Sunday, May 30, 2010

Franklin S. Robbins

Franklin S. Robbins was born on May 5, 1843, Potter County, Pennsylvania, the son of James G. (1818-1902) and Olive E. (Slade, b. 1820).

Both New York natives James and Olive were married, in New York in 1841, but soon settled in Pennsylvania. By 1850 James and his family were living in Ulysses, Potter County, Pennsylvania where Frank attended school with his siblings. James eventually left Pennsylvania with his family and by February of 1855 had settled in Osceola County, Michigan. In fact, James was one of the first settlers in Osceola County. By 1860 he and his wife had settled their family in Greene, Osceola County; two farms away lived Benjamin Gooch who would also join the Third Michigan.

According to one report, Franklin “obtained little education save the practical variety that comes from early acquaintance with labor and effort, and he passed his youth in farming and lumbering.

Franklin stood 5’9”with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was a 19-year-old farmer possibly living in Mecosta County when he enlisted in Company E on March 1, 1862, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Mecosta, and was mustered April 30. He was absent sick in the hospital from August through November, and allegedly deserted and was dropped from the company rolls on December 20, 1862, at Camp Pitcher, Virginia. In fact, he was returned from desertion on March 7, 1863, at Camp Pitcher, and for some time served as a Hospital Steward (or nurse) at West’s Building Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. He was absent sick in the hospital until he was discharged for consumption on April 21, 1863, at West’s Building Hospital.

After he was discharged from the army Franklin became a sutler’s clerk for William H. Gomersall and remained in his employ until the end of the war. “He accompanied his employer in a similar capacity to Fort Ringgold, Texas, an after a year of service there former a partnership with him in [the] mercantile business.” According to one source,

After being mustered out Mr. ROBBINS, then 23 years old, returned to the army as a clerk in the Commissary Department. Shortly before the close of the war he accompanied General WETZEL'S command to the Rio Grande country, where he remained for two years subsequently, getting acquainted with the country and having his experience of frontier life. he accompanied the first train load of goods to Ringgold, which however was not a steam-propelled train running on rails, but a wagon train drawn by Mexican oxen. For a part of the way he rode horseback, being mounted on his own horse until the animal was stolen from him by a Mexican, who in this act proved true to his facial heritage and traditions.

While living in Texas, Franklin married (West) Virginia native Emma B. Raymond (b. 1848) on June 14, 1866, in Rio Grande, Texas, and they had at least three children: Howard G. (b. 1868), Hattie L. (b. 1870) and Minnie M. (b. 1871).

In about 1868 Franklin “disposed of his interest by sale and returned to Osceola County, with the intention of giving his attention exclusively to agriculture.” Upon arriving in Osceola County he purchased 80 acres of land in Richmond Township where he built a home, and by 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and son in Richmond. (His father and mother were living in Richmond, Osceola in 1870.) It was reported that

After spending two years in the south Mr. ROBBINS returned to Michigan, locating in the town of Richmond, Osceola County. A small village was started, of which he was made postmaster, and which he named Crapo, after Governor CRAPO of Michigan, who was a close friend of his. He operated a farm in the summer and logged in the winter, gradually extending the latter business until he became one of the largest log operators in that part of the country. All the logs went to the Muskegon Mills in Muskegon, which place was then the largest lumbering city in the world.

Sometime around 1870 or 1871 Frank opened his home to accommodate travelers and it became known as the Osceola House. It was about this same time that he also commenced lumbering and followed that trade for many years. He continued to operate the hotel for some seven years and in 1876 rented it. Franklin handled a considerable amount of real estate in various parts of the County and by the mid-1880s owned some 320 acres within its limits and another 80 acres n Mecosta County.

His own home was on 240 acres and, according to one contemporary, “in an advanced state of cultivation. . . His stock includes 31 head of cattle, 18 horses and 50 hogs and his farm is supplied with all the best modern agricultural implements. . . His farm products for 1884 included 714 bushels of wheat, 1,277 bushels of oats, and 2,500 bushels of corn. His cut of hay amounted approximately to 80 tons.” He also owned “valuable” property in Grand Rapids.

Franklin was living in Crapo (presumably somewhere in Osceola County), by 1869 when he secured a post office station for the village, naming it after the state’s governor. In fact he was the first postmaster, a position he held for many years. By 1880 Frank was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Richmond, Osceola County; also living with them were a servant and two hired men. And next door lived his parents. (He was reportedly living in Crapo in 1881 and 1885).

In 1884 Franklin spent some time traveling out west, and visited Colorado, California, Oregon and Washington. By 1888 he was living in Reed City, Osceola County. Franklin was living in Rhinelander, Oneida County, Wisconsin in 1890 and probably around 1900.

Mr. ROBBINS found time, however, to look after his farm, and when he left there in 1886 to go to Duluth he had 200 acres cleared, which in those days was a farm of great size. In Duluth he entered into a sawmill and lumber business with two other parties under the firm name of Graff, Murray & Robbins. He remained there but two years, however, and then in 1886 came to Rhinelander, which was to prove his place of permanent abode. Here only a few years after the town had been laid out, a company was formed under the name of Baird & Robbins and a mill constructed on the site of the present C. C. Collins Lumber Co.'s plant. This mill was completed in the summer of 1887 and had a capacity of 40,000,000 feet, and soon it was working full time. In 1893 the concern built the narrow-gauge railroad known as the Robbins Railroad, which ran from Rhinelander north and east through Oneida County and into Forest County, having a total length of 45 miles. After a while a change in the partnership occurred, Mr. BAIRD retiring from the firm and Mr. ROBBINS becoming associated instead with W. H. BROWN. The new firm was known as Brown & Robbins, and as such it was incorporated Dec. 3, 1894. Another change occurred on Feb. 1, 1901, when the concern became the Robbins Lumber Co., with Mr. ROBBINS as president and treasurer; R. D. CALDWELL became vice president and Hattie MCINDOE secretary. The name of the Robbins Company stood out prominently in the lumbering news of those days, and through it all it was F. S. ROBBINS who was the leading spirit among those who were from time to time associated with him. A mill was built at Robbins, Mich., a post office and village established, and in 1898 the concern had five miles of narrow-gauge railroad running through its timber holdings there. Mr. ROBBINS also put up the Johnson mill in Rhinelander known as Mill No. 2, and at that time operated two saw mills, two planning-mills and a flooring factory. In one year he logged, sawed and put in 33,000,000 feet of lumber, the work being all done by the company, no jobbers or teams being hired. All the logs came in over the narrow-gauge railroad. When his mills burned down he erected new ones. A writer describing the Robbins business when it was at its height, said: "The company owns and operates a very complete system of narrow-gauge railroad. . .running from Rhinelander to Sugar Camp north, and within six miles of Eagle River. Another branch runs from Pine Lake to Eagle Chain of Lakes and into Forest County. The general equipment of this railroad comprises 100 log cars, five box cars, one passenger coach, four locomotives, two moguls, one consolidated and one single-top, four-wheeler engines. During the winter season in the woods the company employs 300 men and keep about 130 in the woods during the season. Some 150 hands are employed in the sawmills and planning-mills. At Rhinelander is located a large mill and planning-mill and also a factory for hardwood flooring." Mr. ROBBINS continued to push his business along these various lines until 1915, when he sold his sawmill and mill-mill to the C. C. Collins Lumber Company, retaining, however, his timber and railroad holdings. In 1917 he built a new mill, which he operated for two years, when he sold it and all timber holdings and railroad to the Thunder Lake Lumber Co., still retaining his interest, however in the Robbins Flooring Factory, of which concern he was treasurer. While entitled to be proud of his industrial achievements, he has also a record worthy of mention along agricultural lines. He cleared 200 acres at Camp 4, on the road between Rhinelander and Sugar Camp. At Camp 6 he put 175 acres under cultivation, and at Camp 5, 40 were cleared. The Camp 5 farm, moreover, has about 2,000 fenced in for cattle grazing. All these farms Mr. ROBBINS now operates and has brought them into a highly advanced condition. Among his other interests that should be mentioned, he was the vice president of the Rhinelander Paper Co. and at one time an officer in the Rhinelander Refrigerator Co., in 1916 he built the Thunder Lake Lumber Co.'s mills. In short he has been a leader in advancing the general business interests of the city and as such a widely recognized.

It was also reported that “Mr. ROBBINS is an interested member of the local lodge of Elks.” He was also a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association.

In 1880 he applied for and eventually received a pension (no. 1136183).

He probably eventually moved to California.

One contemporary described Franklin as “a leading citizen of his County and Township [Osceola]. Although popular and possessing to an unusual degree the confidence of the community of which he is a member, he has persistently refused to hold office. He has so managed his business interests as to develop the section where he resides, and is widely honored and respected. His influence is felt and exercised in all laudable enterprises of general importance. . . .” \

Franklin died in December of 1929, in Rhinelander, Wisconsin and is presumably buried there.

In February of 1930 his widow was living in California when she applied for a pension (no. 1660695) but the certificate was never granted.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Edmon Riorden Jr.

Edmon Riorden Jr. was born in 1839 in Michigan, the son of Edmon Sr. (b. 1793) and Catharine (b. 1809).

Edmon Sr. and Catharine were married in Ireland sometime before 1823 (?) and emigrated from Ireland to England between 1823 and 1830 and then on to the United States settling in New York by 1832. Edmon Sr. then moved his family to Michigan settling in Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County by 1850 where Edmon, or Edmund Jr. attended school with his older siblings and his father worked as a grocer. (His cousin Edmund King also lived in Grand Rapids’ First Ward with his family; Edmon would join Company A in 1861.)

In 1859-60 Edmon Jr. was working as a shoemaker for Riorden & Kaiser on the west side of Monroe near the corner of Pearl Street, living at the corner of Greenwich and Ferry Streets in Grand Rapids, and in 1860 he was a shoemaker living with his mother and sister in Grand Rapids’ First Ward. Before the war Edmon Jr. may have helped to operate the shop, “Riorden & Kaiser,” and he may have also operated a tannery on the east side of Spring at the corner of Oakes.

Edmon was 22 years old and probably still living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861. He was killed in action on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run. Some years after the war Dan Crotty of Company F said of his death, “Poor Ed. Rioden [sic], my right-hand man in the ranks and a brave soldier, is shot through the head, throws up his gun, falls upon his face, and dies without a groan.”

Edmon’s body was possibly returned to Grand Rapids and his remains interred with his family in St. Andrews cemetery.

In 1863 his mother applied for and received a pension (no. 9502).

Friday, May 28, 2010

William Edward Richter

William Edward Richter was born in 1826 in Weimar, Germany.

William immigrated to America and settled in western Michigan sometime before the war broke out.

William stood 5’9” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion, and was a 35-year-old workman possibly living in Kent County when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861. (Company C was made up largely of German and Dutch immigrants, many of whom lived on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids. This company was the descendant of the old Grand Rapids Rifles, also known as the “German Rifles,” a prewar local militia company composed solely of German troopers.) He was discharged for consumption on July 31, 1861, at Arlington Heights, Virginia

William returned to Michigan where he reentered the service (probably on October 10, 1861 and probably in Grand Rapids) in B Battery, First Michigan Light Artillery, listing his residence as Mt. Clemons, Macomb County. He was most likely mustered in 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. Edward was discharged for disability as a Corporal on June 21, 1863, at Detroit.

