Prescott Wales was born in 1844, in Michigan, the son of Almerson W. (b. 1814) and Henrietta (b. 1821).
Both New York natives, Prescott’s parents were probably married in New York but by 1840 the family had settled in Michigan (where their daughter Henrietta was born). By 1850 Prescott was living with his family in Otisco, Ionia County, where his father worked a farm. By 1860 Prescott was attending school with two of his younger siblings and still living on the family farm in Otisco.
In any case, Prescott stood 5’9” with dark eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was an 18-year-old farmer possibly living in Otisco, Ionia County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company E on February 18, 1862, at Saranac, Ionia County for 3 years, crediting Otisco, and was mustered on March 13. He was reported absent sick in the hospital in August, again in April of 1863 through September, and, according to Andrew Kilpatrick, also of Company E, he returned from the hospital on October 8, 1863.
He was present for duty when he reenlisted on February 18, 1864, near Culpeper, Virginia, and was mustered on February 20. He was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough, probably in Michigan, in March of 1864 and returned to the Regiment on or about the first of April when he was reported on detached service through May. He was probably still on detached service when he was transferred to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and reported on detached service at Division headquarters. He was with the Division provost guard from February of 1865 through May, and was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.
It is not known if Prescott returned to Michigan. By 1870 his father was listed as the Justice of the Peace (and also owned some $3000 worth of real estate and living with his wife Henrietta and 16-year-old son Norman W., who was working as a railroad laborer, in Clay, Hardin County, Iowa; they were still living in Clay, Hardin County, Iowa in 1880.
In 1886 he applied for and received a pension (no. 347540).