Saturday, April 30, 2011

Case Brown Wickham

Case Brown Wickham was born on September 25, 1833, in (probably Crawford County) Ohio, the son of James (1803-1881) and Laura (Argell, 1808-1847).

James and Laura were married in Barry, Orleans County, New York, in 1828. After they were married Case’s parents settled in Crawford County, Ohio, probably in the vicinity of Lykins, where they lived for many years. Laura died in Crawford County, Ohio, in 1847 and James eventually remarried New Hampshire native Susan Richmond (1815-1851).

James moved his family from Ohio sometime between 1843 and 1850 when they were living on a farm in Unadilla, Livingston County where Case was attending school with his siblings (Susan died in Unadilla in 1851). James settled his family in Dewitt but around 1858 he moved to Venice, Shiawassee County. It appears that Case may have remained in Clinton County. By 1860 Case was a farm laborer living with Nathaniel Wyans, a wealthy farmer in Dewitt, Clinton County.

Case was 27 years old and possibly still living in Dewitt when he enlisted as Eighth Corporal in Company G on May 10, 1861. (He was possibly related to Josiah Wickham of Company D). By the first of August of 1861 Case was sick in a hospital with fever. By early September he was still suffering from fever and in the hospital, either in Annapolis, Maryland, or, according to Frank Siverd of Company G, in Columbian College hospital in Washington, DC.

Case eventually recovered his health, returned to the Regiment. On October 26, 1861 he was with the regiment in its camp near Alexandria, Virginia, when wrote to his sister Amanda back home in Michigan. “Dear sister,” he began,

I received your letter of the 18th yesterday and was very glad to heart from you and to hear that you was well. Dyar [his brother Nathaniel D.] received a letter from [another sister] Amelia 2 or 3 days ago. She said they had been having a hard time of it. I wrote to Father and told him if he wanted some money to write and let me know and I would send him some the next pay day which will be in the course of two weeks. You wanted to know why I did not send my likeness. The reason is that I could not get a pass to Washington to get it taken, but now we have moved down the river from Washington below Alexandria 2 miles to Fort Lyon and we expect our pay in a few days and then Dyar and I will have our likenesses taken together and send them to you. You said that when you had your likeness taken that (Frankie) was going to sit with you. You must have her do so by all means for I would like to see the features of a girl that my Dear Sister thinks so much of. I am agoing to have Dyar’s and my likeness taken together to send to Phebe and then I hope that I shall her from her. . . . I stated that we had moved down the river. Alexandria is 8 miles from Washington and we are two miles from Alexandria but Washington is right in plain sight of here. The 5th regiment is encamped right across the road from our camp, and I see Dyar almost every day. He was here yesterday when I received your letter.
Afternoon

I had to quit my writing this forenoon to go on drill. We are here to work on Fort Lyon. It is a very large fort; it covers about 14 acres of ground and is to mount 120 guns. It will take about three months to finish it the engineers say.

There was a battle up the river last Monday and our forces got pretty badly whipped. The fifteenth Massachusetts took 800 men into the field with them and when they got back into camp there was only 400 men left. The enemy drove them into the river and a great many got drowned and a large number got shot while in the water.

There is a great deal of blame attached to the officers for crossing the river and attacking the enemy when they knew that there was about 12 or 15,000 men stationed there and they only took about 2500 troops to attack them.

Gen. McClellan went up there the next day and stayed until night before last. Our pickets bring [in] a secession prisoner almost every day. Our company was out the other day about 12 miles and we brought in two prisoners, a man and a woman – but I must quit writing.

Colonel McConnell of our regiment has resigned and gone home; good for him.

By early December the Third Michigan had settled into quarters in Fort Lyon, near Alexandria. Case wrote to Amanda on December 3.

I seat myself today to answer your kind Epistle, which came to hand on Sunday all safe and sound. Your likeness is just as natural as can be. Oh! How I wish I could see you. I would make those cheeks of yours look redder than when they do now. You would soon wish that tormented fellow was back in Virginia again standing guard or on picket out in the cold and see if he could learn better manners. But you must expect if you ever see me again, to set a rough harum scarum . . . of a fellow ready to go into anything or do anything that presents itself. I shan’t know how to behave myself when I go into company.

I had to stop my writing and go on battalion drill and it was colder than the devil and now the drum has beat for dress parade.

Dress parade is over and we have eaten our supper and now I seat myself by the light of the candle to finish my letter this being the third time I have seated myself today to write this letter.

When I wrote to you some time ago I wrote that there was some chance for us to to go on next fleet [?] down south but we got fooled out of it and now I guess we shall go into Winter Quarters pretty soon either on Eagle Hill or down to Alexandria. We do not know for certain which place we shall go to yet.

Congress convened yesterday in Washington but the President did not deliver his message until today at 12:00 o’clock. We shall get it in the morning paper tomorrow.

Oh! You had ought to be here and see the . . . old men and women, young men, young women, boys and girls, darkies and wenches, Dutchmen, Frenchmen, Irishmen, Jews, Yankees and every body else you can think of (yes indeed).

I wrote an answer last Sunday to that big family letter that I received from Dewitt the day that I received one from you. Banty [?] has got the cat in his arms and he is raising perfect h____ trying to bother us.

J. E. & G. W. & W. H. Davis and O. C. Ingersoll send their respects to you in return for yours. They stay in the same tent with me. They are pretty good boys and we have some tall times once in a while. I had to show your likeness to all of the boys in the company. They said they did not see how I could have so good-looking sister when I was so devilish homely. I tell them that all of our folks are good looking but me.

Tell Mr. Jennings that I thank him for his letter and will answer it when I get time. They are playing on a violin, banjo, tambourine and castanets in Co. B just about 20 feet from me where I am writing. They are plating an almighty good dancing tune and my pen keeps time to it and so I cannot tell half of the time what I am writing.

I wrote a letter to father today and sent him eight dollars in money. We did calculate to send him about 20 dollars but we had to buy us some boots and shorts and a number of other things to make ourselves comfortable this winter and we have got to get our likenesses taken just as soon as I can get to town. Dyar is going down tomorrow. I do not know when I shall go down again. They won’t let only one go a day from a company now.

My respects to all and my love to you. Be sure and write every week.

Later in December the Regiment went into its permanent winter quarters at “Camp Michigan.” On Saturday evening, December 21, Case wrote home to his father, brother and sister.

I seat myself this evening to answer your kind letter which I received this evening, and was very glad indeed to hear from you, but was sorry to hear that Lew was not getting better. And was very much disappointed in not receiving an answer from that draft which Dyar sent to you some time since. I put a draft of $8.00 in a letter and sent [it] to Father. Dyar wanted him to pay Uncle Harry $2 dollars out of it, and use the rest himself but I suppose it has slipped into somebody else’s pocket. I received a letter from Amanda this afternoon, she said that she had received a letter from me containing Dyar’s & my likenesses, which I sent at about the same time I sent that money. Amanda says our likenesses look as natural as life, she seemed very much pleased with them. I got a letter from Wesley last Wednesday; he said that they had a good deal of fun, but he does not seem to like their field officers. He says that they are the damndest set of fools that he ever saw, but he has not been through the mill yet, but he must wait until he has been in the service as long as I have and he will learn a great deal by that time, that he never knew before, at least that has been my experience. I wrote an answer to his letter yesterday. I told Wesley that he might send that letter to Phebe if he was a mind to and if she would write a letter to me and let me know whether she wanted our likenesses or not, and if she did to say so, we would have them taken and send them to her. But I do not know as she will write to me; she never has. There has been considerable excitement here for a week or two, the rebels have been crowding up on our pickets, they killed 4 of the New York 38th boys on one post about 4 1/2 miles from here night before last and they came up to one of the posts where some of the 2nd Michigan boys were a night or two before they (killed those NY boys) and fired on the boys. They shot two balls through one of the boys overcoat, blouse and shirt and never touched his hide. They returned the fire and then run; the rebels got their knapsacks and blankets and then went back. I shall go out on picket on Monday [December 23] and I hope they will have the kindness to come and pay us a visit while we are there, as I have not had the honor of seeing much of them since the Bull Run affair.

Oh I forgot Russell Braly was up to see me two weeks ago tomorrow. He was sutler in the 4th Regt. Mich. Infantry but he sold out that week before he came up to see Dyar & me, he calculated to start for Michigan last Monday he said that he should be gone about two weeks. He is coming back and going into business in Washington. He says he enlisted to go through the war some way and he says that he is going to do it some way. He sold out his mill there to Hudson on Monday and came away with the regiment Friday.

Dyar is well and hearty as a buck but I must stop writing for the drums are beating for tattoo and I must go to roll call so good bye. CB Wickham. [to] J Wickham ES Tyler

The very next day, Sunday, December 22, Case wrote to Amanda:

I seat myself on this Sabbath day to answer your long-looked-for letter which came to hand yesterday and I was very glad to find out among your many correspondents that you have not forgotten your unworthy brother. I also received a letter from Amelia. She said that they were all well except Lew. He does not appear to get along very well. He has been unwell a good while. When she wrote they had not received that money that we sent home. At least she did not say anything about it. I am afraid that it is lost. If it is we will not grumble. I received a letter from Wesley last Wednesday and answered it on Friday. He wrote that he was well but that he had not been home for two months, although he is within 20 [?] miles of home. He said that John was there to see him the week before he wrote to me. Dyar has got well again and is getting as tough as a bear and as for myself they can’t kill me with a meat ax, and the seccesh bullet is not molded yet that is to kill me. And there is not a rebel in the Southern Army that can take true enough aim to hit me. But enough of this blowing. The rebels did come up to our picket lines the other night and killed 4 of the New York 38th boys and the night before that they came up to where the 2nd Michigan boys were on picket and fired upon them and shot two balls through his [a member of the 4th] overcoat and blouse & short and never touched his skin. The 2nd boys returned the fire and then run. The rebels got their knapsacks and blankets and then sent back. I am going out tomorrow or next day and try my luck. We go out and stay three days and then are relieved by another brigade. We have some very good times out on picket. That is pretty exciting times. We have to keep a pretty good look out and not be caught napping. You will need not be surprised if you hear of a desperate battle here on the Potomac within a short time, and if you do hear of one, you will also hear of a splendid victory. Kit complains that she does not hear anything from you. She says she has not heard from you in a great while. She is teaching school in Alexander district ___. Celia Scott is teaching down south by the old Frenchman’s.

