Virgil B. Van Winkle was born around 1847 in Manchester, Washtenaw County, Michigan, son of Rev. Peter (1816-1886) and Hannah (Dunham, 1825-1866).
Virgil’s parents were both born in New York and possibly married there. In any case, they left New York and eventually settled in Washtenaw County, Michigan by 1845 and in Medina, Lenawee County, by 1850 when Peter was working as a Baptist minister. By 1860 Peter (who owned some $5000 worth of real estate) was still working as a Baptist minister, and had moved his family to Albion, Calhoun County where Virgil attended school with three of his younger siblings. (In 1860 a relative of Virgil’s, possibly an older brother, Lewis, was working as a millwright and living in Manchester.)
Virgil stood 5’9” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 18 (or perhaps 16) years old and working as a farm laborer probably living in Washtenaw when he enlisted in Company K on February 8, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Muskegon, and was mustered the same day.
Virgil joined the Regiment March 1 at Camp Bullock, Virginia, and was possibly absent sick when he was transferred to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and remained absent sick through July. He was discharged on November 6 or 10, 1864, near Petersburg, Virginia on account of being a minor (he apparently enlisted without the consent of his parents).
After his discharge from the army Virgil returned to Michigan, possibly back to some of his family in Manchester. By 1870 he was working as a farmer (he owned $8000 worth of real estate) and living with Frances (b. 1849), George (b. 1852) and Jeannine (b. 1854) Van Winkle in Manchester. (In 1870 his father was living in Sheridan, Calhoun couinty.)
He was married to Mabel L. or Belle (1856-1924) and they had at least two children: Blanch (b. 1878) and an unnamed infant (b. 1880).
By 1880 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Manchester, and living in Manchester in 1890 and 1894.
He died in 1901, presumably in Manchester, and was buried alongside his parents in Oak Grove cemetery, in Manchester.
In 1903 his widow was still residing in Michigan when she applied for a pension (no. 585920).