Ernst Synold was born in 1842 in Germany, the son of Charles F. (b. 1810) and Mary or Maria (b. 1808).
His family immigrated from Saxe Gotha, Germany to America, settling in Michigan sometime before 1849. By 1850 they were living in Westphalia, Clinton County where Charles worked as a physician. By 1860 Charles was working as a physician and living with his wife and son Conrad in Lyons, Ionia County.
Ernst or Ernest stood 5’10” with dark eyes and hair and a light complexion and was 19 years old and probably living in Ionia County when he enlisted with his parents’ consent as First Corporal in Company E on May 13, 1861. (Soon afterwards his father enlisted, as a 45-year-old private in Company B, Sixteenth Michigan infantry in August of 1861.) He was wounded on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, but soon recovered and by July he was a color guard. Ernest had, for reasons unknown, been reduced to the ranks by the time he was wounded a second time on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run.
As of early October he was a patient in Presbyterian hospital in Georgetown, DC, and he was subsequently hospitalized through January of 1863. By the end of May he was present for duty with the regiment and was wounded a third time on November 30, 1863, at Mine Run, Virginia. He reenlisted as Sergeant on December 23, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Gaines, Kent County, was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864, possibly in western Michigan, and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February.
Ernest was wounded a fourth time on May 6, 1864, at the Wilderness, Virginia, and a fifth time on May 12, 1864 at Spotsylvania, Virginia, after which he was again hospitalized. He was still absent wounded when he was transferred as a Sergeant to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and remained absent wounded through July. He was reported as First Sergeant in January of 1865, promoted to Second Lieutenant of Company A on January 1, replacing Lieutenant Daniel Birdsall, and in May he was promoted to First Lieutenant, commissioned May 8, 1865, and transferred to Company K, replacing Lieutenant Franklin.
Ernest was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.
Ernest eventually returned to Michigan.
He was married to Michigan native Mary (b. 1839).
His parents were living in Lyons, Ionia County in 1870. He was probably living in the upper peninsula when he acquired some 142 acres of land through the Marquette land office in January of 1877.
That same year Ernest applied for and received a pension (no. 160312). By 1880 he was working as a laborer and living with his wife in Menominee, Menominee County; his parents were also living in Menominee that year where his father continued to practice medicine.
Ernest eventually moved out west and by 1890 was living in Quilsene, Jefferson County, Washington.
Ernest died on October 2, 1925, in Hadlock, Washington.