Thursday, April 30, 2009

William Jones

William Jones was born in 1833 in either Wyoming County, New York or in Indiana.

Sometime in the late 1850s William settled in western Michigan, and by 1860 he was working as a blacksmith for James A. Belknap in Grand Rapids, Fifth Ward. Shortly before the war broke out William probably became a member of the Valley City Guard, the prewar Grand Rapids militia unit many of whose members would form the nucleus for a company.

He stood 5’7” with gray eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was 28 years old when he enlisted in Company A on May 13, 1861. George W. Miller, also serving in Company A wrote, home to his parents on November 21, 1861, and described the men sharing his tent during the winter of 1861-62. He said that Jones was formerly a blacksmith in Grand Rapids, and was the bedmate of Francis Kimball, also of Company A. Sometime in May of 1862 he was struck down with consumption and hospitalized until he was discharged for consumption of 4 months’ standing on September 29, 1862, at Upton’s Hill, Virginia.

After he was discharged from the army William returned to Michigan where he reentered the service in Company M, Tenth Michigan cavalry on August 20, 1863, at Eureka, Montcalm County for 3 years, crediting Eureka, and was mustered on September 21 at Grand Rapids where the regiment was organized between September 18 and November 18, 1863, when it was mustered into service. It left Michigan for Lexington, Kentucky on December 1, 1863, and participated in numerous operations, mostly in Kentucky and Tennessee throughout the winter of 1863-64. Most of its primary area of operations would eventually be in the vicinity of Strawberry Plains, Tennessee. (He is found in both Third infantry and Tenth cavalry 1905 Regimental histories.)

William was absent with leave from January 4, 1864, through May when he was sick at Knoxville, Tennessee. He was promoted to Corporal on October 1, 1865, and mustered out on November 11, 1865 at Memphis, Tennessee.

Following his discharge from the army in 1865 William returned to western Michigan and eventually settled in Algoma, Kent County. He was probably working as a blacksmith and living with the Halsey family in Algoma in 1870.

He may have been a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association (his death is mentioned at the Association reunion in December of 1897). In1882 he applied for and received a pension (no. 490326).

William was admitted as a single man to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 378) on July 20, 1886; he listed his nearest living relative in 1886 as one Emil Jones who was then residing in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

He was discharged from the Home the first time at his own request on August 27, 1887, readmitted on May 3, 1888, discharged August 29, 1890, admitted once again on June 25, 1891, discharged on April 22, 1892, readmitted on December 18, 1893, discharged a fourth time on April 26, 1895 (?), and admitted for the final time on July 11, 1895.

William he died at the Home of general debility and hematemesis (vomiting blood) on October 25, 1897, and was buried in the Home cemetery: section 1 row 1 grave 3.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Walter T. Jones

Walter T. Jones was born in 1840.

Walter was 21-year-old and probably living in Muskegon County, Michigan, 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 may have been a Corporal when he was wounded on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and was subsequently sick in the hospital from August of 1862 through May of 1864.

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

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Martin V. Jones

Martin V. Jones was born in 1833 in New York.

Martin was married to New York native Almira Lester (b. 1834) , on November 18, 1855, in Grand Rapids, Kent County, and they had at least one child, a daughter Laura or Lora (b. 1856). By 1860 Martin was working as a farmer and living with his wife and child in Leighton, Allegan County. That same year there was a Martin Jones (b. 1786) and his wife Doris (b. 1793), living with the Jonathan Morry family in Cheshire, Allegan County.

In any case, Martin had blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 29 years old when he enlisted in Company F on August 22, 1862, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Leighton, and was mustered the same day at Detroit. He joined the Regiment on September 7 at Fairfax Seminary, Virginia, and was transferred to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He was killed in action on June 16, 1864, near Petersburg, Virginia, and was presumably buried among the unknown soldiers interred near Petersburg.

In November of 1864 Almira was probably living in Leighton, Allegan County when she applied for and was granted a widow’s pension (no. 42954); in 1889 in Michigan she applied on behalf of her minor children for a pension which was also granted (381237).

Monday, April 27, 2009

James C. Jones

James C. Jones was born in 1834 in Niagara County, New York.

James left New York and moved westward, possibly to Wisconsin and then to western Michigan, sometime before the war broke out.

He stood 6’0” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was a 27-year-old farmer possibly living in Newaygo County when he enlisted in Company K on April 27, 1861. By August of 1862 he was absent sick in a hospital, possibly at Fortress Monroe, Virginia, and on September 21 was reported as a deserter at Upton’s Hill, Virginia. In fact, he was discharged for “lung disease” on November 15, 1862, at Chesapeake hospital, Fortress Monroe, Virginia.

It is not known if James ever returned to Michigan.

He listed Orion City, Richland County, Wisconsin as his mailing address on his discharge paper, and indeed he was living in Marietta, Wisconsin, when he reentered the service on February 3, 1865, as a private in Company G, Forty-seventh Wisconsin infantry. The regiment was organized for one year during the winter of 1864-65 at Camp Randall in Wisconsin, and left the state on February 27, 1865. It proceeded to Louisville, Ky., Nashville and Tullahoma, Tennessee, where it was assigned to guard duty until the close of August. James was mustered out with the regiment on September 4, 1865, at Nashville, Tennessee.

James applied for a pension (no. 886152).

James was living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, when he died on December 14, 1915.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Henry Jones

Henry Jones was born in 1846 in New York City, New York.

Henry left New York State and moved west, settling in western Michigan sometime before early 1864.

He stood 5’10” with blue eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion and was an 18-year-old farmer possibly living in Muskegon County when he enlisted in Unassigned on February 9, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Muskegon, and was mustered the same day.

There is no further record.

However, Henry may have in fact returned to Michigan and enlisted in Unassigned, Twenty-seventh Michigan infantry on February 26, 1864 at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Polkton, Ottawa County. He stood 5’9” with blue eyes, dark hair, light complexion and was a 22-year-old sailor, and was mustered the same day.

Again, there is no further record.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Warren M. Johnson

Warren M. Johnson, also known as “Johnstone,” born 1836 in Canada.

Warren immigrated to the United States. He was married to Michigan native Ann (b. 1840), probably in Michigan, and they had at least one child: a daughter Delno (b. 1860). By 1860 Warren was living with his wife and child in Otsego, Allegan County.

He was 25 years old and probably still living in Allegan County when he enlisted as First Corporal in Company F on May 13, 1861. He was probably taken prisoner sometime between June 30 and July 1, 1862, possibly near Malvern Hill, Virginia. According to the Detroit Free Press, in mid-July Johnson was among a group of Michigan soldiers who were reported to be “at the hospital on the York River, held by the rebels.” The Free Press quoted the New York Herald report “that the joy of the poor wounded soldiers at their anticipated release was very great, but when they were informed that they must return to the hospital again and be held there as prisoners, their grief was indescribable, especially among those who were sick. The scene was heartrending.”

By late August Warren was at Camp Parole, Annapolis, Maryland, and was admitted to the hospital in Annapolis where he was reported in July as a clerk and listed as a private, an indication that he was probably reduced to the ranks at some point perhaps as a consequence of his “missing in action” since July 1. Indeed, he was eventually dropped from the rolls on December 20, 1862 by authority of War Department General Order no. 92 (1862), for being AWOL.

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

In 1870 there was one Warren Johnson, age 38, born in Quebec, working as a farmer and living with is wife Ohio native Julia (b. 1845), and their two children: Harvey (b. 1860) and Elizabeth (b. 1865), in Otsego, Allegan County.

There was a civil war veteran named Warren Johnson living in Kalamazoo’s First ward, Kalamazoo County, in 1894.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Richard P. Johnson

Richard P. Johnson was born in 1838 in New York, the son of Andrew (d. 1842) and Catherine A. (Penny).

Richard’s parents were married in December of 1834 in New York city. The family left New York State and eventually settling in western Michigan. By 1850 Richard was living with the Michael Cromiger or Croniger family in Cascade, Kent County and attending school with one of the Cromiger children (although curiously his place of birth is listed as unknown). By 1860 Richard was working as a farm laborer and living at the Western Exchange Hotel in Cascade, which was operated by Daniel Cromiger (who had lived next door to Michael Cromiger in 1850). Shortly before the war broke out Richard joined the Valley City Guard, a prewar Grand Rapids’ militia company many of whose members would form the nucleus for Company A.

Richard was 23 years old when he enlisted in Company A on May 13, 1861.

He was killed in action on May 3, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Virginia, reportedly by an exploding shell, and was buried in Fredericksburg National Cemetery: grave no. 2965 (or old 2).

In June of 1863 his mother was living in Willoughby, Lake County, Ohio when she applied for and received a pension (no. 16873).

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Oscar Johnson

Oscar Johnson was born on February 7, 1839, in Michigan.

By 1860 Oscar was working as a switchman on the railroad and living with A. B. Durfee in Linden, Genesee County, Michigan.

He was 23 years old and possibly working in Muskegon, Muskegon County when he enlisted in Company H on April 28, 1861. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers,” was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties.) He was wounded on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and by late June he was reported in the hospital at White House Landing, Virginia, suffering from fever. He apparently recovered and was transferred to Battery F, Third United States artillery on January 29, 1863, at Camp Pitcher, Virginia. He was mustered out on May 13, 1864, at Chancellorsville, Virginia.

Following his discharge from the army Oscar eventually returned to Genesee County and settled in Flint where he probably lived the rest of his life.

He was married to Michigan native Elizabeth (1833-1907). Elizabeth may have been married before (if so her name was probably Shepherd), and probably had two children from her previous marriage: a son (b. 1854) and a daughter (b. 1862).

