Jeremiah E. Richardson was born in 1833 in Ontario, Canada, the son of Abel Converse (b. 1800) Sarah Sophia (Scripture, b. 1810).
New York native Abel married Canadian- or Massachusetts-born Sarah and they eventually settled in Canada. Jeremiah left Canada, probably with his family and sometime between 1838 and 1845 settled in Michigan. By 1850 Jeremiah or “Jerry” was living with his mother and siblings in Spring Lake, Ottawa County; also living with the family was one Convers Richardson (b. 1794 in New York).
By 1860 Jerry was a farm laborer living with and/or working for the William Brittain family in Spring Lake; heir oldest son Charles would also join Company H as would their next-door neighbor Miner Emlaw.
Jeremiah stood 6’0” with dark eyes, black hair and a dark complexion, was 27 years old and was probably living in Muskegon County when he enlisted 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.) “Jerry” (as he was called by his friends apparently) possibly injured his leg sometime in 1861. A good friend of his Jerry’s Charles Brittain, wrote home to his own family on September 28, 1861 informing them that “Gerry’s leg is very sore. I think he will have to be discharged before long if his leg don’t get better.” And on October 9 Charles wrote home that “Jerry has a sore leg yet and I don’t think he will get well very soon if he stays here and lays on the ground in this rainy weather.”
On December 1-2, 1861, Charles Brittain wrote home that “Jerry is out on picket [and] that he is as fat as a hog and as near like one as anything. But Jerry is a good-hearted fellow. I have had one fight on his account. I don’t like to see him abused for he will do anything for me that he can and we never have no trouble.”
He was first reported as a pioneer in July of 1862, although apparently he had been serving in that capacity for some time. Some years after the war Dan Crotty of Company F wrote a description of a skirmish he and some of his Old Third comrades got into on June 30 of 1862, and described Richardson’s substantial “pioneer” abilities:
Leaving a part of our Regiment to skirmish with the enemy [Crotty wrote] and throw obstructions in their way, our pioneers are busy chopping in the rear. Many a monarch of the forest falls across the road. The enemy push us pretty lively. We fling our knapsacks with contents into the woods to make us lighter on foot. Coming into the road, Jerry Richardson, a pioneer, is chopping away at his level best at a high six-footer. He has it nearly cut through. We tell him to get back or he is gone. He will have the tree down if he dies for it. The skirmish line all get in the rear of him, and he is within both fires. The rebels fire a dozen shots at him, the balls fall thick around and we all expect to see him fall. But no, the last cut is in the tree and it falls across the road, making a noise like thunder. When Jerry saw the tree commence to stagger, he did some lively walking, and got inside our lines safe, sweating like a butcher. Every man that saw him cheered till he was hoarse.
Jeremiah was absent sick in the hospital from August of 1862 through September, and on detached service in October, probably as a pioneer. He reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Muskegon, was probably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864, and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February when he was reported absent sick in the hospital.
He was slightly wounded in the head in early May and subsequently absent sick and was still absent sick when he was transferred to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. Jeremiah remained absent sick or wounded through July, was reported absent sick again from October of 1864 through June of 1865, and was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.
No pension seems to be available.
Jeremiah probably survived the war and returned to Michigan.
(In 1880 there was one Jeremiah Richardson, b. 1836 in Michigan, married to native Eliza (b. 1857), working as a farmer in Brady, Kalamazoo County.)
He was reportedly married and had at least two children: Josie (b. 1880) and Grace (b. 1882).
By 1900 he was working as a painter and living in Schoolcraft Township, Kalamazoo County.