Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ezra W. Lewis

Ezra W. Lewis was born in 1840, possibly in New York and possibly the son of Eben (b. 1805).

Ezra was 21 years old and possibly living in Muskegon County when he enlisted in Company H on May 6, 1861; he was possibly related to John Lewis and/or Smith Lewis both of whom enlisted in Company H. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers,” was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties.)

Ezra was on detached service from July of 1862 through October, and may have been wounded at Fair Oaks, Virginia, on May 31, 1862. (In 1890 he claimed to have been wounded in the left knee joint by a musket ball.) Ezra was sick in the hospital from June of 1863 through December, a cook in the Regimental hospital in February and March of 1864, and was mustered out on June 20, 1864, at Detroit.

No pension seems to be available.

Following his discharge Ezra returned to western Michigan. By 1890 he was residing in Ferrysburg, Ottawa County (he may also have been living in Kent County around 1890 as well).

Ezra was possibly residing in Muskegon when he was arrested in September of 1893 in Muskegon, “charged,” wrote the Muskegon Chronicle of September 14, 1893, “with a loathsome offense.” Apparently Lewis was drunk when the unspoken crime was committed. “It seems,” the paper reported, “that Lewis was a brave soldier and once a good citizen but that drink became his bane and led to his downfall. He is the man who carried Major [William L.] Ryan off the battlefield when he was severely wounded.” Lewis pled guilty, and “Judge Dickerman gave him some sound advice and sentenced him to four months hard labor in Ionia house of corrections.”

It is unclear what the offense was, as no record of this is found in public sources available today, nor is there a prison record for Ezra in the Michigan State Archives.

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