Write soon and if any of the girls are there with you just get them to help you if you cannot think of enough without [help]. If I get time sometime maybe I will write a composition.

Less than a week later, on December 28, Case wrote to his father, brother and sister back in Michigan.

I seat myself this evening to answer your kind letter which I received this evening and was very glad indeed to hear from your, but was sorry to hear that Lew [?] was not getting better and was very much disappointed in not receiving an answer from that draft which Dyar sent to you sometime since. I put a draft of $8 dollars in a letter and sent to Father. Dyar wanted him to pay Uncle Harry $2 dollars out of it and use the rest himself but I suppose that it has slipped into somebody’s pocket.

I received a letter from [his sister] Amanda this afternoon. She said that she had received a letter from me containing Dyar’s & my likenesses, which I sent about the same time that I sent that money. Amanda says that our likeness look just as natural as life. She seemed very much pleased with them. I got a letter from [his brother] Wesley last Wednesday. He said that they had a good deal of fun but he does not seem to like their field officers. He says that they are the damndest set of fools that he ever saw but he has not been through the mill yet, but he must wait until he has been in the service as long as I have and he will learn a great deal by that time that he never knew before, at least that has been my experience. I wrote an answer to his letter yesterday . . . I told Wesley that he might send that letter to Phebe if he was a mind to, and if she would write a letter to me and let me know whether she wanted our likenesses or now, and if she did to say so. We would have them taken and send them to here. But I do not know as she will write to me. She never has.

There has been considerable excitement here for a week or two; the rebels have been crowding up on our pickets. They killed 4 of the New York 38th boys on one post about 4 1/2 miles form here night before last, and they came up to one of the posts where some of the 2nd Michigan boys were a night or two before they killed those NY boys and fired on the [Michigan] boys. They shot two balls through of the boys overcoats, blouse and short and never touched his hide. They returned the fire and then run; the rebels got their knapsacks and blankets and then went back. I shall go out on picket on Monday and I hope they will have the kindness to come and pay us a visit while we are there, as I have not had the honor of seeing much of them since the Bull Run affair.

Oh: I like to forget. Russel Braly was up to see me two weeks ago tomorrow. He was sutler in the 4th Regt. Mich Infantry but he sold out that week before he came up to see Dyar and me, He calculated to start for Michigan last Monday. He said that he should be gone about two weeks. He is coming back and going into business in Washington. He says that he enlisted to go through the war some way and he says that he is going to do it someway. He sold out his mill in Hudson on Monday and come away with the regiment on Friday.

Dyar is well and healthy as a buck. But I must stop this writing for the drums are beating for tattoo and I must go to roll call. So good-bye. C. B. Wickham.

On the “Sabbath morn,” January 5, 1862, Case wrote to Amanda, from Fairfax County, Virginia.

I take my pen in hand this morning to answer your letter which I received night before last. I received one from Kit the same night. She says that she saw me up to Master Winans the other day and she thought that I was agoing to shoot her but I did not do it. She said that I looked just as natural as life. I wrote to her that I wanted her likeness and she said that if I would send her mine that I should certainly have hers. I wrote to her that you thought she had forgotten her but she says she has not, that she wrote you the last letter but she was agoing to write you another right away. {I can’t write today) My hand trembles so that I can’t follow the lines. Dyar is here reading your letter. He has not received one from you yet. He says ______ about that money that we sent home. We shall get our pay again in a few days. We had pretty good times here New year’s. We did not have to drill nor go on fatigue but could not leave camp for we expected to be called to arms. We expected the rebels to make an attack on our pickets. They shot one of the Lieutenants of the fifth [Michigan] regt – Dennison by name. He lived near Corunna. One ball hit him in the mouth and come out near his ear and went through his coat collar. One of the cavalrymen got hit in the thigh. The cavalrymen and the 5th scouts were in a deep ravine and the riders were covered with thick pines and the rebels were in ambush there in the pines. They were so close to our men that when they fired that they set one of the cavalrymen’s coats on fire. Our men jumped from their horses and charged on them. They chased them out of the woods. They did not know how many they killed but the next day the reb field officer of the day was up there and he says that there was six new graves there at Pohick Church.

Sunday evening. I will try and finish this mess of scribbling now. I was so nervous and uneasy today that I could not write. The pickets brought in nine rebel deserters today from the secession army. They tell a pretty hard story. They say that they do not get enough to eat, and they are so poorly clothed that they almost freeze. They have not got blankets enough to keep them warm and their clothes are almost worn out.

The expectations here in Camp now are that we shall make a forward movement pretty soon to cooperate with Gen. Burnside’s expedition. I think we shall attack Occoquan where they have got between 40,000 & 50,000 troops stationed. If we attack and sent them from here it will clear the Potomac from the rebel blockade and the rebels will either have to retreat back to Richmond or run the risk of being outflanked or surrounded by the federal army. At any rate I think there will be some fun pretty soon.

Those deserters say that the soldiers in the secession army quarrel about going out on picket, each one wants the other to go. But it is different here. Every man wants to go on picket and the only way to get along is to detail such a number every time to go.

But I must stop writing. I want you to be punctual about writing for I am not the only one that looks forward with pleasure to the day when we expect a letter from you. Billy Davis asks me every Thursday if I have got a letter from Amanda and if I have not he is just as much disappointed as I be. He says that he never saw you but he knows that you are a brick.

Case was killed in action on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia.

On June 3, 1862, Homer Thayer of Company G wrote that during the action at Fair Oaks out of the company “Sergt. Chas. T. Foster, the Color Sergt. of the Regiment was the first to fall. He was bravely holding the colors, and by his coolness and courage, doing much to encourage the boys to press on. Orderly E. F. [Frank] Siverd was soon after wounded, but still did his duty and urged his comrades on. Soon after this Corporals Case B. Wickham, John Blanchard and Nathaniel T. Atkinson, and privates Samuel Dowell and Charles T. Gaskill received fatal shots. Atkinson and Dowell were brought from the field before they died. All have been buried, and their resting places marked with aboard giving the name, company and Regiment.”

Case was presumably reinterred among the unknown soldiers buried in Seven Pines National Cemetery.

In 1870 his father was the postmaster in Oneida, Eaton County. By 1872 he was living in Vernon, Shiawassee County when he applied for a dependent father’s pension (no. 199886), but the certificate was never granted.

Friday, April 29, 2011

John Wesley Whittaker

John Wesley Whittaker, alias “Warfield,” was born on August 9, 1840, in either Cherry Valley or Picton, Ontario, Canada, the son of Buel C.

John left Canada and came to western Michigan sometime before the war broke out.

He stood 5’9” with blue eyes, auburn hair and a light complexion and was a 20-year-old mechanic, lumberman and farmer probably living in Newaygo County when he enlisted with the consent of the Justice of the Peace in Company K on May 13, 1861. John was on detached service from the end of August, 1861, and allegedly deserted on June 16 or 20, 1862, at Savage Station, Virginia, but was in fact discharged on June 20, 1862. (The charge of desertion was removed in 1899.)

He apparently never returned to Michigan but settled in Minnesota where he reentered the service as “John W. Warfield” in Company A, Tenth Minnesota infantry, on August 11, 1862, for three years, probably at Garden City, (or perhaps the Winnebago Agency, Fort Snelling or St. Paul). In any case, the Tenth Minnesota remained in Minnesota between August 12 and November 15 and participated in Sibley’s campaign to put down the Souix uprising in Minnesota between August 20 and November 14.

Due to the uprising, at organization the regiment’s companies were quickly detached to numerous locations throughout the state. Company A was stationed at Garden City upon organization. Company A, along with companies B, F, G, H and K were present at the Indian execution at mankato on December 26, 1862. The Tenth Minnesota also participated in Sibley’s expedition against the Souix in the Dakota territory from June 16 to September 12, 1863, and was at Big Mound, Dakota Territory on July 24, at Dead Buffalo Lake on July 26, Stony Lake on July 28 and along the Missouri River from July 29-30.

The regiment was transferred to St. Louis, Missouri, to garrison and provost duty at Benton Barracks, on October 7-12, 1863 and remained attached to the District of St. Louis through April of 1864. John was on leave for 20 days from December 31, 1863, and eventually returned to the regiment.

On April 22, 1864, the regiment was moved to Columbus, Kentucky where they remained until June 19 when they marched to Memphis. In June of 1864 John was at the convalescent camp, recovering apparently from some illness, in Memphis, Tennessee.

The regiment participated in Smith’s expedition to Tupelo, Mississippi on July 5-21: were at Pontotoc on July 11, near Camargo’s crossroads on July 13, and at Tupelo on July 14-15, at Old Town or Tishamingo creek on July 15. Also participated in Smith’s expedition to Oxford, Mississippi, August 1-30: Tallahatchie River August 7-9, Abbeville, on August 23. Was on Mower’s expediton to Duvall’s Bluff, Arkansas, September 2-9, marched through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Price September 17 to November 15 and moved to Nashville, November 24-30. Participated in the battle of Nashville December 15-16 and helped to pursue Hood to the Tennessee River December 27-28. Moved to Clifton, Tennessee, then to Eastport, Mississippi, December 29 to January 4, 1865 and remained on duty at Eartport until February 6 when they moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, February 6-21.

The 10th Minnesota participated in the campaign against Mobile, Alabama, and its defensive works March 17 to April 12, and in the siege of Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely March 26 to April 8; assaulted and captu5ed Fort Blakely on April 9. occupied Mobile on April 12, when they marched to Montgomery April 13-25 and remained on duty there until may when they moved to Meridian, Mississippi.

