gang were started for Aiken’s landing, on James River, yesterday morning. During Saturday and Sunday five thousand two hundred and twenty-eight were sent away. This leaves on hand only about seven hundred, a good many of whom are in the hospital under treatment for wounds or disease, who were unable to bear removal. Three Yankee women and eight Yankee deserters, or rather men who came over to us and professed to be such, were sent from Castle Thunder. Though these deserters professed to have left their brethren in great disgust, they were very willing to be sent back to the North. The departure of the prisoners will save the Confederate Government an expense of about $4,000 per day, which was the average that their food as soldiers cost.

Jerome was reported to the paroled prisoner detachment at Camp Banks, Virginia on November 17, 1862.

Jerome was sick in the hospital from November through December, and discharged on January 19, 1863, at Camp Banks for loss of power in the right leg from a compound fracture of the tibia, which resulted from the accident which occurred in July of 1862.

After he left tthe army Jerome resided in New York state then in Michigan (Hiram and his family were still living in Dallas, Clinton County, in 1870), finally settling in Dallas, Texas, where he was living by late May of 1884 when he applied for a pension (no. 516,917), but the certificate was never granted.

He married Ermine Louck in Cleburne, Texas.

Jerome reportedly died in Dallas, Texas, probably in the summer of 1884, and was presumably buried there.

Ermine applied for a pension in August of 1884 (claim no. 774,119), based presumably on Jerome’s war service, but the certificate was never granted; probably because she remarried to one James McCammon. In 1913 his widow, under the name of Ermine Louck, was living in Texas when she applied for a pension (no. 1019875) based on Jerome’s military service but, again, the certificate was never granted.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Harvey S. Briggs

Harvey S. Briggs was born 1836 in Tioga (?), Ohio.

Both of Harvey’s parents were born in New York and eventually settled in Ohio. Sometime before the war Harvey left Ohio and moved westward, probably with his family and settled in western Michigan. By 1860 he was a day laborer working for and/or living with the Horatio N. Tubbs family in Leighton, Allegan County; by the winter of 1861 he was probably living in or near Wayland, Allegan County.

Harvey stood 5’9” with blue eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion, and was 25 years old and probably still living in Allegan County when he enlisted as Fifth Corporal of Company F on May 13, 1861. He was probably wounded at Fredericksburg, Virginia on December 13, 1862, but not seriously. In any case, by late February of 1863 Harvey had been promoted to Sergeant. He was a witness for the prosecution in the court martial of Elijah Warner who was absent without leave from the regiment during the battle of Chancellorsville.

Harvey was absent sick in November of 1863, probably as a result of chronic diarrhea, but had returned to the Regiment the following month when he reenlisted on December 23, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Grattan, Kent County. He was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February.

Sometime “In the spring of 1864 at N.Y. City,” Harvey claimed in 1893, “I was indiscreet and contracted venereal disease and was treated for same in hospital at City Point [Virginia] & I was there entirely cured.” Indeed, he did recover and was probably on duty with the regiment when he was transferred to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. Harvey was suffered a sunstroke sometime during the summer, near Petersburg, Virginia, and was absent sick from October through December of 1864; possibly as a consequence of the sunstroke. He was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war Harvey returned to Michigan, living briefly in Decatur, Van Buren County, before settling in Wayland, Allegan County.

Harvey was married to Michigan native Carrie R. Olney (1845-1930), on May 6, 1866, in Wayland, and they had at least three children: Frank (b. 1868), Idona (b. 1872) and Ella (1881-1887).

By 1870 Harvey was working as a farmer and he and Carrie were living with the Tubbs family in Wayland; also living in Wayland were Norton Briggs’ family as well as William Briggs, possibly Harvey’s younger brother. For many years Harvey worked in the lumbering business, often in partnership with George Crippen -- they were also neighbors in Wayland from about 1870 until the late 1880s.

Harvey probably maintained a home in Wayland but by 1876 he was living and working in the vicinity of Evart, Osceola County. He left Evart in about 1878 and moved back to Wayland, but was reportedly back in Evart by 1880 working as a laborer and living with his family. By 1889 and 1890 he was living in Chase, Lake County, next door to John Miller, formerly of Company H, Third Michigan Infantry. By 1891 Harvey was back living in Wayland, where his wife resided.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association as well as Grand Army of the Republic Post No. 16 in Evart, and Grand Army of the Republic Sterling Post No. 74 in Wayland. He received pension no. 909,630, drawing $12.00 per month by 1891; his widow also received a pension.

