William P. Stephenson was born in 1834 in Ontario, Canada.
William left Canada and came to Michigan sometime before the war broke out, eventually settling in the Lansing area. In the spring of 1861 William became a member of the Lansing company called the “Williams’ Rifles,” whose members would serve as the nucleus of Company G.
He stood 5’5” with hazel eyes, brown hair and a sallow complexion and was a 27-year-old engineer possibly living in Ingham County when he enlisted in Company G on May 10, 1861. By the end of the year William had been detailed as a blacksmith at Fort Lyon, Virginia, and by the end of April, 1862, he had been appointed field guard. By the first of August he had been recommended for a discharge. Although he was reported to have allegedly deserted on September 21, 1862, at Upton’s Hill, Virginia, and was dropped from the company rolls in compliance with G.O. no. 92 (War Department regarding deserters), in fact William been admitted to Fifth Street hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on August 12, 1862, and was discharged for a varicocele on October 15, 1862 at Fifth Street hospital. (The charge of desertion was removed in December of 1872.)
It is quite possible that William remained in Pennsylvania and that he might have been the same William P. Stephenson who enlisted on August 12, 1862, in Company F, One hundred twenty-fourth Pennsylvania infantry, and who was mustered out of service on May 16, 1863, at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
It is not known if William ever returned to Michigan. He was probably the same William P. Stephenson who, in 1880, was working as a merchant and living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with his wife Pennsylvania native Sarah (b. 1842).
He was probably married to a second wife named Irene.
In 1873 he applied for and received a pension (no. 140270).
William died on October 20, 1918, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was presumably buried there.
In 1918 his widow was living in Pennsylvania when she applied for and received a pension (no. 867404).