Monday, March 30, 2009

Orin P. Huntley

Orin P. Huntley was born on May 8, 1822, in Erie County, New York.

Orin was probably working as a clothier and living with the George Smith family in Evans, Erie County, New York in 1850. In any case, he left New York and moved westward, eventually settling in Grand Rapids, Kent County -- possibly with his family. In any case, by 1860 Orin was working as a wool-carder for his older brother (?) George who owned a cloth factory in Grand Rapids’ Third Ward; he was also possibly living with George and his family.

In any case, Orin was living in Grand Rapids when he married Mary Pless (b. 1832), on December 2, 1861, in Grand Rapids, and they had at least two children: a son Charles (b. 1862) and a daughter.

Orin stood 5’9” with blue eyes, brown hair an a light complexion and was 40 years old and probably living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company A on August 11, 1862, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Grand Rapids, and was mustered the same day. He joined the Regiment on September 8 at Fairfax Seminary, Virginia, and may have been wounded on May 3, 1863, at the battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia.

Orin was serving as a clerk at First Division headquarters from October of 1863 through November, and reported missing in action on May 8, 1864, at the Wilderness; in fact he was wounded by a gunshot in his right leg, and taken prisoner on May 7 and interned for a time in Andersonville prison. He claimed that that the leg was amputated about 8 inches below the knee by a reel surgeon in the field.

He was transferred as a prisoner-of-war to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and was paroled at Aiken’s Landing, Virginia on September 1. Huntley reported to the Second Division hospital in Maryland on September 3, and was transferred to Camp Parole hospital on September 22 where he was given a furlough for 45 days on October 9, 1864.

Within a week he had returned home to Grand Rapids. On October 17 the Grand Rapids Eagle reported that Huntley, “one of the old Third Michigan Infantry, who lost a leg in the never-to-be-forgotten bloody struggle of the Wilderness, has just returned to his home in this city. Honored by these brave defenders of our country’s flag, and ever may they and theirs , even to the crutches that bear them, receive every esteem and universal respect of all loyal people.” He was to report to the general hospital in Detroit upon expiration of his furlough, and in fact he was admitted to Harper hospital in Detroit on November 17 with an amputated lower third of his right leg. He was discharged on May 5, 1865.

Orin eventually returned to Grand Rapids area where he lived out much of the remainder of his life, and for many years worked as a businessman. In 1870 Orin and his wife and son Charles were living in Ada, Kent County, where Orin worked as an engine-maker. By 1880 he was working as a machinist and living on Spring Street in Grand Rapids’ First Ward with his wife and son Charles who was clerking in a store.

Orin was still living in Grand Rapids in 1883 when his son Charles was arrested and charged with theft. He and his wife were residing at 210 South Division Street in Grand Rapids in 1892, and by 1903 he was living at the Bridge Street House in Grand Rapids where he resided until his death in 1906.

He was a member of Old Third Michigan Infantry Association and of Grand Army of the Republic Custer Post No. 5 in Grand Rapids, and received pension no. 45,458, drawing $18.00, and $40 per month by 1906.

Orin was a widower when he died of valvular heart disease on June 19, 1906, in Grand Rapids, and the funeral service was held at 3:00 p.m. on June 21 at Springs’ undertaking chapel. He was buried in Oak Hill cemetery: Custer Post Grand Army of the Republic section, block E grave 10.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

William H. Hunt

William H. Hunt was born in 1828 in Washtenaw County, Michigan, probably the son of William (b. 1798) and Mary (b. 1800).

New York native William (elder) married Massachusetts native Mary and they settled in New York for some years. Between 1826 and 1828 they moved to Michigan settling in Washtenaw County. By 1850 William (younger) was living with his family on a farm in Lyons, Ionia County.

He was married to Louisa or Marcia Taylor (d. 1856), and may have had one child: Eli J. (b. 1855).

William (elder) was probably a widower living in Ionia County when he married his second wife Michigan native Emily Smith (1838-1911), on January 2, 1858, in Portland, Ionia County, and they had at least four and possibly six children: Lillie Belle (b. 1858, Mrs. Rodgers) Emily (b. 1860) and William K. (1862-1939), Abraham (b. 1870), Ruth (b. 1872, Mrs. King) and Edward (b. 1876).

By 1860 William was working as a laborer and carpenter living with his wife and children in Portland, Ionia County.

William (younger) stood 5’11’ with black eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion, and was 33 years old and still living in Portland when he enlisted as a Corporal 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.) By June of 1862 he was hospitalized in Bottom’s Bridge, Virginia, suffering from an injury to the back. He was transferred to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, admitted to Fourth and George Streets hospital where he was discharged for chronic hepatitis on November 30, 1862.

After his discharge from the army William eventually returned to Michigan. By 1880 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Jasper, Midland County. By 1890 he was living in Greenwood, Oscoda County. He was still living in Michigan in 1882 when he applied for and received a pension (no. 480759), drawing $12 per month by 1891.

William died of gastritis on April 20, 1905, near Luzerne, Oscoda County, and was buried in Luzerne cemetery (see photo G-519).

In May of 1905 Emily was living in Red Oak, Oscoda County, when she applied for and received a pension (no. 612074), drawing $12 per month by 1905.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Josiah E. Huff

Josiah E. Huff was born in 1841.

Josiah was 20 years old and probably living in Allegan, Allegan County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861.
He died of typhoid fever on November 20, 1861, at Fort Lyon, Virginia, and at the time of his death owed the Regimental sutler, Ben Luce, $10.00. Josiah was presumably buried near Fort Lyon, and may be among the unknown soldiers interred in Alexandria National Cemetery.

No pension seems to be available.

Friday, March 27, 2009

George Hubbard

George Hubbard was born on March 17 or 27, 1839 in Ohio or England.

George eventually left Ohio (or England) and settled in western Michigan.

He married Martha Lowing (1841-1927), probably in Georgetown, Ottawa County, and they had at least nine children: Carrie R., Alice (b. 1866), Ida (b. 1863), Franklin (b. 1868), George (1871-1908), Mary Ellen (b. 1873), Grace (1876-1904), Julia (b. 1879) and Jessie (b. 1881).

By 1860 George was working as a farm laborer and he and his wife were living with Martha’s father Stephen and his family in Georgetown. (Stephen Lowing was one of the pioneers of Georgetown and he would join the Old Third as First Lieutenant of Company I.)

George was a 22-year-old farm laborer probably living in Georgetown when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861 along with his father-in-law, Lieutenant Stephen Lowing. George was a Sergeant on recruiting service in Michigan in September of 1862, and promoted to Second Lieutenant on October 27, 1862, commissioned the same day, replacing Lieutenant Andrew Nickerson. Hubbard remained on recruiting service through November of 1862, but eventually rejoined the Regiment, was reported sick on July 14 and by early September was reportedly commanding Company E.

By the fall of 1863 George and his father-in-law apparently shared the same living quarters. On October 8, 1863, Lowing, who was commanding Company I, wrote home to his brother-in-law Franklin Bosworth, describing the living conditions shared by him and his son-in-law George.

One of the greatest curiosities to us is how you can stay at home when soldiers live so well. And now to prove you know nothing of the comforts of life when compared with a soldier, I am inclined to attempt a description of our mode of living. In the first place George Hubbard and I are messing together. Our tent is six foot square on the ground, running to a point 7 feet high. This comprises cellar, kitchen, parlor, dining hall, and bed chamber. Our bedding, one blanket each. One laid on poles, the other over us. Our culinary apparatus, one frying pan, and one tin cup. Today, we are enabled to get some soft bread, and that pile of jet black stuff constitutes our pastry. We have a choice in meats. Today we may draw a piece of that belly pork that is there in that pile, and the only fault we have with it is that when it was alive it must have been a facsimile of those you and father got up in Ada many years ago. Or we may draw from that pile of beef whose only fault is that it would have not been here, if it had not got too poor to draw its breath of life any longer. So you see our outfit is complete. . . .”

George was reported on detached service in Michigan (probably recruiting) from December 29, 1864, was promoted to First Lieutenant, commissioned January 1, 1864, and transferred to Company G on January 18, 1864, replacing Lieutenant Byron Hess. Although Stephen Lowing wrote home on February 21, 1864 that “George is well [and] is on Brigade staff at present,” there is no mention of Hubbard’s being detached to the Brigade staff in the official records.

Hubbard was commissioned a Captain on April 4, 1864, but he was never mustered in that rank, although he was listed as commanding Company E from May 1 to June 20, 1864 and was mustered out as First Lieutenant on June 20, 1864.

After he was discharged from the army George eventually returned to Michigan and may have been living in Muskegon, Muskegon County from 1874 through 1885. In fact, in 1880 George was working as a lumberman and living with his wife and children in Laketon, Muskegon County. By 1890 he was residing in Menominee, Menominee County, but was back in Georgetown in 1893. He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, as well as Grand Army of the Republic Kearny Post No. 7 Muskegon. In 1891 he applied for and received a pension (no. 786095).

George died on January 26, 1893, presumably in Georgetown, and was buried in Georgetown cemetery; see photos G-348 and G-349.

In November of 1893 his widow was still living in Michigan when she applied for and received a pension (no. 661488).

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ransom B. Howell

Ransom B. Howell was born in 1833 in New York.

Ransom was probably living and working in Grand Rapids, Kent County sometime before the war broke out.

Ransom stood 5’10’ with blue eyes, dark hair and a light complexion and was 28 years old and probably living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company A, on June 10, 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.)

He was reported absent sick in July of 1862, and listed as missing in action on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run. In fact, Ransom had been wounded and taken prisoner at Second Bull Run, paroled at Centerville, Virginia, on September 6, reported to Camp Parole, near Annapolis, Maryland, on October 23 and sent back to the Army of the Potomac on December 14 where he was present for duty on or about December 20, 1862, and subsequently admitted to Mt. Pleasant hospital in Washington, DC.

