Sunday, October 31, 2010

Roelof Steffins

Roelof Steffins was born on June 28, 1837, in the Netherlands, the son of Hendrick (b. 1795) and Maatje (b. 1795).

Roelof’s family immigrated to America and evnetually settled in western Michigan where by 1860 Roelof was working as a lumberman and living with his parents in Blendon, Ottawa County.

Roelof, known also as "Ralph," stood 6’0” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 23 years old and probably still living in Blendon when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861. He was absent sick in the hospital in August of 1862, but eventually recovered and reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Vergennes, Kent 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.

Roelof was transferred as a Sergeant to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and was shot in the left side of his chest on June 21 near Petersburg, Virginia. Dan Crotty, formerly of Company F (in both Third and Fifth Michigan infantry), wrote some years after the war that he came across Steffins in a field hospital near Petersburg, “shot through the lungs,” he wrote, “and in a fearful way. The maggots crawl all over his body. No one has as yet seen to him, for there is not enough help, and a great many died for want of care. I go to work and wash his wound, and get some clean drawers and a short for him. He seems to think he is going to die, but I cheer him up as well as I can, in the mean time I have no hopes for his recovery -- but he got over it, and now is at home after the war and doing well.”

According to the Grand Rapids Eagle, in mid-October Roelof returned to his home in western Michigan, “on a furlough of 20 days to visit his family and friends in this vicinity. Young Steffins has been in numerous bloody battles with that gallant command, escaping serious injury until the 16th of last June, when, in a battle before Petersburg, he was seriously wounded by a musket ball, which passed directly through his body. Since the battle, and up to within a short time past, he has been in hospital. He is still afflicted by the wound, but is in a fair way to permanently recover his health.”

Roelof remained absent wounded through February of 1865, and entered Broad & Cherry Streets hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 1, 1865. He was mustered out as Corporal on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war Roelof returned to Michigan.

He married Dutch-born Jentje “Jane” (1838-1912), and they had at least five and possibly six children: Harvey (b. 1868) and Mary (b. 1869), Katie (b. 1875), Jenny (b. 1874) and Jacob (b. 1879), and possibly another son.

By 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and and two children in Blendon, Ottawa County; just two houses away lived another former member of the Third Michigan infantry, Wilbur Scott and his family. By 1880 Ralph was working as a farmer and still living in Blendon with his wife and children; he lived just several houses away from James Mowry who had also served in the Old Third during the war.

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

He was still living in South Blendon, Ottawa County in 1883 when he was drawing $8.00 per month for a wounded left chest (pension no. 100,649, dated October of 1869), and he resided in South Blendon for some years.

Roelof died on February 4, 1904, at his home in Holland, Ottawa County. His Petersburg wound eventually caught up with him, and according to an obituary, Steffens “died suddenly of internal bleeding caused by a gunshot wound received in the battle of Petersburg. The mine ball passed through his right lung.” He was buried in Zeeland cemetery.

In March of 1904 (?) his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 658545).

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Anton Steffes

Anton Steffes was born in 1829 or 1834 in Muhlbach, Germany, the son of John and Mary (Ohlich).

Anton left Germany and immigrated to America sometime before the war broke out, eventually settling in western Michigan.

He stood 5’10” with blue eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was a 27-year-old farmer possibly living in Allegan 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 reportedly discharged on November 19, 1861, at Fort Lyon, Virginia, for chronic rheumatism.

According to his service record, however, he was apparently sent to Columbian College hospital in Washington, DC on November 10, 1861, where he remained until he was discharged on March 1, 1862. The discharging physician noted that he suffered “from tuberculosis, for which he should be discharged from the service, and has but little rheumatism during the first week after his admission” on November 10, 1861.

Anton returned to Michigan.

He married Ohio native Louisa Strickfaden (1845-1918) and they had at least six children: Catharine (b. 1867), John (b. 1869), Susan (b. 1871), Mary (b. 1873), Anton (b. 1877) and Sophia (b. 1880).

In 1870 he was probably working as a farmer and living with his wife and two children in Jamestown, Ottawa County; his father John was probably also living with them. By 1880 Anton was working as a farmer and still living in Jamestown with his wife and children. He was living in Byron, Kent County in 1883 when he was drawing $8.00 per month in 1883 for disease of the lungs (pension no. 194,043, dated 1881).

Anton died in 1884 in North Dorr, Michigan, probably from tuberculosis.

His widow applied for and received a pension (no. 218826). By 1890 his widow was living in Jamestown, Ottawa County.

Friday, October 29, 2010

John Steffen

John Steffen was born in 1821.

John was probably living in western Michigan by 1864.

In 1850 there was a 25-year-old laborer named John Steffens, born in the Netherlands, working for and/or living with an engineer named Ira French (?) in Spring Lake, Ottawa County. This was probably the same John Steffens, age 35, b. in the Netherlands, who was married to Dutch-born Ellen (b. 1830), with two children: Henry (b. 1856) and Elizabeth (b. 1859), all of whom were living in Blendon, Ottawa County in 1860; John was working as a farmer (he owned some $1200 worth of real estate). Next door lived one Hendrikus Steffens (b. 1795 in Holland) and his wife Maatje (b. 1795 in Holland. John and Ellen were still living in Blendon with their children in 1880.

In any case, John stood 5’7” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was a 43-year-old laborer possibly living in Muskegon County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company C on January 29, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Muskegon, and was mustered the same day. He joined the Regiment on February 18 at Camp Bullock, Virginia, and may have been 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. He was subsequently reported absent sick through September of 1864, and was mustered out on on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

In 1877 John applied for and received a pension (no. 182585).

John may be buried in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There is a John Steffen, who was probably a resident of the National Military Home in Milwaukee in 1890, and who was reported as having served in Company C, Fifth Michigan from late January of 1864 until June of 1865. (This may very well have been the same “John Stephen’ who was listed in the Fifth Michigan’s regimental history as having enlisted in February of 1864, although no company is reported.) In any case this John Steffen died on February 28, 1892, probably at the National Military Home in Wisconsin, and was buried on March 1, 1892 at Wood National Cemetery: 10-96.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Peter Steele

Peter Steele was born in 1839.

The regimental descriptive rolls of the Third Michigan infantry (which also refer to the rolls for Company G, Fifth Michigan infantry) report only that Peter Steele was 24 years old when he enlisted in Company G on December 16, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, and was mustered on December 27, and that he was subsequently transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps per order from AGO, April 19, 1865, and mustered out on August 1, 1865, at Providence, Rhode Island.

However, according to Fifth Michigan infantry records (and they seem the more reliable of the two sources) Peter was probably living in St. Clair County when he enlisted at the age of 22 in Company G, Fifth Michigan infantry on September 9, 1861, for three years, and was mustered September 10. He was reported detached as a pioneer (probably for the Brigade) from July of 1862 through October of 1862, and reenlisted on December 15, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, and was mustered on December 27.

Peter was subsequently absent on veteran’s furlough in Michigan in January of 1864, and probably returned to the Fifth Michigan on or about the first of February. He was possibly wounded on June 18, near Petersburg, Virginia, and subsequently absent wounded through April of 1865. He was reported transferred to the VRC and discharged on August 1, 1865 at Providence, Rhode Island from Company C, Eleventh Regiment VRC. (The VRC was made up of men who while ambulatory were generally incapable of performing regular military tasks due to having suffered debilitating wounds and/or diseases and were assigned to garrison the many supply depots, draft rendezvous, camps, forts, prisons, etc. scattered throughout the northern sities, thus freeing able-bodied men for regular military duty.)

It is not clear why Peter was reported in the Third Michigan. Possibly this was the result of a recording error when the records were transcribed in the Michigan Adjutant General’s office some years after the war. If in fact he was transferred to the Third Michigan, which seems unlikely, Steele’s case was very unusual.

He was one of only two or three men (Charles Draper; Charles Hamill may have been in the Twelfth Michigan before enlisting in Unassigned of the Third) who were transferred into the Third Michigan infantry from other units. Peter is not found in the 1905 Regimental history for the Third Michigan, but is in the Regimental history for the Fifth Michigan.

According to one source Peter was buried in Lone Fir cemetery in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Claudius B. Steele

Claudius B. Steele was born in 1844 in Illinois, the son of Francis (1812-1850) and Rosetta J. (Andrews, b. 1813 )

Connecticut native Francis married Ohioan Rosetta sometime before 1837, possibly in Ohio where they were living by 1837. By 1840 they had moved to Illinois and eventually settled in Shirland, Winnebago County, Illinois where Francis died of cancer in January of 1850. That same year Claudius was attending school with his older siblings and living with his mother in Shirland, Illinois. Next door lived his uncle E. Woolcott Steel and his family; his family had settled in Ohio around 1831 and lived there until about 1841.

Claudius was 26 years old and possibly working in Muskegon County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861. He was wounded on May 4, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Virginia, and died on May 15 of his wounds at Camp Sickles, Virginia. Claudius was presumably buried among the unknown soldiers at Chancellorsville.

