Thursday, December 31, 2009

Martin Neilson

Martin Neilson, alias “Frank N. Muriett,” was born on November 16, 1840, in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Martin immigrated to America and by 1860 he was a farm laborer working for and/or living at the hotel of Stephen Corl in Cannon, Kent County.

He stood 5’10” with gray eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 20 years old and living in Kent County when he enlisted with the consent of the Justice of the Peace in Company K on May 13, 1861. He was present for duty through December of 1861, but by February of 1862 was listed as a camp guard. He was present with the company in April and sick in a hospital sometime in late June. Martin returned to duty and was shot in the right arm on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run. His discharge paper noted that the “gunshot wound in the right forearm [produced] loss of action in the pronator and supinator muscles. . . . The ball entering from behind while in the act of charging bayonets -- at the junction of the upper and middle thirds, striking the ulna and following around this bone from without inwards, to within two inches of the carpal extremity.” According to a statement made after the war, he was shot “in his right fore-arm, just below the elbow joint, and the ball was cut out near the wrist, on the same day, by the regimental surgeon.”

After being shot, Martin was sent to a hospital in Washington, DC (possibly Douglas hospital), and remained there for some five or six weeks, before being returned to the regiment. Other records note that he was hospitalized at Fort McHenry, Maryland, from September through December of 1862. Martin recalled years later that “After remaining with the regiment two or three months his wounds broke out and he was sent to hospital again at the head of 14th Street, Washington, DC.” He added that “He remained in this hospital about two months and then went back to his regiment then stationed near Fredericksburg, Va. Here he remained and the regiment also, until he was discharged.”

He was possibly returned to the regiment (perhaps only on paper) sometime in early fall but was reported sick in a general hospital from November 2. By February of 1863 he was present for duty, but was discharged for disability on March 18, 1863, at Camp Pitcher, Virginia. He claimed many years afterwards, that for the first five years after being wounded “he had to carry his armin a sling. His wound was painful and he . . . suffered very much ever since with pain in his arm and shoulder.”

It is not known for certain whether Martin returned to Michigan after he left the army, although he may have been living in Cannonsburg, Kent County in late March of 1863 when he applied for a pension (no. 465,298, drawing $17 in 1904) or he may have already settled in Illinois by that time.

What is known, however, is that at some point after the war, and for reasons unknown, Martin assumed the alias of “Frank Murriett.” (There is a War Department notation in his military service record stating that his correct name is “Frank Murriett.”)

In any case, by 1880 he was living in Milford, Iroquois County, Illinois. He was still living in Milford in 1890, and probably resided in Milford for many years.

Martin was married at least twice: first to one Olivia or Olive Holderman, who reportedly died in Gilman, Illinois on November 19, 1872. He was subsequently married (as Frank Muriett) to Harriet “Hattie” A. Reist Yoder (d. 1921), on September 28, 1873, in Buckley, Illinois, and they had at least one child, a son J. A. Muriett (b. 1875).

By mid-1902 Martin was residing in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

In early 1909 he became sick with cancer and died of sarcoma of the left side of his abdomen on November 22, 1909, in Crawfordsville. His remains were sent to Illinois and he was buried on November 24 in Milford.

In November of 1909 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 695,361).

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Warren Nedry

Warren Nedry was born on June 11, 1831 in Crawford County, Ohio the son of John (1781-1852) and Margaret (Simpson, 1795-1876).

Warren was married to Ohio native Nancy A. Beery (b. 1824), on February 15, 1850, in Seneca County, Ohio, and they had at least four children, Henry (b. 1851), David Simpson (b. 1854), Amy (b. 1856) and Margaret Iva (b. 1859.

They settled in Seneca County and were residing in Eden, Seneca County in 1851 and in 1854. By 1856 they were possibly living in Wyandot County, Ohio. They were still living in Ohio in 1859.
Warren (or Warwick) left Ohio and was working in western Michigan by the time the war broke out. (His parents both died in Ohio.)

Warren stood 6’2” with dark eyes, black hair and a dark complexion and was a 30--year-old farmer probably living in Kent County when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861. He was reported as a nurse in a hospital in Baltimore, Maryland from July of 1861 through November and in mid-July of 1862 was reported as a patient in the National Hotel hospital in Baltimore where, according to one source, he was serving “as cook. He complains of not being well.”

Warren was dropped from the company rolls on December 20, 1862, at Camp Pitcher, Virginia, and discharged on account of hypertrophy of the heart on February 16, 1863, at Convalescent Camp, Virginia.

Warren listed Melmore, Seneca County, Ohio as his mailing address on his discharge paper, and he probably returned to Ohio following his discharge.

In 1880 he applied for and received a pension (no. 249063)

It appears that at some point Warren returned to Michigan and by 1880 he was working as a farmer and living with his second wife New York native Mary (b. 1842) and step-son Sylvester in Williams, Bay County. By 1888 he was living in Coleman, Midland County. In 1890 he was residing in Vassar, Tuscola County, and was a member of the GAR Wheeler Post No. 142 at Vassar. He was probably living in Highland, Osceola County in 1894. He was still living in Michigan in 1900.

Warren died in Marion, Osceola County on July 14, 1905, and was buried in Park Lake cemetery in Osceola County.

His second wife was apparently living in Ohio when she applied for and received a widow's pension (no. 628218). In 1910 Nancy was living in Seneca, Ohio and listed as the head of the household.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Lucius J. Neal

Lucius J. Neal was born on August 4, 1839, in Tecumseh, Lenawee County, Michigan.

By 1850 Lucius may have been living with the Robert Mitchell family on a farm in Raisin, Lenawee County. By 1859-60 Lucius was probably working as a lath sawyer, living on the west side of Mill Street south of Bridge Street in Grand Rapids, and in 1860 he was living with and/or working for one John Johnson in Grand Rapids’ Second Ward; nearby lived his brother Flavius who was staying at the Bronson House.

Lucius stood 5’7” with light complexion, blue eyes and light hair and was 21 years old and reportedly a “student” probably still living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company B on May 13, 1861. (He may have been related to Carlton and his son Oscar Neal, the latter also enlisting in Company B.) He was reported sick in his quarters from September until the end of February, 1862.

Lucius recovered and remained with the company until July of 1862 when he was a teamster, probably for the Brigade. In August he was on duty at Third Brigade headquarters, a provost guard in September and October and serving with the ambulance corps in November, probably as a teamster. He was on duty at Brigade headquarters from December of 1862 through March of 1863, working at Division headquarters in April and in the Division hospital in May. In June of 1863 he was serving with the Brigade wagon train, in July at Corps headquarters and sick at Alexandria, Virginia from October 10, 1863.

Lucius remained absent sick until he was transferred to the Company D, Twenty-second, Veterans’ Reserve Corps on November 11, 1863, at Convalescent Camp, near Alexandria, Virginia. He was reported present for duty through Feberuary of 1864, ande was mustered out on April 18, 1864 at Washington, D.C., by reason of reenslistment on April 16 for three years. His disability was described as a “varicocele of the left spermatic vein of moderate size, not painful except on long marches.”

He was subsequently absent on 30 day’s veteran furlough and he probably returned home to Grand Rapids where he married his first wife Rachel D. Powers (1842-1869) on May 7, 1864; they had one child, Lizzie G. (b. 1867; married name “Lamoreaux”).

Lucius returned to duty following his furlough, and was mustered out as a corporal on November 19, 1865, at Columbus, Ohio.

Following his discharge from the army Lucius returned to Michigan and in the fall of 1865 was driving carriages for the firm of Hamblin & Pease, a livery business in Grand Rapids.

He married his second wife, Michigan native Maggie J. Parnell (1854-1887) on July 1, 1873, and they had one child, Harry J. (b. 1876).

Lucius eventually got a job as a furniture maker in Grand Rapids where he lived for some years. In 1880 he was working in a furniture shop and living with his wife Maggie and son in Grand Rapids’ First Ward (next door lived John and Mary Parnell, presumably Maggie’s parents), and by 1889 he was working for the firm of Berkey & Gay furniture company in Grand Rapids. In 1890 he was working for Dunham, Peters & Co. In 1887 Lucius was living at 20 Cherry Street and from 1888-1890 at 18 Cherry Street.

Lucius was a widower when he was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 1553) on September 5, 1891, discharged at his own request on April 2, 1897, and was living in Comstock Park, Kent County in 1907 and 1909-12.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, and in 1889 he became a member of the Grand Army of the Republic Watson Post No. 395 in Grand Rapids (he was suspended from the Watson post in either 1895 or 1897). He also testified in the pension application for Brigadier General Ambrose A. Stevens. In 1888 Lucius himself applied for and received pension no. 914,064, drawing $25.00 in 1912 and $30.00 in 1914.

Lucius died on February 18, 1915, at Comstock Park, Kent County, or at the National Soldier’s Home in Virginia (?). He does not appear to be listed in the Kent County death certificate index nor is he found in the obituaries for either the the Grand Rapids Herald or the Grand Rapids Press.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Carlton and Oscar Neal

Carlton Neal was born on August 4, 1820, in New York, the son of Jesse (1800-1870) and Agnes and probably stepson of Miranda or Marinda (1807-1884).

Carlton’s father, a New York native, was possibly to one Agnes and then a second time to Connecticut native Marinda. In any case, Carlton’s parents settled in Michigan by the late 1830s, probably around 1837 and by 1840 were living in Cambridge, Lenawee County. In 1841 Carlton had reportedly left for the western side of the state and settled in Grand Rapids, Kent County. In any case, by 1845 and 1850 Jesse and his family were living on a farm in Madison, Lenawee County. Jesse eventually settled his own family in Grand Rapids as well.

Carlton married his first wife New York native Anna M. (1823-1856), possibly in New York and they had at least four children: Oscar (1843-1904), Orrin M (b. 1846), Emily (b. 1848), and Augustus (d. 1858). By 1850 Carlton and his family were living on a farm in Grand Rapids.

According to a report in the Grand Rapids Enquirer on March 21, 1856, Carlton, who lived just at the city line, had recently interred his first wife Anna M. on his own property as apparently there was no room in the existing (Fulton) cemetery. (She was later reinterred in Fulton cemetery.)