Ransom eventually returned to the Regiment on December 20, 1862 at Camp Pitcher, Virginia, and was a recipient of the Kearny Cross for his participation in the battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia, on May 3, 1863. According to Ransom, while elements of the Third Michigan were in support of a battery at Chancellorsville, he had been deafened in his left ear by an exploding caisson, which apparently injured the eardrum. Another member of his company William Jubb confirmed this. When the caisson exploded he saw Ransom “stagger. I heard him cry out and grasp his head with his hands. I went to him and found that he was terribly jarred and though nothing had struck him he was in great distress from the shock.”

By mid-July Ransom was apparently taken sick with chronic diarrhea, and in August of 1863 was absent sick in the hospital since July 15, probably with chronic diarrhea. He was reportedly suffering from chronic diarrhea in December of 1863 and was subsequently treated first in the regimental hospital and then in Mt. Pleasant hospital in Washington, DC.

Ransom was on furlough from the hospital when he married Ohio native Margaret Jane “Maggie” Alexander (b. 1835), on January 4, 1864, at Steubenville, Jefferson County, Ohio, and they had at least five children: Ransom Wilber (b. 1870), Henry Orvis (b. 1873), Margaret “Maggie” Alma (b. 1877), Avis F. (b. 1882) and Ami (b. 1885).

Ransom returned to Virginia and was sick in Camp Convalescent near Alexandria, Virginia, when, on January 25, 1864, his wife, who was living at their home in Salineville, Ohio, wrote to President Lincoln asking his assistance in getting a discharge for her husband.

Will you pardon a stranger [she wrote] for intruding upon your time for a moment, and give attention to her prayers. I have a husband in the Third Regiment Michigan Infantry. He has been out since early in June 1861 and has participated in the following battles: to wit First Bull Run, the siege of Yorktown, Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, Seven days before Richmond, Second Bull Run, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. Soon after the last battle he was taken sick and has been in the hospital and convalescent camp since the 30th of July. His disease, chronic diarrhea. My prayer is that for the sake of an aged mother and a wife dependent on his labor for support that you will grant him his discharge; that if possible by returning to his native climate he may regain his health. He is now in the Convalescent Camp near Alexandria, Virginia. He is a member of company A 3rd Regt. Mich. My husband was awarded a [Kearny] Cross of Honor by General Birney after the battle of Chancellorsville.”

On February 18, her request was denied. She was informed “that upon investigation, it is ascertained that your husband is not a proper subject for discharge, and that he will soon be returned to duty with his Regiment.

In fact, Ransom remained hospitalized and was transferred on February 18, 1864, as a Corporal to Company H, Twenty-fourth Regiment, Veterans’ Reserve Corps, and was at Camp Distribution in Virginia and present for duty on April 30. He remained at Camp distribution until he was mustered out on June 9, 1864.

After the war Ransom returned to Ohio, probably to his wife and family in Ohio where he lived the rest of his life. By 1876 he was living in Salineville, Columbiana County, Ohio. By 1880 he was working as an “agent” and living with his wife and children in Washington, Columbiana County, Ohio. He also worked as a coal miner at one time. He was still living in Salineville, Ohio, in 1889, and in 1900 when he testified in the pension application of William Jubb.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, and in 1876 he applied for and received a pension (no. 343472), drawing $30 per month by 1913.

Ransom died on April 18, 1913, probably at home in Ohio.

In May of 1912 his widow Maggie was residing in Ohio when she applied for and received a pension (no. 761379). Margaret was still living in Salineville in 1920; also living with her were her two sons and two daughters.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Thomas T. Howe

Thomas T. Howe was born in 1837 in Ohio.

Thomas was married to Ohio native Jane (b. 1836), probably in Ohio, and they had at least two children: William Rice (b. 1854) and Edward (b. 1856).

They moved to Michigan, probably from Ohio, sometime before 1854, and by 1860 Thomas was working as a laborer living with his wife and children in Richland, Kalamazoo County.

He was 24 years old, unable to read or write, when he enlisted in Company K on May 13, 1861. He was eventually detached as a teamster in July of 1862, a saddler in August and absent sick in the hospital in October. He was transferred to either the Second United States cavalry on November 13, 1862, or Company F, Fifth United States cavalry, possibly on November 29, 1862, at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.

After the war Thomas eventually returned to Michigan. He was married a second time to Michigan native Florence (b. 1863), and they probably had at least one child: Leon (b. 1897).

He was living in Plainwell, Allegan County in 1888, 1890 and in Gun Plain, Allegan County in 1894. He and Florence were probably living in Michigan in 1897 when their son Leon was born.

In 1891 he applied for and received a pension (no. 877520?).

Thomas and Florence eventually moved to Oklahoma and by 1920 he was listed as an invalid and living with his wife and son, who was working as a teamster, in Lynn Lane, Tulsa County, Oklahoma.

Thomas died on December 28, 1927, in Tulsa County, Oklahoma and was presumably buried there.

In any case, in February of 1928 (?) his widow, Florence, was living in Oklahoma when she applied for a widow’s pension (no. 1604309).

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Charles and Ransom Howe

Charles Howe was born in 1838 in Michigan, the son of Dennis (1810-1856) and Sarah A. (b. 1808)

Both New York natives, Charles’ parents were married in 1830 in Covington, New York.

Sometime between 1837 and 1839 Dennis, a wagon-maker by trade, moved his family to Michigan, probably from New York, and by 1850 the family had settled in Lyons, Ionia County where Charles was attending school with his siblings including his older brother Ransom who would also join the Third Michigan infantry in 1861. Dennis went to California in 1851 and was drowned in 1856 while on his way home. By 1860 Charles was a farm laborer living with his mother and family in Lyons, Ionia County.

Charles was 23 years old and residing in Lyons when he enlisted in Company E on May 13, 1861, along with his older brother Ransom. Charles died of typhoid fever near Yorktown, Virginia on May 2, 1862.

According to the Regimental Surgeon Dr. Zenas Bliss,

The regiment was attached to General Berry’s brigade of General Kearney’s division of the Third Corps, and arrived at Fort Monroe on March 26th, 1862, and shortly afterwards moved to Yorktown, and encamped in a thick woods, intermingled with patches of swamp and pools of water, the ground being covered with fragments of fallen trees and decaying vegetable matter. Water could be obtained only by digging holes from two and a half to three feet in depth, and the surface obtained form these was all that the men had. The regiment remained in this camp about five weeks, and was doing picket and fatigue duty on trenches and fortifications all that time. A few intermittents and remittents [fevers] occurred, as also about forty cases of typhoid fever, all very severe, marked by epistaxis tympanitis, and, after a few days, hemorrhage from the bowels, the blood being evidently impoverished. Several of these cases proved fatal.

One case of typhus, marked by hemorrhage from the nose and bowels, and with petchiae and hemorrhagic spots on the surface, occurred in the regiment and proved fatal [Hiram Dailey of Company A]. All of these patients had active, supporting treatment throughout. The sick were cared for at a hospital, about a mile and a half to the rear, composed of log huts or barracks, built and formerly occupied by the 53d Virginia Volunteers (Confederate), upon a sandy soil, where we obtained an abundance of excellent well water. These barracks were well ventilated, and accommodated a large number of sick and wounded from both the regulars and volunteers. I saw all of the sick and what few wounded there were at this hospital and had immediate charge of very many sick who were members of various regiments; and nearly all of the cases were either low remittents or typhoid fever. I say remittents, because some of them might be easily classed as such; but I believed then, as now, that they were almost pure enteric fever. I held autopsies of all that died who were under my charge, six in number. No post mortem was held on the case of typhus [Dailey]. All the deaths from typhoid fever occurred late in the course of the disease, and the majority from hemorrhages from the bowels, one from coma, and the others apparently from pure exhaustion. The abdominal viscera were those principally examined. Peyer’s glands were found in each case in a state of ulceration; some very large ulcers; some healing while others were in an inflamed condition. Some of the ulcerations extended nearly through the coats of the intestines. I preserved the specimens in each case, but subsequently lost them during the campaign. The small intestines, through their entire length, gave evidence of previous inflammatory action; but all the other abdominal viscera gave no evidence of either organic or serious functional disease, and the soft parts and glands, when divided with the scalpel, seemed to be almost exsanguined. I wish the blood could have been analysed, because I feel confident that the primary trouble was there. In cases of epistaxis, the blood gave only a faint coloring to the spots on linen, and it did not give to the linen that stiffened feel that we get when it is saturated with ordinary blood, from both of which I infer that the blood was deficient in plasma and coloring matter, or defibrinated. In these cases, quinine, brandy, ammonia, and small doses of opium were given with a view to support the patient. Essence of beef and beef tea, of good quality, and in abundance, was furnished and given. The supply of medicines at this time was ample, but at times we were deficient in hospital stores.

He was presumably buried there (or his body may have been returned to Michigan for interment). His brother Ransom may very well have been with him when he died since he reportedly took possession of his effects.

In 1883 his mother was living in Lyons, receiving a dependent mother’s pension no. 27,766, drawing $8.00 per month.

Ransom Howe was born in 1837 in Livingston, New York, the son of Dennis (1810-1856) and Sarah A. or Sadie (Benton, b. 1808)

Both New York natives, Ransom’s parents were married probably in New York and sometime before 1835. Sometime between 1837 and 1839 Dennis, a wagon-maker by trade, moved his family to Michigan, probably from New York, and by 1850 the family had settled in Lyons, Ionia County where Ransom was attending school with his siblings, including a younger brother Charles who would also join the Third Michigan infantry in 1861. Dennis went to California in 1851 and was drowned in 1856 while on his way home. By 1860 Ransom was a farm laborer who could not read or write living with his mother and family in Lyons, Ionia County.

Ransom stood 6’1” with hazel eyes, sandy hair and a light complexion and was 24 years old and living in Lyons when he enlisted in Company E on May 13, 1861, with his younger brother Charles. Ransom may very well have been with his brother when Charles died of typhoid fever in May of 1862 near Yorktown, Virginia.

Ransom was employed as a company cook from August of 1862 through October, was on duty at the Regimental hospital from January of 1863 through November and a hospital cook in December. He reenlisted on December 23, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, was absent on veteran’s furlough, probably in Michigan, in January of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February. He was reported as a nurse at the Regimental hospital from January of 1864 through May of 1864, but reported AWOL on June 10, 1864, the very same day he was transferred to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments. However, by July of 1864 he was reported absent sick. He was mustered out July 5, 1865, probably at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war Ransom returned to Michigan, probably to Ionia County.

