Monday, May 30, 2011

Abram Towner Woodard Jr.

Abram Towner Woodard Jr. was born in 1842 in New York, probably in Naples, Ontario County, the son of Abram Sr. (1804-1877) and Nancy (Frisbie, 1811-1852).

Both New York natives his parents settled in Naples, Ontario County, New York where they lived for many years (both of them died there). In 1850 Abram was living on the family farm in Naples and attending school with his siblings. Abram left New York and by the time the war had broken out he had settled in western Michigan.

He stood 5’7” with dark eyes, black hair and a dark complexion and was a 21-year-old farmer possibly living in Tallmadge, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861. He reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Courtland, 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.

He was shot in the left thigh on May 12, 1864, at Spotsylvania, Virginia, was subsequently hospitalized and he was still absent wounded in the hospital when he was transferred to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He remained listed as absent wounded through February of 1865, and probably until he was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

Abram returned to Michigan, quite possibly settling in Grand Rapids, and on October 7, 1865, he married New York native Ann Eliza Littlefield (b. 1839), sister of Daniel (formerly of Company A), and they had at least three children: Anna (b. 1868), Ella (b. 1871) and Jennie (b. 1873).

Abram was working as a furniture finisher and living with his wife and one child in Grand Rapids’s Fifth Ward in 1870, and in Grand Rapids in 1874, but by the following year had moved to Manton, Wexford County where he operated a general store, including furniture. By 1880 he was working as a furniture dealer and living with his wife and children in Manton. Abram later became the local undertaker; and indeed he lived the rest of his life in Manton.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, of Grand Army of the Republic Morton Post No. 54 in Manton and he received pension no. 150,989, dated February of 1878, drawing $4.00 per month in 1883 for a wounded left thigh.

Abram died in Manton on December 25, 1907, and was buried in Fairview cemetery, Manton: section 1, no. 138.

In January of 1908 his widow was living in Manton when she applied for and received a pension (no. 671330). She was living in Grand Rapids in 1916.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

William H. Wood

William H. Wood was born in 1844 in Grattan, Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan, the son of Emmons 9b. 1807) and Martha (b. 1809).

New Hampshire native Emmons married New York native Martha and they eventually settled in Ohio where they were living in 1831. By 1840 Emmons was living in Marengo, Calhoun County, Michigan and by 1850 William was attending school and living with his family in Grattan, Kent County where his father worked a farm. By 1860 William was working as a farm laborer and living with his parents in Grattan, Kent County.

William stood 5’8” with hazel eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was an 18-year-old farmer probably living in Allegan County when he enlisted in Company H on March 22, 1862, crediting Grand Rapids’ Fourth Ward. He was reported absent sick in June of 1863, and as a guard at Brandy Station, Virginia in February of 1864. He reenlisted on March 30, 1864, in the field, and was mustered the same day near Culpeper, Virginia, was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in April and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of May.

William was taken prisoner on May 12, 1864, at Spotsylvania, Virginia, and transferred as a prisoner-of-war to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864.

According to George Bailey of Company F, who had been taken prisoner on May 6 at the Wilderness and subsequently sent to Andersonville, Wood arrived in Andersonville, along with six other members of the Third Michigan infantry on July 9. By the first of October Wood, along with hundreds of other prisoners, had been transferred to the prison at Florence, South Carolina. On October 17 Bailey, is a reliable source and who had also been transferred to Florence, wrote in his diary that Wood took the oath of allegiance to the Confederacy, along with hundreds of other prisoners. “I for one,” wrote Bailey, “cannot blame” those soldiers who did take the oath. George added that he hoped to “stand it until after the [November presidential] election.”

William remained a prisoner until he escaped on March 6, 1865, near Petersburg, Virginia, and was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war William eventually returned to Michigan where he worked as a laborer for some years.

Loren Ferdnand of Grand Rapids, first met William, or “Henry” as he called him, at the home of some of Loren’s relatives in the fall of 1865 where William was boarding at the time. Loren also reported that William boarded with some of his own relatives “and stayed with me at my brothers several days at a time” in early 1866. In 1867 Loren say him whenhe came back to Grand Rapids to be married. “He was complaining the same as before.” He reported that he had heard William had “attended school but had done no other work.”

Loren did not see him again until November of 1869.

He was then, and had been for some time engaged in sawing wood for Mr. Sawyer [Loren’s father-in-law]. He, Sawyer, made this remark to me, “That Henry Wood is a poor stick at sawing wood; he saws one hour and stops 2 and grunts all the time.” I have seen the Soldier an average,I should judge, once a month since 1869, and have changed my mind as to his being lazy. During the winter of 1871, he taught out District School and gave entire satisfaction. He boarded with me, and often remarked that if he had health he could make money. . . . In 1872 he begged of me to let him come and do chores for his board through the winter. His complaining was the same, but he did his work thoroughly and faithfully. In 1873 he went to Mason County, Mich., and taught a District School and gave good satisfaction. In 1874 he refused saying that school teaching had been such a strain on his neverse on account of constant work that he dared not try it again.

Since 1874 I have hired him many different times, a few days at a time. He has harvested, mowed, chopped wood, plowed, husked corn, dug potatoes, etc., but he never did anything like a fair days work at anything except husking corn. In 1884 he husked corn for me and did as much as any one else when he worked, but during four weeks that he worked he was laid up with lame back two or three times form one to two days each time. I have nevr cared to hire him to do farm laborer because he only accomplished about half as much as other men, and was able to work only half or two-thirds of the time.

The last work he did for me was in 1896, digging fence post holes. He averaged 15 holes, 2 1/2 feet deep, per day in sandy soil, where from 40 to 60 holes would be a reasonable days’ work. And yet he complained bitterly of hard work, lame back and heumatism, and his movements showed that he was very stiff and lame. He worked 4 days and quit; said the work was too hard. He then got a job to nurse a sick man and gave good satisfaction. And he is now giving good satisfaction at estimating lumber. It is hard for him to get light work because his disability prevents his being steady, and as a laborer he is now and has been since 1865 almost worthless in my opinion, judging from observations taken during all these years.

William was working as a laborer when he married Ohio native Celia Adelaide Wicker (b. 1849) on October 9, 1878, in Grand Rapids, Kent County, and they had at least three children: Edna (b. 1879), Edith (b. 1881) and Arthur (b. 1889).

He moved westward and eventually settled in Portland, Oregon where for many years he was employed as a land broker and estimator, working for many large lumbering concerns in Oregon, traveling throughout most of the western United States from the Gulf of Mexico to Oregon.

In 1902 William became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. In 1889 he applied for and received a pension (no.796644).

William died of hemorrhage of the lungs on May 16, 1906, possibly at Scott’s Hotel in Portland and was presumably buried in Portland.

In June of 1906 his widow was residing at 442 Cass Avenue in Grand Rapids, Kent County, when she applied for and received a pension (no. 619027).

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Leander Wood

Leander Wood was born on June 3, 1846, in Ohio or Michigan.

Leander left Ohio and came to western Michigan sometime before early 1864.

He stood 5’8” with gray eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was a 17-year-old farmer possibly living in Muskegon, Muskegon County when he enlisted in Company E on February 4, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Muskegon, and was mustered the same day. He joined the Regiment on February 10, was absent sick probably from April 24 and still absent sick when he was transferred to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He remained listed as absent sick through May of 1865, but probably until he was discharged on June 26, 1865, from Mower hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Leander eventually returned to Muskegon where he was living when he married Sarah Belden on March 15, 1866 (they eventually separated).

He was possibly living in Blue Lake, Muskegon County in 1870. By 1880 he was working as a laborer and living with his wife Mary on Pierce (?) Street in Muskegon’s First Ward. He was still living in Muskegon in 1888 and 1890 when he applied for and received a pension (no. 573363), but by 1893 he was working as a pig-buyer in White Cloud, Newaygo County.

Leander died of consumption on December 14, 1893, in White Cloud, Newaygo County, and was presumably buried in White Cloud.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Joseph B. Wood

Joseph B. Wood was born in 1837 in Washington County, New York.

Joseph left New York and moved west, settling in western Michigan by 1860 when he was a mill hand and sawyer working for Noah Ferry, a wealthy lumberman, and living at Jeanette Bell’s boarding house in White River, Muskegon County.

He stood 5’9” with blue eyes, black hair and a dark complexion and was 24 years old and probably still living in Muskegon County when he enlisted in Company B on May 13, 1861. (It is unclear why he failed to enlist in Company H, the Muskegon company, particularly since George Lemon, also of Company H, wrote in the summer of 1864 that Wood had in fact been a member of the “Muskegon Rangers,” the Muskegon militia company whose members would form the nucleus of Company H.)

Joseph was reported as present for duty through august of 1862. he was wounded at the Battle of Groveton on August 29, 1862, and absent sick in a hospital from July of 1862 through November.

Joseph was in Michigan, on a sixty-day furlough from the hospital, when he married Ohio native 16-year-old Cassia or Capia C. Kridler (b. 1846) on November 26, 1862, in Kent County, and they had at least two children: Edwin Francis (b. 1865) and George (b. 1867).

Joseph eventually returned east and may have rejoined the regiment although this remains uncertain. By January of 1863 he was back in a hospital in Washington, DC. Indeed, he remained hospitalized until he was discharged as a Sergeant on April 6, 1863, at Carver hospital, Washington, DC, for chronic diarrhea of seven months’ duration.

Joseph returned to Michigan after he left the army and by 1870 he was working as a carpenter and living with his wife and two children in Grand Rapids’ Second Ward. Joseph and his wife and two sons were still living in Grand Rapids in 1880.

It is possible that he was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association.

Joseph applied for and received a pension (no. 230078).

Joseph may have been living in Illinois when he probably died in 1898 or 1899.

