Joseph Clark Sutton was born in 1836 in Ontario County, New York.
Joseph left New York and by 1863 had settled in western Michigan.
He stood 5’9” with hazel eyes, black hair and a dark complexion and was a 27-year-old painter possibly living in Hastings, Barry County when he became a substitute for David R. Cook who had been drafted on February 10, 1863, for 9 months from Prairieville, Barry County. He was assigned to Company E, and joined the Regiment on March 10 at Camp Pitcher, Virginia. According to Andrew Kilpatrick, also of Company E, Joseph was a Private present for duty in late May of 1863.
He was reported as “not wounded” and working as a nurse in a Philadelphia hospital in mid-July, but was also listed as absent wounded from July through October, and was mustered out either in the field on November 14, 1863, or in Detroit on November 18, 1863.
After his discharge Joseph returned to Hastings.
He was married to New York native Elizabeth (b. 1843) and they had at least three children: William (b. 1864), Ellsworth (b. 1867) and Mary (b. 1869).
By 1870 he was working as a farmer (he owned $2000 worth of real estate) and living with his wife and children in Hastings. He also worked as a painter and farmer, and was living in Woodland, Barry County in 1888 and 1890.
Joseph was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. In 1886 he applied for and received pension no. 933,343. He was a member of the GAR Steadman post no. 198 in Reed City, Osceola County, and at one time had probably been a member of the Mauch post no. 241 in Hastings, Barry County.
Joseph was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 2187) as a widower on July 25, 1894, and was in and out of the Home some 10 times. By 1895 he was residing in Holton, Muskegon County and in Tustin, Osceola County around 1900 and at the Home in 1906. By 1920 he was living alone in Reed City, Osceola County.
Joseph was discharged from the Home for the final time on April 16, 1921, and was possibly living in the vicinity of Reed City when he died on April 28, 1927. He was buried in Burdell cemetery, near Tustin in Osceola County.