Charles W. Rose was born in 1841 in Michigan, the son of Harvey K. (b. 1813) and Lucy (b. 1812).
His parents were both born in New York and presumably married there sometime before 1836. In any case between 1836 and 1841 they settled in Michigan and by 1850 were living in Grand Rapids, Kent County where Harvey worked as a merchant. By 1860 Charles was a grocery clerk working for his father in Grand Rapids’ First Ward. That same year Charles also joined the Valley City Guard, the prewar Grand Rapids militia company whose members would form the nucleus of Company A on May 13, 1861.
He was 20 years old and living in Kent County (probably Grand Rapids) when he enlisted with his parents’ consent in Company A. (Company A was made up largely of men from Grand Rapids, and many of whom had served in various local militia units before the war, specifically the Valley City Guards, or VCG, under the command of Captain Samuel Judd, who would also command Company A.)
Charles was allegedly AWOL in March of 1863, but in fact was on a 15-day furlough to his home in Grand Rapids. According to the Grand Rapids Eagle of March 13, 1863, Rose had “just returned on a furlough of 15 days to visit his parents and friends at home. Welcome, ‘Charley’, welcome home again. Let the brave and true -- defenders of the old flag -- everywhere be received, from their glorious mission, with open arms and warm hearts, by all loyal people. -- Three cheers for all those who make up the solid columns.”
Charles eventually returned to the Regiment and was a clerk in Division headquarters from May of 1863 through November, absent on detached service in the Brigade in December, and a clerk at Brigade headquarters in January of 1864 through May. He was mustered out of service on June 20, 1864.
Charles may returned to Michigan after his discharge and was possibly living at 20 Bronson Street in Grand Rapids in 1865-66. By 1880 he was apparently unemployed, single and living with his widowed mother in Grand Rapids. By 1890 he was living in Cheboygan, Second Ward, Cheboygan County, and he was still living in Cheboygan in 1897 when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association.
In 1891 he was living in Michigan when he applied for and received a pension (no. 965708).