In 1899 his widow was living at 715 West Taylor Street in Chicago, Illinois when she applied for and received a pension (no. 484000.)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Anton Wohlrub

Anton Wohlrub was born on November 28, 1845, in Friedland (possibly on Reichenburg Strasse), Bohemia, Austria.

Anton left Austria and immigrated to America, eventually settling in western Michigan sometime before mid-1862.

He stood 5’6” with gray eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was a 15-year-old cloth dresser possibly living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted with the consent of his guardian, George Warfel, in Company C on August 14, 1862, for 3 years, crediting Grand Rapids. (Company C was made up largely of German and Dutch immigrants, many of whom lived on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids. This company was the descendant of the old Grand Rapids Rifles, also known as the “German Rifles,” a prewar local militia company composed solely of German troopers.) He joined the Regiment on September 18 at Fairfax Seminary, Virginia.

Not long after he joined the Regiment, Anton demonstrated a significant mental disorder. On March 4, 1863, Walter Morrison, Assistant Regimental Surgeon, examined Wohlrub and certified “that he is suffering from insanity to such an extent as to render confinement necessary, not only for his own safety but that of others,” and he recommended that Wohlrub be confined in the government Insane Asylum in Washington. The following day, March 5, Colonel B. R. Pierce, commanding the Third Michigan, wrote to assistant Adjutant General O. H. Hart, that Wohlrub “is insane so much so that it is dangerous for him to be at large, and it requires two or three men to take care of him.” Pierce asked for an order allowing him to send Wohlrub to the Insane Asylum in Washington, DC. The request was apparently granted and Wohlrub was in the Washington insane asylum from March 13, 1863, until he was discharged for “insanity” on May 19, 1863, at Washington, DC, by order of the Secretary of War.

According to his brother Charles, Anton had suffered a sunstroke at Fairmount (perhaps he meant Falmouth), Virginia, which produced his incapacitation by “insanity.”

Whatever happened, Anton apparently reentered the service in Company D, Tenth Michigan cavalry on August 26, 1863, probably 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 either was discharged or deserted on August 6, 1865.

After the war Anton returned to Michigan and was in and out of the Kalamazoo “Insane Asylum” for many years. By 1891 he was under the guardianship of his brother Charles, who was residing in Berrien County. By 1915 Anton was living in the Kalamazoo Insane Asylum, where he had been residing for some twenty years, under the guardianship of another brother, Rudolph Wohlrub, of Niles, Berrien County.

According to Michigan Congressman E. L. Hamilton, in a letter dated June 19, 1915, to G. M. Saltzgraber, Commissioner of Pensions, Wohlrub had served in Company C, Third Michigan infantry, “for the full term of his enlistment [not true], and who is reported to have deserted from his second enlistment in Company D, 10th Michigan Cavalry, August 6, 1865.” However, the congressman continued, “Wohlrub’s case is most unusual, and it seems to me that it present a situation which ought to be especially considered. His service until his alleged desertion, which occurred after hostilities had practically ceased, was faithful and meritorious. For approximately twenty year he has been a patient of the Kalamazoo Insane Asylum. . . . He has always been eccentric until it became necessary to place him in confinement, and he is, of course, now in no position to recall any of the details of his army experience. he is totally unable to contribute any information which might throw light upon the circumstances which caused him to leave his command, and I am writing you in hope that it may be possible to do something to help him.”

Hamilton added in a postscript that it is “My impression from what I have been told is that Wohlrub was mentally unsound when he left the service & has been mentally unsound ever since, with lucid intervals.”

The request was granted and the charge of desertion removed from Wohlrub’s record, replaced by an honorable discharge.

Anton was a Catholic. In 1892 he applied for and received a pension (no. 2,457,653), dated September of 1915, drawing $18.00 per month, increased to $24 in November, and $40 by December of 1918.

He died on January 17, 1919, in Niles, Berrien County, and was presumably buried there. At the time of his death his guardian was listed as one Lillian Wohlrub (perhaps a sister or sister-in-law) living in Niles.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Truman Wisner

Truman Wisner was born in 1829 in New York, possibly the son of John (b. 1800) and Betsey (b. 1801).

In 1850 Truman was working as a farmer and living with his family (New York natives John and Betsey) in Butler, Branch County.

That same year Truman was married 17-year-old New York native Caroline Burroughs (b. 1832), on July 20, 1850, in Butler, Branch County, by his father who was the justice of the peace, and they had at least four children: Emery (b. 1851), James (b. 1854), Laurette Ann (b. 1857) and John (b. 1859).

Truman left New York and moved west, eventually settling in Michigan by 1851. By 1860 he was working as a master carpetner and living with his wife and four children in Rutland, Barry conty. Several houses away lived John Webster who would also join the Third Michigan infantry.

He stood 5’8” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was a 35-year-old blacksmith and/or master carpenter possibly living in Maple Grove, Barry County when he enlisted in Company E on February 8, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Maple Grove, and was mustered the same day. Truman joined the Regiment on March 27, was possibly taken sick on April 8 and subsequently hospitalized, and was possibly still absent sick when he was was transferred to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He may have been returned to duty and was possibly wounded on June 12 near White House Landing, Virginia. He was reportedly mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

In fact he had been taken prisoner (possibly on June 12) and eventually confined in the prison camp at Florence, South Carolina.

Truman died of dropsy and dysentery while a prisoner of war on September 30, 1864, at Florence, South Carolina, and is presumably buried among the unknown soldiers in Florence.

In March of 1865 his wife applied for and received a pension (no. 74876). Caroline remarried in November of 1869 and in 1870 a minor child pension application was granted for the three children James Laurette and George Wisner (no. 161107).

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

George Frederick Wiselogel

George Frederick Wiselogel was born on June 1, 1840, in Massillion, Stark County, Ohio, the son of George (b. 1815) and Elizabeth (Hunsberger, b. 1818).

Baden native George married Bavarian native Elizabeth, possibly before immigrating to the United States. In any case, by 1840 they had settled in Ohio where they resided for some years before moving to western Michigan. In 1860 George was working as a farmer and living with his parents and siblings in Sheridan, Calhoun County.

George (younger) stood 5’10” with gray eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was a 20-year-old engineer possibly living in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company E on May 13, 1861. George was wounded by gunfire in the left arm just below the elbow on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and subsequently hospitalized through July. He returned to the Regiment, and was a standard-bearer in September and October of 1862, at the Brigade bakery in May of 1863.

According to Andrew Kilpatrick, also of Company E, George was a Private present for duty in late May of 1863. And indeed he was awarded the Kearny Cross for his participation in the battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia on May 3, 1863. He was on detached service outside of the department from July of 1863 through September, and on recruiting service in Michigan from October through February of 1864. He rejoined the Regiment and was wounded on May 5, 1864, at the Wilderness, Virginia.

On May 11 George was admitted to Mt. Pleasant general hospital in Washington, DC, with a gunshot wound, and apparently returned to duty soon afterwards. He was mustered out on June 20, 1864, at Detroit.

After he left the army George returned to Michigan where he reentered the service as a Sergeant in Company A, Twenty-eighth Michigan infantry on September 18, 1864, at Marshall, Calhoun County for 3 years, crediting Albion, Calhoun County, and was mustered on October 20 probably at Marshall where the regiment was organized and mustered in October. The regiment left Michigan for Louisville, Kentucky October 26-29 and remained on duty there until November 10. George was reported as Color Sergeant from October through November, but was listed as absent sick at Keokuk, Iowa from December 20, 1864, through April of 1865. (The Twenty-eighth never served in or near Iowa. It is quite possible that George was transferred from the Twenty-eighth to a Veteran Reserve Corps unit late in 1864.) He was reduced to the ranks on January 1, 1865, for being absent from his company without permission, but nevertheless he was honorably discharged on May 18, 1865, at Davenport, Iowa.

After the war George returned to Michigan, possibly to his family in Calhoun County.

George was probably married twice, first to Sarah and second to Michigan native Mary Jane Butters (1848-1921) on January 1, 1869, in Pulaski, Jackson County; they had at least one child: Rose Ethel (b. 1874, Mrs. Knowles).

According to his second wife George had never been married before.

In 1870 his parents were living in Sheridan, Calhoun County. They were living in Michigan in 1874 when their daughter was born.

George was living in Pulaski, jackson County in 1873 and by 1880 George was working as a stone mason and living with his wife and daughter and his in-laws, John and Sarah Butters (both born in England) on their farm in Pulaski, Jackson County. George F. lived for a time in Nepaluna, Jackson County and was living in Pulaski, Jackson County in 1883 when he was drawing $6.00 per month (pension no. 114,089, dated October of 1871). He may have been living in Springport, Jackson County in 1888, and was residing in Nepaluna in 1890.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association.

George died of Bright’s disease on April 26, 1908, at his home in Pulaski Township, Jackson County. Funeral services were held at the farm in Pulaski on April 30 and his remains were buried in Pulaski cemetery.

In May of 1908 Mary was living in Michigan when she applied for and received a widow’s pension (no. 656216). By 1910 Mary (listed as “Jennie” or “Jannie”) was living with or next door to her daughter Ethel and (Rose E.) and her husband Albert Knowles in Pulaski, Jackson County. By 1920 Mary was living with her daughter Ethel and her husband Albert in Pulaski, Jackson County.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Stephen Winterhalter

Stephen Winterhalter was born on December 27, 1826, in Baden, Germany.

Stephen left Germany and immigrated to America, eventually settling in western Michigan.

Stephen married Prussian-born Brigetta or Maria Brigette Ekhoff or Eickhoff (1835-1908) on July 25, 1859, at St. Mary’s church in Grand Rapids. (She was possibly related to Ferdinand Eickhof, also born in Prussia and who would enlist in the Band in the Third infantry.) They had at least four children: Mary (b. 1860), Ferdinand (b. 1865), Isabella (b. 1870) and William (b. 1874) and Hugo (b. 1879).