By 1866 his mother had remarried to one Mr. Russell when she applied for and received a pension (no. 143351). In October of 1867 she married one Mr. McMichael.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Amos A. Stearns

Amos A. Stearns was born on April 27, 1844, in Branch County, Michigan, the son of Wilson (b. 1816) and Mary (Furgeson, b. 1818).

New York natives Wilson and Mary were married, possibly in New York. In any case, by 1843 they had settled in Michigan and by 1850 Amos was attending school with his older brother William and living with his family in Coldwater, Branch County, where his father worked as a cooper.

Amos stood 5’10” with gray eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was a 19-year-old farmer possibly living in Muskegon County or in Gaines, Kent County when he enlisted in Company K on January 6, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Muskegon or Gaines, and was mustered on January 8 at Corunna, Shiawassee County. Amos joined the Regiment on February 17 at Camp Bullock, Virginia, and was wounded in the foot and missing in action on May 6, 1864, at the Wilderness, Virginia, and was subsequently hospitalized. 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 remained absent wounded through January of 1865.

In fact, Amos entered Mower hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on February 9, was transferred to Michigan on February 19, and was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war Amos returned to western Michigan. He was married to Michigan native Adelaide A. (b. 1847) and they had at least three children: Luella E. (b. 1874, Mrs. Winegarden), and twins Cleland W. and Clarence A. (b. 1879.

(In 1870 his father and mother were living in Cooper, Kalamazoo County.) By 1880 Amos was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Cooper, Kalamazoo County, near by also lived his parents. Amos eventually settled in Grand Rapids, Kent County, where he lived the rest of his life. By 1894 he was living in the Fourth Ward working as a salesman.

He was married to a second wife, Melissa.

In 1865 he applied for and received a pension (no. 80393).

Amos died of organic heart disease on Tuesday, January 22, 1922, at his home 719 Oakdale in Grand Rapids, and the funeral was held on Friday at 2:00 p.m. at the home. He was buried in Garfield Park cemetery.

In October of 1922 Melissa applied for and received a widow (no. 923612).

Monday, October 25, 2010

Charles Stark

Charles Stark was born on January 8, 1837, in Champlain, Clinton County, New York, the son of Reuben (b. 1797-1877) and Mary (Gentile).

Vermonter Reuben married Mary around 1821, possibly in New York. In any case they soon settled in Clinton count, New York where they lived for many years. Indeed, Reuben was living in Champlain, New York in 1830 and in 1840. Reuben moved his family to Michigan and by 1860 Reuben was living in Wright, Ottawa County and Charles was working as a farm laborer and living with his two older brothers (James and Hiram) and their families in Tallmadge, Ottawa County.

Charles stood 6’0” with gray eyes, brown and a light complexion and was 24 years old and residing in Lamont, Ottawa County when he enlisted as Eighth Corporal in Company B on May 13, 1861. Charles was appointed Sergeant on January 1, 1862, and was present for duty through the end of the year. During the battle of Williamsburg on May 5, 1862, Starks was color bearer for the Regiment. “While we were in company formation,” wrote Ezra Ransom, also of Company B, in 1917, “ready to do our ‘bit’, Charley Starks, color bearer, again showed the white feather by pleading sick, advancing to the front of the line he told the Colonel -- who was a short distance in front -- ‘Colonel I am sick & can’t bear the colors in battle’. The Colonel called for a volunteer & I who had often taken Starks place before, stepped through the line from the rear. . . . ‘I’ll take them Col’. ‘Starks you may take that man’s gun & get into the ranks, this [h]as occurred too often’ or words to that effect.”

For reasons unknown Charles was reduced to the rank of private on December 13, 1862, probably as a consequence of a regimental court martial, and shortly afterwards was on detached service as a teamster with the Brigade. He was treated briefly for diarrhea from January 1 to 5, 1863, but soon recovered and returned to duty.

He was probably a teamster detached to the ammunition train in February of 1863, was reported at Brigade headquarters in March, and was serving with the Brigade ammunition train from April through July. In October he was at First Division headquarters, and a teamster in First Division from November of 1863 through January of 1864. Charles was at Brandy Station, Virginia, working as a teamster in the First division, Third Corps ammunition train in late December of 1864 when he wrote home, presumably to his cousin Reuben Randall who had been discharged two years earlier from the Third Michigan.

I guess you began to think I have forgotten you entirely but I believe I have a faint recollection of seeing you. Well I am about as healthy as I have been since I left home. We are having very easy times at present. We have inspection every Sunday. I saw Ben Curtis [from Tallmadge, Ottawa County and in the Fifth Michigan cavalry] and Lou a short time ago. If I can get time I shall go and see them this week. We have had a very warm winter so far – not very little snow or rain. The roads are quite dry. I think the army will soon strike out again for parts unknown but you will soon hear where we are after we start.

Well I suppose you are having a good time these months and a few days and I will begin to have a good time if I am alive and well at that time. I suppose those old veterans cut a big swell while they were at home. That big bounty was a big thing but I could not see the point this time. My eyes are getting so I can’t see so quick as I could when I enlisted.

Abe [Palmer] is driving here in the same train that I am in. he is all right. Abe and I have some pretty good times if we are in the army.

I will have to hurry this to a close. Give my best wishes to all the girls and some of the married women.

He was a teamster in the Brigade wagon train from February through April, in the ammunition train in May, and was mustered out of service on June 20, 1864, at Detroit.

Charles married English-born Mary Alice Smedley (b. 1845) in New Boyton, Pennsylvania, on February 20, 1865, and they had at least two children: Frank Sidney (b. 1866) and Bertha (b. 1870).

After his discharge from the army, Charles may have returned to Michigan, or he may have lived briefly in Pennsylvania; he was apparently in Ohio in 1866 when his son was born. In any case, he did eventually return to his family home in Ottawa County and by 1870 he was working as a farmer (he owned $3000 worth of real estate) and living with his wife and children in Wright, Ottawa County. (His parents still lived in Wright in 1870.)

He lived in Ottawa County until about 1876 when he moved to Dubuque, Iowa where he lived for about eight years. In 1880 he was working as an engineer and living with his wife and son in Dubuque. In about 1884 he moved to Kansas where he lived for about two years and eventually moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. By 1890 was a resident of the Northwestern branch of the National Military Home in Milwaukee. Charles and Mary were divorced in 1891, and apparently Mary was living in Chicago.

According to her testimony Charles deserted her sometime around 1899 and never returned. In any case, he was still living at the National Home in 1897 and 1898 but eventually returned to Michigan., probably to Cedar Springs.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, a Protestant. In 1891 he applied for and received pension no. 985,856, drawing $6.00 in 1900, and $15.00 by 1907.

Charles entered the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 3420) on July 16, 1900, and listed himself as a single man. He was discharged several years later, and was apparently back at the National Home in Milwaukee in 1892 and 1905. In any case, he was probably living in Cedar Springs, Kent County when he reentered the home on September 18, 1908, and was dropped on September 24, 1910, returning to his residence in Cedar Springs where he was living at no. 33 R.F.D in 1907, 1909, 1911 and 1912; indeed, he probably split his residence between the Home and Cedar Springs .

He was apparently being taken care of by one Eva Fitzsimmons when he died of cancer of the gall duct in Solon Township, Kent County on September 13, 1912. Charles was buried at Solon cemetery.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sylvanus Staring

Sylvanus Staring was born in 1834 in Oneida County, New York.

Sylvanus was married to New York native Grace (1840-1927), probably in New York, and they had at least two children: Alfred (b. 1861) and Aldora (b. 1858). They moved from New York to Michigan sometime before 1858, and by 1860 Sylvanus was working as a blacksmith and living with his wife and daughter in Boston, Ionia County.

He stood 5’7” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 27 years old and probably still living in Ionia County when he enlisted as a Corporal in Company D on May 13, 1861. (Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County.) He may have been taken ill sometime in the fall of 1861. In any case, Sylvanus was discharged for chronic rheumatism on June 7, 1862, at Columbian College hospital in Washington, DC.

Sylvanus returned to Michigan after his discharge from the army. He reentered the army as a private in Company C, First Michigan Engineers and Mechanics, on December 10, 1863, in Grand Rapids and was mustered in on January 5, 1864. He was mustered out as Full Artificer on September 22, 1865, in Nashville, Tennessee.

It is not known if he returned to Michigan after the war. By 1880 he was working as a blacksmith and living with his wife and children in Silver Creek, Chautauqua County, New York. By 1910 he was working as a carpenter and living with his wife Grace in Silver Creek village, Hanover Township, Chautauqua County, New York. He was probably living in Silver Creek, New York in 1911.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. In 1863 he applied for and received a pension (no. 741626).

Sylvester died on July 24, 1913, in Silver Creek, New York, and was buried in Glenwood cemetery, Silver Creek.

In 1913 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 768936).

Saturday, October 23, 2010

John Allen and Simond Cramer Stanton

John Allen Stanton was born in 1842 in Kent County, Michigan, the son of Elizabeth (b. 1799).

