Edwin Nickerson was born on March 17, 1835, in Ontario, Canada, the son of Elihu (1804-1888) and Mary (Winegarden, b. 1814).
New York native Elihu married Canadian-born Mary Winegarden in Windham, Ontario in December of 1831. The family moved from Canada to Cattaraugus County, New York in 1838, then headed westward settling about 1840 in Lake County, Indiana, where they remained until sometime around 1848 when the family moved to Michigan. By 1850 Elisha was running a hotel in Priarieville, barry County, where Edwin attended school with seven of his siblings, including his older brother Andrew who would also join the Third Michigan. By 1860 Elisha had moved the family to a farm in Leighton, Allegan County where Andrew worked as a farm laborer (along with his brother Andrew) and was living with his family.
Edwin stood 5’7” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 27 years old and probably still living in Allegan County when he enlisted in E company, joining his older brother Andrew (who had enlisted in 1861), on August 9, 1862, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Leighton, and was mustered the same day. He joined the Regiment on September 2 at Fairfax Seminary, Virginia, and was serving in the Quartermaster department from November of 1862 through February of 1863. In March he was on detached service, and in April was serving with the Brigade wagon and ambulance trains. He was working at Brigade headquarters from May of 1863 through July, and in August he was on detached service “outside of the department.”
Edwin was transferred to Company K, at Camp Bullock, Virginia in December of 1863 (joining his brother Andrew who had also been transferred to Company K as First Lieutenant and would soon be promoted to captain of the company.) Edwin was transferred as a Corporal to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and was discharged on June 2, 1865, near Washington, DC.
Upon returning to Michigan in 1865 Edwin settled in Pentwater, Oceana County where he spent virtually his entire postwar life.
He married Illinois native Maria A. Carmichael (b. 1848) on December 24, 1873, and they had at least two children: Stella (b. 1875) and Nettie (b. 1878).
Elihu owned and operated a series of grist mills, planing mills and was involved in the lumber industry for many years. By 1880 he was working as a lumber dealer and living with his wife and two daughters in Pentwater. He also served as Supervisor of his Township and president of the village for three terms, as well as a member of the school board.
Edwin was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, and in 1887 he applied for and received a pension (no. 836395).
He died at his home in Pentwater on October 15, 1909, and was buried in Pentwater cemetery: block 12, lot 208.