Saturday, February 28, 2009

Warren G. Hill

Warren G. Hill was born September 19, 1845, in Palmyre, Portage County, Ohio, the son of Orpheus Benjamin (b. 1822) and Olive (Tuttle, b. 1827).

Warren’s parents were both born in Ohio (Orpheus was born in Palmyre) and were married on November 24, 1844 in Portage, Ohio. By 1850 Orpheus and Olive were living in Norwalk, Hurton County, Ohio where Orpheus worked as a shoemaker. The family eventually left Ohio and moved westward, settling in Michigan sometime before the war broke out.

He was 15 years old and possibly living in Kent County when he enlisted with the consent of the Justice of the Peace in Company K on May 13, 1861. (He was possibly related to Alpheus Hill who also enlisted in Company K.) Warren was wounded in the left forearm on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, subsequently admitted to Armory Square general hospital in Washington, DC, where he was treated for his wounds, recovered, and returned to the Regiment.

He was wounded again, this time in the left hip on May 3, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Virginia, was absent sick or wounded in the field hospital at Belle Plains, Virginia, and in June he was transferred to a general hospital in Washington, DC. Warren was reported under arrest from September 19 through November at Washington, DC, for offense(s) unknown, but he eventually returned to duty and was reported missing in action on January 4, 1864. In fact he was taken prisoner while on picket duty, paroled on March 21 at City Point, Virginia, reported to Camp Parole, Maryland on March 22, and by May 15 he was at Camp Distribution, Virginia. He may have been a prisoner at Andersonville for a short time. In any case, he was mustered out of service on September 26, 1864, at Detroit.

After his discharge Warren returned to western Michigan where he worked for some years as a lumberman and shingle-maker.

He was probably living in Nelson, Kent County when he married Indiana native Emma or Emaline Hardy (1849-1924) on April 28, 1867, in Nelson, and they had at least four children: Oliver (b. 1873), Hattie Alice (b. 1868), Olive (b. 1872) and Edwin. (Emma and her family had also lived in Nelson in 1860.)

By 1868 they were living in Big Rapids, Mecosta County where they lived for many years (they were still there in 1878). (His father had apparently remarried an Ohio native named Elizabeth, b. 1829, and they were living in Nelson, Kent County in 1870.) In 1880 Warren was working as a carpenter and living in Deerfield, Mecosta County with his wife and children. He was living in Big Rapids in 1888, 1890 and in the First Ward in 1894, but sometime around 1906 he was residing in Woodville, Newaygo County. By 1920 Warren was living in Big Rapids with his wife and their son Oliver.

He was living in Big Rapids when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association in December of 1881, and he was also a member of the Grand Army of the Republic Andrews Post No. 294 in Big Rapids.

Warren applied for and received a pension (no. 156654).

Warren died of organic heart disease on March 24, 1924, in Big Rapids or in Monroe or Norwich, Newaygo County, and was buried in Big Rapids cemetery: block H, lot C, grave no. 2.

In 1924 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 950714). She died that same year in Pontiac, Oakland County.

Friday, February 27, 2009

George H. Hill

George H. Hill was born in 1830 in England, the son of Ann.

In 1860 there was one George Hill, b. 1830 in England, working as a farmer (he owned $800 worth of real estate) living in Castleton, Barry County; also living with him was one Ann Hawkins, age 66 also born in England.

In any case, George left England and came to America sometime before 1864, eventually settling in Michigan.

He stood 5’8” with blue eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was a 34-year-old farmer possibly living in Assyria or Castleton, Barry County when he enlisted in Company E on February 8, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Assyria, was mustered the same day. (He was possibly related to George D. Hill of the Regimental Band, and/or Alpheus Hill of Company K. Company E was composed in large part by men from Clinton and Ingham counties, as well as parts of Ionia County.)

George joined the Regiment on March 29 and was killed in action on May 5, 1864, at the Wilderness, Virginia. He was presumably buried among the unknown soldiers at the Wilderness.

In 1863 his mother applied for and received a pension (no. 55721).

Thursday, February 26, 2009

George Dana Hill

George Dana Hill was born in 1839 in Somerset, England.

George immigrated to America sometime before the war broke out, and eventually settled in Michigan.

He was a 22-year-old farmer possibly living in Clinton County or Ingham County when he enlisted as a Musician in Company D on May 13, 1861; he was possibly related to George H. Hill of Company E. (Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County.) George D. was promoted from Musician Third Class to Principal Musician on January 1, 1862, and discharged at Camp Pitcher, Virginia, on January 17, 1863.

He returned to Michigan where he reentered the service as First Sergeant in Company I, First Michigan cavalry on October 23, 1863, at Vevay, Ingham County, for 3 years, crediting Vevay, and was mustered the same day at Mt. Clemens, Macomb County.

He was wounded at Trevillian Station, Virginia, on June 11, 1864, again at Winchester, Virginia, on September 19, 1864, and furloughed November 27, 1864. He reported to Detroit Barracks on march 1, 1865, and was reported as promoted to Second Lieutenant of Company A in January of 1865, commissioned as of October 25, 1864, mustered on January 2, 1865, at Winchester, Virginia, replacing Lieutenant Pierson. In March and April he was reported as acting Adjutant, and was wounded in the head and arm at Appomattox courthouse on April 9, 1865, resulting in the loss of his left arm. He was admitted to the general hospital at Farmville, Virginia, on April 13.

George was promoted to First Lieutenant and Adjutant in May, commissioned as of March 7, and mustered as of May 1 at St. Louis, Missouri, replacing Lieutenant Beach. (Curiously, though, the regiment participated in the Grand Review in Washington on May 23 and didn’t move west, to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, until June 1.)

He was absent with leave in June and in July, on detached service at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas through September, and was mustered out on November 11, 1865, at Fort Leavenworth.
George reentered the service as First Lieutenant on July 28, 1866, in the Forty-second United States infantry, brevetted Captain on March 2, 1867, and was retired as a Captain on December 31, 1870.

He married Maine native Ellen H. Kellogg (1845-1887), on March 28, 1872, and they had at least two children: Eliza M. (b. 1873) and George Edward (b. 1877), Ellen Kellogg (b. 1881) and Eugene Cary (b. 1883).

They were living in Washington Territory in 1873 and 1879, and in fact lived for many years in Seattle, King County. By 1880 he was listed as a retired army officer and living with his wife and children in Seattle, King County, Washington Territory; also living with them were two servants.

In 1866 he applied for and received a pension (no. 65392).

George was a widower when he drowned at Anacortes, Washington on December 4, 1890, and he was buried in Lakeview cemetery, Seattle.

In January of 1891 one David Kellogg (either a minor child or guardian), residing in Washington State applied for and received a minor child’s pension (no. 397963). (In 1880 there was a David Kellogg and his family living in Seattle.)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Alpheus M. Hill - updated 7/9/2011

Alpheus M. Hill was born in 1820 in New York, the son of Calvin G. (1785-1867) and Charlotte Castle (1791-1869) .

Alpheus’s parents were both born in New York and presumably married there. They eventually settled in Michigan and by 1850 Alpheus (“A. M.”) was working as a manufacturer and living with his parents in Thornapple, Barry County. By 1860 Alpheus was working as a lumberman and living in Thornapple, Barry County near his parents and brother (?) J. C.


He married Frances M. Ralph (1833-1855) and they had at least one child, Frank R. (1855-1856).


He stood 5’11” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was a 41-year-old widower living in Barry County when he enlisted in Company K on May 13, 1861. (He was possibly related to Warren Hill who would also enlist in Company K.) Alpheus was left sick at Grand Rapids when the Regiment departed for Washington on June 13, 1861, but soon rejoined the Regiment and participated in the engagements at Bull Run in July of 1861.

On July 26, from Arlington, Virginia, Alpheus wrote home, probably to his sister Frances in Michigan, describing about the federal debacle on July 21.

I suppose that before you receive this you will have learned from the papers that we have suffered a defeat. The causes which led to this are several. In the first place we were over confident of success, and underrated the enemy. A large portion of men thought they had nothing to do but to make a triumphal march through the country, and many began to think there would be no fight at all. That illusion is pretty well disposed of, and the men who were loudest in their braggadocio were the first to run from the field of battle.

In the next place we were out-Generaled. The position of the enemy was as strong as nature and the best of military skill could make it, and he had his batteries so covered [masked] and concealed that it was impossible to tell where they were until they opened on you. Then the batteries were placed one above another so that when driven from one he fell back into another and so on for miles.

Some of the regiments behaved well and did all that could be expected of men; there were others who disgraced themselves and the country. At 2 o’clock we had the day and everything was favorable but at this time the enemy got large reinforcements from Manassas Gap while we could not reinforce without endangering our left wing and having our retreat cut off.

The Fire Zouaves and two or three other regiments charged and carried battery after battery, and suffered terribly, but was of no use, when they carried one they only found another in their faces.

Our Brigade was posted on the left wing with the view of preventing the enemy from turning that wing. All day long we lay under the brow of a hill listening to the fierce conflict going on at our right. Occasionally we sent our skirmishers into the woods to wake up the enemy, and as often as they showed themselves our batteries would open on them. This was about all the share we had in the battle until about 5 o’clock when the news came that the right wing was defeated, when instantly the woods and ravines in our front were alive with the enemy. They rushed forward with the view of taking our field pieces and driving us back so as to take possession of the road about a mile in our rear and thus cut off the retreat of our right wing. But after trying it about fifteen minutes they gave up and fell back into their batteries. At this time we were all ordered back to Centreville, a small village about five miles from Fairfax; here we met the column of fugitives, and such a sight! everything was confusion and not the leat [sic] show of order remained; regiments, officers and men all mixed up and running for life. Most of them had thrown away their arms and accouterments. Many had nothing on but their shirts and pants. The sun was pouring down terribly, and the atmosphere was thick with dust.

