Sylvanus Staring was born in 1834 in Oneida County, New York.
Sylvanus was married to New York native Grace (1840-1927), probably in New York, and they had at least two children: Alfred (b. 1861) and Aldora (b. 1858). They moved from New York to Michigan sometime before 1858, and by 1860 Sylvanus was working as a blacksmith and living with his wife and daughter in Boston, Ionia County.
He stood 5’7” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 27 years old and probably still living in Ionia County when he enlisted as a Corporal in Company D on May 13, 1861. (Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County.) He may have been taken ill sometime in the fall of 1861. In any case, Sylvanus was discharged for chronic rheumatism on June 7, 1862, at Columbian College hospital in Washington, DC.
Sylvanus returned to Michigan after his discharge from the army. He reentered the army as a private in Company C, First Michigan Engineers and Mechanics, on December 10, 1863, in Grand Rapids and was mustered in on January 5, 1864. He was mustered out as Full Artificer on September 22, 1865, in Nashville, Tennessee.
It is not known if he returned to Michigan after the war. By 1880 he was working as a blacksmith and living with his wife and children in Silver Creek, Chautauqua County, New York. By 1910 he was working as a carpenter and living with his wife Grace in Silver Creek village, Hanover Township, Chautauqua County, New York. He was probably living in Silver Creek, New York in 1911.
He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. In 1863 he applied for and received a pension (no. 741626).
Sylvester died on July 24, 1913, in Silver Creek, New York, and was buried in Glenwood cemetery, Silver Creek.
In 1913 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 768936).