Oliver Lewis was born on March 3, 1834, in Greenfield, Huron, Ohio, the son of Adam A. (1790-1864) and Lucy (Coleman or Colburn, 1790-1880).
New York native Adam married Lucy Coleman (born in Connecticut) in February of 1816 in Rome, Oneida County, New York and had settled in Ohio by 1829. They left Ohio sometime after 1834 and eventually settled in western Michigan. By 1850 Oliver was living with his family on a farm in Orange, Ionia County, and in 1860 Adam and Lucy were living on a farm in Orange with their son Nelson.
He stood 5’10” with blue eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion and was 27 years old working as a farmer in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company E on May 13, 1861. (He was possibly related to Edwin Lewis also of Company E and who had also been living in Ionia County when the war broke out. He may also have been related to Royal Lewis who was also from Ionia County but who enlisted in Company D, the other Ionia County company.)
Oliver was reported absent sick in the hospital from August of 1862 through November, was back with the regiment by late May of 1863, and again absent sick in July of 1863. He had apparently returned to duty by the time he reenlisted on December 23, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Paris, Kent County, was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough, probably in Michigan, in January of 1864 and returned to the Regiment by the middle of February. He was wounded in the right shoulder on May 12, 1864 at Spotsylvania, Virginia, and admitted from the field to Mt. Pleasant general hospital in Washington, DC on May 16, with a gunshot wound to the right shoulder. (When he was admitted to the hospital in Washington, DC, he listed himself as single and his nearest relative as one Eunice Lewis in Portland, Ionia County.)
He was still hospitalized when he was transferred to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. Oliver remained absent wounded through July, and quite possibly until he was mustered out as a Corporal on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.
After the war Oliver eventually returned to Michigan.
He married Connecticut native Rebecca Mary Sherwood (1843-1917) on June 16, 1867 in Berlin (now Saranac), Ionia County, and they had at least five children: Annie Charlotte (b. 1868), Lucy (b. 1870), Oliver (b. 1875), Phoebe Ann (b. 1877), Alexander A. (b. 1880 and Lydia (b. 1884.
By 1870 Oliver was working as a farmer and living in Orange with his wife and children. Indeed, they lived in Orange for a number of years but by 1880 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Elbridge, Oceana County, and in 1888 he was living in Hesperia, Oceana County and by 1890 had moved to Holton, Muskegon County where he operated a store for some years before selling it to one Joseph Bernier. Oliver then farmed 155 acres in section 27 of Holton, and indeed he lived the remainder the his life in Holton.
He was probably still living in Holton in 1899 when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association; he was also a member of Grand Army of the Republic Dahlgren post no. 149 in Holton. In 1869 he applied for and received a pension (no. 105028).
Oliver died on March 21, 1912, presumably at his home in Holton, and was buried in Holton cemetery.
In late March of 1912 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 743725).