New Yorker Elizabeth was probably married in New York; in any case she and her husband settled there sometime before her oldest son Lorenzo D. was born in 1826, and the family resided in New York for some years. Between 1828 and 1836 the family moved to Michigan and by 1850 John was living with his mother and siblings in Tallmadge, Ottawa County; also living with them was John’s older brother Simon who would also join the Third Michigan. By 1860 John (listed as “Allen”) had probably moved to Paris, Kent County where he was probably living with his older brother Lorenzo.

John stood 5’11” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was a 19-year-old lumberman possibly living in Grand Rapids’ First Ward when he enlisted in Company G on December 21, 1861, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Grand Rapids’ First Ward, and was mustered on December 23 at Detroit (Simond would join Company E in 1864). John was wounded slightly during the engagement at Second Bull Run on August 29, 1862, and subsequently detached as a teamster at Corps headquarters from December of 1862 through February of 1864.

John reenlisted on March 27, 1864, in the field, and mustered on March 30 at Brandy Station, Virginia. He was transferred to Company E on April 2, at Brandy Station, and reported to be on veteran’s furlough through May of 1864. John was possibly still on detached service working as a teamster when he was transferred (as was Simond) to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and was reported a teamster (as was Simond, see below) in May of 1865. He was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war John returned to Michigan. He was married to Michigan native A. Celia (b. 1845) and they had at least three children: Adelbert (b. 1868), Percy (b. 1875) and Alice (b. 1879).

By 1880 John was working as a “mover of houses” (probably with his brother Howard) and living with his wife and children in Wayland, Allegan County. By 1881 he was living in Pierson, Montcalm County, and in 1890 he was residing in Muskegon, Muskegon County, when he applied for and received a pension (no. 822912). By 1900 he was living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, possibly at the National Military Home.

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

John died in 1907 and he may be buried in Oakhurst cemetery in Whitehall, Muskegon County.

In September of 1907 his widow was living in Michigan when she applied for and received a pension (no. 636152).

Simond Cramer Stanton was born in 1831 in Michigan, the son of Elizabeth (b. 1799).

New Yorker Elizabeth was probably married in New York; in any case she and her husband settled there sometime before her oldest son Lorenzo D. was born in 1826, and the family resided in New York for some years. Between 1828 and 1836 the family moved to Michigan and by 1850 Simond (listed as “Cramer” or “Craman”) was living with his mother in Tallmadge, Ottawa County, also living with them was Simond’s younger brother John who would also join the Third Michigan.

Simond (or Simon) married New York native Ellen (b. 1830), and they had at least three children: Ruben (b. 1853), Frank E. (b. 1857) and George W. (b. 1859) and possibly a fourth John (b. 1862). They were living in Michigan in 1853 and by 1860 Simon was working as a day laborer and living with his wife and three children in Hastings, Barry County.

Simond stood 5’8” with blue eyes, brown hair and a fair complexion and was 30 years old and working as a well digger possibly in Maple Grove, Barry County when he enlisted in Company E on February 8, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Maple Grove, and was mustered the same day. (John Stanton, who may have been his younger brother, joined Company G in late 1861.) He joined the Regiment on March 27, was transferred (as was John) to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and was reported as a teamster (so was John Stanton) at headquarters in May of 1865. He was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

Simond returned to Michigan after the war, possibly to Ottawa County. He was married to Ohio native “Arady V.” (probably Martha V., 1847-1924), and they had at least one two children: an infant son and “Freddie” (d. 1866).

In any case, by 1870 Simon was working in a sawmill and living with his wife and son in Spring Lake, Ottawa County. By 1881 he was living in Pierson, Montcalm County (so was his brother John). The following year Simon was reported as living in Wood Lake (location unknown today), and in Leighton, Allegan County in 1894. He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association.

In 1880 he applied for and received a pension (no. 745951).

Simond was probably living at home in Allegan County when he died on March 14, 1895, and was buried in Hooker cemetery.

In April of 1895 his widow, Arady or Marady (probably Martha), was living in Michigan when she applied for and received a pension (no. 415779).

Thursday, October 21, 2010

William R. Stall

William R. Stall was born in 1843 in Wayne County, New York, possibly the son of John W. (1801-1890) and Hannah (b. 1799).

William’s parents were both born in New York and presumably married there. By 1850 William was attending school with his younger brother Myron and living with his family in Sodus, Wayne County, New York, where his father worked as a common laborer. William left New York and eventually settled in Michigan. He may have been living in Cooper, Kalamazoo County or Courtland, Kent County, in 1860.

In any case, he stood 5’5” with blue eyes, auburn hair and a light complexion and was probably living in Lansing in the early Spring of 1861 when he became a member of the Lansing company called the “Williams’ Rifles,” whose members would serve as the nucleus of Company G. He was 18 years old and probably living in Lansing or Ingham County when he enlisted in Company G on May 10, 1861. By June of 1862 he was reported sick in the Regimental hospital.

William eventually recovered, and returned to duty. He reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Lansing First Ward, 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 reported at Division headquarters from February of 1864 through April, on detached service in May, and still on detached service at headquarters when he was transferred as a Sergeant to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He remained on detached service at headquarters through October, was absent with leave in February of 1865, and mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

William eventually returned to Michigan after the war.

He married New York native Susan or Susannah B. (b 1842), and they had at least five children: George W. (b. 1867), Fred J. (b. 1869, Nelson (b. 1869), Wilson (b. 1870) and Irwin (b. 1879).

By 1870 he was working in a saw mill in Hubbardton, Lebanon Township, Clinton County. (His brother Myron may have lived briefly in Cheboygan, Michigan, in about 1870 before moving on to Iowa.) By 1880 William was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Wheatfield, Ingham County; two houses away lived the family of Myron Pollock, who may have been related to William Pollock who had also served from Wheatfield in Company G of the Old Third during the war.

By 1886 William was living in Waukon, Iowa, in 1888 in Carlisle, Arkansas (when he testified in the pension application of John Cutler) and in Vernon, Texas in 1890. He eventually settled in Newport News, Virginia, where he was living when he was admitted to the Central Branch, National Military Home in Dayton, Ohio. His wife also moved to Dayton and by 1906 was living on Gettysburg Avenue in Dayton.

In 1885 he applied for and received a pension (no. 414875).

William died of cancer of the stomach on September 1, 1906, and was buried in the Dayton National Cemetery: section P, row 23, grave no. 40.

Shortly after William died Susannah applied for and received a widow’s pension (no. 627444).

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

James G. Spring

James G. Spring was born in 1843 in Eaton County, Michigan.

In 1850 there was an 8-year-old boy named James Spring living with Rix Robinson and his family in Ada, Kent County. (In 1860 there was a 14-year-old named Margaret Spring, b. in Michigan, working as a domestic for the Robinson family.)

James stood 5’9” with blue eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion and was an 18-year-old farmer living in Eaton County or Grand Rapids when he enlisted with his parents’ consent in Company E on May 13, 1861. He was wounded on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and subsequently hospitalized through July. He eventually returned to duty and was reported missing in action on May 3, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Virginia. James was again hospitalized and, according to Andrew Kilpatrick, also of Company E, he returned from the hospital on October 8, 1863.

In any case, James returned to the Regiment by December 23 at Brandy Station, Virginia where he reenlisted, crediting Wyoming, Kent County. He went home on veterans furlough in January of 1864 but apparently failed to return to the Regiment by early February when he was listed as AWOL.

He soon rejoined the Regiment, however, and was wounded on May 6 at the Wilderness, Virginia. He was subsequently sent to the general hospital at Annapolis, Maryland, and was still absent in the hospital when he was transferred to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry in June of 1864. James remained absent wounded, probably in Annapolis, and on October 12, 1864, he was admitted as a “convalescent” to Patterson Park hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. He remained listed as absent sick or wounded from March of 1865 through April, and was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

In 1880 there was one James G. Spring, b. 1848 in Michigan, working as a servant in St. John’s hospital in Silver Reef, Washington County, Utah. That same year there was also one James H. Spring, b. 1842 in Michigan, working as a farmer and living with his wife Michigan-born Kate A. (b. 1854) and their three children: Charles H. (b. 1874), Francis C. (b. 1878) and his brother Arthur A. (b. 1848 in Michigan) in Dewitt, Clinton County, Michigan.

James eventually returned to Michigan and by 1890 was living in Grand Ledge, Eaton County. (There is one James H. Spring, who served in Company F, Eleventh Michigan infantry, buried in Eaton County.)

He applied for and received a pension (no. 141644).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Delonson J. Sprague

Delonson J. Sprague was born on May 19, 1804, in Waltham, Addison County, Vermont.

Around 1817 Delonson’s father moved his family to Ohio, settling eventually near Cleveland. Sometime around 1845 Delonson moved to Michigan, eventually settling in Branch County. By 1852 he was living in Algansee, Branch County. He was married to one Maria E. and after she died in July of 1851, he married a widow New York native Matilda V. Welch (b. 1813), on October 14, 1852, in Batavia, Branch County. (Her husband had died in June of 1851.) In 1860 Delonson was still living in Batavia.

