Sunday, February 28, 2010

Henry J. Patterson

Henry J. Patterson was born on December 19, 1839, in Franklinville, Cattaraugus County, New York, the son of John and Sally (Winslow).

His father John had worked as a tailor and after he died at Rushville, New York, Henry, although still quite young, was put out on a farm in New York until he was 16 years old, “thoroughly acquainting himself with every detail of farm life, and taking advantage of every opportunity for acquiring knowledge.”

Some years following the death of her husband, Sally took her family to New Berlin, New York, and she eventually settled in Michigan. Henry came to Michigan in 1856 with William Strong, a farmer for whom he had been working in New York, where he worked in the summer at farming and attended school in the winter.

Henry returned east in 1858 to attend school in Pennsylvania, but came back to Michigan and by 1860 was a farm laborer working for and/or living with William Diets, a wealthy farmer in Watertown, Clinton County.

Henry was still working as a farm laborer in Watertown, Clinton County when he married Michigan native Margaret A. Shadduck (1842-1898) in January in Wacoustra. They had at least four children: Minnie (b. 1868, Mrs. Streeter), Blanche (also Mrs. Streeter), Ambra and Iva.

Henry stood 6’1” with hazel eyes, auburn hair and a light complexion and was 21 years old and residing in Clinton County when he enlisted in Company G on May 13, 1861. He was a Regimental hospital nurse from July of 1862 through January of 1863. He reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Ann Arbor First and Second Wards, Washtenaw County, was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February. He was on detached service in May and was still detached when he was transferred as a Musician to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. Henry was reported on detached service probably in the Division hospital through September of 1864. In January of 1865 he was absent on furlough in Michigan, absent on leave in June, and was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war Henry returned to Watertown and purchased a farm of some 160 acres. Owing to failing health he sold that business and took up the study of law in 1870 under Randolph Strickland in St. Johns, Clinton County. (That same year he was listed as working as a farmer -- with about $2500 worth of real estate -- and living in Watertown, Clinton County with his wife and daughter.) He was admitted to the state bar at St. Johns in 1878, and to the bar of the United States courts in 1882.

Henry eventually settled in Clinton County where he worked mainly as a pension attorney, and he played a large role in the well-known Smith vs. Alpine pension case. Patterson himself explained the case:

“In 1864 our state legislature said, by an act passed on the 4th day of February, that every soldier who would enlist and was mustered into United States service, and properly credited where he was enrolled, should received $100 as a state bounty. In the month of July following, Gov. Blair said, by his proclamation, that no more bounties could be paid, as the money raised for that purpose had been exhaused [sic]. Consequently hundreds of our boys in blue, who left their families, homes and comforts to save the Union, with the sacred promise of the people of the state that, besides caring for their families, they should receive the bounty if they would enlist and save others form the draft, have been carrying for 26 long years these promises, in the form of certificates, and while our state has done many generous acts toward the care of the unfortunate, she never to this day has honored the sacred obligations, a law passed by a Republican Legislature, and who have, as a party, posed for 26 long years as the friend of the soldier, and who for all this long time failed to give the subjects a passing notice.

“A. J. Smith, a crippled soldier, and for whom I had contended for over 20 years that he should be paid his bounty, made his petition to the Supreme Court, calling upon that court to compel the Auditor-General to credit and allow his claim. This proposition was met, opposed and sneered at by every state official, excepting Judge S. B. Daboll, then acting quartermaster-general, and I met the grand spectacle of a Republican law unwilling to pay bounties to Michigan soldiers, resisted by Republican officials, and Republican lawyers setting up among other things the unconscionable plea of ‘statute of limitation’. April 18, 1890, I presented the case to the court, and Judge Champlin [John W. Champlin, brother General Stephen Champlin formerly of the Old Third], with his master mind, permeated with its love of justice and its high regard for the honor, dignity and equity of the law, wrote the opinion, elaborately and profoundly, deciding that the state must pay.”

By 1884 Henry had settled in Wacoustra, Clinton County where he was living in December of 1886 when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association (he served as president of the Association in 1903 and again in 1906). He was still residing in Wacoustra in 1888 and in 1890 when he was elected Prosecuting Attorney for Clinton County. (He was a member of the Democratic party.) By late 1892 Henry had returned to St. Johns where he resided for many years.

In 1889 Henry applied for and received a pension (no. 458743).

At the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association reunion in December of 1896, according to the Grand Rapids Democrat on December 17, “One of the features of the banquet was the recitation by Miss Iva Patterson of St. Johns ‘On the Rappahannock’, with musical accompaniment by [Wurzburg's] orchestra. Miss Patterson was so warmly encored as to be obliged to respond with another selection, this time a German dialect version of ‘Barbara Fritchie’, with very artistic effect.” He was a witness for Orville Ingersoll’s pension.

Henry was living in St. Johns in 1898 and in 1900 when he spoke at the Association annual reunion in December. “Every member of the Old Third always did his duty,” Henry told the Democrat, “and was still willing to do his duty. A degree of sadness came to the heart of every old soldier as he attends the reunion of the Old Third and thinks of the change in the men of the Old Third from the smooth-faced youths to the gray-bearded, bald-headed veterans.”

He was still living in St. Johns in 1903 and from 1906 probably through 1911. By 1915 Henry was residing in Grand Ledge, Eaton County. At the Association banquet in June of 1911, following the unveiling of the monument dedicated to those Michigan Regiments which were organized at Grand Rapids, Henry “spoke of the encampment at Cantonment Anderson. He told of parties of young girls coming to the camp and singing in the night and possibly at this banquet. In conclusion he gave a laudatory eulogy of the mothers of the boys who went to the front in the war and asked that a monument be erected on the state capitol grounds in their honor.” By 1920 he was living in Oneida, Eaton County with his second wife, Michigan native Mary (b. 1851).

Henry died in Ann Arbor hospital on August 15, 1922, and was buried in Wacousta cemetery.

In 1922 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 927091).

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Louis Passineau

Louis Passineau, alias “Louis Napoleon,” was born in 1835 in Quebec, Canada.

Louis left Canada and came to western Michigan, probably to work in the lumber mills along Lake Michigan, sometime before the war broke out.

He stood 5’8” with blue eyes, black hair and a dark complexion and was a 26-year-old laborer who could not read or write (at least in English), living in Muskegon County when he enlisted in Company H on May 6, 1861. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers,” was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties.)

Louis spoke very little, if any English, at least according to both Lieutenant Peter Bergevin of Company H and Mrs. Louisa Bryant, wife of the commanding officer of Company H, Captain Emery Bryant. Louisa had accompanied her husband and the regiment to Washington, DC in June of 1861. Lieutenant Bergevin described “Napoleon” as “a Canadian Frenchman of fair complexion and medium size, and spoke the English language very imperfectly but spoke the French language well, and as I spoke that language I became well acquainted with him.”

Mrs. Bryant stated some years afterward that she “had studied the language [French] and for that reason conversed with him in French and took pains to do so and became very well acquainted with him.” Mrs. Bryant further stated that when the Third Michigan left northern Virginia to join the Army of the Potomac on the “Peninsular Campaign” in the Spring of 1862, Napoleon gave her $25.00 to keep for him. “I never saw him afterwards,” she declared,

but in the year 1881 I learned from Lieutenant P. P. Bergervin late of the same Co & Regt, that in answer to a letter written by him to P. B. Fisk Esq. of Chateaugay N.Y. in reference to evidence in Napoleon’s claim for a pension in which my name was mentioned, that when Napoleon heard my name mentioned he exclaimed “I know that woman. I gave her $25 to keep for me [and] I never saw her since & never got my money.” I then wrote him through Mr. Fisk that under the circumstances I would send him the money which I afterwards did in post office money orders from the post office at Washington D.C. payable to Louis Napoleon at post office at Chateaugay N.Y. at the dates and in the amounts as follows: Sept 6th 1881 $5.00, Oct 7th 1881 $5.00, Nov 18th 1881 $5.00, March 7 1882 $10.00.

Louis was on the company rolls through October of 1861 and present for duty on December 31, 1861. He may have been sick briefly in the Regimental hospital early in 1862, but had returned to the Regiment by the end of February, and was present for duty through the end of June. He was shot in his chin and neck on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia. (Although in his pension claim declaration of 1879 he testified that during the war he suffered only from general disability sometime after August of 1862, however according to a later statement, probably in late 1882 or early 1883, he claimed that he had been wounded on May 31 at Fair Oaks. The War Department also noted that he had been wounded in May. ) He later claimed that the wound cut “the skin and flesh about two inches in length across his throat or chin under his jaw contracting the skin and muscles of his chin and front part of his neck also still remaining very tender and easily irritated and injured. . . .”

Louis was possibly suffering from general debility when he was transferred to a hospital in Washington, DC where he reportedly remained for only two days before being sent on to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania sometime in early September. He was subsequently hospitalized and was reported absent sick in the hospital from August of 1862 until he was discharged for consumption on February 9, 1863, at Fourth and George Streets hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

It is not known if Louis returned to Michigan after his discharge from the army. He listed Malone, Franklin County, New York as his mailing address on his discharge, and he was living in Chateaugay, Franklin County, New York in 1879 when he applied for a pension (no. 292,265).