The regiments that were not entirely broken up took up position in line of battle to beat back pursuit, but after the attack on our left the enemy fell back to their entrenchments and lay there without any attempt to disturb us. After dark the different regiments were formed into two squares and we lay down on the ground as we supposed for the night, but about 11 o’clock we were waked [sic] up with as little noise as possible and ordered to retreat to Fairfax. Our regiment formed the rear guard. We reached Fairfax about sun rise, supposing that we here to get rest and something to eat, but we fund [sic] nothing but orders to continue on to Arlington Heights. -- About 9 o’clock [Monday] it began to rain and continued all day and I was soon wet to the skin. For three days and nights the only rest I had was to throw myself on the ground in my shirt sleeves without covering of any kind and sleep as I could; and when you consider that we fought a battle and marched about forty miles without food or rest and at night when we came to this place wet to the skin and our only bed was some hay we pulled from an old barrack, I think you will say that we have had something of a time.

I could write for a week of the incidents of this trip, but forbear. My health for a day or two is improving and I hope to get my strength soon.

Although Alpheus’ health remained weakened, he apparently remained on duty with the Regiment throughout the winter and was present during the opening phases of McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign in the spring of 1862.

On June 7, from a camp near Fair Oaks, Virginia, just outside of Richmond, Alpheus wrote home to describe the details of the battle of May 31 at Fair Oaks.

Dear Sister Delie -- I wrote to Harriet a few days ago to let you know that I was safe, until I could get time to send you the particulars of the battle, which I know you will all be anxious to hear. The newspaper reports are not altogether reliable, as they are more or less interested in distorting, hiding or misrepresenting the facts in the case. Newspapers are like men, each has its particular prejudice and interest to support, and must puff everything on its side, and blow everything on the opposite side, at least this is too much the case; and it is best for wise men to sift the true from the false, accept the truth let it out where it will, and discard the false let it have been ever so long a cherished falsehood. The newspapers we have received since the battle, all seem to be vieing with each other into puffing it into a great victory. The simple truth of the matter is that they made a sudden, unexpected and concentrated attack on our left wing, with the hope of turning it, which if they had been successful would have ruined us. They drove us in the course of the day about two miles, and darkness put an end to the fight. During the evening and night reinforcements came to our help, and the next morning we drove them in turn and recovered our lost ground. They failed in the accomplishment of their object, and so far it was a victory for us, but they had the best of the first days’ fight. Sunday evening after the fight our lines were almost exactly where they were Saturday morning before the fight began. The general disposition of the forces on our side before the battle, so far as I could see, I consider to be good.

Gen. Casey’s division held the front. -- Gen. Crouch’s division next -- and Gen. Kearney’s [sic] (our own) immediately within supporting distance, in the rear. The enemy had made an attack upon Casey’s pickets for four or five days previous to the real attack, at just about the same time of day, and when the real attack came, the mend had grown careless. Some of them were washing their shirts, some had them on the bushes drying, expecting the attack was a feint, like the previous ones. A fatal mistake for them. -- As the enemy was upon them in overwhelming numbers, Casey’s division was driven back, a mob, instead of a division of fighting men. They lost everything, artillery, camp equippage and all. Some of the regiments ran without firing a gun, others made slight resistance, but not enough to stop the enemy a moment. -- Couch alarmed by the firing and the fugitives, got his division under arms and here the enemy met the first serious resistance. And although Couch outnumbered, outflanked and driven from position to position, yet he gave back blow for blow, shot for shot, and held them until we came up to his support. We got there not a minute too soon; his men were breaking and giving way in every direction. The enemy flushed with his success was pressing them back in every direction. Our regiment led the brigade, and were ordered to the left, into the pine woods, and we piled in without much order or regularity, but finally got into something of a line, and let me assure you that for an hour it was no child’s play. Our loss tells its own story. Old Kearney [sic] is the most notorious fighting man in the army, and he declared on the battlefield that he was satisfied with the conduct of our regiment. After the first hour the enemy’s fire slackened in front of our position, and we held the ground until dark. But in the meantime the enemy had turned our right [flank], and our brigade fell back to the line from which we had marched to support Crouch’s division. At this place we had a good position, and expected to make another fight in the morning.

But when daylight came we found old Dick’s division in front to relieve us, and our part of the work was done. The fight on Sunday was soon over, our troops drove them at every point of attack, and by the time you at Middleville were wending your way quietly to church, everything here was quiet also. On Monday we buried our dead. I was so used up on Saturday that Id did not have the heart or strength to go out on the battlefield a second time. Those who did go out report the loss in killed to be very large on both sides, and that there was nearly two rebels to one of ours lying on the ground, though I think perhaps some allowance must be made for such reports.

Today [June 7] the field of battle can be smelled for a mile. The enemy buried but few of their own men and left part of their wounded although they had possession of the field all of Saturday night and part of Sunday. We found a few of our own wounded who had been missed Saturday night in the darkness and hurry. One poor fellow of our company had been forty-eight hours badly wounded before we found him, and then he was found by men of another regiment. O! the horrible, terrible, sufferings one such an action as this entails upon its victims. Imagine to yourself every house and dooryard in Middleville filled as thick as they can lay on the floors and grass, and have the attendants pass among them; some groaning in their agonies, others lying quietly and apparently easy, but the quickening breath and glazing eye tell their own sad tale of approaching death.

Ab. has just come in from Fortress Monroe where he had been in care of our wounded. He looks strong and healthy, and I think will get through all right. From his position as musician he is not very much exposed to the dangers of the battlefield, his duty being to carry off and care for the wounded. Many of the newspapers seem to carry the idea that the great battle is fought. I don’t think so. I think our last action was the skirmish which precedes the main battle. And there is every indication that it will come off immediately, perhaps before you receive this. We are gradually tightening our lines around the city [Richmond] step by step, today the division in front of us advanced to a new position. One or two moves more and we shall be within shelling distance of the capitol of the Confederate States. McClellan tells us that we must expect to fight and I think he is right.

In case I should get wounded I shall try to get to Washington or Baltimore. Harriet could not get here if she was to try, they would not let pass Fortress Monroe, unless she could get strong influence in official quarters. If I should get wounded I have not much expectation of surviving it, because I have not strength. My vitality seems to be expended. The coming battle will no doubt be decisive of the war, should it prove to be so, sick or well, I shall go home as nothing would induce me to stay here a moment beyond the actual necessity of the case.

I have just received two letters from home, one from Albert and one from Harriet and Lottie for which I am much obliged and will answer as soon as possible. Enclosed Ab. sends to grandmother a ball which passed through the leg of one of our poor fellows. Good-by, a kiss for little May.

Sometime in the summer of 1862 Alpheus became seriously ill and was reportedly hospitalized in August and September of 1862. By October was on detached service in Michigan, apparently recruiting for the Regiment in Barry County. While Alpheus was at home recruiting, a curious story appeared in the Detroit Advertiser and Tribune on December 20, 1862, which reported that one “Alpheus M. Hill, of Middleville, Barry County, who served for some time as a private in the 3d Michigan regiment, has been commissioned a Captain in the 7th cavalry, and will raise a company in Barry County.”

In fact, Alpheus remained with the Third Michigan and was reported on recruiting duty in Michigan from through April of 1863 when he probably rejoined the Regiment.

Alpheus was admitted from the field to Douglas general hospital in Washington, DC, on June 12, 1864, suffering from “typhoid pneumonia,” and he died of “typhoid pneumonia” on June 16, 1864, at Douglas hospital. It was noted by the hospital that his sister sent his remains home, although the War Department reported that he was buried on June 18 in Arlington National Cemetery. In fact there is a marker for him, along with his wife and son, in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Middleville, barry County.

No pension seems to be available.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Alonzo C. Hill

Alonzo C. Hill was born in 1839.

Alonzo was 22 years old and probably living in Allegan County (or Shiawassee County), Michigan, when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861. George Bailey of Company F, who was also from Allegan County and may have known Alonzo before the war, referred to him as “Alonzo C. Hill,” and nicknamed him “Big Bub.” According to Bailey, on June 12, 1861, Edward Wheelock and Alonzo (“Big Bub”) were brought to Grand Rapids “by Andrew Oliver for the purpose of enlisting (with us), both of who experienced some trouble then and later, by not having been properly mustered. They were, however, accepted by the captains of Co. F (Ed.) and Co. I (Bub) and were mustered by a justice of the peace, which was later confirmed, and they were properly mustered at Washington DC.”

Alonzo was killed in action on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and presumably buried among the unknown soldiers at Seven Pines National Cemetery.

No pension seems to be available.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Ira Hiler

Ira Hiler was born in 1836 in Ohio, the son of Eleazer (1791-1873) and Harriet “Hattie” (Sturdevant, b. 1805).

New York natives Eleazer and Harriet were married, possibly in New York but they soon settled in Ohio. By 1850 Ira was attending school with his two younger siblings and living with his family in Norwich, Huron County, Ohio. Ira left Ohio and came to western Michigan sometime before 1861, probably to Grand Rapids. (His father was residing in Grand Rapids’ Second Ward in 1870.)

Ira was a 25-year-old laborer possibly living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company A on May 13, 1861. (Company A was made up largely of men from Grand Rapids, and many of whom had served in various local militia units before the war, specifically the Valley City Guards, or VCG, under the command of Captain Samuel Judd, who would also command Company A.)