The regiment remained in garrison in Meridian until July when they were sent home to St. Paul, Minnesota, where they were mustered out on August 18, 1865. John was treated for opthalmia on June 24 and 28, 1865, and was discharged, possibly as Corporal, on August 9, 1865, at Fort Snelling, Minnesota.

After the war John remained in Minnesota where he lived until about 1892 when he moved to Eugene, Oregon. He lived the rest of his life in Eugene working variously as a blacksmith and farmer.

John was married twice to Wisconsin native Marcelline (1848-1920), first probably in 1870 or 1871; they were divorced on June 7, 1873, and remarried on July 16, 1873, in Rochester, Minnesota. They had at least eight children: Amber (b. 1872), twins Anna & Alma (b. 1874), William (b. 1876), Wesley (b. 1878), Bertha (b. 1881), Blanche (b. 1884) and Nellie (b. 1887).

John and Marcelline were separated the final two or three years of his life, due, she claimed, to his excessive drinking. She testified in 1908 that the ‘estrangement was caused by his persistent use of liquors, thus causing his presence to be intolerable, and that I feared for my life when he was intoxicated.”

An acquaintance in Oregon, James Turner testified in 1908 that he “was well acquainted with Mr. Whittaker during his life, knowing him for some ten years” and that “He was quite successful in consuming his earnings and pension money in drink. He was a fine man and mechanic when sober, but quite the reverse when under liquor.”

John received pension no. 1,247,380, drawing $8.00 in 1907, and his widow received pension no. 672,199, drawing $25.00 in 1920.

He was “found dead after a protracted drunk” of “acute alcoholism” on November 10, 1907, at Eugene, Oregon, and was buried in the Eugene I.O.O.F. cemetery.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Oscar Newman Whitney

Oscar Newman Whitney was born in 1842 in Kent County, Michigan.

(He may have been related to Oscar Whitney, brother of Abraham Whitney and son of Zerah Whitney, married to Electa, and who died in 1849 and is buried in Whitneyville cemetery in Cascade, Kent County, Michigan.)

In 1850 Oscar may have been the same Oscar Whitney, 8 years old living with Connecticut native Dennis and New York-born Sally Hines in Cannon, Kent County. In 1860 there was an 18-year-old farm laborer named Newman Whitney who, along with 76-year-old Connecticut native Zerah Whitney were living with the Misner family in Grand Rapids Township, Kent County. Curiously, Newman was also reported as a farm laborer living with 29-year-old Michigan native George Whitney who was a teamster and they were all living with the George Warner family in Plainfield, Kent County (George Warner would enlist in Company B, Third Michigan infantry in the spring of 1861). Oscar was possibly the nephew of Abraham Whitney who would also join the Third Michigan in 1861.

During the winter of 1860-61, Oscar was working as a farm laborer in Big Rapids, Mecosta County, for the Green family (as was John Shaw who would also enlist in Company K).

Oscar stood 6’1” with black eyes and hair and a dark complexion and was a 19-year-old farm hand possibly living in Kent County when he enlisted with the consent of his guardian (possibly Dennis Hines from Plainfield, Kent County) in Company K on May 13, 1861. Oscar was reported as a company cook in October of 1862, a teamster in November and December of 1862, and serving with the Brigade wagon train from January of 1863 through July.

He was listed as absent sick in Washington, DC from September 16, 1863, until he reenlisted on March 17, 1864, at Plainfield, was mustered near Culpeper, Virginia and returned to Grand Rapids on a veteran’s furlough in April.

Although he was transferred to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, apparently he never returned from his veteran’s furlough and was reported AWOL as of June 4 and then a deserter on July 19, 1864, while on veteran’s furlough.

In fact, Whitney was still in Grand Rapids and according to one local newspaper, by mid-July had become something of a “hero” around Kent County.

We have been told the following story [a local newspaper reported]which is religiously believed to be true by many of our citizens, some of whom claim to have actually seen the papers and documents proving its truth. We withhold names for the present.

A good looking and brave young soldier of the glorious Third Michigan Infantry, well brought up, who resided in this County, was overcome with fatigue and hunger, after the first Bull Run battle, and strayed from his regiment, with a comrade, on the retreat for Washington. Nearly exhausted, footsore and sick, the two met a Virginian gentleman, some distance from Alexandria, and were invited by him to partake of his hospitality. They accepted his kind offer, and were supplied with supper, a comfortable bed, and a change of rainment. Two or three days after, having somewhat recovered they proceeded to Washington and rejoined their command. But the young man from here had been smitten, during his short sojourn at the house of his benefactor, by the charms of the youthful and only daughter of his host, and frequently after that event called upon her, being always kindly received.

The Virginian was a Union man, a widower, and every wealthy. The war had deprived him of every one of his kindred, who were either in the rebel armies, or had emigrated South. Finding our young soldier a man worthy of his friendship, brave, trusty and sufficiently educated, be allowed matters to follow their natural course, and his daughter became betrothed to our hero.

When the Third returned home on furlough, our hero returned with it, to visit his home and relatives here for the first time since he enlisted. He was himself an orphan, who had been brought up by an uncle.

On his return, he found his betrothed dead -- killed by a fever. After mutual condolence in their affliction, the Virginian told our hero that he had learned to regard him as a son; that he had no other earthly kindred or friend to sustain his old age; and that he must be considered henceforth as a father.

Subsequently, while absent again, our hero received a telegraphic dispatch saying that his benefactor was dying. He hastened to reach his bedside, but was met by another dispatch announcing his death. On arriving in Virginia, he found that he had been made sole heir and executor of his benefactor's estate, by will, which was speedily probated, and which placed him in possession of property valued at over $400,000, including a well-known hotel and other property in Washington, and estate in Virginia, a number of lots in Chicago, etc.

We are informed that Colonel Kellogg is now aiding the young soldier to procure a discharge from the service, by putting several substitutes in his place, in order that he may be able to attend to the business of settling his newly acquired property; and that the young man has offered his uncle, who educated him, the management of the hotel in Washington, rent free, for a term of years.

We tell the story as it is now circulating through the city. If it turns out to be essentially correct, we shall, of course, lay its confirmation before our readers.

But, on August 23 the story took an interesting twist. “On the 18th of July last,” wrote the Eagle,

we published a romantic story, about a Grand Rapids soldier boy being in luck. The story was religiously believed among many of our people to be true, and it went the rounds of the press. It was partially rewritten and claimed as original by the Free Press folks, at Detroit, where it also took another turn among its exchanges. It was a pretty and highly romantic story, and it is too bad that it should, at this late day, be spoiled by coarse, plain facts and figures, and the hero of it be locked up in the jail. As our readers will recollect, this beautiful tale had its foundation with the first battle of Bull Run, where our hero, then a soldier in the Old Third, in the grand panic, wandered from his regiment to the residence of a rich Virginian, widower, with an only daughter, where he was kindly cared for and beloved at sight by the fair daughter. In short, our hero, whose name is [Oscar] Newman Whitney, reciprocated the love showered upon him, recovered from his injuries and returned on a furlough to his home in this city. When next he visited the home of his enamored fair one, he found that a sudden disease had carried her off and that her rich father was in a fair way to follow her, as he did in a short time thereafter, leaving, as he had not kin or relatives, all his vast estate willed to and in the hands of this fortunate young Michigander.

Since this vast amount of property, a the story goes, came into the said young man’s hands, he has quite naturally carried a pretty high head, and ha travel;ed extensively in the spread eagle style, obtaining money to do so upon his reported wealth.-- He has traveled hither and thither, looking after his vast estates, from the time the story started until last evening, when he, together with hi cousin Chas. Whitney, was arrested at the Half Way House, between this city and Kalamazoo, by officers Covell, Parkman and Ferris [formerly of Company A], brought back to this city and lodged in jail, on charges, we believe, of having obtained money upon false pretenses.

How this gilt-edged tory originated and has been successfully maintain as true to this time, is still somewhat of a mystery; but that he obtained money upon its supposed truth, of Mr. J. C. Richardson, of Plainfield, a personal friend of his and the Whitney family, at various times, for the purpose of securing his papers, etc., amounting in all to the snug little sum of $1,900, is no fiction.

When he obtained money of Mr. Richardson -- at various times from $200 to $500 -- young Whitney would place in his hands, for safe keeping and in order to show him that all was right, large envelopes, weighty with papers, firmly sealed with wax, addressed to himself, and filed substantially as followed, upon the various document, to wit: “Deeds of my property in New York”; Deed of the National Hotel in Washington”; “My property in Chicago”; “An account of my personal property”; “Last will and testament,” etc.

Among other quite natural luxuries that young Whitney has recently been indulging in, is that of marrying one of the pretty dancing girls, of the Varieties Theatre, at Detroit, with whom he has been sojourning here, passing the honey-moon for the past week.

Whitney, with several other theatrical chums, had made arrangements for a grand wedding and pleasure tour, along the shores of lake Michigan, and in order to do this handsomely, he must have more money to purchase a vessel, etc., the call upon Mr. Richardson, for which, like the last straw broke the camel’s back. Mr. R. smelled a mice, or rather was fearful that all was not right, and accordingly he came to this city yesterday, with hi huge pack of sealed deeds and mortgages, and placed them in the hands of officer Covell, when the envelopes were opened, and found to contain nothing but blank papers. Whew! didn’t some folk’s eyes elongate lengthwise and widthwise about that time, and did they not discover a “mare’s nest” with nary an egg in it.

Upon this blank discovery, Tom Clark, the theatrical vocalist, was immediately arrested and lodged in jail, as an accessory, followed by the arrest of the hero, Newman Whitney, and his cousin Charles Whitney.

To be continued when the records of the courts reveal further interesting facts.

Two days later, on August 25 the Eagle reported that

the fortunate or unfortunate hero of the romantic story of love and untold wealth, Orson [Oscar] Newman Whitney, was taken with his chums, Charles Whitney, and Tom Clark, before Justice Sinclair yesterday, for examination upon the charge as principal and assistants of obtaining money of J. C. Richardson, upon false pretenses.