He married New York native Frances E. Parker (b. 1841), on April 1, 1866, in Lyons, Ionia County.

By 1870 Ransom was working as a carpenter and living with his wife in Lyons village, Ionia County, and lived most of his postwar life in Lyons where he worked as a carpenter. He was still living in Lyons in 1880 with his wife, and in 1894 and in 1895 when he testified on behalf of Eli Brown’s pension increase as well as in the application for a pension by Alfred Burns. (Brown and Burns both had served in Company E during the war.)

He became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association in December of 1884, and was a member of Grand Army of the Republic Dresser Post No. 100 in Lyons. In 1889 he applied for and received a pension (no. 516,596), drawing $30.00 a month by 1905.

Ransom was admitted as a single man to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 4589) in August of 1905. He was discharged at his own request on December 8, 1905, and probably returned to Ionia County.

He was married to Michigan native Thursa Alger Smith (b. 1849), on June 20, 1911. (According to their marriage certificate Thursa had been married three times previously.)

Even though he was reportedly married, Ransom listed himself as a widower and his next of kin as a nephew, Arthur (or Henry) Hoofman of Grand Haven, Ottawa County, when he was readmitted to the Home on October 16, 1916. According to his second wife Thursa, from the time of their marriage

Up to Sept 1912 we lived in amicable relations having no special difficulty. At time of our marriage I owned a home in the village of Lyons in which I lived and we went to housekeeping living in my home.

About Sept. 12, 1912, I asked my husband for some money to make a payment on a carpet which I had purchased. He became very angry and refused to give me any money. He left my house and went and lived with Arthur Tyle [?]. He did not come back until in June 1913. Then he came back and wanted to live with me. The door of my home had always been open to him and he could home when he choose. He came back and we lived together with no special trouble.

In April 1916 I planned to visit my son and Mr. Howe was not opposed to my going but said he would go and stay with Arthur Tyle while I was gone. I did not intend to make the visit until May and urged him not to go until I left, but he went to Mr. Tyle’s house the forepart of April. In a few days he sent for me saying he was sick and I went there and took care of him. After that he would come home and stay a few days and sometime he would stay at home two or three week then go back to Mr. Tyle again for a few days. Several times he was sick there then he would send for me and I always went and took care of him. After a time he came home for his meals regularly but would go back there. I learned that he left liquor there and drank as much as he choose. I had refused to let him bring liquor to my house as he drank to excess, during all this time he supplied me with food or gave me money to buy food with. He did seem angry but he loved his liquor and would drink as he choose while there. In 1916 he became so ill that he went to the Soldier’s Home Hospital at Grand Rapids, Mich.

During all my married life with him, or from the date of my marriage to him Mr. Howe supported me except during the time from Sept. 1912 to June 1913. During that time I took in work and supported myself. When Mr. Howe left for the Soldier’s Home he gave me ten dollars and said he would send more money. He never went to any other soldier’s Home after our marriage except to the one at Grand Rapids, Mich where he went in 1916.

Nevertheless, Ransom was reportedly a widower when died at the Home at 7:20 p.m. on October 22, 1916, and his remains were sent to Lyons for burial, and interred in Lyons cemetery on October 26 as an indigent soldier, the County paying for the burial.

Thursa apparently initiated an effort to apply for a widow’s pension in August of 1917, although it is unknown what became of the application (no number was apparently assigned).

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Daniel and George Houseman

Daniel Houseman was born in 1831 or 1833 in Orleans County, New York, the son of John (b. 1790) and Charity (Vidor, b. 1807).

New York native John married Charity and they settled in New York. The family left New York between 1833 and 1836 when they were living in Michigan. By 1850 Daniel was working on the family farm with his father and living with parents in Odessa, Ionia County. His younger brother George who would also enlist in the Third Michigan was attending school with some of his siblings. By 1860 Daniel was a farm laborer working for and/or living with John M. Young, a farmer in Berlin (Saranac), Ionia County.

Daniel stood 5’11” with blue eyes, light hair and a dark complexion, and was 30 years old and still residing in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company E on May 13, 1861, along with his younger brother George. Daniel was reported as the company “laundress” in December of 1861. He was wounded on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, subsequently absent sick in a general hospital in November and December of 1862, and present for duty from January of 1863 through October.

He reenlisted (as did his brother George) on December 23, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Wyoming, Kent County, was on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864. Apparently he returned to his home in orange, Iona County where he married Canadian-born Anna Badder (1841-1920) on January 6, 1864, in Ionia, and they had at least one child: Alice Victoria (b. October of 1864). He probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February. He was reported on duty at Brigade headquarters in March and present for duty from April through June of 1864.

Daniel was transferred to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and was wounded severely on June 16 or 26, 1864, near Petersburg, Virginia. He was hospitalized on June 28 in Satterlee hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and returned to duty on July 12. He was taken prisoner on August 19 at Deep Bottom, Virginia, confined at Richmond, Virginia on August 20, and sent to the prison in Salisbury, North Carolina, on October 19. (His brother George was captured near Cold Harbor about the first of June, 1864.)

Daniel was reported mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana, but it it appears in fact that he probably died in prison. According to his widow Daniel died in either January or February of 1865 in Florence, South Carolina, and was presumably buried among the unknowns at that place.

In March of 1865 his widow was living in Berlin (Saranac), Ionia County when she applied for and received a pension (no. 97844); some years later, having remarried Artemus Estabrook (d. 1911) in1873, she applied as guardian on behalf of the child or children of Daniel, for a minor’s pension, which was also granted (no. 168,806?). Anna Estabrook was living in Escanaba in 1920 when she died.

George Houseman was born on April 29, 1841 in Ionia, Ionia County, the son of John (b. 1790) and Charity (Vidor, b. 1807).

New York native John married Charity and they settled in New York. The family left New York between 1833 and 1836 when they were living in Michigan. By 1850 George was attending school with his siblings and living on the family farm in Odessa, Ionia County -- his older brother Daniel who would also enlist in the Third Michigan was helping in working the farm. By 1860 George, who was working as a farm laborer -- along with five of his siblings -- were living with the family of William and Charlotte Hunt, in Odessa.

George stood 6’2” with blue eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was 20 years old and living in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company E on May 13, 1861, along with his older brother Daniel. George was wounded accidentally on or about June 21, 1862 (and possibly hospitalized briefly), was reported missing in action from June 30, and absent sick in the hospital from July 1.

He soon returned to the Regiment and was reported wounded in August, possibly at Second Bull Run on August 29, and in the hospital through February of 1863. He reenlisted (as did his brother Daniel) on December 23, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Paris, 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.

George was reported missing in action on June 1, 1864, at New Market, Virginia, and in fact had been taken prisoner near Cold Harbor, Virginia. (His brother Daniel was taken prisoner in August of 1864.) George was transferred as a prisoner-of-war since June 1 to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864.

He was confined at Richmond, Virginia on June 3, sent to Andersonville, Georgia on June 8, then to the prison in Salisbury, North Carolina, and was returned to Richmond on February 22, 1865. He was paroled at Aiken’s Landing, Virginia on February 24, 1865, and sent to Camp Chase, Ohio on February 28 where he arrived March 5. He was furloughed on March 7 for 30 days, and was mustered out at Sebawa, Ionia County, on July 28, 1865.

After the was George returned to Michigan and by 1870 he was living in Battle Creek or Convis, Calhoun County where he may have married his first wife, Louisa Hollister (d. 1904), on December 31, 1870 or July 25, 1868, in Convis, and they had at least one child, Ona.

He eventually returned to Ionia County where for many years George worked as a farmer. He was residing in Saranac in 1880, 1888, 1890 and 1894, and in Oceana County in 1904 when Louisa died and in Pentwater, Oceana County by 1911.

He was married a second time to a widow named Charlotte Hyde Brooks on May 9, 1905 in Hart, Oceana County.

George married his third wife Illinois native Amelia Vaugh (b. 1861), on August 9, 1917, and was living in Pentwater in 1919, 1920 and possibly in 1923.

George may have been a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association (his death is mentioned at one of the annual reunions), and he was a Protestant.

In 1874 he applied for and received a pension (no. 360,363), drawing $50 per month by 1923.

On July 25, 1923, Amelia was appointed George’s guardian as he was “alleged mentally competent.” That same day he was admitted from Pentwater, Oceana County to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 7808), and on July 26 the examining surgeon for the Home, wrote, “Houseman is very senile mentally and physically. His mind is quite weak. He is totally incapacitated for earning any part of his support.”

He died at the Home on October 22, 1923 of valvular heart disease, and although upon admission to the Home he requested to be buried at Shelby, Oceana County, and that his wife would handle all funeral arrangements, he was in fact interred on October 24 in the Home cemetery: section 7 row 19 grave 33.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Theodore G. Houk

Theodore G. Houk was born in 1833 in Seneca County, Ohio.

Theodore left Ohio and moved west, eventually settling in western Michigan where by 1860 he was a carpenter working for and/or living with William Mantherson (whose children had all been born in Ohio) in Gaines, Kent County.

Theodore stood 6’2” with black eyes and hair and a dark complexion, and was 27 years old and still residing in Kent County when he enlisted in Company A on May 13, 1861. He was reported absent sick from November 1, 1862, through until March of 1863, and from April 16 through October of 1863. He reenlisted as a Corporal on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Grand Rapids, was subsequently absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February.

Theodore was wounded in the left hand on June 6, 1864, at or near Cold Harbor, Virginia, and June 8 admitted to Finley general hospital in Washington, DC, for a gunshot wound of “3rd phalanx of 3rd finger of left hand.” He was still absent wounded when he was transferred to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and remained absent wounded through June of 1865. Houk was given a furlough from the hospital and returned to Grand Rapids about the first September of 1864, and, it was observed by a reporter for the Grand Rapids Eagle, “like nearly all other soldiers who have returned from the front, wears the Lincoln Badge and is out and out for the reelection of honest Old Abe.”