By 1859-60 Stephen was a laborer working for Charles Taylor’s tannery and sawmill in Grand Rapids, and in 1860 he was a farm laborer living with his wife and child and his younger brother Frank (or Franz) in Grand Rapids’ Fourth Ward. (Ferdinand Eickhof was also living in Grand Rapids’ Fourth Ward in 1860.)

Stephen stood 5’7” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 34 years old and probably still living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861. (Company C was made up largely of German and Dutch immigrants, many of whom lived on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids. This company was the descendant of the old Grand Rapids Rifles, also known as the “German Rifles,” a prewar local militia company composed solely of German troopers.) He was reported as a guard at Brandy Station, Virginia, in February of 1864, and was mustered out of service on June 20, 1864.

After his discharge Stephen returned to Grand Rapids where he probably lived the rest of his life on the west side of the Grand River and for many years worked as a laborer.

In 1865-66 he was working as a teamster and living at 34 Broadway on the west side, in 1867-68 he was living on the east side of Broadway between Second and Third Streets, and in 1868-69 was a laborer working for I. L. Quimby and living near Quimby’s mill (probably on Broadway between Second and Third Streets). By 1880 he was working as a laborer and living with his wife and children in Grand Rapids’ Seventh Ward. Stephen was living at 82 Broadway and employed as a laborer in 1889 and 1890, in the Seventh Ward in 1894.

He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic Champlin Post No. 29 in Grand Rapids, a Catholic and he received pension no. 527,476, drawing $12.00 in 1903 and increased to $20.00 in 1907.

Stephen was living at 84 Broadway when he was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 4136) on October 22, 1903, and remained in the Home until he died a widower of cardiac insufficiency at 7:30 p.m. on March 17, 1909. Funeral services were held at 7:30 a.m. on March 20 at his residence (84 Broadway) and at 8:00 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic church. He was buried in Mt. Calvary cemetery: section C lot 100.

In May of 1909 one Isabella Marshall (possibly Stephen’s daughter) applied for a pension as guardian for William Winterhalter, her younger brother who was listed as a “helpless child.” In fact, according to testimony William was listed as “mentally incompetent” and an ‘imbecile and confined in an asylum.” The pension claim was eventually rejected.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

John Winebrenner

John Winebrenner was born in June of 1842 in Ohio, son of Henry (1817-1901) and Lucy (Edsall, 1819-1883).

John’s parents were married on May 14, 1837, in Darke County, Ohio (Lucy was born in Ohio) and resided in Ohio for someyears. They eventually settled in Noblesville, Noble County, Indiana around 1851 where Henry lived the rest of his life (he die d there in 1901). By 1860 John was attending school with two of his younger siblings and working as a farm laborer along with his older siblings on the family farm in Noblesville (or Noble), Noble County, Indiana.

He stood 5’7” with brown eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was a 21-year-old farmer possibly living in Maple Grove, Barry County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company D on February 26, 1863, at Maple Grove for 3 years, crediting Maple Grove, and was mustered the same day at Detroit.

Interestingly, John enlisted with another Noble County resident, John Goff or Gaff – although Goff was put into Company B – and they both credited Mapel Grove, Barry County.

He joined the Regiment on March 6 at Camp Pitcher, Virginia, and was present for duty in early June of 1863 when he wrote home to let his father know that “I am well at this present time and hope that these few lines may find you all in the same state of health. I received your letter yesterday which was dated May 27, which gave me great joy to hear from you again. You said that you had been out to Wolf Lake a day or two ago, and they had it reported that Vicksburg was taken. Well I don’t think that it is so for I seen yesterday’s Washington Chronicle and it was not taken then yet. But I hope that it may be taken by this time. I think that this war ain’t a going to last more than one year longer anyhow it has got to go in some way or another by that time.”

In a second note to his mother, he added that he had received the “stamps you sent me a while ago and I wrote in the other letter that I that [?] had got them but I guess you had not got it yet. Well I wrote in the other letter about the money that I sent home. Well if you don’t get the other letter can you put 75 dollars out on interest without [unless] you need it [then] use it. You said that gim [?] had sent home some blankets and an overcoat and a revolver. Well I could get plenty of such things here but you can’t send a pin home from here without you send it in a letter. Well I have told about all for this time. Here is a picture I got of a Virginia gal that I thought I would send home and let you see how the girls look down here.”

John was absent sick in March of 1864 and reportedly wounded in the body in early May. He told his mother in a letter dated June 19th that he was wounded just slighting in the left side on May 8 at Spotsylania Courthouse and that he was then presently working as a nurse in Lincoln general hospital in Washington, DC. He was reported absent sick (or wounded) when he was transferred to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry in June of 1864, but eventually recovered from his wounds and was returned to the Regiment.

He was wounded again and taken prisoner on October 27, 1864, at Boydton Plank road (or Hatcher’s Run or Osborne Plank road), near Petersburg, Virginia, and was subsequently sent to the prisoner-of-war camp in Petersburg. John was admitted to the prison hospital on October 30 and dropped from the company rolls on November 10, 1864.

Although listed as “no further record,” in fact John died of his wounds in the prison hospital on November 25, 1864, and was presumably among the unknown soldiers buried in Petersburg National Cemetery.

John’s father was living in Indiana when he applied for and received a pension (no. 306028).

Saturday, May 21, 2011

William P. Wilson

William P. Wilson was born in 1841 in Ohio, the son of Clark (1809-1882) and Betsey (b. 1812).

Vermonters Clark and Betsey were married and settled in Canada sometime before 1833. Between 1836 and 1839 they moved the family to Ohio and between 1846 and 1848 moved from Ohio to Michigan and by 1850 had settled in Byron, Kent County where William attended school with four of his siblings, including his younger brother Almon who would also enlist in Company F, Third Michigan in 1861.

William was 20 years old and possibly living in Kent County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company F with the consent of the Justice of the Peace (and not curiously enough with the consent of his parents) in Company F on May 13, 1861 along with his brother Almon. William was possibly wounded on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run.

In any case, he was first reported as transferred on January 24, 1863, to the Second United States cavalry, but a War Department notation in his military service record dated March 7, 1876, canceled that entry and added that in fact he enlisted at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 28, 1862, to serve one year and six months (or roughly until the end of his original enlistment), and was subsequently assigned to Company F, First United States cavalry .

He probably returned to Michigan after his discahrge from the army and reentered the service as a Private in Company H, Tenth Michigan cavalry, on February 24, 1865 and was mustered inon February 27. He joined the regiment on March 16 and was mustered out with the regiment on November 11, 1865, at Memphis, Tennessee.

William returned to Michigan after the war and by 1870 he was working as a day laborer and living with his parents in Byron, Kent County.

William was married to Michigan native Mary L. (b. 1846), and they had at least three children: Frank A. (b. 1874), Edith (b. 1877) and Mary (b. 1879).

By 1880 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Byron, Kent County. His parents were still living in Byron as well.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association.

In 1896 he applied for and received a pension (no. 858806).

He died around 1920 in North Dakota.

In any case, his widow was living in North Dakota in 1920 when she applied for and received a pension (no. 714670). That same year she may have been the same Mary Wilson who was living with her daughter and son-in-law, Mary and Ben McDonald, in Minot, North Dakota.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Savillian or Civilian M. Wilson

Savillian or Civilian M. Wilson was born in 1838 in Jefferson County, New York, the son of Abel (b. 1803) and Mary (b. 1807)

New Yorkers Abel and Mary were married presumably in New york where they resided for some years. By 1840 Abel may have been living in LeRoy, Jefferson County, New York, and in 1840 he was probably living in Philadelphia, Jeffeerson County, New York. In 1850 “Cevillian” was attending school with two of his siblings and living with his family in Antwerp, Jefferson County, New York. “Savillian” left New York and came to western Michigan sometime before the war broke out.

He stood 5’7” with gray eyes, black hair and a light complexion and was a 23-year-old furnace-man possibly living in Kent County when he enlisted in Company B on May 13, 1861. He was reported sick in a hospital from July of 1862 through February of 1863, and was a Corporal when he was discharged on March 16, 1863, at Camp Pitcher, Virginia, for consumption of the right lung. “He has been,” wrote the discharging physician, “under treatment in Regimental and Division hospital during the greater part of the time for at least four months.”

In 1864 he applied for and received a pension (no. 42084) but the certificate was never granted.

There is no further record.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ole Wilson

Ole Wilson was born in 1837.

Ole (or Ola) was 25 years old and possibly living in Grand Haven, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Unassigned on or about January 1, 1862, at Grand Haven for 3 years. He apparently never joined the Regiment and was reported as a deserter.

There is no further record.

Interestingly there was one Mrs. Ola Wilson living at 34 Bridge Street in Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan, in 1890.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Merritt Wilson

Merritt Wilson was born in 1838 in Monroe, Orange County, New York, the son of Joseph (1812-1864) and Martha (b. 1820).

New York natives, his parents moved from New York to Michigan before 1853, and by 1860 Merritt was a butcher working for Daniel Savery and living with his family in Lowell, Kent County where his father worked as a constable.

He stood 5’7” with gray eyes, dark hair and a light complexion and was 23 years old and probably still living in Lowell when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861. (Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County.) He was discharged for consumption on July 29, 1861, at Hunter’s Farm, Virginia.

Merritt probably returned home to Lowell where he reentered the service in Company F, Second Michigan cavalry on September 19, 1861, for 3 years, and was mustered on October 2 at Grand Rapids. The regiment left Michigan for St. Louis, Missouri, on November 14, 1861 and was on duty at Benton Barracks in St. Louis through February of 1862. Merritt was reported absent sick from May 6, 1862, and indeed he probably returned to Michigan to recover. In any case, he was reportedly discharged for disability on July 5, 1862, at Detroit.