In the mid-1850s Carlton took an active interest in the growing militia movement in Grand Rapids, and on December 1, 1856, he was elected Third Lieutenant of the “Light Company” of Grand Rapids Light Artillery, first under the command of Lucius Patterson and then under Stephen Champlin (who would become Major of the Third Michigan in 1861). When the “Light Company” was reorganized as the “Ringgold Light Artillery” on February 10, 1858, under John Jay as Captain, Neal was elected Second Lieutenant.

By 1860 Carlton was a widower and wealthy farmer living with his parents in Grand Rapids’ First Ward.

In the spring of 1861, as companies were forming in Grand Rapids in preparation for being organized into a Second or Third Regiment of Michigan Volunteers for U.S. service, one company, which would become Company K, “already has 38 men enlisted as privates,” wrote the Grand Rapids Enquirer on April 30, “with new recruits constantly coming it. Byron R. Pierce is the captain; Alfred B. Turner, First Lieutenant; Carlton Neal Second Lieutenant.” However, when the company was fully organized by late May, Almon Borden was First Lieutenant, Robert Collins was Second Lieutenant, and Carlton was 41 years old and residing in Grand Rapids when he enlisted as First Sergeant in Company K on May 13, 1861 (at the same time that his son Oscar enlisted in Company B; he was possibly related to Lucius Neal also of Company B). Collins would soon be appointed Regimental quartermaster, however, and Carlton would succeed him as Second Lieutenant, commissioned on July 1.

Carlton married his second wife, English-born Virtue Mitchell (1833-1906), in Grand Rapids on June 12, 1861, the day before the Third Michigan left for Washington. According to one report, Neal “goes direct from the altar to the field, leaving sad hearts behind [him]. Heaven grants [him] a safe return.” They had at least two children: Nellie E. (b. 1864), Frederick W. (1867-1910) and Gaycues A. (b. 1873).

He resigned on account of disability sometime in late 1861, either on October 28 or November 25.

Carlton returned to Michigan and reentered the service as junior Second Lieutenant of Battery L, First Michigan Light Artillery on November 3, 1862. (This battery was attached to the Ninth Michigan cavalry.) In fact, the battery was not formally organized until the spring of 1863 and was probably mustered into service at Coldwater, Michigan on April 11. That same month Carlton was actively recruiting for the battery in Grand Rapids. On April 22, 1863, the Grand Rapids Eagle reported the following incident involving two young men recently recruited by Neal.

Lieutenant Carlton Neal says that the boys, though minors, he was arrested for having enlisted and taken into the service of ‘Uncle Sam’, were large, strapping fellows, either of them over 18 years of age, and not only perfectly willing but anxious to go, and that they did go of their own free will, and were accordingly taken to Coldwater and mustered into the Eleventh Battery [L] attached to the Ninth Michigan Cavalry. The father of Thornton gave his consent, but Rice's father said that his son was a minor and that he should not go; this, however, was after he had enlisted and boarded in this city some time, with other recruits; whereupon the Lieutenant told him to pay back the money the Government had expended for his son's board and he would let him off, but he refused to do it, and the boy still wanting to go, he was accordingly mustered into the U.S. service.

The following month a more serious incident occurred. On May 26, “Two of our citizens were arrested,” wrote the Eagle, “charged with helping a soldier to desert his post, by secreting and aiding him in escaping from Lieutenant Neal.”

The battery left Michigan for Covington, Kentucky on May 20 and remained on duty at Covington until June 4 when it moved to Camp Nelson, Kentucky and then on to Mt. Sterling on June 12. It was involved in the pursuit of John Hunt Morgan from July 6 to the 29th. On or about July 27, 1863, Carlton left to rejoin his command in the Army of the Cumberland, taking some 10 recruits with him, and was promoted to Senior Second Lieutenant of the battery in February or March of 1864.

He was absent on furlough from May 10, 1864, and returned to his home in Michigan. The Eagle observed that he was “looking and feeling first rate, and represents every thing in good condition at the Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, where his command is stationed. He will pass but a few days here, being called home as a witness in the U. S. Court.” The paper noted that before leaving to return home, “he was presented by the privates in his command with a magnificent sabre, sash and belt, as a testimonial of their esteem. Good for ‘Carlton’, and the brave boys under him.”

Carlton remained in Grand Rapids for about a month and on June 20, he left to rejoin his battery which was then located at the Cumberland Gap. The battery subsequently moved to Knoxville, Tennessee from June 27 to July 1 and remained on duty there until August of 1865. Carlton was promoted to Captain in February of 1865, commissioned on January 14, 1865, replacing Captain Gallagher, and on February 23 the Eagle was informed of his promotion by a member of the Tenth Michigan cavalry, then encamped at a camp near Knoxville, Tennessee.

Your former townsman Lieutenant Carlton Neal of the Eleventh Michigan Infantry [sic], has been lately promoted to Captain Battery L. It was one of those rare cases where true merit triumphed over favorites. Captain Neal has been instrumental in recruiting for the service over 100 men, has seen two years of hard service with his battery, and his promotion to Captain is received with hearty congratulations from his numerous friends here, among whom are many able and influential officers. By invitation, in company with Captain Brooks, Lieutenant [Robert G.] Barr, of the Tenth, and a number of officers from other Regiments, we called on Captain Neal, this afternoon, to offer our congratulations, and to partake of a ‘sumptuous feast’ that had been prepared for the occasion. We did ample justice to the chicken, turkey, pies, cakes, tarts, etc., to say nothing of the ‘wine that maketh glad the heart of man’, that sparkled around the board. Being a ‘Good Templar’, of course the subscriber did not indulge in the last mentioned luxury. Captain Neal's battery is composed of a fine looking body of men, and the neatness and order displayed in personal appearance and about their quarters, speaks well for the discipline of the commander.

Carlton was commanding Battery L on March 31, 1865, and on August 15 the battery was ordered to Jackson, Jackson County, Michigan. Carlton was mustered out with the battery on August 22, 1865, at Jackson.

After the war Carlton returned to the Grand Rapids area where he lived and farmed for the rest of his life. In 1867-68 he was living on the northeast corner of Ransom and Bronson (now Michigan) Streets, in 1870 he was living in the First Ward and owned a great deal of restate apparently; and in 1875 he was living in the Fourth Ward. By 1880 Carlton was keeping a large boarding house and living with his wife and children in Grand Rapids’ Fourth Ward; however his son Oscar is not reported as living with them. Carlton was living in the Seventh Ward in 1894.

He became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association in December of 1890, was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic Custer Post No. 5 in Grand Rapids (he was suspended on June 28, 1893, for reasons unknown), and also a member of the Old Settler’s Association. In 1887 he applied for and received a pension (no. 434635).

In 1887 his wife Virtue sued for divorce.

According to a story carried in the Democrat of October 2, 1887, Virtue told the court

a pitiable tale of wrong long unrighted. Carlton Neal took Virtue to his bed and board in June, 1861, and they have lived together for nearly 26 years. Virtue bore three children, all of whom are now living, and has always been a loving and affectionate wife to her husband. 12 years ago Carlton lost his property and since that time the complainant says he has neglected her. He has failed to provide for her, and she was compelled to keep a boarding house to support herself and family. Not only was her husband unmindful of her for years, but he has been abusive to her. He kicked her out of bed and used abusive language on more than one occasion. Since he kicked her out of bed, she has not occupied the same bed with him, though he still stays around her house. She asks for a divorce from Carlton and also wants him enjoined from taking any of the furniture in her house which she says belongs to her personally.

This break in their relationship occurred the year after his son Oscar, formerly of Company B, was admitted to the Kalamazoo Insane Asylum; apparently Oscar had been confined at the Kent County home prior to his admission to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home but he became too difficult to control.

It is unclear whether the divorce was ever granted, and in fact Virtue was buried with Carlton.

He died of asthma at his home in Grand Rapids on July 15, 1896, and was buried in Fulton cemetery: section 5 lot 23.

Interestingly, a widow also applied for (application no. 637863), but the certificate was apparently never granted.

Oscar Neal was born on January 24, 1844, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the son of Carlton (1820-1896) and Anna M. (1823-1856).

His father settled in Grand Rapids in 1841 (see his biography above), and his parents were married, possibly in New York sometime before 1844 . By 1850 Oscar was living with his family and attending school with his brother orrin in Grand Rapids.

Oscar stood 5’6” with blue eyes, black hair and a dark complexion and was an 18-year-old farmer probably living in Kent County when he enlisted in Company B on May 13, 1861. (At the same time his father Carlton joined Company K, and he may have been related to Lucius Neal who also enlisted in Company B.) Oscar was discharged on August 7, 1862, at a camp near Harrison’s Landing, Virginia, for chronic diarrhea and a scrotal hernia.

In 1863 he applied for and received a pension (no. 562602).

Following his discharge Oscar returned to his home in Grand Rapids where he lived until he was admitted to the hospital at the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 312) on May 11, 1886, and was discharged from the Home on July 10, 1886, in order to be transferred to the Kalamazoo Insane Asylum (no. 4345), where he was admitted on July 13 diagnosed as “dementia chronic,” cause unknown.

It is said that he was at one time insane and confined in the County house. He was noticed to be insane shortly after his admission to the [Michigan] Soldiers’ Home, and very soon developed delusions of suspicion and apprehension. He thinks he is having a personal contest with Gov. Crapo [of Michigan], and is constantly watching for him; not infrequently he sees the governor coming in the person of some of his comrades, and attacks them. He says he is on guard duty all the time and is constantly carrying a heavy musket. He is in poor health, is rather pale and emaciated. His appetite is poor, his tongue coated and his bowels irregular. He is excitable, and irritable, and has delusions as before noted. He is brought to the Asylum by Sheriff John Platte and is received by Dr. Edwards on the directions of Dr. Palmer and sent to hall F.

By January of 1893 Neal’s “chief symptoms remain unmodified. Although his health is never vigorous, it appears to be very well sustained. He does a little work at the farm but is inclined to indolence. He is easily managed and seems to be contented.” By the end of April Neal was reported “to be as ordinary both in mind and body,” and he was discharged into his father’s care on May 31, 1893. However, he was returned to the Asylum on November 14. According to his readmission notes, “It seems he became uncontrollable at home.” He disappeared on June 3, 1894, but was returned four days later on June 7. He had apparently walked to Grand Rapids (perhaps trying to return home).