Theodore remained in Michigan for nearly a month, but by early October was back in Virginia. On October 11, from Slough Barracks in Alexandria, Houk wrote a friend back in Grand Rapids, discussing the upcoming presidential election. The Grand Rapids Eagle, which reprinted the letter on October 25, described Houk as “a realistic veteran, who had served in the Army of the Potomac 3 years and 4 months, at the date of his letter. Corporal Houk is a very intelligent man, a resident -- when at home -- of the Township of Gaines, in this County and is now suffering from a wound received at the battle of Cold Harbor” the previous June.

“My dear friend, [Houk wrote] I arrived here last Friday evening, and write you as early as possible, because I want a letter from you. My hand is swollen yet and quite stiff. My ride from Grand Rapids was attended with the usual amount of excitement. 2 votes were taken on the cars, during my ride; one east of Ionia gave Lincoln 63, and McClellan 21; another taken in Ohio gave Lincoln 70, and McClellan 41. I suppose politics are running high with you at the present time. I feel confident that there is too much patriotism in the American people, to elect a man president who would compromise with rebels and barter away the honor of a great Nation.

“McClellan lacked the ability to command the Army of the Potomac successfully. -- Can they expect him to attend to the affairs of the whole Nation? No! Certainly not.

“Are men so tired of the war that they would purchase peace at the expense of National honor? No! I will not believe it. But we must not sit down in conscious strength, for our enemies will move heaven and earth to defeat us. They have insulted the mothers, wives, sisters and children of those who are in the army, and now seek us to vote for their candidate -- to be our Commander-in-Chief. Oh, infamous slanderers! Can they have so small an estimation of our manhood? They have a load of guilt to carry; just heaven and posterity will both curse them.

“Their platform is an insult to the army, a disgrace to the Nation, and a nuisance to literature.

“I do hope you will work hard, for I candidly believe that the destiny of this Nation will be decided at the coming election. If Lincoln is elected all will be well; if McC. is elected rebellion will succeed. I say to all with whom I converse on the subject, don't trust the integrity of the Nation in the hands of Geo. B. McClellan.

“But I will close with 3 cheers for Lincoln. Hurrah! hurrah! hurrah!”

Theodore may have been transferred to the Veteran’s Reserve Corps before he was discharged on August 30, 1865, at Slough’s hospital in Alexandria, Virginia, for “amputation [of] 3rd finger left hand with contraction of remaining ones, following gunshot wound received in action.”

In any case, after his release from the army Theodore returned to western Michigan and was working as a farmer in Gaines when he married Ohio native Lucella”Celia” E. Allen (b. 1852) on June 14 or 18, 1868, in Kent County. Houk and his wife had at least two children: Juliette (b. 1869) and Allen Cob-moo-sa (b. 1875).

By 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and daughter in Gaines but had settled in Oceana County in 1873, and was supervisor of Elbridge in Oceana County from 1874 to 1880. He was farming and living with his wife and children in Elbridge in 1880.

He was living in Elbridge when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association in December of 1889.

Theodore was also a member of Grand Army of the Republic Hooker Post No. 26 in Hart, Oceana County. In 1890 he applied for and received a pension (no. 794628).

He was still residing in Elbridge in 1890 and in 1894 and indeed, he probably lived in Elbridge the rest of his life, and he served several years as a Township supervisor and once as representative from Elbridge to the state house of representatives.

Theodore died in Elbridge on February 11, 1904, and was buried in the Elbridge cemetery.

His widow applied for and received a pension (no. 596666).

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Moses Barrett Houghton

Moses Barrett Houghton was born on December 7, 1834, in Orangeville, Wyoming County, New York, the son of Hiram (1804-1857) and Amelia or Aurelia (1806-1892).

As a young man Moses helped his father operate a large dairy farm. He remained at home and attended school as well as working the farm; he finished his education at Middlebury Academy in Middlebury, Wyoming County, New York. In 1854 Moses’ father moved to Ionia County, Michigan where he purchased two farms, giving one to his son to operate.

Moses married Middlebury native Mary Elizabeth Keith (1836-1911) on November 8, 1854, in Orangeville, Wyoming County, New York, and they had at least three children: Judson Edward (b. 1857), Louise Aurelia (b. 1859) and John Clancy (b. 1870). They eventually settled in Boston, Ionia County.

Soon after his arrival in western Michigan, Moses took an active interest in the growing movement to establish local militia companies and on January 31, 1857, was elected First Second Lieutenant of the new local western Ionia Company, the “Boston Light Guard” under the command of Captain Ambrose A. Stevens. On April 7, 1858, Moses was elected First Lieutenant, replacing Harrison Powers who resigned, and he was one of the Ionia delegates to the State Military Convention held in Detroit in August of 1858.

In August of 1860 Moses was promoted to Captain of the company, replacing Captain Stevens who had been promoted to the staff of the Fifty-first (soon to be renumbered Third) Regiment. That same year he was working as a farmer living with his wife and children in Boston.

Moses was 26 years and still Captain of the “Boston Light Guards,” which would serve as the nucleus of Company D, and probably still living in Boston when he enlisted as Captain of Company D on May 13, 1861. He apparently returned home to Michigan sometime in late 1861, but by late December had returned to the Regiment bringing 28 recruits with him.

Moses was wounded in the thigh, probably at Fair Oaks on May 31, 1862, and was absent with leave for 30 days from July 8, 1862. However, he had probably returned to the Regiment by the time he was promoted Major on September 24, commissioned September 1, and was on a leave of absence from Third Corps headquarters on March 14, 1863.

He eventually returned to duty and was serving with the regiment in early May of 1863. According to James Taylor, a member of Company I, on May 3 the Third Corps “had been thrown out nearly five miles in the advance of the main army, following, as we then supposed, Lee’s retreating army; but, as we soon learned, it was one of Jackson’s ruses to draw us out while he made his flank attack upon Gen. [O.O.] Howard’s (Eleventh) Corps. In the afternoon we fell back nearly three and a half miles to within about one and a half miles of our main army, where we found ourselves cut off, with Early’s and Jackson’s troops between us and our army.”

About 11:00 p.m. “Birney’s whole division moved forward to that famous night charge, Ward’s brigade leading, ours following, and Graham’s following us, with orders to make as little noise as possible until we came upon the enemy; then make all the noise possible, both with our guns and throats, which we did to the best of our ability. In this charge we got separated, part swinging to the right and part toward the left.” The regiment reformed the next morning, “at the point or curve of our line, about a half mile to the right of the Chancellor House, where we made another charge, led by Maj. Houghton in his short-sleeves, a revolver in each hand, and we took in about 500 prisoners in short order. We remained at this point until the close of that battle.”

Moses was absent sick on July 28, but eventually rejoined the Regiment and was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel on January 20, 1864, replacing Edwin S. Pierce. Moses was mustered out on June 20, 1864.

Shortly after returned to Michigan Moses began soliciting for a Regiment of his own. And indeed on Saturday, July 23, Colonel Moses B. Houghton was charged with reorganizing and raising a “new” Third Michigan. On July 26 Michigan Governor Austin Blair published an open letter in the Grand Rapids Eagle, which said, “Colonel Moses B. Houghton is hereby appointed Commandant of Camp for the Third Michigan Infantry, which will be recruited and organized in the 4th congressional district of this state. He will immediately enter upon the business of organizing the regiment actively and will, as he may find convenient and for the interest of the regiment, nominate such officers to the Executive as he may think proper for the service.” (Moses was commissioned as such on July 29.) The paper went on to publish a notice of a “Public Meeting.”

Colonel Houghton, of the Mich Third, having received orders to reorganize said regiment, from Gov. Blair, would be pleased to meet all of the citizens at the Rathbun house, at half past 8 o'clock tomorrow morning, to consult as to the best means of raising a sufficient number of men to fill up the regiment. This is a most important and desirable move, and one that should be met with promptness and liberality on the part of our people. Let the business men turn out, and the object will be attained, and our County and district saved from a draft. Eight and a half o'clock is the hour, as time is very important. [list of names follows]

It will be seen by the above appointment, that Governor Blair has made M. H. Houghton, late Lieutenant Colonel of the glorious Old Third, Colonel, with the authority to raise a new regiment of infantry for the U. S. service, in the 4th congressional district, to be called the Third; and, also, by a call, published below it, for a military meeting at the Rathbun house at 8 1/2 o'clock tomorrow morning, signed by many of our leading citizens, that the work is to be commenced immediately and in earnest. let there be a good turn out, at this meeting of our influential men, to welcome Colonel Houghton and assist him in his glorious work.

Regarding the “war meeting,” W. S. Walton wrote the editor of the Eagle,

In your report of the proceedings of the meeting of our citizens, held at the Rathbun House, yesterday morning, to consult together, and compare opinions as to the best method of filling our quota under the last call of the President, your reporter forgot to state that the Central Committee whose duty it is to raise two companies, if possible, for Col. Houghton, to be called after the gallant old Third, and thereby fill our quota throughout the city and County, were also requested and instructed to suggest to the various towns in the County, their cooperation or similar action, for a like purpose.

The name of this new military organization under Col. Houghton, officered as it will be, in part, by the veterans of the gallant old Third, must give an impetus to enlistments in it. The Old Third has already furnished two [four] Brigadier Generals, who have won their honors in many a hard fought battle for the Union, and I believe the Grand River valley has the timber for half a dozen more.

Now let us give three loud cheers for Brig. Gen. Byron R. Pierce, the hero of many battles; and then let us all drop a tear to the memory of Brig. Gen. Stephen G. Champlin, who, in the social circle, ranked high with all who knew him, in his profession as a lawyer, he was high toned and above reproach; an in his military career a soldier brave to a fault, and one who voluntarily gave his life a sacrifice upon the altar of his country. Alas, that death should choose so shining a mark.