Apparently sometime during the late spring or early summer of 1862 Ira was taken ill to the hospital. Charles Wright, also of Company A and a good friend of Hiler’s, wrote home on July 9 that “Ira Hiler is here now,” presumably meaning that he was back with his company. In any case, Ira was working as a company cook in December of 1862, and was apparently present for duty when he was taken prisoner on May 3, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Virginia.

He eventually returned to the Regiment on October 31, and was absent with leave from November through December of 1863. Although Hiler was officially reported as sick in the hospital in April of 1864, Wright wrote home to his sister Moriah on April 5, 1864 that he was in fact back with the company. Wright also added that Ira was not married, possibly in an attempt to induce Charles’ sister or one of her friends to write to Hiler. In any case, Ira was in the hospital absent sick in May, and was mustered out of service on June 20, 1864.

Charles Wright attempted to remain in touch with Hiler following Ira’s discharge, and on July 21, 1864, he wrote home asking his family “Where is Hiler? Ask him to write if you see him.” But as of October 2 Wright still had not heard from Hiler.

By 1865 Ira was living in Grand Rapids, and he married Michigan native Roxy Ann Coon (b. 1844) -- she was possibly related to Jesse Coon of Company K -- on September 12, 1866; they had at least three children: Georgiana (b. 1867), Frank (b. 1871) and Hattie (McKay, b. 1876).

By 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and one child in Wacoustra, Bath Township, Clinton County. (His father was still living in Grand Rapids’ Second Ward that year.)
Ira eventually moved back to Kent County and was residing in Courtland Township working as a farmer in 1880, in Cedar Springs, Kent County from 1881 to 1883, and in Courtland, Kent County (where he was farming) in 1885 and 1890.

Ira was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 4672) for the first time on June 12, 1906, when he was drawing $12.50 in 1906 (pension no. 1,121,963), increased to $15.00 in 1908, then to $20.00 in 1910, $30.00 in 1913 and $40.00 in 1918. Ira was discharged from the Home on June 28, 1915, readmitted on May 4, 1917, discharged on June 20, 1919, and admitted for the final time on June 7, 1920.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, and a charter member of Grand Army of the Republic Jewell Post No. 62 in Cedar Springs serving as chaplain of the post in 1882, as well as a member of the Union Ex-Prisoners of War Association (Michigan chapter). Ira was also a Protestant and for many years worked as a carpenter.

Ira died of general arteriosclerosis at 7:30 p.m. on June 9, 1920, two days after his readmission to the Home, and was buried on June 12 in the Home cemetery: section 7 row 13 grave 27.

His widow applied for and received a pension (no. 595829).

Sunday, February 22, 2009

John Higgins

John Higgins was born in 1838 in Warford or Waterford, Ireland.

John immigrated to the United States before the war broke out and eventually settled in central Michigan.

He stood 5’8” with blue eyes, black hair and a “fresh” complexion and was a 21-year-old farmer possibly living in Ingham County when he enlisted in Company G on May 10, 1861. (Company G, formerly the “Williams’ Rifles,” was made up predominantly of men from the Lansing area.) He allegedly deserted on July 24, 1861, at Arlington, Virginia. Frank Siverd of Company G wrote on August 1 that he was “none the less sorry for the honor of the company to state that [George] Sutherland and [John] Higgins have been reported to the authorities as deserters. They have not reported themselves since the battle, and yet are known to have been in the city.” But Higgins soon returned to the unit, and on August 7 Siverd wrote to the Lansing State Republican that “Higgins, who was a deserter, has returned to camp and gives a satisfactory account of himself.”

At some point, probably in 1862, John was taken sick and subsequently hospitalized in Washington, DC. He was discharged on November 23, 1862, at Union Hotel hospital, Washington, DC, for “varicose veins of the left leg” so severe that he “has not been able to perform duty for two months.”

On his discharge paper John gave Williamsburg, New York as his mailing address. It is however possible that he eventually returned to Michigan and may have reentered the service on March 15, 1864, in Company A, Third Michigan cavalry.

If indeed John joined the Third Michigan cavalry, according to one source he is buried in Grant County, Indiana.

No pension seems to be available.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Frederick Higbee

Frederick Higbee was born November 7, 1832, in New York, the son of Loring or Loren (1790-1863) and Mary (Roberts, b. 1794).

Massachusetts native Loren married New York native Mary sometime before 1818 and by 1850 had settled on a farm in Union, Broome County, New York. Sometime before 1862 or 1863 the family moved to western Michigan, settling in Mecosta County (where Loren reportedly died and is presumably buried). By 1860 Fred was a laborer working for and/or living with James Hughes, a hotelkeeper in Croton, Newaygo County.

Fred was 29 years old and residing in Newaygo County when he enlisted in Company H on May 13, 1861. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers,” was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties.) He was promoted to Corporal on November 10, 1861. Fred was probably wounded slightly in the chest on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and by the second week of September he was in Wolf Street hospital in Alexandria, Virginia. He may have rejoined the regiment by the time he was promoted to Sergeant on October 27, 1862. In any case, he was listed as absent sick in February of 1863 and again when he was admitted on April 21 to Harewood hospital in Washington, DC, for psoriasis. “This patient” noted his medical record, “is of a scrofulous [diagnosis]; having marks of that disease upon his neck.” He eventually recovered, and was discharged to duty by June 18, 1863. Fred was mustered out of service on June 20, 1864.

It is not known if Fred ever returned to Michigan. He eventually settled in Broome County, New York.

He was married to New York native Jennie Van Wormer (d. 1881) and they had at least one child, a daughter Maggie (b. 1878).

By 1870 Frederick was working as a farmer and living with his wife in Union, Broome County, New York; his widowed mother was living next door. In 1880 Frederick was working as a farmer and living with his wife and child in Union, Broome County, New York; his widowed mother was also living in Union that same year. By 1890 he was living in Maine, Broome County, New York.

In 1878 Frederick applied for and received a pension (no. 224884).

Friday, February 20, 2009

William H. Hicks

William H. Hicks was born in 1847 in Picton, Ontario, Canada, the son of John (b. 1810) and Ann (b. 1815).

John was born in Ireland and immigrated to North America where he met and married Canadian-born Ann, and they settled in Ontario. William’s family left Canada and came to Michigan sometime after 1855, eventually settling in Lyons, Ionia County by 1860 where John worked as a watchmaker. (William is not living with them, however, only one James W., age 19 who also worked as a watchmaker and Victoria, age 5.)

William stood 5’7” with hazel eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion, and was 14 years old and residing in Clinton County when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861. He was first reported missing in action on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, but by early September he was listed as wounded, probably at Second Bull Run, and was subsequently hospitalized. He was reported absent sick in a hospital from October of 1862 until he was discharged for consumption on January 25, 1863, at the Third Corps hospital, near Fort Lyon, Virginia.

After his discharge from the army William returned to Bingham where he reentered the service as a Sergeant in Company I, Twenty-seventh Michigan infantry on December 9, 1863, for 3 years, crediting Bingham, and was mustered December 29 at Ovid, Clinton County. The regiment had been organized in Port Huron, Ovid and Ypsilanti and all but companies I and K mustered into service on April 10 and which left Michigan for Kentucky on April 12. Company I was mustered into service on December 13, 1863, and presumably shortly afterwards joined the regiment in eastern Tennessee. In March of 1864 he was sick at Knoxville, Tennessee from February 28, but recovered and rejoined the regiment before it was transferred to the Army of the Potomac.

The regiment arrived in Annapolis, Maryland in April of 1864 and subsequently participated in the battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania and North Anna in May. William was was wounded on June 3 at Cold Harbor, Virginia, and he was subsequently hospitalized in Washington, DC.

William died of his wounds on June 29,1864, at Washington, DC, and was reportedly buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

In 1884 his mother applied for and received a pension (no. 216608); his father also applied for a pension (no. 200150).

Thursday, February 19, 2009

August Heyer - uppdated 11/8/11

August Heyer was born May 14 or 16, 1842 in Charnica, Prussia, the son of John (b. 1815) and Henrietta (b. 1825).

Prussian-born John and Henrietta were presumably married in Prussia and sometime in the early 1850s took their family and immigrated to the United States, eventually settling in Grand Rapids by 1856. They lived at 729 Second Street in the Fourth Ward, and by 1860 August was still living with his family on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids in the Second Street home and was working as a laborer as was his father (it is also possible that John worked as a shoemaker). August would eventually become employed as a cooper. (Next door lived a German family named Hauser and living with them was a 16-year-old servant girl named Mary Ann Bohr. This may have been the same Emma or Anna Bohr whom August would later marry.)

August stood 5’8” with brown eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion, and was a 19-year-old cooper probably still living with his family in Grand Rapids when he enlisted with the consent of his parents’ as Third Corporal in Company C on May 13, 1861. (Company C was made up largely of German and Dutch immigrants, many of whom lived on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids. This company was the descendant of the old Grand Rapids Rifles, also known as the “German Rifles,” a prewar local militia company composed solely of German troopers.)

He was reported as a Color Guard in July of 1862, and was shot in the right leg on August 29 at Second Bull Run. According to family historian Deb Trinter, “the doctor wanted to amputate August Heyer’s leg but he refused to let the doctor do it. The doctor told him he would probably die if they didn’t amputate it, but he still refused to let the doctor take his leg. Although he walked with a limp the rest of his life, he kept his leg.” In any case, the musket ball entered “on the outside and a little in front about a foot above the knee and [came] out at the back side cutting the cords. . . .” Shortly afterwards he was sent to a hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, spending one night in Washington along the way. August remained hospitalized until he was discharged on December 19, 1862, at Christian Street hospital in Philadelphia for “lameness of right leg resulting from gunshot wound.”