Oscar escaped from the Asylum again on April 22, 1896. He had been working the laundry and went outside for a pail of coal and did not return. According to his hospital record, “He was not missed, however, till dinner time and. . . .” He was found in Martin, Kalamazoo County, and was returned on April 24 (again possibly trying to get to Grand Rapids). His father died in July of the same year, and one Henry Mitchell (perhaps the brother of Virtue, Oscar’s stepmother) of Grand Rapids was appointed his guardian, at a date now unknown. Henry visited him quite regularly over the years, although it appears that Virtue came to see him but once.

In April of 1899 Oscar was reported as feeling “well, is active, and never sick although he has the appearance of being a rather frail man and is anemic and thin. He is quite talkative, but is confused and rather incoherent with a general expression or feeling of being persecuted and frequently asks if he is not soon to be sent home.” By mid-1900 there was “no change” in his condition. “His mental action is maniacal and he asks over the same questions concerning his return home, makes incoherent inquiries concerning his property and moves about in an aimless fashion. . . . Patient works as actively as ever and seems to take a great interest in the management of livestock. He is always rather irritable and boyish toward his fellow patients and requires constant supervision to prevent him from interfering with the rights of other. He is impatient and peevish and very apt to think that everyone is trying to annoy him.”

Oscar remained generally delusional and confused, and was often noisy in his conversation, although he worked well in the Asylum laundry for some years. On July 2, 1900 his guardian Henry Mitchell, with the consent of the hospital staff, took Oscar home to Grand Rapids. On September 12 Oscar was brought back to Kalamazoo by his guardian and readmitted “as an indigent patient.” He was removed again on June 8, 1901 by his guardian and returned on August 20.

In January of 1902 he became ill with pneumonia but was relatively healthy again by the end of March. On June 14, 1902, it was reported that Neal was “exceedingly delusional & talks a great deal in an incoherent manner about getting a good poor-master so that he may again go home.” By the middle of June 1903 his condition still had not changed. On June he was reported “as noisy and delusional as ever. He is almost constantly talking about returning to Kent County and about the need of going to the poor master. His language is always quite confused and very delusional. he still assists with the work at the laundry and is a very efficient helper.”

In early February of 1904 he was sick again with pneumonia, and his conditioned worsened steadily. He died at the Asylum of pneumonia at 2:30 p.m. on February 11, 1904, and his remains were sent to Grand Rapids where the funeral was held at D. & McInnes funeral home. He was buried alongside his parents in Fulton cemetery: section 5 lot 23.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

George K. Nairn

George K. Nairn was born on June 22, 1836, in Scotland, the son of John and Mary (Kippen).

George immigrated to America, and by 1860 he was a clerk working for the Eagle Hotel in Grand Rapids’ First Ward; he was apparently living with another clerk D. G. Southwick in the First Ward. In early 1861 George probably enrolled in the Valley City Guards, the prewar Grand Rapids militia company whose members would form the nucleus of Company A.

He stood 5’6” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was 24 years old when he enlisted in Company A on May 13, 1861. He was reported in the signal corps in July of 1862, sick in the hospital in August, a Quartermaster’s clerk in December of 1862, a clerk in the Third Brigade commissary department from February of 1863 through August, and a clerk for the Regimental Adjutant in September through November of 1863.

George reenlisted as a Sergeant on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, was 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 the non-commissioned staff on March 1, at Camp Bullock, Virginia, and transferred to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry as a Sergeant upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He was reported serving with the Brigade wagon train from May through June, and promoted to Quartermaster Sergeant on August 28.

On September 1, 1864, George was mustered out in order to be transferred and promoted to Quartermaster for the Reorganized Third infantry, then forming in Grand Rapids. In early February of 1865 he was on leave briefly in Grand Rapids, but soon returned to the new Third and was Acting Quartermaster for subsistence for the District of San Antonio, Texas from November 25, 1865, until he was relieved on February 4, 1866. He was mustered out on May 25, 1866, at Victoria, Texas, and brevetted a Major and Captain United States Volunteers, as of March 13, 1865.

After the war George returned to Michigan. He was married to Michigan native Mary E. (b. 1850), and they had at least one child, a daughter Ethel C. (b. 1876).

He eventually settled in Port Huron, St. Clair County where he was living in 1874. By 1880 he was working as a clerk and living on Court Street in Pt. Huron’s Fourth Ward with his wife, daughter and sister Julia; also living with them was a servant and one boarder.

By 1888 George had moved to Alpena, Alpena County and from 1889 to 1892 1890 he was working as a lumberman and (probably off and on) boarding at the Sherman House in Alpena. By 1890 he was also reported in Port Huron (or perhaps in Grand Rapids), and for some years worked as a clerk. He was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 2997) on June 29, 1898, and served as Sergeant Major of the Home until his death in 1905.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, and in 1889 he applied for and received pension no. 871,510, drawing $10.00 per month in 1898.

George died a widower of chronic nephritis in the Home hospital at 10:45 p.m. on Thursday, August 3, 1905, and the funeral service was held at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 5 in the Home general hall. He was buried in the Home cemetery: section 4 row 18 grave 23.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Rudolph Nagel

Rudolph Nagel was born in 1838 in Baden, Germany.

Rudolph immigrated to America and eventually settled in western Michigan. By 1860 he was probably the same Rudolph “Nitel” who was working as a mill hand and living at the O’Harrow boarding house in Muskegon.

In any case, he stood 5’10” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 23 years old and probably working still as a laborer in Muskegon County when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861. (He did not join the “Muskegon Rangers,” a local militia company which would make up in large part Company H, but rather Company C which was made up largely of German and Dutch immigrants, many of whom lived on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids. This company was the descendant of the old Grand Rapids Rifles, also known as the “German Rifles,” a prewar local militia company composed solely of German troopers.)

He reenlisted as a Sergeant on December 21, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Muskegon County, and returned home to western Michigan on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864. While in Muskegon he married Ellen or Elinor Baranowski on January 26, 1864.
Rudolph presumably rejoined the Regiment on or about the first of February, and was transferred to Company I, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He was wounded on September 19, 1864, near Petersburg, Virginia, and reported absent sick from September through December. In fact he was in Grand Rapids, apparently recovering from his wounds on November 16, when he was examined by a local physician, Dr. William Wood. After having examined Nagel, Dr. Wood certified that he found him to be “suffering from bilious intermittent fever & that he is unable to travel.” He further stated that Nagel would “not be fit for duty in less than twenty days from this date.”

On December 23, 1864, another physician certified Nagel was suffering from chronic diarrhea and unable to rejoin his command for at least twenty days, and it is quite likely that Nagel remained in Michigan until he was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.
After the war Rudolph eventually returned to Muskegon.

He was probably a Catholic.

Rudolph probably died in Muskegon and was possibly buried in St. Mary’s cemetery, Muskegon: section B-1.

Although Elinor had remarried to a man named Houpt or haupt, by 1890 she was living as Rudolph’s widow at 12 White Street in Muskegon. In 1905 she applied for a pension (no. 837252) but the certificate was never granted. She was buried next to Rudolph in St. Mary’s cemetery.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Philander J. Myers

Philander J. Myers was born on October 5, 1844, in New York, the son of Henry S. (b. 1812) and Eliza (b. 1812).

Philander’s parents were both born in New york and presumably married there, probably sometime before 1834; in any case they resided in New York for many years. Henry eventually took his family and moved west, settling in Michigan. By 1860 Philander was attending school, living with his family and working for Thomas Shtoft in Hastings, Barry County.

He was 16 years old and probably still living in Barry County when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861. He was admitted to E Street hospital in Washington, DC, on November 15 where he remained through at least early December. In August of 1862 he was reported as an officer’s waiter, and on January 18, 1863, he was transferred to the Third United States artillery at Camp Pitcher, Virginia.

After the war Philander returned to Michigan, eventually settling back into Barry County.

He was married to New York native Eunice (b. 1846).

By 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife in Hastings, Barry County; his brother John and father Henry both lived near by.

In 1867 he applied for a pension (no. 126846) based on his service in the U.S. artillery.

Philander died of “lung fever” on May 8, 1877, probably in Hastings. He was buried on May 11 in Riverside cemetery, Hastings: block A-west, “free ground,” lot no. 60. (Two other individuals apparently share the same lot with him: Nellie, died at the age of 12 in 1871, and Donald died in 1910 at the age of 1 week.)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Andrew T. and Peter Myers - updated 1/15/10

Andrew T. Myers was born on October 6, 1845, in Alpine, Kent County, Michigan, the son of Hiram (1814-1900) and Barbara (Traxter or Traxler, 1819-1895).

Andrew’s parents, both born in Ontario, Canada, were married in 1834 in Chatham, Ontario, Canada (where Barbara had been born), and resided in Chatham until sometime between between 1843 and 1845, when they settled in first Sparta then Alpine Township,Kent County,Michigan.

In 1847 and 1850 Hiram and his family were living in Plainfield, Kent County, and back in Sparta by 1854. By 1860 his father owned and operated a substantial amount of land in Sparta, Alpine Township. That same year, Andrew, who was 15 years old and still living with the family, was employed carrying mail from Newaygo County to Grand Rapids. He had, it was said later, “a local reputation as a wrestler and as the proprietor of a livery stable in Sparta and . . . was widely known in the vicinity as a judge of” racing horses.

Andrew’s sister Elizabeth married the brother of Allen Thayer; Allen would would join Company F, Third Michigan about the same time as Andrew.

Andrew stood 5’5” with hazel eyes, black hair and a dark complexion and was 18 years old and possibly working as a farmer in Muskegon, Muskegon County when he enlisted in Company F on February 8, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Muskegon, and was mustered the same day. (His older brother Peter, who had enlisted in Company C in 1861 was at that time a prisoner-of-war at Andersonville along with another brother who had joined the First Michigan cavalry and who died at Andersonville; Peter would survive.)