On Friday, July 29, a recruiting committee for the “new” Third Michigan, consisting of C. C. Comstock, George Gray, George W. Gay; L. Covell and T. D. Gilbert, announced in the Eagle that “All those discharged officers and enlisted men of the old Mich. 3rd who wish to assist in the reorganization of the regiment, are requested to report at the office of Gilbert & Co., in Luce's block, where the Recruiting Committee meet every morning at 8 o'clock.” The same day Colonel Houghton wrote to Governor Blair informing him that

I have visited Grand Rapids and have decided to locate the camp of the 3rd Regt. at that place. I find the barracks in very good condition, and at very small expense could be made comfortable for the summer. I trust this will meet with your approval. I would also respectfully request that Abraham Alderman, John H. Sumner*, Elijah Fuller and Charles H. Van Dusen* be appointed recruiting officers for the 4th district. These men will recruit companies for my regt. and will make efficient officers some of them having served three years with the [old] 3rd. As soon as the authority for these men to recruit is given by you they will come to Detroit to be mustered.

I have selected Dr. James F. Grove formerly of the [old] 3rd for Surgeon, Edwin M. Marble for Adjutant, and George K. Nairn for Quarter Master. Nairn is now in the army. He was Q.M. Sergt of the 3rd and reenlisted and is now in the 5th Inftry. As soon as he can get out of the service I shall need him. Many of the old officers and men will enter the new regt.

Blair telegraphed back giving his permission to locate the new Regiment in Grand Rapids. On August 9 the Eagle reported that Captain Alfred B. Turner was recruiting in Grand Rapids

for the new regiment to be called the ‘Third’, and though having but just commenced the work, he has already upon his muster roll 24 names of good, stalwart soldier boys. He has opened a recruiting office in Post Office block, and hopes and expects, ere two weeks pass, to have a full company of men. Everything looks encouraging now. The news from the Union army in every direction is good. General Grant is making it warm and interesting for the rebels in and about Richmond; General Sherman has got the traitors by the nape of the neck at Atlanta; General Sheridan is laying the Rogue's March for the rebel raiders about the Potomac, and Rear Admiral Farragut, the naval hero, with his fleet of iron clads and wooden vessels, is thundering away at the gates of Mobile. The skies are bright and Heaven's breath smiles sweet and wooingly all around.

Let us stand by the flag; let all loyal men put their shoulders to the wheel, and the "good time coming" will ere long come, so sure as time asks, when the stars and stripes will again wave in triumph over a land of united freemen, in which slave-driving traitors and hissing Copperheads will be as few and scattering as angel's visits in Pandemonium, of latter-day Democrats in the land of the blest.”

On August 15 the Eagle noted that “Captain Alfred B. Turner, who is recruiting a company of men for the new 3rd regt. of Mich Inf., now being raised ion his Congressional district under command of Colonel Houghton, of the “old Third,” and which is to be rendezvoused in this city, has already 42 men enlisted. According to the present rate of enlisting this command will soon be filled, and we would advise all who are about to enlist under the large bounties, city, state, and national, to join this regiment, which will be under the command of able and experienced officers. Now is the time.”

By the middle of September the Regiment was nearly full. On September 13, the Eagle reported that “The new 3rd regiment Mich. Inf., is now fully organized, officers and its ranks pretty well filled. Seven companies have been organized and reported here, containing 500 men. Three of the companies are full, and the other four soon will be, as their ranks are rapidly filling up. The remaining three companies to complete the organization of the regiment are, we understand, to be taken from the old Third.”

On Thursday, September 29, “S. Huntley, Jr., Sutler of the New Third Mich. Infantry, gave an elegant supper to the officers of that regiment, last evening, at the Rathbun House.” According to the report in the Eagle, “The banquet was all that the most fastidious appetite could desire, and the proceedings, after the viands had been disposed of, were of an interesting and jovial character, consisting of toasts, sentiments, wit, poetry and eloquence.

Toasts and sentiments were volunteered by the various officers and guests present, and lively conversation indulged in until a late hour, when the company dispersed, well pleased with their evening entertainment.

A finer appearing body of officers has never been convened in this city than those of the new Third. From the gallant and battle-tried Colonel [Moses B. Houghton] down, they are generally of stalwart proportions and fine physical conformation, and we have no doubt they will acquit themselves as strong men in the hour of battle, and preserve, and, if possible, increase the illustrious reputation of the noble old Third, whose backs were never seen by the foe.

During the day yesterday, Col. Houghton was presented with a beautiful sword; manufactured for the purpose, at the order of the officers and privates of the regiment. Col. H. served three years with the old Third, and was its commanding officer when he received his appointment to the new Third. He has been tried in battle and in camp, and deserves the admiration and respect of his officers and men.

By mid-October this “new” (or “reorganized”) Third Michigan infantry was, wrote the Eagle, “full, mustered, armed and equipped throughout, and awaiting orders to march. there are six companies, numbering 600 men, in Camp Lee [in Grand Rapids], and four companies, numbering 400 men, in camp at Pontiac. The field and staff officers were all mustered into the service on Saturday last, in Camp Lee. The companies in Pontiac were in command of Lieutenant Colonel Atkins, who receives his orders from Colonel M. B. Houghton, who is now in this city.”

The same day the paper also noted that “The members of Company A, in the new 3rd Michigan Infantry, purchased and presented, through their Orderly Sergeant, Chas. Kusterer, a few days ago, a sword, sash and belt, each to the commissioned officers in their company -- Captain J. H. Sumner, Lieuts A. W. Peck and K. P. Moore.”

On Wednesday, October 19, the Eagle reported “The following list of names compose the colonel and staff officers of the new Third regiment of Michigan Infantry, and all the comm. offs. in the 6 companies, just left Camp Lee. [former Third Michigan men denoted by an asterisk after their name]

The names of the officers in the other four companies, completing the organization of the command, stationed at Pontiac, we have not been able to obtain: Colonel M. B. Houghton*, veteran; Lieutenant Colonel John Atkinson, veteran; Major Philo D. Cutler, veteran; Surgeon H. H. Powers, veteran; 1ST Asst. Surg. Ira Winegar; 2ND Asst. Surg. Philo A. Drake; Adjutant E. M. Marble; Q. M. Geo. K. [Nairn]*, veteran; Chaplain M. Ingersoll Smith
Co. A - John H. Sumner* Captain, veteran, Abijah W. Peck, 1st Lieutenant, veteran, Emery P. Moon* 2nd Lieutenant, veteran
Co. B - Seth K. Moon, Captain, T. J. Dickinson, 1st Lieutenant, Thomas Kerrey, 2nd Lieutenant
Co. C - Carlos B. King Captain, Elijah Fuller 1st Lieutenant, Alesir V. Gilbert, 2nd Lieutenant
Co. D - Wash. K. Ferris*, Captain, veteran, Silas P. Larabee, 1st Lieutenant, Obed W. Califf, 2nd Lieutenant
Co. E - Reuben P. Lamb, Captain, veteran, Albert H. Ellis 1st Lieutenant, W. Boydon, 2nd Lieutenant
Co. F - Michael P. Long*, Captain, veteran, Charles H. Wickham, 1st Lieutenant, Gerrot Smith, 2nd Lieutenant
Non-commissioned Staff: Sergeant Major Erastus T. Yeomans; Q.M. Sergeant S. E. Faxon; Comm. Sergeant F. C. Randall; Hosp. Steward S. C. Slawson.

The paper also reported that the “new” Third Michigan had left that morning “for the front.” “The force going from this city numbered about 600 men, and it is ordered to report at Nashville, Tenn. The gallant boys made a splendid appearance, all draped in blue, armed and equipped and with flags flying, as they marched in columns through our Streets for the depot. -- May the reputation of this ‘New Third’ be in the future as good and glorious as that of the ‘Old Third’ is now, without the bloody sacrifice of life, necessarily made by the latter. Success to these Union heroes, and may God protect and enable them ere long to return to their homes again, covered with glory, when victory shall prevail everywhere perch upon the old flag, and peace reign triumphant in all the land.”

Albert Baxter wrote in his History of Grand Rapids that “under Houghton's command the regiment proceeded to Nashville, thence to Decatur, Alabama. Between that time and the close of the war it was engaged at many points in the South; moving in the latter part of 1865 into Western Texas, where it was engaged for a time on provost guard duty. Early in the spring of 1866, the regiment was ordered to Victoria Texas.” The Reorganized Third, as it was officially called, would remain in the western theater of operations until it was mustered out of U.S. service in late May of 1866 at Victoria, Texas.

On September 30, 1864, the Eagle reported that the sutler of the New Third Michigan infantry, S. Huntley, Jr.,

gave an elegant supper to the officers of that regiment, last evening, at the Rathbun House. The banquet was all that the most fastidious appetite could desire, and the proceedings, after the viands had been disposed of, were of an interesting and jovial character, consisting of toasts, sentiments, wit, poetry and eloquence. -- Toasts and sentiments were volunteered by the various officers and guests present, and lively conversation indulged in until a late hour, when the company dispersed, well pleased with their evening entertainment. A finer appearing body of officers has never been convened in this city than those of the new Third. From the gallant and battle-tried Colonel [Moses B. Houghton] down, they are generally of stalwart proportions and fine physical conformation, and we have no doubt they will acquit themselves as strong men in the hour of battle, and preserve, and, if possible, increase the illustrious reputation of the noble old Third, whose backs were never seen by the foe.

During the day yesterday, Col. Houghton was presented with a beautiful sword; manufactured for the purpose, at the order of the officers and privates of the regiment. Col. H. served three years with the old Third, and was its commanding officer when he received his appointment to the new Third. He has been tried in battle and in camp, and deserves the admiration and respect of his officers and men.

Moses was mustered in as Colonel of the “new” Third Michigan infantry on October 15, 1864, and on October 20 the Regiment departed from Grand Rapids and arrived in Decatur, Alabama on October 31 (or perhaps a day or two earlier) where the regiment was quickly deployed to reinforce the defense of the city.

The regiment remained at Decatur until November 25 when the Regiment was ordered to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where it arrived on November 27 and took over the guard duty at Fort Rosecrans. On January 16, 1865, the Regiment moved to Huntsville, Alabama, and on January 31 to Eastport, Mississippi, but by February 6 it was back in Huntsville. On March 13, Houghton was brevetted a Brigadier General of United States Volunteers, and on March 16 the Regiment marched through East Tennessee reaching New Market on March 18. It left New Market on March 29, heading toward Bull’s Gap and proceeded on to Jonesboro where it went into camp on April 7.