August listed Grand Rapids as his mailing address on his discharge paper, and indeed he returned to his home in Kent County where he married Prussian-born Emma (1843-1925) Bohr on April 5, 1863, and they had at least twelve children: Gustave (1864-1931), George (1865-1931), Charles (1867-1961), Philomena (“Mena,” 1870-1935, Mrs. L. G. Rupprecht), John (1872-1960), Mary (1874-1924, Mrs. Max Miller), Helena (1877-1923, Mrs. Paul Lambrix), Joseph (1879-1959), Clara (1881-1961, Mrs. Alfred Luttig), Rosalia (1882-1941, Mrs. Joseph Rupprecht), Julia (b. 1885, Mrs. Edwin Finckler) and Bertha (b. 1890, Mrs. Leo Herrmann).

For some years August worked as an “assembler.” He was a member of Grand Army of the Republic Custer Post No. 5 Grand Rapids and in religious matters he was early in life a Lutheran (his wife was Catholic) and toward the end of his life he converted to Catholicism.

By 1870 August had settled his family in Westphalia, Clinton County where he worked as a farmer and as a cooper. (His parents were living in Grand Rapids’ Fourth Ward in 1870.) “‘After Westphalia was incorporated in 1882, [August] became Marshal and for many years was chief of the local fire department. This last statement may cause the younger generation to smile but in all fairness it should be stated that the firemen, about 15 in number, in their neat uniforms, together with their chief made a creditable showing whenever they made their appearance on the Streets in fire drills. They usually drilled on Saturday evenings during the summer months’.”

He was still living in Westphalia in 1883 when he was drawing $4.00 per month for a wounded leg (pension no. 124,633), and in September of 1885 when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association and in 1888 and 1890. Although he may have returned briefly to Grand Rapids around 1893, he probably lived in Westphalia until about 1906 when he was back residing in Grand Rapids, at 263 Second Street. He was living his old home at 729 Second Street in 1915, 1916 and 1922-25.

August died of angina pectoris and asthma on Thursday night, June 17, 1925, just a week after his wife’s death, the two having been married 63 years. He passed away at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Alfred Luttig, 342 Marion Avenue, northwest, in Grand Rapids. The funeral services were held at 9:00 a.m. on Monday morning at St. Mary’s Church, and he was buried in Mt. Calvary cemetery: section D, lot no. 203.

Auguste Heyer and his wife Emma and their 12 children (courtesy Jean Kolb)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Henry M. Heustis

Henry M. Heustis was born in 1838 in Cayuga County, New York.

Henry left New York and came to western Michigan sometime before the war broke out.

He stood 5’4” with blue eyes, dark hair and a light complexion, and was 22-year-old farmer possibly living in Kent County when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861. He was sick or wounded in the hospital from July through September of 1862, and according Captain Moses B. Houghton, commanding Company D, Henry had “been awaiting his discharge since February past and has done no duty during that period having been at some general hospital during that time from an attack of syphilis.” Assistant Regimental surgeon Walter Morrison performed the discharge examination on Heustis and noted “secondary syphilis contracted about one year ago [and] he had been unfit to perform the duties of a soldier for the last three months.”

Henry was in fact discharged for secondary syphilis on October 6, 1862, at Upton’s Hill, Virginia.

There is no further record.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Theodore Hetz

Theodore Hetz or Heitz was born in 1824 in Frankfurt, Germany or in Prussia.

Theodore immigrated to the United States, eventually settling in western Michigan, and by 1860 he was a laborer living with another laborer, John M. Brown and his wife in Ionia, Ionia County.

Theodore was 37 years old and probably still living in Ionia County when he enlisted as Eighth Corporal in Company C on May 13, 1861. (Company C was made up largely of German and Dutch immigrants, many of whom lived on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids. This company was the descendant of the old Grand Rapids Rifles, also known as the “German Rifles,” a prewar local militia company composed solely of German troopers.)

He was promoted to Sergeant and then commissioned Second Lieutenant on January 1, 1862. He was reported sick in his quarters in July of 1862, and was probably wounded on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run. As a consequence, Theodore was eventually hospitalized in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and in September of 1862 he was dismissed pursuant to Order no. 90 (regarding deserters) promulgated by the headquarters, Army of the Potomac, on September 22.

In November he was still reported absent sick and dropped from the company rolls (presumably for being AWOL). However, he was restored to the rolls by order of General Hiram Berry (commanding the Third brigade) on December 4, the same day he was listed as having returned from missing in action to the Regiment at Camp Pitcher, Virginia. In February of 1863 he was transferred to Company G as First Lieutenant by Regimental order, replacing Lieutenant Joseph Mason.

He was a witness for the prosecution in the court martial of James Ayres, who was absent without leave for two days from the regiment during the battle of Chancellorsville.

According to Theodore Castor, one of Hetz’s comrades in Company C, while Hetz was in the hospital in Philadelphia in 1862 he met his future bride, and many years later Castor recorded the details of Hetz’s wedding in early September of 1863 while the Regiment was on detached duty in Troy, New York.

Hetz had been in the hospital in Philadelphia at the same time as Castor, and while he was there, according to Castor, he

fell in love with a rich young lady the only child of a widow. And while we were in Troy [early September, 1863] the two came and one of the grandest weddings that the city ever had took place. Hetz had no money and only one suit of clothes, the one he wore every day. So our bunch made a collection and bought him a brand new outfit and paid 130 dollars for it. And when he presented himself before his intended at the hotel he made a good impression. And him and the old lady made arrangements for the wedding. He was to invite everybody that he wanted to and make it a grand affair and the old lady was to foot the bill. He done his share to perfection as he invited all the city officials [and] all the military officers and all the officers of our command. And they and their wives were on hand. When the time for the wedding came for waiters, he invited our bunch of German boys and the boys were to invite the girls and we all -- about 30 in number -- were on hand when the time came. The old lady had made arrangements with the proprietor of the first class hotel Kirchner and everything went off in first class style. The wine alone cost the old lady 800 dollars, but that wine wasn't all used right there -- the balance of our Regiment carried it to camp in bushel baskets full and Company C had wine for two weeks after that.

In December of 1863 Hetz was transferred back to Company C and reported on detached service in Michigan (probably recruiting) from December 29 through January of 1864. By February, however, he was sick in a hospital in Philadelphia, and it is possible that he never returned to duty. He was mustered out of service on June 20, 1864.

Theodore returned to Michigan following his discharge and was living in Grand Rapids in 1867-68 working as a teamster for Chris Kusterer, and living on the west side of Flint between First and Bridge Streets. He may have been working as a butcher in Ionia village, Ionia County in 1870.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Levi Heth

Levi Heth was born on December 12, 1839, in Oakland County, Michigan.

By 1860 Levi was a farm laborer working for and/or living with Thomas McKenzie, a farmer in Ionia, Ionia County.

Levi stood 6’1” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 21 years old and still residing in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company E on May 13, 1861. He was admitted to the hospital at Yorktown, Virginia, on April 10 or 18, 1862, presumably suffering from a varicocele, and he remained hospitalized in Yorktown from July of 1862 through January of 1863. In fact, Levi never rejoined the Regiment and was discharged for a varicocele on January 3, 1863, at Providence, Rhode Island.

After his discharge Levi returned to western Michigan where he reentered the service in Company K, Tenth Michigan cavalry on November 6, 1863, at Georgetown, Ottawa County, crediting Georgetown, and was mustered on December 1 at Grand Rapids where the regiment was organized between September 18 and November 18, 1863, when it was mustered into service. It left Michigan for Lexington, Kentucky on December 1, 1863, and participated in numerous operations, mostly in Kentucky and Tennessee throughout the winter of 1863-64. Most of its primary area of operations would eventually be in the vicinity of Strawberry Plains, Tennessee.

In November of 1864 he was on detached service in Kentucky, was a teamster in December of 1864 and January of 1865, on detached in the Quartermaster department through February, on detached service at Knoxville, Tennessee in March, and in April was at the dismounted camp (presumably in Knoxville) where he remained through May. He was discharged, probably for disability, on June 22, 1865, at Lenoir, Tennessee.

After the war Levi eventually returned to Michigan.

He was married to Ohio native Adaline Gilmore (1850-1910), on September 22, 1865, in Greenville, Montcalm County, and they had at least three children: Ida M. (b. 1868), Mary Griselda (b. 1871, Mrs. Race) and Dora (b. 1873, Mrs. Race as well).

By 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and daughter in Woods Corners, Orleans Township, Ionia County. (He may have been the same Levi Heath who was charged with “bastardy” in Grand Rapids, by one Ellen White, in 1871.) In any case, by 1880 he had settled in Shiloh, Ionia County. He was living in Shiloh in 1883 and in September of 1885 when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. He probably lived in Shiloh the rest of his life.

In 1875 he applied for and received a pension (no. 174,790), drawing $4.00 per month in 1883 for an injury to his abdomen.

Levi died a widower of consumption on March 19 or June 3, 1917, and was buried in Hurd cemetery, Orleans, Ionia County: lot 157.

Adaline also received a pension (no. 851285), drawing $25 per month by 1919. She was living at the Women’s Annex, Michigan Soldier’s Home in Grand Rapids when she died in 1919.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Peter Hess

Peter Hess was born in 1831, in Nassau, Germany (?).

Peter immigrated to the United States, eventually settling in western Michigan where by 1860 he was working as a cooper and boarding at the Ohio House in Grand Rapids.

He was 30 years old and probably still living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted as Sixth Corporal in Company C on May 13, 1861. (Company C was made up largely of German and Dutch immigrants, many of whom lived on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids. This company was the descendant of the old Grand Rapids Rifles, also known as the “German Rifles,” a prewar local militia company composed solely of German troopers.)