By 1880 Oscar was working in a paper mill and reportedly married but was boarding with the David West (?) family in Flint. He was residing at 316 Stone Street in December of 1888 when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, and in the First Ward in 1890 and in 1894 when he was suffering from chronic diarrhea, piles, and “sore eyes.” He was still living on Stone Street in Flint in 1907 when his wife died, and he was in Flint in 1911.

Oscar was a member of Grand Army of the Republic Crapo Post No. 145 in Flint, a Protestant and he received a pension (no. 273608), dated May of 1880.

Oscar was a widower when he died of heart disease at his home on Witherbee Street in Flint on June 13 or 15, 1911.

According to a local report, Oscar “was found dead on the floor of his home on Witherbee Street late yesterday afternoon by his stepdaughter, Mrs. George Foote. Johnson was one of the committeemen in charge of the dedication of the Genesee ‘hall of fame’, and Mrs. Foote noticed his absence from the parade. That evening she tried to call him by telephone and again this morning, but without success. Johnson lived alone, and thinking he might be sick, Mr. and Mrs. Foote went to the house yesterday afternoon and found the shades down and the house locked up. They managed to unlock a door and on entering found the aged man’s body upon the floor where he had evidently fallen from an attack of heart disease, his head striking on the base of a coal stove.”

His funeral was held on June 18 at the Masonic Temple (in Flint presumably), and the services were conducted by Rev. E. Randall. Oscar was buried in Avondale cemetery in Flint.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Norman Luther Johnson

Norman Luther Johnson was born in 1838 in Oakland County, Michigan.

In 1850 one Norman Johnson, age 11, and his younger sister (both born in Michigan) were attending school and living with the Joseph Sage family in Farmington, Oakland County.
Norman was married to Michigan native Lydia Lovejoy (b. 1836) on October 20, 1855, in Perry, Shiawassee County, and they had at least four children: Alice, Annie, Wellington and Oscar. (Lydia too had been born in Oakland County.)

Norman stood 5’9” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was 23 years old and possibly living and/or working in Locke, Ingham County when he enlisted in Company G on May 13, 1861. (He may have been related to Amasy Johnson and/or George Johnson both of whom enlisted in Company G.) Norman was badly wounded in the right hand on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, after which he was hospitalized, probably in Judiciary Square hospital in Washington, DC. He was discharged on June 29, 1862, at Upton’s Hill, Virginia for a wound of the right hand “the ball passing . . . backwards between the heads of the metacarpal bones of the index and middle fingers, shattering them to an alarming extent -- he is now unable to use this fingers in the least.”

After he was discharged from the army Norman returned to Michigan and in 1862 he applied for and received a pension (no. 10161).

He was living in Michigan when he reentered the service in Company M, Tenth Michigan cavalry on August 20, 1863, at Locke for 3 years, crediting Locke, and was mustered on October 2 at Grand Rapids where the regiment was organized between September 18 and November 18, 1863, when it was mustered into service. It left Michigan for Lexington, Kentucky on December 1, 1863, and participated in numerous operations, mostly in Kentucky and Tennessee throughout the winter of 1863-64. Most of its primary area of operations would eventually be in the vicinity of Strawberry Plains, Tennessee. (He is listed in both Third infantry and Tenth cavalry Regimental histories. )

Norman was taken sick on January 6, 1864, and subsequently hospitalized at Camp Nelson, Kentucky. He was reportedly wounded by a bayonet in the left eye on May 14, 1864, causing the loss of vision in that eye. He was admitted to a hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, on July 7, 1864, suffering from chronic dysentery and remained hospitalized until his discharge on October 18, 1864, at Brown hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, for “aphonia” (loss of voice) and “also loss of sight of left eye occasioned by a bayonet wound.”

He gave Locke as his mailing address on his discharge from the Tenth cavalry, but by 1867 he was working as a farmer in Conway, Livingston County – although he also listed his address as Locke, Ingham County.

Apparently he and Lydia separated – in fact it appears Norman left her and his children and he apparently married a widow named Eliza A. Goff on December 10, 1870 in Reading, Michigan. (Eliza, who had several children from her first marriage, had been living in Fremont, Indiana when married before meeting Norman.) It wasn’t until 1875, however that he and Lydia were divorced, which took place in Howell, Livingston County, she having charged Norman with desertion and neglect. Norman and Eliza eventually settled in Fremont, Indiana where they lived for many years.

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

While on a trip in search of work, Norman died on December 20, 1883 in Chicago.

In 1891 in Indiana his widow Eliza applied for and was granted a widow’s pension (no. 674378).

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Joseph P. Johnson

Joseph P. Johnson was born in 1834.

Joseph was a 27-year-old teamster possibly living in Muskegon County, Michigan, when he enlisted as wagoner 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.) By early July of 1862 he was reported as a patient “at the hospital on the York River, held by the rebels.” The Detroit Free Press quoted a New York Herald report “that the joy of the poor wounded soldiers at their anticipated release was very great, but when they were informed that they must return to the hospital again and be held there as prisoners, their grief was indescribable, especially among those who were sick. The scene was heartrending.”

Joseph was soon reported to have been released at Richmond, Virginia, on parole, and he arrived at Old Point, Virginia, near Fortress Monroe, on the John Tucker, on the afternoon of July 11. By late August he was at Camp Parole, Annapolis, Maryland, and on December 19, 1862, he returned from missing in action status to the Regiment at Camp Pitcher, Virginia.

In fact, however, Joseph had been detached as a wagoner and from January of 1863 through June was serving with the Brigade wagon train, probably as a teamster. In July he was with the supply train, in October was reported on detached service since October 29, and was on detached service as a teamster from November of 1863 through January of 1864, absent sick in February, returned to Brigade headquarters in March, was on duty with the Brigade wagon and ambulance trains in April, and in May was in the Brigade train. He was mustered out of service on June 20, 1864.

He may have been the same Joseph P. Johnson who had served as a teamster for the U.S. Army during the war, and who by 1919 (?) was living in Missouri, drawing a pension (no. 1223749).

According to the SUVCW, however, he died in 1888, presumably in Kent County and was buried in Courtland cemetery.

Monday, April 20, 2009

John Johnson

John Johnson was born in 1824 in Bingham, Somerset County, Maine.

John left Maine and moved westward, eventually settling in western Michigan by early 1864.

He stood 5’6” with dark eyes, hair and a dark complexion and was a 40-year-old laborer possibly living in Muskegon, Muskegon County when he enlisted in Company F on February 1, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Muskegon, and was mustered the same day. (He was possibly related to the brothers Eli and Ira Johnson both of whom also enlisted in Company F.) John joined the Regiment on February 27 at Camp Bullock, Virginia, was severely wounded in the left side and arm on May 12, at Spotsylvania, Virginia, and subsequently absent sick in the hospital. He apparently returned to the Regiment and was probably wounded again on June 1, 1864, near Cold Harbor, Virginia. In any case, he was still absent wounded when he was transferred to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and remained absent until he was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

According to one source John died on November 28, 1918, presumably in Kent County, and was buried in Brooklawn cemetery, in Grand Rapids.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ira G. Johnson

Ira G. Johnson was born on May 19, 1846 in Ohio, the son of David M. (1817-1892) and Chloe (Munson, 1817-1885).

David took his family and left Ohio and by 1857 had settled in Michigan. By 1860 Ira was attending school and living with his family in Casnovia, Muskegon County.

Ira stood 5’9” with blue eyes, dark hair and a light complexion, and was a 17-year-old farmer possibly working in Tyrone, Kent County when he enlisted in Company F on February 8, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Tyrone, and was mustered the same day. (His older brother Eli had joined Company F in 1861, and they were both possibly related to John Johnson who also enlisted in Company F.) Ira joined the Regiment on March 27, was wounded on May 12, at Spotsylvania, Virginia, and subsequently hospitalized. He was still absent wounded in the hospital when he was transferred to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and he remained absent wounded through January of 1865. He was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

Following his discharge from the army Ira returned to western Michigan and settled for a time in Casnovia.

He was married to New York native Eunice A. (b. 1855), and they had at least one child: Harriet (b. 1876).

By 1880 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and daughter in Tyrone, Kent County. 1885 he was living in Sparta, Kent County and in 1888 and 1890 he was residing in Casnovia, Tyrone Township, Kent County. In 1920 he was living with his older sister Rachel Squires in Casnovia. (Another sister Mary and her daughter lived nearby.)

Ira was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic Bonner Post No. 306 in Casnovia, as well as the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. In 1864 he applied for and received a pension (no. 444712).

Ira died on July 9, 1921, in Kent City, Michigan, and was buried in South Casnovia cemetery: block O, lot 80, grave N 1.

In 1921 his widow applied for a pension (no. 1179557) but the certificate was never granted.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Gordon F. Johnson

Gordon F. Johnson was born in 1822 in Bennington, Vermont.

Gordon left Vermont and moved westward, eventually settling in northern Michigan sometime before 1864.

He stood 5’6” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was a 42-year-old farmer possibly living in Benzonia, Benzie County when he enlisted in Company E on March 7, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Benzonia, and was mustered the same day. Before leaving to join the Regiment, however, Johnson was mugged and robbed in Grand Rapids.