According to the burial records at the Dayton National Cemetery, William reentered the service in October of 1861 in the “Second Wisconsin Battery” and was discharged in March of 1863.

In December of 1863 (?) he applied for and received a pension (no. 110122).

At some point after his discharge William apparently returned to Michigan. By 1870 he was probably working as a sailor and living with the Louis Liscke family in Detroit’s Third Ward. He may have been living in Detroit in the fall of 1872 when he was admitted to the “Michigan Soldiers’ Home” at Harper hospital in Detroit, awaiting transportation to the Central Branch National Military Home in Dayton, Ohio. In fact he was admitted to Dayton on November 14, 1872.

William died of asthma on December 7, 1872, at Dayton, and was buried in Dayton National Cemetery: section A, row 11, grave no. 61.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

John Richburg

John Richburg was born in 1837 in Germany.

John, or Johann immigrated to America and eventually settled in western Michigan. By 1860 he was working as a blacksmith and living with the Cyrus Miller family on a farm in Tallmadge, Ottawa County; two houses away lived Orlando Rowe and he too would join the Third Michigan infantry.

John was a 24-year-old blacksmith living in Tallmadge, Ottawa County with Cyrus Miller (who would enlist in Company I) when he enlisted in Company B on May 13, 1861.

“John” was killed in action on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and presumably was among the unknown soldiers whose remains were removed from Second Bull Run to Arlington National Cemetery.

No pension seems to be available.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Jeremiah E. Richardson

Jeremiah E. Richardson was born in 1833 in Ontario, Canada, the son of Abel Converse (b. 1800) Sarah Sophia (Scripture, b. 1810).

New York native Abel married Canadian- or Massachusetts-born Sarah and they eventually settled in Canada. Jeremiah left Canada, probably with his family and sometime between 1838 and 1845 settled in Michigan. By 1850 Jeremiah or “Jerry” was living with his mother and siblings in Spring Lake, Ottawa County; also living with the family was one Convers Richardson (b. 1794 in New York).

By 1860 Jerry was a farm laborer living with and/or working for the William Brittain family in Spring Lake; heir oldest son Charles would also join Company H as would their next-door neighbor Miner Emlaw.

Jeremiah stood 6’0” with dark eyes, black hair and a dark complexion, was 27 years old and was probably 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.) “Jerry” (as he was called by his friends apparently) possibly injured his leg sometime in 1861. A good friend of his Jerry’s Charles Brittain, wrote home to his own family on September 28, 1861 informing them that “Gerry’s leg is very sore. I think he will have to be discharged before long if his leg don’t get better.” And on October 9 Charles wrote home that “Jerry has a sore leg yet and I don’t think he will get well very soon if he stays here and lays on the ground in this rainy weather.”

On December 1-2, 1861, Charles Brittain wrote home that “Jerry is out on picket [and] that he is as fat as a hog and as near like one as anything. But Jerry is a good-hearted fellow. I have had one fight on his account. I don’t like to see him abused for he will do anything for me that he can and we never have no trouble.”

He was first reported as a pioneer in July of 1862, although apparently he had been serving in that capacity for some time. Some years after the war Dan Crotty of Company F wrote a description of a skirmish he and some of his Old Third comrades got into on June 30 of 1862, and described Richardson’s substantial “pioneer” abilities:

Leaving a part of our Regiment to skirmish with the enemy [Crotty wrote] and throw obstructions in their way, our pioneers are busy chopping in the rear. Many a monarch of the forest falls across the road. The enemy push us pretty lively. We fling our knapsacks with contents into the woods to make us lighter on foot. Coming into the road, Jerry Richardson, a pioneer, is chopping away at his level best at a high six-footer. He has it nearly cut through. We tell him to get back or he is gone. He will have the tree down if he dies for it. The skirmish line all get in the rear of him, and he is within both fires. The rebels fire a dozen shots at him, the balls fall thick around and we all expect to see him fall. But no, the last cut is in the tree and it falls across the road, making a noise like thunder. When Jerry saw the tree commence to stagger, he did some lively walking, and got inside our lines safe, sweating like a butcher. Every man that saw him cheered till he was hoarse.

Jeremiah was absent sick in the hospital from August of 1862 through September, and on detached service in October, probably as a pioneer. He reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Muskegon, was probably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864, and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February when he was reported absent sick in the hospital.

He was slightly wounded in the head in early May and subsequently absent sick and was still absent sick when he was transferred to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. Jeremiah remained absent sick or wounded through July, was reported absent sick again from October of 1864 through June of 1865, and was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

No pension seems to be available.

Jeremiah probably survived the war and returned to Michigan.

(In 1880 there was one Jeremiah Richardson, b. 1836 in Michigan, married to native Eliza (b. 1857), working as a farmer in Brady, Kalamazoo County.)

He was reportedly married and had at least two children: Josie (b. 1880) and Grace (b. 1882).

By 1900 he was working as a painter and living in Schoolcraft Township, Kalamazoo County.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Oliver Richards

Oliver Richards was born in December of 1825 in Canada or 1831 in France.

Oliver left Canada and had settled in central Michigan by 1860 when he was a mason living in Lansing’s Second Ward with a carpenter by the name of C. P. Moore, who was born in Canada.

By the time the war broke out Oliver had become a member of the Lansing company called the “Williams’ Rifles,” whose members would serve as the nucleus of Company G.

Oliver stood 5’8” with blue eyes, gray hair and a light complexion and was 35 or 30 years old and probably still living in Lansing when he enlisted in Company G on May 10, 1861. In early September he was reported sick in the Regimental hospital suffering from a bad cold.

Oliver eventually recovered and returned to duty. He was slightly wounded during the battle of Second Bull Run, on August 29, 1862. Oliver returned to duty, was again slightly wounded, this time in the foot, on May 2 or 3, 1863, during the battle of Chancellorsville. He was soon returned to duty and reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Dayton, Tuscola 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. He was shot in the right arm on May 12, 1864, at Spotsylvania, Virginia, and subsequently absent sick in the hospital.

He was still absent wounded when he was transferred to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and on July 29, 1864, he was admitted to the general hospital in York, Pennsylvania, suffering from “Impaired use of right arm, forearm and hand, in consequence of flesh wound of lower part of upper third of right arm, also incomplete fracture of inferior angle of right scapula, resulting in loss of power from nervous lesion of brachial plexus.”

Oliver remained absent wounded until he was discharged on May 12, 1865, at York for a “gunshot flesh wound of lower part upper third of right arm, also incomplete fracture of inferior angle of right scapula, resulting in loss of power from injury to nerve.”

After he was discharged from the army Oliver eventually returned to Michigan, and quite probably settled back in Lansing.

In June of 1865 he applied for and received a pension (no. 47404).

He married Canadian-born Catharine (b. 1835) and they had at least one child: Ida (b. 1869).

By 1870 he was working as a stonemason and living with his wife and daughter in Owosso’s Fourth Ward, Shiawassee County. For some years Oliver worked as a mason.

Oliver was listed as a single man when he died of inflammation of the lungs on or about February 1, 1878, in Lansing (in fact he was till married apparently). He was buried on February 2 in block E grave no. 19, “Potter’s field,” Mt. Hope cemetery, and was reburied on August 19, 1902, in the Soldiers Monument Lot.

His widow applied for a pension (application no. 245296), but she eventually remarried (possibly to one Mr. Sackrider) and a pension was applied for and received on behalf of at least one minor child (no. 344593).

Monday, May 24, 2010

Samuel L. Rice

Samuel L. Rice was born in 1842 in New York, the son of Chester (b. 1820) and Sarah (b. 1826).

New York natives Chester and Sarah were married, probably in New York sometime before 1842 and moved to Michigan sometime between 1842 and 1852, and by 1860 Samuel was a farmer living with his family in Tallmadge, Ottawa County, where his father worked as a clothier.

Samuel was 19 years old and possibly living in Kent County when he enlisted in Company B on May 13, 1861. He was wounded May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and subsequently died from his wounds either on June 3, 1862, at Mill Creek, Virginia, or on June 5 at Chesapeake hospital in Fortress Monroe, Virginia. He may have been buried initially at Chesapeake hospital, Fortress Monroe, but was reinterred in Hampton National Cemetery: section D, grave no. 2520 (old row 17, grave 32).

No pension seems to be available.

His parents were still living in Tallmadge in 1870.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Chauncey Rice

Chauncey Rice was born in 1832 in Cattaraugus County, New York, possibly the son of Daniel (b. 1815) and stepson of Mary (b. 1823).

New York-born Daniel married Chauncey’s mother and settled in New York. He remarried to Mary, probably in New York, and between 1843 and 1848 the family moved to Michigan. By 1850 Chauncey was working as a laborer and living with his family in Gaines, Kent County. By 1860 Daniel had moved his family to Leighton, Allegan County.

Chauncey reportedly married a woman named Mary and they had at least one child, a son Lyman (b. 1859).

In 1860 Chauncey was also living in Leighton, working as a farmer and living with his son and a woman named Mary who was reportedly 72 years old (and no place of birth listed in the census).

Chauncey stood 5’10” with blue eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion, and was a 32-year-old farmer living with his wife in Grand Rapids, when he enlisted in Company K on January 20, 1864, for 3 years, crediting Gaines, Kent County or Leighton, Allegan County and was mustered the same day. (His wife was living in Mayfield, Grand Traverse County in 1864.) He joined the Regiment on February 17 at Camp Bullock, Virginia.

In May of 1864 Chauncey was suffering from typhoid fever when he was transferred from the Regimental hospital to Armory Square hospital in Washington, DC, where he died on May 14, 1864, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, section 27, grave no. 30.

In July of 1864 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 37739). She remarried and in 1867 (?) an application was made on behalf of at least one minor child (no. 94121).

Saturday, May 22, 2010

James B. Rhodes

James B. Rhodes was born on July 12, 1841, in Tioga County, New York, the son of James (b. 1808) and Rachel (b. 1812).

His parents were both born in Pennsylvania and presumably married there sometime before 1837 when their daughter Lucy was born. In any case, they moved from Pennsylvania to New York sometime before 1837, then moving on to Michigan while James (younger) was still a boy, eventually settling in Allegan County, and by 1860 he was a lumberman living with his family in Manlius, Allegan County.

James stood 5’9” with gray eyes, brown hair and a light complexion was 19 years old and probably still living in Allegan County when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861. James was reported sick in the hospital from October of 1862 through January of 1863, and was discharged for chronic diarrhea on February 4, 1863, at a hospital in Germantown or in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

James returned to Allegan County where he reentered the service in Company B, Eighth Michigan cavalry on August 8, 1864, at Saugatuck for 1 year, crediting Saugatuck, and was mustered on August 12 at Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County. He joined the Regiment on September 21 at Lexington, Kentucky, was promoted to Corporal on November 1, and was reported missing on November 23 at Henryville, Kentucky. James returned to the Regiment on May 11, 1865, and honorably discharged on June 11, 1865, at Pulaski, Tennessee.