Harvey was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 1629) on December 10, 1891, discharged on April 12, 1892, readmitted November 28, and discharged on May 15, 1893; he was readmitted on September 29 and discharged on October 15, 1899; he was admitted to the Home for the final time on June 10, 1906. Carrie remained in Wayland when her husband was first admitted to the Home, but by 1906 they were both apparently residents of the Home.

Harvey died while on furlough from the Home, at his home in Wayland on June 30, 1906. He was buried in Elmwood cemetery, Wayland: lot 5, grave 2.

Carrie continued to reside at the Home after her husband’s death. She also applied for and received a pension (no. 620812).

Friday, December 14, 2007

George Bridgman

George Bridgman, also known as “Bridman” or “Bridgeman”, was born 1837.

George was possibly the same "George Bridgman" (born about 1836 in New York) who was married to New York native Martha (b. 1840), probably in 1859, and by 1860 living in East Saginaw, Saginaw County, Michigan, where he was working as an engineer. They had at least three children: Hattie S. (b. 1862), Freddie (b. 1865) and George (b. 1870).

In any case, George was 24 years old and probably living in Muskegon County when he enlisted on April 28, 1861, at the age of 24 in Company H, which was composed largely of “Muskegon Rangers”. (The “Rangers” were a local militia company formed in Muskegon soon after the fall of Fort Sumter in April of 1861, and were reorganized into Company H of the Third Michigan infantry then forming at Cantonment Anderson in Grand Rapids.) George reportedly deserted on June 9 (probably), 1861, just four days before the Regiment left Grand Rapids for Washington, DC. He eventually returned to the Regiment (date unknown) and deserted again on April 28, 1862. At one point he probably received a Regimental court martial. In any event, there is no further record.

No pension seems to be available.

In 1870 the Saginaw County George and his wife Martha, were living in East Saginaw’s Second Ward, Saginaw County, where George owned and operated a hardware business. He and Martha were still living in East Saginaw in 1880 where he worked as a merchant.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Job Brewer

Job Brewer was born November 10, 1840, in Grass Lake Township, Jackson County, Michigan, the son of Alonzo (b. 1793) and Laura Eliza (Lucas, b. 1805).

Vermont native Alonzo married New York-born “Eliza” and moved to Michigan from New York between 1828 and 1840, settling for a time in Jackson County. By 1850 Alonzo had settled the family in Alpine, Kent County where he worked a farm and where Job attended school with his siblings. In 1860 Job was still living with his family in Alpine, Kent County.

Job stood 5’10” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 20 years old and probably living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861. He was promoted to Corporal, and in early February of 1863 was recommended for promotion to Sergeant. On February 10, 1863, Lieutenant Colonel Byron R. Pierce, then commanding the Third Michigan, recommended Brewer for promotion. “I take pleasure,” he wrote the Michigan Adjutant General, “in recommending Corpl Job Brewer of Co F of this Regiment for promotion. He has served with this Regiment since June 1861 and has participated in all the engagements with it during the Peninsular Campaign [and was] also at Blackburn’s Ford, Second Bull Run & Fredericksburg. He has distinguished himself for coolness & bravery in the battles. In camp he has a good moral character [and] is a good disciplinarian and commands the respect of officers and men.”

There is, however, no record of Brewer ever being promoted to Sergeant. In early March of 1863 his sister Laura married a former member of Company F, Ambrose Bell, in Norfolk, Virginia. Ambrose and Job had been good friends (Ambrose mentioned Job in several letters home, referring to him once as a “good soldier”) and presumably Job attended the wedding.

Job was present for duty when he was shot in the left thigh on May 3, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Virginia, and was subsequently awarded the Kearny Cross for his service during that engagement. He was treated for his wounds, presumably in the regimental hospital, from May 11 to the 18th and returned to duty, and again in the hospital for treatment ofg inflammation of the conjunctiva from September 23 to the 25th. He returned to duty and was apparently reduced in the ranks to private (offense unknown) by the time he was again listed as sick in mid-November (diagnosis unknown). Job was subsequently treated for chronic diarrhea from December 11, 1863 until January 3, 1864 and returned to duty. Curiously he was reported as a corporal (again) when he was being treated for dyspepsia and diarrhea from February 1 to the 10th. He returned to duty but was again being treated for diarrhea by February 12. He sprained an ankle (presumably) around April 4 and was treated for that through May 4. Job was mustered out of service on June 20, 1864.