Delonson stood 5’5” with gray eyes, gray hair and a light complexion and was a 58-year-old carpenter and peddler possibly living in Coldwater, Branch County when he enlisted in Company G on September or October 1, 1862, at Coldwater, crediting Batavia, Branch County. He joined the Regiment on September 9 at Upton’s Hill, Virginia, was reported as a nurse in the Regimental hospital from February of 1863 through April, and was still in the hospital from May until he was discharged on August 21, 1863, at Convalescent Camp, Alexandria, Virginia, for “old age (59 years) and partial paralysis of left side.” The discharging physician also noted that Sprague’s was “an illegal enlistment,” perhaps referring to his age or infirmities previous to enlistment.

In any case, Delonson never recovered from the paralysis of his left side; according to a statement he made in 1885, he suffered from paralysis of his left side. He returned to Branch County after his discharge from the army. By 1864 was living in Batavia, and in Coldwater by October of 1869 when he applied for an increase in his pension (no. 35,954). (For a number of years he worked as a carpenter & joiner.) In fact he probably lived in Branch County the rest of his life.

In 1870 he was working as a carpenter and living with his wife Matilda in Batavia. He was living in Coldwater in 1876 and by 1880 he was working as a fruit tree agent and living with Matilda in Bronson, Branch County. By 1883 he was living in Coldwater and drawing $12.00 per month for paralysis of the left side.

By the fall of 1886 Delonson was confined to his bed and needed daily attention from his physician, Dr. H. P. Mowry. He died from complications attending his paralysis, specifically from heart failure, on April 30, 1887, at his home in Bronson, and was buried in Batavia Township cemetery, Branch County.

His widow was living in Bronson in 1890 when she received pension no. 235,542. She died in February of 1899.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Frederick Spinte

Frederick Spinte was born on October 29, 1829, in Volsfolde, Kingdom of Brunswick, Germany, son of William and Minnie.

About 1841 his parents immigrated to America, settling first in Illinois.

Frederick (also known as William) was 26 years old and possibly living in Muskegon County, Michigan, 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 reported as having deserted on July 29, 1861, at Arlington, Virginia, and returned to the Regiment on July 31 at Hunter’s Farm, Virginia. He was absent sick in the hospital from October 11, 1862, probably until he was discharged and transferred to the Third company, Second Battalion, Veterans’ Reserve Corps on November 23, 1862 at Washington, DC.

According to a statement Frederick made in 1888, he was sent to the hospital shortly after being wounded at the battle of Chantilly (in September of 1862). Apparently he was struck in the head by a piece of shell, and he was rendered blind for some six months. He was sent to Carver hospital in Washington, DC., where he remained for those six months and then where he was treated at the Eye and Ear Infirmary in Washington. When he recovered he was apparently offered the opportunity to transfer to the cavalry which he did, enlisting (or being transferred to) the Fifth U.S. cavalry. However he “never saw the regiment or company being taken worse while in the recruiting camp and was taken back again to the hospital.” From there he was transfered to the Second Battalion, VRC. He was eventually discharged from the service on June 8, 1864.

After his discharge from the army Frederick returned to Michigan where he lived briefly before moving on to Illinois.

He was living in Woodford County (?) when he married Wisconsin native Mary Drum (b. 1856) on June 4, 1874, at Viroqua (or perhaps Springville?), Vernon County, Wisconsin. They had at least seven children: Addie (b. 1875), Minnie E. (b. 1878), Henry (b. 1880), William (b. 1883), Cora (b. 1885), Grace (b. 1889), and Edna E. (b. 1895).

Frederick worked most of his life as a farmer, and for some two years they lived in Wisconsin. They were living in Minnesota in 1875 and 1878, although ometime in 1876 they moved to Polk County, Nebraska where they lived for many years. By 1880 he was working as a farmer nad living with his wife and children in Valley, Polk County, Nebraska. By 1888 he was living in Osceola, Polk County, Nebraska when he applied for a pension. In 1907 Frederick was residing in Columbus, Platte County, Nebraska, and he eventually moved to Grand Island, Nebraska where they were living at 1623 W. 4th Street in 1915.

In 1888 he applied for and received a pension (no. 754135).

He and his wife were admitted to the Soldier’s Home in Burkett, Nebraska.

Frederick died on January 14, 1918, at Burkett, and was buried on January 15 at the Soldier’s Home cemetery in Burkett.

His widow was residing in Burkett in September of of 1918 when she applied for and received pension no. 869,889.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

John Brady Spencer

John Brady Spencer was born in 1838 in Jackson County, Michigan.

In 1850 there was a 12-year-old John Spencer, born in Michigan living with his mother Jane (b. 1802 in Nova Scotia) and family on a farm in Ada, Kent County; that same year there was also a 14-year-old John Spencer, also born in Michigan, living with his younger brother David with the Philander Carter family in Jackson, Jackson County. By 1860 John was probably working as a farm laborer and/or living with the Aaron Daniels family in Vergennes, Kent County.

John stood 5’8” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was a 24-year-old farmer possibly living in Kent County when he enlisted in Company A on February 26, 1862, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered the same day. He was reported sick in the hospital in July and again in October and November. He had probably returned to duty by the time he was taken prisoner on November 30, 1863, at Mine Run, Virginia. He was confined in Richmond, Virginia on December 1, sent to Andersonville, Georgia on March 18, 1864, where he was admitted to the prison hospital on March 23 and was eventually returned to the general prison population.

He was transferred as a prisoner-of-war to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and was paroled at Jacksonville, Florida on April 28 or 29, 1865.

John was admitted to the hospital in Jacksonville where he died on May 12, 1865, and was buried in Beaufort, South Carolina, National Cemetery: section 41, grave 4676.

No pension seems to be available.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

George Spencer

George Spencer was born in 1837 in Warren County, Pennsylvania.

George left Pennsylvania and settled in western Michigan where by 1860 he was a boatman living with and/or working for R. Morse, a ferryman in Georgetown, Ottawa County.

He was 24 years old and probably still residing in Georgetown when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861; he was probably related to Alfred Spencer who was also from Ottawa County and who would enlist in Unassigned in 1864. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.)

George was reported as a Sergeant and sick in the hospital in August and September of 1862, probably in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and he died of typhoid fever on September 10, 1862, in ward no. 2 at Chester hospital in Philadelphia. He was originally buried at Chester and then reinterred in Philadelphia National Cemetery: section A, grave 64.

In 1873 George’s father applied for and received a pension (no. 166708).

Friday, October 15, 2010

Alfred Spencer

Alfred Spencer was born on May 14, 1838, in Sugar Grove (?) Warren County, Pennsylvania, the son of Daniel (1810-1879) and Prudence (Wilcox, 1816-1897).

New York native Daniel and Vermonter Prudence were married in Warren County in 1832 and they lived out the rest of their lives farming in Warren County, possibly in Sugar Grove. In 1850 Alfred was living with his family and attending school with his siblings in Sugar Grove, and he was living in Sugar Grove in 1860.

On February 26, 1861, he married Pennsylvania native Harriett Vaness (b. 1838), probably in Pennsylvania, and they had at least five children: DeEtta (b. 1863), John L. (b. 1865), Myrtle (b. 1867), Harriett (b. 1869) and Edith (b. 1874). Alfred eventually left Pennsylvania (although his children were all born there) for western Michigan sometime before 1864.

He stood 5’11” with brown eyes, sandy hair and a light complexion and was a 21-year-old clerk probably living in Zeeland, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Unassigned on January 5, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Zeeland, and was mustered January 6. (He was probably related to George Spencer who was also from Ottawa County and who had enlisted in Company I in 1861.)

There is no further record.

In fact it appears that Alfred eventually returned to his home in Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania where he was working as a lumberman and living with his wife and children in 1870, just one farm away lived his parents. By 1880 he was working in a shingle mill and living with his wife and children in Sugar Grove.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ira W. Speers

Ira W. Speers was born in 1844 in New York.

Ira left New York and moved west, eventually settling in Michigan where by 1860 he was a farm laborer living with Nathan Mayfield in Waterford, Oakland County.

He was 17 years old and residing in Pontiac, Oakland County when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861. He was on detached service as a teamster from November of 1862 through December, with the Brigade wagon train (probably as a teamster) in January of 1863, and with the ammunition train from February through September. In November Ira was detached with an artillery Brigade, was a teamster in the First Division wagon train from December of 1863 through March of 1864, and he was mustered out on June 20, 1864, at Detroit.

It is not known if Ira ever returned to Michigan. He was married to Clementine (b. 1851), and they had at least four children: Lottie (b. 1872), Anna (b. 1874), William (b. 1877) and Cilia (b. 1879). By 1880 Ira was working as a railroad fireman and living with his wife and children in Lunberg’s First Ward, Sunbury, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.

In 1890 he applied for a pension (no. 974210), and he was living in Carbon County, Wyoming. In 1892 his wife Clementine was living in Maryland when she applied for a pension (no. 549211), probably for access to part of Ira’s pension, but the certificate was never granted. It can be assumed that he and his first wife had separated although whether they were divorced remains uncertain.

