Friday, December 30, 2016

Zeeland Cemetery Ottawa County

Roelof Steffins (1837-1904), also known as "Ralph", is one of the many Dutch and German immigrants who fought in the 3rd Michigan Infantry.



Friday, December 23, 2016

Jamestown Cemetery Ottawa County

David Gitchel (1837-1861) was one of the very first casualties of the regiment.

He died at Camp Blair, near Chain Bridge, just a few weeks after the 3rd Michigan arrived outside of Washington, DC. The marker is most likely a cenotaph.


Friday, December 16, 2016

Georgetown Cemetery Ottawa County

1836-1914, half-brother of John N., Isaac reentered the army after he was discharged from the 3rd Michigan Infantry

Stephen Lowing (1817-1891) and his son-in-law George Hubbard (1839-1893)

John Nelson Waite (1840-1922), half-brother of Isaac Wait

Alfred Tate (1842-1929), his stone is closest to the tree

Friday, December 09, 2016

Haire Cemetery in Ottawa County

Once called Old Georgetown Cemetery, Haire Cemetery has few burials and many of those are lost to time and the elemtns. Fortunately Wilbur Bement (1834-1891) is not among the lost.


Friday, December 02, 2016

Blendon Cemetery Ottawa County

Samuel Thompson 1831-1906

James Parm 1827-1905


Sunday, October 30, 2016

3rd Michigan Infantry Men buried in Spring Lake Cemetery

Thomas Somerset and his family


Orange McClure buried with his brother Jay's family


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Updated bios 10/29/2016

The latest updated online bios of 3rd MIchigan Infantry soldiers are:

Orange McClure
John Nelthorpe
Lemuel Ward

Friday, October 28, 2016

3rd Michigan Infantry Men buried in Nunica Cemetery

Lemuel Ward

Edward P. Davidson


John Nelthorpe


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Updated bios 10/18/2016

The following online biographical sketches have been updated as of 18 October 2016:

George W. Bennett
Jonas Bennett
Jerome Briggs
Oren Coleman
Squire Corby
Charles Corey
Andrew Hath
Sanborn Hath
Albert Hayes
Henry Himelberger
George Keytes
Francis Kimball
Jackson Meeks
Nehemiah Merritt
George Morrison
Owen Palmer
Thomas Rowling
Alfred Slocum
Willis Turner
William W. Wade
Michael Welter
William Zilky

Jonas M. Bennett update 10/18/2016

Jonas M. or Joseph Bennett was born on February 23, 1844, in Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan, the son of Cyrus (b. 1809 in Massachusetts) and Dianna (Larnes, b. 1813 in New York).

Cyrus married Deanna Larnes in Washtenaw County, Michigan in 1834 and by 1839 had settled in Kent County; he was still living in Grand Rapids in 1840. By 1850 Cyrus was working as a carpenter and the family was still living in Grand Rapids where Jonas was attending school with three of his older siblings, including a brother George who would also join the 3rd Michigan. Jonas was living in Grand Rapids when he reportedly fell from a building in 1855 and dislocated his elbow.

Jonas eventually moved to Muskegon, Muskegon County probably to work in the growing lumber industry there and by 1860 he was working as a day laborer residing at the Chubb boarding house in Muskegon; he was also listed as living with his family, including his brother George, in Brooks, Newaygo County, where his father worked as a carpenter. Also living with Cyrus and his family was Jonas’ brother-in-law Charles Mills, and his wife Laura (Bennett) and their son Frederick.

Jonas stood 5’7” with blue eyes, black hair and a fair complexion, and was 18 years old and probably still living in Muskegon when he enlisted with his parents’ consent in Company H on April 5, 1861, along with his older brother George W.; his brother-in-law Charles enlisted in Company E. Jonas was quite probably related to George A. Bennett, who also enlisted in Company H. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers”, was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties.)

Jonas was discharged on July 31, 1861, probably at Hunter’s Farm, Virginia, near Alexandria, for a deformed right elbow, injured some six years prior to enlistment. Jonas recalled in 1904 that in the spring of 1855 he fell from a building in Grand Rapids and dislocated his elbow. (In the winter of 1867, he jumped out of a burning building in Newaygo, Newaygo County, and broke his ankle.)

He returned home to Muskegon where he reentered the service under the name of “Joseph W. Bennett,” as Sergeant in Company C, 26th Michigan infantry on August 5, 1862, for 3 years, crediting Muskegon, and was mustered on September 15, 1862, at Jackson, Jackson County. (Jonas claimed in 1904 that he changed his name so he would be allowed to go back into the army, believing he would not be accepted because he had been previously discharged for a disability.)

The 26th infantry was organized at Jackson between September 10 and December 12, 1862, and mustered into service on December 12. The regiment left Michigan for Washington on December 13 and was on provost duty at Alexandria, Virginia until April 20, 1863. It was moved to Fort Richmond, New York City harbor on July 14 where it remained until mid-October when it rejoined the army of the Potomac. It participated in the Mine Run campaign of November -December and various actions around the Rapidan River in February of 1864. It is unclear if, however, Jonas (or Joseph) e

ver left Michigan with the 26th infantry. He was transferred to the Veterans Reserve Corps (VRC).