After the war he returned to his home in Allegan County. By 1870 he was working as a plasterer and living at Whitney’s Hotel in Saugatuck (he was probably sharing a room with William Furgeson, another plasterer who was born in Kentucky). That same year his mother was still living in Manlius, Allegan County.

He eventually settled in Fennville where he engaged in the lumber business.

He was married to Helen Fogg (1845-1906) on September 10, 1872, possibly in Whitehall, Muskegon County, and they had at least one child, Harry. James was married a second time to New York native Catharine (b. 1843).

He settled in Holton, Muskegon County in 1876, but around 1888 came to Grand Rapids where he founded the “Rhodes Furnace Manufacturing Company.” For many years James lived on west Bridge Street on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids; in 1908 he was living at 421 Bridge Street and in 1916 residing at 1039 Bridge Street. He was living on west Bridge Street in 1906, in Grand Rapids in 1909 and 1911. By 1920 he was living in Grand Rapids’ Seventh Ward with his wife Catharine.

James was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. In 1874 he applied for and received a pension (no. 358548), dated January of 1885.

He died of aortic regurgitation on Tuesday morning, November 3, 1924, at his home at 1039 Bridge Street in Grand Rapids, and the funeral service was held at the residence at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, November 5. He was buried alongside his first wife in Greenwood cemetery: section P lot 39;

Friday, May 21, 2010

Charles H. Rhodes

Charles H. Rhodes was born in 1842 in New York, the son of P. (b. 1808) and Wanda A. (b. 1810).

His father was born in New York and married Vermonter Wanda sometime before 1839, possibly in New York where they resided for some years. The family moved to Michigan, probably from New York, sometime after 1851, and by 1860 “C. H.” along with his two younger siblings was attending school taught by his older sister Lucy, in Mason, Ingham County where their father worked as a shoe manufacturer.

Charles was a 19-year-old farm laborer living in Mason, Ingham County or Ionia County when he enlisted in Company E on May 13, 1861.

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

No pension seems to be available.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

James Reynolds

James Reynolds was born on April 3, 1840, in New York, the son of John (b. 1804) and Harriet (Lowe, b. 1809).

Both New York natives, John and Harriett were probably married in New York and settled in Michigan sometime after 1844. By 1860 James was living with his family in North Shade, Gratiot County, where his father worked as a laborer.

He was married to Elizabeth (David, 1841-1907).

James was 21 years old and possibly living in Clinton County when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861. He allegedly deserted as of July 21, 1861, at Hunter’s Farm, Virginia. (He had probably just gotten separated from his unit during the federal retreat from Bull Run.) In any case, he was eventually returned to the Regiment and was reported absent sick in the hospital from October of 1862 through January of 1863.

James apparently returned to duty and was wounded at Mine Run, Virginia, on November 27, 1863. He was subsequently hospitalized at Armory Square hospital, Washington, DC, probably through April of 1864, and rejoined the Regiment sometime before May 5 when he was shot in the left side of the head at the Wilderness, Virginia. He was again hospitalized in Armory Square hospital on May 25 and admitted on May 28 to Mt. Pleasant hospital, in Washington, DC, and mustered out on June 20, 1864, at Detroit. (In May of 1864 his wife Elizabeth was reported to be living in Hubbardton, Ionia County.)

After his discharge James returned to western Michigan. (His parents were still living in North Shade, Gratiot County in 1870.) He worked for many years as a laborer in Grand Rapids.

James married his second wife, a woman named Phebe, and they had at least one child, a daughter.

James was living at 82 Conkling Avenue when he was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 6212) on February 16, 1912.

He was a Protestant. In 1885 he applied for and received pension no. 310,423, drawing $15.00 in 1912.

James died of aortic heart disease at the Home at 10:20 a.m. on Wednesday, March 18, 1914, and the funeral service was held at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday afternoon March 19, at the Home chapel, his widow and a daughter attending.

He was buried in the Home cemetery: section 7 row 1 grave 5. (there is one James Reynolds who reportedly served in Company D, Third Michigan infantry, who was reburied in Carson City cemetery in Montcalm County on May 8, 1886.)

In October of 1916 his widow applied for a pension (no. 1080588).

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

James and William Renwick

James Renwick was born on June 30, 1842, in Scotland, possibly the son of John (b. 1806).

James came to the United States with his parents in 1852, eventually settling in Geneva, Ontario County, New York. The family eventually moved westward, and settled first in Bedford, Calhoun County, Michigan but in 1858 moved to Keene in Ionia County.

James stood 5’8” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was a 20-year-old farmer probably living in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company D, probably with his older cousin (?) William, on February 11, 1862, at Saranac, Ionia County for 3 years, crediting Saranac, and was mustered the same day -- Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County. (He and William were probably related to John Foulks, whose mother was Jane Renwick; Foulks also enlisted in Company D and was also from Keene.)

James was wounded in the left hip on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and hospitalized in Third Corps hospital at Alexandria, Virginia on September 1, 1862. By the second week of September he was a patient in Washington Street hospital in Alexandria reportedly “doing well.” James was discharged on March 2, 1863, at Alexandria, Virginia for partial anchylosis of the left hip, and listed Saranac as his mailing address on his discharge paper.

After he was discharged from the army James eventually returned to the family home in Ionia County.

On April 9, 1879, he married Helen or Ellen Renwick (d. 1926), and they had one child, an adopted daughter, Miss Olive Arnold (b. 1885).

James became a member of the Masonic Order on March 27, 1865. In 1866 he applied for and received a pension (no. 67,727), drawing $2.00 by 1883.

By 1880 James was working as a farmer and living with his wife in Keene; also living with them was one Thomas Blythe, a servant and farm laborer. He may have been living in Ovid, Clinton County in 1883 but by 1888 he was living in Ionia.

In 1890 he was residing in Easton, Ionia County, in Keene, Ionia County in 1894 and in Saranac from 1894-95 and 1906-10 and on R R. no. 12 in 1911. (His home was near a place called Potter’s Corners. William Renwick also lived on R.R. no. 12.)

By 1920 James had moved to Toledo, Ohio, but may have also been living in Keene, Ionia County that same year, along with his second (?) wife Canadian-born Clara J. (b. 1852) and his daughter Olive.

Apparently he had returned to Saranac by 1922 and was living on R.R. no. 12 in Saranac in 1925 and probably also in 1927.

James was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, and on June 15, 1925, he responded to an invitation for the upcoming Association reunion by saying that while he would like to attend “my condition does not permit me to take the journey to Grand Rapids. If any of you could come to my home I would surely enjoy a visit with you as my head is alright.” He added that “What the coming year may hold we can none of foresee, but standing on the threshold let me send good wishes for the year to be.” Toward the end of his life, one observer noted that “Though unable to get around without aid, Mr. Renwick was always cheerful, and retained a keen intellect.”

James was probably a widower when he died of pneumonia at his home in Keene, at about 1:30 Saturday morning, May 14, 1927. Funeral services were conducted under the auspices of the Masonic Lodge on Tuesday afternoon at 2:00 at the home, and pallbearers were chosen from the American Legion chapter. Mrs. Gleason Gamsby furnished music and the Rev. Regan of Saranac officiated. James was buried in Saranac cemetery: lot 347.

William Renwick was born in 1837, in Scotland or New York, probably the son of Thomas (b. 1798) and Jane (b. 1798).

Thomas and Jane emigrated from Scotland , eventually settling in New York before moving west. Indeed, William probably came to the United States with his parents in 1852, eventually settling in Geneva, Ontario County, New York. The family eventually moved westward, and settled first in Bedford, Calhoun County, Michigan but in 1858 moved to Keene, Ionia County. By 1860 William was a farmer working for and living with his family in Keene (his father owned $2500 worth of real estate).

In any case, he stood 5’8” with blue eyes, sandy hair and a sandy complexion and was 25 years old and probably still living in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company D, probably with his younger cousin (?) James, on February 14, 1862, at Saranac, Ionia County for 3 years, and was mustered the same day -- Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County. (He and James were probably related to John Foulks, whose mother was Jane Renwick; Foulks also enlisted in Company D and was also from Keene.)

In April of 1862 William was reported as a “waiter” for Captain Moses Houghton of Company D, and in May he was awarded the Kearny Cross for his participation in the battle of Chancellorsville on May 3, 1863.

On May 12, 1864, at Spotsylvania, Virginia, Benjamin Morse of Company C and William Renwick captured a stand of colors from the Fourth Georgia Artillery, which eventually earned Morse the Congressional Medal of Honor. The details of the capture, as described by Minnie D. Millbrook in her work on Michigan Medal of Honor Winners in the Civil War, are “while in the line of duty and while on a charge on the rebel breastworks on the morning (3:30 a.m.) of May 12, 1864, at Spotsylvania, Virginia,” Morse “captured a rebel flag (artillery) and that said flag was turned over to the commanding officer of the Regiment and went to Washington, DC. A letter dated September 20, 1864, was discovered in the War Department naming Benjamin Morse as the captor of the flag, and he was also mentioned in a report of General Winfield S. Hancock as the captor. William Renwick of company D, same Regiment, was also named as captor of the flag in the same action, but he too was seemingly overlooked at the time, and as he never applied for a medal he did not receive one.” The medal was issued to Morse on February 24, 1891.

William was transferred to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and discharged on May 14, 1865, at the expiration of his term of service.

After he left the army William eventually returned to Michigan. By 1870 he was working as a farm laborer and living with his parents in Keene, Ionia County. He was living in Saranac in 1879, and working as a grocer in 1880 and living as a single man with the Edward Foulks family in Saranac. He was still in Saranac in 1885 and 1888, in Boston, Ionia County in 1890, and in Saranac in 1894 and 1909 and on R.R. no. 12 in 1911 (his younger cousin James also lived on R.R. no. 12).

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. In 1902 he applied for and received a pension (no. 994178).

William may have been married to a woman named Jane.

William died on February 18, 1913, probably in Keene, Ionia County, and was buried in Pinckney cemetery, Keene Township: row 3, grave 203.

Monday, May 17, 2010

George W. Remington

George W. Remington was born in 1826 in New York, the son of New York native Esther (b. 1805).

George married New York native Cecilia (b. 1831), probably in New York, and they had at least two children: Nate (b. 1855) and Cyrus (b. 1858).

They probably moved from New York to Ohio sometime before 1855 then on to Michigan before 1858. By 1859-60 George was working as a clerk and living on the south side of Lyon between Lafayette and Prospect Streets, and in 1860 he was listed as a clerk living with his wife and children in Grand Rapids’ Third Ward.

George was 35 years old and probably still living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted as Fifth Sergeant in Company F on May 13, 1861. He was eventually detached as Commissary Sergeant, and was absent sick in a hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on August 9, 1862. He was promoted to Second Lieutenant of Company E on September 22, replacing Lieutenant David C. Crawford, and promoted to First Lieutenant on October 25, commissioned the same day and assigned to Company D, replacing Lieutenant George Dodge. George was appointed Regimental Adjutant on November 23, 1862, commissioned the same day, replacing Lieutenant Elisha Stevens.