Peter was either a deserter on June 30, or missing in action on July 1, 1862, “in front of Richmond,” probably at White Oak Swamp. Peter returned to the Regiment on February 1, 1863, at Camp Pitcher, Virginia, and was wounded in the left arm on May 3, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Virginia. He was subsequently hospitalized in May and June, and according to one source by early May he was at Campbell hospital in Washington, DC, recovering from wounds. He eventually recovered and in July he was a provost guard. Peter allegedly deserted on either July 14 or 30, 1863, at Washington, DC.

He apparently returned to the Regiment, however, and was transferred to the Fifty-fourth company, First Battalion, Veterans’ Reserve Corps on September 1, 1863. (The VRC was made up of men who while ambulatory were generally incapable of performing regular military tasks due to having suffered debilitating wounds and/or diseases and were assigned to garrison the many supply depots, draft rendezvous, camps, forts, prisons, etc. scattered throughout the northern cities, thus freeing able-bodied men for regular military duty.)

In 1864 Peter applied for and received a pension (no. 33652).

It is possible that Peter returned to Michigan after his discharge from the army and may have been the same civil war veteran named Peter Hess who was residing in Detroit’s First ward in 1894.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Byron E. Hess

Byron E. Hess was born on December 28, 1836, in Corning, Steuben County, New York, the son of Diocletian (1810-1851) and Lydia A. (Gaylord).

Diocletian was born in New York and possibly married his first wife Lydia there. Byron was the oldest of six children when his family moved from New York in 1837 and settled on 240 acres of land in Boston, Ionia County in 1838. In 1848 his father sold the Boston farm and purchased another farm near Saranac, Ionia County, and in 1850 Byron was attending school and living with his family in Boston and near Saranac. By 1850 Diocletian had apparently remarried (it is unknown what became of Lydia) to one Sarah A. (b. 1817 in Connecticut and who may have died in 1887)

His father died on May 12, 1851, at the age of 41, and, Byron being the eldest, the responsibility for running the farm and family fell to him. By 1859 he was also actively involved in promoting education in his Township and by the late 1850s was reportedly teaching school in Boston Township. In fact, according to one account, he struggled to “improve all opportunities for education provided by the district schools and devoted to study what time he was able to take from home duties.” By 1860 he was still working as a farmer in Saranac.

Byron also took an interest in the growing militia movement in western Ionia County and just before war broke out became Second Sergeant of the “Boston Light Guard,” the prewar militia unit from Saranac, Ionia County which served as the nucleus for Company D.

Indeed, Byron was 24 years old and still living in Saranac when he enlisted as First Sergeant in Company D on May 13, 1861. (Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County.) He was promoted to Second Lieutenant on August 1, 1861. By July of 1862 he was reported absent sick “without proper authority,” although in fact he was a patient at the U.S. General Hospital in Annapolis, Maryland. In any case, he soon returned to the Regiment.

Although initially reported as killed in action on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, Byron was in fact wounded in the left arm and taken prisoner. According to a postwar account,

Hess lay on the battlefield wounded and helpless for five days. When he first became conscious he found he was lying on the top of a small grade, with the enemy on one side and the Union forces on the other. Very heavy firing was going on; he managed to crawl down the embankment to a little safer place. In a short time the Union forces were driven back and the enemy came rushing over the grade at the foot of which lay a large number of dead and wounded. The enemy stopped and asked many of them if they were wounded, and on proof of that they would pass along, but unprincipled stragglers in the rear made raids upon the dead and helpless men, taking from them their valuables. One man took from our suffering friend his boots and hat. Next it was the turn for the rebels to be forced to retreat. The wounded men were faint with loss of blood and parched with thirst.

During the retreat of the enemy one Southern soldier heard the cries of the helpless ones for water, and amidst the fire of the Union forces stopped to see what he could do for his suffering enemies; the bullets were flying like hail. This noble soldier laid down his gun and gathering up a number of canteens which were strewn upon the ground brought them filled with water to the thirst-stricken sufferers. Soothed by this act of kindness and the health-giving water our subject became more quiet; he soon became unconscious again and knew nothing of the events of the night. Early the next morning he saw approaching him a small detachment of Southern soldiers in command of an officer. He called to him and begged to be taken to the Union lines, which were only about 60 rods away. The wounded man promised the officer $100 if he would do this, as he could see that there were preparations on foot for another day of warfare, and he knew that he was on the ground which would be run over by both armies. The rebel officer answered him kindly and promised to attend to him. He returned very soon with four men and a stretcher, upon which they carried Lieut. Hess, not to the Union lines but half a mile in the rear where they laid him down in the woods and bade him good bye.

The chances for life seemed very small to our hero. He lay on the ground all day, at times conscious and watchful of what was going on about him, but often entirely unconscious of his surroundings. The booming of cannon and the rattle of musketry came to him from without the woods. He slept at night and on the following morning found that many of his own comrades lay wounded and dying about him. During the day he was picked up by a comrade, Christian Berringer, who had been searching for him by special permission from the officer of the field, he being a prisoner at the time. Bringing a stretcher and some more men he carried him as gently as possible to the stream. They met a man who had in his hand some hoe cake and broiled fish. He kindly gave a part of his food to the wounded man who was too weak to eat it. He had swallowed no food and almost no water for three days and had lost much blood by his wound. They laid him down near the stream of Bull Run with nine other officers whom they had found, and there they remained until Wednesday night, being for five days with no protection from the storm except a blanket.

On the evening of Wednesday they were picked up by the ambulance wagons and Lieut. Hess taken to Emery Hospital at Washington, where he remained about four weeks, during which time his wounds received most skillful attention. But his condition was indeed a serious one. The prolonged exposure following upon the serious flesh wound had induced complications which were difficult to meet. The flesh of his arm on the under side from near the shoulder to the elbow had dropped. In the Armory Square Hospital to which he was removed, they tried the experiment of drawing flesh around from the front side, hoping to make it grow over the bone. Dr. D. W. Bliss had him transferred to his house where he remained for nearly two months. He was then comfortable enough to go home and received a leave of absence. He went to his mother who resides at Como, Ill., where he remained about six weeks.

Byron was paroled in October of 1862, and in December was absent sick and wounded in Michigan, although he had been officially returned to the Regiment on December 20, 1862, at Camp Pitcher, Virginia.

While absent sick in Michigan he was commissioned First Lieutenant, on January 1, 1863, replacing Lieutenant Elisha O. Stevens, but Hess remained absent sick and wounded through April. In April Dr. H. H. Power in Saranac amputated his left arm. He resigned his commission on May 20, 1863, on account of his disability.

On March 25, 1864 Byron reentered the service in the Veterans’ Reserve Corps. (The VRC was made up of men who while ambulatory were generally incapable of performing regular military tasks due to having suffered debilitating wounds and/or diseases and were assigned to garrison the many supply depots, draft rendezvous, camps, forts, prisons, etc. scattered throughout the northern cities, thus freeing able-bodied men for regular military duty.) By July of 1864, he was commanding the One hundred and fifth company, Second Battalion, VRC, Department of the Susquehanna, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He served in this capacity until he was honorably discharged on October 6, 1866.

While home on sick leave in 1863 Byron married New York native Mary E. Champlin (1833-1898) on February 21, 1863, and they had at least 6 children: Edwin J. (b. 1864), Willard (1867-1904), Nellie W. (b. 1867), Frederick R. (b. 1869), Allie E. (b. 1873) and Iva E. (b. 1877).

After Hess left the army, he returned to Saranac and took up the study of medicine with Dr. Power of Saranac. In 1870 he was listed as “without occupation” (although he owned some $2000 worth of real estate) and he was living with his wife and children in Saranac. During 1876-77 he attended St. Louis medical College and the following year was enrolled in the Missouri Medical College in St. Louis. He then returned to the Saranac area where he was practicing medicine and living with his wife and children in 1880. Later that year he reportedly moved to Bonanza (now Lake Odessa), Ionia County where he was living and practicing medicine in 1883 and drawing $24.00 per month for the loss of his arm (pension no. 22, 235).

After three or four years he moved to Clarksville, Ionia County, where he lived the rest of his life, and engaged in both the practice of medicine and operating a drugstore. For three years he was Postmaster of Clarksville, during which time, in 1887, his son Frederick, who had apparently been serving as an assistant postmaster for his father, was arrested and charged with having robbed the mails. He was found guilty and sentenced to one year in the house of correction in Detroit.

Byron attended the 1887 annual reunion of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, although he was not a member at the time. He did eventually join the association, however, as well as the Grand Army of the Republic Fitzgerald Post No. 251 in Clarksville. While he had started out early in life a Republican, by the end of the nineteenth century he had switched to the Democratic Party.

Byron was probably a widower when he died of pneumonia in Grand Rapids on December 5, 1906, and was buried in Clarksville cemetery.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Oscar L. Herrington

Oscar L. Herrington, alias “William Johnson,” was born in 1838.

Oscar stood 5’11” with brown eyes and hair and a light complexion, was 23 years old and unable to read or write and possibly working as a blacksmith in Ionia County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861; he was possibly related to George Herrington of Company K. (Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County.) He was reported missing in action at Bull Run on July 21, 1861. Apparently during the battle “he was left to guard the baggage at Bull Run and supposed to have been cut off,” presumably from friendly troops. He soon “escaped and joined his Regiment for duty.”

