Lafayette Gleason was born in 1825, in Virgil, Cortland County, New York, the son of Cephas.
By 1855 Lefayette was probably working as a servant for the Turnbull family in North Norwich, Chenango County, New York.
Lafayette was 37 years old when he enlisted on August 11, 1862, in Company K, 157th New York Infantry as a private, at Cortlandville, New York and was mustered on September 19. He was wounded on May 2, 1863, and subsequently transferred to the 7th Company, 2nd Battalion Veterans Reserve Corps (VRC) on September 1.
Lafayette stood 5’9” with gray eyes, sandy hair and a light complexion, and was a 39-year-old farmer possibly living in Girard, Branch County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Unassigned on March 25, 1864, for 3 years, crediting Girard, and was mustered on March 26 at Detroit.
In fact, Lafayette never joined the 3rd Michigan Infantry but was transferred to Company L, 3rd Michigan Cavalry at Detroit on March 25, 1864, and mustered the following day. He joined the Regiment at DeVall’s Bluff, near Little Rock, Arkansas on June 18. He was discharged for disability at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, Missouri on December 5, 1864.
It is not known if Lafayette ever returned to Michigan.
He reported himself as a widower when he was admitted to the New York State Soldier’s Home on February 11, 1879; he listed his nearest relative as a brother George then living in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. He was discharged from the Home at his own request on June 20, 1879. In July of 1882 he was living in Cortlandville when he sought admission to the Cayuga County, New York poorhouse. He was subsequently readmitted to the Soldier’s Home November 12, 1882 and again discharged at his own request on December 16, 1882. On December 19, 1882 he was admitted to the National Military Home in Hampton, Virginia and discharged, at his own request on March 16, 1883.
In 1892 Lafayette was living in Cayuga County, New York; also living with him were his wife Catherine (b. 1856), Hubert (b. 1882) and Edward (b. 1889).
In February of 1864 he applied for and received a pension (no. 184182).
He probably died in New York in 1896. He was buried in Fleming Rural Cemetery, Fleming, Cayuga County, New York.
His widow Catharine was living in New York in 1896 when she applied for and received a pension (no. 459673).