Frederick Higbee was born November 7, 1832, in New York, the son of Loring or Loren (1790-1863) and Mary (Roberts, b. 1794).
Massachusetts native Loren married New York native Mary sometime before 1818 and by 1850 had settled on a farm in Union, Broome County, New York. Sometime before 1862 or 1863 the family moved to western Michigan, settling in Mecosta County (where Loren reportedly died and is presumably buried). By 1860 Fred was a laborer working for and/or living with James Hughes, a hotelkeeper in Croton, Newaygo County.
Fred was 29 years old and residing in Newaygo County when he enlisted in Company H on May 13, 1861. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers,” was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties.) He was promoted to Corporal on November 10, 1861. Fred was probably wounded slightly in the chest on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and by the second week of September he was in Wolf Street hospital in Alexandria, Virginia. He may have rejoined the regiment by the time he was promoted to Sergeant on October 27, 1862. In any case, he was listed as absent sick in February of 1863 and again when he was admitted on April 21 to Harewood hospital in Washington, DC, for psoriasis. “This patient” noted his medical record, “is of a scrofulous [diagnosis]; having marks of that disease upon his neck.” He eventually recovered, and was discharged to duty by June 18, 1863. Fred was mustered out of service on June 20, 1864.
It is not known if Fred ever returned to Michigan. He eventually settled in Broome County, New York.
He was married to New York native Jennie Van Wormer (d. 1881) and they had at least one child, a daughter Maggie (b. 1878).
By 1870 Frederick was working as a farmer and living with his wife in Union, Broome County, New York; his widowed mother was living next door. In 1880 Frederick was working as a farmer and living with his wife and child in Union, Broome County, New York; his widowed mother was also living in Union that same year. By 1890 he was living in Maine, Broome County, New York.
In 1878 Frederick applied for and received a pension (no. 224884).