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, Fifteenth 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 was married to New York native Eliza or Elsie Latham (1829-1896) probably in New York, 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).
By 1850 Reuben was working as a laborer and living with Eliza in Johnsburgh, Warren County, New York. They moved to Michigan from New York and 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 Shiawassee County where he reentered the service in Company F, Tenth 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 eventually returned to Michigan. He was probably working as a farmer and living with his family in Grant, Huron County in 1870. 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 his second wife, Canadian-born widow Mary Erb (b. 1843) on February 5, 1900, in Caseville, Huron County. (She had been divorced once as well, from Archie Morrison.)
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).