The leading offender, and substantial “agony” in the case, waived an examination and was again committed to jail, to await the sitting of the next Circuit court, for want of bail in the sum of $10,000. The examination of the case of the other two young men, Charles Whitney and Tom Clark, was put off until the 21st of September next, and they were committed for want of security for their appearance at that time, in the sum of $5,000 each.

What a wicked world this is to be sure; a world in which wealth is quite fleeting, and true love never did run smooth, and where in beautiful stories terminate so ridiculously as the one whose hero above mentioned is in a common jail.”

The following day, the Eagle wrote that “O. N. Whitney, Charles Whitney and Tom Clark, were taken before E. Smith, Jr., Circuit Court Commissioner, this forenoon, when the amount of security in each case was reduced, bail given and they were set free. O. N. Whitney charged with obtaining property upon false pretenses, was admitted to bail in the sum of $5,000, for his appearance and answer at the next term of the Circuit Court; and Charles Whitney and Tom Clark were held to bail in the sum of $2,000 each, for their appearance on examination before Justice Sinclair, on the 21st of September next, to answer to the charge of conspiracy to defraud. Chas. Whitney and Tom Clark say they have been a greatly deceived as any one in this matter and that they can and will establish that fact on their examination.”

On the morning of the 26th, according to the Eagle, Oscar, who by now was widely known as having deserted from the army, was released from prison

on $5,000 bail, under the charge of having obtained goods upon false pretenses, he immediately left for the East, but was met by an officer at Ionia, who had received a dispatch from Detroit to arrest one O. N. Whitney as a deserter, which little job the officer accomplished, upon the arrival of the train bearing the romancer toward sunrise.

Whitney, finding himself in this unpleasant condition -- weighty responsibilities rapidly accumulating upon his young shoulders, he induced the officer to accompany him to Detroit, instead of the officer inducing him to stop over, whom he assured that all would be right, and that he would pay his expenses. The officer consented to his propsoitions, and off they went upon the flying train. But young Whitney, as it appears, changed his mind ere he reached St. Johns, and when the cars were in full motion concluded to stop in the woods insytead of Detroitm abd thereupon watching an opportunity when the officer’s attention was turned from him, he leaped from the cars and made tracks into the wilds; and that is thge last that has been seen of the hero of romances.

On September 21, 1864, “the time set for the appearance of Tom Clark and Charles Whitney, held to bail for their appearance and examination upon the charge of being accessory to O. N. Whitney in the crime of fraud -- obtaining money under false pretenses -- the parties appeared before Justice Sinclair, where no one appearing against them they were discharged. This is about as everyone supposed the case would result so far as these young men were concerned; no one supposing that they were really guilty of any crime in the case. The real agony and criminal in the affair, if there is one, has fled to parts unknown.”

By 1886 Oscar was reportedly working as a hoop-maker and residing in Cedar Springs, Kent County. (In 1870 there was a 25-year-old Illinois native named Oscar Whitney working as a clerk and living in Sparta, Kent County; this same Oscar Whitney was probably living with his mother in Saginaw County in 1880.) He may have been living in Grand Rapids’ Seventh ward by 1894.

In 1899 one Annie Louise Newman, widow of Oscar W. Newman, was living in Michigan when she applied for and received a pension (no. 488176) based on Oscar’s service in Company F, Third and Fifth Michigan infantry. As far as is known, no Oscar “Newman” served in a Michigan regiment.

Curiously there was one “Oscar M. Whitney,” born in Kent County, Michigan who joined a Wisconsin regiment in late 1864. He survived the war and eventually moved out west to Washington State. (According to one source he enlisted in the “1st Wisconsin Light Artillery. He was born in Kent County, Michigan. While a resident of Taycheedah, Wisconsin, he enlisted at Fond du Lac, Wisconsin as a Private on 31 Oct 1864 and mustered into his Regiment on the same date. He was mustered out of service on 18 Jul 1865 at Camp Washburn, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While living in Minnesota, he applied for a veteran’s pension on 24 Aug 1889. He was living in Seattle when he was admitted to the Veterans Home on 21 Mar 1917 at the age of 68. He died 29 Oct 1919.”)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Abraham Johnson “John” Whitney

Abraham Johnson “John” Whitney was born in 1820 in Canton, Steuben County, New York, the son of Zerah (1784-1873) and Jane (Dermond, 1788-1843).

Abraham’s parents were married in Danby, Tompkins County, New York (where Jane was born) in February of 1808 and quickly settled in Canton, Steuben County, New York where they lived for many years. Zerah moved his family west and by 1832 they were living in Buffalo, Erie County, New York where he was working as a tanner on Ohio Street.

Abraham came to Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan in 1834 or 1836 and in about 1840 enlisted in the regular army and was sent to Copper Harbor on Lake Superior. When war broke out in 1847 he was sent to Mexico; he reenlisted, and was sent out to California about 1849. He returned to Michigan shortly afterwards, taking up the trade of farmer.

His father Zerah left New York and eventually settled in Hopkins, Allegan County, Michigan, and by 1850 Zerah and Abraham were both living with Abraham’s older brother Ezra and his family in Cascade, Kent County. By 1860 Abram was probably living in Grand Rapids, Kent County. (He was possibly the uncle of Oscar Whitney who would also join the Third Michigan in 1861.)

Abraham was married perhaps as many as four times, atlhough this cannot be confirmed: He may have been married to one Anne or Annie, to one Julia Morse, and/or to one Virginia Chatterdon. In any case he was married to Englishwoman Frances Bennett (b. 1841) and they probably had at least three children: Larry (b. 1858), Elizabeth (b. 1863) and Willard J. (b. 1877). (Elizabeth had been born in Ontario, Canada.)

He was 41 years old and possibly living in Hastings, Barry County when he enlisted as Second Lieutenant of Company I on May 13, 1861, commissioned First Lieutenant on August 1, 1861, and transferred to Company G, replacing Lieutenant Robert Jefferds. Whitney very possibly joined Company G sometime in late July, and in fact, on August 1, Frank Siverd of Company G, wrote to the Republican that Whitney had just replaced Jefferds as First Lieutenant.

Apparently Whitney was generally liked, and the transferal caused no problems within Company G. Charles Church of Company G wrote home on August 8, 1861, that “Our first Lieutenant is a Lieutenant out of Co. I. He is a good one.” And George Miller of Company A wrote home three days later that “John Whitney has been promoted to First Lieutenant of company G. He makes a good officer and is universally like by his men which I find is a great difference from some of those who held this station.” Siverd agreed. He wrote on September 8 that “Lieutenant Whitney commands the company, and is deservedly popular, he knows neither fear nor favor, and when he becomes a little better acquainted with the character of the men he has to deal with, will be entirely successful as a commanding officer.”

Sometime in 1861 Whitney’s wife had come east to be with her husband (they had one son). George Miller wrote home on November 11, 1861, that he had just seen “Lieutenant Whitney’s wife the other day. She has got to be quite a lady.” He added that “Whitney is acting as Captain of company G.” Miller wrote his parents that on December 28 that Whitney, accompanied by his wife, left that day for Michigan on recruiting service, and that Whitney would stop by to see his family.

Whitney arrived in Detroit on the morning of January 1, 1862, “and reported himself,” wrote the Free Press, “to Colonel Backus, who has all the recruiting in this state, under his supervision. By his directions Lieut. Whitney will shortly be assigned his headquarters, and those wishing to enlist in a first-class Regiment of infantry cannot do better than apply to the Lieutenant for admission to the Third.” George Miller certainly hoped so. He wrote home on January 15, 1862, “I presume Whitney will get some of those fellows at home out here. I hope he will, I should like to see somebody from there first rate.” And on February 11, Siverd wrote to Republican that Whitney was in Michigan “on the recruiting service, and would be glad to receive the names of any who are desirous of entering immediately into active service. ”

By the time the Virginia “Peninsular” campaign began in the spring of 1862, Whitney had rejoined his company. Siverd informed the Republican on May 2 that “Captain Jefferds, Lieutenant Whitney and H. L. Thayer arrived in camp recently. The two latter, from Michigan, were most warmly welcomed.” Whitney was wounded slightly in the arm by gunfire on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and shortly afterwards commissioned Captain of Company G on June 9, 1862, officially replacing Captain Jefferds. He was absent with leave from July 6, and according to Homer Thayer of Company G, as of at least July 5, Whitney was “sick and at the hospital at Fortress Monroe, but writes me that he will soon be back to join his company.” In fact, however, Whitney resigned on September 30, 1862.

After he resigned Whitney returned to his home in Grand Rapids. By 1870 he was working as a blind maker and living with his wife Frances and two children in Grand Rapids’ First Ward. By 1880 he was working as a chair maker and living with his wife and son Willard in Grand Rapids’ Fifth Ward. He was living in Grand Rapids in 1888 and 1890, indeed he probably lived out the remainder of his life in Grand Rapids, serving as Sixth Ward alderman and as a supervisor for the Township of Grand Rapids.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, and inducted into the Old Settlers’ Association in January of 1880. He was also probably a member of the Universalist church. He received pension no. 117,186, dated June of 1871, drawing $4.00 in 1883.

Abram died of malarial fever around midnight Wednesday-Thursday, March 11-12, 1891, at his home at 82 Monroe Street in Grand Rapids, and the funeral service was held at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday at the Universalist church. He was buried in Greenwood cemetery: section E lot 44.

In April of 1891 Frances was living in Michigan when she applied for and received a pension (no. 357977).

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Henry M. Whiteford

Henry M. Whiteford was born in 1840 in Ohio.

(There was one Henry M. Whitford or Whiteford, born about 1840 in Michigan, probably the son of Linus (b. 1835) and Anna (b. 1820). New York natives both Henry M.’s parents were married sometime before 1838 by which time they were already living in Michigan. In 1845 Linus was living in York, Washtenaw County. And in 1850 Linus had settled the family on a farm in Paris, Kent County where Henry attended school with his siblings. Henry M. was married to New York native Mary (b. 1842), and they had at least three children: Mary A. (b. 1860), Flora (b. 1862), James (b. 1866) and Emma (b. 1867). By 1860 he was working as a farm laborer living with his wife and daughter Mary in Paris, Kent County. Henry eventually returned to Michigan after he was discharged. Henry M. was living on a farm in Paris with his wife Mary and four children in 1870. His father was living in Gaines, Kent County in 1870. He was still living in Paris in 1880.)