After his discharge Job returned to Alpine and married Harriet A. House (d. 1929) on February 15, 1865, in Sparta, Kent County; they had at least four children: Minnie May (b. 1868), Oscar L. (b. 1873), Myrtle Anne (b. 1879 and Theo (b. 1888).

A month later he reentered the service, reportedly in “Hancock’s Army Corps”, Veterans’ Reserve Corps, on March 15, 1865, for one year, and was mustered the same day, crediting Alpine. According to the War Department, however, Job enlisted in Company I, Fifth U.S. Veteran Volunteers for one year, on March 15, 1865. He was reported absent on furlough for 20 days from August 23, 1865, and presumably returned to duty. He was probably a corporal when mustered out of service with the company in New York City, on March 15, 1866.

In any case, after the war Job returned to Michigan and resided in Kent County until about 1869, then moved to Muskegon County where he lived for about five or six years before moving on to Newaygo County. He lived in Newaygo County for five years and then settled in Luther, Lake County where he was living in 1888, 1890, in 1892 when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. In fact Job lived the remainder of his life in the Luther area. Job testified in the pension application of Henry Magoon, also formerly in the Third Michigan Infantry.

In 1891 Job himself applied for and received a pension (no. 953,339), drawing $15.00 per month by 1911.

Sometime around 1891 Harriet and Job separated and, according to one Henry A. Cutler (a neighbor in Luther), although they both resided in Luther, they lived apart: Job with his oldest daughter and her husband (Mr. and Mrs. Will Matthews) and his wife Harriet with her younger girl who taught school in Luther at the time. Henry further claimed he did not know the cause of the separation but that he was certain there was never a divorce.

Job was still living in Luther in 1894, and in fact he probably lived in Luther the rest of his life. He was a member of GAR Wells Post No. 218 in Luther.

Job died of paresis (paralysis) at his home in Luther on May 15, 1911, and was presumably buried there.

In 1911 his widow applied for and received a pension, no. 728,251, drawing $50.00 per month by 1929.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Henry Brewer

Henry Brewer, also known as “Bruir” or “Breuer”, was born 1826 in Schlaseberg (?), Germany, or perhaps in the Netherlands.

Henry and his wife Dutch-born Ellen (1834-1863) immigrated to the United States and eventually settled in Michigan sometime before 1856; they had at least two children: Jennie (b. 1856) and Christianne (b. 1858) and probably a third, a son Milo (b. 1858). By 1860 Henry was living and working as a merchant in Eastmanville, Ottawa County.

Henry stood 5’9” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion, and was 35 years old and probably still living in Eastmanville when he enlisted on May 23, 1861 in Company C. (Company C was made up largely of German and Dutch immigrants, many of whom lived on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids. This company was the descendant of the old Grand Rapids Rifles, also known as the “German Rifles”, a prewar local militia company composed solely of German troopers.) He was discharged for consumption on November 29, 1861, at Fort Lyon, Virginia.

Following his discharge from the army Henry returned to his home in Eastmanville where he reentered the service in Company G, Twenty-first infantry on August 2, 1862 for 3 years, crediting and giving his residence as Polkton Township (probably Eastmanville), Ottawa County, and was mustered on September 3 at Ionia, Ionia County. The regiment was organized at Ionia and Grand Rapids and mustered into service on September 9, and left Michigan for Louisville, Kentucky, on September 12. The Twenty-first was involved in the battle for Perryville, Kentucky, on October 8. Henry was present for duty through October of 1862, and was on detached service with Hancock’s Battery in December of 1862, but was back with the regiment through the winter and spring of 1863, probably at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where the regiment was on duty until June of 1863. Probably in April of 1863, Henry was sent to the hospital, suffering from inflammation of the lungs, and was discharged for inflammation of the lungs on May 4, 1863 at Murfreesboro.

Henry returned to Eastmanville following his discharge from the army.

His wife Ellen died in Eastmanville in April of 1863, and Henry eventually married a woman by the name of Caroline (1826-1920), and they had at least one child: Louis (b. 1866). Caroline had been married once before.

Henry applied for a pension in Ottawa County in June of 1863, no. 144,153, drawing $4.00 per month by 1877.

He eventually left Michigan and moved to Minnesota, settling in Courtland, Nicollet County, by the summer of 1877. By 1880 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and son and stepson John in Courtland.

Henry died at Courtland, Minnesota, on May 23, 1893, and was presumably buried in Courtland. (There is a report that he may be buried in Lowe cemetery in Clinton County, Michigan.)