He was married to New York native Lucy (who was also unable to read or write, at least in English), and they had at least two and possibly three children: Frank (b. 1866), Mamie (b. 1868) and Chlotildis (known in the family as “Clemina”).

By 1880 Louis was working as a laborer and living with his wife and children in Chateaugay, New York. He resided in upstate New York working as a laborer until his death in 1883.

His pension claim was still pending when he reportedly died on or about October 17, 1883, in Franklin County, New York and was presumably buried there.

His widow also applied for a pension (no. 310513), but the certificate was never granted.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Ephraim Parsons

Ephraim Parsons was born in 1819 in Tuscarora, Frederick County, Maryland, possibly the son of Isaac (1790-1872).

Ephraim married New York native Ann or Anna Tinkler (1820-1885), and they had at least two children: Ephraim (1847-1927) and Mary (1857-1878).

By 1847 Ephraim and his wife were living in Ohio but by 1857 they had settled in Michigan. (He may have been the same Ephraim W. Parsons who may have been born on October 10, 1812 or 1814, married Sarah E. Laws (b. 1815), on November 27, 1841, in Worcester County, Maryland and who was still living in Worcester County in 1850.) By 1860 Ephraim was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Hastings, Barry County. Isaac, who had also been born in Maryland, was living in Hastings in 1860 as well.

Ephraim stood 5’11” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was a 45-year-old blacksmith possibly living in Maple Grove, Barry County when he enlisted as a Private in Company F at Grand Rapids on February 8, 1864, for 3 years, and was mustered the same day.

Ephraim did not, apparently, join the Regiment, however, and instead went about recruiting for the regiment, according to one of his recruits, Franklin Green, who was enlisted into company E on February 9, 1864. Indeed, Ephraim was reported in Grand Rapids in March recruiting for the Regiment. On March 8, 1864, the Grand Rapids Eagle wrote that one Sergeant “E. Parsons, of the Third Mich. Infantry, who is recruiting for that command in Barry County, brought to our city last evening, another squad of men -- stalwart volunteers -- to be mustered into Uncle Sam's service. These recruits added to those already brought in make [43] men that have enlisted in that County during the past few weeks. Good for Sergt. Parsons and Barry County. The work goes bravely on.”

It remains unclear today what was actually going on. In late May of 1864 Captain George See wrote from the draft rendezvous at Jackson to Provost Marshall Norman Bailey at Grand Rapids inquiring about Parsons. He wrote that Ephraim had been “turned over direct to the [Third] Regt at the Rapids and there is no record of him in this office.”

It is not known if Ephraim ever reported for duty with the Third Michigan. He was reported a deserter in November of 1864 at Brandy Station, Virginia, and was eventually returned under the President’s Proclamation of amnesty and subsequently mustered out of service with forfeiture of “all pay and allowances due him or that may accrue to” the time of his muster out. He was discharged on May 3, 1865, at Detroit.

By 1870 Ephraim was working as a teamster and living with his wife Anna in Hastings, Barry County.

By 1880 his widow was living in Carlton, Barry County. (Curiously, Isaac, Anna as well as her two children are all buried in Riverside cemetery, Hastings, but there is no listing for Ephraim Sr.)

No pension seems to be available.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

William T. Parshall

William T. Parshall was born in 1818 in New York, the son of Terry (1795-1864) and Mary or Lydia (Hulse, 1796-1845).

New Yorkers Terry and Lydia were married in about 1813 in Chemung County, New York and they lived in New York for many years. Terry was living in Springwater, Ontario (probably Livingston) County in 1820 and in Springwater, Livingston County in 1830. Terry eventually moved his family to Michigan and by 1845 when Lydia died they were living in Shiawassee County. In 1847 Terry married his second wife, Rebecca Russell in Shiawassee County, Michigan and by 1850 Terry and his wife were living on a farm in Woodhull, Shiawassee County (where he died in 1864).

William married New York native Lovina (b. 1832) and they had at least two and possibly three children: Terry (b. 1850), Harriet (b. 1852) and Sophia (b. 1860).

William and his wife, neither of whom could not read or write, moved to the western side of the state and had settled in Spencer Township in Kent County sometime in the late 1840s. By 1860 William was working as a farmer and living with his wife and two children in Oakfield, Kent County.

William was 44 years old and probably living in Oakfield, Kent County when he enlisted in Company K on January 9, 1862, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered the same day. He was absent sick in the hospital in August and allegedly deserted on September 21, at Upton’s Hill, Virginia, although he was probably in fact in the hospital where he likely remained until he was transferred to the Seventy-fifth company, Second Battalion, Veterans’ Reserve Corps December 15, 1863, and discharged from the VRC on January 9, 1865.

After he was discharged from the army William returned to Kent County. By 1870 he was working as a farmer (he owned some $3000 worth of real estate) and living with his wife and three children in Spencer, Kent County. He was still working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Spencer in 1880. By 1888 he was living in Griswold (probably in Kent County) and in Spencer in 1890.

In 1877 he applied for and received a pension (no. 421485).

William probably resided in Spencer until he died a widower of “old age” on October 10, 1896, in Spencer Township, and was buried in Spencer cemetery.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

George Parrott

George Parrott was born on December 26, 1831, in Paris, France, the son of Charles (1808-1870) and Elizabeth (b. 1812).

Charles and his wife Elizabeth took their family, left France and immigrated to the United States settling in Michigan sometime between 1843 and 1845. By 1860 Charles had settled his family in Lowell, Kent County where he worked as a farmer; also living with him was another son Jacob and his family. Indeed Charles lived the rest of his life in the Lowell area.

George married New York native Helen (1833-1921) and they had at least five children: Lafayette (b. 1851), Anna (b. 1853), Nancy, (b. 1857), Frank G. (1861-1894) and Chester (b. 1867).

George and his wife probably settled in Lowell, Kent County, where his father settled by 1860.

In any case, George was 29 years old and residing in Lowell, Kent County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861; he was promoted to Corporal in early August of 1861. George Miller of Company A, who was from Bowne, Kent County and probably knew Parrott before the war, wrote home on August 18, 1861 that Parrott had been promoted to Corporal of Company C, and he wrote on September 10, 1861 that Parrott had been promoted to the rank of “light Corporal.”

By May of 1863 George was a Division provost guard, and he was employed as a provost guard at Corps headquarters in June and July. He was mustered out on June 20, 1864, at Detroit.
After he left the army George returned to Michigan and settled back into Lowell. He and his wife and children were living on a farm in Lowell in 1870, near his parents and his brother Jacob. By 1880 he was farming and living with his wife and children in Lowell, Kent County, and by 1887 and 1888 George was living in Alto, Kent County, and indeed he probably lived out the remainder of his life in Alto where, in 1890 he was suffering from stomach trouble and reportedly unable to work.

In 1880 he applied for and received a pension (no. 425031).

George died on January 23, 1892, probably in Alto, and was buried in Merriman cemetery: C-91-2.

His widow applied for and received a pension (no. 395813).

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

William Parrish

William Parrish was born in 1841, possibly the son of William H. (b. 1816) and Joanna (Rose, b. 1812) .

William H. immigrated to America where he met and married New York native Joanna (or Johanna). By 1840 they had settled in Ohio and sometime between 1843 and 1847 moved to Michigan. By 1850 William (younger) was attending school with his siblings and livng with his family on a farm in Rutland, Barry County.

William stood 5’6’ with blue eyes, light hair and a dark complexion, and was 23 years old and probably working as a farmer in Barry County when he enlisted in Company F on January 4, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Barry County, and was mustered on January 8. (He may have been related to Heman Parish who was also from Barry County.)

William joined the Regiment on February 17, 1864, was transferred to Company G on February 29 at Camp Bullock, Virginia, and reported missing in action on May 6, 1864, at the Wilderness, Virginia. He was transferred to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

No pension seems to be available.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Leonard Parrish

Leonard Parrish was born in 1838 in Wayne County, Michigan.

By 1860 Leonard was working as a fisherman and living with a shingle-maker by the name of John Olim in Solon, Kent County.

Leonard stood 5’11” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 23 years old possibly from Jackson County when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861. Leonard was wounded on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia. According to a friend, Chauncey Smith of Company F, “Len Parish was very slightly [wounded] in the leg. He took the ball out himself.” He was reported absent sick in the hospital at Clarysville, Maryland (near Cumberland) from August 11 through December, sick in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in January of 1863, and dropped from the company rolls on February 14, 1863 at Camp Pitcher. He was discharged for general debility on March 4, 1863, at Cumberland, Maryland

After he was discharged from the army Leonard returned to Michigan where he reentered the service in Company A, Fourth Reorganized Michigan infantry on September 15, 1864, at Hillsdale for 3 years, crediting Somerset, Hillsdale County, and was mustered on September 17 at Adrian, Lenawee County. The regiment was in fact organized at Adrian and Hudson, and mustered into service on October 14, 1864. It left Michigan for Nashville, Tennessee, on October 22 and then on to Decatur, Alabama on October 26 where it remained on duty until the end of November. The Fourth (reorganized) participated in numerous operations in Tennessee and Alabama through late spring of 1865. It was moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, on June 16 and then to Indianaola, Texas on July 6, eventually marching to Green Lake where it remained until September 12 when it was sent to San Antonio where it remained on provost duty until May of 1866. Leonard was reported a Corporal on May 18, 1865, a Sergeant on March 1, 1866, and was mustered out with the regiment on May 26, 1866, at Houston, Texas. Tne regiment then returned to Detroit where it was discharged on June 10.

