Samuel Smith Garrison was born May 26, 1836 in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, New York, or Lodi, Seneca County, New York, the son of Robert Tate Garrison (1811-1867) and Jane Eliza (Dubois, 1815-1885).
His parents were married in Seneca County, New York in 1833 and settled first in Lodi, Seneca County, in Poughkeepsie in 1836 and then back to Lodi where they lived for some years. Robert moved his family from Lodi to Tompkins County, New York in 1843 and then on to Michigan in 1854 eventually settling in Baltimore, Barry County, by 1857. By 1860 Samuel was living and working with his family in Baltimore, Barry County where his father operated a substantial farm.
Samuel was 25 years old, stood 5’7” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and probably working as a carpenter and living in Hastings, Barry County when he enlisted in the Hastings Rifle Company in April of 1861. The company was disbanded shortly after it arrived in Grand Rapids and its members distributed to other companies of the Third Michigan infantry then forming at Cantonment Anderson just south of the city, and Samuel eventually enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861.
He was reported as a Regimental teamster in July of 1862, was soon detached from the Regiment in August, probably to Brigade headquarters, and from September through December was employed as a teamster in the Brigade wagon trains. By February of 1863 he was a teamster at Third Corps headquarters, was back serving in the Brigade trains from March to April, and was a teamster for the Corps from May through July. He was a teamster serving with the First Division ammunition wagon train from September of 1863 through May of 1864, and was mustered out on June 20, 1864, at Detroit.
After he left the army Samuel eventually returned to Barry County where, with the exception for about three years he spent in Detroit, he lived the rest of his life.
Samuel married Vermont native Emily or Emma A. Palmer (1843-1907) on August 20, 1865, in Baltimore, Barry County and they had at least five children: Mason (b. 1866), John (b. 1870), Sarah M. (b. 1871), Jay (b. 1874) and Edna (b. 1873).
By 1870 he was working as a farmer (he owned $1000 worth of real estate) and living with his wife and children in Baltimore, Barry County. He probably resided in Baltimore Township during the 1870s. He eventually settled back in Hastings and was living in the Second Ward in 1880, working as a carpenter and living with his wife and children. He was residing in the First Ward in 1890 and the Second Ward in 1894. (In fact, in 1890 Samuel was living near Henry Bailey, who had served in Company F, Third Michigan.) In 1911 he was residing at 528 Dibbs, in 1921 at 820 Michigan Avenue, in 1923 at 620 N. C Street and in 1925 at 520 N. East Street and in 1927 at 320 N. East Street; indeed he probably lived in Hastings until he died in 1927.
He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association and Grand Army of the Republic Fitzgerald Post No. 125 in Hastings. In 1889 he applied for and received a pension (no. 504619).
Samuel was probably a widower and probably died on or about September 7, 1927, and he was buried on September 8 in Riverside cemetery, Hastings: block F-south, lot no. 6.