Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Thomas Corwin Williams

Thomas Corwin Williams was born on March 28, 1840, in Euclid, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, the son of George (b. 1811-1899?) and Elizabeth (b. 1814).

New York natives George and Elizabeth were married and had settled in Ohio by 1835. They moved the family from Ohio to Michigan sometime between 1845 and 1850 when they were living in Johnstown, Barry County, where Thomas attended school with his siblings. By 1860 Thomas (or Corwin) was probably living in Rutland, Barry County as was his father George.

Thomas stood 5’9” with blue eyes, sandy hair and a sandy complexion and was a 21-year-old farmer possibly living in Barry County when he enlisted in Company K on December 11, 1861, for three years at Detroit, was mustered probably on the same day. Upon his arrival in Washington, DC, he was hospitalized and never joined the regiment, although he was reported as having deserted on September 21, 1862, at Upton’s Hill, Virginia. In fact, he was sick in the hospital in Washington, DC until he was discharged for consumption on May 30, 1862, at the Patent Office hospital in Washington, DC.

But Thomas was apparently determined to get to the Third Michigan. It seems that Thomas was probably the same “Corwin S. Williams” who was mustered in Company C on December 11, 1861, at Grand Rapids, but was absent sick in Washington in March and April of 1862, and absent sick in the Patent Office hospital in Washington from May through August. It was noted in his service record that he had not served with his company since enlistment, and by October of 1862 he was reported to have been dropped from the company rolls on July 31, 1862, in compliance with S.O. no. 92 (War Department), regarding deserters.

Thomas eventually returned to Michigan, and enlisted as a private in M company, Seventh Michigan cavalry, on June 9, 1863, in Grand Rapids. He may have participated with the regiment in the engagements and actions at Hanover and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in late June and earlyt July of 1863. He may also have been on duty with the Seventh when it participated in Lee’s surrender in April of 1865 and the Grand Review in Washington on May 23.

The Seventh was moved to Forth Leavenworth, Kansas, where it participated in operations against the Indians and Thomas was promoted to Corporal in June of 1865. It seems likely that he weas among the veterans and recruits of the Seventh who were consolidated into the First Michgian cavalry in November of 1865 and he mustered out of service with that regiment at Salt Lake City, Utah Territory on March 10, 1866.

After the war Thomas returned to Michigan. By 1870 he was working as a farmer (he owned $2000 worth of real estate) and living in Rutland, Barry County; also living with him were his mother Elizabeth as well as sister Shary (b. 1854), brother Frederick (b. 1845) and Frederick’s wife Lydia and their son George.

Thomas was married to New York native Anna (1851-1911), and they had at least children: Blanche (b. 1872) and Lula (b. 1875). By 1880 Thomas was working as a farmer and livng with his wife and children in Rutland. Thomas was living in Rutland, Barry County in 1890 and in Hastings around 1900 and by 1911 at 818 Green Street.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association as well as the Seventh Michigan Cavalry Association. He was living in Michigan in 1887 when he applied for and received a pension (no. 427802).

Thomas was probably a widower when he died on December 28, 1928, probably in Barry County, and was buried alongside his wife Anna in Rutland Township cemetery, Barry County.


dwbrandli said...

Thomas Corwin Williams was my great grand father. Harry Corwin Williams was my grandfather -- he was born in 1880 -- I am not sure which one of Thomas' wives (he had two) was my grandfather's mother. It is interesting that you know his 'coloring' -- my father told me very little about Thomas. I do have a picture of Thomas -- at least I'm fairly certain that it is a picture of him -- later in his life. My brother has some papers of Thomas' in his possession.

Sharon said...

dwbrandli - Thomas is my Great Great Grandfather and Blanche was my Great Grandmother. Looks like Harry and Blanche were siblings I have some family pictures as well. This is so interesting.