It is unclear, however, whether he was in fact discharged from the army.

On February 17, 1863, the Eagle reprinted a letter from Merritt Wilson (mistakenly listed as serving in the Twenty-sixth Michigan), written on February 10 from Alexandria, Virginia. Under the heading “From the 26th Infantry.”

To-night [Wilson wrote] our boys are having what the Virginians term, ‘a right smart time.’ They are around town closing up dens where they sell an article to soldiers called whisky, but which more resembles rain water and strychnine; and the boys say it will ‘eat a hole through a cent’. Our Regiment is having all they can do at present, as the town is filled with soldiers. Three Regiments of the Pennsylvania Reserve came in yesterday, from the front, where they have been six months. They have been through all the fights, and suffered severely, yet those that are left look healthy and robust; and, instead of being discouraged or demoralized, as some of the Northern papers say, they are anxious to recruit up, and get back into the field and see it through. I think those Southern sympathizers at the North, who are trying so hard to discourage our army, by preaching up that we never will subdue the South, should be here, and obliged to stand an equal chance with their brother rebels. Our Regiment is very healthy at present, with the exception of a few cases of small pox. Only one case has proved fatal, and that was Lt. [Charles] Bush, of Co. B [Second Michigan cavalry], who was buried yesterday. He was a fine young man, and very highly esteemed by all who knew him. We are expecting to move to the front as soon as the roads get settled; and perhaps you may then hear of the 26th doing something in the way of fighting, if they have a chance.

However, there is no record of a “Merritt Wilson” having enlisted or served in the Twenty-sixth Michigan infantry.

In any case, he was on detached service with the Brigade Quartermaster by the end of 1864. On December 27, 1864, Wilson, then working in the office of the Quartermaster for the First Brigade, First cavalry Division, wrote to the Eagle from Pulaski, Tennessee.

We arrived here yesterday evening [he wrote] with our train, consisting of 80 wagons, after a tedious marching of 8 days from Nashville, and it rained nearly the whole time, making the roads almost impassable. Yet the old Brigade was ahead, driving the Johnnies, and we knew it was in need of rations and ammunition, with which we were loaded; so we pushed on, regardless of the rain, swollen creeks and burned bridges. At Franklin we built a temporary bridge across Rutherford's creek, and passed over very well; but when we reached Duck River were were compelled to lay the pontoons, which delayed us some time; but our Brigade got across directly after the rebs, and met Gen. Forrest on the pike, a short distance from Columbia, where they had a sharp skirmish, taking some prisoners and driving him on through the place. The citizens along the roads say Hood's army is perfectly demoralized, on the retreat, and in a perfectly wretched condition, many of the soldiers being completely bare footed. -- In fact I saw many prisoners coming back who were bare footed and nearly naked. -- Franklin, Columbia and nearly every house on the roads is filled with their wounded, and prisoners are constantly coming in. I think by the time Corp. [sic?] Hood reaches the Tenn. River, he will regret the day he started to take Nashville. Our Brigade consists of the 2nd Mich., 1st East Tenn., 4th Kentucky Mounted Infantry, and 8th Iowa, commanded by Brig. Gen. John T. Craxton. We shall remain here until the roads are better, and furnish the Brigade with supplies and ammunition in pack mules.

The Second Michigan cavalry was mustered out of service on August 17, 1865, possibly at Macon, Georgia.

There is no pension available for Merritt’s service in the Third Michigan infantry or in the Second Michigan cavalry.

According to one source Merritt was buried in Baldwin, Georgia.

It appears that his father enlisted as First Lieutenant in Company I, Twentieth Michigan infantry, on September 26, 1862, and was discharged for disability on December 23, 1863, in New York city. He apparently returned to his home in Lowell where he died in July of 1864. His father is buried in Oakwood cemetery, in Lowell.

His mother applied for and received a dependent widow’s pension (no. 39470) in September of 1864.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Harvey Wilson

Harvey Wilson was born in 1838 in Steuben County, New York.

In 1850 there was on “Hawley” Wilson, born 1838 in New York, living with his parents, Canadian-born Midas (b. 1817) and Elizabeth (b. 1817) and their other children in Howard, Steuben County, New York. In 1850 there was two Harvey Wilsons living in Kalamo, Eaton County, Michigan, father and son, aged 40 and 7 years respectively. In any case, he eventually left New York and came to western Michigan In 1860 there was a “Hawley” Wilson, born 1793 in New York, living in Canisteo, Steuben County, New York, and one Harvey Wilson, b. 1811 in New York, living in Corning, Steuben County, New York.

Harvey stood 5’6’ with gray eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion and was a 23-year-old farmer possibly living in Allegan County when he enlisted in Company E on May 13, 1861. (Harvey was possibly related to Merritt Wilson who would also reenter the service in the Second Michigan cavalry in the fall of 1861; see below.) He was discharged for a hernia on July 29, 1861, at Arlington Heights, Virginia.

After he left the army Harvey returned to Michigan where he reentered the service in Company G, Second Michigan cavalry on September 14, 1861, at Litchfield, Hillsdale County, and was mustered on October 2 at Grand Rapids, giving his residence as Hillsdale County. The regiment left Michigan for St. Louis, Missouri, on November 14, 1861 and was on duty at Benton Barracks in St. Louis through February of 1862. It participated in the siege of New Madrid, Missouri, the siege and capture of Island No. 10 on the Mississippi River, in the siege of Corinth, Mississippi, and was assigned to Louisville in September of 1862. It participated in the battle of Perryville on October 8 and numerous actions in eastern Tennessee and southwestern Virginia through the winter. Harvey was discharged on December 18, 1862, at Cincinnati, Ohio.

Harvey eventually returned to Michigan. He was possibly the same Harvey Wilson, age 29 and born in Michigan, who was working as a farmer (he owned some $1200 worth of real estate and was living with his wife, New York native June in Litchfield, Hillsdale County, in 1870. This Harvey was still living in Litchfield in 1880, working as a farmer but apparently married to New York-born Martha (1843-1910); they had one child: Clara (b. 1875). Harvey was living in Ovid, Clinton County in 1890 and 1894.

No pension for service in the Old Third seems to be available. However, one Harvey Wilson of Michigan applied for and received a pension as did his widow Martha.

Harvey died on Saturday, August 26, 1905, presumably at his home in Clinton County, and was buried in lot no. 386, Maple Grove cemetery, in Ovid, Clinton County.

Monday, May 16, 2011

George B. Wilson

George B. Wilson was born in about 1830, possibly in Canada.

Described by one observer as “perhaps the brightest man in medicine” George came to Port Huron, St. Clair County, Michigan, from Canada in about 1850 and while there studied medicine. He graduated in medicine from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1857. The geologist Professor Winchell of the university “found in him a congenial spirit and spent days with him in the most enjoyable companionship.”

Dr. Wilson was also considered, at least in later years, to be something of an acute diagnostician.

Supposition and guesswork were never satisfying to him. To verify a diagnosis he used every means at his command. In one instance where he was called to see a dying man, he made a diagnosis of cancer of the stomach, which diagnosis was at variance with that of a fellow practiitioner. Wishing to verify the existing conditions he asked the privilege of making an examination of the stomach after death. The relatives promosed, but when death had taken place the promise was withdrawn. Not to be thwarted, he, accompanied by a medical student, went in the middle of the night following the day of the funeral, to the cemetery, which was locayed in an outlying, lonely place. There, after removing the dirt down to the coffin removing the lid, he proceeded by the light of a dark lantern, to make an autopsy. He verified his diagnosis, finding a cancer of the stomach; then, replacing the lid of the coffin and covering in the earth, he departed just before dawn, satisfied and paid for all the risks he had run.

George was married to New York native Cynthia (b. 1833) and they had at least one child: Emma (b. 1858).

By 1860 George was working as a physician and living with his wife and daughter in Flint’s Second Ward, Genesee County; also living with them was George Stockwell (b. 1847) and a servant Mary Buryes as well as George’s brother James (b. 1833) who was also a practicing physician.

George was a 24-year-old physician living in Ionia County, Michigan, when he was commissioned as Assistant Surgeon on October 15, 1861. “At a time,” note one biographer,

when to deal surgical [sic] with the brain was supposed to invite death, he was called to see a man through whose forhead and into the center of whose brain had been driven the breech-pin, with its binding screw, of an exploded gun. With Dr. Wilson there was no hestitancy as to what course to pursue; to his mind it was plain that where a missle had gone, and had not killed, he could go.

He enlarged the opening in the forehead (it being found necessary) and after removing considerable disorganized matter, succeeded with considerable difficulty in removing the foreign body. The man recovered and lived for many years afterward.

According to one Charles Stockwell of Port Huron, Dr. Wilson and Stockwell’s father were avid collectors of curios and during the war Wilson apparently sent several pieces of Pohick church, Virginia, to Stockwell. In 1905 Charles testified that he had in his possession two balusters from the church. They were “about 22 to 24 inches long, square base, square top, upper half fluted, square piece near center, lower part turned with one portion of it apparently hand carved with oblique lines; painted light brown.” Stockwell added that he received one piece from his father who had gotten it from Dr. Wilson and the other piece from Mrs. S. D. Sanborn who had also received hers from Wilson. Stockwell further stated that his father and Dr. Wilson “were collecting curios, antiquities and objects of historic interest and that is the reason Dr. Wilson sent them to be preserved in our collection.”

Stockwell was asked if he knew how Dr. Wilson came by the pieces and he replied he did “not know how sender obtained possession of said articles, whether he got them personally out of the church, or whether he got them from some other person.”