Andrew joined the Regiment on March 27, was absent sick from May 1, and was probably still absent sick when he was transferred to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. Andrew was discharged on June 27, 1865, from Harewood hospital in Washington, DC

After the war Andrew returned to western Michigan eventually settling in Sparta, Kent County where he resided for many years.

Andrew married Michigan native Harriet E. “Hattie” Calkins (b. 1847 in Oakland County) on March 31, 1869, in Algoma, Kent County, and they had at least six children: John (b. 1870), Bertie, possibly also known as Clifford (b. 1875), Blanche (b. 1879, possibly also known as Mrs. James Boone), Mrs. Gladys Friend, Mrs. Myrtle Ostergram and Mrs. Clyde Jenkins. One of the witnesses was George Powers of Kent County, who was probably the same George Powers who had served in the Old Third Michigan infantry and who also lived in Sparta.

(His uncle, Andrew J. Myers was married to Mary Warner, sister of Highland Warner who would join Company C with Andrew’s older brother Peter in 1861, and who also lived in Sparta.)

In 1870 Andrew was working as a farm laborer and living with his wife and infant son on his parent’s farm in Sparta; his brother Peter lived next door. By 1880 Andrew was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children next door to his parents; other Myers’ relatives lived near by as well. By 1911, however, he was living at 26 Shawmut in Grand Rapids. By 1920 Andrew was back living in Sparta; also living with him was Harriet and their son John.

Andrew was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. In 1901 he applied for and received a pension (no. 797391).

He died a widower of arteriorsclerosis at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Boone, at 211 Hall Street in Grand Rapids on March 30, 1930, and the funeral was held at the daughter’s residence at 1:30 p.m. and at the Baptist church in Sparta, at 2:30 p.m., presumably on April 2. He was buried in Myers cemetery, Sparta.

His widow applied for and received a pension (no. 557664).

Peter Myers was born in 1841 in Chatham, Ontario, Canada, the son of Hiram (1814-1900) and Barbara (Traxter or Traxler, 1819-1895).

Peter’s parents, both born in Ontario, Canada, were married in 1834 in Chatham, Ontario, Canada (where Barbara had been born), and resided in Chatham until sometime between between 1843 and 1845, when they settled in first Sparta then Alpine Township,Kent County,Michigan. In 1847 and 1850 Hiram and his family were living in Plainfield, Kent County, and back in Sparta by 1854. By 1860 his father owned and operated a substantial amount of land in Sparta, Alpine Township. That same year Peter was attending school, working as a farm laborer and living with his family in Sparta.

He was 20 years and probably still living in Sparta when he enlisted with his parents’ consent in Company C on May 13, 1861. (His younger brother Andrew would join Company F in 1864. Peter’s sister Elizabeth married the brother of Allen Thayer would would also join Company F, Third Michigan about the same time as Andrew Myers.)

Peter was shot in the shoulder on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and admitted to Bellevue hospital in New York City on September 12, 1862, from the steamer Bellevue. He remained hospitalized through January of 1863. He was awarded the Kearny Cross for his participation in the battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia on May 3, 1863, and was again absent sick in the hospital in August.

Peter eventually recovered and rejoined the Regiment. He was taken prisoner on November 30, 1863, at Mine Run, Virginia, and reportedly confined at Andersonville prison along with a brother who had joined the First Michigan cavalry ( who allegedly died around August 1, 1864, at Andersonville). By the end of 1864 Peter was a prisoner in Blackshire, Georgia. He was paroled at Jacksonville, Florida on April 28, 1865, admitted to the hospital at Annapolis, Maryland on June 20, and discharged the same day.

After he left the army Peter returned to Sparta where he married Canadian-born Henrietta Emmons on July 4, 1865 in Sparta; she was the sister of David Emmons who had served in Company K. They had at least one child, a daughter Barbara (b. 1866).

By 1870 peter was working a large farm and living with his wife and child in Sparta, next door to his parents and siblings.

Peter may have been a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association.

In 1870 he applied for and received a pension (135407).

Peter reportedly died in April of 1883, probably in Sparta, and was buried in Meyers cemetery, Sparta: 0-123-1.

In August of 1883 Henrietta applied for and received a widow’s pension (no. 885766). She eventually remarried to one Mr. March and in 1891 (?) she applied on behalf of one or more minor children for a dependent child’s pension which was granted (no. 354965).

Monday, December 21, 2009

Robert Musgrove - updated 12/23/2009

Robert Musgrove was born on January 19, 1845, in Ohio or Canada or Ireland, the son of James (1809-1873) and Charlotte (Brunson, (1815-1861).

Robert’s parents were both born in Ireland and immigrated to the United States. By 1839 they were possibly living in Albright, New York (or they may not have left Ireland until after 1845). By 1842 they were probably in Ohio, were almost certainly in Ontario Canada in 1850, and they eventually settled in Ionia County, Michigan. By 1860 Robert was living with his family in Odessa, Ionia County.

Robert stood 5’11” with black eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was a 19-year-old farmer probably living in Otisco, Ionia County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company E on February 9, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Otisco, and was mustered the same day. He joined the Regiment on March 29, was absent sick from June 1, and was probably still absent sick with chronic diarrhea when he was transferred to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. Robert entered Chester hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 30, and was discharged on July 17 at Philadelphia from Company A, Twentieth Veterans’ Reserve Corps.

Robert returned to Michigan after his discharge.

He was married to Michigan native Mary (b. 1842). In 1881 he married his second wife, Michigan native Lucy Bell (b. 1858, and they had at least three children: Ruby (n. 1883), Robert W. (b. 1889) and son Claire S. (b. 1897)

By 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife in South Cass, Odessa Township, Ionia County. By 1880 he was working as a farmer and listed as a widower and living in Odessa. He was living in Bonanza, Ionia County in 1888 and in Lake Odessa in 1900 along with his wife and three children. By the following year had settled in Lake Odessa, Ionia County where he living in 1894, and by 1920 he was living with his wife Bell in Odessa and they were still there in 1930 (he was worth about $1800). Indeed he probably lived the rest of his life in Odessa.

In 1877 he applied fo and received a pension (no. 414642). He was one of the six surviving members of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association who attended the final reunion of the association held in Grand Rapids in June of 1927.

Robert of "myocardial senility" died on February 21, 1932, in Lake Odessa and was buried in Lakeside Cemetery, Lake Odessa: section 2, lot no. 98.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Samuel D. Murray

Samuel D. Murray was born in 1836 in Ithaca, Tompkins County, New York, the son of John (1804-1879) and Martha (d. 1887).

Samuel came to Muskegon, Muskegon County, Michigan, in 1856 with his parents and four brothers, and by 1860 he was working as a boatman along with his younger brother William and they were living at the home of Alexander McCallum, a sawyer in Muskegon.

He stood 5’8” with black eyes, dark hair and a fair complexion and was 25 years old and probably still living in Muskegon when he enlisted as Sixth Corporal in Company H on May 6, 1861. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers,” was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties.) On April 2, 1862, the Regiment was encamped near Hampton, Virginia, by Old Point comfort, when Samuel wrote to Sam Eldred, a resident of Muskegon, that

We have had quite stirring times for the past few weeks. -- We left Camp Michigan (our old winter quarters) March 14, and marched to Fort Lyons, (three miles) where we pitched our new field tents for the first time. The weather was very disagreeable, it raining most of the time, which caused many severe colds. These tents answer very well in good weather, but are a poor protection against a cold driving storm.

Sunday, 15th [16th], the [Potomac] River seemed full of steam crafts of all descriptions; many North and East River steamers were among them, one or two war steamers, propellers, gun and canal boats.

On Monday morning [March 17th], the embarkation commenced. Our Regiment with two companies of the New York 37th, and one of the Michigan 5th, about 1,200 in all, “took passage” in the steamer John Brooks. The “Rangers” had comfortable quarters in the dinning [sic] saloon, below, the “shoulder straps” [officers] occupying the ladies’ cabin. None but officers and musicians were allowed on the hurricane deck. As soon as each boat was loaded she moved out into the river and “let go the mud-hooks.”

Tuesday, at noon, our squad, consisting of about 14 steamboats, 2 propellers, 2 tugs, and a number of canal boats in tow, loaded with provision[s], army wagons, artillery, horses, and all kinds of war machinery, was ready, and started down the river, the Elm City acting [as] flagship. The weather was beautiful that afternoon, and we were all in the best of spirits; in fact, it seemed more like a 4th of July excursion than what it really was. Passing Mt. Vernon and Fort Washington (on the opposite side of the river), several salutes were fired from the fort and a gun boat lying near [by]. Some of the guns were “shotted,” and the balls came whistling over our heads, as if to accustom our ears to what we might soon expect in good earnest. A few miles below Mt. Vernon we were joined by four gunboats, as an escort. We passed Cockpit Pt. batteries before sunset and had a fine view of them. The channel being such a short distance from the batteries it seems strange that so many vessels have run the gauntlet with so little loss. Just before dark our attention was called to something on the Virginia shore, and bringing our glasses to bear in that direction, we saw, what I called, two or three hundred foot, and a squad of horsemen. The Yankee happened to be running alongside of us, when she stopped, backed a little to get steady, and sent a shell among them, which sent them over the hill, out of sight, on “double quick.”

Wednesday, at daylight, we were at the mouth of the Potomac.

We entered Hampton Roads that night, but did not go on shore until Thursday morning. We marched through the yard near the Fort [Monroe], and saw, what looked to be, enough cannon and balls to “clean out” the whole South. We are first encamped about two miles from the Fort, near the mansion of ex-President Tyler, now full of contrabands.

The village of Hampton which was burned by a company of Rebels cavalry last August, must have been a perfect little paradise, containing, I should judge, about 2,000 inhabitants, of which, there must have been very many of the “F.F.V.” It was mostly built of brick, and some of the churches appeared to have been very fine and costly. Of the whole village nothing remains but heaps of blackened brick and a few chimneys that remain standing.