It is possible that Jonas was transferred to the VRC while still in Michigan. In any case, he had returned to Michigan, possibly as a consequence of being transferred to the VRC and was on detached service from February of 1864 through April at the draft rendezvous in Grand Rapids (Camp Lee). When the Grand Rapids draft depot was closed down in the summer of 1864, he was sent to the draft rendezvous at Jackson in July where he remained until he was mustered out on May 31, 1865. After the war Jonas remained in western Michigan and by 1867 was living in Newaygo, Newaygo County when he broke his ankle jumping from a building to escape a fire. For a time lived in Greenville, Montcalm County.

He was possibly still living in Grand Rapids when he became a member of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association sometime around 1872 (shortly after the Association was organized). He married Julia Tubbs in Grand Rapids, in 1866, and they had one child; they were divorced in 1879.

In 1870 he was operating a saloon and living with his wife in Muskegon’s 2nd Ward, Muskegon County. He married his second wife, one Julia or Juliette Cervier (or Cenvier), in Denver in 1886; they had one child, Leila Grace (b. 1888).

Jonas eventually moved to Leadville, Colorado and engaged in mining. He was living at the rear of 133 W. 9th in Leadville from 1888 to 1890. By the late 1890s he was living in Cripple Creek and Victor, El Paso County, Colorado when he applied for and received pension no. 1,100,153, dated 1897, drawing $6.00 per month by mid-1905. He lived for a time in Texas and Montana, and by 1903-4 he was living in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (possibly with George W.).

Jonas died on October 21, 1905, possibly in Oklahoma City and may be buried there.

Sanborn Hath Jr. - update 10/18/2016

Sanborn Hath Jr. was born in 1828 in Vermont, the son of Sanborn Sr. (1791-1879) and stepson of Emily (Hooker, b. 1802).

New Hampshire native Sanborn Sr. was married, presumably in Vermont where he was residing when his son Sanborn Jr. was born. In 1832 Sanborn Sr. married Vermonter Emily in Peacham, Caledonia County, Vermont. They eventually left Vermont and had settled in New York by 1837 when their son James was born, although apparently they returned to Vermont where they were living in 1841 and 1846. The family eventually moved on to Michigan and were probably living in Milan, Monroe County in 1840. In any case Sanborn Sr. eventually settled his family in Dewitt, Clinton County.

By 1860 Sanborn Jr. was working as a farm laborer, attending school with his siblings and living on the family farm in Dewitt, Clinton County. He may have been married to Virginia-born Sarah (b. 1835) and they may have had two children: Cornelia (b. 1853) and Rebecca (b. 1859).

Sanborn Jr. was 33 years old and possibly living in Clinton County, Michigan, when he enlisted as a wagoner in Company G on May 10, 1861, at about the same time as his younger half-brother Andrew Hath. According to Captain Robert Jefferds of Company G, Sanborn distinguished himself at the battle of First Bull Run. The Republican reported in mid-September that Hath was “the only wagoner who brought his load safely from the field of Bull Run. He brought thirty bushels of oats in addition, which was all the grain the horses of the Regiment had to subsist upon for nearly a fortnight. He has been promoted to wagoner of the Regiment for his conduct.”

Nevertheless, Sanborn reportedly deserted on February 11, 1862, at Alexandria, Virginia, or February 13 or 15, 1862 at Camp Michigan, Virginia.

There is no further record, and no pension is available.

By 1870 Sanborn, Sr. and his wife were living in Charlotte, Eaton County. Sanborn Sr. died in Dewitt in 1879.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

John W. Morgridge - update 9/7/2016

John W. Morgridge was born November 12, 1842 in Maine, the son of Maine natives Lorenzo (b. 1819) and Vienna (b. 1811).

By 1850 John was attending school with his siblings, one of whom, his younger brother William, would also join the 3rd Michgian in 1861, and living with his family in Parkman, Piscataquis, Maine. Lorenzo took his family and left Maine sometime after 1851 and eventually settled in western Michigan. By 1860 John was working as a toll collector and living with another toll collector by the name of Elisha Faxon in Grand Rapids’ 4th Ward, Kent County. (That same year Felix Zoll, who would join Company C in 1861, was living with his wife just two houses away from Morgridge. In any case, John’s brother William and father Lorenzo were both living in Paris, Kent County. )

John was living in Grand Rapids when he joined a local militia company, the Grand Rapids Artillery, on July 16, 1860. The GRA was commanded by Captain Baker Borden, and would serve as the nucleus for Company B, also commanded by Borden, of the 3rd Michigan Infantry.

John was 19 years old and probably still living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted (as “John Morgraye”) in Company B on May 13, 1861. (His younger brother William enlisted in Company B in December of 1861.) He was discharged for disability on June 15, 1862.

