Charles D. Williams was born on May 2, 1840, in Jefferson County, New York, possibly the son of William R. (1815-1881) and Betsey (b. 1818).
William R. was living in Antwerp. Jefferson County in 1840. He and New York native Betsey werre married probably before 1837 and possibly in New York. In any case, by 1850 Charles was attending school with two of his younger siblings and living with his family in Rossie, St. Lawrence County, New York, where his father worked as a blacksmith. By 1860 they had moved to Michigan and Charles was working as a common laborer and living with his family in Coe, Isabella County, Michigan.
Charles stood 5’11” with light hazel eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 21 years old and possibly living in Isabella County or perhaps in St. Louis, Gratiot County when he enlisted in Company D on June 5, 1861. He was reported serving with the ambulance corps from July of 1862 through January of 1863. In April he was reported AWOL and absent sick or wounded in the hospital in June and July. In August he was reported with a cavalry detachment through May of 1864, although he was also reported “to have been transferred to Invalid Corps. Left the company sometime in 1862. Nothing is known of his whereabouts. Discharged June 20, 1864 at Detroit at expiration of term of service.”
In fact, Charles was “officially” discharged on July 18, 1863, at the Convalescent Camp, near Alexandria, Virginia, for “advanced morbus coxcanus [or hip-joint disease], contracted since enlistment” (he was also noted as “unfit for the Invalid Corps”), and he listed St. Louis, Gratiot County as his mailing address on his discharge paper.
By the time his discharge was issued Charles was already back in Michigan, and living in St. Louis when he applied for a pension. On July 18, the day he was reportedly discharged in Virginia, he was testifying before a justice of the peace in St. Louis. He swore that while in the line of duty “he contracted a disease of the right hip joint and right knee, which first began to trouble him about the 1st day of March 1862 at Camp Michigan, near Alexandria, Va.” He further stated that it “grew worse during the Peninsular Campaign and has continued to increase ever since; and that he can bear no weight on that leg and has no use of it. He thinks the difficulty arose from hurting himself by his own doing & taking cold . . .”
Charles received pension no. 22,293, dated July of 1863, drawing $8.00 in 1863.
Charles was living in Michigan when he died, possibly in Clinton County, or perhaps in Gratiot County or possibly living with his family in Isabella County, on October 14, 1863, and was buried in Salt River cemetery, Coe, Isabella County.
William and Betsey were still living in Coe, Isabella County in 1870. Willliam died in 1881 and was reportedly buried in Salt River cemetery as well. In 1883 his mother applied for and received a dependent widow’s pension -- his father had served in the Eighth Michigan infantry -- (application no. 306463, cert. no. 248904).