Leonard eventually returned to western Michigan and was probably working as a farm laborer and living with the Jacob Ipe family in Algoma, Kent County in 1870.

He was married on August 19, 1871, to Olevia Amelia Ipe (d. 1906), and they had at least three children: Orrin (b. 1872), Minnie (b. 1875) and Charles (b. 1878); she was probably the sister Andrew Ipe, formerly of Company D.

By 1880 Leonard was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Algoma, Kent County.

In 1879 Leonard applied for and received a pension (no. 657402).

He died on May 20, 1881, and was reportedly buried in Algoma cemetery: section 2 lot 28.

His widow applied for and received a pension (no. 304210), and subsequently a pension was filed and granted on behalf of at least one minor child (no. 304211).

Sunday, February 21, 2010

James Parm

James Parm was born around 1827 in England.

James immigrated to North America, possibly settling in Canada where his first child was born.

He married Elizabeth Sampson (1828-1869), and they probably had at least five children: James (b. 1851 in Canada), Margaret (b. 1857 in Illinois), Joseph (b. 1858 in Illinois), William (b. 1864 in Michigan) and John (b. 1866 in Michigan).

James eventually left Canada and by 1857 had settled his family in Illinois where they were living in 1858.

By 1860 James had moved to Michigan and was working as a mill hand who could not read or write and living at the Paddock boarding house in Georgetown, Ottawa County, along with: John Finch (Company I), Albert Hayes (Company I), Joseph Ledbeter (Company B), Benjamin Parker (Company I), Thomas Rowling (Company I), Alfred (Company F) and William Tate (Company I), John M. Taylor (Company I).

James stood 5’6’” with gray eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was 34 years old and residing in Blendon, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.) He was absent sick in the hospital from August of 1862 through November, and discharged for lumbago on December 3, 1862, at Armory Square hospital in Washington, DC.

James listed Grand Rapids as his mailing address on his discharge paper, and indeed he returned to Michigan where he reentered the service in Battery B, First Michigan Light Artillery on December 16, 1863, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Georgetown, and was mustered the same day probably at Grand Rapids where the battery was originally organized between September 10 and December 14, 1861. (The battery left Michigan on December 17 for St. Louis, Missouri, and during the battle of Shiloh in early April was overwhelmed and captured except for Lang’s section which was attached to Mann’s Battery “C,” First Missouri Artillery. It was subsequently reorganized at Detroit in December of 1862.)

The battery left for Columbus, Kentucky on Christmas day, and remained in Columbus until it was moved to Corinth, Mississippi January 4-9, 1863. It remained in Corinth until early March when it was moved to Bethel, Tennessee and remained on duty there until early June. It subsequently moved back to Corinth on June 7 and remained there until October 29 when it was moved to Pulaski, Tennessee, remaining on duty there until late April of 1864. It participated in the Atlanta campaign from May until September and was on duty at Rome, Georgia until mid-October. It then moved to Alabama where it participated in numerous operations and was also involved in the March to the Sea November 15 to December 10, in the siege of Savannah in late December and the campaign of the Carolinas from January until April of 1865. It occupied Raleigh, North Carolina on April 14, participated in Johnston’s surrender and the march to Washington via Richmond April 29 to May 19 and the Grand Review on May 24. It was then moved to Detroit June 1-6, 1865. James was mustered out with the battery on June 14, 1865, at Detroit.

Following his discharge from the First Michigan Light Artillery James returned to western Michigan. (Apparently his family eventually settled in Michigan as well, as least and were living there in 1864 and again in 1869.)

James was either widowed or divorced when he married his second wife, New York native Lucy (b. 1835).

By 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his second wife and several children in Blendon, Ottawa County. James may have settled for a time in Pierson, Montcalm County where for some years he worked as a farmer.

By 1880 he was working as a laborer and living with his son Joseph and his wife in Sparta, Kent County; nearby lived George Powers and his family. George too had served in the Third Michigan during the war.

James was living in Greenville, Montcalm County in 1883 when he was drawing $6.00 per month in 1883 for an injured back (pension no. 207,195, dated April of 1882), and in 1890 and 1894.

He listed himself as a single man when he was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 2538) for the first time on November 6, 1895. He was first discharged at his own request on April 16, 1896, readmitted on July 17, 1896, discharged April 27, 1897, admitted a third time on November 4, 1897 and discharged on November 28, 1898, admitted on March 25, 1899, and discharged on May 10, 1899. He admitted for the last time on August 28, 1899.

James was possibly married a third time to one Anna S. According to Montcalm County marriage records one James Parm married one Elizabeth Rowely in Montcalm on July 20, 1892. (either of these marriages might have been to his son James.) In any case, he married his fourth (perhaps third) wife, New York native Ursula A. LaBeau Mott (b. 1831) on July 16, 1901, in Grand Rapids.

While on furlough from the Home James died a widower of cystitis in Pierson, Montcalm County on November 17, 1905, and was buried in Blendon cemetery, Ottawa County; see photo G-19. (Also buried at Blendon are Elizabeth, his first wife, Reuben, 1881-1897; and William, 1893-1893. Near by are interred another James Parm, who died in 1930, age 81 (b. 1849) and his wife Ella, d. 1932, age 75.)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Alexander Parks

Alexander Parks was born on September 7, 1829, in New York, the son or grandson of Smith III (1777-1859) and Catharine (Sitzer, 1778-1856).

Alexander’s parents were both born in New York and presumably married there in about 1798, and for many years lived in New York State. By 1843 the family had moved westward and were living in Dallas, Clinton County, Michigan. (In fact, both Catharine and Smith died in Fowler, Clinton County.)

Alexander was probably living in Dallas where he married Vermont native Susan M. Sergent (1833-1885), on December 28, 1848, and they had at least five and perhaps six children: Azelia (b. 1849), Julius (b. 1850), Dennis (b. 1855), Emeline (b. 1856), an unnamed infant (b. 1860) and possibly a daughter Ellen M. (d. 1878).

By 1850 Alexander and his family were living on a farm near the farms of his parents and several of his siblings, in Dallas; in fact Alexander’s older brother Vincent and his family and another brother Philo were living right next door. On the other side lived Susan’s family and near them lived two more Parks family farms. Alexander and his wife and children were still living on a farm in Dallas in 1860; also living with them was one George Sergeant, probably Susan’s younger brother. And living nexct door was one Orrin Parks and his family, possibly one of Alexander’s older brothers..

He stood 5’5” with gray eyes, gray hair and a dark complexion and was 34 years old and probably working as a farmer living in Dallas when he enlisted in Company C on January 25, 1864, at Dallas for 3 years, crediting Clinton County, and was mustered the same day at Corunna, Shiawassee County. He joined the Regiment on April 16 at Brandy Station, Virginia, and was probably wounded on May 6, at the Wilderness, Virginia, after which he was hospitalized, He was listed as still absent sick when he was transferred to Company I, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. Alexander remained absent until he was discharged for disability on either August 29 or September 3, 1864, at Washington, DC.

After he left the army Alexander returned to Michigan. By 1880 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife Susan in Arcada, Gratiot County; two farms away lived his son Julius and his family. He was living in Ithaca, Gratiot County in 1888 and in Bethany or Arcada, Gratiot County in 1890 and in Arcada in 1894.

In February of 1865 he applied for and received a pension (no. 152548).

Alexander was possibly a widower when he died, and was buried in Ithaca Township cemetery, Gratiot County.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Henry W. Parker

Henry W. Parker was born in 1842 in Ohio, the son of Solomon (b. 1800).

Vermont native Solomon moved his family from Ohio to Michigan sometime after 1850, and by 1860 Henry was living with his family in Wayland, Allegan County.

Henry was reportedly 19 years old when he enlisted with his parent’s or guardians consent in Company A on May 13, 1861. Henry was described by one of his tentmates during the winter of 1861-61 as “about 17 years old, and a good fellow.”

He was absent sick from August of 1862 through September, and in fact it appears that he may haver either deserted from the field or was taken sick and not reported as such. Apparently Henry was at one point reported as a deserter since he was listed returned from desertion on April 9, 1863, at Camp Sickles, Virginia. Indeed, according to a statement issued by the War Department in 1894, Henry was taken sick on or about August 24, 1862, and then listed as having deserted from the parole camp as of November 1, 1862 -- thus inferring that he had been taken prisoner sometime in late summer of 1862, paroled and sent to (probably) Camp Parole, Maryland. He was returned to the regiment under the President’s Proclamation of April 18, 1863, granting amnesty to deserters.

On August 5, 1863, at the headquarters of the First division, Third Corps, a court martial was convened to try Henry on charges of misbehavior before the enemy. Specifically, Captain Dan Root, then commanding Company A, alleged that Henry left the company without permission on May 2, near Chancellorsville, Virginia, “while they were charging the enemy, and did remain absent four (4) days.”