He appears to have been married at least twice, and was possibly a bigamist since there were two women (Clementine and Jennie) claiming rights as his widows to his pension (see below).

Ira died on March 1, 1904, in Kansas City, Missouri.

In 1903 his “widow” Jennie was residing in Missouri when she too applied for a pension (no. 783540), although it does not appear a certificate was ever granted in their case either.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Minor P. and Samuel Jackson Spaulding

Minor P. Spaulding was born on January 5, 1843, in Paris, Kent County, Michigan, the son of Orleans (1804-1889) and Aurella “Rilla” Ann Patterson. (1817-1879)

New York native Orleans married Sally Van Dyke in 1823, presumably in New York and by 1830 they were living in Buffalo, Niagara County where Minor’s older half-brother Samuel was born. Orleans took his family and left New York sometime between 1830 and 1832 by which time they had settled in Michigan; according to one local history Orleans and Philanzo Bowen settled in Kent County by 1836 and in Paris Township the following year. Sometime after Orleans’ first wife died he married New York native Aurella Ann Patterson (“Rilla,” 1817-1879).

By 1850 the family was living in Paris, Kent County where Orleans operated a small farm – although curiously Minor does not seem to be living with his family or attending school with his siblings. In any case, by 1860 Minor was working as a farm laborer with a wealthy farmer named Minor Patterson who lived next door to Orleans and Aurella. (Also living with Orleans and his family was John Laraway, who would also enlist in Company A.) It is quite possible that Minor Patterson was Aurella’s brother.

Minor stood 5’8” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was a 19-year-old farmer probably living in Kent County when he enlisted in Company A, along with his older half-brother Samuel Spaulding, on March 3, 1862, at Grand Rapids, and was mustered the same day. Minor was reported absent sick in the hospital in September and was discharged for chronic diarrhea on October 18, 1862, at Fort McHenry, Maryland.

Minor returned to Michigan where he reentered the service in Company E, Tenth cavalry on September 7, 1863, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Paris, Kent County, and was mustered on September 12 at Grand Rapids where the regiment was organized between September 18 and November 18, 1863, when it was mustered into service. It left Michigan for Lexington, Kentucky on December 1, 1863, and participated in numerous operations, mostly in Kentucky and Tennessee throughout the winter of 1863-64. Most of its primary area of operations would eventually be in the vicinity of Strawberry Plains, Tennessee.

In March of 1865 he was at the dismounted camp in Knoxville, Tennessee where he remained through May, and on furlough in June and July. By September he was reported to be “in charge” of the military prison at Jackson, Tennessee, was promoted to Quartermaster Sergeant on October 2, 1865, to First Sergeant on November 2, and mustered out on November 11, 1865, at Memphis, Tennessee.

After the war, Minor returned to Kent County, and was working as a farmer and living in Paris Township when he married Michigan native Harriet Loraine Cook (1848-1902) on May 12, 1868, at Cascade, and they had at least three children: Carrie E. (1869-1916), John C. (b. 1871-1924) and Helen Lorraine (b. 1874-1938).

By 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and daughter Carrie in Cascade, Kent County. Due to ill health he moved to Texa around 1877 and eventually settled in Sherman, Texas where he lived for some years; he was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic post in Sherman. By 1880 he was reported as married but working as a farmer and living with the James Anglin family in Eureka Springs, Carroll County, Arkansas. Curiously, in 1880 Lorraine and their three children were living with her parents in Cascade, Kent County. Minor returned to Michigan around 1886, when he was made postmaster of Caledonia, Kent County and was living in Caledonia in 1886 and 1890.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. In 1878 he applied for and received a pension (no. 162570).

Minor was confined to his bed for nearly a year and a half before he died (probably of consumption) on May 23, 1892, and was buried in Lakeside cemetery in Caledonia.

At the annual reunion of the association held in December of 1892, the following resolution was read and entered into the records: “Whereas - Minor Spaulding, after having served with honor in Co. A in the old Third Mich inf’ty and after being discharged by reason of a disability from which he never recovered, yet was so filled with patriotism, that he could not remain quiet, but reenlisted in the Tenth Mich Cavalry, and served as long as his strength should permit, And Whereas - said comrade, after long and almost continuous illness, since the close of the war, was, by the Great Commander, ordered to the realms above to join the great Grand Army there, Resolved that we tender to his wife, children, and relatives, our sincere sympathy. That we know their great loss of husband, father and protector, is irreparable, but feel that they must know their loss is his gain; that his brave indurance [sic] during life and his noble efforts to provide for his family, must be rewarded in the hereafter; that we fell ourselves identified with the family and join with them in pride at having been connected with so good a man, true, noble, and generous, in every particular. That we cordially invite the wife of Minor P. Spaulding to become an honorary member of our association.”

She didn’t.

In June of 1892 Loraine was still living in Michigan when she applied for and received a pension (no. 359257).

Samuel Jackson Spaulding was born on April 2, 1830, in Buffalo, Niagara County, New York, the son of Orleans (b. 1804) and Sally (Van Dyke (1803-1835).

New York native Orleans married Sally in 1823, presumably in New York and by 1830 were living in Buffalo, Niagara County. Orleans took his family and left New York sometime between 1830 and 1832 by which time they had settled in Michigan; according to one local history Orleans and Philanzo Bowen settled in Kent County by 1836 . Sometime after Orleans’ first wife died he married New York native Aurella Ann Patterson (“Rilla,” 1817-1879). By 1850 the family was living in Paris, Kent County where Orleans operated a small farm and Samuel -- called “Jackson” -- was attending school with his younger siblings.

In any case, by 1860 “Jackson” was working as a farm laborer and living with his father and stepmother “Amelia A.” and their family in Paris. Also living with the family was John Laraway, who would also enlist in Company A.

Samuel was a 31-year-old farmer probably living in Kent County when he enlisted in Company A, along with younger half-brother Minor, on March 14, 1862, at Grand Rapids, and was mustered the same day.

He was absent sick in the hospital at Newport News, Virginia, from probably late June of 1862 through August, but was eventually returned to duty. He was reported missing in action on July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and in fact had been taken prisoner and confined at Richmond, Virginia, on July 21. He was paroled at City Point, Virginia on December 28, 1863, and sent to Camp Parole, Maryland on January 6, 1864, where he was admitted to the hospital on March 27. Samuel was eventually transferred to Camp Distribution, Virginia on May 14.

Samuel had apparently been returned to duty by the time he was transferred to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and although reported present with the Regiment in August, by the end of October he was absent sick, probably at Beverly hospital, New Jersey, where he remained through at least February 28, 1865. He was reported as returned to duty on March 6, 1865, but was mustered out as a Corporal on March 15, 1865. at Philadelphia (or at Beverly, New Jersey), although his pension records note that he was mustered out on April 18, 1865.

After his discharge Samuel returned to Kent County. (His father Orleans was still living in Paris in 1870.) Samuel was living in Wyoming, near Grand Rapids, when he married the twice-widowed New York native Emeline V. Meech Lyon Leavitt (1825-1920) in Wyoming on March 24, 1868.

By 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife in Paris, Kent County. By 1880 Samuel was working as a farmer and living with his wife Emeline in Plainfield, Kent County. Also living with them was Emeline’s daughter Mary Leavitt, who was listed as an invalid and Emeline’s granddaughter 4-year-old Mary Slater.

Samuel was residing in Grand Rapids in 1886 and 1888, in Plainfield in 1890, in Grand Rapids in 1894, in East Paris, Kent County in 1898 when he applied for a pension. In fact he lived virtually his entire life in Kent County, mostly in the Grand Rapids area where he worked as a farmer for many years, and was residing on R.R. no. 4 in Grand Rapids in 1906-1909 and 1911.

Samuel was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association as well as the Old Residents’ Association, and probably the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) as well. In 1880 he applied for and received pension no. 509,807, drawing $12.00 per month in 1890, increased to $30.00 a month in 1912. Along with his wife, Samuel attended the last national parade of the Grand Army of the Republic in Detroit, on September 2, 1914.

Samuel died of “laryngitis” on Sunday, November 15, 1915, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Earl Hoag, in Grand Rapids Township, and the funeral service was held at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday November 18 at the daughter’s residence. He was buried in Oak Grove (formerly East Paris) cemetery.

He was survived by his wife, a sister, Mrs. Sally Ann Patterson and two half-brothers, Ransom Spaulding of Caledonia and Charles Spaulding of Harbor Springs.

His widow was living in Grand Rapids in April of 1920 and drawing a pension (no. 802,699) of $25.00 per month when she died.

Monday, October 11, 2010

James H. Sparks

James H. Sparks was born in 1844 in Ionia County, Michigan, the son of Stephen Jr. (b. 1813) and Angeline (b. 1821).

New York natives James’ parents were married in 1841 in Ionia County and by 1850 James was attending school and living with his family on a farm in Keene, Ionia County; next door lived his grandparents Stephen Sr.(b. 1781 in Connecticut) and Mercy (b. 1784 in Massachusetts). James probably lived his entire prewar life in Ionia County. James was still living in Keene in 1860.

