Reuben Hopkins was born in 1825 or July 18, 1828, in Pribble (?), New York, the son of Thomas.
Reuben eventually settled in Michigan.
He was 22 years old, stood 5’7” with blue eyes, black hair and a ruddy complexion when he enlisted as a private on April 19, 1847, in Company A, 15th U.S. Infantry, at Pontiac, Oakland County, Michigan. He was transferred to Company I on December 26, and discharged on August 4, 1848, at Cincinnati, Ohio, having served 60 days in Mexico.
Reuben married New York native Elsie Latham or Layton (1829-1896) and they had at least nine children: Mary (b. 1850), twins Oscar and Orson (b. 1855), George (b. 1857) and Herman (b. 1859), Anna (b. 1863), Amanda (b. 1864), Carrie (b. 1868) and Lulu (b. 1873).
Reuben moved his family to Michigan from New York by 1850 when their daughter Mary was born. By 1860 Reuben was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Burns, Shiawassee County. (Next door lived Thomas Hopkins (b. 1798) and his wife Electa.)
He stood 5’10” with blue eyes, dark hair and a light complexion and was 31 years old and probably still living in Shiawassee County when he enlisted at the age of 31 in Company B on May 13, 1861. (He was possibly related to Barnett Hopkins who would enlist in Company B in 1863.)
Reuben was reported missing in action in July of 1862, and in fact he had been taken prisoner at James River, on June 30, confined at Richmond on July 13, paroled at Aiken’s Landing, Virginia on August 5 and returned to the Regiment on August 6 at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia, but then reported AWOL the remainder of the month. He was again reported missing in action on September 1 at Chantilly, Virginia, and in fact he had probably been hospitalized since July. By January of 1863 he was reported sick in the hospital in Alexandria, Virginia, where he remained until he was discharged on March 28, 1863, at Camp Banks, near Alexandria, Virginia, for chronic diarrhea.
Reuben returned to Michigan and was living in Elkland, Tuscola County in the summer of 1863 when he registered for the draft. He was possibly living in Shiawassee County where he reentered the service in Company F, 10th Michigan Cavalry on August 29, 1863, at Hazelton for 3 years, crediting Hazelton, and was mustered on September 2 at 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. He was sick at Somerset, Kentucky from February of 1864 through May of 1865, was reported as a Corporal on June 1, 1865, and mustered out at Memphis, Tennessee, on November 11, 1865.
After the war Reuben returned to Michigan and by 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his family in Grant, Huron County. By 1880 he was still working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Grant, and he as still in Grant in 1884. He was living in Gagetown, Tuscola County in 1889, 1890 and 1894, and was a member of the GAR Myers Post No. 357 in Gagetown.
Reuben was a widower when he married a widow Canadian-born Mary Erb (b. 1843) on February 5, 1900, in Caseville, Huron County. (She had been widowed from her first husband George Erb, married Archie Morrison and divorced him and then resumed using her first husband’s name.)
In the summer of 1900 Reuben and his wife Mary were living with William Erb and his family, one of Mary‘s sons by her first marriage, in Chandler, Huron County.
In 1879 he applied for and received a pension (no. 254033).
Reuben died on July 22,1901 and possibly in Huron County and may be buried in Soule or Chandler Township cemetery.
In 1901 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 556915).