After the fall of Richmond, the New Third’s eastward movements were halted and the Regiment fell back to Nashville, Tennessee on April 28. Houghton was absent with leave from June 1, 1865, and the Regiment remained in Nashville until June 15 when it left by rail and steamer for New Orleans, Louisiana arriving there on July 5. The Regiment crossed the Gulf of Mexico at Indianola, Texas and then marched to Green Lake where it arrived on July 11. It remained at Green Lake until September 12 and headed for western Texas.

Houghton was on detached service as president of a general court martial from October 26, 1865 through March of 1866, and he was relieved from court martial duty on April 18, 1866.

On August 1, 1865, a member of the Reorganized Third, perhaps in an attempt to remind the people back home that they were still in the service of the country, wrote from Green Lake, Texas to the editor of the Eagle, “Thinking, perhaps, that your readers would like to hear something about the 3d Michigan Infantry, which left Grand Rapids, Mich., last October, for the purpose of participating in the last act of the tragedy of the Southern rebellion.” Therefore,

I thought I would sit down and write you a few lines of its history. This regiment, perhaps, has not participated in as many battles and skirmishes as some others which the good old State of Michigan has sent out, yet it has done all that has been required of it, and that, too, cheerfully. Although this regiment has been in the service but ten months, yet during that period, it has gone through some as severe marches as stand on record -- marches which have caused more than one old veteran soldier to drop out, and commit one of the meanest of all crimes, "straggling.” It has been a matter of public notice several times among the 4th corps generals, of the way in which the 3d Michigan goes through its marches, as, in many instances, it will have but a few stragglers, while other regiments, and old ones too, will be strung along the road for miles. So far as fighting is concerned, that portion which has fallen to the lost of the 3d Michigan has been done well and with the same cheerfulness as they go through their marches. Of one thing the people of Michigan can be assured, and that is that nothing which has been gained by the “Old Third,” or whatever name they may have earned for themselves in their brilliant maneuvers in the Potomac army, has been, and will continue to be guarded by the new Third.

We have quite a number of both officers and men in this regiment whose names are fresh, and will continue to be for time immemorial, in the minds of a grateful people. The commanding officer of the 3d Michigan, Colonel M. B. Houghton, was formerly a member of the old 3d regiment, and, for a kind and gentlemanly bearing towards the men and subordinate officers in his command he is unequaled in the corps. Among the line officers of his command stand conspicuous by the names of Captain Michael P. Long, commanding company F, Captain I. N. Lerich, co. I, Captain John Sumner, Co. A, and many others, old veteran soldiers, who have, on more than one field of battle, exposed their lives for the purpose of upholding the constitution and laws of the United States.

There have been some few promotions in the 3rd during the past few months, among which I may mention Geo. Sheldon, formerly Sergeant of Co. H, and promoted from Sergeant Major; also J. W. Bigalow, formerly 1st Sergeant of Co. F, and a resident of Ionia, son of Com. Bigalow, of that place. There have been several other promotions of the 2nd Lieutenants from Sergeants, but, as I am unacquainted with them, I shall have to pass them by.

The regiment, however, had quite a pleasing surprise, a few days since, in the appointment of Captain J. H. Lerich, of Co. I, (by the officers of the regiment) to Major, to fill the place made vacant by the resignation of Major Hall. Captain Lerich is a fine officer, and well filled for the position which his fellow officers have conferred upon him. May he live to enjoy it until the regiment is called home and honorably mustered out, is the wish of both officers and men in this command.

We have had quite a number of resignations in the regiment since the war closed, among which will always be remembered with regret that of our Regimental Adjutant, E. M. Marble. he was beloved by every man in the regiment, and his resignation has been looked upon as a heavy loss to the Third.

I must bring this letter to a conclusion, with the hope that our good old Colonel M. B. Houghton, will soon be marching us home, to those friends and dear ones who have been longing and expecting us for many a month. [signed] Young Third.

Another member of the Regiment, who signed himself “Jaun Dice,” viewed the entire move to Texas and particularly to Green Lake, from a somewhat different perspective. He wrote to the Detroit Free Press from Victoria, Texas, in mid September, ostensibly to report on the state of rebellion in the Southwest and the situation of the New Third Michigan.

This gigantic rebellion is still tottering to its fall, and I think we shall soon send it groveling to the dust, if we can only find it. In all that extent of territory which recently bristled with hostile bayonets, now not an enemy exists to oppose the supremacy of our laws. They are gone --

“Gone like the truants, that gait without warning,
Down the back entry of time.”

The war being over, we were daily expecting the order to muster us out of the service, and anticipating the happiness which we confidently hoped was soon to be ours of meeting our wives, children and friends, when a little official “hocus-pocus” lands us in Texas; but the object of our coming here is being rapidly consummated, and we are again indulging hopes of being sent home. Twenty-five miles from Indianola there is a small mud-hole, which is dignified in this country with the name of “Green Lake.” On the border of this hole three farmers eat their corn bread and watch their cattle. Of course no good loyal man would live in such a place, which could only have been intended for alligators, moccasins, tarantulas, etc., yet such was the temerity of these men that they had actually erected houses here, evidently with the design of vegetating for an indefinite period. Such was the vigilance of our scouts, however, that our Generals learned these facts immediately on our arrival at Indianola, and as no time could be safely lost, we at once started on a force march for the aforesaid “Green Mudhole.” Only one man of our regiment died on this march, though many were obliged to fall out. After a few days the troops arrived, and we squatter-sovereignted [sic] around the mudhole, established a strong brigade guard, and made ready for action. Such was the consummate skill and ability of our Generals that in less than three months these three farmers were completely subdued. “Nobody killed on our side,” though hundreds of men fled rather than remain longer in this climate, and drink the filthy water of Green Lake, which twenty regiments of soldiers bathing in daily, did not seem to purify, though it greatly improved it. With our new laurels we are now on our way to San Antonio. I think it is not apprehended that we shall meet any important enemy there. Probably we are going there on account of the convenience of wood and water, it being only about five miles to good water, and only about ten miles to wood. A “Grape Vine” in camp today says that the corps is to be mustered out soon. I understand that an order is already out for the muster out of all negro troops in this district. If this be true, as soon as some satisfactory arrangement can be made for the mules, undoubtedly white men will be looked after. We await our time.

The Regiment arrived in San Antonio, Texas on November 6, 1865, when it entered the town and went into provost guard duty after erecting a post hospital. Houghton commanded the post at San Antonio from December 28, 1865, to January 28, 1866, and in early spring the Regiment moved to Victoria, Texas. Houghton was mustered out with the Regiment on May 26, 1866 at Victoria, marched to Indianola, took a steamer to New Orleans, and then up the Mississippi to Cairo, Illinois, and thence by rail to Detroit, where the Regiment arrived on June 10, 1866, and was disbanded.

Houghton’s performance as a soldier in general and officer in particular during his term of service in both Third Regiments was an open question for some members of the “old” Third Michigan.

Hiel P. Clark of Company D, wrote home to his sister on August 1, 1862, “By the way, sis, don’t never send anything to me by Capt. Houghton for I should hate to refuse anything you sent me and I would not take it from him.” And Charles Wright, a sergeant of Company A, old Third, too thought little of Houghton. He wrote in a letter dated December 5, 1864, that the new Third infantry had only two officers who weren’t cowards: Seth Moon and John Sumner, and that the commanding officer of the Regiment, Colonel Houghton, “used to always be taken with the shell fever when near the battle field.”

Moses was also criticized by some of the officers as well. On January 4, 1863, Colonel Byron Pierce, then commanding the Third Michigan, wrote to the former commander of the Third Michigan, Brigadier General Stephen G. Champlin, informing him of certain developments in the Regiment since Champlin left. Pierce wrote that “Something must be done in regard to Capt. Ed. [Pierce]. General Berry . . . does not mention Major [Moses] Houghton’s name. He only speaks of relying on Capt. Pierce and Captain [Israel] Smith. The officers here all speak of him [Houghton] with contempt but what they will do about it is more than I can tell.” However, one member of the reorganized Third infantry wrote from Green River, Texas on August 1, 1865 that, in his estimation, Colonel Houghton possessed “a kind and gentlemanly bearing towards the men and subordinate officers in his command he is unequaled in the corps.”

Others, of course, believed differently.

According to the postwar testimony of one of his captains, Roger Sprague, Houghton was wounded in the left hand on or about October 15, 1865, while in camp near San Antonio, Texas “by the accidental discharge of a pistol, the ball entering the fourth finger at the joint and lodging in the palm of the hand.” Sprague further testified, in his affidavit given on June 21, 1890, for Houghton’s pension application, that he was present when the Regimental surgeon, C. M. Clawson, tried “to extract the ball and that he got his forceps hold of a cord in the colonel’s hand thinking he had the ball and pulled and tugged with all his strength; that said Clawson was a strong and powerful man, and the affiant believed then and still believes that the injury done to his hand and arm by the straining of said cord was serious and permanent, that the pain was so intense, while straining said cord that the colonel turned very pale and almost fainted, although he was at that time a strong powerful man.”

Frank Huntley, a friend of Houghton’s, testified on July 24, 1882, that in 1866 “the ball was still in the hand and was not extracted until nearly a year after he had arrived home when it was taken out by Dr. Powers of Saranac, [Ionia County] where [Huntley] and Houghton then resided. Until the ball had been extracted from [Houghton’s] hand it was perfectly useless and ever thereafter to the present time [1882] it ha been almost entirely so. The index finger is so bent toward the center of the hand as to greatly interfere with the use of the other fingers. The index finger on said hand is worse than useless the nerves thereof having been cut.”

After he was released from the army in 1866, Moses returned to Ionia County, Michigan, and lived for some years in Saranac, Ionia County. In 1870 he was working as a stone and brick mason and living with his wife and children in Saranac. He soon moved north and by 1871 had moved to Osceola County where he took a soldier’s homestead.

