Jerome B. Ten Eyck was born in 1838 in New York, probably the son of Peter (b. 1805)and Mary (b. 1810).
Jerome’s parents were both born in New York and presumably married there. By 1850 Jerome was attending school and living with his family on a large farm (his father owned some $2000 worth of real estate) in Seward, Schoharie County, New York.
Jerome eventually left New York and moved west, settling in Michigan by the time the war broke out.
He was 23 years old and probably living in Lansing, Michigan, when he enlisted as Fourth Sergeant in Company G on May 10, 1861, along with his cousin (?) James. (Company G, formerly the “Williams’ Rifles,” was made up predominantly of men from the Lansing area.)
Charles Price also of Company G, writing home on August 7, 1863, described Jerome Ten Eyck as “a fine fellow and a good friend.” Jerome was absent sick in the hospital in the Regimental hospital in April of 1862, by the first of June was in Yorktown hospital and still hospitalized in July. On June 20 Homer Thayer of Company G wrote that Ten Eyck had last been heard from two days before “in the hospital at Yorktown.”
However, by October Jerome had rejoined the Regiment and was serving as Acting Lieutenant and Orderly for Company G. According to A. W. Cowles, a regular correspondent for the Republican in Virginia, on November 10, 1862, “Orderly Ten Eyck, of Co. G, of the Third, was over to see us today. He is recovered from his long illness and looks like himself again.” On April 12, 1863, he was promoted as Second Lieutenant at Camp Sickles, Virginia, commissioned March 20.
By the middle of May Jerome was apparently acting commander of Company G. “Our company is in command of Jerome Ten Eyck,” wrote Edgar Clark on May 15, 1863, “and a good officer he is and a brave and gallant soldier. I cannot speak too highly of his goodness as an officer and gentleman.”
Jerome was transferred to Company E, replacing Lieutenant Charles Draper, and reported absent on detached service in Grand Rapids from July 27, 1863, recruiting for the Regiment, although according to one local newspaper, he did not in fact arrive in the city until late October. According to the Eagle on October 27, 1863, Jerome had just arrived in Grand Rapids that day to begin recruiting duty.
He remained absent on recruiting duty in Michigan through March of 1864, and was promoted to First Lieutenant on April 1, 1864, commissioned as of November 1, 1863, replacing Lieutenants David Crawford and Alfred Pew. Jerome eventually rejoined the Regiment and was wounded slightly in the shoulder on May 5, 1864, at the Wilderness, Virginia, and subsequently hospitalized in Annapolis, Maryland.
He was transferred as First Lieutenant to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, commissioned Captain on June 10, and mustered on July 13 near Petersburg, Virginia. In July Jerome was acting Regimental Adjutant, and in September Acting Assistant Adjutant General for the Second Brigade, Third Division, Second Corps.
While the Regimental descriptive rolls list him as having been mustered out in October of 1864, in fact, he had grown rather tired of his service and sought to be released from duty at the expiration of his original term of service (which would have been June of 1864).
In October Jerome wrote to Lieutenant James McGinley, Adjutant of the Fifth Michigan infantry, that “I hereby certify that I have served three years continually in the Third (3) Regiment Michigan Volunteers, which Regiment I entered as Sergeant on the 10th day of June, 1861. -- was promoted 2nd Lieutenant April 16th, 1863,-- was promoted 1st Lieutenant March 1st, 1864, -- was promoted Captain July 13th 1864, was mustered in the service against my wish by General Orders No __ headquarters 2nd Corps, June 9th, 1864. I further declare that I have never signified my intention of remaining in the service of the United States for a longer period than three years from date of enlistment, and that I have not accepted a voluntary muster for three years, but accepted such a muster simply because no other musters were allowed, and that had I been permitted to exercise any option in the matter, I would have [refused] such a muster.”
The Republican wrote on November 9, 1864, that “Captain J. B. Ten Eyck, of this city, of the Fifth Infantry, has resigned his situation with that Regiment, and has been honorably discharged from the service under the recent regulation allowing all commissioned officers to leave the service honorably who have served three years. The number availing themselves of the order is said to be quite large. Captain Ten Eyck left here originally as a Sergeant in Co. G, Third infantry, and has been three years and four months in the service.”
Jerome may have returned to Michigan after his discharge from the army, although this is by no mean certain. He may have been living in Eaton Rapids, Eaton County by December of 1865.
In any case, he had moved to Washington DC by 1867 when he applied for and received his own pension (no. 124073) and indeed he lived in Washington for many years.
By 1870 he was working as a clerk at the Treasury Department and living at the Yeager boarding house in Washington’s Second Ward. By April of 1880 he was living at 1105 F Street in Washington, DC, when he testified in the pension claim of John Bissell who had also served in Company G during the war. In 1880 Jerome was single and working as a dentist in Washington, and working as a dentist with an office at 1601 O Street NW in 1890. It is also possible that around 1900 he was still living in Washington, DC, when he gave a statement in the pension application of one Lora Sunt, the former widow of William Agard, who had served in Company G, Old Third. By 1920 Jerome was a “member” of the John Dickson Home in Washington, DC.
Jerome was probably living in Washington where he died on February 18, 1927, and was presumably buried there.