Mistakenly assuming Remington had come home on a furlough only, the Eagle of August 1, 1863, wrote that “We understand that Captain G. W. Remington, of the Third, has returned on a short furlough to visit his family and friends here. -- The captain left this city with that command, and he has been ‘through thick and thin’ up to the present time.”

In fact, he was absent and detached on recruiting service in Grand Rapids from July 27, 1863, and did not return to the Regiment until March 25, 1864, when the Eagle reported that “Capt. Remington, of the glorious ‘Old 3rd’, who has been in detached service connected with this military post for several months past, left this city today to rejoin his command. Success to the captain and the gallant boys belonging to that battle-scarred and war-worn veteran Regiment.” George was mustered out of service on June 20, 1864.

After his discharge George returned to Grand Rapids where he arrived on June 23, 1864.

He married his second wife, Michigan native Satira Roberts (1842-1909), probably in 1865, and they had at least four children: John, Robert, Mrs. Thomas Lamb and Mrs. Edwin Wheeler.

By 1867-68 George was working as a flour dealer and residing at 22 Washington Street from 1867 to 1869. In 1870 George was working as a clerk in a store and living with his second wife and four children (two by his previous marriage) in Grand Rapids’ Third Ward; also living with them was George’s mother Esther.

He was a Master Mason, a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, serving for some years as Secretary.

George died of pneumonia on May 28, 1878, presumably at his home on Third Avenue in Grand Rapids. His funeral was held two days later.

The 30th of May [wrote the Democrat] has been for years regarded as a day of peculiar and absorbing interest to the veteran volunteers of Michigan; but yesterday it had a deeper, a holier signification, for not only had the graves of their departed comrades to be decorated, but a fresh one was to receive its tenant and to be filled and decorated at the same time. A 2 p.m. the surviving members of the old Third Infantry Volunteers gathered at the home of their late comrade, Capt. Geo. W. Remington, in Third Avenue, to pay their last respect[s] to his remains. The solemn and touching services for the dead, of the Episcopal church, were read by the Rev. W. H. Knowlton, followed by the impressive Masonic ceremonial, performed by the officers of Valley City Lodge No. 34, of which the deceased was a member.

The remains were then taken to Oak Hill cemetery, escorted by the brethren of Lodge, and followed by the mourning friends and a large delegation of the Old Third.

The funeral ceremonies at the grave consisted of the concluding portion of the Masonic burial service, conducted by the Worshipful Master, E. Wygant, assisted by the Rev. J. Morgan Smith, followed by that of the Episcopal Church by the Rev. Mr. Knowlton.

When dust had indeed been mingled with dust, and the final spadeful of earth put on the new made mound, Capt. Remington's old comrades performed their portion of the solemn ceremonial by tastefully decorating the last long home of their old friend with flowers and flags, and never was the decoration of a soldier's grave performed under more affecting circumstances.

From the fresh soil of the new made grave the veterans proceeded to Fulton Street cemetery to visit the tombs of their old associates who had gone before, amongst others, those of Rev. F. H. Cuming, Chaplain; Gen. Stephen G. Champlin, Capt. Robt. M. Collins, Capt. Samuel A. Judd, Maj. Peter A. Weber, Lieut. Chas. H. Cary; also Capt. B. B. Church, Lieuts. D. B. Lyons and Thos B. B. Mitchell. It rejoiced much the members of the Third and veterans generally who [were] present, to find that all these graves had been tastefully decorated.

Upon the return of the Regimental Association they were again convened in meeting, and many of the traits of their late Secretary [Remington], whose reminiscences of old times would now be missed at their social gatherings, were recalled. he was described as brave, generous and noble, respected by all, and now deeply regretted. Resolutions of respect to his memory, and of sympathy with his bereaved family were then passed, and thus ended Decoration Day with the Old Third Infantry.

George was buried in Oak Hill cemetery: section 1 lot 100.

In 1880 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 196461), dated June of 1882, drawing $14.00 a month in 1883. She was living in Grand Rapids in 1883 and in Wyoming, Kent County in 1890.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Christopher Reglin

Christopher Reglin or Regling was born in 1830.

Christian stood 5’6” with hazel eyes, dark hair and a light complexion and was a 32-year-old farmer possibly living in Ionia County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company G on March 11 or 13, 1862, at Saranac, Ionia County for 3 years, and was mustered on March 12 or 13 at Grand Rapids. He was reported sick in the hospital in March of 1864, but eventually returned to duty and was severely wounded in the hand in early May.

He was subsequently hospitalized, and probably still absent sick 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 wounded or sick until he was discharged on either September 16, 1864, near Petersburg, Virginia, or on August 27, 1864, at Detroit for disability, possibly as a result of wounds received in action.

After he left the army Chris returned to Michigan. He was probably living in Michigan in 1864 when he applied and received a pension (no. 37452).

He was married to Roxana and they eventually settled in Wisconsin.

By 1890 Chris was living in Medford, Taylor County, Wisconsin.

Chris probably died around 1896 and probably in Wisconsin.

In any case his widow was living in Wisconsin when she applied for a pension (no. 633154), but the certificate was never granted.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

William Harrison Reeves

William Harrison Reeves was born on June 22, 1840, in Solon, Cuyahoga County, Ohio.

William came to Michigan from Ohio with his parents in 1847, the family settling in Windsor Township, Eaton County. With the exception of time spent in the army, William lived the remainder of his life in Eaton County.

By late April of 1861 William was reported to be a member of the Lansing company called the “Williams’ Rifles,” whose members would serve as the nucleus of Company G on May 10, 1861. In fact, he stood 6’0” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was a 21-year-old farmer probably living in Eaton County when he enlisted in Company G on May 10, 1861. He was detached from the company and serving as a teamster by early May of 1862, and reported as a hospital nurse and teamster in July of 1862, an orderly in the (probably Regimental) Quartermaster department in August, a teamster from September through November, and a Brigade teamster from December of 1862 through September of 1863.

William was sick in the hospital from October of 1863 through February of 1864, and discharged on March 3, 1864, at Mt. Pleasant hospital in Washington, DC, for “loss of efficient use of left leg caused by injury to hip joint which . . . resulted from his horse falling on him while doing service as a teamster on September 20, 1863.”

William listed East Windsor, Eaton County as his mailing address on his discharge paper, and indeed he returned to Michigan where he engaged in farming for many years.

He married New York native Amelia Scofield (b. 1844) on December 16, 1864, and they had at least two children: Rosa (b. 1866) and George (b. 1869).

In about 1877 they settled in Eaton Rapids, and by 1880 William (listed as “Harrison”) was working as a drayman and living with his wife and children in Eaton Rapids. William was living in Eaton Rapids, Eaton County in 1883 when he was drawing and $8.00 per month an injury to the left hip (pension no. 28,279, dated May of 1864). Indeed, he probably lived out the remainder of his life in Eaton Rapids and was residing in the Third Ward in 1894. He became a Baptist in about 1892.

William died of heart failure at his home in Eaton Rapids’ Third Ward, on Thursday evening, June 13, 1901. The funeral was held at his home on Saturday, and was conducted by the Rev. L. D. Pettit. He was presumably buried in Eaton Rapids.

In August his widow was still living in Michigan when she applied for and received a pension (no. 526718).

Friday, May 14, 2010

James Reeves

James Reeves was born in 1835 in England.

James’ family left England and immigrated to America in 1836 and settled in Michigan by 1860 when he was a sawyer living with and/or working for Ebenezer Lamoreux in Manluis, Allegan County.

He stood 5’7’’ with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 26 years old and was still living in Allegan County when he enlisted in Company I on May 7, 1861. In fact it was later reported that James lived in the area of Fennville and walked to Grand Rapids in order to enlist.

James was reportedly wounded at the end of June, 1862, near the close of the Seven Days’ Battle and was sent to Harrison’s Landing on the James River. He was reported as deserter on July 1 or 12, 1862, at Malvern Hill or Harrison’s Landing (respectively), Virginia, in fact was admitted to Chesapeake hospital at Fortress Monroe, Virginia on July 1 with a gunshot wound. He was transferred on July 4 to Annapolis, Maryland and was still a patient in Annapolis by early August.

Although he supposedly returned to duty on August 4, in fact he never rejoined his company and was discharged for physical disability on August 7, 1862, at Washington, DC. According to a postwar source, on the day he was to be discharged, August 7, while waiting at the mustering office in Washington, DC, he was “sunstruck” and taken to a doctor. “Consequently he was not at the mustering office when his name was called, and it is supposed the clerk of the mustering office reported him as a deserter.” James subsequently “found himself in a bewildered state of mind in Detroit.”

James returned to Allegan County, and, after recovering from his sunstroke, went to New York City where he reentered the service in the United States Navy for one year. He was a Second class fireman and served aboard the ships Albatross, North Carolina, Seminole and Savannah and was in the battle of Mobile Bay of August 5, 1864. According to one story told many years after the war, “When he enlisted in the navy,” wrote the Herald in 1921, “he intended to serve only one year, but was offered an increase in pay if he would stay. “This,” he often said, ‘was the luckiest decision I ever made in my life as it gave me an opportunity to serve with Admiral Farragut and few men were so fortunate as that.’” After serving about 15 months he was discharged from the Navy.

James eventually returned to Michigan where he reentered the service a second time as a draftee on October 22, 1864, at Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County in Company F, Fifteenth Michigan infantry, crediting Clyde, Allegan County and listing his occupation as a sailor.

He may have joined the regiment just before it left to participate in the March to the Sea November 15-December 10; it was also involved in the siege of Savannah December 10-21, the campaign in the Carolinas, January to April, 1865, the battle of Bentonville, North Carolina, March 19-20 and the advance on and occupation of Raleigh, North Carolina, as well as the surrender of Johnson’s forces, the march to Washington and the Grand Review on May 24. James was a Sergeant on April 20, 1865, and he later claimed to have been promoted to Duty Sergeant,” by the time the regiment was moved to Louisville, Kentucky June 1-6 and on to Little Rock, Arkansas, on June 28. James however, did not leave with the regiment but on June 25 was sent to the hospital at Louisville, Kentucky. He remained absent sick until he was discharged on July 26, 1865, at Louisville, Kentucky.

After the war James returned to Allegan County.

He married Connecticut native Irene (1844-1926), and they had at least five children: Leon, Hattie (b. 1862, Mrs. Crane), Nellie (b. 1869, Mrs. N. A. Herbert), Mrs. Eda Mulder, Mrs. Mamie Bender and Daisy (b. 1871).

By 1870 James was working as a farmer and living with his wife and two daughters in Clyde, Allegan County. He eventually moved his family to Holland, Ottawa County where he worked as a fireman. He was back in Allegan County by 1890 and was living in Fennville. By 1920 James was living in Grand Rapids with his wife and daughters Daisy and Nellie.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, a Protestant and he received pension no. 534,510.

He was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 5141) on April 7, 1908, was discharged on September 23, and readmitted to the home on July 10, 1911 and discharged July 21, 1919.

James died at 4:45 p.m. on March 29, 1921, at his home 530 Lafayette Street in Grand Rapids, and the funeral service was held at Spring’s chapel. He was buried in Greenwood cemetery: section S lot 46.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

William N. Reed

William N. Reed was born in 1838 in Portage County, Ohio, the son of Asa (b. 1811) and Rebecca (Fuller, b. 1813) and stepson of Sarah (b. 1823).