This city [wrote the Grand Rapids Eagle on March 12] is attaining, just now, an unenviable reputation for crime and criminals. Another outrageous robbery was committed at an early hour last evening [Friday], the circumstances of which as we have learned them are substantially as follows: A few days since, a well dressed and apparently intelligent man calling himself Thomas Averhill, applied to W. Barker’s Boarding Saloon for board, paying his fare one week in advance. He claimed to be a carpenter and joiner, in pursuit of labor, but passed most of his time in the saloon until a day or two since, when he left, returning yesterday afternoon in a buggy with a man named Gordon Johnson, in soldier’s clothes, who said that he was a member of the Third Michigan Infantry. The two men drank repeatedly, and took supper together, Johnson becoming considerably intoxicated in the meantime, and exhibiting his money -- some two hundred dollars of which he was known to have in his possession. In the evening, at 9 o’clock, Averhill invited Johnson to go with him to the Irish American Saloon in the Bronson House, and they left together, nothing more being heard or seen of the men together. Within about twenty minutes from the time these men left, Johnson returned alone to Barker’s Saloon, somewhat bruised and covered with mud and water, and said that he had been robbed -- that this man Averhill induced him to go on to a back street or alley, where he did not know, and getting him where he wished, knocked him down and robbed him of all his money, some two hundred dollars.

This is Johnson’s story which is probably true, as he had money when he left and had none when he returned, and as the man Averhill has not since been seen, hereabouts, although Officer Peak, and others were immediately put upon his track.

We should think that some men, especially those having money, would learn, after a while, the fact that if they must get drunk that it is not safe to do so with much money in their pockets, and particularly so when their companions in drunkenness are strangers.

Gordon eventually joined the Regiment April 4 at Brandy Station, Virginia, and reportedly hospitalized on May 28. He 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, and remained absent sick through October of 1864. In January of 1865 he was absent on furlough, probably from the hospital, and in February was still absent, presumably on furlough. He was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

He eventually returned to Michigan.

Gordon was married to one Harriet E.

In September of 1865 Gordon was probably living in Manistee County when he sued Harriet for divorce on the grounds of desertion, and the divorce was granted in his favor. He was subsequently married to Michigan native Parnelia (b. 1843) and/or Nellie.

By 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife Parnelia in Joyfield, Benzie County.

In 1876 Gordon applied for and received a pension (no. 156576).

He died of chronic diarrhea on August 25, 1893, in Joyfield, Benzie County, and was buried in Joyfield Township cemetery.

His widow was living in Honor, Benzie County in 1897 when she applied for and received a pension (no. 372313).

Friday, April 17, 2009

George Johnson

George Johnson was born in 1841 in New York.

George left New York and moved westward, eventually settling in Michigan where by 1860 he was a teamster working for and/or living with Samuel Ronkin, a grocer in Lansing’s First Ward.

By the time the war broke out he had joined the “Williams’ Rifles,” the Lansing militia company whose members would serve as the nucleus of Company G. He was 20 years old and residing in Ingham County, probably Lansing, when he enlisted on July 4 or 8, 1861, in Company G, and was mustered the same day. (He was possibly related to Amasy Johnson and/or Norman Johnson, both of whom enlisted in Company G.) By the end of the month, however, George was reported to be a patient in the City Hospital in Washington with a fever, and in fact was in Columbian College hospital in Washington suffering from “intermittent fever.”

In early September he was reported convalescing in Columbian College Hospital, along with another member of Company G, although, on September 11, the Republican reported that he was in the general hospital in Annapolis, Maryland, suffering from fever.

George was alleged to have deserted on October 4, 1862, at Upton’s Hill, Virginia. In fact, he may have deserted as early as Sunday, September 28. “There was a man,” wrote Edgar Clark of Company G on October 5, who “deserted this company a week ago today. His name was George Johnson, brother of Sam Parker’s wife of the lower town. I do not know what they will do with him if they ever catch him. I think he is too smart to ever be caught.”

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

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Eli D. Johnson

Eli D. Johnson was born on September 17, 1843, in Spencer (?), Lucas County, Ohio, the son of David M. (1817-1892) and Chloe (Munson, 1817-1885).

Ohio native David married New York-born Chloe and they settled in Ohio. He took his family and left Ohio and by 1857 had settled in Michigan. By 1860 Eli was working as a farm hand and attending school and living with his family in Casnovia, Muskegon County.

He stood 5’7” with gray eyes, dark hair and a light complexion and was a 17-year-old farmer probably still living with his family in Casnovia when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861. (His younger brother Ira would join Company F in 1864. Eli was possibly related to John Johnson who would also enlist in Company F in 1864 and who was also from Muskegon County.)

According to one report Eli was sick with typhoid fever in early September of 1861, and he was reported sick in his quarters in December of 1861, but he eventually recovered and returned to duty. He was again sick this time in the regimental hospital in late February of 1862 and an the hospital at fortress Monroe, Virginia, in April of 1862.

He returned to duty and was again absent sick in May of 1863, rejoined the Regiment and was wounded in the left thigh on July 2, 1863, probably in the Peach Orchard at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He was subsequently hospitalized, possibly in Philadelphia. According to Eli, he was “struck by a piece of shell weighing about three ounces” which “entered the fleshy part of leg till it struck and fractured the bone and remained in his leg for twenty-four days when it was cut out by [Dr.] Z. E. Bliss.” Moreover, “at the same time he received a gunshot wound by rifle ball in left elbow just above the joint. He laid on the field till the 4th day of July 1863, when he was carried to field hospital, where he remained about ten days. From thence he was taken to West Building hospital [in Baltimore and] about ten days from thence he was taken to Camden Street hospital where he remained till he was discharged.”

Eli was discharged on January 18, 1864, at Baltimore, Maryland, for “the effects of a gun shot wound (shell) of the left thigh received at the battle of Gettysburg July 2nd, 1863, resulting in the permanent contraction of the muscles on the anterior aspect of the left thigh.” He was declared as “Unfit for Invalid Corps.”

Nevertheless, Eli returned to Casnovia following his discharge, and reentered the service in Company A, Tenth Michigan cavalry on February 20, 1865, at Grand Rapids for 1 year, and was mustered on February 24, crediting Casnovia. (In fact Eli is found in both the Third infantry and Tenth cavalry 1905 Regimental histories.) He joined the Regiment on March 16 at Knoxville, Tennessee, and was mustered out with the regiment on November 11, 1865, at Memphis.

After the war Eli returned to western Michigan and by 1870 he was living with his parents and siblings in Casnovia in 1870.

Eli was married to Harriet Munson; she died in May of 1872. He then married his second wife Irene or Irena M. Munson (b. 1855), on November 22, 1872, in Ogden, Lenawee County, Michigan and they had at least one child, a son Jacob D. (b. 1874).

By 1880 Eli was working as a farmer and living with his wife and son in Hart, Oceana County, and residing in Hart in 1883 when he was drawing $8.00 per month for a wounded left leg (pension no. 25,770, dated 1864), drawing $40 per month by 1909 and $72 per month by 1922.
He was still living in Hart in December of 1886 when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, and in 1888 and 1890, and in Tigris, Oceana County in 1898 and in Hart when he attended the Fiftieth Reunion of the battle of Gettysburg in 1913.

By 1906 he had moved to Pentwater, Oceana County where he lived until 1917.

By 1921 he was living at 21 Cleveland Street in Muskegon, Muskegon County and possibly at 25 Cleveland Street in 1922; he may also have returned briefly to Casnovia, Muskegon County.

Eli was a widower when he died of a cerebral hemorrhage, on April 24, 1922, presumably at his home in Muskegon. He was buried in Randall (Mt. Huftile) cemetery, Hart: lot no. 20.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Andrew Jackson Johnson

Andrew Jackson Johnson was born on May 28, 1840, in Trumbull County, Ohio the son of Ichabod (d. 1876) and Mary A. (Whitmore).

New York natives Ichabod and Mary were married in Trumbull County, Ohio in 1837 and Ichabod was probably living in Ashtabula County in 1840. Andrew and his family moved from Ohio to western Michigan. By 1850 Andrew was attending school with his siblings and they were living with their mother and the Fransisco family in Watertown, Clinton County. Andrew reportedly spent several years hunting and trapping in Northern Michigan before the war and probably also followed his father’s trade of blacksmith.

Andrew was 20 years old and probably living in either Mecosta or Muskegon County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company H on April 28, 1861. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers,” was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties.) he suffered at injury to his back during a fall while with the regiment near Chain Bridge, Virginia, in July of 1861. he was also treated for chronic diarrhea at Mount Pleasant hospital in Washington, DC or Georgetown, DC, during the Peninsula campaign in the summer of 1862.

Apparently Andrew, also known as “Slasher Jack,” had spent some time in Mecosta County, possibly in the vicinity of Big Rapids before the war. In January of 1863, he wrote the editor of the Mecosta County Pioneer, the following letter in which he criticized the administration’s mishandling of the war and its foolishness in replacing McClellan with Burnside.

With pleasure I receive the Pioneer, for from it I glean nearly all the news I get from that part of the country, and I must say it is hailed with more joy, and perused with greater satisfaction than any other paper that comes into the camp of the Third Michigan. The editorial in the 25th number, which I received yesterday, meets the approbation of nearly every soldier in the camp, and it cheers them to know that the people of the North begin to see what the army has long known, that the fault is not in the army, but in the political parties at the head of the army. The fault was not with General McClellan, when he was in command but it was with the political opposition which was brought to bear upon his movements. That was one reason for his tardiness in getting ready to move; he having to lay his plans to avoid political opposition to his movements, for if they discovered that he was ready to strike a death blow to the rebellion, which they did somehow every time, they would either throw a block in his way, or else remove him from command, rather than let a Democrat have the honor of putting down the rebellion. Such feelings as these have hurt the Republican party more in the army (I say this, though I am a Republican myself) than anything else that could have been done; and it has disheartened the arm more than all the defeats it has ever suffered, for the reason that there is hardly a man init but who knows the true cause of every defeat, and they all know that we do not lack for strength to win every battle. We do not want a man more than we now have, to put down the rebellion, if they were only led forward for that purpose, instead of being used to make great men with, as they have been use [sic] heretofore.

