Norman Luther Johnson was born in 1838 in Oakland County, Michigan.
In 1850 one Norman Johnson, age 11, and his younger sister (both born in Michigan) were attending school and living with the Joseph Sage family in Farmington, Oakland County.
Norman was married to Michigan native Lydia Lovejoy (b. 1836) on October 20, 1855, in Perry, Shiawassee County, and they had at least four children: Alice, Annie, Wellington and Oscar. (Lydia too had been born in Oakland County.)
Norman stood 5’9” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was 23 years old and possibly living and/or working in Locke, Ingham County when he enlisted in Company G on May 13, 1861. (He may have been related to Amasy Johnson and/or George Johnson both of whom enlisted in Company G.) Norman was badly wounded in the right hand on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, after which he was hospitalized, probably in Judiciary Square hospital in Washington, DC. He was discharged on June 29, 1862, at Upton’s Hill, Virginia for a wound of the right hand “the ball passing . . . backwards between the heads of the metacarpal bones of the index and middle fingers, shattering them to an alarming extent -- he is now unable to use this fingers in the least.”
After he was discharged from the army Norman returned to Michigan and in 1862 he applied for and received a pension (no. 10161).
He was living in Michigan when he reentered the service in Company M, Tenth Michigan cavalry on August 20, 1863, at Locke for 3 years, crediting Locke, and was mustered on October 2 at Grand Rapids where the regiment was organized between September 18 and November 18, 1863, when it was mustered into service. It 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 is listed in both Third infantry and Tenth cavalry Regimental histories. )
Norman was taken sick on January 6, 1864, and subsequently hospitalized at Camp Nelson, Kentucky. He was reportedly wounded by a bayonet in the left eye on May 14, 1864, causing the loss of vision in that eye. He was admitted to a hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, on July 7, 1864, suffering from chronic dysentery and remained hospitalized until his discharge on October 18, 1864, at Brown hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, for “aphonia” (loss of voice) and “also loss of sight of left eye occasioned by a bayonet wound.”
He gave Locke as his mailing address on his discharge from the Tenth cavalry, but by 1867 he was working as a farmer in Conway, Livingston County – although he also listed his address as Locke, Ingham County.
Apparently he and Lydia separated – in fact it appears Norman left her and his children and he apparently married a widow named Eliza A. Goff on December 10, 1870 in Reading, Michigan. (Eliza, who had several children from her first marriage, had been living in Fremont, Indiana when married before meeting Norman.) It wasn’t until 1875, however that he and Lydia were divorced, which took place in Howell, Livingston County, she having charged Norman with desertion and neglect. Norman and Eliza eventually settled in Fremont, Indiana where they lived for many years.
It is not known if Norman returned to Michigan after the war.
While on a trip in search of work, Norman died on December 20, 1883 in Chicago.
In 1891 in Indiana his widow Eliza applied for and was granted a widow’s pension (no. 674378).