Chester L. Mann was born in 1833 in Madison County, New York, the son of Calvin (b. 1804) and Olive (b. 1812).
Massachussetts native Calvin married New York-born Olive, probably in New York where they resided for some years. Calvin and Olive, neither of whom could read or write, moved their family from New York to Michigan sometime after 1851, and in 1857 Chester probably purchased 40 acres of land through the Ionia, Michigan land office. In any case by 1860 Chester was a shingle maker working with his father and living with his family in Fairplain, Montcalm County.
Chester stood 5’10” with blue eyes, auburn hair and a light complexion and was a 28-year-old farmer who could not read or write possibly living in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company E on May 13, 1861. Chester was reported absent sick in August of 1862, but he eventually recovered and was present for duty with the regiment by late May of 1863.
He reenlisted on December 23, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Paris, Kent County. He was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864, probably at his family’s home in Michigan, and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February.
Chester was reportedly wounded in early May and was transferred to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He was shot through the right arm between the elbow and wrist, fracturing both bones, on June 22, 1864, near Petersburg, Virginia by a gun, “rendering,” he said later, “my arm useless for months to come.”
He was eventually admitted to Finley hospital, Washington, DC, where, on December 1, 1864, he petitioned his physician to be transferred to the general hospital in Troy, New York. Chester said that he had been “actively engaged with the Regiment until December 24th, 1863 when I reenlisted at Brandy Station and was with my Regiment until June 22nd, 1864 when I was wounded.” He reasoned that his “family is residing there and I can be near them while I am obliged to be under treatment in a hospital.” Chester closed by saying “I think I have been a faithful soldier . . . and if you can assist me in any way to accomplish this object you will greatly oblige me.” His request was granted, and he was admitted to the United States general hospital at Troy on January 16, 1865.
Chester was a Corporal when he was discharged on March 12, 1865, at Troy, and Dr. George Hubbard, the examining physician wrote in his discharge report on Mann that “His right arm is entirely useless and he is unfit for any duty.”
After his discharge Chester returned to Michigan, probably to Ionia, Ionia County, which he listed as his mailing address on his discharge paper. By 1877 he may have been living in Muskegon, Muskegon County and was possibly a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association.
He was possibly married to New York native Mary F. (b. 1836).
In 1870 his mother Olive was apparently living with a son (?) William F. and his wife Mary A. (b. 1830 in New York) in Delaware, Delaware County, Iowa (no mention of Calvin however). By 1880 Chester may have been working as a farmer and living with with his wife in Medicine Lodge, Barber County, Kansas. (That same year Calvin and Olive were working as servants for the family of Eli Burges or Burget in Westfield, Fayette County, Iowa.) Chester may have been living in Cheboygan, Michigan by 1888.
In 1865 he applied for and received a pension (no. 43114)).
His widow he applied for and received a pension (no. 541355), and subsequently an application was filed on behalf of a minor child (no. 730092), but the certificate was never granted.