There is nothing going on here at present, except reviews and inspection of troops; nor has there since General Burnside took command, only they took us across the river at Fredericksburg and killed ten thousand of us, to let Burnside know that the rebels were over there, but that was not worth mentioning. The loss of ten thousand men don’t amount to anything now; no, they often kill that many men to make a general of some man like our present one [Burnside], and all there is said about it is, that he is much obliged to the widows and orphans for the lives of their husbands and fathers which he has taken to make a railroad on which to run himself up to the presidency; but enough of this.

The boys are all well who came from Mecosta, as far as I know. The weather is fine as in the month of June; Christmas and New Year’s were the finest days I ever saw for the time of year. Excuse mistakes, and believe me yours. J.

He was absent sick from June of 1863 through October, and by November he was reported absent sick in a hospital in Washington, DC, where he remained through February of 1864. (One source reported after the war that “He was wounded twice in his left leg, and also received an injury to his scalp. . .”) In March Andrew was reported as a Corporal, and he was transferred to One-hundred-nineteenth Company, Second Battalion, Veterans’ Reserve Corps at Annapolis, Maryland, on either November 25, 1863, or February 15, 1864.

According to the Mecosta County Pioneer, Andrew returned “home” -- possibly to Big Rapids or at least Mecosta County -- in July of 1864. In any case shortly after he was discharged from the army he settled on some 80 acres of land on section 26, in Hersey Township, Osceola County, where he probably lived the rest of his life.

On January 6, 1866, he married Ohio native Mary A. Jones (1846-1922), in Big Rapids, mecosta County, and they had at least six children: Alice May (1867-68), Charles A. (b. 1868), Mary E. (b. 1871), George W. (b. 1873), William P. (b. 1877) and Courtland W. (b. 1880).

For many years Andrew worked as a farmer and blacksmith. By 1880 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Hersey, Osceola County. In December of 1879 (?) he applied for and received a pension (no. 269378).

He was probably living at home in Osceola County when he died on February 23, 1880. He was buried in Oakdale cemetery in Hersey, Osceola County.

During the December 1881 reunion of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, a collection was taken for Johnson’s widow, which resulted in a benefit to her of $40. In December of 1884 Mary applied for and received a widow’s pension (no. 319633), drawing $30 per month by 1922. She was living in Hersey in 1890 and 1891.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Amasy Johnson

Amasy or Amasa Johnson was born in 1841 in McDonough (?) County, Illinois.

Amasy left Illinois and came to Michigan, probably around the time the war broke out.

In any case, he stood 5’8” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was a 20-year-old farmer living in Ingham County when he enlisted in Company G on May 10, 1861. (Company G, formerly the “Williams’ Rifles,” was made up predominantly of men from the Lansing area.) He was possibly related to George Johnson and/or Norman Johnson, both of whom also enlisted in Company G.

He was reported sick with fever in early September of 1861, but soon returned to the Regiment and while on picket duty near Munson’s Hill, Virginia, was wounded in the right leg on September 26, 1861, resulting in the amputation of the limb. Frank Siverd, also of Company G described in detail what happened to Johnson.

About 9 a.m., Friday [September 26], Corporal Shattuck, [Abram] Shear and Amsey C. Johnson, ventured beyond the lines, and incautiously leaving cover and appearing in an open lot, they were sighted by a rebel rifleman and Johnson became his victim. He was shot with a minie ball, in the right leg, about half way between the knee and ankle. The ball struck the inner angle of the tibia, and completely shattered both bones. Several pieces of bone come entirely out and lay in his stocking. Shattuck and Shear carried him to our lines and a Surgeon was immediately sent for. Several successive messengers were dispatched for him, and after waiting until 4 p.m. and no Surgeon appearing, he was placed in an ambulance and sent to the hospital. This neglect of the Surgeon, and the subsequent harsh treatment of Johnson is inexcusable, and merits the severest censure -- indeed, the medical department of the Regiment is noted for want of energy in almost every particular. The surgeon sent Johnson to the Infirmary at Washington, where on Saturday his leg was amputated immediately below the knee -- he is doing well. He is universally loved in the company, and was ever prompt in the performance of duty -- never ‘shirking’ when health would permit him to work. This sad affair cast a gloom over the whole company, and many swore over him as he lay suffering extreme pain, and yet uncomplaining, that he should be a hundred fold avenged, and he will be.

Charles Brittain of Company H thought that Johnson “got too smart and ventured over the lines and got paid for his smartness.”

By late November Amasy had been transferred to a hospital in Washington, DC, and one of his comrades reported home that by early December he was a patient in E Street hospital in Washington, DC, suffering from an amputated leg. Johnson was discharged on account of his amputated limb, on January 25, 1862, at Camp Michigan, Virginia. Some weeks later, Frank Siverd observed that Johnson

has received an honorable discharge and is on his way to Michigan. He will carry with him through life a reminder of the sport we used to enjoy at the celebrated Munson Hill. He stops on his way to get an artificial leg, the funds for the purchase of which were contributed by the company. Each enlisted man gave one dollar, Lieutenant [Joseph] Mason ten dollars and twenty dollars were appropriated from the company fund, making a total of one hundred and one dollars. Some of your patriotic citizens who could not make it convenient to face the enemy in the field, could not give greater evidence of their patriotism than by offering to this young man the means to procure a couple of years tuition at one of your excellent educational institutions. He will disdain to be a beggar, and I understand his friends are in limited circumstances and he has not now the means of helping himself. He was an excellent soldier, always doing his duty manfully and without murmur. When he was wounded he lay nine hours without medical attendance, and though in extreme pain he bore it heroically and without complaint.

Amasy listed Okemos, Ingham County on his discharge papers and probably returned to Michigan.

In 1867 he applied for and received a pension (no. 9910).

Amasy was married.

His widow applied for a pension (no. 897044), but the certificate was never granted.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Samuel Jenner

Samuel Jenner was born on April 25, 1836 in Northam, Sussex, England.

Samuel left England for the United States sometime before the war broke out, and eventually settled in western Michigan. (In 1840 there was one Samuel Jenner residing in Dundee, Monroe County.)

He stood 5’7” and was a 25-year-old laborer 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.)

Samuel was shot in the right leg on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and entered Union Hotel hospital in Washington, DC, on September 1, 1862. He was transferred on September 10 to New York City where he entered the Jewish Civil Hospital, and was subsequently transferred on January 19, 1863, to the Ladies Home hospital, at Fifty-first and Lexington Avenue. He reportedly deserted from the hospital on June 28, 1863.

After he left the army Samuel eventually returned west. He was married to english-born Angelina Otrey (1842-1881), who was probably the sister of Thomas Otrey who had also served in Company H. They had at least three children: Rosa M. (b. 1873), Daisy (b. 1875) and Viola (b. 1878.),

Samuel probably lived for a short time in Chicago, and he may have returned briefly to Michigan, but by 1878 he was living in Ortonville, Big Stone County, Minnesota. By 1880 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and daughters in Trenton, Big Stone County; his wife Angelina died in Big Stone in 1881. (Thomas Otrey was also living in Big Stone in 1880.) In 1886, while residing in Ortonville, according to a statement Samuel gave in later years, he “stumbled on a defective sidewalk. The shock and exertion in trying to save myself from falling, caused [a] rupture, and from that time have been obliged to wear a truss, and have beenunable to perform manual duty or to support myself.” He was living in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin in 1892, back in Big Stone County in 1899 and 1901, and by 1908 was living at the Soldiers’ Home in Minneapolis.

He married his second wife Emma J. Gillis (who had been widowed in 1880), and they had at least two children. He and Emma from whom he were separated in the late 1887 or 1888.

In the summer of 1899 Emma sought to gain access to some of Samuel’s pension money. Neighbors of hers testified that in the late 1880s Samuel “wholly abandoned and lived apart from his wife,” who was “of good moral character and is supporting two children by” Jenner without any aid from him.

In October Samuel sought to deny Emma a share of his soldier’s pension, filed in 1899, and to defend his having deserted her. He charged that she “failed and neglected her duties as a housewife” and that “she was habitually and notoriously dirty, allowing herself and family to become infect with lice and other vermin,” and that “she used profane and vulgar language at and toward” him, threatening bodily harm. Jenner also claimed that she threatened to “incite her children by a former husband to assault [him]” and “refused to encourage her said children by the former husband, some of whom are nearly full grown, to make any endeavor to assist in earning at least part of their support notwithstanding the fact that the said Emma J. Jenner and family were at that time, or shortly thereafter, become a charge upon the County of Big Stone, State of Minnesota, wherein at that time they resided.”

In April of 1917 Samuel was drawing $6.00 per month (pension no. 197,159, dated 1879), and may have been residing at 4110 Tobin Boulevard in El Paso, Texas. (Thomas Otrey was also living in El Paso by about 1920.)

Samuel died on April 25, 1917, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and was presumably buried there.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Zeph Jeffers

Zeph Jeffers, also known as “Jeph Jeffers,” was born around July of 1837, probably in France.

“Zeph” immigrated to the United States and eventually arrived in Muskegon, Muskegon County, Michigan, around 1856, where he was employed as a mill worker. By 1860 he was working as a mill hand for the Beidler milling company in Muskegon (the same mill as William Gibson who would also enlist in Company H, Third Michigan)

He stood 5’11” with blue eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was a 23-year-old baker living in Muskegon 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 first reported to be missing in action on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, but in fact had been wounded by a gunshot to the right arm on August 29, and subsequently absent in the hospital from September of 1862 until he was discharged on January 14, 1863, at Annapolis, Maryland, for “loss of power in and inability to raise the right arm from gunshot wound -- the ball entering at a cromian process and extracted at base of scapula above [the] Dinfering angle.”