Henry pled not guilty.

The prosecution called First Sergeant Charles Van Dusen. He was asked to describe what he knew of Henry’s absence from the company.

Answer: On the night of the 2nd of May, he went in with us, and charged when the regiment did, but when he came out he was not with us. The next time I saw him was the 6th of May after returning to camp.

Judge Advocate: Do you know where he was during his absence?

Answer: No I do not, sir.

Judge Advocate: How was he reported, in your morning report during his absence?

Answer: Absent without leave.

Judge Advocate: Is the accused a regularly enlisted and mustered man of the U.S. service?

Answer: Yes, sir.

Judge Advocate: At what time was the charge made?

Answer: I think about 10 or 11 o’clock at night.

Court: Was it possible for a man to lose his regiment in the confusion that existed after the charge?

Answer: Yes, sir, it was.

Court: Is the accused considered a brave man?

Answer: Yes sir, he is a good soldier.

Sergeant Joseph Evered of Company A was then called for the prosecution. He was asked by the Judge Advocate what he knew of Parker’s absence from the company.

Answer: I know that he was absent from the night of the 2nd of May till we got into camp on the night of the 6th.

Judge Advocate: Did he go with his regiment when they charged?

Answer: He did, sir.

Judge Advocate: How did he behave?

Answer: He behaved well and remained with the Company until we commenced to fall back. I cannot say he remained longer, as we badly mixed up and confused. I did not again see him till we went into camp in the 6th.

Judge Advocate: How did he return to his company?

Answer: He came of his own free will.

Judge Advocate: Has he been on duty since?

Answer: Yes, sir ever since his return.

Judge Advocate: How has behaved in action since that time?

Answer: I have never known him to be any other than a good brave soldier ought to be, either in action or in camp.

Judge Advocate: Has he ever been absent without leave before?

Answer: He has not, not that I am aware of.

Statement of the Prisoner: I charged with my regiment on the night of the 2nd of May. I suppose I went as far as any other man into the enemy’s line. Charles Wright, a Sergt. Of my company was struck by a limb of a tree (or something else) in the eye, and as the regiment was then falling back and Sergt. Wright could not see he asked me to lead him out, and I felt it my duty to assist him. I took him to a brick house used as a hospital and remained with him till morning. In the morning at daybreak every well man that had arms was ordered into the rifle pits on the left of the hospital, as the enemy were advancing in dense masses. I went cheerfully, with a number of other men and held the rifle pit that day and part of the next, when we were ordered to fall back and taken to a rifle pit on the road near a creek and remained there till the army recovered the river. I was prevented, both by cavalrymen and staff officers from joining my regiment, two or three times, and finding I could not get to them, I did what good I could where I was. Sergt. Wright is now sick in Alexandria.

Henry was found not guilty of leaving his company while they were charging the enemy. However he was found guilt of being absent without proper authority and sentenced to forfeit two months’ pay.

Henry was serving with the Regiment at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863, where, according to Dan Crotty of Company F, following “Pickett’s charge,” Henry, along with Regimental Quartermaster Captain Robert Collins and Sergeant Joseph Evered also of Company A, carried Confederate General Kemper off the field. (This has yet to be substantiated.)

He was reportedly treated for syphilis and/or gonorrhea from September 10-17, 1863 and again in mid-February of 1864, after which he returned to duty. Henry was absent sick from September through January of 1864, and was mustered out on June 20, 1864, at Detroit.

After his discharge from the army Henry returned to Michigan, probably to his home in Wayland.

Henry married Ohio native Julia B. (1842-1913), and they had at least two children: Grace (b. 1869) and Pearl (1877-1964).

By 1870 Henry was working as a farmer (he owned some $2000 worth of real estate) and living in Wayland. (His father was also living in Wayland that year.) By 1880 he was working as a farmer and living in Wayland with his wife and children. He was living in Wayland in 1888, 1890 and 1894 and probably lived most of his life in Wayland.

Henry was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association and was a witness for James Babe’s pension. In 1885 he applied for and received a pension (no. 600002).

Henry died a widower, presumably at his home in Wayland, on February 4, 1915, and was buried in Elmwood cemetery, Wayland: 647-1.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Charles Parker

Charles Parker was born in 1833 in Wayne County, Michigan, possibly the son of Alanson (b. 1797) and stepson of Sarah (b. 1818).

Vermonter Alanson married Connecticut native Sarah and moved from New York to Michigan and by 1840 was possibly living in Washtenaw County. In 1850 Charles was attending school and working as a farmer with his father and older brother Henry in Handy, Livingston County.

Charles married Michigan native Elizabeth (b. 1839), probably in Michigan, and they had at least two children: Mary Stone Parker (b. 1856) and David H. (b. 1858).

By 1860 Charles was working as a lumberman and living with his wife and children in Georgetown, Ottawa County; near by lived George Weatherwax who would also join the Third Michigan, as captain of Company I.

Charles stood 5’10” with blue eyes, black hair and a fair complexion and was 28 years old and probably still living in Georgetown when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861 -- he may have been related to Ben Parker who was also from Ottawa County and who also enlisted in Company I. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.) Charles was discharged for “gastric fever” on October 11, 1861, at Fort Richardson, Virginia.

He eventually returned to Michigan where at the age of 31 he reentered the service as a Private at Grand Rapids, on August 22, 1864, for three years, in Company I, Twenty-first Michigan infantry and was mustered the same day. He joined the regiment on October 28, and was mustered out on June 8, 1865, at Washington, DC.

He again returned to Michigan. (In 1870 his father was living with Thomas Parker in Howell, Livingston County.)

Charles was married a second time to Esther.

He was living in Michigan in 1888 when he applied for and received a pension (no. 548990).

Charles probably died in 1904 and probably in Michigan.

In any case, his widow was living in Michigan in August of 1904 when she applied for a pension (no. 812465).

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Benjamin C. Parker Sr.

Benjamin C. Parker was born in 1843 in Florence, Huron County (?), Ohio, probably the son of Ezekiel (b. 1800) and Anna (Wood, b. 1810).

Benjamin’s family left Ohio and moved to Indiana where they were living by 1839. The family moved on to western Michigan, probably settling in Ottawa County, where it quite possible that Ezekiel died. In any case, in 1857 Benjamin’s mother remarried Harley Bement Sr. in Georgetown, Ottawa County. (Harley Jr. would not only serve in the Old Third during the war but would also marry Benjamin’s sister, his stepsister Miranda.).

By 1860 Benjamin was working as a mill hand and living at the Paddock boarding house in Georgetown, Ottawa County, along with: John Finch (Company I), Albert Hayes (Company I), Joseph Ledbeter (Company B), James Parm (Company I), Thomas Rowling (Company I), Alfred Tate (Company F) and William Tate (Company I), John M. Taylor (Company I).

Benjamin stood 5’1” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was 18 years old and residing in Georgetown when he enlisted with his parents’ consent in Company I on May 13, 1861. (He was possibly the brother-in-law of Harley Bement of Company I and may have been related to Charles Parker who was also from Ottawa County and who also enlisted in Company I.) Benjamin was wounded on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, but eventually returned to duty and was promoted to Corporal on October 20, 1862, and to Sergeant on April 1, 1863. He was given the Kearny cross for his participation in the battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia, on May 3, 1863, and was mustered out of service on June 20, 1864.

It is not known if Benjamin ever returned to Michigan.

By 1868 he had settled in Tucson, Arizona where he lived the remainder of his life. In 1880 he was single, working as a laborer and living with the family of Manuel Castillo on Montezuma Street in Prescott, Arizona.

He was 37 years old when he married 12-year-old Lucia Bonillas (1868-1906) on September 14, 1880, in Tucson; they had at least five children: Jessie (b. 1881), Amelia (b. 1884), Benjamin C. Jr. (b. 1888), George W. (b. 1890) and Anna (b. 1894). (She was probably living in Tuscon with the family of P. Carsetus in 1880.)

In 1885 he applied for a pension (application no. 610620).

Benjamin died and was buried on July 22, 1893, in Tucson.

In 1909 Lucia was still living in Arizona when she applied for a pension (no. 610620) but the certificate was never granted (she most likely remarried). Subsequently a pension application was filed for a minor child and approved (no. 699277).

Benjamin C. Jr. apparently visited the National Archives in 1940 to see his father’s military service record at which time he wrote his name, address and date on the outside jacket of the record.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Albert C. Parker

Albert C. Parker was born on March 31, 1838, in Niagara County, New York.

In 1860 there was an Albert C. Parker living in Columbus, Chenango County, New York. In any case, Albert eventually left New York and came to Michigan sometime before the war broke out.

He stood 5’9’ with dark eyes, hair and complexion and was a 23-year-old mechanic who had just moved to Grand Rapids from Wyoming, Wyoming County, New York, when he enlisted in Company A on May 13, 1861. He was shot in the right hip on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and subsequently hospitalized in New York City. He was reportedly discharged on June 16 from City Hospital in New York City, and discharged from the army as a Corporal on October 31, 1862, at Armory Square hospital in Washington, DC.