Henry was probably 20 years old and possibly living in Kent County when he enlisted (apparently with the consent of the Justice of the Peace) in Company K on May 13, 1861. Henry was reported as a teamster in July of 1862, a saddler in August, a teamster in September, and a saddler from October through December of 1862. He was a saddler with the Brigade wagon train from January of 1863 through May, a teamster in June, and serving with the ambulance train, probably as a teamster in July.

He was a teamster in the ammunition train from August through September, on detached service with Third Brigade in October, and at Corps headquarters in November (probably driving wagons). He was a teamster in the ammunition train from December of 1863 through January of 1864, a teamster at Brigade headquarters from February through May and was mustered out on June 20, 1864, at Detroit.

Henry eventually returned to Michigan.

He was married Ohio native Clara or Clarissa (b. 1846), and they had at least five children: Harriet (b. 1866), Lillian (b. 1868), Charles (b. 1872), Betsey (b. 1875) and Richard (b. 1879).

By 1870 Henry C. was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Rutland, Barry County; also living with them was 58-year-old Ohio native David Whitford. Henry eventually settled in Berrien County, and by 1880 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Niles’ Second Ward, Berrien County; he also worked as a mechanic and laborer.

(Curiously Berrien County death records lists two Henry “Whitfords”, as having died by drowning in May of 1882: one is age 43, a mechanic born in Ohio, died in Niles City, of accidental drowning, on May 9, 1882, and the other is a laborer, also born in Ohio, who died in Niles on May 18.)

In 1879 he applied for and received a pension (no. 295096).

He was probably living in Berrien County when he died of drowning on May 18, 1882, and was buried in Silverbrook cemetery, Niles, Berrien County: block 8, no. 8 (city addition).

Clara remarried to one Mr. Millard and was living in New Buffalo, Berrien County in 1890, the same year she applied as a guardian for a minor child pension (no. 486212). By 1908 she had probably been widowed again and was living in Illinois when she applied for a pension (no. 909302).

Monday, April 25, 2011

Thomas White

Thomas White was born in 1839 in Ireland, the son of Maurice (b. 1804).

Thomas immigrated to America with his family, possibly passing through Canada along the way, and eventually settled in western Michigan. By 1860 Thomas was working as a laborer and living with two older brothers and a younger sister in Croton, Newaygo County. (Nearby lived his father and two other brothers on one side, and on the other side lived the Carpenter brothers, Benjamin, John and Henry, all three of whom would enlist in Company K.)

Thomas was 22 years old and possibly in Muskegon, Muskegon County when he enlisted in Company H on May 6, 1861. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers,” was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties.) He was promoted to Corporal on November 1, 1862, and reported missing in action on May 2, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Virginia. Thomas was returned to the Regiment on November 4, 1863, at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia, and was mustered out on June 20, 1864, at Detroit.

After his discharge from the army Thomas returned to Muskegon County, and was living in Muskegon when he married Rose or Rosey Connelly (b. 1845) on October 17, 1864, in Muskegon, and they had six children: Frank (b. 1865), John (b. 1869), William (b. 1871), James (b. 1873), Edward (b. 1875) and Mary (b. 1878).

By 1880 Thomas was working on the river and living with his wife and children on Muskegon Avenue in Muskegon’s First Ward. For a while he lived in Dalton, Muskegon County, working as a laborer, and was living in Muskegon in December of 1887 when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association.

In 1880 Thomas applied for and received a pension (no. 422633).

He died in Muskegon or Newaygo County in 1889, or possibly in Alpena, Alpena County, on February 27, 1901, and may have been buried in Evergreen cemetery, Alpena: block 14, lot no. 35. (In 1890 there was one Thomas White listed as living in Alpena, next door to one Lewis White. Unfortunately no unit was identified.)

His widow applied for and received a pension (no., 649502).

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Samuel White Jr.

Samuel White Jr. was born on October 1, 1829, in Ontario, Canada, the son of Samuel Sr. (1781-1873) and Lydia (Morgan, 1793-1875).

New York natives Samuel Sr. and Lydia were married in 1812 in Preble, NewYork, where they lived for some years. By 1818 they were in Palmyra, New York but by at least 1823 were living in Nissouri, Ontario, Canada. They remained in Canada for a numbere of years. Samuel Sr. moved his family from on to the Grand Rapids area in December of 1836, “with a team of six yoke oxen, and spent New Year’s Day at Gull Prairie, and in the spring of 1837 settled in Walker, where [his father] took up 160 acres on sec. 23 [what is now the Greenwood and Mt. Calvary cemeteries on west Leonard Street], and continued to buy land until he owned about 400 acres.” Samuel Sr. “cut the first road and drove the first team into the wilderness of Walker,” and was described as “a practical miller, and his sons acquired a knowledge of the business that proved useful in a new country.

Local Grand Rapids historian Charles Tuttle wrote in 1874 that upon arriving in the Walker area “Mr. White built the first frame barn west of the Grand River, and soon after erected a saw mill on Indian creek,” and as a young boy Samuel Jr. was reputed proficient in the language of the local native Americans. By 1850 Samuel Jr. was living with his family in Walker.

Samuel Jr. married his first wife, New York native Amy Eliza Root (b. 1835) on March 8, 1851, probably in Kent County, and according to one source they had at least three children: Isadora Monetta (b. 1853), Frederick Emmett (b. 1857) and May Amarilla (b. 1867). They divorced sometime before 1877.

By 1859-60 Samuel Jr. was living with his family on the Muskegon road (present-day west Leonard Street), near the corporation line, and in 1860 he was a farmer living with his family in Walker, Kent County, where his father owned a substantial farm and property. (Dayton Peck, who would also enlist in Company B, worked for Samuel Sr.) On July 10, 1860, Samuel joined the Grand Rapids Artillery, commanded by Captain Baker Borden. (The GRA would serve as the nucleus for Company B, also commanded by Borden, of the Third Michigan Infantry.)

Samuel Jr. stood 5’8” with blue eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was 31 years old and probably living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted as either First Corporal or Sergeant in Company B on May 13, 1861. By late June of 1862 was sick in a hospital in Bottom’s Bridge, Virginia, suffering from debility. He may have been reduced tot he ranks sometime in the summer of 1862 since he was reported as a Private and absent sick in the Regimental hospital from August of 1862 through December.

By January of 1863 he was sick at a hospital in Maryland, and he remained hospitalized, probably in Cumberland, Maryland until he was discharged on April 1, 1863, at Cumberland for a varicose ulcer of the left leg. According to the discharging physician, White also suffered from “scrofula and cutaneous eruption. He had been disabled for duty since June 1862. Protracted and severe marches are the supposed causes of the enlarged veins and consequent ulcer.”

Samuel returned to his home in Walker where he reentered the service as Commissary Sergeant of Company D, Tenth Michigan cavalry on September 16, 1863, for 3 years, crediting Walker, and was mustered on October 2 at Grand Rapids where the regiment was organized between September 18 and November 18, 1863, when it was mustered into service. It left Michigan for Lexington, Kentucky on December 1, 1863, and participated in numerous operations, mostly in Kentucky and Tennessee throughout the winter of 1863-64. Most of its primary area of operations would eventually be in the vicinity of Strawberry Plains, Tennessee. He was reported in the commissary department in February of 1864, and promoted to Second Lieutenant on January 31, 1865, at Knoxville, Tennessee, commissioned November 5, 1864, and soon afterwards returned home for a short visit.

He was on recruiting duty in Michigan from March of 1865 through May, and in June of 1865 he was Second Lieutenant of Company C, replacing Lieutenant Hinman. He resigned on August 26, 1865. According to one postwar report White “suffered the loss of an eye and part of the right shin bone from Confederate fire,” however the circumstances are unknown.

Samuel again returned to his home in Walker where for many years after the war he farmed on 80 acres of his own land as well as 35 acres of his father’s property, which he continued to improve. By 1870 he was working as a farmer (he owned $7000 worth of real estate) and living with his wife and children in Walker; also living with them was Samuel’s parents. Samuel Jr. married his second wife Mrs. Mary Jane Mercer Schill (b. 1838 in Canada, d. 1922) in 1877.

By 1880 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Walker. Samuel operated a steam cider-mill in Walker in the early 1880s, and was living in Grand Rapids by 1882; indeed, he lived the remainder of his life in the Grand Rapids area. In 1879 (?) he applied for and received a pension (no. 271192).

Samuel was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, and for many years served as commander of Grand Army of the Republic Champlin Post No. 29. The Eagle wrote on October 2, 1884, that “Samuel White, Commander of Champlin Post G.A.R., having attained his 55th year yesterday was agreeably surprised last evening by about 40 couples of his old comrades and friends attired in sheets and pillow cases. The commander was somewhat surprised and at first thought a graveyard had broken loose upon him, but after becoming acquainted with the situation joined the party and all enjoyed themselves until midnight when they left for home all wishing the commander many more anniversaries.” He remained with the Champlin Post until the membership dwindled to such a level that the few survivors were incorporated into the Custer Post No. 5.

In 1885 Samuel was living in Grand Rapids, in Walker in 1890, in Grand Rapids, Third Ward in 1894, in Comstock Park, Kent County in 1908, and at 315 Walker Street (subsequently changed to 1269 South Fifth Avenue) in Grand Rapids from 1909-11. “He was known,” wrote the Grand Rapids News in 1920, “as one of the best fishermen in the County and until he was 85 shot his allowance of deer each year.”

Samuel died of senility on Monday, July 12, 1920, at his home at 865 Franklin Street in Grand Rapids, and the funeral services were held at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday at the residence. He was buried in Greenwood cemetery: section K lot 35.

In August of that same year his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 900481).