Following his discharge “Zeph” returned to Muskegon where he married Prussian-born Mary Lansiff (1845-1918) on May 20, 1863, at the Congregational Church in Muskegon, and they had at least two children: Abner (b. 1865) and Charles (b. 1869), and two adopted children by the last name of Stephen.

Although he found himself exempt from the draft list because he was an alien, he may have nevertheless reentered the service on March 11, 1864, in Company G, First United States Veteran Volunteers Engineers. The regiment was organized in the Department of the Cumberland from the Pioneer Brigade, Department of the Cumberland, on July 8, 1864. It’s primary duties involved repairing railroads, building blockhouses and bridges and in general engineering duties until September of 1865. “Zeph” was discharged with the regiment on September 26, 1865, probably in the Department of the Cumberland.

“Zeph” listed Muskegon as his mailing address on his discharge paper, and after the war returned home to Muskegon where he resumed working in the sawmills. By 1880 he was working as a sawyer in a lumber mill and living with his wife and children in Lakeside, Muskegon County. He was living in Muskegon in 1880 when he joined Grand Army of the Republic Kearny Post No. 7 in Muskegon (although he was suspended from the post in 1893 and dismissed in 1898), in 1883 when he was drawing $8.00 per month (pension no. 93,699, dated 1868) for a fractured right scapula, and was still living in Muskegon three years later when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association in December of 1886. He was residing in Muskegon in 1897, and indeed, he lived the remainder of his life in Muskegon and by 1894 was residing in the Second Ward where he was working as a baker.

“Zeph” died at his home at the corner of Apple and Fork Streets in Muskegon at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, February 28, 1897, and the funeral was held at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday March 3 from the family home. He was buried in Oakwood cemetery, Muskegon: Grand Army of the Republic section, 3-8-6.

His widow was living in Michigan in April of 1897 when she applied for and received a pension (no. 454640), drawing $25 per month by 1918. By 1915 she was residing at 449 Coit ave., in Grand Rapids.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Robert B. Jefferds

Robert B. Jefferds born on September 3, 1824, in East Rush, Monroe County, New York, the son of Nathan (b. 1786) and Polly (Green, b. 1793).

Robert’s father Nathan was born in New York and, according to one source, settled in East Rush “before there was a road marked out, and when his only guide was here and there a blazed tree. He was a man of great perseverance and industry, and in the course of a few years improved a farm from the wilderness, where he spent his last years in comfort, and where his death took place.” In any case New York natives Nathan and Polly were married, probably in New York, sometime before 1818 (when their son William was born) and Nathan was reported to be living in Rush in 1820.

Robert lived at home and attended the local district school in Rush Township until about 1835 when he left for the academy at Gates (presumably in New York). He later “attended the collegiate institutes at both Brockport an Rochester,” and in about 1842 “commenced the study of medicine under the instruction of Dr. Smith, of Rush. Subsequently he was in the office of Dr. Moore, of Rochester, and later attended medical lectures at Woodstock, Vt. From Woodstock he went to Pittsburgh, Pa., and was graduated from the Medical College of that city.”

On Christmas Eve, 1844 or 1845, Robert married Eliza Whitney (1826-1905), in Fairport, Monroe County, New York, and they had four children, two of whom died in infancy, a third, Bruce, died at the age of 15, and Molly (b. 1848?). After completing his medical education Robert returned to his home in East Rush where he practiced medicine until about 1853 when he moved to Michigan.

At first Robert settled on a farm in Calhoun County where he lived until about 1856 or 1857, when he moved to Lansing. He practiced medicine in Lansing and operated a drug-store until the war broke out. In 1860 he was working as a physician and surgeon and living with his wife and children and one domestic, Anna Rain (b. 1845 in New York) in Lansing’s First Ward.

Robert was 36 years old when he enlisted as First Lieutenant of Company G on May 10, 1861. (Company G, formerly the “Williams’ Rifles,” was made up predominantly of men from the Lansing area.) According to Frank Siverd of Company G, shortly after the Regiment arrived in Washington, DC, in mid-June of 1861, he was being treated for chronic diarrhea. On July 19 Siverd wrote that in the aftermath of the engagement at Blackburn’s Ford, Virginia, on July 18, near Bull Run, “Of the Lansing company the following were disabled by heat and exhaustion, and are not in the ranks today: Mason, Stevenson, Broad, Croy, Dowell, J. E. Davis, Goodale, [Goodell] Hath, Ingersoll, C. B. Lewis, Lacy, Maury, Rose, Sutherland, Sickles, Stevens, Church, Price, and Lieut. Jefferds.” Siverd noted also that Captain John Price of Company G “was taken sick the first night and returned to Camp Blair.”

Charles Church of Company G, also wrote home to describe to his family the recent action at Blackburn’s Ford, near Bull Run. Church wrote that the company commander, Price was still absent and that their First Lieutenant (Jefferds) “is bushed.”

Due to illness, Captain John Price soon resigned his commission and Jefferds took his place, commissioned Captain of Company G on August 1, 1861. Frank Siverd wrote home on August 1 that “Captain Price resigned because he could not well do otherwise. He broke down and was really very sick on the first day’s march. It requires a much stronger constitution than he possesses to withstand the fatigue of a forced march, and we want officers who can always be with us. Price goes to the seashore to recruit. Full one-half the officers in the Regiment have changed since the Bull Run affair.”

Indeed, Second Lieutenant James Ten Eyck of Company G was already home in Lansing by the second week of August when he wrote to the editor of the Lansing State Republican requesting a correction in a recently published story on the events in Virginia and the Third Michigan.

I notice that in your announcement of my return, as published in your local column of last week, you give me the credit of having command of my company in the battles of both Thursday and Sunday at Bull Run. This is a mistake. Lieutenant Jefferds had the command in Thursday's battle [at Blackburn’s Ford], I only acting as second in command. Lieutenant Jefferds was taken sick that night, and I only took command from that time -- having command on Sunday. Justice to him demands this correction, as nothing but sickness and inability prevented him from staying with his company, and not cowardice, as some of his enemies would endeavor to make out. Lieutenant Jefferds, when able, ever did his duty.

The Cleveland Herald reported on September 5 that Captain Jefferds had left Virginia for Michigan on a visit home to see his family. As he was passing through Cleveland he told a reporter for a newspaper there that “the Third [Michigan is] in good condition, healthy and contented, their headquarters being Fort Albany. About half the regiment are building Fort Richardson, near Fort Albany, and the remainder are on picket duty at Bailey Crossroads.”

On September 8 Siverd wrote that “Captain Jefferds left for home on a furlough on account of the serious illness of his wife.” Indeed, Jefferds had already returned home by September 11 when the Lansing State Republican informed its readers that “Captain R. B. Jefferds, Company G, Third Michigan Regiment, who is in town on a brief visit to his family, furnished much cheering intelligence of the condition and doings of this company. The Captain is in excellent health, and seems thoroughly contented with camp life.”

Robert returned to the company on Saturday, September 28, an event, wrote Siverd, that brought considerable joy to the boys of Company G. “He brought many little packages from friends at home for the boys. There was happiness depicted on a good many countenances as one nice little package was displayed after the other and the name thereon read.” Dr. D. W. Bliss, formerly Third Michigan regimental surgeon who had been promoted to head the medical staff for the brigade in September of 1861, noted some years later that since Jefferds had been a practicing physician before the war, he “was personally interested in his health and welfare” and that “during the month of December 1861 I treated him for lobular pneumonia incurred while on a reconnaissance form Camp Michigan (Brigade Camp) to Pohick Church, Va. which produced formidable organic lesion and rendered him unfit for duty until the command was ordered to the Peninsula” the following summer.

By early 1862, however, Jefferd’s image among some of the men in Company G had begun to deteriorate. Charles Church of Company G wrote home on February 1, 1862 that he thought Jefferds “a perfectly cowardly money seeking bitch,” but did not explain further. According to Siverd, on March 14 Jefferds was admitted to the hospital in Alexandria, and he wrote on March 17 that Jefferds’ “situation at this time must be exceedingly unpleasant. Responsible for the well-being and behavior of the company, and yet unable to be with it, is certainly not a desirable state of affairs.” Indeed he was admitted to Spring or Prince Street hospital in Alexandria on March 16 suffering form intermittent fever, where he remained two days and then was in private quarters, apparently at no. 65 Pitt Street for some four weeks.

Charles Church was even more blunt. On March 22, he observed that Jefferds “has shown the white feather and is in Alexandria playing up sick.”

Indeed, by mid-April Siverd, the company orderly Sergeant, had developed a strong disliking for his commanding officer. On April 14 he wrote the Republican that “We have but one commissioned officer with us. Captain Jefferds is in Alexandria sick and First Lieutenant Whitney is in Michigan on the recruiting service. Regiments in the field should have all their officers with them. If recruiting must be done it should be done by officers belonging to the Regiments still in the State or acting as home guards. Of course,” he added, “officers will get sick as well as privates, and of this no fault can be found, but if an officer is habitually sick, and can never be with his company only when they are in snug quarters, it certainly would be but an act of patriotism, and, indeed, evidence of courage (it often requires more courage to resign than to go into battle) for him to resign, and permit his place to be occupied, and his salary drawn, by some person who has constitution enough to stand a campaign in the field.”

According to Dr. D. W. Bliss, Jefferds had been left in the hospital at Alexandria when the regiment departed for the Peninsula, rejoining his unit at Yorktown in April of 1862. This was by no means gratifying to some of the men of the company. On May 2, Siverd wrote the editor of the Republican that “Captain Jefferds, Lieutenant Whitney and H. L. Thayer arrived in camp recently. The two latter . . . were most warmly welcomed.”

