Nicholas Welch was born in 1820 in Ireland or Greenland.
Nicholas immigrated to North America and eventually settled in Michigan. He may have been the same “N. Welsh” who was working as a laborer and living in Lansing’s Third Ward in 1860.
In any case, he stood 5’7” with blue eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion and was 41 years old and living in Lansing or Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company B on May 13, 1861. He was reported as a pioneer, probably for the Brigade, from July of 1862 through November. He had probably returned to the Regiment by the time he was reported missing in action on May 3, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Virginia. He apparently returned to the Regiment (at least on paper) and was subsequently listed as absent sick in Alexandria, Virginia from October 10 through December of 1863.
Nicholas apparently recovered and had returned to duty by the time he reenlisted on March 17, 1864, near Culpeper, Virginia, crediting Detroit Third Ward. He was absent on veteran’s furlough in April of 1864, and presumably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of May. He was transferred to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and was wounded by a shell August 8, 1864, at the Weldon Railroad, Virginia. He was admitted to Whitehall general hospital near Bristol, Pennsylvania on August 26, and remained hospitalized until he was discharged on June 6, 1865, at Whitehall hospital, for “injury to his internal abdominal organs from shell contusion.”
After the war Nicholas returned to Michigan, probably to Lansing where he probably lived the rest of his life. By 1870 he was working as a laborer (he owned $1500 worth of real estate) and living in Lansing’s Third Ward. He was working as a laborer and living in Lansing in 1880. He was still living in Lansing in 1888 when he testified in the pension application of the father of Bradford Carmichael, also of Company B and who was killed during the war. Nicholas was living in the Third Ward in 1890 and 1894.
He was unable to read or write (according to the statement he gave in the Carmichael pension application he had to make his mark rather than sign his name).
Nicholas applied for and received a pension (no. 59744).
He died possibly in Lansing in late December, 1896, and was buried on January 1, 1897, in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Lansing: 43-B-D.