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Norman G. White

Norman G. White was born in 1843, in New York, probably the son of Levi (b. 1808) and Julie (b. 1805).

New York natives Levi and Julie were married, sometimebefore 1829 presumably in New York where they resided for many years. By 1850 Norman (or Nathan ) was attending school with one of his older sisters, Frances and living with his family on a large farm in Attica, Wyoming County, New York. Levi eventually left New York and by the time he settled in Michigan had remarried to New York native Phebe A. (b. 1808). By 1860 Norman was working as a farm laborer and living with his family in Bowne, Kent County.

Norman was 18 years old and probably still living in Bowne when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861. Norman was apparently a good friend of George Miller of Company A, and it is quite possible that Miller, who had also lived in Bowne before the war had known White prior to enlisting. In any case, Miller mentioned White on at least two occasions in letters home in the fall of 1861. On October 15, 1861, Miller wrote to his parents that he had “bought a nice little revolver a while ago for $8 and sold it again to Norman White for the same price,” and on October 24 he wrote home that he and White “went down to Mount Vernon the other day, . . .”

Both Norman and George were killed in action on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and are presumably among the unknown soldiers buried at Seven Pines National Cemetery.

No pension seems to be available.

Norman’s parents were still living in Bowne in 1870 and in Caledonia, Kent County in 1880.

Friday, April 22, 2011

James H. and Myron Alonzo White

James H. White was born in 1840 in Ypsilanti, Washtenaw County, Michigan, the son of Benjamin (1813-1853) and Esther (Noyes, b. 1818).

James’ parents were both born in New York and presumably were married there. In any case they had settled in Michigan by 1839 and by 1841 when Myron was born they were probably living in Yankee Springs, Barry County. By 1850 James was attending school with his younger brother Myron and living with the family in Ada, Kent County, where their father worked as a wheel-wright and carriage-maker. By 1860 James was working as a farm laborer for the Dennis family in Ada. (By 1860 his father had apparently died and Esther was listed as head of household and working as a farmer in Ada.)

James stood 5’5” with gray eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was a 22-year-old farmer probably living in Ada when he enlisted in Company B on February 26, 1862, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered the same day; James’ younger brother Myron also enlisted in Company B on February 26, and both may have been related to Samuel White.

James reportedly shot his thumb off on June 1, 1862 (so did Myron White), and deserted on July 1 at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia (as did Myron). James returned from desertion on August 15, although according to one report both James and Myron were among the sick and wounded soldiers who had arrived at Detroit Barracks around the first of August. However, another source reported that by early September he was in Carver hospital in Washington suffering from a slight sickness.

In any case, James reportedly deserted again on October 8 at Edward’s Ford (or Ferry), Maryland, but in fact he was discharged at Carver hospital in Washington, DC, on November 2, 1862, suffering from valvular disease of the heart with stiffness of second joint of the right thumb. (His brother Myron also allegedly deserted in late October at Edward’s Ferry but he too was discharged for a wounded thumb at Emory hospital in Washington.)

James returned to Michigan after the war.

He was married to Emma L., and they had at least one child: Percy (1879-1880).

By 1880 he was working as a stone and brick mason in Gaines, Kent County; also living with them was his niece, 6-year-old Lottie Burnett.

In 1879 he applied for and received a pension (no. 290870).

James probably died in 1905 and probably in Michigan.

In any case his widow was residing in Michigan in 1905 when she applied for and received a pension (no. 613703).

Myron Alonzo White was born on August 23, 1841, in Yankee Springs, Barry County, Michigan, the son of Benjamin (1813-1853) and Esther (Noyes, b. 1818).

Myron’s parents were both born in New York and presumably were married there. In any case they had settled in Michigan by 1839 and by 1841 when Myron was born they were probably living in Yankee Springs, Barry County. By 1850 Myron was attending school with his older brother James and living with the family in Ada, Kent County, where their father worked as a wheel-wright and carriage-maker. By 1860 his father had apparently died and Esther was listed as head of household and working as a farmer in Ada. By 1860 Myron was living in Grand Rapids.

Myron stood 5’7” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was a 20-year-old farmer possibly living in Ada or Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company B on February 22, 1862, at Grand Rapids, and was mustered on February 24; Myron’s older brother James also enlisted in Company B on February 26, and both may have been related to Samuel White.

Myron was wounded in the right thumb on May 31, 1862 at Fair Oaks, Virginia (James White shot his thumb off on June 1), and allegedly deserted on July 1 at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia (so did James).

Myron was returned to the Regiment in August and was absent sick in the hospital through September. according to one source, by the first week of August both Myron and James were among the sick and wounded soldiers who had recently arrived at Detroit Barracks. He allegedly deserted again on October 23 at Edward’s Ford (or Ferry), Maryland, but in fact was discharged on October 16, 1862, at Emory hospital, Washington, DC, for “the loss of the thumb of the right hand in battle, and general debility resulting from typhoid fever.”

He eventually returned to Michigan, probably to Ada, Kent County which he listed as his mailing address on his discharge paper.

He was married to Ohio native Sarah L. (1853-1914), and they had at least four children: Mary (b. 1873), Louis (b. 1875), Martin (b. 1878), Cora (b. 1879) and a son (d. 1899).

By 1880 he was working in a mill and living with his wife and children in Pierson, Montcalm County. In 1883 he was living in Pierson, Montcalm County where he worked for some time as a laborer. He was still living in Pierson in 1888 and 1890, 1894 and 1911 (?). Indeed he probably lived in Pierson the rest of his life. His father-in-law died in Pierson in 1903 and was buried in Pierson cemetery

Myron received pension no. 161,095, dated June of 1879, drawing $2.00 for loss of right thumb.

Myron died on December 13, 1907, presumably in Pierson, and was buried in Pierson Township cemetery (his wife was also buried in Pierson cemetery in 1914).

In January of 1908 his widow was still living in Michigan when she applied for and received a pension (no. 664240).

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Coda White

Coda White was born in 1836 or 1837 in Upper Canada, probably Ontario and probably the son of John (1799-1846) and Jane (Van Brockelin, b. 1797).

New York natives John and Jane were married in 1817 in New York where they lived for some years. By 1824 they had settled in Canada where they would live the rest of their lives. In 1846 John died in Charlottesville, Norfolk County, Ontario, and was buried in Fairview cemetery in Charlottesville. Coda (or “Cada”) left Canada and settled in western Michigan sometime before the war broke out.

He stood 5’5” with gray eyes, dark hair and a fair complexion and was a 24-year-old carpenter possibly living in Newaygo County when he enlisted in Company H on May 13, 1861. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers,” was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties.)

He was probably wounded in the back at Fair Oaks, Virginia, on May 31, 1862, and according to one eyewitness report, as of July 26 he was in the Wood Street hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, “wounded in the back” but “getting well.” He remained absent sick in the hospital from July of 1862 through December, but eventually recovered from his wound and returned to duty. He was awarded the Kearny Cross for his participation in the battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia, on May 3, 1863, and reenlisted as a Corporal on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Muskegon, Muskegon County.

Coda was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864, probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February and was severely wounded in the arm in early May during the Wilderness-Spotsylvania movements. He was reported absent sick in the hospital in May and was still absent sick or wounded when he was transferred as a Corporal to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and remained absent wounded through July of 1864. He was promoted to First Sergeant on February 22, 1865, and was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

No pension seems to be available.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Charles White

Charles White was born in 1842 in Baden, Germany.

Charles came to America and settled in Michigan sometime before 1863.

He stood 5’7” with hazel eyes, light hair and a fair complexion and was a 21-year-old book-keeper possibly living in Warren, Macomb County when he became a substitute for one George Gill who had been drafted on February 18, 1863, for 9 months from Warren. He was placed in Unassigned, and sent to the Regiment on March 6, 1863, but there is no record of his having ever joined the Regiment.

No pension seems to be available.

He may in fact have enlisted in Battery K, First Michigan Light Artillery on February 5, 1863, at Oakland County for 3 years (age 18), and mustered February 20. If so, he was transferred to the Seventh cavalry on February 20. Again, but again there is no further record, nor is there a record of his enlistment or transferal in the Seventh Michigan cavalry records. He may have then been a substitute for John Dropp who was drafted, and enlisted in Unassigned, Twelfth Michigan infantry on October 12, 1864, at Detroit for 3 years, age 21, mustered the same day. If so, he was then transferred to Company G at Detroit on October 14 for 1 year, and mustered the same day. Again, there is no further record. He may have enlisted in Company I, Fourth Reorganized Michigan infantry on August 25, 1864 at Pontiac, Oakland County for 3 years (age 21), mustered on September 8, and deserted at Pontiac on September 12, 1864. There is no further record.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Edward C. Wheelock

Edward C. Wheelock was born in 1840 in Calhoun County, Michigan.

By 1850 Edward was attending school and living with a wealthy farmer named George White and his wife Jane and their daughter Ida family in Eckford, Calhoun County. By 1860 Edward was working as an apprentice wood-turner living in Allegan, Allegan County; he lived near John Champion, who would also join Company F. (Also living in Allegan, Allegan County in 1860 Everett was 22-year-old Everett Wheelock, born in Ohio, and the son of Jonathan and Sarah Wheelock of Battle Creek, Calhoun County; see footnote above.)

Edward stood 5’7” with brown eyes, black hair and a light complexion and was 21 years old and probably still living in Allegan County when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861. According to George Bailey, another Allegan boy who would also enlist in Company F, on June 12, 1861, the day before the Regiment was scheduled to leave Grand Rapids for Washington, Edward and Alonzo C. Hill (“Big Bub” as Bailey called him) were brought to Grand Rapids “by Andrew Oliver for the purpose of enlisting (with us), both of whom experienced some trouble then and later, by not having been properly mustered.

They were, however, accepted by the captains of Co. F (Ed.) and Co. I (Bub) and were mustered by a justice of the peace, which was later confirmed, and they were properly mustered at Washington DC.” (Company F was commanded by Captain John Dennis of Grand Rapids and Company I was led by Captain George Weatherwax of Georgetown, Ottawa County.)