In the spring of 1872 he was elected supervisor and in the fall of that year was made Sheriff of the County was reelected in 1874. By 1874 was living in Hersey, Osceola County, and was farming and living with his wife and children in Burdell, Osceola County in 1880, in Hersey in 1881. In 1877 he was appointed Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms for the Michigan Senate. By 1885 and 1888 he was residing in Tustin, Osceola County but was living in Easton, Ionia County in 1890 and 1894. He and his wife Mary were living in Tustin village in 1900. At some point he may also have lived in Nashville, Barry County.

Moses was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. In 1879 he applied for and received pension no. 238,007. He was a staunch Republican and an Episcopalian.

Moses was apparently living in Tustin when he died of Bright’s disease on June 1, 1903, and was interred in the Burdell cemetery, Tustin.

His widow applied for and received pension no. 562,491.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Charles Houbel

Charles Houbel was born on February 9, 1823 in Hanover, Germany.

Charles immigrated to the United States, eventually settling in western Michigan by the time the war broke out.

He stood 5’10” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was a 38-year-old wood-turner possibly living in Kent County when he enlisted as Seventh 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.)

According to a statement he made in 1889 he had enlisted as a private in April of 1861 “and was made Sergeant after six months.” Indeed, by the summer of 1862 he was reported as a Sergeant and sick in the hospital from July through September of 1862. Charles allegedly deserted in October; although he later claimed that he had in fact been wounded.

“I had never been sick until July 1, 1862,” he wrote to the Pension Bureau in 1889, “when in the morning our Regiment supported a battery and Captain [Israel] Geer ordered me to go back to the road and search for comrades of my company (there were several missing), tell them where to find our Regiment or chaperon them back, I brought some back including myself, my Regiment was released; some time afterwards Lieutenant [Theodore] Hetz addressed me to go once more, but I said I could not go without a written pass, Captain Geer himself came, gave me permission and said I should search the same road we had come from in the morning. By now it was afternoon and I did so. I came under fire by artillery twice, ‘in front Confederates’ and to my left our boats. I saw several men fall and was wounded myself at my leg and was bruised on my left side.”

Former Company F member Benjamin Tracy said in May of 1879 that while he had “some recollections of [Houbel’s] being sent to the hospital from Harrison’s Landing” he had entirely forgotten the nature of Houbel’s wound. He added that he had “seen some of the members of that company [C], among them the Orderly Sergeant [Theodore Castor] who says he [Houbel] was wounded at Malvern Hill while we were laying in support of a battery. I well remember it being a very hot place and think it quite possible that he may have been wounded there.”

However, several months later Tracy testified that he “was well and intimately acquainted with Charles Houbel” and in fact during the battle of Malvern Hill “on or about the 1st day of July, 1862 a shell exploded near [Houbel] and one piece of said shell struck him in the left side carrying away his cartridge belt and injuring his side and another piece of said shell struck [Houbel] in the left leg below the knee shattering the bone . . . just above the ankle joint.” Tracy added the observation that “Houbel was a good soldier and a man of good habits.” The injury was confirmed by the testimony of another former member of Company C, Theodore Castor.

After he was wounded, Houbel claimed, he was sent to “the ‘Field Hospital’ (for how long I do not know),” subsequently transferred from Harrison’s Landing, Virginia to Finley hospital in Washington, DC, and from there sent to New York, where he was discharged for “general debility” on October 31, 1862, at David’s Island in New York harbor.

It is not known if Charles ever returned to Michigan. Sometime after his discharge he settled in northern Ohio, and by May of 1889 was living in Toledo at 1721 Locust Street when he applied for an increase in his pension (no. 728756, dated 1886).

On May 28, 1889, he sent a letter to the Pension Bureau seeking assistance regarding application for an increase in his pension.

Dear Sir. Assuming I will not disturb you, I take my pen to write to you; you may forgive me that liberty.

Several months ago I wrote to comrades in Michigan who had been with me [in the war], but have not received any answers until today. They won’t be there anymore, I thought, or dead -- I don’t know. I have done everything in order to get even more affidavits to be sent to Washington (also the enclosed letter by a doctor who saw me lying on the ground on one side, I wanted to life my chest in order to show him my leg. He might have seen though, that I could not do it since I was too weak, the doctor said: ‘lay still, this man most be send to the General Hospital’) but I don’t get there [to the comrades in Michigan] through writing nor can I go there personally since I lack the means, also I do not know whether they are still alive; I am now 66 years of age (born Feb. 9, 1823), sick and poor, I cannot do anymore what my boss at work wants me to do, which you could also read in the accounts . . . [sentenced not finished properly], I was examined three times ‘by the Board of Examining Surgeons’.

Two days before he died, I also heard from Marcus Weber that letters had been written (anonymously) to Washington, by Schmeltz and Dumhoff and Storck, Schmeltz and Dumhoff were dead but Storck was still alive, so I questioned him. He swore and denied the charge, now I would like to ask Mr. Bussey [obviously the person to whom this letter is addressed] to hand my claim to a ‘Special Examiner’ who will find out that injustice has been done to me ‘so help me God’, I do not want anything else but the truth, also in my affidavits the word GUNSHOT appears quite often -- when it is read to me [Houbel was probably not fluent in English and had someone translate letters for him], and I said ‘a piece of shell’, but I only got the answer ‘is all reid’ [?].

Houbel then went on to say that in 1872 or perhaps 1873 he “received a bounty of $100, no more.” He also noted that the bruise on his wounded leg had never properly healed and “causes much more pain than my leg; for the time being I cannot lie on my left side during the night, I hope it will be better soon -- I have experienced that often before.”

His problems were further compounded some “Fifteen or sixteen years after I had been discharged, I was unlucky once more, carrying something heavy while at work, I slipped and broke my leg. Two years ago my wife suffered a stroke on her right side, she is still alive but paralyzed and cannot use her limbs anymore, nor can she get up and walk around anymore.” He closed by saying “I do not want to bother you any further, but have only one request: would you please, Mr. Bussey, go through my affidavits and see whether there is anything missing?”

In May of 1891 Charles was living at 625 Cherry Street in Toledo.

He may have died in Toledo.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Daniel S. Horton

Daniel S. Horton was born in 1812 or 1819 in Tompkins County, New York.

Daniel left New York and moved west, eventually settling in Michigan. He may have been the same Daniel S. Horton who was living with his wife Mariett and family in Otisco, Ionia County in 1850. (Next door lived Elam Moe who would enlist in Company D, Third Michigan infantry in 1861.) If so they had at least seven children: Sarah (b. 1839), Martha M. (b. 1840), Elnathan (b. 1842), Mary (b. 1843), George B. (b. 1845), Ebenezer (b. 1848) and Peter F. (b. 1848). They settled in Michigan sometime before 1839 when Sarah was born. Daniel may have been working and/or living in Fenton, Genesee County by 1860.

In any case, Daniel stood 6’0” with blue eyes, sandy hair and a light complexion and was a 55- or 43-year-old farmer probably living in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company I on March 11, 1862, at Saranac, Ionia County for 3 years, and was mustered the same day at Detroit.

Daniel died of typhoid fever in the hospital at Bottom’s Bridge, Virginia, on June 5 or 15, 1862, and was buried in Seven Pines National Cemetery: section D, grave no. 408 (old no. 74).

No pension seems to be available.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Zephaniah T. Horine

Zephaniah T. “Zeph” Horine was born in 1830, reportedly in Shawneetown, Kentucky, but probably Shawneetown, Gallatin County, Illinois, just across the Ohio River from Kentucky.

In any case, “Zeph” came to western Michigan where by 1860 he was a sawyer working for the Eldred Lumber Company in Muskegon, Muskegon County.

He stood 5’5” with blue eyes, gray hair and a dark complexion, and was 31 years old, working as a sawyer in the lumber mills and living in Muskegon or 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 discharged for chronic rheumatism on October 3, 1861 at Fort Lyon, Virginia.

Following his discharge he apparently traveled to Chicago where he reentered the service as a Sergeant in Company H, One hundred and fifty-sixth Illinois infantry on February 15, 1865, for one year, and was mustered the same day. He was First Sergeant on March 9, but reduced to the ranks from First Sergeant per Regimental order no. 2 on April 19, 1865. He was on detached service in the Freedman’s Bureau per S.O. no. 177 from July through August of 1865, and mustered out on September 20, 1865, at Memphis, Tennessee.

“Zeph” probably never returned to Michigan, and after the war settled in Hanna, LaPorte County, Indiana before moving on to Carlton, Dickinson County, Kansas, where he was living in 1880. He was residing in Carlton in April of 1889 when he claimed that since his discharge he had “felt a numbness in my right arm” and that the numbness and pain “was light at first” but “increased ever since. After exposure to cold it is intense with loss of sense of touch and during these attacks I have no use of my arm for manual labor and can hardly feel the pulse by sense of touch. The pain is that in feeling that of rheumatism of which I am a sufferer, a disease known in medical literature as rheumatic palsy, . . . .”

He was married twice: first to Helen M. Rowley, whom he divorced on April 26, 1875 in LaPorte, Indiana; and to Bettie Wilson (d. 1919), on November 1, 1887 in Abilene, Kansas (Bettie was unable to read or write).

In 1880 (?) he applied for and received a pension (no. 253,694).

“Zeph” died in Kansas, probably of a heart attack, on June 9, 1902, and was presumably buried there.

In February of 1903 his widow also applied for and received a pension (no. 558,518).

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Reuben Hopkins

Reuben Hopkins was born in 1825 or July 18, 1828, in Pribble (?), New York, the son of Thomas.

Reuben eventually settled in Michigan. He was 22 years old, stood 5’7” with blue eyes, black hair and a ruddy complexion when he enlisted as a private on April 19, 1847, in Company A, Fifteenth U.S. Infantry, at Pontiac, Oakland County, Michigan. He was transferred to Company I on December 26, and discharged on August 4, 1848, at Cincinnati, Ohio, having served 60 days in Mexico.

