William Monroe (1) was born in 1843 in Roslin, Scotland, the son of Hugh and Janet (b. 1810).
Sometime after 1853 William’s family left Scotland and immigrated to America. By 1860 William was working as an apprentice blacksmith for George Frost in Grand Rapids’ First Ward, just two doors away from his family’s residence.
William was 18 years old and probably still residing in Grand Rapids when he enlisted with the consent of his mother in Company K on May 13, 1861. He was reported missing in action on July 1, 1862, at Malvern Hill, Virginia, and in fact had been captured at White Oak Swamp.
He was imprisoned in Richmond, Virginia on July 1 and subsequently paroled at Aiken’s Landing, Virginia on August 5. On August 6 the Richmond Dispatch reported that at
About 1 o’clock yesterday three thousand of the Federal prisoners on Belle Island left the city for “Varina,” (the farm of Albert Aiken, Esq., twelve miles from Richmond,) a guide having been procured from Capt. Alexander’s detective force to pilot them thither. They went under flag of truce to be exchanged, and were to be met by officers of the United States Army, empowered to effect that object. The party consisted wholly of soldiers, no commissioned officers being in the party. The guard attending the party was composed of a portion of the 42d Mississippi regiment, under Col. Miller. The prisoners were permitted to go by the C. S. Military Prison, and while in front of the building they cheered their imprisoned compatriots, (Generals and other officers,) and otherwise testified their respect for them. They appeared elated at the prospect of going home. The day was intensely hot, and it was intimated, after they had been gone for some hours, that many of them broke down, and had to be left on the way-side, while two or three died. There are 1,700 Yankees yet to go.
William was quite probably with that very detachment. In any case, he was returned to the Regiment as of August 8, 1862, at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia.
He was wounded seriously on May 3, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Virginia, and died on May 8 while en route to a hospital in Washington, DC, cause unknown, but presumably from his wounds. He was buried in the Military Asylum cemetery (Soldier's Home National cemetery), either in section G no. 4304 (the more likely of the two) or section D no. 5291.
In 1863 his mother applied for and received a pension (no. 15687). By 1870 William’s mother, probably widowed, was living in Grand Rapids’ Second Ward; her son James (b. 1853) was also living with her.