From April 9 to 14, 1862, he was apparently hospitalized, suffering from dysentery, but eventually returned to his Regiment. He may in fact have never fully recovered his health since he was reportedly sick in Kearny’s Division hospital at Baltimore store, Virginia (near Talleysville) when he was taken prisoner on June 30, 1862. He was paroled at Talleysville on July 10, sent to Fortress Monroe and arrived at Old Point, Virginia on the John Tucker, on the afternoon of July 11th. He then reported to Camp Parole, Maryland, on July 13, and from July 31 to August 28, 1862, was ill from typhoid fever and hospitalized at the U.S. General Hospital in Annapolis, Maryland.

According to a statement given in 1890, Byron Hess, former Lieutenant of Company D, testified that “on or about July 1, 1862” Hess was sent to the general hospital in Annapolis, Maryland. “A few days after,” Hess testified, “Herrington was sent to the same hospital with if I remember correctly typhoid or malarial fever having at the same time a bad diarrhea. I returned to my Regt about the middle of August 1862 leaving him in the hospital at Annapolis. On leaving the hospital . . . I asked the surgeon in charge of the ward what he thought of Herrington’s case. He replied by saying ‘he did not think he would ever get through’. I left the hospital never expecting to seem him again. I saw him about six years ago for the first time after -- very much disabled. I am now a practicing physician as I was then (six years ago) and think the said Herrington is troubled very much with rheumatism, chronic diarrhea and a very feeble lung, . . . and totally unfit for manual labor.”

Oscar remained a paroled prisoner of war, probably at Annapolis, until he was reported as having deserted on October 23, probably from the hospital.

However, according to the War Department Oscar reentered the service as one “William Johnson” in the U.S. Navy and served aboard the USS Chillicothe.

Oscar survived the war and eventually returned to western Michigan. He lived in Muskegon possibly from 1862 to 1865, then in Portland, Ionia County from about 1865 to 1873 when he moved to Lansing and then to Ogemaw County, probably settling in Ogemaw Springs.

In the early or mid-1880s Oscar applied for a pension, but was unsuccessful in removing the charge of desertion. In his service record and pension application is a notation from the Adjutant General’s office, War Department, dated December 13, 1884: “Application for removal of the charge of desertion and for an honorable discharge has been denied.” No further information is provided and no reasons for the denial are given.

Interestingly, in about 1891, Oscar, under the name of “William Johnson” applied for and received a pension (no. 30,729) for service in both the US Navy and the Third Michigan infantry.

By the 1890s Oscar was possibly living in Prescott on the eastern side of the County. (There was a civil war veteran named Oscar Harrington residing in Grand Rapids Fifth ward in 1894. However, he was most likely Captain Oscar Harrington who had served in Ohio regiments during the war and who was an inmate of the Soldiers’ Home in Grand Rapids in 1890.)

Oscar was still living in Ogemaw, under the name of “William Johnson” in 1900.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

George Herrington

George Herrington was born in 1820, 1822 or 1825 in Otsego County, New York, possibly the son of Reuben (b. 1800) and Lila (b. 1802).

New York natives Reuben and Lila were probably married in New York and resided in Otsego County before moving to Ohio between 1825 and 1827.

In any case, George married New York native Lovina or Lenora (b. 1826), and they had at least nine children: Alvira (b. 1847), Elizabeth (b. 1850), Elijah (b. 1854), Benjamin (b. 1856) and Lucy (b. 1858), Ruth (b. 1860), Hiram (b. 1864), Sarah (b. 1865) and Jacob (b. 1868).

George and his wife had settled in Ohio by 1847 and sometime between 1847 and 1850 moved to Michigan. By 1850 George and his family were living next door to Rueben and Lila and their younger children in Ronald, Ionia County, Michigan and worked two farms side-by-side. By 1860 George and Lovina and their children were living in Odessa, Ionia County.

George stood 5’7” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was about 37 years old and working as a farmer probably in Odessa when he enlisted in Company K on March 3, 1862 at Saranac, Ionia County for 3 years, and was mustered on March 1 (he was possibly related to Oscar Herrington of Company D). George was discharged on May 29, 1862, at Camp Winfield Scott, Virginia for measles and “loss of physical strength.”

After he was discharged from the army George eventually returned to Michigan. By 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in South Cass, Odessa Township, Ionia County, and by 1880 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Odessa, Ionia County. By 1888 he was living in South Cass, Odessa Township, and was probably living in Odessa by 1894.

In 1885 (?) George applied for a pension (application no. 544053), but the certificate was never granted.

According to one source he died on June 9, 1894, probably in Lake Odessa and was buried in Lakeside cemetery, Lake Odessa.

His widow also applied for a pension as well (no. 664002) but that claim was also abandoned.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

John H. Herriman

John H. Herriman was born in 1840 in Phelps, Ontario County, New York.

Sometime in the late 1850s, John left New York and came to western Michigan along with his two brothers, James and William. He married Jane (d. 1911) on August 30, 1857, and by 1860 he was working as a painter and living with his wife in Allendale when his only child, Elizabeth Jane, was born.

John stood 5’8” with blue eyes and brown hair and was 21 years old and probably still residing in Allendale when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861. He was sick in the hospital from August through October of 1862, and discharged for chronic diarrhea on October 20, 1862, at Chesapeake hospital in Fortress Monroe, Virginia.

Following his discharge he returned home to Allendale but never recovered his health, and died at home on February 6, 1863, probably from dysentery, and was buried in Allendale cemetery.

In 1863 Jane applied for and received a pension (no. 40310). She eventually remarried to Alfred See, a veteran of the Fifteenth Illinois infantry, on January 23, 1864, and one of the witnesses at the wedding was Chauncey Taylor, also formerly of Company I, and son of James H., the Justice of the Peace who performed the wedding.

The same day Jane married Alfred, Andrew Webster, also of Company I, married Alfred’s sister Susan. Alfred and Jane lived in Allendale until 1865 when they moved to Lamont and eventually settled in Midland County. In 1866 Jane applied on behalf of her daughter for pensions and the request was granted (no. 66226).

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Abram and William Herrick

Abram G. Herrick was born in 1820 in Cayuga County, New York, possibly the son of William.

Abram was married to Buffalo, New York native Mary Frayer (1832-1914), on November 22, 1850, in Buffalo, Erie County, New York, and they had at least four children: Lenora Ann (b. 1852), Walter Jasper (b. 1856), Sarah Elizabeth (b. 1859) and Emma Rosalia (b. 1861).

Abram and Mary left New York and sometime before 1852 had settled in Michigan.

He stood 5’8” with gray eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was 43 years old and living in Muskegon County when he enlisted in Company H along with his older brother (?) William on January 10, 1863, at Muskegon. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers,” was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties.)

Abram joined the Regiment January 25, 1863, at Camp Pitcher, Virginia, and was absent sick in June, again in August, and on September 22. He eventually returned to duty and was killed in action on May 12, 1864, at Spotsylvania, Virginia, and was presumably buried among the unknown soldiers interred on the battlefield at the Wilderness.

In October of 1865 his widow was living in Muskegon when she applied for and received a pension (no. 79245), drawing $12 per month by 1914. She was still in Muskegon in March of 1866. And by 1870 Mary was running a boarding house in Muskegon’s Second Ward, Muskegon County; also living with her were her four children.

Mary was living at 15 Herrick Street in Muskegon when she died in 1914.

William Herrick was born either in 1810 or 1818 in Cayuga, New York, possibly the son of William.

William (elder) brought his family from New York to western Michigan and eventually settled in Byron Township, Kent County, by 1860.

William (younger) stood 5’9” with blue eyes, dark hair and a light complexion, possibly unable to read to write, and was 53 or 45 years old possibly working as a farm laborer in Byron, Kent County, when he enlisted in Company H along with his younger brother Abram on January 10, 1863, at Grand Rapids, crediting Grand Rapids. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers,” was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties.) William joined the Regiment on January 25 at Camp Pitcher, Virginia, and was sick in the hospital from July of 1863 until he was discharged on February 27, 1864, at Columbian College hospital in Washington, DC. He was diagnosed as suffering from chronic rheumatism and varicose veins of left leg and the examining physician added that he also suffered from “old age (59 years) and loss of nearly all his teeth.” He apparently served in the Veteran’s Reserve Corps as well.

After he left the army William returned to Michigan and for many years lived in Byron Township. He was possibly the same William Herrick (b. 1814 in New York) who was working as a farm laborer for and/or living with the James Sharp family in Gaines, Kent County in 1870. By 1880 he may have been the same William Herrick, b. 1802 in New York, who was listed as a widower and working as a farm laborer and/o living with Andrew J. Pelton in Gaines; Pelton too had served in the Old Third during the war.

In 1887 he was living in Michigan when he applied for a pension (no. 627025), but the certificate was never granted.

He was admitted as a single man to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 236) on February 22, 1886, and was living in the Home in 1890.

William died of bronchitis at the Home on October 4, 1893, and was buried in the Home cemetery: section 4 row 3 grave no. 6.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Charles E. Henry

Charles E. Henry was born in 1838 in New York, the son of Thomas (b. 1802) and Hilly (b. 1811).

His father immigrated to America from Ireland and probably married Hilly in New York. In any case they resided in New York for some years. Sometime between 1845 and 1848 Thomas moved to Michigan, and by 1850 Thomas had settled his family on a farm in Grattan, Kent County where he also worked as a mason and where Charles was attending school with four of his siblings. By 1860 Charles was a farm laborer who was attending school and living with his family in Grattan, Kent County where his father operated a sizable farm.

Charles stood 5’10” with black eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was 23 years old and possibly still living in Kent County when he enlisted in Company K on May 13, 1861. On February 13, 1862, he wrote to a friend from Camp Michigan, near Falmouth, Virginia, that

At present my health is good & as a general thing we are having good times, at least as good as this kind of life affords. “Our camp is now situated about ten miles southwest of Washington. We have been here since the first of last Dec. For the most part the Reg. have built log cabins to live in. As for my part I am living in a tent which has prove[n] to be comfortable.