James stood 5’10” with black eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was an 18-year-old farmer probably living in Keene when he enlisted in Company I on February 24, 1862, at Saranac, Ionia County for 3 years, and was mustered on February 22. He allegedly deserted at Williamsburg, Virginia, on May 7, 1862, although apparently he had been sent home on a furlough to recover his health. On June 19 he wrote a note, presumably to Lieutenant Colonel Smith, military commander in Detroit, explaining what had happened. “I now set down to inform you,” he said, “that I am not well. I have had the ague since I left here. I took cold in my finger. I don’t think that I shall be fit for duty under fifteen days. I would like to get my furlough extended that length of time.”

On August 11 Sparks arrived in Detroit Barracks. He reportedly deserted on May 7, 1864.

There is no further record.

However, in 1880 James applied for a pension (application no. 384889), but the certificate was never granted, possibly as a consequence of his having deserted.

Interestingly, however, there was one James W. Sparks, who, in 1907 applied for and received a pension (no. 1142677). He had reportedly served in Company I, Thirty-fourth Michigan infantry during the war. There were in fact only thirty infantry regiments fielded by the state of Michigan during the Civil War. Moreover, there is no other James sparks who served from the state of Michigan besides the one who served in the Third Michigan infantry.

In any case, it appears that this latter James Sparks eventually settled in Ionia County, and was married to New York native Amanda (b. 1850) and they had at least two children: Royal (b. 1868) and Stephen (1870-1874).

By 1870 James was working as a farmer and living with his wife and two sons in Keene. By 1880 James was listed as a widower and working as a farmer and living with his son Royal in Keene. James was living in Brighton, Livingston County in 1888, and may have been living in Dundee, Monroe County in 1890 and 1894.

He was probably the same James Sparks who was married to his second wife Alice and living in Michigan in 1907. If so he may have been living in Oregon when he probably died in late 1912 (?).

Alice was living in Oregon in January of 1913 (?) when she applied for a pension (no. 999644).

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Albertus Sparks

Albertus Sparks was born on November of 1839 in Cortland County, New York, the son of Amos (b. 1793) and Desire (b. 1797).

Both of Albertus’ parents were born in Vermont and they may have married there. In any case they eventually moved to New York where they were probably living when their oldest child Orville A was born in 1829. Amos eventually took his family from New York and sometime between 1839 and 1850 moved to Michigan eventually settling in Crockery, Ottawa County by the summer of 1850 where Amos worked a farm. By 1860 Albertus was a farmer living with his family in Crockery, where his father worked as a farmer.

He stood 6’0” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 21 years old and probably still living in Crockery when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.) On October 6, 1861, Captain George Weatherwax of Company I wrote that “Sparks has done but little duty since [he] enlisted and has done no duty since the battle of Bull Run [on] July 21, 1861. Said Sparks complained of rheumatism ever since that time and has been wholly unfit for duty.” Indeed, he was discharged for chronic rheumatism on October 20, 1861 at Fort Lyon, Virginia. (William J. Cobb, also of Company I, wrote home on November 16 that he sent a photograph of himself home to his family in Michigan with Albert.)

After his discharge from the army Albertus returned to western Michigan where he reentered the service in M company, Tenth Michigan cavalry on February 22, 1865, at Grand Rapids for 1 year, crediting Grand Rapids’ Third Ward, and was mustered March 3. He joined the Regiment June 11 at Lenoir, Tennessee, was in the provost marshal’s office at Knoxville, Tennessee through July, and sick at Chattanooga, Tennessee in August. He was honorably discharged, presumably for disability, on September 30, 1865.

After the war Albertus returned to Michigan.

He married Pennsylvania native Sarah (b. 1848), and they had at least seven children: Alburtus (b. 1867), Jenette (b. 1869), Lilly (b. 1870), Orpha (b. 1873), Charles B. (b. 1886), Lillie H. (b. 1890) and Mildred (b. 1893).

By 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Ferry, Oceana County and working as a farmer in Ferry in 1880; indeed he lived in Ferry for many years. He was living in Ferry, Oceana County in 1888, 1890 and 1894 and still living with his wife and children and farming in Ferry Township in 1900.

In 1877 he applied for and received a pension (no. 275829).

Albertus died on January 3, 1915, in Atlanta, Georgia, and was presumably buried there.

In 1915 his widow may have been living in Georgia when she applied for and received a pension (no. 801091)

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Nicholas Spare

Nicholas Spare was born on December 12, 1836, in Cornwall, England, the son of William and Ann.

Nicholas immigrated to America between 1851 and 1855 and settled in western Michigan , perhaps as early as 1860 when he may have been working as a miner named “Nicholas Sparge” and living with another miner named William Goldsworthy in Rockland, Ontonagon County.

In any case, Nicholas was 24 years old, stood 5’5” with dark eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and possibly living in Muskegon County when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861. He was listed as a Brigade butcher from July of 1862 through January of 1863, and with the Brigade commissary department in February, probably working as a butcher, and in fact he probably spent most if not all of his military service on detached service as a butcher in the Brigade commissary department. Nicholas was mustered out on June 20, 1864, at Detroit.

It is not known if Nicholas was in fact in Detroit when he was mustered out or if returned to Michigan following his release from the army. In any case, he reentered the service on March 7, 1865, in Company B, Second United States cavalry at Camp Stoneman, Virginia, and was stationed at Elmira, New York from February 28, 1866, until he was mustered out on March 7, 1866, at Elmira. Shortly before he was mustered out, “While guarding the stables” Spare “was kicked by a horse on the shin bone, which has troubled him from that time to the present. The portion of the bone has had to be removed and the leg is in a terrible condition.” (His leg was eventually amputated in 1884.)

Nicholas remained in New York and worked as a laborer in Syracuse, living on Canal st. between Lock and Pearl.

He eventually returned to Michigan where he married Francis (“Fannie”) Maria Richardson (b. 1851) on August 25, 1869, in Rawsonville, Washtenaw County, and they had at least five children: William (b. 1872), Joseph (b. 1875), Mary Ann (b. 1878), Samuel (b. 1881 or 1882) and Nicholas (b. 1884 or 1885).

Soon after they were married they settled in New York where Nicholas worked for some years as a farmer in Syracuse. But they soon returned to Michigan, residing for a time in Wayne County, but eventually moving back to Hamburg by 1872, in Pinckney, Livingston County in 1875, in Putnam, Livingston County, in 1878 and in 1880, Hamburg in 1882 and Genoa and/or Pinckney in 1884 when his leg was amputated.

On August 29, 1891, Anna Shipe (or Shope) testified that she was present at the birth of the child Nicholas Spare, Jr. on March 19, 1884, and that his father was in the house at the time, sick in bed, and had his leg amputated two days later (March 21).

In 1880 Nicholas applied for and received a pension (no. 438259).

Nicholas Sr. was still living in Pinckney in 1885 when his former physician, Dr. H. F. Sigler wrote to the Commissioner of Pension, responding to an earlier inquiry from that office, regarding his treatment of Spare. “My treatment,” he wrote on August 27, “ceased . . . during the latter part of 1881. . . . His physical condition at that that time was bad -- not being able to perform manual labor to any extent. The left leg was affected -- the ulcer situated about at the middle third of [the] tibia.”

The pain and suffering from his wartime injury was apparently too much for Nicholas to bear, particularly following the amputation of his leg, and he committed suicide by taking poison on December 18, 1886, in Hamburg (or just north of Pettysville), Livingston County. According to the coroner’s inquest on December 20, 1886, “the said Nicholas Spare, came to his death, by taken [sic] paris green, administered by his own hand while recovering from a state of intoxication.” The Livingston Herald noted that Spare, who the paper claimed lived two miles north of Pettysville, “ended a protracted spree by taking Paris Green, last Thursday morning and died Friday evening. The funeral was held at the North Hamburg church and was attended by a large crowd of people. He leaves a wife and five children who only escaped the poison by Mrs. Spears [sic] happening to discover it in the dipper in the family water pail.”

And on December 23 the Livingston County Republican reported that Nicholas “came to Howell some ten days ago and displayed great propensities for stowing’ away ‘Good red liquor’. He ended the spree by going home last week and putting out for another shore VIA the Paris Green Route. He put potato-bug poison into the family water pail and drank heartily there from dying soon after. Fortunately his wife discovered the poison before any other member of the family drank from the pail.”

The funeral was held at the North Hamburg church and was attended by a large crowd of people. Nicholas was buried in North Hamburg cemetery.

Fanny received a widow’s pension no. 352,887, and was living in Marion (possibly Chubbs Corners), Livingston County in 1890. She remarried on September 24, 1891. In fact after Nicholas died she married three more times. She died in 1928 in Howell, Livingston County. An application (no. 694849) was filed on behalf of a minor child but the certificate was never granted.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Charles D. Spang

Charles D. Spang, alias “Charles A. Woolcott,” also known as “Sperry,” was born in 1835 in England or New York.

According to one story, Charles had supposedly served in the Mexican War, although he would have been only about 12 years old at the time.