In any case, it appears that George contracted tuberculosis, possibly even before he entered the army, although this is uncertain. His biographer noted: “His spirits, burning and unquenchable, led him to spend night after night, till dawn, in study . . . His physical strength was unequal to the strain, so in a brief time it gave way.”

Dr. Wilson resigned on June 15 or 27, 1862, near Richmond, Virginia. He died shortly afterwards, probably in December of 1862.

In 1865 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 88377). By 1870 Cynthia was working as a school teacher and she and her daughter Emma were living with the Stockwell family in Port Huron’s Second Ward, St. Clair County.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Daniel C. Wilson

Daniel C. Wilson was born in 1844 in Fairfield, Herkimer County, New York, the son of Eliza.

Daniel and his mother eventually left New York and came to western Michigan sometime before 1862.

Daniel stood 5’8’ with gray eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was an 18-year-old farmer probably living in Saranac, Ionia County or Lowell, Kent County when he enlisted with his mother’s consent in Company C on February 22, 1862, at Saranac for 3 years, crediting Lowell, and was mustered the same day. He was reported as a company cook in September of 1862, and transferred to Company F on February 3, 1864, at Camp Bullock, Virginia.

He reenlisted on February 26, 1864, near Culpeper, Virginia, was mustered February 29 and presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in March and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of April.

He was taken prisoner on May 6 at the Wilderness, Virginia, confined at Andersonville, Georgia, and was transferred as a prisoner-of-war to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He was reported to be “doing well” but still a prisoner at Blackshire, Georgia in late 1864.

Daniel was paroled on April 28, 1865, at Jacksonville, Florida, sent to Camp Parole, Maryland on May 11, and to Camp Chase, Ohio on May 18 where he arrived on May 19 and where he was mustered out on June 19, 1865.

After the war Daniel returned to Michigan.

He was married to Canadian native Jane.

By 1870 he was working as a farmer (he owned $4000 worth of real estate) and living with his wife in Ronald, Ionia County. He was living in the Maple Rapids, Clinton County area around 1900. By 1907 he was residing at the Bridge Street House in Grand Rapids, and the following year was apparently back in Maple Rapids. In 1910-11 he was living in Belding, Ionia County.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. In 1880 he applied for and received a pension (no. 263235).

Daniel died on June 26, 1913, probably at his home in Belding and was reportedly buried in Oak Hill cemetery, Ionia County.

In July of 1913 his widow was still living in Michigan when she applied for and received a pension (no. 767752).

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Almon E. Wilson

Almon E. Wilson was born on May 3, 1843, in Lorain County, Ohio, the son of Clark (1809-1882) and Betsey (b. 1812).

Vermonters Clark and Betsey were married and had settled in Canada sometime before 1833. Between 1836 and 1839 they moved the family to Ohio and between 1846 and 1848 moved from Ohio to Michigan and by 1850 had settled in Byron, Kent County where Almon attended school with four of his older siblings, one of whom was William who would also enlist in Company F Third Michigan. By 1860 Almon was attending school with four of his younger siblings and working as a farm laborer and living with his family in Byron.

He stood 5’7” with gray eyes, dark hair and a light complexion and was an 18-year-old farmer probably living in Boynton or Byron, Kent County when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861 along with his brother William.

On December 22, 1861, from the regiment’s winter quarters in Virginia, Camp Michigan, Almon wrote home to his “dear parents.”

Your letter came to hand last night. We were glad to hear from home & to hear that you were well. As you requested me to write I will do so now that I have a little leisure [time]. I am well as usual and so is William. He is getting tough as a bear; he weighs 168 lbs near as much as he did when he enlisted. My weight is 152 lbs. We are encamped in the woods about __ miles from Alexandria. Some of the boys are building log houses but our squad keeps their tent yet. We have been raising up our tent about four feet from the ground. There is fifteen persons in our tent, all good fellows.

I was sorry to hear that you had not received that money. I sent ten dollars home four weeks ago today. The reason of my not writing before was because I was waiting to hear from the money. I was obliged to send it in a letter for I could not get to Washington to send it by express. But the capt. Has promised me a pass when we get our next pay which will be in a week or so & then I will try and send some in such a way that it will be safe.

I received a letter from Jane Arnold last Tuesday. She wrote the news of Jesse’s marriage, also Mercy Smith’s. Well I wish them much joy but I must close for it is time for inspection. Give my love to all. Write soon & believe me your affectionate son, Almon E. Wilson.
PS I will send you the portrait of our brigade general.

Almon was sick in the hospital in July and August of 1862, again in November, and was probably absent sick until he was discharged on March 16, 1863, at Camp Pitcher, Virginia, for consumption and chronic pleurisy. According to the discharging physician, Wilson “had measles and enteric fever since he came into the service. He is now much emaciated and entirely unfit for duty.”

Soon after he applied for and received a pension (no. 33317).

After his discharge from the army Almon apparently returned to his home in Kent County where he died on March 17, 1864, presumably at his family home. He was buried (or perhaps memorialized) in Boynton cemetery, Kent County.

His parents were living in Byron in 1870. His mother received a “dependent mother’s” pension no. 327,270. She was possibly living in Byron in 1870.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Calvin A. Wilsey

Calvin A. Wilsey was born in 1823 in Cattaraugus County, New York.

Calvin married New York native Sarah Ann (b. 1825) and they had at least three children: John Allen (b. 1847), Mary (b. 1850) and George (b. 1856). Calvin eventually left New York and he and his wife eventually settled in Michigan by 1847.

By 1850 they were living on a farm in Lyndon, Washtenaw County; also living with them was a 10-year-old girl named Eliza Jane Whitehorse or White House. By 1860 Calvin was working as a farmer (and owned some $1100 worth of real estate) and living with his wife and two children in Boston, Ionia County. Next door lived the family of Urias Storey; Urias, too, would join the Third Michigan.

He stood 6’3’ with gray eyes, light hair and a dark complexion, and was a 39-year-old farmer probably living in Boston when he enlisted in Company D on February 3, 1862, at Saranac, Ionia County for 3 years, and was mustered the same day. (Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County.) He was dropped from the company rolls in compliance with G.O. no. 92 (War Department) regarding deserters.

In fact he died of typhoid fever on June 3, 1862, in the hospital at Yorktown, Virginia, and initially buried on June 3 in the hospital graveyard. He was interred in Yorktown National Cemetery: grave no. 1364.

In 1863 Sarah applied for and received a widow’s pension (no. 32479). Sarah eventually remarried one Mr. Devault and applied for and received a minor child’s pension (no. 151264).

Thursday, May 12, 2011

William L. Williams

William L. Williams was born in 1832 in New York, the son of Nathan and Abigail (Yeomans).

In 1850 there was one William Williams, age 18, working as a farmer along with his father Nathan (b. 1799 in New York) and mother Sarah (b. 1804 in New York) and living with his siblings on a farm in New Hartford, Oneida County, New York. (In fact Nathan was living in New Hartford in 1830 and in 1840 as well as in 1860.)

William left New York and moved west, eventually settling in western Michigan by mid-1860. In fact, he was probably living in Grand Rapids when he joined the Grand Rapids Artillery, commanded by Captain Baker Borden, on July 16, 1860. (The GRA would serve as the nucleus for Company B, also commanded by Borden, of the Third Michigan infantry.)

William stood 5’8” with gray eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was a 29-year-old carpenter possibly living in Kent County when he enlisted as Fourth Corporal in Company B on May 13, 1861. (William may have been related to Jessie Williams who also enlisted in Company B.) He was absent sick in the hospital in August of 1862, eventually returned to duty and was wounded in the left shoulder on December 13, 1862, at Fredericksburg, Virginia. He was first sent to a hospital in Washington and was probably in the hospital at Fort Schuyler, New York in January of 1863, and absent wounded from February of 1863 until he went home on furlough in August.

On Saturday, August 29, 1863, the Eagle reported that “The many friends in this city of William L. Williams, a gallant and true soldier who has been with the glorious Third from the date of its entering the service up to within a few days past, will rejoice to welcome him home again after so long a time past in the service of his country -- in the field and in the camp. Mr. W. will pass his short furlough with his family and friends, and then return to his Regiment again.” He remained absent wounded, probably in New York or perhaps in Michigan through February of 1864 when he was transferred to Company G, Tenth Regiment Veterans’ Reserve Corps on February 15, 1864 at Fort Schuyler; he also reportedly served in the Fourth Company, Second Battalion, VRC as well.

William was discharged from the VRC sometime in 1864 and returned to Kent County where he reentered the service as Sergeant in Company E, Thirtieth Michigan infantry on December 10, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 1 years, crediting Algoma, Kent County, and was mustered the same day. The regiment was organized in Detroit for 12 months’ service in the state and was mustered into service on January 9, 1865. It was engaged in frontier duty in Michigan along the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers. William was promoted to First Sergeant on May 10, 1865, and mustered out with the regiment at Detroit on June 30, 1865.

After the war William returned to his home in Kent County.

He married New York native Mrs. Sarah H. Sayers (1824-1903) on October 30, 1867, in Walker, Kent County, and they had at least one child: Hattie A. (b. 1868).

It is possible that he was the same “William L. Williams” who, in mid-January of 1871, “pled guilty to the charge of assault and battery, before Justice Putnam yesterday, and paid a fine of $7.00.”

In any case, William was living in Grand Rapids in 1874 and 1885, but by 1880 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and daughter in Tallmadge, ottawa County. By 1888 he had moved to Berlin (Marne), Ottawa count, was back in Grand Rapids in 1893, in Berlin in 1895 and Grand Rapids in 1898, in Tallmadge, Ottawa County in 1900 and for many years worked as a carpenter. By 1910 he was possibly residing on RR no. 18, Grand Rapids Township, Kent County, and on RR no. 13 (?) in 1911.