Owing to unfavorable weather we have not done but very little in [the] military line. This winter until of late I have experienced the most disagreeable weather of my life. One day it will snow the next perhaps it will rain, consequently the whole country about here is one bed of morter [sic]. For too [sic] or three days past the sun has shone like spring & the mud is drying up amazingly, enough so, as we have battalion drill in the forenoon & bayonet exercise in the afternoon. A few days since we received new guns, they are the Ostrian [sic] Riffle [sic] & they prove to be a superior gun. They will at least do good execution [at] one hundred rods. I think if we ever get a chance to try them on secesh we will be apt to make the fur fly.

Since the success of our arms in your part of the country I fell considerably encouraged & last night news reached here to the effect that Burnside has taken Roanoke Island, with two thousand rebels, besides killing about five hundred. I begin to think the war in future will be carried on with more vigor. I think it is high time that we do something besides play soldier. It has been almost one year since I entered the service, which time is about as long as I anticipated I should have to serve, but when I look back I find I did not know as much about such affairs as I do now. With me soldier's life is not preferable to that of any other, unless on such an occasion as this. Never the less this will prepare us to appreciate the blessings of life after the war is over.

Charles was a nurse in the hospital in July of 1862, but soon returned to the Regiment, and was shot in the left leg on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run. He was subsequently hospitalized at Fort McHenry, Maryland, and discharged on October 31, 1862, at Armory Square hospital, Washington, DC for wounds received in action.

After he was discharged from the army Charles eventually returned to Michigan, probably to his family’s home in Kent County. In 1870 Charles was working as a farmer in Grattan, next door to his younger brother Thomas and his family; his mother (?) Mahala (b. 1816 in New York) was living with him as well as two younger siblings.

He was married to New York native Florence N. (b. 1849) and they had at least two children: Alice A. (1884-1951) and Mabel (b. 1887).

Charles was residing in Greenville’s First Ward, Montcalm County in 1890 and 1894, and in December of 1892 when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association; he was also a member of Grand Army of the Republic Kent Post No. 83 in Greenville. In fact, he quite likely lived the remainder of his life in the Greenville area, and was residing there in 1894 and in 1911. By 1920 Charles, his wife Florence and their daughter Alice were living with Mabel and her husband Joseph Gibson in Greenville.

In 1863 he applied for and received a pension (no. 15228).

Charles died on October 3, 1921 in Greenville and was buried in Forest Home cemetery: section 16, in Greenville (Florence and Alice are also buried alongside Charles).

In 1921 his wife applied for and received a pension (no. 919028).

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Thomas Henfry

Thomas Henfry was born on June 6, 1844, in England, the son of George (1808-1890) and Mary (1817-1871).

George and Mary immigrated to the United States with their children and eventually settled in Michigan sometime between 1845 and 1850 when they were living in Allendale, Ottawa County, Michigan. In 1860 George and Mary were living on a farm in Cascade, Kent County, and Thomas’ older sister Sarah was working as a domestic for one Jonathan Thomas, also a farmer in Cascade.

Thomas was probably living in the Lansing area in the spring of 1861 when he became a member of the Lansing company called the “Williams’ Rifles,” whose members would serve as the nucleus of Company G on June 10, 1861. Indeed, he was 16 years old when he enlisted in Company G, but was transferred to Company B at some point prior to the Regiment’s departure from Grand Rapids on June 13, 1861.

From that point until his death in 1867 there is no further record. No pension seems to be available for son or parents or a widow.

Curiously, there is a pension for one Thomas Henfrey who served in Company G, Seventeenth U.S. infantry. Thomas applied for the pension in 1865 (no. 67972).

It is fairly certain, however, that Thomas returned to his parent’s home in Cascade where he died on April 18, 1867, and was buried in Cascade cemetery: lot 2 grave no. 1.

His mother, although buried next to her husband (according to cemetery records and whose headstone is long gone), has written on her headstone: “Mother of Thomas,

In 1870 George was living by himself in Cascade, and Mary was living with the Edward Love (?) family in Cascade. George was still living in Cascade in 1890.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Charles Henderson

Charles Henderson was born in 1837 in Norway.

Charles immigrated to America sometime before the war broke out, and eventually settled in western Michigan.

He stood 5’9” with blue eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and he was a 24-year-old laborer possibly living in Nelson, Kent County or in Muskegon County when he enlisted in Company H on May 13, 1861. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers,” was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties.)

On February 7, 1862, Charles was court-martialed at Johnson’s House, Virginia. Specifically, that “having on the 23rd of January, 1862, been duly detailed and mounted as guard at Camp Michigan, Va., was at the hour of 5 o’clock P.M. when it was time to post the second relief, so drunk as to be unable to discharge his duty as sentinel.” Second, he was charged with disobedience of orders. That Charles, “when ordered by his superior office, Sergeant Sidney B. Smith . . . to go to the guard house refused to obey said officer . . . and did reply in words, to wit, ‘I will not go to the guard house and if you attempt to put me there I will kill you,” or words to that effect.” Third and last, with violating Article 9, that Charles “did draw a stick of wood” and threaten to kill Sergeant Smith.

He was found guilty of the first two charges and not guilty of threatening to kill Sergeant Smith, and sentenced to 8 days’ solitary confinement, on bread and water, 30 days hard labor and a $10 fine.

Charles eventually returned to duty and was probably wounded on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and absent sick in the hospital in September of 1862. He was on detached service in October, in the hospital from November of 1862 through March of 1863, and in June he was a guard at Third Corps headquarters. On December 24, 1863, Charles reenlisted at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Nelson, Kent County, was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February. He was reported absent sick in February, but was apparently returned to duty by the time he was transferred to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864.

George Lemon, formerly of Company H, wrote home on July 6, 1864, that Henderson was one of the few remaining members of the old “Muskegon Rangers” left in the Regiment. Charles was a Sergeant when a mine ball shot him in the left leg on March 25, 1865, at the battle of Hatcher’s Run near Petersburg, Virginia (his hospital admission card states “6 miles to the left”). He was subsequently admitted to Armory Square hospital in Washington, DC, on April 1, from Petersburg, suffering from a gunshot wound, the “ball entering anterior portion of left thigh 8 inches below anterior superior spinous process of left ilium, exit one inch from tuberosity of ischium (left).” Charles was transferred to the general hospital in Chester, Pennsylvania where he was discharged on July 13, 1865, for a fractured femur.

After the war Charles returned to Michigan.

He was living in Michigan in 1865 when he applied for and received a pension (no. 100951). He was living in Nelson, Kent County in 1903.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Benjamin C. Henderson

Benjamin C. Henderson, alias “Henry B. Clark,” was born in 1844 in Cuba, Allegany County, New York, the stepson of John B. Gibb and son of Mary B. Gibb.

Sometime before 1862 Benjamin’s family left New York and moved west, eventually settling in western Michigan. In 1860 there was a farmer named John B. Gibb living alone and working in Weaversville, Fremont Township, Newaygo County, Michigan.

In March of 1862 Benjamin, then underage, appealed to his mother and stepfather to allow him to enlist in the Third Michigan infantry. His parents wrote to Third Michigan recruiting officer, Wallace W. Dickinson of Company K -- then in Newaygo County recruiting for the regiment -- on March 22, 1862, “We hereby give you permission to enlist Benjamin C. Henderson being a minor, provided Joseph Whitehead goes [with him] and on no other condition. If he goes we request you to keep him in your company if possible and write for him occasionally and send his wages to Mary B. Gibb Weaversville.” However, Whitehead did not join the Third Michigan, but Benjamin did.

He stood 5’7” with blue eyes, sandy hair and a sandy complexion, and was an 18-year-old farmer probably living with his family in Fremont, Newaygo County, when he enlisted in Company K on March 12, 1862, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered the same day. He was absent sick from September 16, 1863 until March 31, 1864, when, pursuant to G.O. No. 46, War Department, he was transferred to the Veterans’ Reserve Corps. He reportedly served with Company I, Eighteenth VRC, Sixteenth Company, Second Battalion, VRC and One Hundred Twenty-seventh’s cavalry, First Battalion, VRC.

There is no further record.

In fact, Benjamin apparently reentered the service under the name of “Henry B. Clark,” in Company D, Tenth Pennsylvania infantry.

In any case, he survived the war and was living in Pennsylvania in 1904 when he applied for a pension (no. 1321320) for service in both Michigan and Pennsylvania regiments, but the certificate was never granted.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Darwin Hendershot

Darwin Hendershot was born in 1838 in Ohio, the son of Joseph (b. 1800 in Pennsylvania) and Naomi (Husong, b. 1804).

Darwin’s parents eventually settled in Ohio by 1822 or at least 1828, settling in Euclid, Cuyahoga County, Ohio where they resided for some years. By 1850 Darwin was attending school with his younger brother Alonzo (b. 1842) and living with their mother in Euclid, Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Darwin left Ohio and moved westward, eventually settling in western Michigan where by 1860 he was working as a farm laborer and living with his older brother (?) David who was a stonecutter and his family in Caledonia, Kent County.

Darwin was 22 years old and probably living in Kent County when he enlisted at the age of 22 in Company A on June 10, 1861. By early August of 1861 he was reported to be sick and attempting to get a medical discharge. On August 8, 1861, George Miller of Company A, who probably knew Hendershot before the war, wrote home that “Dan Hendershot is in poor health and is applying for a discharge, I believe.” Darwin was, however, not discharged, but remained with the Regiment and by February of 1862 had been promoted to Corporal. He reportedly deserted at Fredericksburg, Virginia on December 14, 1862, from the color guard on the battlefield “before the enemy.”

