William Wells, alias “William Gould,” was born on September 8, 1846, in Clinton County, Michigan, the son of Connecticut natives David Wells (b. 1807) and Lucinda Gould (1807-1859).
In 1830 David was probably living in Huntington, Fairfield County, Connecticut. By 1840 David had moved west and was probably living in Novi, Oakland County, Michigan. In 1850 William was living with his family in Westphalia, Clinton County; he was still residing on the family farm in Westphalia in 1860.
For reasons unknown, William took his mother’s maiden name when he became a substitute for Peter Simmonds from Dallas, Clinton County, who was drafted on February 10, 1863, for 9 months.
William stood 5’5’ with blue eyes, light brown hair and a fair complexion, and was an 18-year-old farm laborer possibly in in Westphalia, Clinton County when he enlisted in Company B on February 26, 1863, at Dallas for 3 years, crediting Dallas (he may have had some connection with one Anthony Cook also of Dallas). He joined the Regiment on March 10 at Camp Pitcher, Virginia. His medical records, however show that on or about April 14, 1863 he was treated for intermittent fever, and suffering from dysentery May 8-29. In any case, he was shot in the left hip on May 3, 1863, at the battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia, and admitted to Harewood hospital in Washington, DC on June 15 He returned to duty on June 16, was admitted to the hospital at the convalescent camp near Alexandria, Virginia on July 10, suffering from enteritis and returned to duty on July 30. He was discharged for consumption on August 6 or September 3, 1863, at Camp Convalescent near Alexandria, Virginia.
He listed Westfield (probably Westphalia), Clinton County as his mailing address on his discharge paper. William did indeed return to Michigan where he reentered the service under his real name William Wells in Company I, 10th Michigan Cavalry on August 31, 1863, and was probably mustered into service in Grand Rapids where the regiment was organized between September 18 and November 18, 1863, when it was mustered into service.
The regiment left Michigan for Lexington, Kentucky on December 1, 1863, and participated in numerous operations, mostly in Kentucky and Tennessee throughout the winter of 1863-64. Most of its primary area of operations would eventually be in the vicinity of Strawberry Plains, Tennessee. William was mustered out with the regiment on November 11, 1865.
After the war, William returned to Michigan, eventually settling in Saginaw County.
William married New York native wife Mary A. Goodrich (b. 1846-1927), on April 22, 1869, at South Saginaw and they had at least two children: Ada (1870-1946, Mrs. Lockwood) and Bertha (1877-1942, Mrs. Hanna).
By 1880 William was working as a brick-maker and living with his daughters in Saginaw, Saginaw County. He was still living in Saginaw, Saginaw County by 1890 and in 1891. In 1900 William and his wife Mary were living in Saginaw; their daughter Ada Lockwood and her three children were living with them as well as Arthur and Leonard Wells. By 1910 he and Mary were living with their daughter Mrs. Ada Lockwood in Watertown, Clinton County.
In 1880 he applied for and received a pension (no. 448726), drawing $12 per month by 1911.
William died of pneumonia on January 28, 1912, at his home in Spaulding, Saginaw County.
His widow was living in Spaulding, Saginaw County, when she applied in February of 1912 for and received a pension (no. 742693), drawing $30 per month by 1927. She was living in Spaulding in 1920 with her daughter Ada Lockwood.