Henry’s widow received pension no. 421902; she was living in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, in 1894 and 1913.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Nelson Bressan

Nelson Bressan, also known as “Bressau” or “Brashaw” or “Bradshaw”, was born on January 26, 1842, probably in Quebec, Canada, the son of Peter (b. 1815) and Mary (b. 1822).

His parents were both Canadians who could not read or write (at least in English), and were probably married in Canada sometime before 1842. They immigrated to the United States, settling in Michigan perhaps as early as 1842 or 1844. In any case, by 1850 Peter was working as a sawyer in Muskegon, at that time a part of Ottawa County, and Nelson was attending school. By 1860 Nelson was a laborer in the vicinity of Mill Point, Spring Lake, Ottawa County living with his family.

Nelson stood 5’9” with brown eyes, fair hair and a light complexion and was a 19-year-old laborer living in Muskegon County (or perhaps in Fairview, Mason County) when he enlisted with the consent of his parents 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.) Nelson was shot in the left arm on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, the musket “ball passed through fleshy part of arm, about midway between shoulders & elbow, granulated and healed kindly.” According to his medical records he subsequently “suffered pain and loss of sensation in the little finger and one-half of the ring finger” and after about three weeks “the pain extended over the whole hand front & back.”

He was first hospitalized at Emory hospital in Washington, DC, and eventually transferred to West’s Building hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and continued to suffer lack of sensation in the two digits but continuing, constant pain in his hand, indeed “leaving the arm helpless and useless and forcing him to handle it like a broken arm.” Apparently the ulnar never was torn by the musket ball and then became inflamed. He remained hospitalized until he was discharged on January 24, 1863, at Baltimore, for disability resulting from his wounds.

Nelson eventually returned to Michigan -- although he may have still been in Marlyand when he applied for a pension in May of 1863; in any case he received a pension (no. 16928), drawing $8.00 per month and $72.00 per month by 1929.

By 1867 Nelson was living in Mason County, Michigan, when he married New York native Alice Mary Williams (b. 1847) on March 27, 1867, in Pere Marquette, Mason County.

By 1870 they were living on a farm in Riverton, Mason County, and in 1873 he was living in Ludington. He was and living in Elkhart, Indiana in 1906, and was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. By 1908 he had moved on to Los Angeles, California, and in 1915 and 1917 he was residing at 727 S. Ivy Street in Monrovia, California. He was still living in Monrovia in 1920 (Although Alice was probably dead by this time since she was not listed as living with him); also living with him were a niece and nephew: Louella and Frank Ulmy (?).
Alice died, probably before 1920, and Nelson remarried a widow, German-born Mrs. Anna Dunham (b. 1858), in San Bernardino, California, on January 18, 1926.

Nelson died January 2, 1929, at Monrovia, California, and was presumably buried there.

In 1929 Anna applied for a pension which was rejected on the grounds that she “did not marry the soldier prior to June 27, 1905 as required to give title to pension under Act of May 1, 1920.”

Monday, December 10, 2007

Alexander James and Simon Brennan

Alexander James Brennan was born 1845 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the son of Simon F. (1801-1868) and Elizabeth (Innes).

In 1850 Simon moved his family from Nova Scotia to Massachusetts and they settled in Boston, where Alexander attended public school along with his older brother Simon. The Brennans remained in Massachusetts for some years before heading westward, and in February of 1859 the family moved to Michigan where they settled in Georgetown, Ottawa County.

By 1860 Alexander was living with his family and attending school with his younger sister Eliza, in Georgetown; his older brother Simon Jr. was also living with the family and he too would enlist in the Third Michigan.

Alexander stood 5’8” with blue eyes, brown hair and fair complexion and was 17 years old and working as a farmer and probably living in Georgetown Township, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company I, joining his brother Simon (who had enlisted the previous year), on August 19, 1862, at Detroit or Ionia for 3 years, crediting Georgetown, and was mustered the same day at Detroit. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.) Alexander joined the Regiment on September 3, 1862, at Upton Hill, Virginia, and was on duty with the regiment in February of 1863 when he wrote home from Camp Pitcher, the winter regimental quarters.