Edward was reported as a bugler in July of 1862, and as Brigade bugler from August through July of 1863. He was awarded the Kearny Cross for his participation in the battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia, on May 3, 1863. George Bailey, who was a good friend of Edward’s, wrote in his diary on September 19, 1863, that “Ed Wheelock and myself went to our train and found a box that had been expressed to us from home. It had been broken into by the quartermaster and all the wine except one bottle taken out and all the cake eaten.”

Edward reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Oakfield, Kent County, was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February. On April 26, 1864, George Bailey, who was then Hospital Steward, noted in his diary that Edward had been taken to the hospital sick, and on April 30, “All our sick were sent to Washington this morning. Ed. C. Wheelock being one of them.” Edward was still absent sick when he was transferred to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and he remained absent sick through December of 1864.

It is unclear from the record whether Edward ever rejoined the Regiment again. In any case, on May 22, 1865 he was transferred to the non-commissioned staff as Principal Musician, near Washington, DC, and was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war Edward returned to Michigan. He was living in Allegan in 1874, and indeed he probably spent the rest of his life in the Allegan area. He married Emily E. (1847-1926).

He was possibly a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. In 1874 he applied for and received a pension (no. 280517).

Edward became seriously ill about 1874 and never recovered. He died in Allegan on November 10, 1876, and was buried in Oakwood cemetery, Allegan.

During the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association reunion of 1876 Association Secretary Silas K. Pierce read a “letter from the wife of the late Edward C. Wheelock, of Allegan, a former member of the Regiment,” which said “that Mr. Wheelock had died after an illness lasting two years and seven months. Mrs. Wheelock asked the cooperation of the Association in obtaining for her a pension from the Government.”

In 1878 Emily applied for and received a widow’s pension (no. 235405). She was still living in Allegan in 1890.

Monday, April 18, 2011

John Wheeler

John Wheeler was born on May 29, 1839, in Gaines Basin, Orleans County, New York, the son of William K. (b. 1815) and Louisa (Woodward, b. 1818).

Vermont native William married New York-born Louisa and they settled in New York for some years. William was still living in Gaines, New York in 1840, but he moved his family to Michigan (probably from New York) around 1847, and by 1850 John was attending school with an older brother and living with his family in Grand Rapids, Kent County. In September of 1855 John was probably living in Grand Rapids when he joined the Grand Rapids Artillery, commanded by Captain Lucius Patterson. (Captain Baker Borden would eventually succeed Patterson, and the GRA would serve as the nucleus for Company B, Third Michigan Infantry, also commanded by Borden.)

By 1859-60 John was working as a carpenter and residing with his family on Turner between Bridge and First Streets on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids. In 1860 he was a master carpenter working with his father (also a master carpenter) and living with his family in Grand Rapids’ Fourth Ward.

John was 22 years old and probably still living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted as Musician, probably as Drummer, in Company B on May 13, 1861. He was transferred to the Band on July 1, 1861 when he was promoted to Principal Musician. He was discharged on January 17, 1863, at Camp Pitcher, as a “member of the Band and not as a Musician.”

After he left the army John eventually returned to Grand Rapids. He married Michigan native Carrie Robens (b. 1843) on October 16, 1864, in Grand Rapids, and they had one son: Ernest (b. 1871).

By 1870 he was apparently living with his parents (there is no mention of his wife in the 1870 census) and working for his father who was a s ash manufacturer in Grand Rapids’ Fourth Ward. He was residing on Turner Street in 1874 when the Democrat reported on October 17, that

Last evening a party assembled at the residence of Mr. John Wheeler on Turner Street, for the purpose of celebrating the tenth [?] anniversary of Mr. and Mr. William K. Wheeler’s marriage day with a tin wedding, the latter named gentleman and lady being father and mother of Mr. John Wheeler. For the purpose of rendering the occasion more enjoyable the proceeding were made a surprise to the wedded pair, who had not been made acquainted with the auspicious event in which they were to be the principal actors. Accordingly, they were invited, among the other guests, and the Knight Templar Band, of whom Mr. Wheeler Jr., a member, also conceived the happy thought and intention of being presented a large number of ‘priceless’ presents, of many devices, and composed of real tin, and no sham, awaited the pair, they having been sent in in advance by friends and acquaintances. It is needless to say that the event was extremely pleasant and vastly enjoyable to all who were there. The music furnished by the band was very fine, and no doubt was quite as deservingly appreciated as were the other portions of the festivities.

John lived in the Grand Rapids area nearly all of his life. In 1880 he was working as a joiner and living with hius wife and son and mother-in-law Maria Robens in Walker, Kent County (his parents were living on Turner Street in the Seventh Ward in 1880). He was residing at 19 Stocking Street in the late 1880s or early 1890s, at 41 Alabama Street in Grand Rapids in 1899 and in 1890 when he gave an affidavit in the pension application of Capt. Baker Borden (formerly of Company B), in Walker, Kent County in 1890, and he was possibly back living in the city in December of 1902 when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association; he was probably also a member of Grand Army of the Republic Champlin Post No. 29 in Grand Rapids.

In 1890 he applied for and received a pension (no. 964220).

John was living at 503 Front Street in 1906-1908, in 1909 and 1911.

He was ill only two weeks when he died of pneumonia at his home in Grand Rapids on Monday October 23, 1911. Funeral services were held at Spring’s chapel on Sheldon Street at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 25, and he was buried in Greenwood cemetery: section E lot no. 10.

The following week his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 732810).

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Franklin Wheeler

Franklin Wheeler was born in 1838.

In 1860 there was a New York-born 20-year-old laborer named Franklin Wheeler working for a miller named parsons in Saline, Washtenaw County; also living in Washtenaw was a tailoress named Jane O. Wheeler, born 1815 in New York.

Franklin stood 5’11’’ with hazel eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was 23 years old and possibly living in Kent County, Michigan, when he enlisted as a wagoner for Company F on May 13, 1861. He was serving as the Adjutant’s clerk from July of 1862 through September, as a clerk at Brigade headquarters from February of 1863 through July, and was working as a clerk at Camp Convalescent in Alexandria, Virginia, from August until he was transferred, probably to the Thirty-third Company, Second Batallion of the Veterans’ Reserve Corps on September 30, 1863.

There is no further record.

There is no pension file available for the Frank Wheeler who served in the Third Michigan infantry. One Jane Wheeler was reported as the dependent mother of Franklin Wheeler, Company F, Thirteenth U.S. Infantry, when she applied for and received a pension (no. 52631) in June of 1864.

(Curiously, there was Vermont-born Jane Wheeler (b. 1815) who was keeping house for her son 30-year-old Michigan-born farmer Franklin Wheeler in 1870 in Tecumseh, Lenawee County. Jane was listed as the head of the household in 1860 and Franklin was working as a lawyer and they were living in Ridgway, Lenawee County; also living with them were Franklin’s younger siblings James and Eliza. In 1850 Franklin was attending school with two of his younger siblings and living with his father New York native Benjamin P. (b. 1808) and mother Jane in Meridian, Ingham County. This was probably the same Franklin Wheeler who served from Tecumseh in the Fourth Michigan infantry during the war.)

Old Third Michigan Association records of June 29, 1904, report that of its total membership roster since 1870 the only Frank Wheeler on its books was Frank S. Wheeler, who was, curiously enough, an honorary member of the Association.

(According to this Wheeler’s pension records he was born 1845 in Michigan, the son of Josiah (1808-1868), and in 1860 was an apprentice printer attending school and living with his family in Grand Rapids’ Third Ward, where his father and older brother worked as master masons. Frank S. was 19 years old when he enlisted in Company B, One hundred forty-third Illinois infantry on May 9, 1864 at Cairo, Illinois, and was mustered out of service on September 26, 1865 (?) at Mattoon, Illinois. He returned to Michigan where he worked as a grocer for some time in Grand Rapids after the war, and may have been living in Lansing’s Fifth Ward in 1894. He was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 4053) on June 30, 1903, was discharged April 25, 1916 at his own request, and readmitted on December 12, 1916. He was probably never married, and he received pension no. is 662,147, drawing $10.00 in 1903, increased to $12.00, $15.00 and in 1912 to $18.00. He died at 9:00 a.m. on January 2, 1918, at the Christian Science church in Grand Rapids, and was buried on January 4 in Fulton cemetery, Grand Rapids.)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

DeForest F. Wheeler

DeForest F. Wheeler was born in 1834 in Canada, the son of Henry (b. 1790) and Ann (b. 1808).

Connecticut native Henry married New York-born Anne and they settled in New for some years. Sometime between 1833 and 1834 the family moved to Canada and between 1836 and 1844 settled in Ohio. Sometime after 1846 henry moved his family west and by 1850 had serttled on a farm in Wright, Ottawa County, Michigan where Deforest attended school with two of his siblings. His father and several siblings were still living in Wright. Ottawa County in 1860.

DeForest was 28 years old and possibly living in Kent County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company A on May 13, 1861. He was reported as an ambulance driver from September of 1862 through March of 1863, and was absent sick in the hospital from April through July, although he was also reported as a deserter on April 1, 1863, at Detroit. Apparently he had been furloughed in March for 30 days, and was to have returned on April 1, but failed to report and was thus classified as a deserter. In fact, he was transferred to Company A, Twelfth Veterans’ Reserve Corps in June of 1863 and was mustered out as a Private of the VRC on December 30, 1864.

He apparently reentered the service on February 8, 1865, as a First Lieutenant in the Two hunded and third Pennsylvania Infantry and was possibly transferred to Company B Seventy-sixth Pennsylvania infantry.

It is not known if DeForest ever returned to Michigan.

He was married to Pennsylvania native Anna S. (b. 1845).

Deforest and his wife eventually settled in Texas by 1878 and he was probably the same “D. T.” Wheeler who, in 1880, was working as a stone cutter and living with his wife and daughter in Precinct 2, Grayson County, Texas. In any case, DeForest was living on North Houston Avenue in Denison, Grayson County, Texas in 1890, reportedly suffering from a wounded ankle.

