John McAlister was born in 1835 in Fulton County, New York.
John left New York State and had settled in western Michigan by 1860 when he was a farm laborer and sawyer working for and/or living with Alfred Clark, a farmer in Leonard, Mecosta County.
He stood 5’9” with gray eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was 26 years old and still residing in Mecosta County when he enlisted in Company K on May 13, 1861. He was reported in the Regimental Quartermaster department from July of 1862 through August, and serving with the Third Brigade Quartermaster from September through October. He was absent sick in November of 1862, and again from May of 1863 through August. By September 19, 1863, John had returned to the Regimental Quartermaster where he was employed through November, and was listed as a Musician when he reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Alpine, Kent County.
He returned to Michigan on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864, and was in Grand Rapids when he was struck down by erysipolas.
John died in one of the two post hospitals at Camp Lee in Grand Rapids, on February 5, 1864, and was buried in the “Soldier’s Burial Ground,” now known as at the Watson Post Grand Army of the Republic lots in Oak Hill cemetery: section 7 lot 90.
There seems to be no pension available.