Reuben was married to New York native Eliza or Elsie Latham (1829-1896) probably in New York, and they had at least nine children: Mary (b. 1850), twins Oscar and Orson (b. 1855), George (b. 1857) and Herman (b. 1859), Anna (b. 1863), Amanda (b. 1864), Carrie (b. 1868) and Lulu (b. 1873).

By 1850 Reuben was working as a laborer and living with Eliza in Johnsburgh, Warren County, New York. They moved to Michigan from New York and by 1860 Reuben was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Burns, Shiawassee County. (Next door lived Thomas Hopkins (b. 1798) and his wife Electa.)

He stood 5’10” with blue eyes, dark hair and a light complexion and was 31 years old and probably still living in Shiawassee County when he enlisted at the age of 31 in Company B on May 13, 1861. (He was possibly related to Barnett Hopkins who would enlist in Company B in 1863.)

Reuben was reported missing in action in July of 1862, and in fact he had been taken prisoner at James River, on June 30, confined at Richmond on July 13, paroled at Aiken’s Landing, Virginia on August 5 and returned to the Regiment on August 6 at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia, but then reported AWOL the remainder of the month. He was again reported missing in action on September 1 at Chantilly, Virginia, and in fact he had probably been hospitalized since July. By January of 1863 he was reported sick in the hospital in Alexandria, Virginia, where he remained until he was discharged on March 28, 1863, at Camp Banks, near Alexandria, Virginia, for chronic diarrhea.

Reuben returned to Shiawassee County where he reentered the service in Company F, Tenth Michigan cavalry on August 29, 1863, at Hazelton for 3 years, crediting Hazelton, and was mustered on September 2 at Grand Rapids where the regiment was organized between September 18 and November 18, 1863, when it was mustered into service.

The regiment 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. He was sick at Somerset, Kentucky from February of 1864 through May of 1865, was reported as a Corporal on June 1, 1865, and mustered out at Memphis, Tennessee, on November 11, 1865.

After the war Reuben eventually returned to Michigan. He was probably working as a farmer and living with his family in Grant, Huron County in 1870. By 1880 he was still working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Grant, and he as still in Grant in 1884. He was living in Gagetown, Tuscola County in 1889, 1890 and 1894, and was a member of the GAR Myers Post No. 357 in Gagetown.

Reuben was a widower when he married his second wife, Canadian-born widow Mary Erb (b. 1843) on February 5, 1900, in Caseville, Huron County. (She had been divorced once as well, from Archie Morrison.)

In 1879 he applied for and received a pension (no. 254033).

Reuben died on July 22,1901 and possibly in Huron County and may be buried in Soule or Chandler Township cemetery.

In 1901 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 556915).

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Barnet Sampson Hopkins

Barnet Sampson Hopkins was born on December 1, 1827, in Cattaraugus County, New York, the son of Asahel (b. 1797) and Olive Sarah (b. 1797-1874).

Both Rhode Island natives Barnett’s parents were married in 1815 in Rhode Island but by at least 1824 had settled in New York State. By 1845 Asahel had moved his family to Ionia, Ionia County, Michigan, and by 1850 Barnett was working on the family farm with his parents in Lyons, Ionia County.

Barnett was probably living in Ionia when he married New Yorker Harriet Ann Reynolds (1827-1906) on May 19, 1851, in Lyons, Ionia County, and they had at least eight children: Ellen (b. 1852), Barnett S. Jr. (, called “Sampson,” b. 1855), George W. (b. 1856), Jerry or Jared (b. 1859), David (b. 1861), Isabell (b. 1862?), Ida (b. 1867) and Charles (b. 1868).

By 1860 Barnett Sr. was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Portland, Ionia County.

Barnet stood 5’7” with gray eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion and was 35 or 25 years old and possibly living in Westphalia, Clinton County when he enlisted in Company B on February 10, 1863, at Westphalia for 3 years, crediting Westphalia, and was mustered the same day at Detroit. (He was possibly related to Reuben Hopkins who had enlisted in Company B in 1861.) Barnett joined the Regiment on March 5 at Camp Sickles, Virginia, and was treated for dysentery in the regimental hospital December 11-20, 1863, for influenza December 24-27, 1863, for pleurisy on January 28, 1864 and for pneumonia on January 31. He was admitted to Carver hospital in Washington, DC, on February 2, suffering from acute pleuritis and was furloughed on March 7, returning in on April 4, 1864. He was absent sick from February through May of 1864, and was still absent sick when he was transferred to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864.

He was admitted to Satterlee hospital in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as convalescent from acute pleurisy, on September 10, 1864, and deserted on November 27, returned from desertion on January 19, 1865 and returned to duty on January 25. He was mustered out on July 5, 1865 at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

Barnett eventually returned to Michigan, probably to Ionia County. In any case, by 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Pewamo, Lyons Township, Ionia County. By 1880 he was working as a farmer and living with his family in Bushnell, Montcalm County. It appears that Barnet and Harriet were divorced in 1885 but subsequently remarried. In any case, by 1888 he was residing in Palo, Ionia County and back in Bushnell, Montcalm County in 1894.

According to Dr. D. C. Spaulding of Lyons, Ionia County, who once treated Barnet, he had a burn scar on his face. And indeed, Mrs. Olive Hopkins, Barnet’s niece, testified that “it was the right side of his face – it twisted one corner of his mouth around. It was both sides of his face were burnt but one side was scarred a good deal more than the other. One eye was drawed down in corner and to his nose.” She added that “he fell right into the fireplace and a keg of water tipped over at the same time and he was burnt in his face and down on his stomach and for a long time they didn’t think he’d live.

In 1880 he applied for and received a pension (no. 593837).

Barnett may have been residing in Palo when he died on December 1, 1900, and was buried in Sunny Hill cemetery, Montcalm County.

His widow was residing in Michigan in December of 1900 when she applied for and received a pension (no. 519303).

Friday, March 13, 2009

Charles W. Hope

Charles W. Hope was born in 1847 in Oakland County, Michigan, the son of William (b. 1801) and Hannah (b. 1809).

Charles’ parents emigrated from England, and by 1835 were married and had settled in New York. William moved the family west and between 1835 and 1838 settled in Michigan. By 1850 William was a farmer and Charles was living with his family in Brandon, Oakland County. By 1860 Charles was attending school and living with one W. J. Hope (b. 1834), a wealthy farmer (he owned some $2600 worth of real estate) and his family in Brandon; also living with them was one John Hope (b. 1842 in Michigan)

Charles stood 5’6” with blue eyes, brown hair and a fair complexion and was an 18-year-old farmer possibly living in Spring Lake, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company H on December 30, 1863, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Spring Lake, and was mustered the same day. He joined the Regiment on April 4 at Brandy Station, Virginia, and was probably captured on May 5, 1864, at the Wilderness, Virginia. He was reported missing in action on May 12 at Spotsylvania, Virginia, and in fact was imprisoned for a time in Andersonville, but apparently he did not perish there.

He was transferred as a prisoner-of-war to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and he remained a prisoner-of-war from June 10 through November of 1864.

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

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Samuel R. Holmes

Samuel R. Holmes was born in 1839 in Chatham, England.

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

He stood 5’10” with blue eyes, dark hair and a fair complexion and was a 22-year-old sailor possibly living 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.) He was reported working as a teamster from July of 1862 through September, and hospitalized with chronic diarrhea from November of 1862 through February of 1863, probably in Baltimore, Maryland.

On January 5, 1863, an unknown individual in Jersey City, New Jersey, wrote to General R. Schenck, commanding the troops in Baltimore, saying that his “Pastor, the Rev. W. Holmes” was “ill and anxious to have his brother [Samuel], wounded and in the hospital at Baltimore, removed if possible so as to receive the affectionate care of his relatives,” and asked Schenck if that would be possible. The matter was referred through the medical authorities, and Holmes was discharged for chronic diarrhea on March 11, 1863, at West’s Buildings hospital, Baltimore, Maryland.

It is not known if Holmes ever returned to Michigan after he was discharged from the army. By 1890 he was living in Aberdeen, Collingsworth County, Texas, where he was drawing a pension (no. 1032674) the following year. He may have been residing in Bronson, Branch County (Michigan) in 1894.

He was married to Nancy A. (b. 1844).

Samuel died on November 21, 1928, in Fargo, Woodward County, Oklahoma and was buried in Fargo City cemetery.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Calvin B. Holmes

Calvin B. Holmes was born in 1831 in Carthage, Jefferson County, New York, the son of Calvin and Sylva.

In 1850 there was a 20-year-old Calvin Holmes working as a farmer for the Whiting family in Cazenovia, Madison County, New York.

Calvin (younger) was married to New York native Mary (b. 1829), on August 16, 1851 in Caznovia, Madison County, New York, and they had at least three children: Amelia E. (b. 1853), Kittie E. (b. 1857) and Grace (b. 1863).

Calvin and his wife had settled in New York by 1854, but sometime between 1854 and 1858 Calvin took his family and moved to Michigan. By 1860 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children on a farm in Watertown, Clinton County.

He stood 5’9” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was a 31-year-old farmer probably living in Watertown when he enlisted in Company G on August 11, 1862, at Detroit, crediting Watertown. He joined the Regiment on September 3 at Upton’s Hill, Virginia, and, according to Edgar Clark, also of Company G, Holmes was a nurse in the regimental hospital as early as December of 1862. Clark added that “He gets $21 a month” and a good place to live. “I don’t see how he got it, being a new recruit, but he was sick in the hospital here and visited the sick and that is the way he got in. He makes a good nurse. There is a good many in the company that would like this position but for the extra pay, myself for one, though it is a good deal harder than to be a soldier.”

Calvin was reported as a Regimental hospital nurse from October of 1863 through March of 1864, and was a Corporal when he was severely wounded in the left leg on May 6, 1864, at the Wilderness, Virginia. He died of his wounds on May 16 at Fredericksburg, Virginia, and presumably buried among the unknown soldiers at Fredericksburg.

In 1864 Mary was living in Lansing when she applied for and received a widow’s pension (no. 50799). In 1868 she married Thomas Sturges and subsequently applied for and received a pension on behalf of her minor children (no. 125835).