New York native Asa married Ohioan Sarah and settled in Ohio where they resided for many years. By 1850 Asa was living in Nelson, Portage County. Sometime between 1850 and 1856, however, Asa moved his family to Michigan, and by 1860 settled in Mill Point, Spring Lake Township, Ottawa County, where William worked as a carpenter along with his father and his younger brother Asa.

William stood 5’9” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was a 23-year-old carpenter probably living in Mill Point when he enlisted in Company A on May 13, 1861. William Drake also of Company A mentioned him in a letter on July 26, 1861. Drake wrote to one M.L. Hopkins in Mill Point that William Reed had been detailed as part of Birschschneider’s Sharpshooters during the federal retreat from Bull Run on July 21, 1861. William was discharged on September 16, 1861, at Arlington Heights, Virginia, on account of aphonia (loss of voice) and tuberculosis.

He returned to Michigan where he reentered the service in Company F, Sixth Michigan cavalry on February 11, 1865, at Grand Rapids for 1 year, and was mustered on February 14 at Jackson, Jackson County, crediting Spring Lake, Ottawa County. He joined the Regiment on March 19, and quite possibly participated with the regiment in Lee’s surrender in April. it is also likely that he was on duty when the regiment participated in the Grand Review in Washington on May 23.

The Sixth was transferred to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas on June 1 where the veterans and recruits were consolidated into the First Michigan cavalry later that month. The First Michigan cavalry served was on duty in the District of Utah from November of 1865 until March of 1866. William was transferred to Company K, First Michigan cavalry on November 17, 1865, probably at Forth Leavenworth and was mustered out on March 25, 1866, at Fort Bridger, Utah Territory.

After the war William returned to Michigan, probably to Mill Point.

He married Michigan native Ellen or Nellie (b. 1842) and they had at least two children: Albert (b. 1864) and Willie (b. 1867).

By 1870 William was working as a carpenter (he owned $1200 worth of real estate and living in Spring Lake, Ottawa County. (His father was also living in Spring Lake, Ottawa County in 1870.)

In 1861 he applied for and received a pension (no. 322503).

William probably died in late 1907 or early 1908.

In early 1908 his widow, then living in Kansas, applied for and received a pension (no. 643895).

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Samuel White Reed

Samuel White Reed was born on June 29, 1840, in Brantford, Ontario, Canada, the son of Lemuel (1807-1875) and Marjorie (White (1814-1875).

His parents were married sometime before 1836 by which time they were living in Ontario, Canada. Between 1848 and 1852 the family left Canada and settled in Kent County, Michigan, and by 1860 Samuel was a farmer living with his family in Grattan, Kent County.

Samuel stood 6’0” with brown eyes and hair and a light complexion and was 20 years old and possibly still living in Grattan when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861. While in the army he was constantly plagued by lung disease. On October 23, 1861, Captain Fred Shriver, of Company B, wrote that Reed “has been troubled with the lung fever about one year previous to his enlistment & has not done any duty since the Bull Run fight” of July 21, 1861, and in fact he was discharged for consumption on November 12, 1861, at Fort Lyon, Virginia.

Samuel returned to western Michigan where he was married to Michigan native Coralin L. Jones (1837-1914) on January 12, 1864, at Grand Rapids or Grattan; and they had at least five children: Lemuel Frank (b. 1864), William Sherman (b. 1868), Marjorie Emily (b. 1870), Gertrude Alzina (b. 1872) and Samuel White Jr. (b. 1878).

On March 15, 1865, he was drafted for one year and enlisted in Company F, Fifteenth Michigan infantry at Grand Rapids, crediting Grattan. (The very same day that Alexander Morton, also formerly of Company D, Third Michigan, and who had lived in Ionia County, enlisted in Company G, Fifteenth infantry.) He joined the Regiment on March 21, reportedly at Alexandria, Virginia, although the regiment was in fact in North Carolina, having just participated in the battle of Bentonville.

The Fifteenth participated in the occupation of Goldsboro and Raleigh, North Carolina and the surrender of Johnston’s army. It subsequently marched to Washington April 29-May19 and participated in the Grand Review on May 24, 1865, after which it was moved to Louisville, Kentucky June 1-6, and then on to Little Rock, Arkansas on June 28 where it remained on duty until August 13. Samuel was honorably discharged with the regiment on August 13 at Little Rock.

Following his discharge Samuel returned to Michigan and settled in Grand Rapids. He was working as a carpenter and living with his wife and children in the Fourth Ward in 1870. By 1880 he was working as a well digger and living with his wife and children on Grandville Avenue in Grand Rapids. He was still living in the city in 1888, but by 1890 had moved to Wyoming, Kent County.

He was a Protestant. In 1891 he applied for and received pension no, 826,678, drawing $12.00 per month in 1907 and raised to $19.00 by 1912.

He was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 4947) on April 3, 1907, was dropped on March 4, 1908, and reentered the Home on April 23, 1908.

Samuel died at the Home of “acute softening of the brain” at 2:50 p.m. on February 9, 1913, and was buried on February 11 in the Home cemetery: section 6 row 7 grave no. 5.

His wife was living at 243 Lyon Street in Grand Rapids at the time of his death. On February 12, 1913, she applied for and received a pension (no. 756289).

Monday, May 10, 2010

James Lee and Merrick D. Reed

James Lee Reed was born on July 10, 1837, in Dundee, Monroe County, Michigan, the son of Peter (1791-1851) and Crusa (Parker, 1802-1878).

In 1839 his family moved from Dundee to Bellevue, Eaton County where, at the age of 16, James worked at the trade of tailor for one winter and then drove a stagecoach for some two years. By 1850 James (known as “Lee”) was attending school with his younger brother Merrick (who would also join the Old Third) and living with their family in Bellevue where his father worked a farm. In 1855 James learned the trade of blacksmith at Bellevue, and after completing his education moved to Hastings, Barry County in 1856.

James married his first wife English-born Sarah Jane “Jennie” Simpson (1839-1913) in February of 1858 or 1859, and they had at least one child, Addie Clara (b. 1860); some years later they adopted a son from the “Protestant Home” in Toledo, Ohio, and named him Fred T. (b. 1867).

In 1860 James was working as a blacksmith and living with his wife and child in Bellevue, and he continued to work at his trade until the war broke out.

James stood 5’11” with dark eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 23 years old and living in Barry County when he enlisted in the Band on June 10, 1861. (About the same time his younger brother Merrick joined Company E.) On July 20, James wrote home and described the recent action of July 18 at Blackburn’s Ford, near Bull Run, Virginia.

Today [July 20] finds us all well. A kind Providence has spared our lives through a terrible battle fought on Thursday [July 18]. Our regiment escaped unharmed except two wounded slightly. One of the wounded is James Beck, son-in-law of R. H. Stilson. The other I do not know. We ran into a regular hornet’s nest, and were driven back by the rebels. The Band marched into the field behind the Regiment. There were about 27,000 of our men, and we do not know how many rebels. Only about 4,000 of our men were engaged in the fight. Our loss is about forty, and it is supposed the rebels have lost a thousand men. -- The fighting was mostly done with cannon. When we were retreating they fired a canister shot at the Band and they struck all around us and passed all about our heads, but we escaped unhurt. The cannon balls passed all about us. We could hear them coming and drop on our faces upon the ground and let them pass over us. I expected every moment to be shot down. The Band has orders to remain, hereafter, with the physicians and help take care of the wounded, so that we shall not be so exposed again.

The N.Y. 12th regiment lost 18, and the Mass 1st, 30 men. . . .

Gen. Scott is here, and he says he is going to take the rebels without losing a man. We should not have lost many men before if Gen. Tyler had obeyed orders, which were not to march any further [sic] than Fairfax, and there await further orders. He want great renown, and lost all.

“Do not believe all you read and hear,” James added. “Our food is crackers, meat and coffee; I want nothing better.”

On August 4 James wrote the editor of the Hastings Banner to praise the boys from Barry County,

I take pleasure of addressing you with a few lines. I am proud to state that the soldiers of Barry Co. and vicinity have proved themselves true to their profession. They profess to be true patriots and their conduct has proven them so. Our noble men from the beautiful little village of Hastings who are honored with office in the Regiment, I am happy to say, during the battle at Bull Run were seen to stand up unshaken by the sound of the enemy’s cannon, and while the balls were whistling on all sides of them, all they seemed to want was to have the command to fire.

I am also happy to state that while other Regiments’ colors were not seen floating, ours, borne by our brave Flag bearer, Mr. W. K. F., [Washington K. Ferris] could have been seen at any moment during the battle waiving proudly over the column of the Mich. 3d. We believe our officers are of the best timber, and know the privates will back them.

Our boys were served up by the sound of well known “Dixie,” played by the Regimental Band, led by Prof. Steeg, late of Detroit, formerly of Cleveland, while entering the battle.

James was discharged “as a member of the band, not as musician” on March 24, 1862, at Hampton, Virginia.

After he was discharged James returned to Michigan where he reentered the service in Company C, Eleventh Michigan cavalry on October 22, 1863, at Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County for 3 years, and was mustered the following day, crediting Hastings, Barry County. The regiment was organized at Kalamazoo and Detroit between October 7 and December 10, 1863. It moved to Lexington, Kentucky December 10-22 and remained on duty there until April 28 when it commenced operations in eastern and then southern Kentucky through the summer in Tennessee by late fall of 1864 and southwestern Virginia by early 1865.

James served in the Regimental band from December of 1863 through April of 1864, in June he was at Catlettsburg, Kentucky guarding government stores, and was mustered out on March 3, 1865, to date December 28, 1864, at Louisville, Kentucky, to accept an appointment in the United States Colored Troops.

He reentered the service as Second Lieutenant in the One hundred twentieth United States Colored Troops, which was organized at Henderson, Kentucky, in October and November of 1864. The regiment was discontinued on June 21, 1865 after serving in various capacities in the Department of Kentucky. James served subsequently as First Lieutenant in Company F, Fifth United States Colored Cavalry, being mustered in as such on June 17, 1865, probably serving on the staff of General Burnbridge; the Regimental rolls to October 31, 1865, show him as absent on special duty with the Regimental band. The regiment had served in Kentucky and southwestern Virginia and was at Camp Nelson until August of 1865 when it was assigned to the Dept. of Arkansas, where it remained on duty until March of 1866.

After some three months on Burnbridge’s staff he was transferred to General Brisbin’s staff at Lexington, Kentucky, where he apparently served in the Regimental band from October through December. He was on a leave of absence in January and February of 1866, when he went home to visit his family, and he returned to duty still sick from a previous bout with malaria and jaundice. His unit had been ordered to Arkansas where they remained until February of 1866 when he resigned due to ill health. He was discharged subsequent to his resignation for malarial poisoning, at Helena, Arkansas to date January 18, 1866. (He would continue to suffer from bouts with malaria for the remainder of his life.)