In any case, Charles married his first wife, New York native Helen E. Holbrook, on July 19, 1857 (they were divorced in the 1870s), and they had at least one child Ellen (b. 1859). They were living in Michigan by 1859 and by 1860 Charles was working as a master mason and living with his wife and child in Muskegon, Muskegon County. In April or early May of 1861 he was elected First Lieutenant of the “Muskegon Rangers,” the militia company organized in Muskegon which would form the nucleus of Company H.

Charles stood 5’8” with black eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was unable to read or write and was 26 years old and probably living in Muskegon when he enlisted as First Lieutenant in Company H on May 13, 1861. He resigned on October 30, 1861., for reasons unknown. A hint comes through in a letter from one of the men of Company H. Apparently the captain, Emery Bryant was out sick and Spang had been in temporary command. Charles Brittain wrote home on October 9 that “the captain is not released yet and I don’t know when he will be but I hope he will be before long for I don’t like Charley Spang at all.” Although the record is unclear as to why Spang resigned, his first wife claimed years afterward that he was discharged for drunkenness and disorderly conduct.

In any event, Charles returned to Muskegon where he resumed masonry work -- indeed by 1863 he was working as a mason in the city. Curiously, he reentered the service as a Private in Company H, Third Michigan infantry on January 5, 1864, probably at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Pittsfield, Washtenaw County and was mustered the same day at Grand Rapids. (Charles has the distinction of being the only officer known to resign and return to the Regiment as a private soldier. One other officer, Captain Adolph E. Birkenstock of Company C resigned and reentered the service as an enlisted man in a New York Regiment. Andrew N. Miller was the only other man to leave the Third and reenter it again, amidst a series of enlistments in and desertions from Ohio and Pennsylvania Regiments.)

Charles joined the Regiment on February 17, 1864, at Camp Bullock, Virginia, and was shot in the left hand on May 9, 1864, at Spotsylvania, Virginia. He was admitted on May 13 from the field to Emory general hospital in Washington, DC, and was still absent wounded when he was transferred to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He remained absent wounded through December of 1864. In June of 1865 he reportedly returned home to recuperate, and he remained absent sick until he was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

It is not known if Charles returned to Michigan after the war. He claimed in his pension application of 1880 that after the war he settled in Baltimore, Maryland, and he was living at 44 Lexington Street in Baltimore in 1880. He eventually received pension no. 199,003.

For reasons which remain unclear, sometime after the war he assumed the name of “Charles Woolcott,” and even his brother-in-law Leon Frederick, was at a loss to know exactly when or why he made the change. It may have been due to the fact that Spang eloped on May 10, 1884, with Sarah E. Frederick (b. 1866), whom he married in New York City and they had at least three children: Mabel E. (b. 1891), Flora M. (b. 1894) and Charles F Chandler (b. 1897). Or, perhaps it was to avoid some other legal or personal entanglement.

In any event, Charles and Sarah subsequently moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania under the assumed name of Woolcott. He was residing in Philadelphia at 1225 Heath Street in 1886 and at 1758 Alden Street in 1890 when he was employed as a canvasser; in fact Spang lived on Alden Street from the mid-1880s until his death in 1901. That same year he was examined on November 24 for an increase to his pension and the physician found Spang to be basically in sound health with the exception of his wounded left hand and that he was nearly completely blind, and required an attendant to lead him. The doctor observed that he was a “poorly nourished man” and was afflicted “With marked nervousness.”

The family physician, Dr. C. Chandler testified in 1902 that he had treated Spang for many years for ailments which virtually incapacitated him “from earning his living and supporting his wife Sarah E. Woolcott who displayed the greatest love and affection and care for the poor blind man. Assisting in the support of themselves and” their three children “that I delivered” between 1891 and 1897. “They were a family that I respected and won my deepest sympathy by the untiring care to each other and struggle to pay their way, support and educate the little ones born to them. They were always kept clean and nicely dressed and it gives me great pleasure to commend Mrs. Sarah E. Woolcott as a dutiful wife.”

Charles died of dysentery on August 24, 1901, probably at his home on Alden Street in Philadelphia, and was buried in Northwood cemetery, Philadelphia.

In October of 1901 his widow, applied for pension no. 750,723, and was living at 1950 Walbrook Avenue in Baltimore, Maryland.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Henry J. Southwick

Henry J. Southwick was born in 1836 in Stockholm, St. Lawrence County, New York, the son of Lorenzo Dow Southwick (1807-1877) and Eunice (Hart, b. 1810).

Vermonters Lorenzo and Eunice (she had been born in Montpelier) were married probably in Vermont and probably in 1829. Lorenzo was probably living in Fairfax, Franklin County, Vermont in 1830 (he may have been born in Rutland County, Vermont) and he and Eunice were still living in Vermont in 1832 when their oldest child, Samantha was born. By 1835 they had settled in New York and by 1850 Henry was working as a blacksmith along with his father and attending school with his two younger siblings in Norfolk, St. Lawrence County, New York.

Henry left New York, probably with his family, and moved west, eventually settling in Michigan where by 1860 he was a blacksmith working with his father and living with his family in Bellevue, Eaton County (they lived near James Reed, another blacksmith who would enlist in the Band).

Henry stood 5’8” with blue eyes, brown hair and a sandy complexion and was 25 years old and probably still living in Eaton County when he enlisted in Company E on May 13, 1861. He was reported absent sick or wounded in a general hospital from August of 1862 until he was discharged for chronic diarrhea on November 26, 1862, at Camp Convalescent, Virginia.

Henry returned to Michigan and may have been living in the Charlotte, Eaton County area in 1867 when he may have ran as a candidate for constable.

By 1870 Henry was working as a farm laborer and living with his father in Castleton, Barry County.

In 1863 he applied for and received a pension (no. 209602).

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

George E. Southerland

George E. Southerland was born in 1842 in Ohio.

George left Ohio and came to Michigan where by 1860 he was living with and/or working for William Diets, a wealthy farmer in Essex, Clinton County. (In 1860 there was one John Sutherland living in Lansing, Ingham County.) Late that same year or perhaps in early 1861 he became a member of the Lansing company called the “Williams’ Rifles,” whose members would serve as the nucleus of Company G, and he was 19 years old and may have been living in Clinton County when he enlisted in Company G on May 10, 1861.

According to Frank Siverd of Company G, in early June of 1861 George was sick with the measles. He was, Siverd was quick to add, “well cared for. [Regimental Surgeon D. W.] Bliss leaves nothing undone that will contribute to the comfort of the sick. To prevent the disease spreading, as soon as the first symptoms appear,” Bliss had Southereland along with several others “removed to the house of a physician, some three miles from camp.”

George recovered sufficiently to leave Michigan with the regiment on June 13, 1861, and allegedly deserted on July 24, 1861, at Arlington, Virginia. On August 1 Frank Siverd of Company G wrote that he was “none the less sorry for the honor of the company to state that Sutherland and [John Higgins also of Company G] have been reported to the authorities as deserters. They have not reported themselves since the battle, and yet are known to have been in the city [Washington].” A week later Siverd wrote that Southerland still could not be found, yet he was known to have reached Washington; Siverd seemed to think that Southerland had “taken care” of himself.

There is no further record, and no pension seems to be available.

On December 19, 1863, 24-year-old George Sutherland enlisted in Company M, Eleventh Michigan cavalry and was mustered in on January 6, 1864. He deserted on January 30, 1864, at Lexington, Kentucky. There is no further record.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Ahira D. Southard

Ahira D. Southard was born in 1836 in Cattaraugus County, New York, the son of Horace B. (b. 1806) and Betsey A. (Brown, b. 1810).

Vermonter Horace married New Hampshire native Betsey sometime before 1831 by which time they were living in New York; by 1840 fhey were living in Leon, Cattaraugus County, New York. Horace eventually moved his family west 1839 and 1844 (?) settled in Michigan. By 1850 Ahira was living with his family and attend school with his siblings in Burns, Shiawassee County.

He stood 5’5” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was a 25-year-old merchant when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861. He reportedly deserted on July 29, 1861, at Arlington, Virginia, and returned on July 30 at Hunter’s Farm, Virginia. He was reported sick in his quarters in December of 1861, and on February 6-7, 1862, he was suffering from a liver ailment; by April of 1863 he was suffering from bronchitis. He allegedly deserted a second time on June 11, 1863, at Falmouth, Virginia, but in fact was admitted to the Regimental hospital on June 3 or 6, 1863, and sent to the Convalescent Camp, Virginia (probably in Alexandria) on June 15, then transferred to Camp Distribution, Virginia, on October 8. He returned to his Regiment on October 19, and entered Grace Church general hospital, Alexandria, Virginia on October 21, suffering from sinovitis of the left ankle joint.

Ahira was returned to duty on January 16, 1864, arrived at Camp Distribution the same day, and was furloughed on January 21 for 30 days. He returned on February 22, and was sent on to his Regiment on February 26, at Camp Bullock, Virginia. Two years after the war he claimed that on May 5, 1864, he was shot in the right shoulder, hand and arm, at the Wilderness, Virginia, resulting in the loss of his second finger.