A little to the north of the village is a cemetery, enclosed by a high brick wall which has been used by our pickets all winter as a kind of headquarters; a breastwork had been thrown up extending along in front of the village to an old church. Here in one corner of the yard a cannon was mounted on a platform formed hastily of grave stones, fence posts, dirt, etc., and partly covering several graves, one of which I noticed was to the memory of Captain William Wilson, who died in 1701, aged 123 years.

We have fine times gathering oysters and clams. The coves about here are full of them of the best quality. I have almost fell [sic] in love with this part of the country; the soil is rich, water good, and the whole country is level and beautiful.

Gen. [Israel] Richardson left us at Alexandria to take command of a division in Sumner’s corps. Col. Terry of the 5th Michigan has been in command of the brigade.

From September 20, 1862, through April of 1863, Samuel was on detached service recruiting in Michigan, and while at home he married New York native Mary P. Smith (b. 1839). He returned to the Regiment in the Spring of 1863, was wounded on July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He was promoted to Sergeant by the time he reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Courtland, Kent County, presumably returned home to Michigan on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864, and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February.

Samuel was serving with the Third Michigan when it participated in the Battle of Spotsylvania, Virginia on May 12, 1864, and many years after the war, he described his participation in that battle. “The old soldiers will all be interested,” wrote the Muskegon Chronicle on June 9, 1903,

in the following reminiscence of a gallant action of the “Old Third” which the Chronicle reproduces today from the Chicago Inter-Ocean of June 7, where it appeared under the head of “Curbstone Crayons: the Bloody Angle at Spotsylvania -- Who Served the Guns?” Samuel D. Murray, who is mentioned in the article, is a well known former Muskegon man, a man who is well capable of all the heroic courage and unswerving determination necessary to meet such a deadly fire. The Inter-Ocean says:

“Some of us,” said the captain, “have been looking for 20 years for men who played a very unusual part in the fight at the bloody angle at Spotsylvania on the 12th of May, 1864. After Hancock's Corps had captured the first line of Lee's works at the salient, and after the 6th Corps under Wright had plunged into the fight, there were several pieces of artillery left near the angle, which were put in action again by infantrymen from different Regiments. Up to May 15, we of the Army of the Potomac had not been able to locate more than one of these men.

“Eight or 10 guns were captured by Hancock's men in the first charge early on the morning of May 12. When the rebels attempted to recapture the works at the angle, some of these guns were drawn out and turned on the charging enemy. Later, two guns of battery C, Fifth United States artillery, were ordered close up to the angle by General Wright himself. The guns went as ordered, but . . . 7 of the 23 men had been killed and 16 wounded.

“Then, of course, the guns were abandoned. 10 years ago, the only survivor of that squad were Lieutenant Metcalf and Sergeant William E. Lines. To show the character of the rifle fire poured on the men manning the guns if may be said that in the time given to firing 9 rounds, 27 bullets passed through the lid of the limber chest and 39 bullets through the sponge bucket of the right gun. In spite of the fact that no men could live in such a fire, officers of a Vermont Regiment and of the 95th Pennsylvania ran to the assistance of Lieutenant Metcalf and Sergeant Lines, but these fell before the guns were abandoned.

“Later men of the 5th Wisconsin and other Regiments manned these guns and some of those captured that morning. Until very recently Judge J. C. Anderson of Manitowoc, who served in the 5th Wisconsin at Spotsylvania believed he was the sole survivor of this second gun squad. In relating his experience at the reunion of his Regiment last year, he told how, as the last load was rammed home, John Lehn of company E sank down wounded. Then as Anderson went toward the other guns manned by infantrymen, seeking ammunition, something struck him that put him out of action. But he remembers that two of the captured guns were blazing away at the enemy. He stated that he had repeatedly made inquiries for the men serving these guns but could learn nothing of them and his conclusion was that all were dead.”

All of the boys who saw service in the army of the Potomac became interested in pushing the inquiry, and I was boasting that it was no common man who could brave such a deadly fire, when my friend Samuel D. Murray, who lives out on Oakley avenue, said quietly: “t wasn't such a great thing. I manned one of those guns myself and others of my Regiment, the Third Michigan were with me. At that time, Second Corps men of a dozen Regiments and 6th Corps men of several Regiments were fighting together. Organizations had broken up, and men of different companies left without officers were doing the best they could. Some of us loaded up the guns and blazed away as long as we had ammunition. My partner, toward the last, was in doubt whether we had rammed home a load or not, and to make the thing sure, we put in another and let go.

“The gun, double shotted, turned a somersault, and went splashing into the mortar-like mud between us and the enemy. That put us out of action, . . . About that time an officer rode to where the boys were huddled close to the breastworks and ordered them to scale them. The men, suspecting that he was drunk, paid little attention to him, but one fellow asked why he didn't try it himself.

“Thereupon the officer spurred his horse up the steep incline into the very faces of the rebs. As soon as he reached an elevation that brought him in range of the riflemen crouching on the other side his horse was struck and rolled with his rider into the mud at the bottom, floundering and throwing mud over the men firing at the rebels. One of the boys turned his rifle on the wounded horse, and others pulled the rider out of the mud as miserable a looking creature as I ever saw. he went to the rear crestfallen, and I have often wondered who he was, and what became of him. It was probably a brave act, but it seemed to us a very foolish one .

“This,” continued the captain, “bears out all that I have said about old soldiers placing a modest estimate on their own services in battle. That struggle at the bloody angle at Spotsylvania, extending over 24 hours, was the nearest approach to a hand-to-hand battle that we had during the war. Trees, nearly 2 feet in diameter, located in the zone of fire, were cut down by rifle balls. Union soldiers, shot on top of the works fought for, fell within the rebel lines, and Confederates fell on the Union side. One man was shot through arm and body by a ramrod. It was a furious fight, and yet Mr. Murray, who worked at one of the guns in that fight, is not boasting of the part he played. Having found Murray I would like to find the officer who rode a horse to the top of the breastworks. Drunk or sober he was a fellow worth knowing.”

Murray was promoted to First Lieutenant and transferred to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, replacing Lieutenant Milton Leonard who had been killed in action. In July he was transferred to Company F, and on July 6, 1864, from near Petersburg, Virginia, he wrote to his old friend and former comrade in Company H, George Lemon, who was then living in Mishawaka, Indiana. Murray said that since he last wrote the following developments had occurred in the “old company.”

On the 22nd June Brandeis was killed, Miller, Crandall and Wood were captured. Chubb, Byers, Warren, Denny Thayer, Tompkins, Henderson and myself is all of the ‘Rangers’ that is left for duty. Hart and Wright is with the train. Griswold is in ‘Harewood’ hospital doing well, Coda White is in hospital. We have since learned that Herrick was killed in the charge of May 12th. John Martin has been home on furlough; he had a bad wound but is getting along finely. He was paid up to April 30th in Washington and also got the back bounty that we thought lost. We have heard from Capts Geer and Brennan; they are both prisoners. Geer has lost a leg. It will make no difference with your claim for commutation money whether you are discharged or not. You will have to . . . get them certified to by some officer acquainted with the circumstances. Say, Remington or Geer will be there soon, then I think Col. Smith might approve the same and you can draw the money in Detroit. Perhaps you had better consult Robinson and Brooks War Claims Agents opposite Col. Smith's office Detroit. It cannot be put on the muster rolls as your descriptive roll must come from Michigan as the books were all taken there. I had a letter from White, he is in Muskegon. Col. or Gen. B. R. Pierce was wounded slightly as the paper stated -- he is now in command of our Brigade -- I have heard nothing from Otrey. The boys unite in sending their compliments and good wishes, hoping that you may soon recover and enjoy the freedom and blessings you have so well earned.

By October Samuel was absent on sick leave in Michigan, and commissioned Captain of Company G as of September 19, 1864, replacing Captain Gregory. However he was discharged on December 2 or 5, 1864, for disability, and the commission was returned.

After he left the army Samuel eventually returned to Muskegon. By 1870 he was working as a carpenter and living with his wife in Muskegon’s Second Ward. That same year he testified for the prosecution in the second trial of George Vanderpool, formerly of Company H, who had been charged with murdering his business partner in Manistee.

Samuel was still living in Muskegon in 1871, 1876-77, in 1879 when he became a charter member of the Grand Army of the Republic Kearny Post No. 7 in Muskegon, and in 1880 was elected Junior Vice Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic Department of Michigan.

He was also a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, and he testified for Calvin Culver’s pension application.

For many years Samuel operated a confectionery and restaurant called “Sam. Murray’s,” and in 1881, for example, he advertised his establishment as a restaurant, dining hall, bakery and candy works:

Oysters dished up as you like ‘em. Candies made every day of pure white sugar. Cream caramels, Cream ices, Chocolate creams and Chewing candies ‘til you can’t rest. Meals at meal time, 25 cents. Tea, Coffee, and Lunch any time. Ice cream made to order. Fine fruits in their season. Choice cigars always. At Uncle Sam’s in Rifenbourg’s block, Muskegon.

Samuel was still residing in Muskegon in 1882, in 1883 when he was drawing $8.50 for chronic diarrhea (pension no. 58,857), and in 1885. However sometime in the late 1880s he moved to Peoria, Illinois, and by 1888 he was residing in Chicago, in Minneapolis in 1890 and back in Chicago by 1896 and in 1903.

Samuel reportedly died in New York in 1905.

His widow applied for and received a pension (no. 599716).

Saturday, December 19, 2009

William A. Murphy

William A. Murphy was born in 1841.

William was 20 years old and possibly living in Lansing or Grand Rapids, Michigan, when he enlisted with his parents’ consent in 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, in early June William was sick with the measles. He was, Siverd was quick to add, “well cared for. [Regimental Surgeon D. W.] Bliss leaves nothing undone that will contribute to the comfort of the sick. To prevent the disease spreading, as soon as the first symptoms appear,” Bliss had Murphy, along with several others “removed to the house of a physician, some three miles from camp.”

William recovered sufficiently enough to leave Michigan with the regiment on June 13, 1861, but by late September of 1861 was sick with typhoid fever in the Regimental hospital. He again recovered, and was present for duty from January of 1862 through June of that year. He allegedly deserted at Alexandria, Virginia on August 23, 1862.

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

Friday, December 18, 2009

Michael Murphy

Michael Murphy was born in in 1843.