I now set down to let you know that I am well and Simon’s first rate. I received a letter from you which bore the date of the 3rd. I was glad to hear from you but very sorry to hear that Father was so poorly. You said that you was in want of some money. I sent you ten dollars or rather gave it to Simon to send and he sent it to you in a letter. I only drew 16 dollars but they owed me about 3 months and a half more which I think we will get before long, then I will send you all I can. I bought a pair of boots that cost 6 dollars which I am to pay next pay day. Simon thought that I would them; the mud is up to our knees and it is impossible to go a rod with shoes without getting your feet wet. My boots come up to my knees and are first rate ones. One of the captains bought them in Washington; they were too small for him so Simon got them for me that cost him, Capt. Pierce, 10 dollars; so he said. I think if you can get pay or anything else on credit for a month or so I can send you some more money. Simon did not get his pay when the rest of the regt [did]. The reason I did not get more was on account of the cold days. You wanted to know if Simon and me tented together; no we do not. I tent with two boys in the company: George W. Adams is one and the other is George Carlisle. They are both good boys. I think they don’t snore much and Adams don’t at all; he has not snored once since he left Camp Mich. The boys in the company like him. I am glad to hear that you have a good time to home and glad to know that you have a good teacher. I should like to be to home but our country needs men to help them and men we must have. I think if I had come before it might have helped more. I do not think I don’t like it for there is no place like home but suppose we all should stay to home what would become of our Union? I think it is every man’s duty to come that can come. Let the North turn out as we have and the Rebellion is done for Look at Mr. Tate’s folks; this war has sent two of them to the grave but they have the satisfaction of [knowing] that they have done all . . . for their country. . . . Billy Finch and John they’re all that their mother has and yet you see them go to fight for their adopted country. There is Mrs. Doyle & Simmons. . . . Then there is Capt. Lowing’ he can send one. Let them send one as you, Mrs. Tate & Mrs. Finch and then this Rebellion is [washed] up. But if we don’t [finish it soon] it is not because we have men we can fight as hard as any troops. We can stand hardships as well as any army and why don’t we do more I think it is because we want Generals. The boys have no faith in Burnsides for a leader; Hooker they think all the world of but don’t think him capable of leading this army. Burnsides & Hooker are both good generals in their place but Gen. Geo. B. McClellan is the man to command the army of the Potomac. Well there, I think I have done a small amount of preaching. I expect Esther will think that I am a sermon minister for certain. Well, I will draw this to a close for the present. If Father can get by and on credit until about the 12th of next month I think I can send him some more money. We may get some in a week and we may in a month if we don’t we will draw pay but if we get it in a week we will not get it for 2 months. But rest assured that as soon as I can get it I will send it to you.

Alexander was wounded slightly in the head and arm on May 6, 1864 at the Wilderness, Virginia. On May 11 he was admitted to Emory general hospital in Washington, DC, with a “gunshot wound ball passing through biceps from without inwards,” and was furloughed from the hospital four days later.

Although he was probably still absent wounded, Alexander was transferred to Company I, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He eventually joined the Fifth Michigan and was wounded again on October 27, 1864, while the Regiment was engaged at the Boydton Plank road, and where he was taken prisoner.

Alexander was never heard from again. He presumably perished in one the confederate prisoner-of-war camps in the south. Indeed, according to Van Eyck's study of Ottawa County veterans, Alexander was one of the unknowns buried near Petersburg, Virginia.

In 1879 Alexander’s mother applied for an received a pension (no. 203214).

Simon Brennan was born April 22, 1840, near Halifax, Nova Scotia, the son of Simon F. (1801-1868) and Elizabeth (Innes).

In 1850 Simon (elder) moved his family from Nova Scotia to Massachusetts and they settled in Boston, where Simon and his younger brother Alexander attended public school. In 1855 Simon went to work “to earn his own living, and for one year followed fishing during the summer and attended school in the winter months.” Sometime early in 1857, he went to sea and, according to one biography, sailed to various South American ports, spending the summer coasting along the shore of the Atlantic ocean. In 1858 he returned home to Boston where he worked on a farm that summer and studied in the winter.

In February of 1859 the Brennan family moved to Michigan where they settled in Georgetown, Ottawa County and where Simon worked in the sawmill business. He soon gave up that pursuit and by 1860 he was working in a boatyard. Indeed, By 1860 Simon Jr. was reportedly working as a sawmill hand and living with his family in Georgetown; his younger brother Alexander, who would also enlist in the Third Michigan, was also living with the family.