In 1884 he applied for and received a pension (no. 393901) for service in the Third Michigan, the VRC as well as the Pennsylvania regiment.

DeForest probably died in 1891, and probably in Texas.

In October of 1891 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 437354).

Friday, April 15, 2011

Stephen G. Wheaton

Stephen G. Wheaton was born on November 7, 1838, in New York, the son of Orson (or Oscar) and Thankful (Tracey?, b. 1805).

Orson had probably served as a musician and fifer and then drum major in Prior’s (Tenth) New York Militia Regiment during the War of 1812. In any case he married New York native Thankful and probably was living in Cattaraugus County, New York in 1840, but by 1860 had settled in Bloomer, Montcalm County.

Stephen left New York, possibly with his family, and eventually settled in Montcalm County, Michigan by the time he married Ohio native Roseanna Comstock (1839-1894) in Montcalm on March 9, 1860, and they had at least one child: Cora (b. 1861). By 1860 he was a farm laborer living with his wife and working for Oscar Gladden, a farmer in Bushnell, Montcalm County.

Stephen was 23 years old and probably still living in Montcalm County when he enlisted in Company E on May 13, 1861. He was a pioneer from August of 1862 through October. He was still on detached service from November through December, with the Brigade wagon train in January of 1863, and the ambulance train from February through July.

Stephen was under arrest at Washington, DC from September of 1863 through January of 1864, although the charges remain unknown. According to Andrew Kilpatrick, also of E Company E, what happened was as follows: upon returning to Washington from their brief posting in Troy, New York, as security for the draft held there, the men of the Third Michigan were bivoucked at the Soldier’s Retreat where they were apparently served a meal of “swill and stinking meat.” There was some kind of argument and, according to Kilpatrick, “the Capt. and Lieut. [were] knocked down,” following which Wheaton and one other man were placed under arrest.

He eventually returned to the Regiment and on either June 1 or June 2, 1864, he was captured at Gaines Mills, Virginia, confined at Richmond on June 3, and on June 8 he was sent to Andersonville, Georgia. He was transferred as a prisoner-of-war to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and was confined in Andersonville until November 11 when he was sent to Millen, Georgia. He was paroled at Jacksonville, Florida on April 28, 1865, reported to Camp Parole, Maryland on May 11, and sent on to Camp Chase, Ohio on May 18, where he reported on May 19. He was sent to the Provost Marshal of Ohio on May 22, and was mustered out on July 4, 1865, at Detroit.

After the war Stephen eventually returned to Montcalm County where he lived the remainder of his life, working as a farmer for many years. By 1870 he was working as a farmer (he owned $1200 worth of real estate) and was living with his wife and daughter in Bushnell, Montcalm County. (His parents were living in West Bloomer, Bloomer Township, Montcalm County in 1870.) Stephen was living in Fenwick, Montcalm County in 1888, 1890, in December of 1893 when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, in 1894, 1906, 1907, and in 1909.

Stephen apparently remarried one Magine or Majina Umsted Pagine (1848-1930) in Montcalm County, on April 24, 1895.

In 1863 he applied for and received a pension (no. 859509).

Stephen was living in Montcalm County when he died of cancer in Bushnell Township, Montcalm County on December 4, 1910, and was buried in Clear Lake cemetery in Fairplains, Montcalm County.

In January of 1911 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 859738).

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Charles H. and John West

Charles H. West was born in 1845 in New York, the son of John (b. 1821) and possibly stepson of Susan E. (b. 1826 or 1832) .

John and his wife settled in New York where they resided for some years. At some point John remarried to New York native Susan E. John had at least four children: Charles H. (b. 1845), Eugene C. (b. 1847), Daniel Dwight (b. 1850) and Mary L. (b. 1855). (It is likely that Charles and his younger brother Eugene were both from a previous marriage.) Between 1851 and 1855 John moved his family to Michigan, and by 1860 Charles was attending school with three of his younger siblings and living with his family (including his father who would also join the Third Michigan) in Boston, Ionia County.

Charles was a 16-year-old farm laborer living in Easton or Orleans, Ionia County when he enlisted in Company D, along with his father John, on November 14, 1861, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered on December 23 at Detroit. (Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County.) Charles was probably wounded on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and subsequently hospitalized.

He died either on September 22, 1862, at Washington, DC or (more likely) on September 18, 1862, at David’s Island, New York, from wounds, and was reported to be buried in Cypress Hill cemetery, Long Island: grave no. 424.

No pension seems to be available.

John West was born in 1821 in New York.

John was married and had at least four children: Charles H. (b. 1845), Eugene C. (b. 1847), Daniel Dwight (b. 1850) and Mary L. (b. 1855). John was probably remarried to New York native Susan E. (b. 1832). John and Susan settled in New York where they resided for some years. Between 1851 and 1855 John moved his family to Michigan, and by 1860 John was working as a farm laborer, unable to read or write and living with is wife and four children (including his oldest son Charles who would also join the Third Michigan) in Boston, Ionia County.

John was a 40-year-old farm laborer unable to read or write probably living in Boston, Ionia County when he enlisted in Company D, along with his son Charles, on November 14, 1861, at Grand Rapids for 3 years and was mustered on December 23 at Detroit. (Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County.)

John was a Regimental pioneer in December of 1862.

He died of disease on March 10, 1863, at Camp Pitcher, Virginia, near Falmouth, Virginia, and was presumably buried there; he was perhaps reinterred at Fredericksburg National Cemetery but if so his grave remains unknown.

In 1863 Susan applied for and received a pension (no. 13117). Susan apparently remarried James Sanders (b. 1828) and in 1870 they were living in Boston, Ionia County; also living with them was her son Dwight and daughter Mary.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Michael Welter

Michael Welter was born in 1834, in Seneca County, Ohio or New York or Germany.

In 1860 there was one Michael Welter living in Tiffin, Seneca County, Ohio.

Michael enlisted as Corporal in Company B, Twelfth New York infantry at Syracuse, New York, on April 30, 1861 and was mustered in on May 13. For reasons unknown he was transferred to the Band of the Third Michigan infantry on August 1, 1861. He was mustered out, probably “as a member of the Band and not as a musician,” on August 15, 1862, at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia.

He apparently reentered the army in Company K, One-hundred-seventh Ohio infantry, as a Private, on December 19, 1863, and subsequently transferred to Company K, Twenty-fifth Ohio infantry on July 13, 1865. There is no further record.

He was married to German-born Sophia (b. 1835), and they had seven children: Henry (b. 1864), Lizzie (b. 1867), Michael (b. 1869), Joseph (b. 1871), Katie (b. 1874), Charles (b. 1877), Francis (b. 1880).

It is not known if Michael ever returned to Michigan. He eventually settled in Ohio. By 1880 he was working as a laborer and living with his wife and children in Tiffin, Ohio. He was living in Tiffin, Ohio in 1890.

He applied for and received a pension (407406) for his service in the Ohio regiments.

Michael was probably living in Ohio when he died in 1892.

In May of 1892 his widow was living in Ohio when she applied for and received a pension (no. 359330).

Monday, April 11, 2011

William Henry Harrison Wells

William Henry Harrison Wells was born on May 13, 1841, in Naples, Ontario County, New York, the son of John (b. 1789) and Prudence (Griggs, b. 1795).

New Jersey native John married Connecticut-born Prudence, and settled in New York. By 1850 William was attending scvhool with his two older siblings and living with family in Springwater, Livingston County, New York. They eventually moved west and settled in Michigan, possibly in Kent County around 1852. In any case, by 1860 William (referred to as “Harrison”) was working as a farm laborer and living with his family in Jamestown, Ottawa County.

William stood 5’10” with gray eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was a 21-year-old farmer probably living in Jamestown, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company D on December 29, 1861, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Kent County, and was mustered the same day. However, Wells was never mustered into Company D, but upon joining the Regiment was assigned to Company I on order of Colonel Stephen Champlin. He was sick in the hospital from May 3, 1862, through August, and allegedly deserted on September 21, 1862, at Upton’s Hill, Virginia.

In fact, William was in the general hospital in Yorktown in May and June, and was eventually sent to the general hospital in Portsmouth Grove, Rhode Island and then to Providence, Rhode Island, where he was discharged on November 20, 1862, for “hypertrophy with dilatation of the heart.”

After he left the army William returned to Jamestown.

He married Ellen Barger (b. 1844) of Wyoming, Kent County, on March 15, 1863, in Jamestown, and they had at least seven children: Harry or William H. (b. 1865), George (b. 1867), a daughter (b. 1868), Myra (b. 1872), Gardner, Alva or Alvin J. (b. 1876) and a daughter (b. 1879).

William was probably residing in Ottawa County when he reportedly reentered the service in the Thirteenth Michigan infantry on September 27, 1864. In fact he was apparently drafted for one year from Jamestown on September 27 and was assigned to Company D, Thirteenth Michigan as a Corporal on February 1, 1865. (It remains unclear when and where exactly he joined the regiment.) The regiment participated in the Campaign in the Carolinas from January to April of 1865 and was involved in the battle of Bentonville, North Carolina, March 19-21. William was wounded in action on March 19 at Bentonville, and sent to McDougall hospital in New York harbor. (In his obituary he was reported to have lost an arm during the war.)

There is no further military record.

After the war William eventually returned to western Michigan, probably to Ottawa County. (His father John had remarried to Rhode Island native Ferlin, b. 1795, and was living in Jamestown, Ottawa County in 1870; also living with them was a 9-year-old boy named William Wells, born in Michigan.) For many years William worked as a farmer. By 1880 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and childrenin Gaines, Kent County. He was living in Grand Rapids in 1883, in Gaines, Kent County in 1890, and in Grand Rapids at 139 Quigley in 1911.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, and he received pension no. 51,771 of $24.00 per month.

William died of apoplexy on March 24, 1914, at his home at 139 Quigley, and the funeral services were held at the residence at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday afternoon. He was buried in Blain cemetery; Kent County.

In 1914 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 779033).