In any case, on May 10 he was sent to Carver hospital in Washington, DC, transferred on May 17 to West’s building hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and eventually transferred to Michigan where he was mustered out at Detroit on June 20, 1864.

After his discharge Ahira returned to Michigan and eventually settled in Ionia County. He was living in Portland when he married New York native Margaret “Maggie” Adams (1847-1920) on October 15, 1874, in Portland, and they had at least one child: Clyde (b. 1876).

By 1880 Ahira was working as a teamster and living with his wife and son in Portland; indeed he lived in Portland for many years.

He became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association in December of 1891 and received pension no. 116,195, drawing $4.00 per month in 1883 for a wound in the right arm.

In 1894 he was still living in Portland but by 1900 Ahira was residing in Grand Rapids at 225 Scribner.

He eventually returned to Portland where he died of Bright’s disease at his home on November 28, 1903, and was buried in Portland cemetery.

His widow applied for and received a pension (no. 579,956).

Monday, October 04, 2010

Charles and Harrison Soule

Charles Soule was born in 1845 in Michigan, the son of Benjamin (1810-1876) and Alzina or Alvina (1816-1868).

His parents were both born in New York and possibly married there. In any case, the family moved to Michigan probably from New York sometime before 1835, and by 1850 Charles was attending school with four of his older siblings (including older brother Harrison who would also enlist in the Third Michigan infantry) and living with his family on a farm in Keene, Ionia County. By 1860 his family had moved to a farm in Algoma, Kent County. Near by lived Highland Warner and his mother. Highland too would serve in the Third Michigan. And next door to Highland lived the Hamblin brothers, three of whom would serve in the Third Michigan during the war – and who would all die during the war. On the other side of the Hamblins lived Henry Magoon and his parents; Henry too would serve in the Old Third.

In any case, Charles was 16 years old and probably living in Algoma when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861, along with his older brother Harrison. Charles was taken prisoner on November 30, 1863, at Mine Run, Virginia, and sent to Andersonville, Georgia. James McElroy, who had also been a prisoner at Andersonville, wrote after the war that Charles, who was “a chum of mine,” was in the Second squad of the First detachment within the prison organization. Charles was reportedly “doing well” by late 1864, but was soon struck down by dysentery, and admitted to the prison hospital on March 24, 1865, with chronic diarrhea. He was exchanged on March 26, and admitted to McPherson hospital in Vicksburg, Mississippi, from Camp Parole, on April 7, suffering from dysentery.

Charles died in the hospital on April 20, 1865, and was buried in Vicksburg National Cemetery: section I, grave 7429. (His three brothers James, Warren and Harrison all died during the war, as did two sisters, Martha and Olive. One brother, Wilbur, survived.)

No pension seems to be available.

His father was living in Lyons, Ionia County in 1870.

Harrison Soule was born in 1842 in Michigan, the son of Benjamin (1810-1876) and Alzina or Alvina (1816-1868).

His parents were both born in New York and possibly married there. In any case, the family moved to Michigan probably from New York sometime before 1835, and by 1850 Harrison was attending school with four of his siblings (including a younger brother Charles who would also enlist in the Third Michigan infantry) and living with his family on a farm in Keene, Ionia County. By 1860 his family had moved to a farm in Algoma, Kent County. Near by lived Highland Warner and his mother. Highland too would serve in the Third Michigan. And next door to Highland lived the Hamblin brothers, three of whom would serve in the Third Michigan during the war – and who would all die during the war. On the other side of the Hamblins lived Henry Magoon and his parents; Henry too would serve in the Old Third.

Harrison was 19 years old and probably living in Algoma when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861, along with his younger brother Charles.

Harrison died of typhoid fever on May 29, 1862 at Annapolis, Maryland. According to Eli Hamblin, another member of the Third Michgian and who was from Algoma before the war, on June 15, 1862 he wrote to his own family in algoma.

Harrison Soule was sick a long time. He was taken sick at Fortress Monroe with the dysentery but kept along with us until we got to Yorktown some twenty miles from Fortress Monroe and stayed with us there until we left there but when we got to Yorktown he was very sick with the dysentery and I think he had some fever too but when we left Yorktown he was some better so that he started with us from there and came to Cumberland Landing some forty miles form Yorktown. I think he had not ought to of left Yorktown. If he had been left there until he was well and tough he would have been well now but he was one of that kind of boys that if he could get one foot before the other he would. Harrison was a good soldier. There was no hang back to him. I do not know what was the disease that he died with; he was sent back to Annapolis in Maryland form Cumberland Landing so that I did not hear from him until I heard he was dead. I believe he died the twenty-ninth of May.

Harrison was buried the same day in the Episcopal cemetery no. 9, Annapolis, Maryland, and is presently listed as interred in the National Cemetery, section G, grave no. 157 (official no. 71). (His brothers James, Warren and Charles all died during the war, as did two sisters, Martha and Olive. One brother, Wilbur, survived.)

No pension seems to be available.

His father was living in Lyons, Ionia County in 1870.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Thomas Somerset

Thomas Somerset was born on August 14, 1841, in Sandusky County, Ohio, the son of Charles (1818-1883) and Catharine (Kelly, 1816-1882).

While still a young boy Thomas and his family moved from Ohio to Wisconsin, settling briefly in Milwaukee before moving back across Lake Michigan to Grand Haven, Ottawa County, Michigan in 1848, becoming one of the pioneering families of that town, and where his father engaged in farming. In 1850 Thomas was living on the family farm in Crockery, Ottawa County. By 1860 Thomas was a farmer living with the Austin family in Robinson, Ottawa County, and living with his parents in Crockery. (Next door to his parents lived Isaac Burbank and his family; Isaac would also join the Third Michigan.)

He was 19 years old and living in Grand Haven when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.) He was sick in the hospital at Yorktown from May 3, 1862, until about May 10 when he was transferred to the hospital at Portsmouth, Virginia, where he remained some two months. Thomas eventually returned to duty and reported as a guard at Brandy Station, Virginia in February of 1864. He was wounded slightly in one of his fingers on May 12, 1864, at Spotsylvania, Virginia, and was mustered out at Detroit on June 20, 1864.

After his discharge from the army Thomas returned to his home in Ottawa County where he engaged in farming and fruit growing, and for many years he farmed on 320 acres he had purchased in 1864, located about seven miles southeast of Grand Haven along the banks of the Grand River. According to one source he “owned a 337-acre farm in Sections 30 and 31 of Crockery Township. His land, bordering the Grand River, was frequented by the Fort Village band of Ottawa Indians that once inhabited the adjacent area called Battle Point. Cobmosa was their Chief. The Somerset farm was on part of the Indians’ burial grounds.”

He married New York native Catharine C. Miles (1845-1893) on October 24, 1867, and they had at least six children: Louise Elizabeth (b. 1868, Mrs. Frank Robbins), Alice Mabel (b. 1869), Ada Corinthia, Georgia Eleanor, Johnnie T. and Etta May.

By 1870 he was working as a farmer (he owned $4000 worth of real estate) and was living with his wife and three children and his younger brother Charles in Ottawa County. (His parents lived near by.) Thomas was living in Spring Lake, Ottawa County in 1874 and by 1880 Thomas was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Crockery. He was living in Spring Lake in 1888 and 1890.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, a strong Democrat (he reportedly voted for McClellan in 1864), a Mason and a member of the I.O.O.F. He also gave an affidavit in the pension application of Washington Davis, a former member of Company A. and he himself applied for a pension (no. 1132048).

Thomas was a widower when he died at about 10:00 p.m. on February 2, 1900, and was buried in Spring Lake cemetery,

“Thomas had been ailing some little time with paralysis,” noted the Grand Haven Daily Tribune, “and when he was in [Grand Haven] the Friday before his death, he complained that he could not use his fingers. He grew rapidly worse thereafter and was entirely helpless and unconscious for eight hours prior to his death.”

When Thomas died his three unmarried daughters were either teaching school or in college: Alice was teaching at Harrisburg, Michigan, Ada in Wisconsin and Georgia was in school at Valparaiso, Indiana.

His funeral took place on Monday afternoon, the Rev. W. W. Slee officiating.

Friday, October 01, 2010

William Henry Harrison Snyder

William Henry Harrison Snyder was born in 1840.

William was 21 years old and probably living in Muskegon County when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861. He was absent on picket duty in September and October of 1861 and again in January and February of 1862. In March and April he was present for duty, and in May and June he was listed as a Regimental pioneer.

William was taken prisoner either on June 30, 1862 at Savage Station, Virginia, or on July 1, 1862, at White Oak Swamp, Virginia, and confined on July 13 at Richmond, Virginia, where he was employed as a nurse on the second floor in prison no. 4. He was paroled at Aiken’s Landing, Virginia, on August 5, returned to the Regiment on August 8 at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia and was absent sick from August 24 through November. William was dropped from the company rolls on December 30, 1862, per War Department General Order no. 92, regarding deserters, but was later reported mustered out with the Regiment in Detroit on June 20, 1864.

No pension seems to be available.