He was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 3454) on September 18, 1900, was dropped from the Home on June 13, 1913, and reentered the home on January 7, 1915. William was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association and Grand Army of the Republic Champlin Post No. 29 in Grand Rapids, a Protestant.

In 1888 (?) he applied for and received pension no. 374,260.

William died a widower of nephritis at his home in Walker on Saturday, February 20, 1916, while absent from the Home without leave, and the funeral service was held at his residence at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday. He was buried in Greenwood cemetery: section C lot 28.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Thomas Corwin Williams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams was born on September 9, 1836, in Michigan, the son of Lyman (d. 1848) and Lucinda M. (Boyden, 1813-1852).

His father may have been living in Washtenaw County, Michigan in 1840. According to one source Jesse’s father died in 1848. In 1850 Jessie was probably the same Jesse Williams attending school with his siblings and living with his mother Vermont native Lucinda and the Secord family in Spring Lake, Ottawa County. His mother died in 1852, and he was living in Ottawa County in 1854, and from about 1859 until 1861 boarded with Justus Stiles, a farmer in Polkton, Ottawa County. “He obtained a fair education, and was compelled to work most of the time to secure himself from want. He was usually employed as a farm assistant, and worked, as he found opprtunity, at the carpenter’s trade.”

Jesse stood 5’8” with gray eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was a 24-year-old farm laborer possibly living in Wright, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company B on May 13, 1861. (He may have been related to William Williams who also enlisted in Company B.) He was discharged on July 30, 1861, for hypertrophy of the heart at Arlington Heights, Virginia.

After he left the army Jessie returned home to Ottawa County.

He married Michigan native Ruth E. Dickerson (1846-1916) in 1863, and they had at least five children: Ida L (possibly Loal, b. 1864), a son L. D. (b. 1866), Capitola (b. 1870), George (1872-1897) and Clarence (1874-1903). Sometime around 1865 Jessie moved to Mecosta County, buying a claim of about 80 acres which by 1880s he had some 65 under tillage.

By 1870 he was working as a farmer (he owned $2500 worth of real estate and living with his wife and children in Green, Mecosta County; also living with them was one Ezra Williams, presumably Jesse’s younger brother. Jesse was still living in Green, Mecosta County in 1879, and working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Green in 1880 (he may also have lived in Big Rapids that year as well) and in Stimson in 1890.

He was a Democrat.

In 1874 he applied for a pension (no. 299,598), which was apparently rejected probably in 1885 -- possibly as a consequence of not having been in service the minimum amount of time to qualify, although this is by no means certain.

Jesse died in 1905 presumably at his home in Green, Mecosta County. He was buried in West cemetery, Big Rapids.

Ruth was probably still living in Mecosta County when she died in 1916 and was buried in West cemetery, Big Rapids.

Monday, May 09, 2011

James Charles Williams

James Charles Williams was born in 1844 in Canada.

James’s father was born in England and his mother in Wales.

He was reportedly 21 years old and possibly living in Kent County, Michigan, when he enlisted with his parent’s consent (thus placing him younger than 21) in Company A on May 13, 1861. (Company A was made up largely of men from Grand Rapids, and many of whom had served in various local militia units before the war, specifically the Valley City Guards, or VCG, under the command of Captain Samuel Judd, who would also command Company A.) By early September he was reported as a patient suffering from slight sickness in Carver hospital in Washington, DC. James allegedly deserted on September 29, 1862, but he was in fact discharged on September 29 at Carver hospital, Washington, DC, presumably for disability. (The charge of desertion was removed in 1898.)

It is not known if James returned to Michigan after his discharge. He was apparently residing in New York when he reentered the service as Sergeant in One hundred seventy-sixth New York infantry on December 2, 1862, at Syracuse for 9 months, and was mustered on December 22 at New York City. He was present for duty when he was discharged by Special Order no. 224 (September 8, 1863) from the headquarters Department of the Gulf, New Orleans. Colonel George H. Hanks, commanding Superintendent of Negro Labor, requested that Williams be discharged as “His services will be needed on a government plantation and can be secured provided his discharge is granted.” In fact he had been on detached service working on a government plantation in July and August. The discharge was approved.

It is not known if James ever returned to western Michigan.

He was married to Pennsylvania native Anna E. (b. 1849) and they had at least two children: Carrie (Mrs. Stoughton, b. 1874) and Charles (b. 1875).

James and Anna were living in Ohio in the mid-1870s when their two children were born. James was living in Pennsylvania in 1883 when he applied for and received a pension (no. 867656) for service in both Michigan and New York regiments. By 1890 he was living in Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania. By 1920 James was living with his wife on Holland Street in Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania; also living with them were their daughter Carrie and son Charles.

James died on July 9, 1923, in Warren, Pennsylvania, and was presumably buried there.

In August of 1923 his widow, then living in Pennsylvania, applied for and received a pension (no. 939841).

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Charles D. Williams

Charles D. Williams was born on May 2, 1840, in Jefferson County, New York, possibly the son of William R. (1815-1881) and Betsey (b. 1818).

William R. was living in Antwerp. Jefferson County in 1840. He and New York native Betsey werre married probably before 1837 and possibly in New York. In any case, by 1850 Charles was attending school with two of his younger siblings and living with his family in Rossie, St. Lawrence County, New York, where his father worked as a blacksmith. By 1860 they had moved to Michigan and Charles was working as a common laborer and living with his family in Coe, Isabella County, Michigan.

Charles stood 5’11” with light hazel eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 21 years old and possibly living in Isabella County or perhaps in St. Louis, Gratiot County when he enlisted in Company D on June 5, 1861. He was reported serving with the ambulance corps from July of 1862 through January of 1863. In April he was reported AWOL and absent sick or wounded in the hospital in June and July. In August he was reported with a cavalry detachment through May of 1864, although he was also reported “to have been transferred to Invalid Corps. Left the company sometime in 1862. Nothing is known of his whereabouts. Discharged June 20, 1864 at Detroit at expiration of term of service.”

In fact, Charles was “officially” discharged on July 18, 1863, at the Convalescent Camp, near Alexandria, Virginia, for “advanced morbus coxcanus [or hip-joint disease], contracted since enlistment” (he was also noted as “unfit for the Invalid Corps”), and he listed St. Louis, Gratiot County as his mailing address on his discharge paper.

By the time his discharge was issued Charles was already back in Michigan, and living in St. Louis when he applied for a pension. On July 18, the day he was reportedly discharged in Virginia, he was testifying before a justice of the peace in St. Louis. He swore that while in the line of duty “he contracted a disease of the right hip joint and right knee, which first began to trouble him about the 1st day of March 1862 at Camp Michigan, near Alexandria, Va.” He further stated that it “grew worse during the Peninsular Campaign and has continued to increase ever since; and that he can bear no weight on that leg and has no use of it. He thinks the difficulty arose from hurting himself by his own doing & taking cold . . .”

Charles received pension no. 22,293, dated July of 1863, drawing $8.00 in 1863.

Charles was living in Michigan when he died, possibly in Clinton County, or perhaps in Gratiot County or possibly living with his family in Isabella County, on October 14, 1863, and was buried in Salt River cemetery, Coe, Isabella County.

William and Betsey were still living in Coe, Isabella County in 1870. Willliam died in 1881 and was reportedly buried in Salt River cemetery as well. In 1883 his mother applied for and received a dependent widow’s pension -- his father had served in the Eighth Michigan infantry -- (application no. 306463, cert. no. 248904).

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Warren G. Wilkinson

Warren G. Wilkinson was born on November 4, 1839, in Castleton, Barry County, Michigan, the son of William P. (b. 1803-1887) and Eleanor Louise (Racey, 1821-1852).

William P. was reportedly one of the founders of Castleton Township in Barry County, naming it after his former home in Vermont (Castleton in Rutland County, Vermont). William was living in Barry County in 1837 when he married Eleanor, and William was living in Hastings, Barry County in 1840. By 1850 William and his family were living in Castleton, where “Orrin G.” attended school along with three of his younger siblings. Sometime after Eleanor died William remarried to New York native Angeline (b. 1812). By 1860 Warren was living with his father and stepmother on the family farm in Castleton.

Warren was 22 years old and probably living in the vicinity of Hastings, Barry County when he enlisted in the Hastings Rifle Company in April of 1861. The company was disbanded shortly after it arrived in Grand Rapids and its members distributed to other companies of the Third Michigan infantry then forming at Cantonment Anderson just south of the city, and he eventually enlisted in Company K on May 13, 1861. He was one of the three dozen or so men left behind at Grand Rapids on June 13, 1861, when the Regiment departed by train for Washington, DC.

Warren eventually rejoined the regiment and soon afterwards was appointed hospital steward. On December 19, 1861, he wrote the editor of the Hastings Banner in Barry County, describing their new winter quarters.

1st, let me tell you that we have gone into winter quarters. We are situated about four miles from the city of Alexandria, on the road to Richmond. -- It is a beautiful place for a camp, being on a side hill, and perfectly surrounded with fine oak and hemlock trees. The weather, at present, is very warm and so that every man who is well enough to work, is busily engaged in building log houses, and the camp ground begins to have the appearance of a small log house village. We have not had any thing yet that looks like winter. For the last three weeks we have not had a storm of any kind, and there has been no frost; it reminds us of an Indian summer in old Michigan.

The Barry County boys were the first to erect a cabin, and it bears the name of the “Hastings House.”

The hospital is situated about twenty rods in the rear of the regiment, on a small rise of ground, the small pine and hemlock being so thick around it, that it is almost impossible for the wind to get through. The tented is best by a large arch which the whole length. Over the mouth of the arch, is a brick oven, we find very handy in baking for the sick. Health has never been better, and we have only twelve in hospital.

