John Winebrenner was born in June of 1842 in Ohio, son of Henry (1817-1901) and Lucy (Edsall, 1819-1883).
John’s parents were married on May 14, 1837, in Darke County, Ohio (Lucy was born in Ohio) and resided in Ohio for someyears. They eventually settled in Noblesville, Noble County, Indiana around 1851 where Henry lived the rest of his life (he die d there in 1901). By 1860 John was attending school with two of his younger siblings and working as a farm laborer along with his older siblings on the family farm in Noblesville (or Noble), Noble County, Indiana.
He stood 5’7” with brown eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was a 21-year-old farmer possibly living in Maple Grove, Barry County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company D on February 26, 1863, at Maple Grove for 3 years, crediting Maple Grove, and was mustered the same day at Detroit.
Interestingly, John enlisted with another Noble County resident, John Goff or Gaff – although Goff was put into Company B – and they both credited Mapel Grove, Barry County.
He joined the Regiment on March 6 at Camp Pitcher, Virginia, and was present for duty in early June of 1863 when he wrote home to let his father know that “I am well at this present time and hope that these few lines may find you all in the same state of health. I received your letter yesterday which was dated May 27, which gave me great joy to hear from you again. You said that you had been out to Wolf Lake a day or two ago, and they had it reported that Vicksburg was taken. Well I don’t think that it is so for I seen yesterday’s Washington Chronicle and it was not taken then yet. But I hope that it may be taken by this time. I think that this war ain’t a going to last more than one year longer anyhow it has got to go in some way or another by that time.”
In a second note to his mother, he added that he had received the “stamps you sent me a while ago and I wrote in the other letter that I that [?] had got them but I guess you had not got it yet. Well I wrote in the other letter about the money that I sent home. Well if you don’t get the other letter can you put 75 dollars out on interest without [unless] you need it [then] use it. You said that gim [?] had sent home some blankets and an overcoat and a revolver. Well I could get plenty of such things here but you can’t send a pin home from here without you send it in a letter. Well I have told about all for this time. Here is a picture I got of a Virginia gal that I thought I would send home and let you see how the girls look down here.”
John was absent sick in March of 1864 and reportedly wounded in the body in early May. He told his mother in a letter dated June 19th that he was wounded just slighting in the left side on May 8 at Spotsylania Courthouse and that he was then presently working as a nurse in Lincoln general hospital in Washington, DC. He was reported absent sick (or wounded) when he was transferred to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry in June of 1864, but eventually recovered from his wounds and was returned to the Regiment.
He was wounded again and taken prisoner on October 27, 1864, at Boydton Plank road (or Hatcher’s Run or Osborne Plank road), near Petersburg, Virginia, and was subsequently sent to the prisoner-of-war camp in Petersburg. John was admitted to the prison hospital on October 30 and dropped from the company rolls on November 10, 1864.
Although listed as “no further record,” in fact John died of his wounds in the prison hospital on November 25, 1864, and was presumably among the unknown soldiers buried in Petersburg National Cemetery.
John’s father was living in Indiana when he applied for and received a pension (no. 306028).