Andrew Tolford Duram was born January 18, 1842 in Molineux, Niagara County, New York, the son of New York natives Tolford (1806-1878) and Sylvia Collins (b. 1805).
In 1840 there was one Tolford Duram Jr. living in Mentz, Cayuga County, New York. By 1840 there was a Tolford Duram living in Waterloo, Seneca County, New York. Tolford and Sylvia were probably married in New York sometime before 1829. By 1850 the family had settled in Waterloo, Seneca County, New York, where Tolford worked as a boatbuilder, and two of his sons were working as boatmen, one of whom Amasa would also join the 3rd Michigan infantry, and Andrew (“A.T.”) attended school with three of his older siblings. Tolford eventually moved his family to western Michigan and by 1860 he was farming in Polkton, Ottawa County, where Andrew continued to attend school with his siblings.
Andrew stood 5’11” with blue eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion, and was an 18-year-old farmer probably living in Polkton, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861. (He was a younger brother of Amasa Duram, also of Company F, and and probably the cousin of Samuel Duram of Company I; all three men had lived in Ottawa County before the war.)
Andrew was shot in the right shoulder on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and subsequently sent to Columbian College Hospital where by early September he was reported to be “doing well.” Nevertheless, he remained absent sick in the hospital and had probably been transferred to the hospital in Detroit -- indeed he may in fact have returned to his home in Ottawa County -- when he was discharged on January 14, 1863, at Detroit for a gunshot to the right shoulder.
Andrew listed Polkton, Ottawa County as his mailing address on his discharge paper, and was probably living in western Michigan when he reentered the service in Company D, Tenth Michigan cavalry on September 23, 1863, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Pokagon, Kent County, and was mustered on October 14 at Grand Rapids.
Andrew did not join the Regiment, however, and remained in Grand Rapids, reportedly sick, but in fact he was malingering and running afoul of the local authorities. On October 13, 1863, the Eagle reported that one “Andrew (‘Dick’) Duram, who has been on a drunk during the greater part of the time for the last two weeks, was taken before Justice Harlan today, upon that old and common charge, ‘drunk and disorderly’, and being found guilty of the offence charged, he was fined $3 and the costs in the case, amounting to $5.67, and in default of payment he was ordered to jail some 20 days.”
He was reported still sick in western Michigan from February of 1864 through April, but in fact the story was somewhat different. On March 8, 1864, the Eagle reported that “Three men, ‘Dick’ Duram, Tom Berry and another, whose name we have not got, were arrested by Sheriff Bailey and his officers, yesterday, and lodged in jail, charged with burglary and theft in breaking open the stores of Cappon & Bertsch, A. Preusser and others, and stealing goods therefrom.”
Drinking, stealing, Duram was involved with virtually every vice available in Grand Rapids in the 1860s, and on September 4, 1864, the Eagle wrote that “Andrew Duram and Hattie Johnson, arrested a few days since, by officer Parkman, for disorderly conduct, had an examination before Justice Harlan today. Duram was found guilty of keeping company with disreputable females, and fined $3 and costs, $7, and in default of payment he was ordered to be imprisoned 15 days. He was committed. On examination, Hattie Johnson was found guilty of disorderly conduct, and fined $1, and costs, $7.55. In default of payment, she was ordered to jail 10 days.”
By November of 1864, Duram had at last joined the Regiment and he was reported on detached service in Kentucky, promoted to Corporal on September 2, 1865, and mustered out November 11, 1865, at Memphis, Tennessee.
After the war Andrew returned to Michigan after the war. He was married to New York native Alice Josephine Washburn (d. 1896) on April 1, 1868 in Ravenna, Muskegon County, and they had at least two children: a daughter Sylvia (b. 1869) and Vivette (b. 1888).
By 1870 Andrew was working as a farm laborer and living with his wife and child with his parents in Coopersville, Polkton Township, Ottawa County; also living with them was his brother Charles and his family. Andrew was working as a farm laborer and living with his wife in Polkton in 1880 and in Coopersville in 1883 drawing $4.00 per month for a wounded right shoulder (pension no. 21,626) and by 1890 in Muskegon, Muskegon County.
Andrew died in Muskegon on November 15, 1893, and was buried in Coopersville cemetery.
His widow was living in Coopersville, Ottawa County in 1894 when she applied for and received a pension (no. 398051). Alice was living at 96 Apple Street in Muskegon when she died of pneumonia in March of 1896, and was buried in Oakwood cemetery, Muskegon. Shortly afterwards one Henry S. Duram, then living in Muskegon was listed as guardian in the pension application (432478) for Andrew’s daughter Vivette M. (Henry Duram died in 1918 and is also buried in Oakwood Cemetery.)
Andrew is the government stone on the left with his brother Charles (10th Michigan cav) on the right; the third brother Amasa, also in the 3rd Michigan, just to the right of the flag in front of Charles; his government stone is presently missing: