Royal P. Lewis was born on November 30, 1835, in Ohio, the son of New York native David (1802-1851) and Dolly Ellsworth (1814-1852).
Royal’s parents were quite possibly married in Truxton, New York and settled in Ohio sometime before 1832. The family eventually moved westward and between 1842 and 1846 settled in Michigan. By 1850 David had settled the family in Ionia, Ionia County where he worked as a laborer and Royal attended school with his siblings. According to family historian Ronald Lewis, after Royal’s parents died in 1851 and 1852, the children were distributed to various families in Ionia County. By 1860 Royal was a farm laborer working for and/or living with B. Chapman, a farmer in Boston, Ionia County.
Royal stood about 6’, with gray eyes, dark complexion and was 25 years old and probably still living in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861; three of his four brothers also enlisted in Michigan Regiments during the war: Solomon and Daniel in the 7th Michigan Infantry and Edgar in the 21st Michigan Infantry; only Solomon would survive the war. (Royal may have been related to Edwin and/or Oliver Lewis, who were also from Ionia County, although they enlisted in Company E -- the other Ionia County Company made up largely of men from Ionia and Eaton Counties.)
Royal was sick in the hospital in September of 1862, and transferred to the 6th United States cavalry on December 6, 1862, at Falmouth, Virginia. According to one source Royal was taken prisoner during action at Fairfield, Pennsylvania on July 3, 1863.
He was apparently died on January 20, 1864, possibly at home in Ionia County, or perhaps in Virginia and his body was brought home to Ionia County and was buried in Saranac cemetery: lot or grave no. 34.
No pension seems to be available.