At present war news is not very plenty here. A little skirmish occurred yesterday morning between our picket guard and about seventy of the rebel cavalry. The rebels rode up to within about thirty rods of our men, dismounted and crept up to within a few rods before the man on guard saw them. He tried to give the alarm by discharging his gun, but that being wet, he had to run into the tent, and wake up the other four boys who were on guard with him. By this time they were surrounded. They jumped up and discharged their pieces at the enemy, who returned their fire, but without doing any harm. Our guard saw that the only way left them was to run; so they did that to the best of their ability. The rebels walked up, took their knapsacks and blankets and then retreated. -- One company of our cavalry being close by, they followed the rebels up and before leaving them they sent four to their long home.

Warren was still working as an attendant in the hospital in February of 1862 when he again wrote the Banner to describe the recent celebration of Washington’s birthday, as well as an excursion the regiment took to Pohick church.

On the 19th of Feb. attendants of the Hospital held a meeting and after electing a chairman and Secretary passed the following resolutions:

Resolved, That in honor of the birthday of the Father of our country do appoint a committee to prepare an Oyster Supper and Cider or Champaign [sic], and further, that each be prepared with a Toast for the Union and that the Farewell Address of Washington be read by the Chairman.

The day was ushered in with the booming of heavy cannon in almost every direction, and as the daylight began to peep over the Eastern Hills of Virginia, the music of the numerous bands could be heard playing the Star Spangled Banner or some other national air.According to the arrangement of the committee, every thing was ready at seven o’clock p.m. After supper the champaign [sic] was drank [sic] with the following toasts given:

1st The Union -- May she,like the Lamp in the Temple of Venus be undying, ever beaming brighter and brighter as time travels her course. W.B.M.

2nd Abraham Lincoln -- May he like the Father of our country (whose birthday we are celebrating) be loved and admired by all. W.G.W [Warren G. Wilkinson]

3rd George B. McClellan -- The Napoleon of the age -- May he live to command the armies of the Union until the Stars and Stripes shall float triumphantly over all parts of the North American Continent. H.B.

4th Our Nation -- May it come out triumphant over all foes and become the Star of the West in Industry,Wealth and Freedom. A.P.D.

5th The Gallant 3d -- The hope of our country and the pride of her State -- May she soon have an opportunity of engaging the rebels, and show their bravery and patriotism, in fighting the battles of her country. G.P.T.

6th The Cause Under Which We Fight -- The foundation of Freedom used and sustained by the Patriots of the Revolution -- May we the Grand Sons of Liberty never desert it while a drop of blood courses through our veins. W.B.M.

7th The Women, The Flag and the Nation -- The three greatest blessings of God -- The first an emblem of innocence and beauty, 2d [an] emblem of Freedom and Liberty, 3d [an] emblem of wealth and prosperity -- May they ever remain together until time shall be no more. W.G.W. [Warren G. Wilkinson]

8th The Stars and Stripes -- Emblem of Equal Rights -- May she float triumphantly in every breeze, a terror to traitors at home and a caution to powers abroad. H.H.B.

9th The Women of Michigan -- God bless them -- May we prove ourselves worthy of their friendship, so that when the old flag floats triumphant over all parts of the United States and we are allowed to return home, they will welcome us with “well done good and faithful servant of our country. we welcome you back.” W.G.W. [Warren G. Wilkinson]

After these, the farewell address was read both to the attendants and to the sick in the hospital.

So you see that although we have been soldiers for nearly a year, there is a little feeling of Patriotism left yet. The Regiment was called on dress parade at four o’clock and the farewell address read to them and a short but patriotic speech was made by our commander, Col. Champlin.

On the morning of the 24th a dispatch came in that five thousand of the rebels had attacked our pickets, and of course they want the old Michigan 3d to go . . . and put a stop to the thing, and I believe it would have done the people of Michigan good to have seen how readily every man prepared for the expected fight; but they were destined to be disappointed as they had often been before. When we arrived at Pohick church, the place where the skirmish had taken place in the morning, not a rebel could be found. They had heard that the old 3d was coming and they made tracks for their strongholds, and our boys returned to camp, wishing all kinds of bad luck to the rebels; but if there is any more fighting to be done, I think we shall soon have a chance to do it, for the whole army of the Potomac is under marching orders and we expect to march the first of next week.

For reasons which are not fully understood, by the summer of 1862 “Warren was apparently detached as hospital steward with the Second Michigan infantry, which was brigaded with the Third. On July 26, 1862, Dr. Henry Lyster, Assistant Surgeon of the Second Michigan infantry, wrote to the Army of the Potomac (no addressee) recommending Warren for the position of hospital steward (a position he had been holding unofficially since the previous year). Warren had worked for Lyster as an acting Hospital Steward at Yorktown, Virginia, and was “eminently well qualified for the position.”

On August 7, 1862, Dr. Walter Morrison, Third Michigan assistant Regimental Surgeon and a former Hospital Steward of the Regiment, wrote to Dr. Letterman, Medical Director of the Army of the Potomac, also recommending Warren for appointment as Hospital Steward. According to Morrison, “he has been with me as Ward master and acting Hospital Steward more or less for the past year. I have found him to be a competent, active and trustworthy young man of good moral habits. His honesty and sobriety cannot be questioned in the least. His experience has been such as to fit him to take immediate charge of a department and do honor to himself and his superiors, in the execution of his duties.” Morrison’s comments were echoed by Colonel Byron Pierce of the Third Michigan in a letter to Letterman on August 7. “I have no hesitancy,” wrote Pierce, “in saying that he will fill the position with honor and credit.” He eventually received the appointment.

Warren was reported working a nurse in the hospital from July of 1862 through October, was a Brigade Hospital Steward in November and December and was transferred to the medical department on January 4, 1863, at Camp Pitcher, Virginia. In July of 1863 he was a Brigade Hospital Steward, in August he was at the Regimental hospital where he served as ward-master from August 15, 1863. he was apparently with the regiment when it was sent north along with the Fifth Michigan infantry to provide security in New York for the upcoming draft.

The regiments spent some two weeks in Troy, New York. On September 21, after the Third Michigan had returned to its old brigade in Virginia, Warren wrote to the Troy Daily Times.

Having become settled in our new camp, I thought that I would write a few lines to your paper, hoping that it will be interesting or at least acceptable to our friends in Troy. I shall not attempt to express our many thanks to the people of Troy for their kindness to us, for it would be impossible to do so, but suffice it to say that we all enjoyed ourselves much better than we anticipated, and could not help but regret when the order came for us to return to the Army of the Potomac. Nothing can be heard talked of among our men but the kindness, the hospitality and generosity of the people in Troy. It did not seem possible that such a strong feeling of attachment could have been formed in so short a period. Every one did all that was in their power to convince us that they were our friends, and that their hearts were with us in the cause of their country; and I am sure that our men returned with a new determination to do all that they could to put down this unholy rebellion. Too much cannot be said in praise of the young ladies of your city. Instead of standing upon etiquette and long ceremony, they were familiar and sociable, and treated us as friends and gentlemen, if we were soldiers. This was something we did not receive from Southern ladies; they look upon a Union soldier as something far beneath their notice, and instead of receiving a smile and a kind word, it is a sneer and some insulting epithet. So the ladies may rest assured that we appreciate the change.

Our journey back to the army was very pleasant with the exception of an accident, which happened – three men being hurt by a bridge while riding on top of a car. We were obliged to leave them n the hospital at Philadelphia. They names were Wm. J. Cobb, Third Michigan, John Linsea and John Lakle, Fifth Michigan. I have been informed that Cobb and Linsea have since died. They were good soldiers and had passed through all the different battles with their regiments.

We arrived here and joined our old brigade on the evening of the 18th. They seemed to be much pleased to have us return and greeted us with three cheers. We are within five miles of the rebel lines, and with a good prospect of an engagement before long.

Mrs. Etheridge is with us and is in the enjoyment of good health. She seems to feel much more at home in the camp than she did in the city of Troy, and I presume that when our regiment is disbanded she will enlist in the veteran corps.

We have been very anxious to receive some of the Troy papers, but so far have not been favored with any. No more at present.

Very respectfully, W.G.W.

Warren served as ward-master through April of 1864 and in May he was absent sick in the hospital. He was mustered out on June 20, 1864, at Detroit.

After the war Warren returned to Michigan and was graduated from the University of Michigan medical school in 1867.

He was married to English-born Alice Sully (b. 1846).

By 1870 Warren was working as a physician and living with his wife in Stanton village, Montcalm County. Warren was living in Montcalm County in 1871 when he served as a vice president of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association.

Association records note that Warren died in Stanton, Montcalm County, apparently sometime before 1890, and in fact he died on June 18, 1879, presumably at his home in Stanton. He was buried in the family plot in Hosmer cemetery, Barry County, row 14.

In 1880 his father William and stepmother Angeline were still living in Castleton, Barry County.

His widow was living in Farwell, Clare County in 1890.

Matthew Baird Diary online

The folks at Charlton Park in Barry County, Michigan have begun posting entries from Matthew Baird's diary. Matthew joined the Hastings True Blues under Capt. George A. Smith in late April of 1861 but soon after arriving in Grand Rapids that company was disbanded and the men dispersed to other companies of the 3rd Michigan. Matthew was assigned to Company E, 3rd Michigan Infantry and he was discharged the following year. He eventually enlisted in the 6th Michigan Cavalry.

Anyway, as part of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, Charlton Park historians are posting one entry per day. You can follow the posts at http://charltonpark.wordpress.com/

Friday, May 06, 2011

Charles Wilkinson

Charles Wilkinson was born in 1822 in England.

Charles left England and came to the United States. He married English-born Isabell (b. 1829), possibly in England; in any case they had at least one child, a daughter Charlotte (b. 1850).