After he left the army James returned to Barry County. He opened his first blacksmith shop in Hastings at the end of 1866, and continued in business until September of 1883 when he sold out and built another, larger shop. By 1870 he was working as a blacksmith (he owned $1200 worth of real estate) and living with his wife and child in Hastings. By 1880 James was working as a carriage builder and living with his wife and son on Apple Street in Hastings’ Third Ward; also living with them was one Dr. Arnold Bolt.

By 1886 he was engaged in manufacturing lawn seats and piano stools in Plainwell, Allegan County, although he continued to live in Hastings for the remainder of his life working as a blacksmith. That same year he declined to testify for the widow of Jacob Stegg, formerly of the Old Third’s Band, on the grounds that he had no information to provide her.

In 1889 James was living and working as a blacksmith in Hastings, in the Fourth Ward in 1890, in 1894 and by the 1890s was engaged in the manufacture and repair of wagons and carriages, and he was residing in Hastings in 1909, 1911, 1912 and 1914.

He was a widower when he married his Charlotte Barlow Russell (who had been widowed in 1901) on April 29, 1914, in Hastings. By 1920 James and Charlotte were living together in Hastings.

He was a firm Democrat, and served as Alderman for some five years, as supervisor of the Second and Third Wards of Hastings. James was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association and of Grand Army of the Republic Fitzgerald Post No. 125 in Hastings. In 1887 he applied for and received pension no. 400,299.

James died on April 20, 1921, at his home on 228 N. Church Street in Hastings, and, according to cemetery records, was buried on April 22, in Riverside cemetery, Hastings: block A-east, lot no. 11, grave NE 1/4-1; his headstone is next to Sarah’s but no date of death for James is inscribed.

Merrick D. Reed was born on August 3, 1840, in Dundee or Monroe, Monroe County, Michigan, the son of Peter (1791-1851) and Crusa (Parker, 1802-1878).

In 1839 his family moved to Bellevue, Eaton County (although Crusa may have returned to Monroe County when she gave birth to Merrick in 1840). By 1850 Merrick was attending school with his older brother James (known as “Lee” and who would also join the Old Third) and living with their family in Bellevue where his father worked a farm. (Next door lived Levi Booth whose father had remarried a Sarah Reed and who would also join the Old Third.) By 1855 Merrick was living with his family in Bellevue.

Merrick stood 5’11” with gray eyes, auburn hair and a light complexion and was a 21-year-old shoemaker or mechanic probably living in Barry County when he enlisted in Company E on May 10, 1861. (About the same time his older brother James joined the Regimental Band.) Merrick was present for duty through June 30, 1862, and reported AWOL in July and August, although he had probably been hospitalized near Yorktown, Virginia.

Merrick was not carried on the rolls from March of 1863 through May, although according to Andrew Kilpatrick, another member of Company E, Merrick was a Private present for duty in late May of 1863. And subsequent rolls through August 31 show him as present for duty. In September and October he was on detached service, probably as a teamster driving an ammunition train, and he reenlisted on December 23, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Cascade, Kent County.

He was presumably on veteran’s furlough, probably at his home in Michigan, in January of 1864, and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February, although he was reported was present for duty from January through April 30, 1864. He was transferred to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and was reported as a Corporal when he was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war Merrick returned to Michigan, probably to Bellevue, Clinton County where he was living from about 1865 until about 1870.

He married Ohio native Elizabeth (1844-1928), and they had at least three children: George (b. 1866), Frank (b. 1867) and a daughter (b. 1870).

By 1870 he was working as a shoemaker and living with his wife and three children in Hastings, Barry County (James L. also lived in Hastings that year). By 1880 Merrick was working as a wagon maker and living on Railroad Street in Hastings’ Fourth Ward with his wife and children. He was still living in Hastings with his wife Elizabeth in 1920. In fact, he probably lived in Hastings for the rest of his life (as did his older brother James).

He was living in Hastings in 1883 when he was drawing $2.00 per month for partial loss of his right index finger (pension no. 176, 041, dated October of 1880), in December of 1888 when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association.

In 1889 Merrick was part of the reception committee welcoming his former comrades to the annual reunion of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association held that year in Hastings.

He was living in the First Ward in 1890 and at 418 High Street from 1909-11, and probably in 1912 he was drawing $15.00 per month, and $72.00 by 1921. He was living in Hastings in 1891, in the First Ward in 1894, in Hastings in 1906-1907, 1912 and 1915. In 1920 he was living with his wife Elizabeth in Hastings.

Merrick died on October 3, 1921, and was buried on October 5 in Riverside cemetery, Hastings: block A-west “free ground,” lot no. 38.

In late October his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 911122).

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Isaac D. Reed

Isaac D. Reed was born in 1833 in Ohio, the son of Jonathan (b. 1797) and Ruthanna (b. 1800).

His parents were both born in Pennsylvania and presumably married there. In any case, they moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio where they lived for some years before moving to Michigan sometime after 1843. By 1860 Isaac was working as a carpenter and living with his family in Hastings, Barry County where his father operated a farm.

Isaac was a 28-year-old carpenter probably living in Hastings when he enlisted in the Hastings Rifle Company in April of 1861. The company was disbanded shortly after it arrived in Grand Rapids and its members distributed to other companies of the Third Michigan infantry then forming at Cantonment Anderson just south of the city. Isaac eventually enlisted as Wagoner in Company K on May 13, 1861, along with Cody Reed (to whom he may have been related) and Henry Kingsbury. By the summer of 1861 Isaac was on detached duty with the Fourth Brigade, serving as a wagoner.

During the action at Bull Run, in late July of 1861, Isaac had remained at Camp Blair, along the Potomac just north of Washington, when the Third Michigan departed for the field of battle. He eventually rejoined the regiment at its new campsite, Hunter Farm, near Arlington, Virginia. On August 20, he wrote the editor of the Hastings Banner,

I have the honor of addressing you from the camp of the Mich. 3d which is most delightfully situated upon the lands of Lieut. Hunter, late of the U.S.N., on the banks of the Potomac. I shall endeavor to give you a little insight as to a soldier’s life and fare in the Mich 3d.

Reveille and roll call at 6 o’clock a.m. Beat for breakfast at 7, sick call 7 1/2. -- Morning drill from eight till half past 9. Dinner at 12. Battalion drill from 3 1/2 to 5, and then comes Dress Parade. Supper call at 6. Retreat at 6 1/2. Roll call at 9, taps at 9 1/2 and then the day’s toil is over, and the weary soldier packs himself away, to forget for a few short hours the danger and toil of the day that has passed. At this moment the Regiment is passing a review and inspection of arms, by an officer of the U.S.A. They are being ordered to carry 40 rounds of cartridges -- keep their guns in good order -- and be in readiness to march at 15 minutes warning. They are also required to keep on hand five days’ rations, which consists of soft bread, 22 oz. to each man per day; 1 1/2 lbs. fresh beef or 3/4 lb. salt pork. One pint of coffee or tea as they choose for supper. Bean soup three times per week, rice three times, vegetables, such as potatoes, peas, etc., twice a week. This is, I believe, a correct statement of the bill of fare, which no one ought to complain of, though there are always some men among so many, that will find fault. It is quite healthy here at this date, have had considerable rain lately and quite cool nights. There are not over 20 men on the sick list, and none dangerous. There is a flying report in camp that the rebels are marching on Washington and Alexandria. But I think Jeff. knows better than to lock horns with Uncle Sam. There are too many “Armstrong” and other “pattern guns” down on Arlington Heights and vicinity for Beauregard and Jeff., and then there are 5 or 6 batteries of Artillery and hundreds of Cavalry, also Fort Runion [Runyan], Fort Corcoran and Fort Albany, within one mile of our camp. There is a continual line of camps from Fortress Monroe to Harper’s Ferry, on the Virginia side of the Potomac. I cannot give a correct account of the number of our troops in the first division of the United States Army, but there are in the neighborhood of 150,000 men and I think it would take three times that number to take Washington. Our men are all determined and will fight like tigers. The Hastings Boys are enjoying good health and are ready to wipe out the disgrace of our arms; a thing the soldiers have a full determination to do at the first opportunity. With the restoration of order the public confidence has also been restored, and there is a general feeling of sure and abiding confidence in the ability of the army to protect and defend the Capital, and the Whole Glorious Union. The Hastings Boys fought as became brave men in the trying time at Bull Run. I was not there, having been detached to take care of camp and baggage. We were stationed at Camp Blair at the time. I have heard by letter from Hastings that W. K. Ferris threw the colors and ran from the field. But I have it from good authority that is false. He was sunstruck the first day and was carried from the field, but he was at his post and performed his duty during the whole of the last battle on the 21st.

We are going to remove to the Brigade Headquarters soon, which is composed of the N. Y. 12th, Mass. 14th, Mich 2d and 3d, Col. Richardson commanding.

Isaac was still on detached duty as a wagoner in the spring of 1862, serving under Captain Ben Tracy, formerly of Company F. Sometime in 1861 or early 1862 Benjamin “had been detached from the regiment to serve as asst. quartermaster 3rd brig 3rd div 3 army corps afterwards consolidated with 2nd corps. He thus became my immediate superior officer and our duties brought us together constantly. I well remember that about May 1862 Capt. Tracy became unable to mount his horse because of piles and at the same time he complained of diarrhea or dysentery. He was so bad that I had to run the wagon train alone for three or four days.”

Isaac was reported as a wagoner in July of 1862, a Brigade wagoner from August through September, and Brigade forage master in October and wagon-master from November of 1862 through January of 1863. In fact he served with the wagon trains through the war. He was serving with the Brigade wagon train from February through June, at Brigade headquarters in July, on detached service from September 19 and in October detached with the Third Brigade. In November he was at Brigade headquarters and he was wagon-master of the Third Brigade wagon train from December of 1863 through May of 1864. He was mustered out on June 20, 1864, at Detroit.

Isaac eventually returned to Michigan.

He married Ohio native Frances (b. 1848) and they had at least two children: Nettie (b. 1866) and Ulysses (b. 1868).

By 1880 Isaac was working as a merchant and living with his wife and children in Hart, Oceana County. He was probably residing in Hart, Oceana County in 1883 and 1888, and he was living in Hart in September of 1891 when he gave a statement in the pension application of Ben Tracy, former Captain of Company K. That same year Isaac himself applied for and received a pension (no. 842382).

He may be buried in Riverside cemetery, Hastings, Barry County.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Gordon Reed

Gordon, or Gurden Reed was born in 1846.

Gordon stood 5’5” with hazel eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was an 18-year-old blacksmith probably living in Manistee, Manistee County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company I on February 6, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Manistee, and was mustered the same day. He joined the Regiment on February 17 at Camp Bullock, Virginia. He was severely wounded in the thigh in early May, subsequently hospitalized and probably 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. Gordon remained absent sick through August, was promoted to Corporal on January 1, 1865, and mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

It is not known if Gordon ever returned to Michigan.

He was married to Ann E (1844-1931).

In 1879 he applied for and received a pension (no. 187990)

Gordon was probably living in Endicott, Broome County, New York when he died on June 1, 1916 and was buried in Riverside Union cemetery in Endicott: section L-3, grave no. 1.

In 1916 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 834832).

Friday, May 07, 2010

Cody M. Reed

Cody M. Reed was born around 1844 in New York.

