Aaron Harrington was born in 1828 in Genesee County, New York.
Aaron left New York and moved west, eventually settling in Michigan.
He stood 5’6’ with black eyes and hair and a light complexion, and was 33-year-old a farmer possibly living in Shiawassee County when he enlisted in Company B on May 13, 1861; he may have been related to Richard Harrington who would also enlist in Company B.
On the night of July 21, 1861, following the Union retreat from Bull Run, Virginia, Aaron found himself wandering around the Virginia countryside with another member of Company B, Ezra Ransom. Years after the war, Ransom described their ordeal.
Our tramp back to W[ashington] in a drizzling rain without grub was rather an unpleasant feature of that little difficulty with the gentlemen of the south. On reaching W[ashington] the Col [Colonel Daniel McConnell] told what was left over from those who had fallen out by the way side that whoever wished to could go to Alexandria for the night if they would be sure and call on him at the old camp ground on Arlington [heights] the next day. So Aaron [Harrington] & I went to A[lexandria]. On entering the town whom should we see sitting on the porch of a small house and holding his horse by the bridle but our Lieut. Col. [Ambrose Stevens] who asked us if we knew where his Regt. was. We wandered around the old town which was just jammed full of refugees -- offering a five dollar bill apiece for a bed but there were none for sale.
Although the two men became separated, Aaron eventually found his way back to rejoin the Regiment. He was wounded in the left hand and “back shocked by shell” on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and was absent wounded in Judiciary Square hospital in Washington, DC, from July though August, but by early July was reported as up and about.
He never returned to duty, however, and allegedly deserted on September 21 at Upton’s Hill, Virginia. He was reported absent sick from October through December, and in a hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from January of 1863 through February. He was discharged on March 11, 1863, at West’s Buildings hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, for “anchylosis and distortion of the left hand and thumb.”
Aaron returned to Michigan after his discharge from the army.
In March of 1863 Aaron applied for a pension (no. 11397), but the certificate was never granted.
In fact, Aaron reentered the army. He was 37 years old when he enlisted as a private in Company F, Tenth Michigan cavalry, on October 19, 1863 and was mustered in on October 23. On September 5, 1865, he was admitted to Harper hospital in Detroit. He was discharged from the army on September 15, 1865, at Detroit.
He may be the same Aaron Harrington who died at the Shiawassee County poor farm on December 6, 1869, and is presumably buried there.