Levi M. Tulley was born in 1843 in Ontario County, New York.
In 1860 there was an 18-year-old farm laborer named Levi Tully living with the Charles Wickham family in East Bloomfield, Ontario County, New York. In any case, Levi left New York and eventually settled in western Michigan by the time war had broken out.
Levi stood 5’10” with black eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion and was an 18-year-old farmer probably living in Lyons, Ionia County when he enlisted in Company E on June 4, 1861. He was reported on a medical furlough from February 26, 1862, to March 10, and absent through July of 1862, when he was dropped from the company rolls, allegedly as a deserter (in compliance with G.O. no. 92) since he failed to return from his furlough.
According to official records, on February 16, 1862, Regimental Surgeon Dr. Zenas Bliss recommended that Tulley be furloughed to recover from pneumonia, and two days later, February 18, Captain Edwin S. Pierce of Company E, granted Tulley a furlough from February 26 to March 10 “at which period he will rejoin his company or Regiment at Camp Mich, Va. or wherever it may then be or be considered a deserter. Subsistence has been furnished the said Levi M. Tully to the 21st day of Feb. AD 1862 and pay to the 21st day of December AD 1861 both inclusive.”
Tulley never returned to the unit, and in fact, he was discharged for “tuberculous constitution” on July 10, 1862, at Detroit.
“Levi” (also known as “Lewis”) listed Lyons as his mailing address on his discharge paper, and at some point he arranged for an attorney to contact the Regiment, and Captain Pierce in particular, in order to arrange for his back pay to be forwarded to him in Michigan. On October 23, 1862, Captain Pierce replied to Tulley’s lawyer that Tully had gone home on a furlough on February 18 for 18 days. “Since which time [he] has not reported. Now dropped from the rolls pursuant to General order No. 92. The only way I know of getting his pay is to go before Col. Smith of Detroit and he send for his papers.”
On November 21, 1862, Tulley’s lawyer wrote to Colonel Smith, military commander in Detroit. “In the matter of the discharge of Levi Tully who was furloughed by you to await final discharge and who is designated by you as a member of the 3d Cavalry, is not a member of that Regiment -- but a member of the 3d Regiment of Mich Infantry. We write this to inform you of the mistake if you have reported him to the 3d Cavalry you will not be likely to get his money or discharge very soon which he stands in need of.” One of the clerk’s in the Adjutant General’s office in Detroit replied on November 26, 1862, “that Levi Tully having been recorded in this office as of the 3d Mich Cavy; and such not being the fact it was impossible to obtain his necessary discharge papers. -- I have this day written to the commanding officer of Co. E 3rd Mich Infy; in his case and as soon as I receive the papers, I will make out Levi Tully's final discharge and pay certificates and forward them to him.”
On December 7, 1862, First Lieutenant David Crawford, then commanding Company E, wrote to Colonel Smith in Detroit and said that “I received an order from you yesterday for Private Levi M. Tully's Descriptive List. Tully went home on furlough last January and never returned. He was dropped from the Rolls by order of Col. Champlin in July last as a deserter and under those circumstances I do not think I can furnish his Descriptive List if he is entitled to a discharge by his reporting to you please let me know and I will send it but I think he is not entitled to it to draw his pay as he never reported by letters to us but once after his furlough expired.”
On January 19, 1863, Tulley himself wrote to Colonel Smith from Lyons in Ionia County. He said that “If my discharge certificate has arrived and in your possession I wish you to send the same to me to Messers Bauder & Button, together with all papers necessary for me to have which you may have received from my Regiment. -- As I have employed two attorneys at this place to procure my arrears of pay and who is [sic] . . . .” He added that he felt he was “competent to elect my own attorneys and therefore decline under the circumstances to employ attorneys residing in Detroit. Please write me whether my discharge has come or not. . . .”
Tulley’s attorneys wrote to Colonel Smith, again from Lyons, on February 16, 1863, “In the matter of Levi Tully Co (E) 3d Regt we received a letter from you by your clerk requesting us to forward to you the furlough given to Tully to be absent from his company. But as we have forwarded his furlough both the one received from the company and the one received from you, to the Treasury Dept we are unable to procure them and can only refer them to you as being filed. . . . We think you can put this matter aright. . . .” And as evidence they enclosed the letter from Captain Pierce, “which may be of some service to you in getting the returns of the company rectified in the department. -- We hope you will take steps immediately to rectify this matter and procure the return for Mr. Tully. He is a poor young man and having been ill since he returned and unable to do anything to procure a livelihood he is in great need of his discharge and pay.”
On April 11, 1863, Lieutenant Crawford again wrote to the Adjutant General’s office in Detroit in order “to forward the following statement with regard to Levi M. Tully of Co. E 3d Mich Vols for whom I received an order from you for a final statement. Levi M. Tully was granted a furlough for  days on the 18th day of Feb/62 and never reported properly to the Regt for extension of furlough. He was reported a Deserter in April by order of Capt. Pierce then in command of Co. E. Nothing has since been heard from him only by attorney at Lyons, asking for his final statement in order to get his back pay. . . .” Crawford added that he did “not think it right under existing orders to give him a final statement. He has not appeared on our rolls since April 1862 and is to all intents a deserter as far as I know.”
On May 8, 1863 Tulley’s attorneys in Lyons forwarded the original furlough papers to two lawyers in Washington, DC. “Herewith find the furlough given to Levi Tully. I have just received them from Washington and hasten to forward them to you, that you may be able to get his honorable discharge for him which in equity . . . he ought to have. -- Please to immediately inform us on receipt of this what further steps we are to take. . . . Also please to inform us when you expect to be able to send us the money due Messers M. Mills [?] and I cannot send it next week he is very much in need of the money.”
In August of 1865 Levi applied for and eventually received a pension (no. 864770).
He was married to Emma.
Levi died on July 5, 1905, probably in New York.
In any case, Emma was living in New York in 1909 when she applied for a widow’s pension (no. 925996) but the certificate was never granted.