Shortly after Jefferds returned he was again examined by Dr. D. W. Bliss who “found him suffering from chronic lesion of the lungs. I continued to treat him until a short time prior to the battle of Fair Oaks, Va. [on May 31, 1862] when he was violently attacked with hematuria [blood in the urine], and in consideration of the apparent permanent lesion of the lungs, together with hemorrhage of the bladder, I urged his resignation.”

On May 21 the Republican published a curious tale involving Jefferds. “We have in our possession,” wrote the paper, “a ring sent home by Captain R. B. Jefferds, of this city, which, he says, was made from a Bull Run Yankee bone, and obtained by him from a contraband. Was anything as barbarous every heard of before? Only fiends could be guilty of such atrocities. Captain Jefferds also sends us some secesh poetry, written in a letter of one D. B. Strang, to his sweetheart, Miss Nancy. Here is the first stanza -- verbatim et literatum:

“I am happy so say,
The 25th Dec. was Christmas day
Broken bridge was our post,
And that's the day I think of miss Nancy
most.”

The remaining verses will not bear publication.”

On June 9, 1862, Jefferds formally resigned on account of disability, although according to Homer Thayer of Company G, by the first of the month it was rumored Jefferds was going home. Thayer wrote on June 3 that “Captain Jefferds has been obliged to forward his resignation on account of continuing ill health, and will probably soon be at home so that our many friends can hear more particularly from each.”

Robert did indeed return to Michigan and in January of 1865 settled in Coldwater, Branch County, although by 1870 he was working as a physician and living (alone) in Kalamo, Eaton County. By 1871 he had returned to Coldwater where he was working as a physician and living with his wife Eliza and one servant in 1880.

He was still living in Coldwater in 1883, suffering from consumption, and drawing $24.00 per month for “disease of the lungs” (pension no. 184,775, dated March of 1881). He was a member of the Masonic fraternity, the I.O.O.F. and the G.A.R.

Robert died, probably of consumption, on October 23, 1886, probably in Coldwater, and was buried on October 26 in Oak Grove cemetery, Coldwater.

His widow applied for and received a pension (no. 231848), drawing $20 per month by 1909.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Samuel Jason

Samuel Jason was born on September 1, 1823, in Medina, Ohio, the son of John.

Samuel left Ohio and moved west, eventually settling in western Michigan where by 1860 he was working as a laborer living at the American Hotel in Lyons, Ionia County.

Samuel stood 6’1” with dark eyes, light hair and a dark complexion and was 37 years old and probably still living in Ionia County when he enlisted as a wagoner in Company E on May 13, 1861. (Company E was composed in large part by men from Clinton and Ingham counties, as well as parts of Ionia County.) And indeed, Samuel probably served as a teamster throughout the entire war. He was reported as a wagoner in August of 1862, on detached service in February of 1863 through March, and in April was working at Division headquarters. From May through July he was probably serving with the Division headquarters wagon train, and in August he was reported to be “taking care of government horses.”

Samuel reenlisted on December 23, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Gaines, Kent County, was on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February. It appears that Samuel did not return to Virginia at the end of his furlough but remained in Michigan sick from about February 10, 1864 through the end of April. He was also reported absent sick in the hospital from February 10 through May, 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, and remained absent sick until he was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

Following his discharge from the army Samuel settled for a time in Jackson, Jackson County.

He was probably living in Jackson County when he married Mrs. Louisa A. Sheriff, on October 15, 1865, in Jackson, and they had at least five children: William (b. 1866), Thomas (b. 1868), Frank (b. 1871), Florence (b. 1866) and Mary A. (b. 1879).

In any case, by 1870 he was working as a laborer and living with his wife and children in Riley, Clinton County. By 1880 Samuel was working as a laborer and living with his wife and children in Ronald, Ionia County. In 1888 Samuel was probably living at 203 Summit Avenue; that same year he may have moved for a short time to St. Johns, Clinton County. In any case, two years later he was reportedly back in Jackson, Seventh Ward, and in 1898 he was residing at 221 High Street in Jackson, where he lived until being admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 3079) on October 27, 1898.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, and of Grand Army of the Republic Pomeroy Post No. 48 in Jackson, and in 1888 he applied for and received pension no. 441,871.

Around 1900 he was reported to be splitting his residence between the Soldiers’ Home and St. Johns.

In any case, he was discharged from the Home at his own request on March 2, 1904, and returned to his home in Jackson where he died of senility and general debility on September 2, 1909, in Jackson and was presumably buried there.

The week after Samuel’s death Louisa, who was still living in Michigan, applied for and received a pension (no. 611753).

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Theron E. Janes

Theron E. Janes, also known as “Jaynes,” born 1841 or 1843 in Wayne County, New York, the son of Charles Stewart (b. 1815) and Emily C. (Peckham, b. 1812).

New York natives Theron’s parents were probably married in New York and lived there for some years. Sometime between 1848 and 1850 Charles and his family left New York, probably with several of Charles’ siblings and possibly his parents as well. In any case, by 1850 Charles and his family were reportedly living with his younger brother Jesse and probably two of their sisters as well as their mother Julia, on a farm in Duplain, Clinton County, Michigan, where Theron attended school with his siblings. Charles took his family and settled in Owosso, Shiawassee County where by 1860 he was working as a plow-maker and Theron was living with the family.

Theron stood 5’8” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was 18 years old and probably still residing in Shiawassee County when he enlisted in Company G on May 13, 1861. Soon after the Third Michigan arrived in Washington, DC, he wrote a letter to his friend John Faxon, to apologize for not writing sooner. “Dear Friend,” he wrote on June 24, 1861, from Camp Blair, near Georgetown,

Hoping that you will forgive me for not writing to you before I now take the opportunity to write you but do not know how to commence. -- After leaving Duplaine I went to Owosso and joined my company which you are probably aware disbanded in a week or two after my arrival there. But not wishing to ‘give it up so’ I went to Grand Rapids and enlisted in the third Regiment for three years. . . . I have enjoyed myself very well since I left home, from the time we left Grand Rapids we were greeted at every station that we stopped at in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania with cheers and people passed through the cars with baskets loaded down with provisions. -- I had a fair view of the Allegheny and Blue Ridge mountains and . . . we passed through quite a number of tunnels dug through mountains and over very long bridges.

I have read my testament over half through and I have been enabled so far to resist the many temptations that surround me and I am determined to serve God as long as I live. Pray for me, my friends, that I with you make my way from earth to Heaven. I miss our prayer meetings very much but I hope to live to enjoy them again.

After saying that he hoped John would write soon, he closed with the postscript “I have heard it remarked that Gen. Scott said he would warrant we would all be discharged by the 1st of October.”

Theron was transferred to Company B on February 2, 1862, and reenlisted as a Musician on December 23, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia. He was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February. He was transferred to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, promoted Principal Musician on August 17, 1864, and transferred to the non-commissioned staff. On May 23, 1865, near Washington, DC, he was reduced to the ranks, for offense(s) unknown, and was transferred to Company H.

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

His parents were living in Duplain, Clinton County in 1870.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Charles Jacobsen

Charles Jacobsen, also known as “Frederick C. A. Jacobsen,” was born in 1844.

Charles stood 5’5” with blue eyes, sandy hair and a light complexion and was a 20-year-old clerk possibly living in Manistee, Manistee County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company I on February 6, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Manistee, and was mustered the same day. He joined the Regiment on February 17 at Camp Bullock, Virginia, and by May was absent sick in the hospital.

Charles was still absent sick when he was transferred to Company I, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and in fact he remained absent sick until he was discharged on either May 6 or June 6, 1865, for disability, at Satterlee hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Charles eventually returned to Michigan.

He was married.

Charles was living in Hastings, Barry County, when he died on November 6, 1911.

In 1920 (?) his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 930902).

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Jasper N. Jacobs

Jasper N. Jacobs was born in 1836, Ohio, the son of John H. (b. 1803) and Ann (b. 1802).

New York or Vermont native John married Connecticut- or Virginia-born Ann and by 1832 had settled in Ohio where they lived for some years. Sometime after 1843 John moved his family west and eventually settled in Michigan. By 1850 John had settled the family on a farm in Algoma, Kent County where he worked as a carpenter, and where Jasper lived with his siblings and parents.

Jasper was married to Philena Perry on September 15, 1856, in Kent County, Michigan.

By 1860 Ann was living with the family of Samuel Duffey in Plainfield,, Kent County.

Jasper was 25 years old and residing in Solon, Kent County when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861. He was sick in the hospital in July of 1862, but eventually recovered and returned to the Regiment.

Jasper was a Corporal when he was killed in action on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run. He was presumably buried among the unknown soldiers whose remains were removed from Second Bull Run to Arlington National Cemetery.

No pension seems to be available.

In 1870 John, who had apparently remarried to New York native Rebecca (b. 1830), was still living on a farm in Algoma, Kent County. (Interestingly, just two doors away lived the “Peary” family, James, age 57 and Sarah, age 38.)

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Robert S. and William J. Jackson

Robert S. Jackson was born in 1839 in New York, the son of Henry (1802-1877) and Elizabeth (1811-1896).

New Yorker Henry married New Hampshire native Elizabeth and they settled in New York. Sometime between 1843 and 1847 Henry moved his family west from New York to Michigan, and by 1850 Robert was attending school with his siblings and residing with his family in Walker, Kent County. In 1860 he was working as a surveyor and living with his family in Brownville, Caledonia Township, Kent County.

Robert enlisted at the age of 22 in Company A on May 13, 1861, along with his older brother William J. According to official records he was “never mustered into U.S. service” with the rest of the Regiment on June 10, 1861, and in any case, he was left sick at Grand Rapids when the Regiment departed for Washington, DC, on June 13, 1861.

There is no further record.