Albert apparently returned to Michigan and reentered the service in Unassigned, Third Michigan cavalry on March 9, 1865, at Fair Grove, Tuscola County for one year, crediting Fair Grove, was mustered on March 30 in Flint, Genesee County. He probably never served in the field with the regiment -- which was in Louisiana by this time -- and was honorably discharged on June 22, 1865, at St. Louis, Missouri.

After the war Albert returned to Grand Rapids where lived the rest of his life.

He married New York native Susan (b. 1848), and they had at least five children: Daisie (b. 1870), Pansie (b. 1872), Lorenzo (b. 1876), Lulu (b. 1878) and Paul (b. 1879).

By 1880 Albert was working as a mechanic and living with his wife and children on Clinton Street in Grand Rapids’ Fifth Ward. For some years Albert and William Green operated Parker & Green, a cigar box manufacturing enterprise, and by 1889-90 it was located at 93 Campau in the city. By 1890 he was residing at 292 or 296 E. Bridge Street, and by 1891 had remarried one Libbie H.

He received pension no. 200,022, dated December of 1881, drawing $4.00 per month for a wounded right hip, and a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association and of Grand Army of the Republic Custer post no. 5 in Grand Rapids.

Albert was killed in a fall in Grand Rapids on October 27, 1891.

He had suffered a brain concussion received during a fall at his place of work in Grand Rapids on the night of October 24, 1891. For several days following his accident there was much speculation throughout the community regarding the exact cause of his death. On October 25 the Grand Rapids Eagle reported that

At 11:25 last night police were notified by A. Hanish, who was on his way home, that there was a man lying dead at the foot of the stairway at 93 Campau Street. Sergeant Conlou and Detective Gates investigated and found A. C. Parker lying unconscious at the foot of the stairs leading to his box factory in the upper story of the block and bleeding at the mouth and ears. The unfortunate man was taken to headquarters and Dr. Roberts was called in to give what medical assistance he could. 2 concussions were found on Parker's head, one on the right side just above the base of the brain and the other over the right eye. The man's breathing was labored, and a gurgling sound came from his throat. The ambulance was called and took him to his home, 296 Bridge Street There was nothing to show how he was hurt, but the quite probable supposition is that he fell down the whole flight of stairs while coming out or going up to his factory. It is said that Parker is addicted to the use of liquor. He is a very dangerously injured man and at a late hour this morning there was little hope of his recovery.

Doubts regarding the nature of Parker’s death continued to surface throughout the community. On October 27, the Evening Leader reported that although “His relatives believe there was foul play connected with his death. Officer Duga, however, saw him a few moments before the accident and said he was very drunk.” The Democrat, too, raised the suspicion that Parker had died by the hand of another. On October 28, the paper asked,

Was it murder? This is the question that hill residents are asking each other regarding the alleged accidental death of A. C. Parker. An air of mystery surrounds the affair. Mr. Parker was found late Sat. eve. lying on the sidewalk in front of his place of business on Campau Street near the jail, in a state of insensibility. He was taken to police headquarters and Dr. M. C. Roberts attended him there and afterwards, when he was removed to his home at no. 293 East Bridge Street. He never regained consciousness and died about 3 o'clock yesterday morning. Since the report of his death was first circulated, various rumors have been afloat concerning the case, and some of the statements made by those who are familiar with the whole affair would seem to indicate that a thorough investigation of the matter should be speedily made. Dr. Roberts was seen last evening by a reporter for the Democrat, and talked as followed concerning the case:

“When I arrived at headquarters that evening I found my patient in a very serious condition. In fact he was almost dead. I immediately administered a hypodermic injection and his breathing and heart action rallied. I watched the progress of the case with interest, giving it my whole attention. His breathing had become stertorious, and I found that a clot of blood inside the skull was pressing against the brain. After removing the clot, his breathing became more natural and easy, and he began to move his right arm. I noticed large fractures in the right side of the head, each about an inch and a half or 2 inches long. After performing the operation of trepanning he was much improved at 8 o'clock next morning, but shortly after that symptoms of brain irritation were apparent, caused by hemorrhages deeper down. I called in Drs. Marvin and Fuller to consult, but we could do nothing more for him. One thing that struck me as being very peculiar about the case was the fact that there was not the slightest abrasion of the skin around the fractures, as would be the case if he had fallen and scraped his head along a rough surface. It looked to me decidedly like a hard blow struck by a sand bag. I do not say that this is the case, but it has that appearance. I think it is a case that should be investigated.”

Mrs. Parker was seen at her home. She bore the evidence of great suffering, but spoke calmly of the matter to the reporter. “I feel that this should be looked into,” she said. “There are certainly grounds to suspect foul play. Thursday night my husband retired rather earlier than usual, and some little time after I entered the bedroom and picked up his pantaloons, which were lying on the floor. As I raised them something fell from one of the pockets. It was a canvas sack that he used to carry money in, and I opened it and found that it contained a large roll of bills and a lot of silver. He had been out collecting that week, and I felt worried at the time at his carrying so much money with him.

“We have learned from the foreman at the factory that he was out collecting both on Friday and Saturday, yet all the money found in his clothes when they brought him here was 2 cents. His bank book shows that he has deposited nothing since Oct. 16, and we have forced open the safe and found only 8 cents there. I cannot account for the disposal of the sum of money he must have had that Saturday. His coat did not have any dust or dirt on it, as would have been the case if he had rolled down the stairs. I shall not feel right about the matter until an investigation has been made.”

Dr. Marvin thought there were some very queer things about the case. He said that Parker was a heavy man, and a fall down a long, steep stairway would have bruised him considerably in various places, but not a mark could be found on his body, except about the head, as he stated. “It will be easy to trace him through the whole of that day,” he said, “as he was a very well known man and many people will remember having seen him. I think that should be done at least.”


Dr. Fuller was not inclined to express an opinion, but intimated that some sensational developments might be expected after an inquest had been held.

The neighborhood is pretty thoroughly roused over the matter and all sorts of theories are advanced. Coroner Penwarden will hold an inquest this morning at 10 o'clock, and will then decide whether to empanel a jury or not. The police are very reticent about the matter and not disposed to make public any information they may possess.


The following day the Democrat published the coroner’s findings.

Coroner Penwarden and Dr. Fuller held an inquest on the body of A. C. Parker, whose death under mysterious circumstances was noticed in The Democrat of yesterday morning. During the course of the autopsy a fusion of blood was discovered on the side of the head, with indications of apoplexy. Their theory is that he was taken suddenly with an apoplectic stroke and fell heavily, striking on his head. What became of the money he is supposed to have [had] with him is still an open question, and until this and other points about the case are cleared up many of his friends will be dissatisfied with the results of the post mortem.

Albert was buried in Oak Hill cemetery: section Q lot 94.

In November of 1891 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 973401).

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mortimer E. Parish

Mortimer E. Parish was born in 1840 in Bennington, Wyoming County, New York, the son of Asa W. (b. 1817) and Catharine (b. 1817).

New York natives Asa and Catharine settled in New York where they lived for some years before moving west and settling in Michigan. By 1850 Asa was working as a laborer and Mortimer was living with his family in Plainfield, Kent County. By 1860 he may have been a farmer and sawyer living with and/or working for a farmer by the name of John Dinsbach in Alpine, Kent County. He may also have been residing in Lowell, Kent County and living with Charles Scaddin (who would enlist in Company F).

In either case, Mortimer stood 5’8” with blue eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was 21 years old and gave his place of residence as Dundee, Kent County, when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861. He was wounded on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and subsequently hospitalized at the hospital at David’s Island in New York harbor. Mortimer was discharged on July 14 from David’s Island, and discharged from the army on account of his wounds on September 15 or 20 or November 28, 1862, at Detroit.

Mortimer returned to Michigan where he reentered the service in Company K, First Michigan Engineers and Mechanics, on December 20, 1863, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered on January 2, 1864, crediting Alpine. Mortimer probably joined the regiment somewhere in the vicinity of Chattanooga, Tennessee (or Stevenson, Alabama) where it was on engineering duty as well as at Bridgeport, Stevenson and on line of the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad, Nashville & Northwestern Railroad, Tennessee & Alabama Railroad and Memphis & Charleston Railroad building block houses, etc., till May, 1864. The Regiment was on duty on the Atlantic & Western Railroad building block houses, etc., till September when it was ordered to Atlanta, Georgia on September 25.

Mortimer, however, remained in Tennessee and was reported sick at Chattanooga on September 19, 1864. He was eventually sent back to Michigan to recover his health and admitted to Harper hospital in Detroit on December 28, 1864.

Mortimer was honorably discharged from the army on May 10, 1865, at Detroit.

After the war Mortimer returned to western Michigan. (His parents were living in Ferry Township, Oceana County in 1870.) He eventually settled in Marquette Township, Mackinac County. (In 1920 there was an 81-year-old Mortimer Parish, born in New York, living at the California Veteran’s Home in Yountville, Napa County.)

In 1862 he applied for and received a pension (no. 11994).

Mortimer died on April 7, 1928, in Rudyard, Mackinac County, and was reportedly buried in Simmons cemetery, Marquette, Mackinac County.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Heman Parish

Heman Parish was born on July 29, 1840, in Morristown, St. Lawrence County, New York, the son of Luther (b. 1786) and Fannie (Carpenter, b. 1802).