Simon (younger) was 21 years old, stood about 5’10”, with light complexion, hazel eyes and brown hair and was probably employed as a lumberman in Ottawa County and living in Georgetown when he enlisted as First Sergeant of Company I on May 13, 1861; his brother Alexander would join him the following year. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.) Shortly after joining the Third Michigan Simon was promoted to Lieutenant, and on November 27, 1861, Lieutenant Stephen Lowing of Company I wrote to Franklin Bosworth, his brother-in-law back home in Georgetown that in his opinion, Simon Brennan was a first rate officer.

Simon was wounded severely in the left arm and shoulder by gunfire on May 31, 1862 at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and subsequently sent home to recover. Although reported absent with leave from July 17, in fact, he had returned home to western Michigan on June 17. The train carrying Brennan as well as Colonel Stephen Champlin, Captain Lowing and Lieutenant George Dodge, all of the Third Michigan, arrived in Grand Rapids at 3:00 p.m. “They were received,” wrote one local newspaper, “by the Mayor and Common Council, the firemen and GR Greys, and a large concourse of our citizens, who escorted them to their stopping places. Their feeble appearances excited the warm sympathies of every beholder for these gallant men who have suffered so much in defense of the government. Their noble deeds of daring excite the pride of every Michigander, and when this satanic war is over and history records the deeds of valor performed by Northern arms, the names of the Michigan volunteers will adorn its brightest pages, and first upon the record will stand in letters of gold the brave deeds of the noble 3rd.”

In early June Simon was still at home recovering his strength, although he reportedly hoped to rejoin the regiment soon. Simon soon recovered his strength and returned to the Regiment. He was wounded a second time, this time in the right arm on August 29, 1862 at Second Bull Run. He was reported absent wounded through October, when he was promoted to Captain and transferred to Company G on October 20, replacing Captain Abram Whitney. In November Simon was listed as AWOL, although it is unclear why, and then was transferred back to the Company I, ostensibly as Captain. In fact, according to one source, he was apparently in Boston, Massachusetts, recovering from his wounds. He was absent sick at Washington, DC from March 27, 1863 through April, and according to one report he was commanding Company I in September. He was on detached service in Michigan, recruiting for the Regiment, as of December 29, 1863, and rejoined his command before the launching of the spring campaign in May of 1864. Simon was wounded for a third time and listed as missing in action on May 5, 1864 at the Wilderness, Virginia. In fact he had been taken prisoner.

Simon was transferred as a prisoner-of-war to Company I, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and was held in Libby prison in Richmond for some months before he and several others escaped. However, they were soon recaptured and Brennan was sent to the prison at Columbia, South Carolina, and he was confined at Camp Asylum in Columbia. He was paroled on March 1, 1865, at N.E. Ferry, North Carolina, subsequently reported to College Green Barracks, Maryland on March 7, and was given a furlough on March 14 at Camp Parole, Annapolis, Maryland. He sought an extension of his furlough in mid-April, and was mustered out as of May 24, and honorably discharged as of May 17.

By early July of 1865 Simon was back home in Georgetown, “a physical wreck, his constitution impaired by exposure and the hardships of marches and camp life, as well as by the privations endured while in prison,” and as a consequence he “was unable for some time to perform any manual labor.” Simon was struck by the idea that the climate of Colorado would prove beneficial to his diminished health, so he moved to Colorado in 1866 and spent two years engaged in lumbering in that state. However, when his father died in 1868 he returned to Michigan, and took up farming in Ottawa County. He was what was described in the late 1880s as “a general grain agriculturalist,” and marketed most of his produce in Grand Rapids. However, farming wasn’t his only pursuit, and among other business interests he “was a heavy stockholder and director in the Alabastine Co. of Canada. . . .”

Simon was living in Georgetown in 1870, 1871 and in 1872 when he married Ruth E. Haire (1840-1910) on March 28, 1872, in Eaton County, Michigan; they had at least one child, a daughter Lillian Brennan Crothers (1875-1946).

He was living in Jenison, Ottawa County in 1874, was back in Georgetown by 1882, and was listed as living in both Jenison and in Manton, Wexford County in 1883 and in Manton in 1885. Simon received a pension (no. 99,982) drawing $12.75 per month in 1883 and $50 per month by 1923, for gunshot wounds to the left arm and right shoulder.

By 1886 Simon had returned to Jenison, where he lived from 1888 through 1891, but by 1895 had moved to Grand Rapids, and he resided at 920 Dunham Street in Grand Rapids from 1906 through 1912 and possibly until 1922. He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association as well as Grand Army of the Republic Post O. P. Morton No. 5 in Manton and Custer Post No. 5 in Grand Rapids, and active in the Grand River Valley Old Settlers’ Association and a staunch Republican. He served as Supervisor of Georgetown Township, Township Clerk, Highway Commissioner and was once nominated for sheriff but was defeated at the polls.