By 1850 he had settled his family on a farm in Crockery, Ottawa County, Michigan. By 1860 Charles was farming and living with his wife in Coopersville, Polkton Township, Ottawa County. Their daughter Charlotte is not listed as living with them but one Henry Hudson (b. 1857 in Michigan) is listed with the family.

He was a 40-year-old farmer, probably living in Coopersville or Polkton, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company I on August 12, 1862, at Grand Rapids, crediting Polkton, Ottawa County. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.) Charles joined the Regiment on September 8 at Upton’s Hill, Virginia. He was missing in action May 2, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Virginia, and returned to the Regiment on October 3 when he was reported as driving an ambulance -- interestingly in November he was also reported as an exchanged prisoner-of-war at Camp Convalescent near Alexandria, Virginia. It appears he may have been taken prisoner on May 2 and exchanged on or about November 15.

In any case, he was absent sick from December of 1863 until he was transferred to Company C, Twenty-second Veterans’ Reserve Corps January 15, 1864, at Washington, DC. (The VRC was made up of men who while ambulatory were generally incapable of performing regular military tasks due to having suffered debilitating wounds and/or diseases and were assigned to garrison the many supply depots, draft rendezvous, camps, forts, prisons, etc. scattered throughout the northern sities, thus freeing able-bodied men for regular military duty.) It appears that Charles died shortly after being transferred to the VRC.

In December (?) of 1864 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 48207). (In 1870 one Henry Hudson, age 13 and born in Michigan was a farm laborer living with and/or working for the Collins Barnes family in Polkton.)

Thursday, May 05, 2011

William B. Wiley

William B. Wiley was born in 1841 in Penobscot County, Maine.

William may have been living in Sparta, Kent County in 1860.

In any case William stood 5’7” with hazel eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 20 years old and probably still living in Kent County when he enlisted with the consent of the Justice of the Peace in Company K on May 13, 1861. William was reported as a provost guard in July of 1862, a provost guard at Brigade headquarters from August through November, and absent sick in the hospital from December of 1862 through March of 1863. He was serving with the ambulance corps in April and May, at Regimental headquarters in June and July, and in August he was a servant to Colonel Byron Pierce then commanding the Third Michigan.

On December 24, 1863, William reenlisted at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Plainfield, 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. In May of 1864 he was on detached service, and he was still on detached service at Division headquarters when he was transferred to Company I, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He was absent sick in Hoover hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from July through October, returned to duty on October 25, 1864, and was absent sick in March of 1865. He was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

(In 1870 there was a William Wiley living in Grand Rapids’ Second Ward. And in 1890 there was a William E. Wiley who had served in the Nineteenth Illinois infantry living in Grand Rapids and in Grand Rapids’ Seventh Ward by 1894.)

No pension seems to be available.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

William W. Wilder

William W. Wilder was born in 1838 in Yates County, New York.

In 1850 there was a 15-year-old William Wilder living with a wealthy farmer named Althea Torrey and her family in Potter, Yates County, New York. That same year there was one Nelson Wilder (b. 1803 in New York) working as a laborer and/or living with the William Bostwick family in Potter, Yayes County. He may have been the same Nelson Wilder living in Ronald, Ionia County, Michigan in 1860.

In any case, William left New York and moved west, eventually settling in western Michigan by the time war had broken out.

He stood 5’8” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was a 23-year-old farmer possibly living in Kent County when he enlisted in Company B on May 13, 1861. William was a Corporal and reported as missing in action on July 1, 1862, at White Oak Swamp, Virginia, and was returned to the Regiment on August 6 at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia. He was wounded by a cannon shell in the right leg on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, Virginia, and subsequently hospitalized in Washington, DC where his leg was amputated. He was discharged as Sergeant on July 29, 1863, at St. Elizabeth’s hospital in Washington.

In September of 1863 he applied for and received a pension (no. 22586).

William was married to Annie E.

In 1870 there was a 34-year-old farmer named Nelson Wilder living in Ronald, Ionia County, and a 34-year-old farmer named William Wilder (b. in Michigan) living with the Haines family in Boston, Ionia County (William owned some $3500 worth of real estate).

His widow was probably living in Washington, DC, in June of 1884 (?) when she applied for and received a pension (no. 278370).

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Edward Wilder

Edward Wilder was born in 1836 in Vermont, the son of Harvey (1805-1852) and Hannah Maria (Warner, 1807-1890).

Edward’s parents were married in 1827 in Pittsford, Rutland County, Vermont (where Hannah was born) but by 1830 were living in Plymouth, Windsor County, Vermont (where Harvey was born). By 1832 they were living in Mt. Holly, Rutland County where they resided for several years.; but by 1840 Harvey was living in Pittsford, Rutland County, Vermont By 1842 Harvey had moved his family to western Michigan and they were living in Somerset, Ottawa County, Michigan. By the summer of 1845 they had moved to Alpine, Kent County, and in 1850 Edward was attending school with several of his siblings and living with his family in Alpine, Kent County where Harvey died in 1852.

Edward was probably living in Dayton, Newaygo County, when he married New York native or Ianthe (Haynes, b. 1840) on August 7, 1859, and they had at least one child: Edward (b. 1860). Edward was working as a farmer and residing with his wife in Dayton in 1860.

He was a 26-year-old farmer probably living in Dayton, Newaygo County when he enlisted in Company K on or about March 12, 1862, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered the same day.

Edward was sick in the hospital in August of 1863 through September, and at some point was sent to New York to recover. He died of disease on October 9, 1863, at Fort Schyuler, New York, and was probably buried on October 10, in Cypress Hills National Cemetery, on Long Island. (Edward was reburied or memorialized in Brooklawn cemetery, Kent County.

His widow applied for and received a pension (no. 37779). She apparently remarried to one James Rivial or Rivail and was living in Dayton in 1870; her son Edward Wilder was also living with them.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Philo H. Wier

Philo H. Wier was born in 1840 in Orleans County, New York, probably the son of John (b. 1821) and Maria (b. 1822).

New York natives John and Maria were married, presumably in New york where they lived for some years. Between 1848 and 1850 they moved west eventually settling in Bennington, Shiawassee County, Michigan by 1850 when Phil was attending school with two of his younger siblings and living ont he family farm. By 1860 Philo was probably working as a farm laborer for Hiram Whitaker in Salem, Washtenaw County, Michigan.

He was married to Amanda.

He stood 6’1” with hazel eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was a 21-year-old laborer possibly living in Bennington, Shiawassee County when he enlisted in Company G on May 13, 1861. He was a Corporal when he was reported missing in action on May 3, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Virginia, and in fact he had been captured and held briefly by the rebels. According to Homer Thayer of Company G, “Corporal Phil H. Wier and private Abram Ketchum were lost in the attack made by our Division on Saturday night and are reported as missing.”

He was paroled at City Point, Virginia on May 15, and reported to Camp Parole, Maryland on May 18 where he allegedly deserted on June 23, but apparently soon returned to the Regiment.

Philo reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Bennington, was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February. He was wounded on June 10 near Cold Harbor, Virginia, was hospitalized soon afterwards and was still absent wounded when he was transferred as Sergeant to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864.

Philo died from his wounds on June 16 or July 1. Dan Crotty, former color guard and member of Company F, wrote some years after the war that while he was visiting another Third Michigan comrade, Sergeant Dietrich, in a field hospital near Petersburg, Virginia, he learned “that Corporal Wier, who carried my colors, has been shot dead. . . .” He was originally buried on the Henry Bryan property near Meade Station, Virginia, then reinterred in City Point National Cemetery: section E, grave 2496.

Late in 1864 Amanda applied for and received a widow’s pension (no. 44659).

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Josiah D. Wickham

Josiah D. Wickham was born on July 20, 1809, in New York.

Josiah married Pennsylvania native Sarah (b. 1817), and they had at least two children: George (b. 1835) and a daughter Frances (b. 1840). By the time George as born they had settled in New York but sometime between 1835 and 1840 they moved to Michigan, and by 1850 Josdiah was working as a farmer (he owned $600 worth of real estate) and was living with his wife and two childrenin Sunfield, Eaton County.

Josiah was married to New York native or Vermonter Charlotte B. (1823-1890), and they had at least three children: Deming (1859), Frank B. (1866-1876) and Henry K. (1863-1896).

Josiah and his family were probably living in Clinton County in 1859 when their infant son Deming died (he was buried in South Riley cemetery). By 1860 Josiah and Charlotte were living on a farm in Riley, Clinton County (Josiah owned some $5,000 worth of real estate). Also living with them was 41-year-old New York native Susan Bassett and her 6-year-old son William (born in Michigan). Josiah eventually left New York and settled in western Michigan. By 1863 Josiah was working as a gunsmith in South Riley, Clinton County.

Josiah stood 5’10” with gray eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was a 45-year-old farmer probably living in Riley, Clinton County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company D on January 4, 1864, at Corunna, Shiawassee County or Riley for 3 years, crediting Riley. (He may have been related to Case Wickham of Company G. Case’s father James moved from Clinton County to Shiawassee County just before the war and lived there for many years afterwards.)

Josiah joined the Regiment on February 18 at Camp Bullock, Virginia, was absent sick in March and was still absent sick when he was transferred to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He remained absent sick until he was discharged for disability on April 3, 1865, at Detroit.

Josiah returned to Michigan after the war, probably back to his farm in Clinton County where he was living in 1870 with his wife Charlotte (reportedly worth some $7,000 in real estate), their two children and Susan Bassett and her son William.

In September of 1865 he applied for a pension (no. 84557; service listed as Company D, Third Michigan cavalry).

Josiah died of cancer of the stomach on November 29, 1874, in Dewitt, Clinton County, and was buried in South Riley cemetery: lot no. 43 grave 1.