Luther left his home in Vermont and moved to St. Lawrence County, where he was living in 1820 (Hague) and in 1830 (Gouvernour). He eventually married New Yorker Fanny sometime before 1827, probably in New York where they resided for many years. By 1850 Heman was attending school with his older siblings and living with his family in Morristown, St. Lawrence County where his father was unemployed. Luther eventually moved his family to western Michigan and by 1860 had settled on a farm in Thornapple, Barry County, Michigan.

Heman stood 6’1” with black eyes and hair and a dark complexion, and was 21 years old and probably a farmer living in Middleville, Barry County when he enlisted in Company K on December 17, 1861, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Walker, Kent County, and was mustered the same day. (He may have been related to William Parish of Company F, who was also from Barry County.) Heman was reported as a Corporal on December 24, 1863, when he reenlisted at Brandy Station, Virginia, was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough, probably at his family home in Michigan, in January of 1864, and rejoined the Regiment on or about the first of February.

Heman was taken prisoner on May 6, 1864, during the Wilderness campaign, and transferred as a prisoner-of-war to Company I, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He was reported absent sick from July of 1864 through March of 1865, and was confined for some 8 months at Andersonville, Georgia. He reportedly escaped from the rebels during an exchange of prisoners, although he was mustered out while a prisoner-of-war on April 26, 1865.

After the war Heman eventually returned to Michigan, probably to Barry County.

He married Michigan native Martha (b. 1845) and they had at least five children: Lena (b. 1867, Mrs. Kirkpatrick) and an unnamed son (b. 1870), Mrs. Florence Braser and Mrs. Jeanette Edwards. Heman and Martha were eventually divorced.

By 1870 he was working as a livery keeper and living with his wife and two children with the family of a wealthy harness-maker named John Russell in Middleville, Barry County. (His father lived not far away.) By 1876 Heman or Herman had settled in Grand Rapids.

He married his second wife, New York native Esther (b. 1852), and they had at least two children: Pearl (b. 1876, Mrs. Henry Hydorn) and Alida (b. 1880); also living with them was his daughter “Lennie.”

By 1880 Heman was “running a hack and express” wagon and living with his wife and daughters in Grand Rapids’ First Ward. where for some 20 years he engaged in the retail grocery business. In 1890 he was living at 221 Seventh Street, and he resided in the city until 1910 when he moved to Lansing where he worked for some twelve years as a guard at the State Capitol; in 1911 he was living at 123 Walnut in Lansing. He moved back to Grand Rapids about 1922, and in 1923 was residing at his daughter’s home at 150 Cherry Street in Grand Rapids. By 1930 Heman and Esther were both living with their daughter Pearl (she was listed as head of the household and worth some $25,000 in property).

Heman was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association and the Grand Army of the Republic Custer post no. 5 in Grand Rapids, until he was suspended from the latter on June 27, 1895.

He applied for and received a pension (no. 862559).

Heman died of apoplexy at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Henry Hydorn, on Sunday November 30 (?), 1930, and the funeral service was held at 1:30 p.m. on December 2 in the Birdsall chapel. He was buried in Oak Hill cemetery: section 9 lot 64. (There are no makers remaining for any of his family.)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

William H. Paradise

William H. Paradise was born on September 1, 1842, in Allegan, Allegan County, Michigan.

His family eventually moved north from Allegan County and had settled in the vicinity of Fremont, Newaygo County, by 1855 when William was enrolled in the school at Elm Corners (present-day Fremont).

William stood 5’9” with black eyes, dark hair and a fair complexion and was 18 years old and probably working as a laborer and still living in Newaygo County when he enlisted with the consent of the Justice of the Peace in Company H on May 6, 1861. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers,” was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties.)

He was reported as a pioneer (probably for the Brigade) from July of 1862 through October. William reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Muskegon, Muskegon County, was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough, probably in Michigan, in January of 1864, and he probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February. He was a Brigade pioneer in April of 1864, probably hospitalized in May and was still absent sick when he was transferred to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry as a Corporal upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He was reported absent sick through at least July of 1864, and was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

Following his release from the army William returned to Newaygo County.

He married Canadian-born (probably Quebec) Calista A. (1844-1886), and they had at least three children: Alphonse (b. 1866), Nellie (b. 1868), Willie, “our pet” (d. 1875), Sarah A. (1872-73) and Alice E. (1870-71).

By 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Fremont Center, Sheridan Township, Newaygo County; he resided in Sheridan the rest of his life.

In 1871 he applied for and received pension no. 115212.

William died July 10, 1875, in Fremont, and was buried in Maple Grove cemetery, Fremont: section B, row 20, grave 4.

In September of 1875 Calista applied for and received a pension no 172,946. By 1880 she was living in Fremont, Sheridan Township; also living with her were her two children, Alphonse and Nellie. She was still living in Fremont in 1883.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Chandler J. Palmiter

Chandler J. Palmiter was born in 1845 in Ohio or New York, the son of Philander (b. 1824) and Grace (Flick, b. 1824).

New York native Philander married Pennsylvanian Grace and they eventually settled in Ohio by about 1845. The family left Ohio sometime between 1848 and 1854 by which time they had settled in Michigan. By 1860 Chandler was attending school with three of his younger siblings and living with his family on a farm Lowell, Kent County.

Chandler stood 5’10” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 16 years old and possibly still living with his family in Lowell when he enlisted 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 reenlisted on December 21 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Lowell, was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough, probably at his family home in Lowell, and returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February.

He was hospitalized sometime in the spring of 1864, was reported on detached service as a nurse in the Division hospital in May and June and still absent detached as a nurse when he was transferred to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. Chandler remained on detached service through at least September of 1864, and was mustered out of service on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

It is not known if Chandler returned to Michigan after the war.

Chandler married Indiana native Adelia (b. 1845).

By 1891 he was living in Illinois when he applied for and received a pension (no. 970431).

By 1920 he was living with his wife “Delia” in Union, Perry County, Indiana, and by 1930 he was living with his wife Adelia in Alton, Crawford County, Indiana.

Chandler died on January 12, 1931, in Alton, Crawford County, Indiana, and was presumably buried there.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Owen F. Palmer

Owen F. Palmer was born in 1831 in New York.

Owen left New York and by the time the war had broken out he had settled in western Michigan.

He stood 5’8’ with dark eyes and hair and a dark complexion and was 30 years old and probably working as a shoemaker living in the vicinity of Hastings, Barry County, when he was elected Third Corporal of the Hastings Rifle Company in April of 1861. Although the company was disbanded shortly after it arrived in Grand Rapids to become part of the Third Michigan infantry then forming at Cantonment Anderson just south of the city, Owen eventually enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861.

He was reported absent sick in the hospital in August of 1862 and again in March of 1863. He eventually recovered, however, and reenlisted on December 24, 1863, crediting Oakfield, Kent County. Owen was absent on veterans’ furlough during January of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February. He was wounded slightly in his temple in early May, probably at the Wilderness or Spotsylvania, Virginia. In any case, he was transferred to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864.

Owen was reported absent sick from July until November, probably at Beverly hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was furloughed, apparently from Beverly hospital, sometime in late fall, when he possibly returned to his family home in New York. On November 6, 1864, he was admitted to the general hospital at Troy, New York, “unable to travel to return to Beverly hospital whence furloughed and has not been able to leave the hospital since.” Owen was still in the hospital in Troy by the end of January of 1865, and was discharged on February 6, 1865, at Troy, for chronic diarrhea and consumption. According to his discharge certificate, “He is much emaciated and is unfit for any duty or service in the Veterans' Reserve Corps.”

It is possible that Owen returned to Michigan after his discharge from the army; in any event he listed Sherwood, Branch County as his mailing address on his discharge paper. (There was one Ira M. Palmer, 62 years old in 1870, who, along with his wife and children had settled in Sherwood sometime before 1850.)

He was probably the same Owen F. Palmer who married Sarah Hodges on November 26, 1865, in Branch County.

Owen probably died in late 1879 or early 1880.

His widow applied for a pension in April of 1880 (no. 262838), but the certificate was never granted.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

John P. Palmer

John P. Palmer was born in 1843 or 1844, possibly in New York, possibly the son of Othniel (b. 1806) and Almira (Thompson, b. 1815).

John’s family left New York and eventually settled in western Michigan.

By 1860 John was probably working as a farm laborer for the Gibson Cook family in Lamont, Tallmadge Township, Ottawa County; next door lived a 25-year-old farmer named Joseph Palmer (born in New York) and his wife, New York native Fanny (b. 1835); that same year there was also one John H. Palmer (b. 1844 in Connecticut), working as a clerk and living with his parents (?), M. L. and Mary Palmer, in Crockery, Ottawa County. (Interestingly, In 1869 Joseph and Fanny had a son they named John.)

He was 18 years old and possibly living in Wright or Chester, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company B on May 13, 1861. (He may have been related to Abel Palmer, also from Ottawa County and who also enlisted in company B.)

John died of fever on April 27, 1862, in the Regimental hospital at Camp Scott, near Yorktown, Virginia.

