William A. McMann was born on August 26, 1837, in Oswego County, New York, the son of Michael and Anne (O’Shassenesy).
William’s family possibly moved to Michigan from New York. In any case, by 1850 William was living with his older sistee Madora and his younger brother John with the family of Dr. Charles Kibbe in Crockery, Ottawa County. William married his first wife Michigan native Betsey (b. 1842) around 1859, probably in Michigan. (His sister Madora had earlier married Isaac Burbank who would also join the Third Michigan in 1861.) By 1860 William was working as a farmer and living with his wife in Nunica, Crockery Township, Ottawa County. (Two doors away lived Isaac and Madora Burbank.)
He stood 5’8” with brown hair and a light complexion and was 24 years old and still living in Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861. He was discharged for consumption on August 5, 1861, at Hunter’s Farm, Virginia.
Apparently he returned to Crockery where he reentered the service in M company, Seventh Michigan cavalry on May 14, 1863, for 3 years, and was mustered on June 17 at Grand Rapids, listing Crockery as his residence. In July of 1863 he was on detached service at Centreville, Virginia, was reported to have received an injury to his right testicle in January of 1864, and on detached service in March and April. He was absent sick from September of 1864 through February of 1865, but may have rejoined the regiment by the time it participated in Lee’s surrender in April and the Grand Review in Washington on May 23, 1865.
The regiment was moved to Forth Leavenworth, Kansas on June 1 where it participated in various operations against the Indiana. On November 17, 1865, William was transferred to Company I, First Michigan cavalry, when the veterans and recruits of the Seventh were consolidated into the First. The First Michigan cavalry served was on duty in the District of Utah from November of 1865 until March of 1866. William was on duty with that Regiment in January and February of 1866, and probably until he was mustered out with the regiment on March 10, 1866, at Salt Lake City, Utah territory. (According to regimental records William was mistakenly listed as having died on July 1, 1864.)
In any case, William apparently returned to Nunica after the war where he worked for some years as a carpenter, and sometime around 1868 he married his second wife, Flora. William had at least two children: Harry and Mrs. William Kroll.
He lived off and on in the Muskegon area from 1893 to 1910, usually working as a carpenter, although he was probably living in Moorland Township, Muskegon County in 1894. By the summer of 1909 he was probably living at 1 Peck Street in Muskegon.
He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association and a Catholic.
In 1890 William applied for and received a pension (no. 566593).
William entered the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 5531) as a married man on July 16, 1909, and was dropped from the Home on November 8, 1910. (His wife Flora was reported as living at 1 Peck Street in Muskegon.) By 1914 he was living in Muskegon at 130 Harrison Street.
William died of a cerebral hemorrhage on August 19, 1917, in Montague, Muskegon County, and reportedly buried in Montague: grave 1-B-113.
In October of 1917 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 902042).