Michael was 18 years old and probably living in Grand Rapids, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company B on December 10, 1861, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered on December 23 at Detroit. (Company B was made up largely of men from Grand Rapids, and many of whom had served in various local militia units before the war, in particular the Grand Rapids Artillery, under Captain Baker Borden, who would also command Company B.) He was absent sick in a hospital in February of 1862 and reported to be in a Washington, DC hospital in January of 1863.

He died of disease on February 1, 1863, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was originally buried in Mt. Moriah cemetery and subsequently reinterred in Philadelphia National Cemetery: grave 242.

No pension seems to be available.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Homer C. Munson

Homer C. Munson was born in 1841 in New York, the son of Alpha (b. 1803) and Mary (1807-1867).

Connecticut native Alpha married New Yorker Mary sometime before 1837 and settled in New York for some years. (In 1840 there was one Alpha Munson living in Otisco, Onondaga County, New York.) His family moved from New York to Michigan sometime between 1841 and 1850 when they were living in North Plains, Ionia County, where his father worked as a farmer and Homer attended school with his older brother Floridus. By 1860 Homer was living with his family and working as a farmer in North Plains.

Homer was 20 years old and probably still living in North Plains when he enlisted in Company E on May 13, 1861. He was reported sick in the hospital (probably Chesapeake) at Fortress Monroe, Virginia, from July of 1862 through September. He was dropped from the rolls on October 23, 1862, at Edward’s Ferry, Maryland, for reasons unknown, but probably for being absent in the hospital and his whereabouts were unknown to the company. However, he returned to the Regiment on February 10, 1864, at Camp Bullock, Virginia and was reported at Division headquarters in March.

On June 1 or 2, 1864, Homer was taken prisoner, probably near Cold harbor or Gaines’ Mill, Virginia, and transferred as a prisoner-of-war to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He apparently died on September 6, 14 or 16, 1864, at Andersonville prison, and was buried in Andersonville National Cemetery: grave 8876. There may be a memorial dedicated to him in Haynes cemetery, North Plains: lot no. 125.

Homer’s family may have been living in Gilmore, Benzie County in 1867 when his mother died. In any case, in 1881 Alpha eventually applied for a dependent’s pension (no. 286084); that same year he was living in Muir, Ionia County. By 1891 Homer’s father was living in the Ionia County Poor House when his pension application was reportedly rejected (reasons unknown).

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

David Andrew Munson

David Andrew Munson was born on January 18, 1828 in Jefferson County, New York.

David was married to Ohio or Michigan native Christina Francis (1832-1897), and they had at least four children: Sumner (b. 1856), Herbert (1859-1931), Clara O. (Mrs. George Hadley, 1860-1941) and Lillian A. (1867-1936).

By 1856 David and Christina were living in Michigan and by 1860 he was working as a joiner and living with his wife and two sons in Antwerp, Van Buren County.

David stood 5’9” with gray eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was 42 years old and probably living in Antwerp when he enlisted in Company D on August 15, 1862, at Lawton, Van Buren County, for 3 years, crediting Antwerp, Van Buren County. He joined the Third Michigan Regiment on September 8, 1862, at Fairfax Seminary, Virginia, and was wounded in the right arm, on May 2 or 3, 1863, at the battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia. He was subsequently hospitalized in the Division hospital through June, and by July was reported absent wounded in Paw Paw, Van Buren County, probably home on furlough recovering from his wounds.

Although he was listed as absent “in the hospital” through August, it is likely that David never returned to Virginia and in fact he was discharged on July 8, 1863, at Detroit Barracks, for “permanent anchylosis of the right elbow and paralysis of the extensor muscles of the right hand.”

In 1863 he applied for and received a pension (no. 21634).

David probably returned to Michigan after his discharge (he listed Antwerp as his mailing address on his discharge paper). He and Christina may have moved back to New York soon after the war since their youngest daughter Lillian was born in New York State. David may have been living in Kingston, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania in 1870. In any case, he eventually returned to New York and by 1880 he was working as a store clerk (listed as “Andrew”) and living with his wife and four children in Mumford, Monroe County, New York.

By 1890 he was living in Wheatland and/or Scottsville, Monroe County, New York. In 1900 David was listed as a widower and boarding at Owega, Tioga County, New York, and in 1910 he was living with his daughter Clara Hadley (Clara’s husband not listed) as well as two granddaughters Lillian and Clara; also living with them was his other daughter Lily who was manager of the local telegraph office. He probably suffered a stroke which left him “paralytic” around 1905 or 1906, and was under the subsequent care of a nurse.

David was a widower when he died on May 21, 1912, in Mumford, Monroe County, New York, and was buried in the Rural Cemetery in Mumford.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Walter Lewis Mundell

Walter Lewis Mundell was born on August 1, 1838, in Marshall, Roane County, West Virginia, the son of Josephus (1813-1854) and Elizabeth (Lewis, 1815-1885).

Josephus and Elizabeth were married in 1837, possibly in Pennsylvania where they both may have been born. In 1850 there was one Walter Mundell, age 18, born in Virginia, living with one John (b. 1796 in Scotland) and Jeanette (b. 1799) in Scioto, Pickaway County, Ohio.

In any case Walter came to Michigan in 1852 and eventually settled on land in Dallas, Clinton County -- so did John Mundell. Walter worked on the family farm, probably in Clinton County, until the war broke out. According to Mundell family historian Lois Downing, before the war Walter worked both for the railroad (probably the Detroit & Milwaukee RR) and on his mother’s farm (probably in Dallas), and by 1860 he may have been working as a laborer living in Grand Rapids.

Walter stood 5’7” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 22 years old and possibly residing in Grand Rapids (or in Clinton County) when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861. He was reported missing in action on either May 31 or June 1, 1862, and in fact had been taken prisoner-of-war on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia. He was probably paroled on September 5 or 13, 1862, at Aiken’s Landing, Virginia. According to the Richmond Dispatch of September 15, 1862,

Three thousand three hundred of the Yankee prisoners left Richmond on Saturday for Varina to be exchanged. – Such as could not walk were conveyed away in wagons. The officers, of which there were 61, went in carriages, provided for the purpose. As the long line filed past the C. S. Prison, on Cary Street, they greeted their less lucky compeers with a feeble cheer. A small cavalry escort accompanied them down. Another large gang were started for Aiken’s landing, on James River, yesterday morning. During Saturday and Sunday five thousand two hundred and twenty-eight were sent away. This leaves on hand only about seven hundred, a good many of whom are in the hospital under treatment for wounds or disease, who were unable to bear removal. Three Yankee women and eight Yankee deserters, or rather men who came over to us and professed to be such, were sent from Castle Thunder. Though these deserters professed to have left their brethren in great disgust, they were very willing to be sent back to the North. The departure of the prisoners will save the Confederate Government an expense of about $4,000 per day, which was the average that their food as soldiers cost.

Walter eventually returned to the Regiment on November 20 at Warrenton, Virginia.

Shortly after he rejoined the Regiment Walter reenlisted on December 23, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Boston, Ionia County. He was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864, probably at his mother’s home in Michigan (perhaps Ionia County) and probably returned to the Regiment in Virginia on or about the first of February.

In any case Walter was present for duty through April of 1864. He was shot in the right side of the chest on the morning of May 12, 1864, during the charge of Liberty Hill, near Spotsylvania, Virginia. He was probably treated in the field before being sent to Lincoln hospital in Washington, DC, and on May 18 he was admitted to Patterson Park hospital in Baltimore, Maryland with a “gunshot wound to the right breast.” Shortly after arriving in Baltimore he was furloughed, probably from the hospital.

Walter returned to Michigan and while home he married Ohio native Isabelle Wheeler (1846-1930), possibly in Fowler, Clinton County, where Isabelle resided at the time. They had at least five children: Mrs. Mary E. Waters, Mrs. Rhoda Acre, Mrs. Elizabeth Buck, Rose and Walter. (The 1870 census lists three children at that time: Mary R. (b. 1866, Sarah (b. 1868) and John (b. 1870).)

It is not known for certain when Walter returned to the east or when he rejoined the Third Michigan. In any case, he was transferred as a Corporal to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and was returned to the Regiment on June 21. Walter was again wounded, this time by a shell fragment in the left ankle, on July 30, 1864, near Petersburg, Virginia. He was admitted from the field to the First Division hospital at Alexandria, Virginia on August 11 with a “contusion of the left leg and foot by a shell,” and on October 5 he was admitted to Sickle branch of the Second Division hospital at Alexandria, Virginia, and he remained absent sick through December of 1864. Walter was furloughed from the hospital on October 21 and probably returned to his family in Michigan. He was readmitted on November 4 and reportedly returned to duy on New Year’s Day, 1865.

On January 1, 1865, his wife Isabelle wrote to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton seeking her husband’s release from the military. “Tho you are a stranger to me,” she wrote, “yet I am about to ask a favor. Sir my husband has been in [the] service nearly four years and is disabled and is not fit for duty. Sir I am alone, my health is very poor. We we are strangers, yet I cherish a hope that you're a gentleman and a friend to the poor. I most humbly pray sir if it would be agreeable to release my husband. He is now at Alexandria hospital. He was wounded in the breast, his ankle [is] broken and is bad off a-bleeding.”

Notwithstanding his wife’s pleas, however, Walter was not released from the service, but in fact was returned to duty. He was serving with the Fifth Michigan when he captured an enemy flag at Sayler’s Creek, Virginia, on April 6, 1865, for which he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Walter was also granted a furlough of 30 days, and returned to his home in Michigan. He was mustered out as a Corporal on July 5, 1865, probably at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war Walter returned home to Michigan and worked for some years for the railroad. By 1870 he was working as a day laborer and living with his wife and three children in Dalas, Clinton County.

According to family historian Lois Downing, he lost the sight in one eye as a result of an accident while at work. Soon after his returned to Michigan he eventually settled in Fowler where he probably lived the rest of his life. Walter was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, and of Grand Army of the Republic Hutchinson Post No. 129 in Fowler, and at one time served as Post Commander.