According to the Regimental Surgeon Dr. Zenas Bliss,

The regiment was attached to General Berry’s brigade of General Kearney’s division of the Third Corps, and arrived at Fort Monroe on March 26th, 1862, and shortly afterwards moved to Yorktown, and encamped in a thick woods, intermingled with patches of swamp and pools of water, the ground being covered with fragments of fallen trees and decaying vegetable matter. Water could be obtained only by digging holes from two and a half to three feet in depth, and the surface obtained form these was all that the men had. The regiment remained in this camp about five weeks, and was doing picket and fatigue duty on trenches and fortifications all that time. A few intermittents and remittents [fevers] occurred, as also about forty cases of typhoid fever, all very severe, marked by epistaxis tympanitis, and, after a few days, hemorrhage from the bowels, the blood being evidently impoverished. Several of these cases proved fatal.

All of these patients had active, supporting treatment throughout. The sick were cared for at a hospital, about a mile and a half to the rear, composed of log huts or barracks, built and formerly occupied by the 53d Virginia Volunteers (Confederate), upon a sandy soil, where we obtained an abundance of excellent well water. These barracks were well ventilated, and accommodated a large number of sick and wounded from both the regulars and volunteers. I saw all of the sick and what few wounded there were at this hospital and had immediate charge of very many sick who were members of various regiments; and nearly all of the cases were either low remittents or typhoid fever. I say remittents, because some of them might be easily classed as such; but I believed then, as now, that they were almost pure enteric fever. I held autopsies of all that died who were under my charge, six in number. [Probably Harrison sickles of Company G, John Palmer of Company B, Stephen Scales of Company I, Edward Bugbee of Company K, Charles Howe of Company E and David Stone of Company H.] No post mortem was held on the case of typhus. All the deaths from typhoid fever occurred late in the course of the disease, and the majority from hemorrhages from the bowels, one from coma, and the others apparently from pure exhaustion. The abdominal viscera were those principally examined. Peyer’s glands were found in each case in a state of ulceration; some very large ulcers; some healing while others were in an inflamed condition. Some of the ulcerations extended nearly through the coats of the intestines. I preserved the specimens in each case, but subsequently lost them during the campaign. The small intestines, through their entire length, gave evidence of previous inflammatory action; but all the other abdominal viscera gave no evidence of either organic or serious functional disease, and the soft parts and glands, when divided with the scalpel, seemed to be almost exsanguined. I wish the blood could have been analysed, because I feel confident that the primary trouble was there. In cases of epistaxis, the blood gave only a faint coloring to the spots on linen, and it did not give to the linen that stiffened feel that we get when it is saturated with ordinary blood, from both of which I infer that the blood was deficient in plasma and coloring matter, or defibrinated. In these cases, quinine, brandy, ammonia, and small doses of opium were given with a view to support the patient. Essence of beef and beef tea, of good quality, and in abundance, was furnished and given. The supply of medicines at this time was ample, but at times we were deficient in hospital stores.

John was presumably among the unknown soldiers buried in Yorktown National Cemetery.

No pension seems to be available.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Charles Palmer

Charles Palmer was born in 1844 in Oswego County, New York.

Charles stood 5’11” with hazel eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was 20 years old and may have been a farmer living in Cato, Montcalm County when he enlisted in Unassigned on January 30, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Cato, and was mustered the same day.

There is no further record.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Amos Palmer

Amos Palmer was born in 1830.

Amos was 32 years old and may have been living in Lansing, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company G on August 19, 1862, at Grand Rapids, and joined the Regiment September 8 at Upton’s Hill, Virginia. (Company G, formerly the “Williams’ Rifles,”was made up predominantly of men from the Lansing area.)

He was a company cook in October of 1862 and on detached service at Division headquarters in April of 1863. He was wounded in the leg on July 2 at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and subsequently hospitalized in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Although he was reported transferred to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, in fact he remained absent wounded until he was discharged on May 31, 1864, at Detroit on account of his leg being amputated.

In 1864 Amos applied for and received a pension (no. 59364).

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Abel B. Palmer

Abel B. Palmer was born in 1840 in New York.

He was 21 years old and residing in Lamont, Ottawa County when he enlisted, probably for ninety days (following President Lincoln’s first call for 75,000 90-day volunteers), subsequently reenlisting as a three-year volunteer in Company B (perhaps on May 13, 1861 when the regiment was mustered into state service) before the Regiment was mustered into federal service on June 10, 1861. (He may have been related to John Palmer, also from Ottawa County and who also enlisted in Company B.)

According to Reuben Randall, who was also from Ottawa County and who also served in Company B, Abel (or “Abe”) was taken sick sometime in mid-July and was confined to the regimental hospital while the regiment was advancing towards Bull Run.

Abel was reported as a teamster in October of 1862, and serving with the ambulance corps -- probably as a teamster -- in November. He was working at Division headquarters from December of 1862 through February of 1863, at Brigade headquarters in March, and serving with the Brigade ammunition train from April through July. He was a teamster at Division headquarters from September 26, 1863 through January 1864. He was still working as a teamster when Charles Starks, also formerly of Company B and also driving an ammunition wagon, wrote home to his cousin in Ottawa County (presumably Reuben Randall formerly of Company B and also form Ottawa County) that “Abe is driving here in the same train that I am in. He is all right. Abe and I have some pretty good times [even] if we are in the army.

Abel continued to work as a teamster in the Brigade train from February through April, and was with the ammunition train in May. He was mustered out on June 20, 1864, at Detroit. He claimed in later years that he had been wounded twice in battle and shot once in the foot.

After he was discharged from the army Abel eventually returned to Michigan settling in Muskegon, Muskegon County where resided for many years.

He married Pennsylvania native Martha Rowe (b. 1845) on February 5, 1865, and they had at least two children: Florence B. (b. in May of 1870, probably Mrs. James O’Hara) and Milo J. (b. 1875).

By 1870 Abel was working as a farmer and living with his wife and infant daughter in Harwood, Norton Township, Muskegon County. (Next door lived Gustave Arndt who had also served in the Old Third.) By 1880 Abel was working as the “night watch” and living in Muskegon’s First Ward, Muskegon County with hs wife and children. Abel was living in Muskegon in 1888, in the Third Ward in 1890 and 1894 at 22 Amity Street, and worked at a variety of trades including carpenter, boom hand and policeman.

It is possible that he was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association.

In 1887 (?) he applied for and received a pension (no. 889538).

In the spring of 1895 he moved to St. Joseph, Berrien County to live with his daughter Mrs. James O’Hara and her husband.

Abel died of “heart trouble” on Saturday March 6, 1896, in St. Joseph. The funeral was held on Sunday afternoon and he was buried in St. Joseph. In 1896 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 431993).

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Stephen Eugene Page

Stephen Eugene Page was born on March 21, 1845, in Ionia County, Michigan, the son of Stephen F. (1817-1892) and Mary Ann (1818-1903).

New Hampshire native Stephen F. and New York-born Mary Ann were married and settled in Lyons, Ionia County sometime before 1840, and by 1850 Stephen Eugene was attending school and living with his family on a farm in Ionia, Ionia County. By 1860 Stephen E. was still attending school and living with his family in Ionia where his father was a wealthy land agent and lawyer, and his older sister Julia was a schoolteacher (Julia died in May of 1861) .

Stephen E. stood 5’11” with hazel eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 16 years old and may have been working as a Musician in Ionia when he enlisted in the Band on June 10, 1861. He was discharged for lung disease on July 18, 1861, at Fort Lyon, Virginia.

Stephen E. returned to his family home in Ionia (his father was still a land agent in Ionia in 1863), where he died, probably of “lung disease” on May 7, 1866. He was buried in Oakhill cemetery, Ionia County.

In 1870 Stephen’s father was working as a land speculator in Ionia (he owned some $20,000 worth of real estate and another $30,000 in personal property) and still living in Ionia in 1876. By 1880 Stephen’s parents were living on a farm in Dinwiddie County, Virginia.

In 1880 Stephen’s mother applied for and received a dependent mother’s pension (no. 368682). By 1891 she was living at 704 W. Washington in Ionia.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Fernando Page - update 1/24/2011

Fernando Page was born in 1841 “at the top of Lyon Street hill” in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the son of Loren M. (1811-1886) and Jane E. (Soper).

In 1836 Fernando’s father came to Grand Rapids from Vermont, where he had been alternating his work between painting and district school teaching, and soon after he arrived in Michigan he married New York native Jane Soper. By 1850 Fernando was attending school with two of his siblings and living with his family in Grand Rapids; and by 1860 Fernando was working both as a farm laborer for David Smith in Walker, Kent County and a painter with his father and living with his family in Grand Rapids’ Second Ward.

Fernando stood 5’6” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 20 years old and probably living in Kent County when he enlisted in Company K on May 13, 1861. (Four of Fernando’s brothers also served in Michigan regiments during the War: John S. in the First Michigan Engineers & Mechanics, Charles F. in the Eighth Michigan infantry, James B. in the First Light Artillery and Enos in the Tenth Michigan cavalry.)

“He seemed to be a mark for bullets almost from the start,” wrote the Grand Rapids Herald many years after the war. On Sunday, July 21, 1861, at Bull Run “he was shot in arm, but after a few weeks returned to his Regiment full of fight. A short time after that he was shot in the hip during an engagement, and another bullet found its way into his leg just above the knee.”

