Nehemiah D. Merritt was born around 1841 in Dutchess County or Venice, Cayuga County, New York, the son of New York natives Daniel N. (b. 1799) nd Mary (b. 1798).
Daniel was living in Dutchess County, New York in 1840. By 1850 Daniel had settled his family in Venice, Cayuga County, New York where Nehemiah was attendsing shcoll with his older siblings; Nehemiah was still living with his family in Venice in 1855. Nehemiah left New York and headed west, eventually settling in Michigan by 1860 when he was a farm laborer working for and/or living with one Levi Bross, a wealthy farmer in Otisco, Ionia County. (By 1860 Daniel’s parents had moved to Clayton County, Iowa.)
Nehemiah stood 5’5” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 20 years old and still residing in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company E on May 13, 1861. (Company E was composed in large part by men from Clinton and Ingham counties, as well as parts of Ionia County.) He was reported missing in action, presumably taken prisoner, on June 30, 1862, at White Oak Swamp. Although he was returned to the Regiment at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia, possibly on August 8, in fact he was reported absent sick until he was discharged on February 4, 1863, at Camp Convalescent near Alexandria, Virginia, suffering from chronic rheumatic pericarditis.
He probably returned to Ionia County where he was working as a carpenter in Easton when he reentered the service in Company C, First Michigan Engineers and Mechanics on December 21, 1863, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Easton, and was mustered on January 5, 1864. He joined the Regiment on April 20 at Chattanooga, Tennessee, where it was on engineering duty maintaining and repairing rail lines and building blockhouses.
Nehemiah reportedly died of consumption on August 25, 1864, at Ringgold, Georgia. He was originally buried in Ringgold, but eventually reburied in the Chattanooga National Cemetery: section K, grave no. 586 (see also no. 10351).
(Curiously, there was one “Matthew” or “Nathan” Merritt, age 26, who also enlisted in Company C, First Michigan Engineers and Mechanics, on the same date and was mustered on the same day, crediting Easton, was also a carpenter and had the same physical characteristics but was sick in Alexandria, Virginia on April 22, 1865 and was mustered out as an Artificer on September 22, 1865 at Nashville, Tennessee.)
No pension seems to be available.