Arthur A. Place was born in 1839 in Huron County, Ohio, the son of Hiram F. (1809-1861) and Susannah (Lawrence, 1820-1867).
Arthur’s parents were married on December 26, 1834 and eventually settled in Ohio. The family moved from Ohio to Michigan sometime after 1854, and by 1860 Arthur was a farm laborer living with his family in Sparta, Kent County where his father worked as a farmer.
He stood 5’9” with dark eyes, black hair and a dark complexion and was 22 years old when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861. Arthur was sick with typhoid fever in the Regimental hospital from August 31 to September 25, 1861. He soon returned to duty, however, and was absent on picket duty on October 31, 1861, and again on February 28, 1862. He was shot in the right elbow on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and hospitalized on June 30 in Washington, DC, from a “wound in the right arm fracturing caricoid precep of ulna and producing necrosis.” He was discharged on August 11, 1862, at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia, for a “wound in right arm fracturing cervical process of ulna and producing necrosis.”
Arthur was probably in New York when he reentered the service in Company K, First New York (“Lincoln”) Cavalry on March 27, 1864, and was mustered on March 29 at Hart Island Rendezvous, New York. He was ordered to report to a Lieutenant Albio at Jersey City, New Jersey, and then sent on to the Regiment on April 14, joining Company K on April 18 at Martinsburg, [West] Virginia. He was absent in the hospital at Frederick, Maryland from September through October of 1864, and was mustered out with the company on June 27, 1865.
After the war Arthur returned to Michigan and was living in Sparta when he married Michigan native Effie Murray (1849-1927) on March 24, 1867, in Alpine, Kent County. They had at least four children: Ella Diantha (b. 1868), Mary Susanna (b. 1871), Ethel and Zoe F. (b. 1890). (In 1865 Arthur’s younger sister Albina Mercy married John Brooks, a former member of Company F.)
By 1880 Arthur was working as a carpenter and living with his wife and two daughters in Alpine, Kent County; also boarding with the family was John Murray (presumably Effie’s younger brother), Gaye Beuschel and a school teacher named Ellen Haight.
He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, and may also have been a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.
According to one source, during the GAR encampment at Fremont, Newaygo County September 11-13, 1884, an authentic Confederate flag was used during the ceremonies, a flag which had reportedly been captured by Arthur while he served in the First New York cavalry.
On Friday [September 12], after guard mount, the old soldiers fell into line and went to the depot and met a large delegation from Muskegon and Whitehall, then marched back to camp, and such a sight this nor any other place of the size in the State ever saw. There were between three and four hundred soldiers in line, about one-half of whom were armed with muskets. They marched through Main Street with steady tread, lead by the Fremont Cornet Band and a martial band. The streets were beautifully decorated with flags and everrgreens. At the corner of Main and Division Streets a beautiful arch was built across the street, closely covered with evergreens, and decorated with flags with the motto “welcome.” The sides of the streets were densely crowded with people, variously estimated to be from four to six thousand. After arriving at the campp an address was delivered by Hon. E. E. Edwards on behalf of the village, which was listened to with interest, after which three cheers and a tiger were given the speaker and the village. At 1 o’clock the sham battle took place, the old vets conducting themselves as of old. Nothing happened to mar the pleasure of the occassion and every one was pleased. How natural it looked to see the old rebel flag float from the opposite side, and when the final charge come the “old boys” (for they are boys yet in feeling at least) gave the old cheer anbd went for the rebs in great shape. I wish to say one word about the rebel flag we had. It was geniune, and not got up for the occasion. It belongs to Arhur Place, of Sparta Center, Mich. It was captured by him while a member of the First New York cavalry. . . . The flag formerly belonged to the rebel General Jones’s old regiment, and is made of English bunting. After the battle, came the dress parade, after which the boys went to the Quartermaster and drew their rations -- the same old hard-tack, pork, coffee, potatoes, and in fact the old rations as near as could be had. The most of the Muskegon and Big Rapids folks returned home in the evening, Saturday we had a skirmish drill. The old rebel farmer came into camp with his load of vegetables, etrc., asking two prices for the same; he was captured in the good old way and the truck confiscated, but the grand event of the day was when the ladies of Fremont came to the front and gave a banquet to all the old soldiers and their families, and such a dinner cannot be described, but everybody east until satisfied.
Nothing was left undone that would do to the comfort of those present. Too much praise cannot be given the good people for the help rendered. Everybody seemed to vie with one another to see who could do the most. “Everybody satisfied” seemed to be the cry after all was over.
Arthur eventually moved back to Sparta where he was living in 1883 when he was drawing $2.00 for a wound to the right arm (pension no. 177,081, dated May of 1875). Although Arthur was residing in Englishville, Kent County by 1885, he was back in Sparta in 1890.
Arthur died in Sparta on February 2, 1893. He was buried in Greenwood cemetery, Sparta. (Arthur may have been the same “A. Place” who was the owner of cemetery lot no. 37 in Lisbon cemetery, Sparta Township. There are apparently no interments reported in that lot.)
His widow applied for and received a pension (no. 391,529).