There is no further record and no pension seems to be available.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Robert Hempstead

Robert Hempstead was born in 1837 in Scotland.

Robert left Scotland, and immigrated to the United States, settling in western Michigan by the late 1850s.

He was married to Michigan native Mary (b. 1839), and they had at least one child. By 1860 he was working as a laborer and farmer living with his wife in Lyons, Ionia County.

He stood 5’11” with blue eyes, dark hair and a sandy complexion and was 24 years old and residing in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company E on May 13, 1861. Robert was discharged for general debility subsequent to measles on July 28, 1861, at Arlington Heights, Virginia.

He returned to Ionia County where he reentered the service in Company A, Fourteenth Michigan infantry on December 5, 1861, at Lyons for 3 years, and was mustered January 7, 1862, probably at Ypsilanti, Washtenaw County, where the regiment was organized between January 7 and February 18. The regiment left Michigan for St. Louis, Missouri, on April 17, but Robert was not with them. He was discharged on April 15 for disability at Ypsilanti, and again returned home to Lyons.

Robert reentered the service a second time, in Company E, Sixth Michigan cavalry on September 8, 1862, at Lyons for 3 years, crediting Lyons, and was mustered on October 11 at Grand Rapids. The regiment was organized at Grand Rapids between May 28 and October 13, 1862, when it was mustered into service. It left the state for Washington, on December 10 and participated in the defenses of the capital through June of 1863. It joined the Arym of the Potomac in the field on June 25, reconnoitered up the Catoctin valley June 27-28, occupied Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on June 28, wa sin action at Hanover, Pennsylvania on June 30 and participated in the battle of Gettysburg July 1-3, after which it was involved in the pursuit of Lee’s forces back into Virginia. Robert however, was sick from July 23, 1863 through October, again in January of 1864, and was discharged per General order No. 116, War Department, on March 23, 1864, and was transferred on March 31, 1864 to the Veterans’ Reserve Corps. (He subsequently served in the Sixteenth Company, Second Battalion, VRC.)

In 1878 (?) he applied for and received a pension (no. 896652).

In 1889 (?) his widow applied for a pension (application no. 250804), as did a minor child (432188).

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

John Jacob Helder

John Jacob Helder was born on May 24, 1842, in either the Netherlands or in Holland, Ottawa County, Michigan.

John was probably the same “Jacob “ Helder who in 1860 was working as a shoemaker and living with another shoemaker named Robert Tapping and his family in Tyrone, Kent County; Jacob owned some $500 worth of real estate.

In any case, John stood 5’9” with dark eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 19 years old and probably residing in Kent County when he enlisted in Company B on May 13, 1861. He was discharged for hypertrophy of the heart on September 18, 1861 at Arlington Heights, Virginia.

After he was discharged from the army John returned to Michigan where he reentered the service in Company B, Fourteenth Michigan infantry on October 21, 1861, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered on January 7, 1862, probably at Ypsilanti, Washtenaw County, where the regiment was organized between January 7 and February 18, 1862.

He reportedly deserted on either January 9 or February 18 at Ypsilanti, although according to sworn statements given in later years by former comrades of the Fourteenth he was apparently sick from at least April of 1862 through April of 1863. (The regiment left Michigan for St. Louis, Missouri, on April 17, 1862.) In any case, there is no further record of his military service.

Many years later Helder sought to expunge the record of the desertion charge. In desperation to find witnesses to testify as to his war record, on December 19, 1918, he wrote a pleading letter to the Pension Commissioner at the War Department. “I am very glad,” he wrote,

to receive from you, through our Senator the Hon. James H. Jarvis, your letter to him concerning my war record, as it gives me yet a shadow of a chance to aid me to find some one out of that co. B that is yet alive, and is on the pension roll, if you could draw from the role the names of the men that is [sic] drawing pensions, while with the the squad. While with the squad some ten days or maybe two weeks I acted as orderly Sargent [sic] and attended to the roll call mornings and evenings, and some of the boys understood my condition, as I was yet unable to stand much drilling, that I had to give up marching, that some of them took an interest in me, and asked me how it happened that I was in that condition as I have written to all the names that was on the state muster roll at Lansing in Mich. and have never been able to receive a [sic] answer. I begin almost to despare [sic] of finding anyone that knows anything about me excepting Kelly the recruiting Sargent [sic] and old Dr. Saunders and they are both dead. But there may be some one of the men in your list from that squad of 22 men that is drawing a pension and if you would or could draw off there [sic] name[s and] address[es] it may proof [sic] of value to me. I would be so glad to be able to clear me from that charge of desertion. Its as false a lie as anything could be made against a innocent poor parentless boy as I wanted to go as they had promised to give me my place and they had 4 other boys promised the same place. I would be so glad if could aid me in this.

It is not known if John ever returned to Michigan after the war.

He was apparently residing in Ontario, Canada, when he married his first wife, Canadian native Adelaide Ramsey (1848-1903) on November 9, 1864 in Dundas, Ontario, and they had at least three children: William (b. 1866), Frank (b. 1868) and Paul (1870-72).

He was living in Buffalo and Dunkirk, New York around 1865, then moved on to Chicago and eventually settled in Elgin, Illinois around 1866. By 1870 John was working as a shoemaker and living with his wife and two sons in Elgin in 1870. In fact John lived in Elgin from 1866 to 1912: in 1907 at 210 Dexter Street when he married a second time to a widow, Illinois native Nellie Hadlock Samuelson (b. 1859) on June 5, and in Elgin’s First Ward in 1910 and in 1912 at 113 Cherry Street. In 1915 he was living in Elgin at 161 Melrose Avenue, and in 1918 at 158 N. Chamming Street, and he and Nellie were still living in Elgin in 1920.

In 1862 John applied for and received pension no. 360,600.

John died in Elgin on August 24, 1922, and was presumably buried in Elgin.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Joseph Heinrich

Joseph Heinrich was born in 1828 in Baumgarden (?) Prussia.

Sometime before 1855 Joseph left Prussia and immigrated to the United States, probably settling in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he married Baden native Frederica Wolff (b. 1834) on October 22, 1855; they had at least two children: Herman (b. 1861) and Ernst (b. 1867). They eventually settled in western Michigan.

Joseph stood 5’8” with light eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was a 32-year-old cooper possibly living in Kent County when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861. (Company C was made up largely of German and Dutch immigrants, many of whom lived on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids. This company was the descendant of the old Grand Rapids Rifles, also known as the “German Rifles,” a prewar local militia company composed solely of German troopers.) He was probably a Corporal when he was injured at Chain Bridge, Virginia in July of 1861. He was discharged for a hernia on July 20, 1861 at Washington, DC, and returned to Grand Rapids by the end of July.

Although Joseph survived the war, several official Regimental records list him as having died at Andersonville prison on August 14, 1864, and buried in the National Cemetery: grave no. 5556. Furthermore, records show that in fact Mathias Greenwalt of Company C, mistakenly listed with Company C, First Wisconsin cavalry, died in Andersonville on August 13, 1864 and was buried in grave no. 5557. According to a statement Heinrich’s widow gave on August 22, 1891, Joseph never served in any unit other than the Third Michigan infantry.

In any case, after his discharge from the army Joseph eventually returned to Michigan and by 1867-68 was living in Grand Rapids and working as a cooper on the east side of Ottawa between Fairbanks and Trowbridge Streets, and living at 127 Ionia Street. By 1870 he was operating a tavern and residing with his wife and two sons in Grand Rapids’ Second ward.

He was admitted to the Central Branch of the National Military Home at Dayton, Ohio on October 30, 1877; his wife remained in Grand Rapids. At the time of his admission Joseph was still suffering from his hernia of 1861, which was “not controllable by truss.” He was still living in the Home in Dayton in 1880.

He died of consumption at the Dayton Home on December 16, 1884, and was buried in the National Cemetery in Dayton: section E, row 10, grave 10.

His widow was living with her son at 225 Fourth Street in Grand Rapids in 1890. In 1890 she applied for a pension (application no. 437,063) that was rejected in 1892 on the grounds that her husband failed to serve at least 90 days in the armed forces before being discharged.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

John Hefner

John Hefner was born in 1837 in Ohio.

John’s parents were born in Baden, Germany, and immigrated to the United States eventually settling in Ohio by 1837. John came to Michigan, probably from Ohio, sometime before the war broke out.

He stood 5’4” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was a 24-year-old farmer possibly living in Allegan County (or Kent County) when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861. He reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Lowell, Kent County, was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February.

John was transferred to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and in July and August of 1864 was detached as a nurse in the Division hospital. In September he was still on detached service, presumably in the hospital as a nurse, and he was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

John may have returned to Ohio after the war.

He married Ohio native Emily (b. 1842), and they had at least eight children: Mary (b. 1866), Rosetta (b. 1868), John H. (b. 1871), Orphy (b. 1873), Frances (b. 1875), Morris (b. 1878), Martha J. and Ann E (b. 1880).

They were living in Michigan by 1866 and by 1870 John was working as a farmer (he owned some $2600 worth of real estate) and living with his wife and children in Jamestown, Ottawa County. By 1880 John was working as a shoemaker and living in Jamestown with his wife and children.

John died sometime before 1890, and probably in Michigan.

Emily applied for a pension (no. 846216) but the certificate was never granted. She was living in Michigan and had possibly remarried one Byron McNeal who was listed as guardian in the 1890 pension application for a minor child of James’ (no. 464289). Emily was still living in Michigan in 1906.