He was living in Fowler in 1883 when he was drawing $6.00 per month for a wounded left ankle (pension no. 148,581, dated October of 1877).

He was still living in Fowler the following year when, according to one story, Walter “walked 30 miles to attend the reunion of the Third Michigan Infantry. He has a large family to support, and felt too poor to pay out money for the railroad fare. He was bound to see the old ‘boys’, however, even if he did have to come the whole distance via ‘Foot & Walker's’ line. Mr. M. was one of the 35 who received the noted Kearny cross [actually the Congressional Medal of Honor]. He did not walk home. The ‘boys’ ‘chipped in’ for his benefit.” He may have lived briefly in Cedar Springs, Kent County in 1885, but by 1888 was back in Fowler, and was possibly living in Dallas by 1890 but had apparently returned to Fowler by 1894.

Walter died of septicemia on April 20, 1900, at his home in Fowler, and the funeral services were held on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at the M.E. church in Fowler, Rev. Mudge officiating. He was buried in Oak Ridge cemetery, Fowler.

The week after Walter’s death Isabell applied for and received a widow’s pension (no. 497620).

Monday, December 14, 2009

Frank Muhlberg

Frank Muhlberg was born 1832 in Germany.

Frank immigrated to the United States and eventually settled in western Michigan by the time the war broke out.

He stood 5’8” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was a 29-year-old engineer living in either Muskegon, Muskegon County or Grand Rapids when he enlisted as Fifth Sergeant in Company C on May 13, 1861. (Company C was made up largely of German and Dutch immigrants, many of whom lived on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids. This company was the descendant of the old Grand Rapids Rifles, also known as the “German Rifles,” a prewar local militia company composed solely of German troopers.) He received the Kearny Cross for his participation in the battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia, on May 3, 1863, and was a witness for the prosecution in the court martial of James Ayres, who was absent without leave for two days from the regiment during the battle of Chancellorsville.

He reenlisted on December 21, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Grand Rapids. 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.

Frank was wounded in May of 1864 (probably May 6) at the Wilderness, Virginia, and was transferred as First Sergeant to Company I, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. Franz was promoted to First Lieutenant of Company I in June, commissioned as of February 1, 1864, mustered on August 6 near Petersburg, Virginia, replacing Lieutenant Jerome Ten Eyck, and was wounded a second time on June 16 near Petersburg, Virginia. He was subsequently absent in the hospital in July, again in September, and in fact was back in Grand Rapids in early september when he testified in the pensino application for the mother of Adam Kolb, also of Company C.

Frank was soon back with his company by October and absent with leave from March 4, 1865. He returned to the Regiment sometime in April, and was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war Frank eventually returned to Michigan and by 1870 he was living in Laketon, Muskegon County where he was working as a mill hand. He was admitted to the Northwestern Branch, National Military Home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on July 29, 1873, and discharged from the NMH on February 2, 1874. Frank then returned to Grand Rapids where he was reported as an indigent soldier in December of 1876.

He may very well have been the same “Frank Muhlberg” who was convicted of rape in December of 1878 in Grand Rapids and sent to prison for five years. Released from prison in late 1882 he was living in Grand Rapids in 1890. (This “Muhlberg” was 47 years old -- born in 1831 -- and stood 5’7” with a dark complexion, blue eyes, and black hair.)

In any case, Frank was living in Grand Rapids in 1885, was probably never married and a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, Grand Army of the Republic Champlin Post No. 29 in Grand Rapids.

In 1878 (?) he applied for and received a pension (no. 126463).

Frank was also a member of the German Veteran’s Association of Grand Rapids (on west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids). On September 15, 1890, “A score or so,” wrote the Democrat, “of German veterans of the late war met in the reading room of the Bridge Street House . . . for the purpose of making arrangements for a turn out on German day, October 6. Julius Fenger acted as chairman of the meeting and Julius Caesar as secretary. The following were appointed a general committee of arrangements: August Schmidt, Henry Schnabel, Julius Rathman, Julius Fenger, Ely Koehler, A. Rash, Frank Muhlenberg, Gustav Landau, Julius Caesar. Ward committees will also be appointed. The intention is to take part in the parade on German day. None but actual veterans of the war of the rebellion and native Germans will be permitted to take part in the parade, and these will be provided with special badges and will march under the United States flag. This is intended as an emphatic declaration of loyalty and patriotism of German citizens. There are about 200 German vets in the city. Veterans from out of town will also be invited to participate. The headquarters of the German Brigade will be at the Bridge Street House. Another meeting will be held next Sunday afternoon at 3 o'clock at Arbeiter Hall to further perfect arrangements.”

By 1890 Frank was boarding at the Ohio House in Grand Rapids. In 1906 Franz was boarding at the home of Mrs. J. Cobb at 14 Broadway Street, reportedly living off his pension, and he took his meals with the Wichtman family at 131 West Division Street.

Frank died of acute alcoholism at 10:00 a.m. on September 17, 1907, at his residence at 14 Broadway in Grand Rapids. According to his obituary in the Herald of September 19, 1907, “He was last seen alive,” wrote the Herald on September 19, “by Mrs. Cobb at 4 o'clock Tuesday afternoon, when he went to his room. Nothing more was heard of him until yesterday morning, when Mrs. Cobb went to the room, finding him stretched full length on the floor, cold and dead.”

The funeral service was held at Platte and Latzek chapel on Saturday at 2:00 pm., and he was buried in Greenwood cemetery: section E lot 73.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

James Mowry

James Mowry was born on July 10, 1829, in Smithfield, Providence County, Rhode Island, the son of Joseph (d. 1877) and Hannah (Staples, d. 1889).

Before the war his older brother Nathan married Canadian-born Louisa (Quackenbos) and by 1856 they had settled in Michigan. By 1860 Nathan and his family were living in Georgetown, Ottawa County, Michigan where Nathan worked as a farmer.

James was married to Canadian-born Mary M. Quackenbos (b. 1840, possibly Louisa’s sister), and they had at least one child: Alice (b. 1859).

By 1860 james was working as a farmer and living with his wife and daughter in Georgetown; next door lived Abraham and Annie Quackenbos (probably Mary’s parentss). Also living with James and Mary was William Quackenbos, probably Mary’s older brother.

James stood 5’11” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 33 years old and probably working as a sawyer in Holland, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company E on January 19, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Holland, and was mustered the same day. He joined the Regiment on February 12, was perhaps wounded or possibly taken ill on May 5, 1864, at the Wilderness, Virginia, and hospitalized soon afterwards (or he may have been wounded or taken sick on June 22, 1864). He was perhaps 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 discharged on July 3, 1865, at David’s Island in New York harbor.

After the war James returned to western Michigan. By 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his second New York-born wife (b. 1848) and his two children: Alice (b. 1859) and Julia (b. 1864) in Georgetown, Ottawa County; two farms away lived his brother Nathan and his family. (near by lived an elderly couple by the name of Quackenbos.)

James was married to New York native Amanda or Arminda (b. 1847) and they had at least children: William A. (b. 1874), Charity (b. 1876) and Nellie (b. 1879).

By 1880 he was working as a day laborer and living with his wife and children in Blendon, Ottawa County. (Just a few houses away lived Ralph Steffins who had also served from Ottawa County in the Old Third during the war.) By 1890 was living in Maple Hill, Montcalm County, where he worked as a farmer.

In 1878 he applied for and received a pension (no. 480264).

He may have been married a third time to Laura Lobdell. (There was a civil war veteran named James R. Mowry living in Brighton, Livingston County in 1894.)

He may have died in Georgetown, and was possibly buried in Ottawa County.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Edwin Moucham

Edwin Moucham.

Edwin was possibly living in Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Unassigned on August 9, 1862.

There is no further record; there is no service record found in the Third Michigan records at the National Archives, nor is he found in the 1905 Third Michigan Regimental history.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Moses Mosher actually Moses Bolio - updated 7/16/2011

Moses Bolio, also known as “Moses Mosher,” was born in 1839 in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan.

Moses stood 5’6” with hazel eyes, black hair and a dark complexion and was a 23-year-old carpenter living in Mecosta County when he enlisted (as Moses Mosher) in Company K on February 5, 1862, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered the same day. He was present on duty in July of 1862, and admitted to Twelfth and Buttonwood Streets hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 13, 1862, suffering from hemoptyses (coughing up blood) a consequence of a “mechanical injury.” He was discharged on February 6, 1863, at Philadelphia.

He may have reentered the service in Company H, 8th Michigan Cavalry from Mt. Clemens, Macomb County. He was reportedly shot in the ankle and foot during his time with the cavalry.

No pension seems to be available.

Moses eventually returned to Michigan where he may have settled in Newaygo County or in Grand Rapids.

He was quite probably the same Moses Bolio who married Canada native Monnique Furton (1833-1873) on October 29, 1865, in Macomb County. Monnique died of consumption on March 30, 1873, in Mt. Clemens, Macomb County.

Moses was living in East Tawas, Iosco County in 1888 and in 1890 (only his 3rd Michigan service was listed in the census for that year).  By 1894 he was listed in Port Huron, St. Clair County.

Moses died on July 30 or 31, 1904, presumably in Port Huron, and was buried in Lakeside Cemetery. 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Joseph J. Mosher

Joseph J. Mosher was born in 1842 in Michigan or New York, the son of Joseph (b. 1811) and stepson of Lucy (b, 1827).

New York native Joseph moved his family to Michigan from New York sometime before 1848 by which time he had apparently remarried to Michigan- born Lucy, possibly in Michigan. By 1850 Joseph (younger) was attending school with his siblings and living with his family on a farm in Lyons, Ionia County. By 1860 Joseph (younger) was a farm laborer still living with his family in Lyons, Ionia County, where his father also worked as a farmer.

Joseph was 19 years old and probably still living in Ionia County when he enlisted 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.)

Shortly after the regiment arrived iat its first encampment near the Chain Bridge above Georgetown along the Potomac, Joseph was stricken with smallpox. He was probably first sent to a hospitla in Georgetown but soon admitted to Kalorama hospital for contagious diseases in Washington, DC, on July 11, 1861.

Joseph died of smallpox on July 20, 1861, in Washington, probably at Kalorama.