It seems, however, Robert was living in Caledonia in 1863 when he married Sarah E. Solomon (1839-1873) on June 16, 1863 in Gaines, Kent County, and they had at least three children: Ralph (b. 1864), Ida (b. 1868) and Bertha (b. 1872). And he was living with his wife and children and working as the County surveyor and owner of a substantial amount of property in Caledonia, Kent County in 1870. His father and mother were also living on a farm in Caledonia in 1870 as well (Henry owned some $4000 worth of real estate).

He was married a second time to New York native Jane (b. 1835) and they may have had one child: Sarah A. (b. 1874).

By 1880 Robert was working as a surveyor and living in Caledonia with his wife Jane and four children. (His mother was also living as a widow in Caledonia in 1880.)

Robert’s first wife Sarah is buried in Alaska cemetery, Caledonia; curiously Robert is also listed as having died in 1873 and buried in Alaska cemetery but that has yet to be confirmed.

No pension seems to be available.

William J. Jackson was born in 1836 in New York, the son of Henry (1802-1877) and Elizabeth (1811-1896).

New Yorker Henry married New Hampshire native Elizabeth and they settled in New York. Sometime between 1843 and 1847 Henry moved his family west from New York to Michigan, and by 1850 William was attending school with his siblings and residing with his family in Walker, Kent County. By 1860 his parents had settled on a farm in Caledonia, Kent County. In 1860 William may have been working as a millwright in Norton, Muskegon County and living at the Pemberton boarding house in Norton.

In any case, William was 25 years old when he enlisted in Company A on May 13, 1861, along with his younger brother Robert. By July of 1862 was absent sick in the hospital, probably in Annapolis, Maryland.

He was employed as a nurse in the hospital in Annapolis until he was discharged as a Corporal on August 28, 1863, to accept an appointment in the Second United States Colored Troops, which was organized in Arlington, Virginia, between June 20 and November 11, 1863. William was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Second U.S.C.T., and soon afterwards promoted to First Lieutenant.

The Second U.S.C.T. was sent to the Department of the Gulf in December of 1863 and was on duty at New Orleans, Louisiana and Ship Island, Mississippi until February 13, 1864 when it was ordered to Key West, Florida (District of Key West). It participated in the “Affair at Tampa” on May 5, in operations along the west coast of Florida from July 1-31: expedition from Fort Myers to Bayport July 1-4, and from Cedar Key to St. Andrews Bay July 20-29. It was at Fort Taylor on August 21.

William was on duty with the regiment in Key West, possibly at Fort Taylor, when he died on August 13, 1864, of yellow fever and was reportedly buried in Key West. The very same day Lieutenant Colonel John Wilder, William’s superior officer at Key West, wrote to Henry Jackson, then living in Caledonia, informing him of the death of his son. The Grand Rapids Eagle reported in early October that the letter was

one of the most touching and patriotic letters that we ever read. Its length and the crowded state of our columns is a necessary reason for not giving it entire.

Young Jackson, formerly a resident of this city, enlisted originally in the grand old Third, and for meritorious conduct and soldierly ability, was subsequently commissioned a 2d Lieutenant in the above regiment, and so well had he discharged the duties of his position; that only one week before he died, (when it was supposed he was getting well) he was appointed by the President as a 1st Lieutenant in the same company. The terms of praise in which Colonel Wilder speaks of him, are a rich legacy of themselves to the parents of the patriot soldier; and while it is painful for one with the talents and ability of young Jackson to yield up his life to the disease of a southern clime, instead of dying upon the tented field, amid the clash of arms, yet, even such an offering, under such circumstances, will not have been in vain. Peace to the ashes of the brave.

No pension seems to be available.

His father and mother were still living on a farm in Caledonia in 1870 (Henry owned some $4000 worth of real estate). His widowed mother was living in Caledonia in 1880.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Eber D. Jackson

Eber D. Jackson was born in 1834 in Seneca County, Ohio.

Eber was married to Ohio native Mary (b. 1840), probably in Ohio, and they had at least one child: Charles (b. 1859).

They moved from Ohio, probably to Michigan where by 1860 Eber was working as a laborer and sawyer living with his wife child in Corunna, Shiawassee County.

He stood 5’8” with dark eyes, dark hair and a light complexion and was 27 years old and probably still living in Shiawassee County when he enlisted in Company G on May 13, 1861. He was wounded slightly in the head on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, but was apparently soon returned to duty. Sometime in August Jackson suffered a double inguinal hernia and was subsequently hospitalized at Cliffburne hospital in Washington, DC, where he was discharged for his hernia on October 30, 1862.

Eber returned to Shiawassee County where he reentered the service as a Sergeant in Company F, Tenth Michigan cavalry on August 17, 1863, at Caledonia for 3 years, crediting Caledonia, and was mustered on September 2, 1863, at Grand Rapids where the regiment was organized between September 18 and November 18, 1863, when it was mustered into service. It left Michigan for Lexington, Kentucky on December 1, 1863, and participated in numerous operations, mostly in Kentucky and Tennessee throughout the winter of 1863-64. Most of its primary area of operations would eventually be in the vicinity of Strawberry Plains, Tennessee.

He was Commissary Sergeant on October 6, 1864, and at the dismounted camp in Knoxville, Tennessee in April of 1865, probably sick. He was sick at the Brigade hospital in Sweetwater, Tennessee, in July and August, absent sick in September, and, for offense(s) unknown, was reduced to the ranks as private on September 5, 1865, reason(s) unknown. He was honorably discharged (presumably with his regiment) on November 22, 1865, at Detroit.

Apparently Eber remained in Tennessee after his discharge from the army, since he married his second wife Margaret G. Davis (who was unable to read or write) in Knoxville on September 9, 1866. (She had just been granted a divorce from her husband, Columbus Carless, in August; it is not known what became of his first wife.)

Margaret claimed in 1906 that Eber deserted her sometime after their wedding. She further claimed that Eber had died some years before in the Michigan Soldiers’ Home at Grand Rapids, but there is no record of his ever having been a resident at the Home or a patient in the Home hospital or buried in the Home cemetery.

Apparently in April of 1906 Margaret applied for a widow’s pension in Tennessee (no. 846541), but the certificate was never granted.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Andrew Jackson Ipe

Andrew Jackson Ipe was born on September 10, 1832 in Springfield, Clark County, Ohio, the son of Jacob (1803-1883) and Sarah (Shafer, 1813-1885).

Ohio natives Jacob and Sarah, neither of whom could read or write, were married about 1826 in Columbiana County, Ohio, and for many years lived in Ohio. By 1850 Andrew was a farm laborer and living with his family in Mahoning County, Ohio. His family left Ohio and moved west, and by 1860 had settled on a farm in Algoma, Kent County.

Andrew, who was also unable to read or write, also left Ohio (probably with his family) and moved westward, eventually settling in western Michigan by 1860 when he was a shingle-maker, working for and/or living with Peter Googen, a farmer in Solon, Kent County.

(It is possible that he was related to Olivia Ipe who would marry Leonard Parrish in 1871; Leonard not only served in the Third Michigan infantry but in 1870 was working for Jacob Ipe in Algoma, Kent County.)

He was married to Catharine who died sometime before 1861.

Andrew stood 5’10” with blue eyes, dark hair and a light complexion, and was 28 years old and living in Kent County when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861. By mid-June of 1862 Andrew was sick in the hospital at White House landing, Virginia, suffering from debility. Indeed, he had apparently suffered from exhaustion and was treated June 6-11, and returned to duty.

He soon returned to the Regiment and was wounded in the head on July 1, 1862, at the battles of New Market Crossroads and Malvern Hill, Virginia. Andrew later claimed that he “was treated by regimental surgeon . . . first in field hospital at Harrison’s Landing, Va and sent from there to Brooklyn, N.Y.” Although reported absent sick or wounded in a general hospital from July of 1862 through January of 1863, in fact, Andrew had been sent to a hospital in Baltimore and then transferred to New York City, where he was discharged on September 26, 1862, at Brooklyn City hospital for “a fracture of the skull caused by a gunshot wound [with] the ball entering the brain.”

After his discharge Andrew returned to Kent County, and was probably living in Solon when he married New York native Eunice McDonald (1830-1897) on December 3, 1865 in Solon, and they had at least one child Emily or Emma (b. 1866). It appears that Andrew’s wife had been married before and had four children from a previous marriage: Donald or Eugene (b. 1854), Clark (b. 1857), Elisha or Elihu (b. 1859) and Charles (b. 1862) – all of whom had been born in New York.

In 1870 Andrew (listed as “Jackson”) was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Cedar Springs, Solon Township, and he was still farming in Solon in 1880. (His parents were living on a farm in Algoma in 1880.)

He was living in Cedar Springs, Kent County in 1883 when he was drawing $4.00 per month for a wound to the head (no. 152,757), drawing $15 per month by 1907. He was still living in Cedar Spring in 1888, but by 1890 he was residing in Plainfield, Kent County in 1890. He claimed that he resided at Remus, Isabella County, in 1905, at Pelston (?), Michigan in 1906, and Cedar Springs in 1907.

In 1907 a friend in Cedar Springs, Wesley Barnum, observed that Andrew “is a very illiterate man unable to read or write. I have known him for fifteen years and know him to be a straight, honest man.”

Andrew died of “old age” on March 16, 1909, in Solon, and was buried in Solon cemetery: grave no. 189.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Orville Calistus Ingersoll - updated 4/10/2009

Orville Calistus Ingersoll was born on July 13, 1840, in Delta, Eaton County, Michigan, the son of Erastus Smith (b. 1808) and Cyane Peabody (Utley, b. 1811).

New York native Erastus married Vermonter Cyane in 1830 in Oakland County, Michigan and by 1840 had settled in Delta, Eaton County. By 1850 Orville was attending school with his siblings and living on the family farm in Delta. In 1860 Orville was working as a farmer and living with his older brother Harlan and his new wife Polly and their twin boys Fred and Frank in Delta, Eaton County. Two houses away lived a laborer named William Agard and his wife; William too would join the Third Michigan infantry.