In early December of 1922 Simon drove to Washington, DC, and then on to Florida where he had a winter home in Del Ray Beach. He died of acute indigestion at about 11:30 a.m., at his home in Del Ray, on Thursday, January 4, 1923, and the body was placed in a vault where it remained until spring when his remains were returned to Grand Rapids. His funeral was held at Spring’s Chapel in Grand Rapids on Thursday, May 2, 1923 at 2:30 p.m., under the auspices of the Grand Army of the Republic Custer Post No. 5 in Grand Rapids, and he was buried in Oak Hill cemetery: section Q lot 63.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Theron A. Breese

Theron A. Breese, also known as “Brees”, was born November 21, 1841, in Frankfort, Herkimer County, New York, probably the son of Theron (b. 1810) and Jane (b. 1823).

New York natives Theron and Jane were probably married in New York sometime before 1841 when they were probably living in Michigan. They soon returned to New York and by 1850 were living in Elmira, Chemung County, New York where Theron (senior) worked as a carpenter and Theron Jr. attended school with his two younger siblings. Theron (younger) left New York and moved westward, settling in Michigan where by 1860 he was a laborer working for and/or living with C. B. Andrews, a farmer in Farmington, Oakland County.

He was 18 years old and still living in Oakland County when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861. Unfortunately, little is known of his service in the Third Michigan. He was reported absent sick in the hospital in August of 1862, but he apparently recovered and was subsequently transferred to Company L, Second United States cavalry (known originally as the Second Dragoons its designation was changed in 1861), on or about November 20 or 28, 1862, at Washington, DC. Theron joined the Regiment on or about December 1 from Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania and by mid-April he was listed as sick in camp near Falmouth, Virginia. He was mustered out of service at White House Landing, Virginia, on June 10, 1864, in the field.

It is not known if Theron ever returned to Michigan after his discharge from the army.

He may have in fact returned to his family home in New York where he was possibly living when he married Matilda A. Staring (d. 1921) at her family home in Horseheads, Chemung County, New York, on December 6, 1865. They had three children: Alda (b. 1867), Cora (b. 1871) and George (b. 1878), all of whom were deceased by 1900.

According to a statement made by his wife in 1900, sometime around 1879 Theron abandoned her and their three children and never returned. Indeed, by 1880 Matilda was reported as the head of the household and living with her three children in Horseheads, New York. (According to another source he deserted her in 1877.) In 1890 Matilda listed herself as Theron’s widow and was reportedly living in Elmira, Chemung County, New York.

In fact, Theron was not dead but had reportedly remarried Mrs. Jennie Shannon, on November 23, 1886, in Harris County, Texas. (Curiously, he does not show up in the 1890 veterans’ census.)

Theron probably moved westward and by December of 1894 was probably living in Baghdad, California. By November of 1897 he was residing in Seattle, Washington (at “Coleman Dock”) when he applied for a pension (his wife claimed he had also applied in 1894 when he was living in California).

In 1894 he applied for a pension (no. 1162511), but the certificate was never granted.

Theron eventually moved north, settling in British Columbia when he reportedly died of heart failure on March 29, 1900, in Revelstoke, British Columbia, and was possibly buried there or perhaps his remains were brought back to New York.

In any event, by May of 1900 Matilda, was residing at 459 Church Street in Elmira, New York. That same month she wrote to the pension bureau to say that she intended “to soon file an application for a pension on account of his death. I am indirectly informed that my husband lived with some woman since he left me and fearing that some one claiming to be the widow of this deceased soldier might make some application for a pension and thus impose upon your department, I write you this letter at this time to advise you of the true facts in the case so that you may see to it that no improper person shall receive any pension on account of my husband’s death.” She was eventually granted a pension (no. 548371). By 1921 she was living at 18 Steuben Street in Horseheads, Chemung County, New York.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Joseph Brandmore - updated 2/28/08

Joseph Brandmore, also known “Brandamore,” “Brandsmore” and as “Brandmorse”, was born 1841 in New York.

Both of Joseph’s parents were born in New York. Sometime before the war broke out Joseph left New York and eventually settled in western Michigan. By 1860 he was a farm laborer working for and/or living with Joseph Wheeler in Alpine, Kent County.