Assuming his remains were not returned to Michigan -- which was unlikely since he perished from a contagious disease -- then he was presumably buried in Washington, possibly at the Military Asylum cemetery near the Soldier’s Home, although there is no known record of this. Harmony cemetery, was the place of burial for those men who died from contagious diseases, but it was not opened until 1863. He may have been buried in whatever civil burial ground existed in or near Washington for the interment of those who died from contagious disease. And, of course he may have been buried on the hospital grounds.

No pension seems to be available.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Charles H. Moseman

Charles H. Moseman was born in 1841 in Westchester County, New York.

He was possibly the son of or related to Charles M. (1806-1853) and Harriet V. (Mills, b. 1808 in New York). If Charles and Harriet were his parents, they were married in New York in 1828 and between 1834 and 1850 settled in Michigan. By 1850 Charles (elder) and Harriet were living with two daughters in Ionia County, Michigan. Charles M. died in January of 1853 probably in Ionia County and was buried in Oakhill cemetery in Easton.

In any case, Charles (younger) stood 5’9” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was a 23-year-old farmer possibly living in Corunna, Shiawassee County when he enlisted in Unassigned on January 22, 1864, for 3 years, and was mustered the same day.

There is no further record.

In fact, he apparently enlisted in or was transferred to Company A, Third Michigan cavalry on January 22, 1864, at Flint, Genesee County for 3 years, was mustered on the same day and discharged on September 25, 1865 at St. Louis, Missouri.

Charles returned to Michigan after the war and eventually settled in Genesee County.

He married Canadian Alice Prevost (b. 1856) on June 3, 1873 in Flint, Genesee County and they had at least six children: Gertrude D. (b. 1874), Jessie E. (b. 1876), Clara E. (b. 1879), Charles W. (b. 1885), Roya A. (b. 1888) and Claude A. (b. 1893. By 1870 he was living in Vienna, Genesee County, and indeed he lived in Genesee County, possibly Vienna, for many years.

In 1870 (?) he applied for and received a pension (no. 228795).

Charles probably died in late 1917 or early 1918, probably in Michigan.

In April of 1918 his widow was living in Michigan when applied for and received a pension (no. 842351?).

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Alexander Morton

Alexander Morton, alias “Alexander Notrom,” was born on October 1, 1839, in Lachute, Quebec, Canada, the son of Alexander (1802-1885) and Mary (Grier 1811-1886).

Alexander (elder) emigrated from Scotland and married Irish (or Scottish) immigrant Mary sometime before 1835, and the family eventually settled in Lachute, Quebec where they resided for some years. Alexander (younger) eventually left Canada, possibly with his older brother John and came to the United States settling in western Michigan by 1860 when he was working as a farm laborer living with and/or working for George Gibbs, a wealthy farmer in Ronald, Ionia County. (There was a John Morton living in Ionia, Ionia count yin 1860.)

Alexander stood 5’11’ with black eyes and hair, and was 21 years old and probably still living in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861.(Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County. He claimed in 1909 that he was living in Fairview, Oscoda County when he enlisted.)

On September 20, 1861, from From Fort Richardson Alex wrote his “dear sister and brother”

I received your letter this afternoon, while I was sitting by the corpse of one of the boys of our company, he died this morning. The doctor said he had the inflammation on the brain; it was a very sudden death. The boys are going to have a tombstone for to mark the spot where he is laid to rest. [Amos Gillot of Company D ]He came from Fish Crick. As for sending a pair of socks or shirt, it is out of the question. I have got more clothes than I can take care of and plenty to eat now since they have enlarged our rations and plenty of work to do to but the boys begin to learn how to soldier by this time. They are beating the taps, so the light must be put out. All remains quiet this morning so far. I have got a bad cold but this will soon be over, as I feel better now. I sent 20 dollars of my government pay about a week ago. I suppose you have got it by this time. I got two papers too. I have seen Bint Smock, he is in the Fifth and E. Olmstead, he is in the Fourth, that is all that I have seen from home that I know. You said that the company that was drilling, had broken up, was Carlos King in it or not. Write and let me know how it is. I am detailed for one of the bearers to carry the caskets to the grave. Not very agreeable task indeed. We can buy apples and peaches and carrots . . . pies and cakes of all kinds. I can't think of any more to write, no more. But remain your brother AM

From near Upton's Hill, Virginia, Alex wrote to his father on October 2,

Dear Father, I received your letter and was glad to hear from you and to hear that mother is getting better. I am well at present all but a cold and that won't last long as we are having very warm weather here at present and dry and dusty. We was on Corp reserve on the 1st and [General] Hentzelman, had . . . us there. Was about 230 of our regt. out of 1000 one year ago, so you will see that we are not in very good trim for the field now. I wrote a letter to James and will go and see him if get a pass and if means any money. I will let him have some as for that cousin, I don't think it would pay for to hurt her, as it is quite a large piece and I don't know where she stays. I will send some money in there and some in another. Me & John, no more at present. A Morton

From Hunting Crick on October 13, 1861 Alex wrote his sister,

Dear Sister, I received your letter yesterday and was glad to hear from home. It is almost ten days where I got a letter from home. I am well at present, hoping this will find you all the same. We moved twice since I wrote last from Fort Richardson quarters and then we come here yesterday. It is about 9 miles down the river from where we left and two from Alexandria. We marched through in good order, the band playing Dixieland, it made the old place ring. This is a very nice place and suppose we will have plenty of work to do here. They say that they are going to mount 40 guns on it and I heard that the fourth brigade has to do it this winter. We have the Regimental Inspection and presenting this morning. The guns looked Firey. Well you wanted to know what regiment I am in, I am in the Third Michigan Infantry and who is that Mcyuin. I don't know him nor do know any way you mean by asking me for. There is more than one hundred Regiments on and around Arlington Heights from almost every Eastern state. I can't think of any more to write at present. I had to burn up 28 of my letters for they were getting heavy to carry. No more at present, from your Brother
Alex Morton

And from a camp near Yorktown, Virginia, Alex wrote on April 28, 1862 to his mother,

Dear Mother, I now take my pen in hand to write a few lines to let you know that I am well and hope this will find you all the same. I have not seen James in some time, but I see the rest of the Orleans boys, he was well then. It is been Mechling spirit on the lines since I wrote last, but this still keep annoying each other whenever they get a chance. We got our pay the other day and I will send ten dollars in this and keep a good lock out for two or three more of the son me kind. I will write one to Jane and send ten in it and then one to Father. It is fine weather today after the rain, the trees are leaving out fine and the orchards have been in bloom for sometime. We have plenty to eat and drink of the hard bread and favorite Coffey, sugar, rice, beans and . . . I will wash for the boys tomorrow. I will have to close for want of news and time. I had a letter from Mary Ann and they are all well. She has got married to Tomas Tittle, she said that Mikle and Amy had the smallpox last winter and that is about all, no more at present. Alexander Morton

He was reported missing in action on July 1, 1862, and was possibly taken prisoner at White Oak Swamp and held briefly, and subsequently reported sick in the hospital from July though November of 1862. He was alleged to have deserted on September 4, 1862, at Edward’s Ferry, Maryland, or on October 31 or November 15, 1862, while the Regiment was on the march to Falmouth, Virginia.

There is no further record.

In fact, Alexander probably did desert and returned to Michigan where he lived under the name of Alexander “Nortrom” -- which is “Morton” spelled backwards. (In 1909 he listed his wife’s married name and the last names of his children as “Morton” while listing himself as “Notrom”).

Alexander apparently settled in the northern part of the lower peninsula and was probably living in Fairview, Oscoda County when he married New Yorker Ada or Adaline E. Hagedorn (1842-1910) on April 22, 1863, and they had at least six children: Mary Maria (b. 1864) Alexander Robert (b. 1867), David G. or Stanley (b. 1869), Lizzie Isabell (b. 1871), Maggie Ardell (b. 1876) and Jennie E. (b. 1883). Alexander claimed that the marriage record was held in Mason County and in fact all of his children were reportedly born in Riverton, Mason County. Indeed, it appears that the family did indeed reside for many years in Riverton.

Apparently Alexander reentered the service (he was drafted) under the name “Notrom” on March 16, 1865, at Grand Rapids, and was assigned to Company G, Fifteenth Michigan infantry. (The very same day that Samuel Reed, also formerly of Company D Third Michigan, and who lived just across the Ionia County line in Grattan, Kent County, enlisted in Company F, Fifteenth infantry.) The Fifteenth participated in the occupations of Goldsboro and Raleigh, North Carolina and in the surrender of Johnston’s rebel army in March and April of 1865. It subsequently marched to Washington April 29-May 19 and participated in the Grand Review on May 24, after which it was moved to Louisville, Kentucky June 1-6, and then on to Little Rock, Arkansas on June 28 where it remained on duty until August 13. Alexander claimed to have been was discharged with the regiment on August 13, 1865, at Little Rock. However, no record of this service is found in either the 1905 Regimental history or descriptive rolls.

Alexander presumably returned to Michigan after the war and he probably lived in Orleans, Ionia County until 1867 when he reportedly moved to Ludington, Mason County. (In 1870 his parents were living in Orleans, Ionia County.) Indeed, by 1870 Alexander was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Riverton, Mason County. By 1880 he was still working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Riverton. By 1894 he was residing in Riverton, Mason County. (His mother reportedly died in 1886 in Orleans.) He later claimed to have resided in the Ludington area until about 1908 when he moved to Washington state. (He was living in Ludington in 1888 and 1890, and probably in Riverton, Mason County in 1894.)

By October of 1909 he was living in Orting, Pierce County, Washington (possibly in the State Soldiers’ Home), and in 1910 his wife died in Orting. He was still living in September of 1919 when he was drawing $30.00 per month on a pension (no. 1,162,283) for his service in the Fifteenth Michigan and residing in Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington. He was described as feeble-minded “requiring constant care and attention, requiring some one to look after him at all times.” By 1920 he was living with his daughter Jane and her husband, Robert Graham in Tacoma.

Alexander was drawing $50.00 per month on his pension and living at 4024 South G Street, Tacoma, when he died on June 20, 1921, and was presumably buried in Tacoma.