Cody, also known as Milford C., left New York and moved west, eventually settling in Michigan by 1860 when he was living with the family of Dr. Albert Bomtul (?) in Hastings, Barry County. Also living with the same family was Henry Kingsbury who would enlist in Company K, and next door lived James Birdsall who, along with his son Daniel, would also enlist in the Third Michigan. Another resident of Hastings, Isaac Reed would also enlist in Company K and was possibly related to Cody.

Cody was 17 years old and probably still living in Hastings when he enlisted in Company K on May 13, 1861. He was reported sick in the hospital in August of 1862, and allegedly deserted on September 21 at Upton’s Hill, Virginia.

He returned to the Regiment on October 9 at Upton’s Hill, and transferred to the United States cavalry at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania on November 13, 1862. He reportedly served some 19 months in Company F, Fifth United States cavalry, and was probably mustered out in June of 1864 at the end of his term of service.

In any case, he was probably in Syracuse, New York when he enlisted on September 5, 1864 at the age of 23 and under the name of as Milford C. Reed in Battery E, First New York Light Artillery, and was mustered the same day. He was mustered out of service on June 16, 1865 at Elmira, New York.

It is not known if Cody returned to Michigan after he left the army.

He married New York native Angeline (b. 1851) and they had at least one child: Nellie (b. 1872).

They were living in New York in 1872, and by 1880 he was probably working as a commercial traveler (salesman) and living with his wife and daughter in Buffalo’s Third Ward, Erie County, New York.

In 1890 (?) he was living in New York when applied for and received a pension (no. 680607) for his service in the Third Michigan infantry, Fifth U. S. Cavalry and First New York Light Artillery.

Cody died on February 18, 1894, in the Marion National Military Home, in Marion, Indiana, but was apparently not buried in the national cemetery in Marion (he may have been admitted and buried as Milford Reed).

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Valentine and Jacob Rebhun

Valentine Rebhun was born in 1815 in Baden, Germany.

Valentine was married to Prussian-born Marianna (b. 1823), possibly after immigrating to the United States, and they had at least two children: Jacob (b. 1850) and Valentine (b. 1853). They eventually settled in Troy, Rensselaer County, New York, by early 1850, and were still living in New York in 1853. Sometime around the mid-1850s but certainly before 1857 Valentine moved his family west and settled in Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan.

For several years before the war Valentine directed one of the most popular bands in the German community on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids. For example, on January 24, 1857, the Grand Rapids Eagle wrote that “The party at the American [hotel] on Thursday evening, passed off very pleasantly -- Prof. Rebhun's Quadrille's Band performed with their usual spirit and skill, and all who have heard them in the concert or Ball room, are willing to allow that they are ‘hard to beat’. They give their third soiree at the American, west side, on Thursday evening, February 5th.”

Rebhun also operated a saloon on the west side, and his business occasionally got him into trouble with the local authorities. On October 29, 1857, the Eagle reported that Rebhun had recently been fined for selling liquor to the Indians. “John Grady and Valentine Rebhun were yesterday taken before Justice Sinclair, on complaint of W. B. Renwick, one of our most efficient temperance men, and fined $10 each and costs.”

Apparently sometime over the winter Rebhun suffered a disastrous fire which must have destroyed most if not all of his establishment. On February 5, noted the Eagle, “another of those popular promenades, by Barnhart’s Cornet band, is to take place at Luce’s Hall, at which the members have very generously tendered their services for the benefit of Mr. V. Rebhun. Mr. R. suffered considerable loss of property on which there was no insurance. As the tickets of admission are only 50 cents, and those promenade concerts are among the chaste and agreeable parties, it is to be hoped that he will receive a rousing benefit. we are confident that he will. It has been intimated that one or two of the fire Companies will be pretty fully represented there, and Mr. R. would be pleased to see them in uniform if convenient.” And the Enquirer wrote that “it will be recollected, that the Promenade Concert tonight, by Barnhart's Valley City Cornet Band, is for the benefit of Mr. V. Rebhun, a member of the Band, whose goods were destroyed on the occasion of the recent fire. He is deserving of the a paying benefit. We hope that the Firemen, the Military, and the public generally, will be on hand, tonight, at Luce's Hall, to hear good music, enjoy the dancing, and contribute toward reimbursing Mr. Rebhun for his recent losses.”

However, “The Promenade Concert, for the benefit of Mr. Rebhun, which was advertised to transpire last evening, was adjourned until Tuesday evening next. This was done at the request of his friends and because there were several large private parties in town. We trust his many friends will remember him Tuesday evening, and greet him with a crowded Hall.” And on February 8 the Eagle wrote “Another of those delightful entertainments given by Barnhart's Cornet Band, will come off tomorrow night, at Luce's Hall. The programme is a ‘taking’ one, and the mere announcement of the time and place must be sufficient to secure a large attendance. That accomplished musician, V. Rebhun, is the beneficiary, and deserves much at the hands of our appreciative and music-loving citizens.”

By mid-February Rebhun was again operating a saloon. “Rebhun has again got his saloon in order,” wrote the Enquirer on February 15, “and is fully prepared to administer aid and comfort to the inner man.” In addition to his band activities and in conjunction with his saloon he was also one of several brewers in the city and in mid-1858 he had a running feud with another local brewer, Chris Kusterer.

On June 6 Valentine advertised ‘Rebhun's Bock Beer!’ in the Enquirer . “The subscriber sells at his Saloon, in the basement of C. W. Taylor's building, corner of Monroe and Pearl Streets, as good an article of Bock Beer as any on the place. He don't pretend to sell the ‘Genuine’ Bock Beer, as there never has been any in this city. But he warrants his Bock Beer to be as good as any in the city.”

Kusterer took issue with this last claim and wrote a letter the same day to the Enquirer. “A large number of Saloon Keepers have been selling stuff during the past week, purporting to be genuine ‘Bock Beer’. Recollect, that no place in this town, sells ‘Bock Beer’, unless it has a printed sign from our establishment.” He added that “We will only have on hand this superior article for one week longer.” And in another place in the same issue Kusterer said that

Mr. Rebhun has the honesty to admit that his Bock Beer is a humbug article; and that it is not what he calls it to his customers, to deceive them. But he has the dishonesty to assert, that our Bock Beer is not genuine. In this he falsifies. We had a man in our employ of whom we obtained the recipe, who was formerly in the Brewery of John Bock (the inventor of ‘Bock Beer’) in Minchen [sic] Bavaria. And we there fore assure our customers, that our's is the genuine, simon pure article of Bock Beer.

To add insult to injury, Kusterer asked “Does Mr. Rebhun know a certain Valentine who always waters his beer, and never sells a genuine article of drink, of any kind?” On June 11 Rebhun responded in the Enquirer. “A very laudable assertion,” Rebhun wrote, “to bring before the people of Grand Rapids by those sentimental brothers. Such a notice on the part of bloats is not worth noticing, and the subscriber dares say, that if people only understood their way of manufacturing the so-called ‘bock beer’, they would probably not be humbugged by them. The past six months have already shown what species of vermin they are, and the future will yet bring forth the fruits of their corruption. Any other reply on their part shall not be countenanced, as it is beneath the regard of a gentleman.”

Rebhun’s reputation as a band-leader and saloon-keeper was well-known throughout the city, and he was instrumental in the development of the Fifty-first State Militia Regimental Band. (The Fifty-first was made up of four local militia companies that would become the nuclei for the first four companies -- A, B, C and D -- of the Third Michigan.)

On August 24, 1858, the Enquirer reported that “Mr. V. Rebhun, the noted drum major of the 51st Regiment, Michigan Militia, is an enterprising man. He keeps up with, if not ahead of the age, in everything appertaining to his business. His last enterprise is, the erection of a Lager Beer Hall, and arranging gardens to match, in the northern portion of the city. On Sunday the concern was in full blast, and was visited by several hundred persons, most of them our German fellow citizens, accompanied in many cases by their ladies.”

And on September 14, the paper wrote that “The German Turner Association of this city will celebrate their anniversary on Wednesday, 11 o'clock and march with the band at their head through the principal streets of the city and thence to the grounds of Mr. Rebhun, known as the ‘Dutch Garden’. There they will go through with a variety of gymnastic exercises, listen to speeches and music, and partake of a sumptuous dinner, prepared by Mr. Rebhun. It will be quite a gala day with them. In the evening they will give an anniversary Ball at Luce's Hall. They are expecting several delegations from abroad to join them, particularly from Ionia and Detroit.”

In 1859-60 Rebhun continued to operate one of the community’s favorite saloons on the southwest corner of Pearl and Monroe Streets, and in 1860 he was working as a saloon keeper and musician living with his wife and two sons in Grand Rapids, First Ward. He also continued his work as a band director, and in mid-January gave “a series of Promenade Concerts, in Collins Hall, commencing on Friday evening, Jan. 13th. Mr. R. assures us that these concerts will be conducted in the most agreeable manner - the company select, music good, and the exercises will positively close at 12 o'clock. Tickets only 25 cents.” On March 1, 1860 the Enquirer wrote that “The Grand Rapids Brass and String Band is now re-organized, under the leadership of Mr. Plessle, and is prepared to perform for parties wishing their services.”

By 1860 Valentine was working as a musician and living with his wife and children in Grand Rapids’ First ward.

Valentine stood 5’5” with blue eyes, dark hair and a light complexion and was 46 years old and still living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted as Bandmaster or Drum Major on June 10, 1861, joined by his young son Jacob as a drummer. In fact Valentine, who had played an active role in the development of the Band for the local militia Regiment during the late 1850s, had already begun to form a new Regimental Band by late April of 1861. According to the Enquirer of April 23 the band was “not quite full, [and] persons desirous of going to the wars in this capacity will please see Mr. R.” By early June, however, his band was providing “excellent music” for the Regiment and was especially proficient on June 5 during the presentation of a flag by the ladies of Grand Rapids to the Regiment forming at Cantonment Anderson.

He remained active with the Regiment until he was discharged on March 7, 1862, at Camp Michigan, Virginia, for rheumatism and general debility. (The Regimental bands in the Army of the Potomac would be abolished in August of 1862.)

Valentine returned to Michigan and reentered the service as a Private in Company F, Nineteenth Michigan infantry on August 22, 1862, at Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County for 3 years, and was mustered on September 5 at Dowagiac, Cass County, crediting and listing his residence as Kalamazoo; he was transferred to Principal Musician on September 5 at Dowagiac. The regiment was organized at Dowagiac and mustered into service on September 5, and left the state for Cincinnati, Ohio, on September 14 and then onto Covington, Kentucky where it remained on duty until October 7. It participated in movements throughout Kentucky during 1862 and on into 1863. Valentine was discharged on September 17, 1863, for disability.

After he was discharged from the army Valentine returned to Kalamazoo where he was a prominent member of the Kalamazoo Cornet Band, and in 1865 was elected Constable on the Republican ticket.

He died of typhoid fever in Kalamazoo on Sunday October 14, 1866, and his funeral was held on Monday afternoon. In its obituary of Valentine, the Kalamazoo Telegraph wrote that the soldiers of the Nineteenth infantry “such as were here, took part in the obsequies. Major Rebhun is said to have been the best drum Major in the Army of the Cumberland.” Valentine was presumably buried in Kalamazoo.

