William Harrington was born on July 12, 1830, or in 1840.
In the official 1905 regimental history for the Fifth Michigan infantry, there is one William H. Harrington, age, 21, from Shiawassee County, who enlisted in Company H, Fifth Michigan infantry on August 9, 1861, at Fort Wayne, for three years, and was mustered in on August 28. He was discharged for disability on March 20, 1863, at Washington, DC.
In any case, William was 23 years old when he enlisted in Unassigned, Third Michigan infantry on December 29, 1863, at Owosso, Shiawassee County for 3 years, and was mustered on January 21, 1864, crediting Detroit.
There is no further record (and there is no service record found in the Third Michigan records at the National Archives), although he is listed in the official 1905 regimental history. And in the Regimental Descriptive Rolls for the Third Michigan the only notation made after his enlistment information was “see veteran book no. 63.” This implies William was in fact a “veteran” or reenlistee on December 29 and not a “new” recruit.
Furthermore, on December 28 the Fifth Michigan regiment returned en masse to Michigan, and was reenlisted as a “veteran” regiment (i.e., made up of sufficient number of reenlisted soldiers to retain its numerical designation). It is quite plausible that William reenlisted shortly after the Fifth returned to Michigan and was mistakenly listed as Unassigned for the Third Michigan.
And indeed there was a William H. Herrington, age 21 who enlisted in Company H, Fifth Michigan infantry, on January 4, 1864, at Owosso, for three years. He was most likely the same William Harrington who had served in the Fifth (see above), was mistakenly listed as having joined the Third Michigan and in fact reenlisted in Company H. In any case, he was wounded in action at the Wilderness on May 5, 1864, and mustered out with the regiment at Jeffersonville, Indiana, on July 5, 1865.
This “second” William Herrington returned to Michigan, eventually settling in Howell, Livingston County. He was living in Burns, Shiawassee County in 1890.
This Fifth Michigan William Herrington or Harrington was married to Mary E., and in 1863 he applied for and received a pension (no. 101566) based on his Fifth Michigan service; his widow also received a pension (no. 499162). It seems that this William H. Harrington was born on July 12, 1830, and died, possibly in Howell on March 9, 1900. He was buried in Lakeview cemetery in Howell: section A, lot 81. (See photo G-621).
There was also a William N. Herrington, age 30, who enlisted in Company B, reorganized Third Michigan infantry, on September 26, 1864, at Grattan, Kent County, for three years, and was mustered on October 1. He probably never left the state when the regiment departed for the southwestern theater of operations in October, and he died of disease on April 11, 1865, probably at the rendezvous in Jackson, Michigan. He was probably reinterred in the Soldier’s Cemetery: no. 20, in Jackson; and according to burial records he was at one time interred in Mt. Evergreen cemetery in Jackson. (Curiously the Fifth Michigan William was also reported as having died on April 12, 1865 at Indianapolis, Indiana, and was allegedly buried in the cemetery there: no. 506.)
Another William Harrington, age 16, enlisted at Wyoming, Kent County, in Unassigned, reorganized Third Michigan infantry in March of 1865 but there is no further record of him.