Oscar Johnson was born on February 7, 1839, in Michigan.
By 1860 Oscar was working as a switchman on the railroad and living with A. B. Durfee in Linden, Genesee County, Michigan.
He was 23 years old and possibly working in Muskegon, Muskegon County when he enlisted in Company H on April 28, 1861. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers,” was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties.) He was wounded on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and by late June he was reported in the hospital at White House Landing, Virginia, suffering from fever. He apparently recovered and was transferred to Battery F, Third United States artillery on January 29, 1863, at Camp Pitcher, Virginia. He was mustered out on May 13, 1864, at Chancellorsville, Virginia.
Following his discharge from the army Oscar eventually returned to Genesee County and settled in Flint where he probably lived the rest of his life.
He was married to Michigan native Elizabeth (1833-1907). Elizabeth may have been married before (if so her name was probably Shepherd), and probably had two children from her previous marriage: a son (b. 1854) and a daughter (b. 1862).
By 1880 Oscar was working in a paper mill and reportedly married but was boarding with the David West (?) family in Flint. He was residing at 316 Stone Street in December of 1888 when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, and in the First Ward in 1890 and in 1894 when he was suffering from chronic diarrhea, piles, and “sore eyes.” He was still living on Stone Street in Flint in 1907 when his wife died, and he was in Flint in 1911.
Oscar was a member of Grand Army of the Republic Crapo Post No. 145 in Flint, a Protestant and he received a pension (no. 273608), dated May of 1880.
Oscar was a widower when he died of heart disease at his home on Witherbee Street in Flint on June 13 or 15, 1911.
According to a local report, Oscar “was found dead on the floor of his home on Witherbee Street late yesterday afternoon by his stepdaughter, Mrs. George Foote. Johnson was one of the committeemen in charge of the dedication of the Genesee ‘hall of fame’, and Mrs. Foote noticed his absence from the parade. That evening she tried to call him by telephone and again this morning, but without success. Johnson lived alone, and thinking he might be sick, Mr. and Mrs. Foote went to the house yesterday afternoon and found the shades down and the house locked up. They managed to unlock a door and on entering found the aged man’s body upon the floor where he had evidently fallen from an attack of heart disease, his head striking on the base of a coal stove.”
His funeral was held on June 18 at the Masonic Temple (in Flint presumably), and the services were conducted by Rev. E. Randall. Oscar was buried in Avondale cemetery in Flint.