In 1882 his widow eventually applied for a pension (no. 290902) but the certificate was never granted.

Jacob Rebhun
was born on April 7, 1850, in Troy, Rensselaer County, New York, the son of Valentine (1815-1866) and Marianna (b. 1823).

Valentine was born in Baden, Germany and immigrated to the United States. He may have married Prussian-born Marianna after arriving in North America but this is uncertain. In any case they were living in Troy, New York by the time Jacob was born and were still living in New York by 1853. Sometime afterwards, probably around the mid-1850s Jacob’s family left New York and came to Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Jacob was a member of his father’s band in Grand Rapids where they played on many private and public occasions held on the west side of the Grand River during the mid- to late-1850s. Indeed, his father would be appointed the first drum major for the Third Michigan’s regimental band. (See Valentine’s biography below.)

By 1860 Jacob was attending school with his younger brother Valentine and living with his family in Grand Rapids’ First ward where his father (who would also join the Third Michigan) worked as a musician.

Jacob, who had the distinction of being the youngest member to enlist in the Third Michigan infantry, stood 5 feet with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, was an 11-year-old drummer in his father’s band and living with his family in Grand Rapids, First Ward when he enlisted in the Band on June 10, 1861, along with his father Valentine who was the drum major.

On June 16, 1861, the Third Michigan arrived in Washington, DC, and proceeded up the Potomac River, establishing their first camp near the Chain Bridge. According to Jacob, shortly afterwards, Andrew Johnson paid the camp a visit and gave a short speech in which he claimed that the state of Tennessee had enlisted the youngest soldier in the Union army. Third Michigan Colonel Dan McConnell put Jacob on the speaker’s stand “as being the youngest.” Jacob was sick with dysentery in the Regimental hospital at Camp Washington (also known as Camp Michigan) in December of 1861, and he remained hospitalized until he was discharged as a “member of the band, not as a musician” on February 28, 1862, at Camp Michigan, Virginia.

He returned to Michigan and reentered the service in Company I, Eleventh Michigan cavalry on November 24, 1863, at Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County for 3 years, and was mustered on November 24, crediting Adrian, Lenawee County. Jacob claimed some years later that he was taken prisoner near Brentwood, Tennessee, on March 25, 1863, exchanged on June 8 and that he reenlisted in the Eleventh cavalry on December 10, 1863. If he did in fact reenlist, he was probably absent on veteran’s furlough for at least a month, and most likely returned to western Michigan -- either Grand Rapids or perhaps Kalamazoo. He most likely returned to the regiment sometime in late January or early February of 1864.

The Eleventh Michigan cavalry was organized at Kalamazoo and Detroit between October 7 and December 10, 1863. It moved to Lexington, Kentucky December 10-22 and remained on duty there until April 28 when it commenced operations in eastern and then southern Kentucky through the summer in Tennessee by late fall of 1864 and southwestern Virginia by early 1865 and western North Carolina by spring.

He was reported in the Band from December of 1863 through March of 1864, and absent sick with rheumatism in the general hospital at Camp Nelson, Kentucky in November and December of 1864. On June 24, 1865, the regiment moved to Pulaski, Tennessee, where they remained on duty until they were consolidated into the Eighth Michigan cavalry on July 20. Jacob was indeed transferred on July 20 to Company A, Eighth Michigan cavalry, and the regiment participated in numerous scout and patrol duties until September. Jacob was mustered out with the regiment on September 22, 1865, at Nashville, Tennessee.

After the war Jacob may have returned briefly to Grand Rapids and/or Kalamazoo (where his parents lived). But following his father’s death in October of 1866, Jacob apparently returned to New York and settled in Troy. In 1875 he was living in Troy working as a barber, a trade he followed most of his life. By 1890 he was in business as a hairdresser with one Henry Bestle (possibly a relative to Jacob’s wife Emma), at 1581 Broadway in Troy. About the same time his mother was employed as a grocer and her son Valentine was a clerk at the same location, 146 Congress Street in Troy, and living with Jacob, first at 151 Congress then at 36 Bridge Street

He married Emma W. Bestle (d. 1928) on July 19, 1875, in Troy, and they had at least eight children: Marion or Mary (b. 1876), Joseph (b. 1878), Arabella (b. 1883), Frederick, William, Grace (b.1891), Gertrude (b. 1895) and Emily. They separated some years later.

By 1880 he was working as a barber and living with his wife and children in Troy’s Second Ward. He was living in Troy in 1885, and from 1890 to 1891 at 36 Bridge Street, and from 1892 through 1895 he was residing in West Troy, possibly at 1300 Sixth Avenue. He was living at 818 Twenty-fourth Street in Watervliet, New York, from 1896 through 1897 when he apparently moved back to Troy, and was living at 135 Congress Street in Troy from 1898 to 1903. By 1904 he had moved to Springfield, Massachusetts and was residing in 1905 at 178 State Street in Springfield.

He eventually moved west again and was residing at 3428 East Twelfth Street in Chicago from 1910 through 1911. In 1912 Jacob was living at 313 St. John’s court in Chicago, Illinois, and by 1915 he was living at 39 San Joaquin Street in Stockton, California. In 1916 he was residing at 1188 Seventh Street in Oakland, California, but by 1923 he was back in New York and living at 335 North Oak Street in Buffalo , where he was attended by a nurse, Nancy A. Maybank.

Although no record of a divorce from Emma is in evidence, he reportedly married (illegally) one Alphonsine or “Alice” LeGault (b. 1867), a French-Canadian woman from Montreal, on August 26, 1906, in Michigan City, Indiana.

In 1910 Emma sought to gain access to one-half of Jacob’s pension (no. 963,754); she claimed he had deserted her in April of 1904. In January of 1911 she testified that on April 12, 1904, Jacob “left home saying that ‘he was going to get his pension’ and never returned homer and that I have never seen or heard from him since, nor has he made any provisions for my support; that he left Troy in company with another woman of unchaste character who was known as Albino.” She further claimed “that prior to his departure from the City of Troy that he lived in open adulterous intercourse with this woman and provided her with lodging. . . .” Moreover, all “diligent efforts to ascertain his whereabouts” had proven fruitless.

According to testimony of one Charlotte Claessens, who knew the family, Jacob deserted Emma in April of 1904 “leaving her practically destitute and the mother of eight children.” Charlotte further stated that “prior to the desertion by said Jacob Rebhun . . . it was common talk that he was solicitous of a certain French woman who first name is Albino [sic] and whose last name your deponent has been unable to ascertain and that it was common scandal and common knowledge to all the neighbors of their relations; that it was common talk of the neighbors that said Jacob Rebhun provided apartments for this said woman in the neighborhood for about two years prior to his desertion of his said wife and that it was commonly known that the said Jacob Rebhun departed from the City of Troy, N.Y. on or about said date in company with the said female Albino [sic].”

Harry Lord, another neighbor in Troy, testified in 1910 that Jacob was “solicitous of other women and that he departed this city in company with one other than his wife on or about [April of 1904], leaving said Emma Rebhun in destitute circumstances and the mother of eight children with no visible means of support.”

Jacob never formally contested the suit, although in January of 1911 he did provide a written statement claiming that he did not desert his family “But was told to get out. And if I ever came back she would brain me.” He further claimed that she would frequently swear at him and often stated she wished him dead and that she wished he had been killed before she ever met him and that she further threatened to have her brother shoot him. He also claimed that she “would tell the children not to mind what I said to them.” Thus, he “left to try life anew and have peace, to forgive but not forget.” He also pointed out that as a consequence of his own very limited financial circumstances and declining health consequently he asked that he not be deprived of part of his pension.

Soon after receipt of Jacob’s statement the Pension Bureau informed Emma in early February that she would have to reply to these charges and on March 11 she testified that “through evidence obtained by Supt. Walker of the Humane Society, [Jacob] was arrested for non-support and compelled to give her two dollars & fifty cents a week, which he did for two weeks and then disappeared.” She further denied his allegations that she threatened his life and that she wished him dead and she was substantiated by two of her adult children. The pension board suspended one-half of Jacob’s pension until the investigation was completed and in April of 1911 Emma was awarded one-half of his pension which she continued to receive until her death in Troy in 1928.

Jacob was living at 747 Virginia Street in Buffalo when he was admitted to Buffalo City Hospital where he died on August 20, 1925, of complications resulting from urinary retention, a consequence of a urethral stricture; the cause of the stricture is unknown. He was buried on August 22 by Michael Lux Undertaking, 172 Goodell Street, in Pine Hill (or Forest Lawn) cemetery in Buffalo.

In 1925 Jacob’s widow applied for and received a pension (no. 967275).

In February of 1926 Alphonsine (Alice) LeGault (the “second” wife), was residing at 335 N. Oak Street in Buffalo when she wrote to the Pension Bureau, seeking access to Jacob’s pension.

I will let you know [she wrote] about Mr. Jacob Rebhun. He was a good barber and had lots of work as long as he could work but he had a terrible wife. She done all kind[s] of dirty tricks on him: she had other men when he was at work and . . . he could not live with that woman and she told him she did not want him any more to come back because she had other men and he did not want to support other men’s children he left her 22 years ago. He was not safe in the house not even would she or the children get him anything to eat he had to get his meals in the restaurants but they took all the money and he gave her lots of money but she did not do anything for him but just as soon as she found out that he was dead she went for the pension but if such women get a pension then every woman ought to have a pension. She and her children were terrible with that man. He was one of the best men you ever could think of until he was paralyzed and could not work no more and the lady he boarded with all these years she went out working for other people 7 years so they could get along. She took care of him for 22 years.

Winfield Scott, Pension Commissioner, wrote back on March 22 that Miss LeGault’s charges of infidelity and “other misconduct” against Emma Rebhun were irrelevant as “The widow pensioner was in receipt of one-half of” Jacob’s “pension as his deserted wife from 1911 until his death, in August, 1925.” Further, that “The soldier was fully advised of the basis of her [Emma’s] claim, but made no defense except to file a sworn statement of his reasons for the separation in which he made no charge of infidelity against his wife or denial of her allegation of his having abandoned her for another woman.” Thus, Emma’s “right to such pension may not be disturbed without proof of improper conduct.”

In 1933 Alice again sought the assistance of the G.A.R. and Spanish War Veteran’s Relief of the City of Buffalo to gain access to the pension monies, but Alice discovered that although she and Jacob were married in Michigan City, Indiana in August of 1906, he had never divorced Emma and thus Alice could not legally claim to be a widow of Jacob. In February of 1934 and again in October of 1937 the Dependent’s Claim Service rejected Alice’s claim on the basis that no legal marriage existed between her and Jacob Rebhun.

In 1943 Lillian Hartman Rebhun, Jacob and Emma’s daughter, also claimed access to pension funds as a dependent child of a Civil War veteran. Lillian, who was living in Hartford, Connecticut, was rejected as she was too old to receive support as the child of a veteran. “Alice” was living on welfare in 1950 and 1951 in Buffalo when her application was denied a final time. In July of 1951 she was informed that she was “not accepted as the widow of the veteran since you were not his legal wife at the time of his death.”