Charles Edward Randall was born on May 5, 1835, in Rouse’s Point, (just a few miles north of Coopersville), Clinton County, New York, the son of Schuyler (1807-1893) and Sarah Stancliff (1805-1886).
New York native Schuyler married Vermonter Sarah at Rouse’s Point, New York on July 23, 1829 and by 1840 Schuyler was probably living in Champlain, Clinton County. By 1850 Charles was working as a farmer and living with his family in Champlain, New York.
According to family historian Max Riekse, Schyuler brought his family to Coopersville, Ottawa County, around 1850, joining his brother Reuben Sr. who had settled in Lamont, Ottawa County, in about 1842. Another brother Benjamin would also join them in Ottawa County. By 1860 Charles was a farm laborer living with and/or working for Jeremiah Hedges, a wealthy farmer in Tallmadge, Ottawa County. (Matthew Wright, who would enlist in Company I, worked nearby for Silas Hedges, and next door to Silas hedges’ farm lived Reuben Randall Sr., Charles’ uncle. His son Reuben Jr. would also join Company I.) That same year Schuyler was living in Polkton, Ottawa County.
Charles was 26 years old, stood 5’10,” with a light complexion, blue eyes and light hair and residing in Polkton, Ottawa County when he enlisted as Fifth Corporal in Company B on May 13, 1861, along with his cousin Reuben Randall Jr. By the fall of 1861 Charles had been struck down with typhoid fever and he was sick in the regimental hospital in October and November. He was treated in the regimental hospital and, by mid-December was convalescing. Dr. Bliss, the regimental surgeon recommended that Charles be given a furlough to go home and complete his recovery.
Apparently Colonel Champlin, then commanding the 3rd Michigan agreed and while the regiment was in winter quarters at Camp Michigan, near Alexandria, Virginia, in late December of 1861, Charles was given a 30-day furlough to go home to Lamont, Michigan. He left on December 30 and returned to the regiment on or about the February 1, 1862.
Charles never did recover his health and died of typhoid pneumonia on August 1 or 4, 1862, in the Regimental hospital at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia. Charles’ cousin Reuben wrote home on August 28, 1862, “I suppose Charley’s death nearly killed his mother. The boys that were with him said he died very easy – it was like going to sleep. You don’t know how I missed him while I was with the boys. It turned very lonely without him.”
He was buried in Glendale National Cemetery: section B, grave 165. It is possible that his family arranged to have his body returned to Michigan since there is both a government stone and a private marker for Charles Randall in the family plot in Coopersville cemetery in Ottawa County.
His father was still living in Polkton, Ottawa County in 1870. In 1887 his father was a widower still living in Michigan when he applied for and received a pension (no. 251173).