Joseph was 20 years old and probably still living in Kent County when he enlisted in Company B on May 13, 1861. Apparently Joseph shot himself accidentally in the foot on April 21, 1862. In any case, he was reported sick in the hospital from July of 1862 through August, and allegedly deserted on September 21 at Upton’s Hill, Virginia, although he was probably in fact hospitalized. Indeed, he was eventually listed as having “returned from desertion” on December 18, 1863, at Providence, Rhode Island, where he was transferred to the Veterans’ Reserve Corps on December 18, 1863 or January 15, 1864.

There is no further record, although he did survive the war.

It is not known if Joseph ever returned to Michigan, and in fact, it appears that after he the war he remained in Providence, Rhode Island, probably for the rest of his life.

He was possibly married to Samantha P. Harris on June 14, 1864, presumably in Providence, Rhode Island.

In any case, he was eventually married to Rhode Island native Frances J. Phinney 1835-1914), on December 24, 1873, probably in Providence, Rhode Island.

In the 1882 City Directory for Providence Joseph is reported as a painter living at 326 Chalkstone avenue in Providence; and in the 1889 City Directory he was listed as a driver for the Adams Express Company as well as a painter and was living (and working out of his home) at 326 Chalkstone and possible also 326 Prairie avenue, in Providence. In 1890 Joseph was working as a painter and living at 326 Chalkstone avenue in Providence, Rhode Island, when he applied for and received a pension (no. 1092873). (Although Joseph’s name does not appear in the veterans’ census for 1890.)

Joseph was still living at 326 Chalkstone in 1891, and in the 1895 and 1896 City Directories for Providence he is reported as working as a painter and living at no. 612 Chalkstone avenue; in the 1896 Directory next door at no. 616 is one John Phinney, jeweler. In 1900 Joseph was working as a house painter and living with his wife Frances in Providence’s Tenth Ward, Providence County, Rhode Island. In 1910 he was probably living in Providence’s Fourth Ward, Rhode Island. In 1920 he was living in Providence’s Fourth Ward, with his daughter and her husband and their family.

Joseph died on November 11, 1922, in Providence, Rhode island, and, according to his obituary the funeral services were held at 2:00 p.m. at the Second United Presbyterian Church, corner of Chalkstone and Young avenues in Providence. He was presumably buried in North Providence.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Louis Brandis

Louis Brandis, also known as "Lewis" or “Brandeis”, born April 7, 1837, in Hanover, Germany, the son of Anna (1811-1893).

Sometime before the war Louis immigrated to the United States along with his mother (and possibly stepfather), eventually settling in western Michigan. He lived with his mother and stepfather, William (or Friedrich) Koch, in Nunica, Ottawa County before moving to Muskegon, Muskegon County to work in the sawmills. By 1860 he was working as a mill hand in Muskegon and living at the Thomas Wing boarding house. (In 1860 Anna and John F. Rock or Koch were living in Crockery Township, Ottawa County.)

Louis stood 5’11” with gray eyes, light hair and a fair complexion and was 24 years old and probably still residing in Muskegon when he enlisted on May 13, 1861, in Company H, which was made up largely of “Muskegon Rangers”, although it is unclear whether Lewis was a member of the Rangers before they left Muskegon. (The “Rangers” were a local militia company formed in Muskegon soon after the fall of Fort Sumter in April of 1861, and were reorganized into Company H of the Third Michigan infantry then forming at Cantonment Anderson in Grand Rapids.)

Louis was sick (or wounded) in the hospital in August of 1862, and supposedly deserted on September 21, 1862, at Upton’s Hill, Virginia (and consequently dropped from the company rolls). He was returned from “Dropped from the Rolls” on November 23, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, and subsequently under arrest at Third Corps headquarters, presumably as a consequence of the desertion charge. The charge appears to have been dropped, and Louis was back with the Regiment by late December when he reenlisted on December 23, 1863 at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Muskegon (although he gave his residence as Nunica). He was presumably absent on 30-day’s veterans’ furlough in January of 1864, probably at his family home in western Michigan, and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February.

He was transferred to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864.

Louis was killed in action on June 22, 1864, near Petersburg, Virginia, and was presumably buried among the unknown soldiers at Petersburg.

In 1890 his mother applied for and received a dependent’s pension (no. 340,070), drawing $12.00 per month by 1892. Her husband died in 1880 and by 1890 she was residing in Benton County, Kansas. She was still living in Kansas when she died in 1893.