It was while on picket duty on April 16, 1862, near Yorktown, Virginia, that Page was wounded severely in both feet. “As soon as he was discharged from the hospital,” wrote the Herald in 1912, “he joined McClellan’s campaign starting down the Virginia [peninsula] to Yorktown. He was always successful on foraging tours, and it was because of his fondness for this pastime that he became legless for life. While on a chicken hunt he was late for roll call, and as punishment was detailed for extra duty on the picket line, and sent to an advanced outpost near the rebel's position.”

Dan Crotty of Company F wrote after the war that during an artillery barrage “we hear a shout to the left and front of our post. Pretty soon a man is borne to the rear, and we find that Fernando Page, of company K, has both feet shot off by a premature discharge of one of our own guns. As he passes our post we observe that both feet hang only by pieces of flesh. Poor fellow, his soldiering is done.”

Two days after Page was wounded, George Miller of Company A, wrote home that while there “has not been many of our men killed yet but now and then one will expose himself too much and get hit. One of company K men while on picket had the misfortune to have both his feet shot at the ankle. The poor fellow will have to hobble through the world the rest of his life with wooden feet.” Many years later, the story was told that

A shell came whizzing through the air and cut clear through the bones of both legs just above the ankles. One foot hung by a narrow piece of flesh, and Page whipped out his knife and finished the amputation. His companion carried him in a blanket to a hut a mile away, where a practitioner who was in the improvised hospital for a few day's experience performed the necessary operation. It was not successful and 5 operations followed. It was after the first amputation, when the doctor and attendants believed death to be inevitable that the courage and will power of Page predominated even his terrible sufferings.

Where other men would have died, Page laughed at death. He heard the doctor prophesy his end, and came back with “The h___ you say, doc; I'm not going to die, not by a damnsite.” 24 hours after the operation Page challenged another soldier to a game of poker. The soldier, who had a wounded foot, told Page that it would not be wise for him to move about, so Page reached for a board standing near his bed, made a toboggan of this, and slid down the board to the bedside of the young man. When the doctor came in expecting to make arrangements for his funeral, Page was chuckling over his luck in winning $40 from the other soldier in a game of poker.

Fernando was subsequently hospitalized in New York and discharged on July 14 from David’s Island Hospital in New York harbor, and discharged from the army on August 16, 1862, at Detroit for “loss of both feet.” (His brother Charles was killed on May 12, 1864, at The Wilderness, Virginia.)

After he left the army Fernando returned to Grand Rapids, and in April of 1863 ran for election as Second Ward Constable but was defeated by Isaiah Peak.

Fernando married Michigan native Jane S. Tubbs (1848-1892), and they had at least one child, Charles A. (1868-1880).

By 1868-69 he was employed as toll collector on the west end of the Bridge Street bridge where he resided as well, and he was still living there as the bridge tender in 1870, along with his wife and child. Fernando also worked for several years as a demonstrator for a Philadelphia artificial limb company. In fact, “Page managed to make [such] good headway with artificial feet” that following his appointment as Doorkeeper to the U.S. House of Representatives in the late 1880s, “few realized when they saw him hustling around the House of Representatives that he had suffered such terrible injuries.”

Fernando lived in Grand Rapids for many years. He was working as an insurance agent and living with his wife at the corner of North and Curtis Streets in Grand Rapids’ Fifth Ward November of 1880 when his only son, Charlie A., died of diphtheria. (Next door lived Enos Page, probably Fernando’s brother.)

Fernando was living in Grand Rapids in 1885, on North Avenue northeast of Curtis in 1889 and at 859 Curtis in 1890, although by that time he was working as Doorkeeper for the United States House of Representatives in Washington, DC. In the late 1880s Julius Houseman, an influential businessman and politician from Grand Rapids had secured for Page the appointment as House Doorkeeper, and Page lived out the remainder of his life in Washington, DC.

According to one report written in June of 1890, “Page, a soldier employee of the house of representatives whose home is in Grand Rapids, and who is accused of using Congressman [Charles] Belknap’s frank for mailing democratic literature, is a republican. He was formerly controller of Grand Rapids. He was promoted to his present place through the influence of Mr. Houseman when in Congress. It is quite likely that he had authority to use Mr. Belknap’s frank, of, indeed, he used it at all.”

Fernando was a widower still living in Washington, DC when he married his second wife Fanny or Fannie M. Miller (1850-1926), on October 17, 1895, in Ionia, Ionia County. (Fannie was living in Concordia, Kansas, and was the former widow of John Tate who had served in Company I, Old Third, during the war, on .)

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association and Grand Army of the Republic Custer no. 5 in Grand Rapids until he moved to Washington, and he received pension no. 11,992, drawing $72.00 in 1883 for the loss of both feet.

Fernando died of a cerebral hemorrhage on Saturday, April 27, 1912, at his home at 338 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC and his body was sent home to Grand Rapids where it arrived on Wednesday April 31. The funeral services were held at O’Brien Bros. chapel and from the residence of his sister, Mrs. William Brethour, 1011 Caulfield on Friday May 2. He was buried in Oak Hill cemetery: section J lot 33.

His widow was still living in Washington, DC, in May of 1912 when she applied for and received a pension (no. 755912).

Thursday, February 04, 2010

William Marvin Owen

William Marvin Owen was born in 1816 in Albany County, New York.

In 1850 there was one William (b. 1800 in Ireland) Owen and his family living in Albany’s First Ward.

In any case, William left New York and eventually settled in western Michigan sometime before 1862.

William stood 5’8” with gray eyes, dark hair and a “healthy” complexion and was a 46-year-old farmer possibly living in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company D, on February 11, 1862, at Saranac, Ionia County. (He is not listed in the 1905 Third Michigan Regimental history.)

(William may have been related to Isaac Owen who had enlisted from Ionia County in Company E the previous year. Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County, while Company E was composed in large part by men from Clinton and Ingham counties, as well as parts of Ionia County.)

William, was absent sick in the hospital from August of 1862 through October, and discharged on January 14, 1863, at Fortress Monroe, Virginia for a scrotal hernia on the left side.

It is not known if William returned to Michigan after his discharge from the army. No pension seems to be available.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Isaac A. Owen

Isaac A. Owen was born in 1839.

He was married to Amanda.

Isaac was 22 years old and probably living in Lyons, Ionia County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company E on May 13, 1861. (He may have been related to William Owen who would enlist in Company D in 1862). Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County, while Company E was composed in large part by men from Clinton and Ingham counties, as well as parts of Ionia County.)

Isaac was killed in action on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and presumably among the unknown soldiers buried in Seven Pines National Cemetery.

In 1866 Amanda applied for and received a widow’s pension (no. 115469).

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

John Otto

John Otto was born in 1835 in Germany.

In 1860 there was a John Otto reportedly living in Clinton Township, Macomb County. In any case John immigrated to North America and had settled in eastern Michigan by the winter of 1863.

John stood 5’5” with blue eyes, light hair and a dark complexion and was a 28-year-old carpenter, possibly living in Macomb County when he became a substitute for Frederick Kaufman, who had been drafted on February 17, 1863, for 9 months from Erin, Macomb County. John enlisted in February of 1863 in Unassigned at Erin, for 3 years, crediting Erin, and was sent to the Regiment on March 6.

There is no further record. No pension seems to be available.

(There was one John Otto, age 40, who enlisted as a Private and substitute in Company K, Fifth New Hampshire infantry on August 8, 1864. He was mustered out on June 28, 1865.)

In 1870 there was a John Otto, born 1835 in Prussia, working as a farm laborer in Warren, Macomb County. He was married to Mary (b. 1832 in Prussia) and they had at least three children: Helena (b. 1855), John (b. 1858) and Mary (1868). They had settled in Michigan sometime before 1855.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Thomas Otrey

Thomas Otrey was born in 1837, in England.

Thomas emigrated from England and eventually settled in western Michigan.

He stood 5’8” with brown eyes, light hair and a dark complexion and was a 24-year-old carpenter probably living in Muskegon County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company H on May 6, 1861. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers,” was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties.) He was sick in the hospital from August of 1862 through October of 1862, but eventually returned to duty and was wounded on May 3, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Virginia. Again he recovered and reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Muskegon, Muskegon County. He was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February.

Thomas was reported absent sick or wounded in the hospital in May of 1864 (he may have been wounded during the Wilderness/Spotsylvania campaigns), and was still absent sick or wounded when he was transferred to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He remained absent sick through July of 1864, and was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

It is not known if Thomas returned to Michigan after the war.

It is likely that Thomas was related to Angelina Otrey who married Samuel Jenner, also formerly of Company H, and who would also settle in both Big Stone, Minnesota and possibly El Paso, Texas, as well.

Thomas 1875 he acquired some 148 acres of land through the land office in Litchfield, Minnesota, and in 1880 he was working as a farmer, married and living in Trenton Big Stone County, Minnesota. In 1883 he acquired an additional 160 acres through the office in Benson, Minnesota.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association.

In 1877 he applied for and received a pension (application no. 148129).

Thomas died on January 3, 1920 in El Paso, Texas, and was presumably buried there.