When war broke out Orville joined the Lansing militia company called the “Williams’ Rifles,” whose members would serve as the nucleus of Company G. He stood 5’8” with dark eyes, auburn hair and a light complexion, and was 20 years old and probably still living in Eaton County when he enlisted in Company G on May 10, 1861.

On December 3, 1861, Case Wickham, also of Company G, wrote to his sister back in Michigan, “J. E. & G. W. & W. H. Davis and O. C. Ingersoll send their respects to you in return for yours. They stay in the same tent with me. They are pretty good boys and we have some tall times once in a while.”

By mid-April of 1862 Ingersoll was hospitalized at Fortress Monroe, probably Chesapeake hospital, suffering from “general debility.”

Orville soon returned to duty and was shot in the right leg on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia. On June 4 he was admitted to Judiciary Square hospital in Washington, DC, with a gunshot wound to the calf of the right leg. He was transferred on September 4, to the Broad and Cherry Streets hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and then sent to the 12th and Butterworth Streets hospital, also in Philadelphia, on October 25, 1862.

While he was in the hospital he was reported as having deserted from Upton’s Hill, Virginia, on October 23, 1862, but that charge was removed in 1886. He was returned to duty on December 9, 1862, at Camp Pitcher, Virginia.

On April 15, 1863, the Lansing State Republican reprinted a series of three letters written by Ingersoll to his mother while on picket duty along the banks of the Rappahannock just above Falmouth, Virginia. In the first one, dated March 27, 1863, after thanking her for the letters that he had jut received, he goes on to explain something of army life.

Picket duty consists in forming a line of sentinels, posted within speaking distance, clear around the whole army, with different Regiments. The object of this is to guard against any surprise by the enemy, and to arrest all persons trying to leave the army without proper authority. I am now within sixty rods of the rebel lines, or rebeldom, sitting behind a hill, just as safe and secure, as I would be were I at home, or at least I feel so. A few moments ago I was down to the water's edge, looking across about a stone's throw. There I could see the rebels fishing, reading the news of the day, playing ball, pitching quoits, etc., etc. We on this side of the river, they on that, both enjoying ourselves the best we can under the circumstances. Perhaps tomorrow we may be arrayed in mortal combat, the one against the other; and for what? yes, for what? Simply because the oligarchy of the South would not consent to live under the rule of a man, as President, who was elected by the voice of the people, Foolish men. But what's the use to talk? The time for debate has long since past and gone. Now our only alternative is to act, and our best plan is to act with vigor and energy. I tell you that I am in favor of prosecuting this war with all possible vigor. If we get one army killed off, let the Chief Executive order a draft, and force out another army. We have got men enough to lose 100,000 lives every year, if necessary, until there is not a Regiment of rebels left in the seceded States. I say, put them down in the quickest possible time.

The following day Orville described the weather as beastly, made even worse by being out on picket duty and thus out in the elements.

It is a very rainy day; in short, the rain just pours down, it doesn't sprinkle, and I am as wet to the skin as though I had lain in the river two hours. The reason of it is, I have been on duty, and had no chance to get out of the wet. But still I am happy and as contented as I possibly can be under the existing circumstance, away from home and friends, as I am.

You say that ‘if stay I must, you hope I will bear it as a man and patriot should’. I will try to, my mother, and thank you sincerely for your good and kind advice. I received a diary from Father, some three or four days ago, for which I ma very much obliged. My old one I mailed to you a day or two before I got the new one. I hope it will reach home in safety. The mail has come nothing for me. In the mail was a few copies of the Lansing State Republican; I was fortunate enough to get hold of a copy. In it is part of a speech which is said to come from (the paper says,) Hon. G. W. Peck, which I call very Traitorous, and for which I would shoot him for that speech sooner than I would a traitor in arms against me; and it would be of infinitely more benefit to the country and to the community, at home and at large, were he killed just for that one reason, than the killing of ten -- yes, ten times ten rebels in arms against the Government.

Just such men -- (no, Devils incarnate!) have been the means of prolonging this conflict, and it is now getting to be a matter of some doubt, especially in the army, that if such speeches and carryings-on at the North are not put a stop to -- it is a matter of doubt, I say, whether we ever conquer the rebels or not. We shall be at last compelled to give up the contest, in despair, and give them their "freedom,” as it is called, if such things are not stopped; for one enemy in the rear is worse than ten in the front. It is not right. As I shall have to go on duty in a few moments, perhaps I shall write some more tomorrow.

From Camp Pitcher, near Falmouth, Ingersoll wrote home on March 30 telling his mother that they had finally come off from picket duty.

You will see by the heading of this that I have got back to camp. Yes, we got here about noon. It has been a very pleasant day, indeed; I may say that it has been as fine a day as it is possible to think of enjoying. It does not seem as though fierce war was right in our very midst; as though I were here for no other purpose than to shoot and kill my fellow man; but it is a stern fact, not to be denied.

I have written a good long letter to you this time. In it I have said some things which you may think I ought not to have written, but I do not think so. Desperate cases, like these men's, require desperate remedies, you know, and besides this I cannot tolerate [action] in any form. If it is ever my lot to get back there, people must be very careful what they say, in my hearing, regarding the President and the Commanding Generals, for I will hear nothing detrimental to their fair [characters] -- not a word!

It is nearly 11 p.m., and I am rather tired from my march today, so please allow me to bid you all a kind good-night.”

According to Homer Thayer of Company G, Orville was wounded in one of his legs, on May 3, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Virginia. Edgar Clark of Company G wrote that Orville had in fact been “wounded in the leg above the ankle,” and indeed according to Orville’s diary he was struck in the left ankle by a shell fragment.

On May 9 he entered Mt. Pleasant hospital in Washington, DC, and was furloughed from the hospital on May 29, returning on July 29. He was allegedly returned to duty on September 22, but in fact was transferred to the Eighty-first company, Second Battalion, Veterans’ Reserve Corps on October 26, 1863, at Camp Convalescent, near Alexandria, Virginia. (It is quite likely that his second wound had rendered him too lame to march and so prevented him from rejoining the Third Michigan.) According to his diary he was stationed at the U.s. Army General Hospital at Fairfax, Virginia. It is unclear what his exact duties were but apparently he missed inspection and parade on January 3 and was put in the guardhouse for the night. He was released the following day, January 4, and assigned to guard duty. He reported, “it snowed hard all day.”

Orville was discharged on June 11, 1864, when his enlistment expired. He was paid off ($212) and on June 13 met up with some of his old friends from the Third Michigan who were also on their way home.

The Third regiment was officially mustered out of federal service on June 10, 1864 and sixty or so men who had not reenlisted returned home to be mustered out of service along with the regiment. It is unclear whether Orville joined that group or not. He reported that he left Washington on June 14, spent the night at the soldier’s Rest in Baltimore before leaving for Pittsburgh the next day (by train presumably). He reached Cleveland on June 16 and took the steamer Morning Star for Detroit, arriving in that city on June 17 and then moved on to Jackson. The Third Michigan and returning veterans were mustered out of service at Detroit; it is unclear whether Orville was mustered out in Detroit or in Jackson.

Either way Orville soon returned to his home in Eaton County and moved back in with his brother Harlan in Grand Ledge.

Orville married his first wife, Ohio native Maria Space (1843-1875) on June 20, 1866, in Grand Ledge, Eaton County, and they settled into the same house with Harlan.

In a sworn statement given in January of 1904, Harlan testified that when Orville was discharged from the army he returned home and came to live with him (Harlan). “We lived together much of the time for twenty years, in fact in the same house and worked together all the time. My wife died in 1866 and the same year he married and moved into my house and until about ten years ago we have been together all the time and up to ten years ago we saw each other every week and mostly every day.”

Orville was possibly working as a mechanic and living with his wife in Delta, Eaton County in 1870. (He was listed as “Oliver” Ingersoll.) His father was living in Eaton village, Eaton County that same year.

Orville was a widower and still living in Grand Ledge when he married his second wife, Jane Hamilton Oakley (1839-1913) on June 20, 1877.

By 1880 he was working in a planing mill and living with his wife Jane in Grand River City Delta, Eaton County.

He was residing in Grand Ledge in 1883 when he was drawing $6.00 in 1883 for a wounded right leg and ankle (pension no. 123,830, dated 1873), and living in Delta Township (probably in Grand Ledge), Eaton County in 1883, 1888, 1890 and 1894, and in Grand Ledge in 1903.

Orville lived in Grand Ledge for nearly 40 years.

By 1904 he had moved into Lansing where he remained until he died a widower on November 30, 1915. He was buried in Delta Center cemetery: section B-2, lot 6, Eaton County (his wife was buried in the same location).

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Edwin C. Hurlbut

Edwin C. Hurlbut was born in 1838 or 1840 in Bridgewater, Washtenaw County, Michigan, probably the son of Eli (b. 1803) and Amelia (b. 1806)

Both New York natives, Eli and Amelia were married sometime before 1838 when they were living in Michigan. By 1850 Edwin was living on the family farm in Manchester, Washtenaw County.

Edwin stood 5’8” with blue eyes, brown hair and a florid complexion, and was a 21-year-old farmer possibly living in Chester, Ottawa County or Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company K on August 12, 1862, at Grand Rapids for 3 years.

He joined the Regiment on September 8 at Upton’s Hill, Virginia, and was absent sick in the general hospital from December of 1862 until he died of typhoid fever on January 3, 1863, at Carver hospital in Washington, DC. He was buried in the Military Asylum cemetery (Soldier's Home National cemetery).

No pension seems to be available.