John probably returned to Kent County where he reentered the service as “John Morgridge” in Company C, 10th Michigan Cavalry on November 28, 1863, at Paris, Kent County for 3 years, and was mustered the same day at Grand Rapids, crediting Paris. The regiment was organized in Grand Rapids 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 the 10th Michigan Cavalry’s primary area of operations would eventually be in the vicinity of Strawberry Plains, Tennessee. In January and February of 1864 he was sick at Camp Nelson, Kentucky and sick in Michigan in December. By March of 1865 he was reported sick at Knoxville,

Tennessee and he remained absent sick through May of 1865, although he was admitted to Harper hospital in Detroit on June 27, 1865. He was honorably discharged on August 3, 1865.

No pension seems to be available.

John eventually returned to Michigan and was possibly living with his brother William in Montcalm County, when he died on November 26, 1869, and was buried in Crystal Cemetery, Montcalm County.

Amasa Tolford Duram - update 9/7/2017

Amasa Tolford Duram was born on October 14, 1829, in Waterloo, Seneca County, New York or 1833 in Port Byron, Cayuga County, New York, the son of New York natives Tolford (1806-1878) and Sylvia Collins (b. 1805).

In 1840 there was one Tolford Duram Jr. living in Mentz, Cayuga County, New York. By 1840 there was a Tolford Duram living in Waterloo, Seneca County, New York. Tolford and Sylvia were probably married in New York sometime before 1829. By 1850 the family had settled in Waterloo, Seneca County, New York, where Tolford worked as a boatbuilder and Amasa (“A. T.”) was employed as a boatman with his older brother “W. B.”; another brother Andrew “A.T.”) was attending school. Andrew would also join the 3rd Michigan infantry. Tolford eventually moved his family to western Michigan and by 1860 he was farming in Polkton, Ottawa County.

Amasa stood 5’6” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was either 32 or 28 years old and perhaps still living in Polkton, Ottawa County or Oakfield, Kent County when he enlisted in Company F on November 9, 1861, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered December 23 at Detroit, crediting Oakfield. (He was an older brother of Andrew Duram and probably the cousin of Samuel Duram of Company I.)

Amasa was on detached service driving an ammunition wagon from at least October of 1862 through February of 1863, and from March through July he was with the Brigade wagon trains. In September or October of 1863, he was tried by a Regimental court martial and fined $13.00, although the offense(s) remains unknown. He was an ambulance driver for the Third Brigade in October and November, and reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Grand Rapids. He was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864, possibly in Michigan, and returned to duty in late January. By March of 1864 was on detached service in the Division hospital, probably as ambulance driver.

Amasa was still on detached service, at Brigade headquarters serving with the supply train, when he was transferred to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and he remained detached as wagoner through May of 1865. Indeed he probably remained on detached service until he was mustered out as a wagoner on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

Amasa returned to Michigan after the war and settled in Coopersville Ottawa County.

He was living in Michigan in 1876 when he applied for a pension (no. 2190854) but the certificate was never granted.

He died of dropsy in Coopersville on January 14, 1879, and was buried in Coopersville cemetery. His original government stone listing him as “A. T. Duram,” is missing (as of September 2016).

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Martin Van Buren Taylor - update 8/31/2016

Martin Van Buren Taylor was born on October 3, 1840, in Pontiac, Oakland County, Michigan, the son of James Hough (born 1811 in Ontario, Canada, died 1873 in Michigan) and Harriet Brewer (born 1811 in New York, died 1854 in Michigan).

James married New York native Harriet on November 11, 1832, in Wilson, Niagara County, New York. and came to Michigan sometime before 1834, and by 1840 had settled in Oakland County. At some point after 1843 James moved his family again, and by 1850 had settled in Eagle Township, Clinton County, where John was attending school with his siblings. After Harriet died in May of 1854, James remarried to Chloe Stansell in July and the family settled in Allendale, Ottawa County. James was serving as a Justice of the Peace in Ottawa County by the early 1860s. Martin may have been living in White Lake, Oakland County in 1860.

Martin stood 5’7’ with blue eyes, brown hair and a fair complexion and was a 20-year-old farmer probably living in Allendale when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861, along with his younger brother Chauncey and older brother James M. Another older brother John A. would join them in 1862. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.)

In 1896 Martin told of how the Regiment was given a furlough just before leaving Michigan in June of 1861. “After our enlistment we were quartered in barracks in Grand Rapids” where they waited “to be mustered in the United States service. About three days before [June 7] the muster in [June 10] we were granted furlough for three days to go home and as soon as we returned from this furlough we were discharged from the state service and immediately mustered in the United States service.” He explained that “the furlough we were granted was not a written furlough, the men were merely told that those who wanted to, could go home for three days before being mustered in the United States service.”

Martin was promoted to Corporal on July 1, 1862, and to Sergeant on November 1, 1862 (see his wartime journal he kept regarding company logistical details). He was reported AWOL in February of 1863, but apparently nothing came of this charge, however. Martin apparently returned to Michigan sometime in late February of 1863.

By early March he had returned to the regiment in its winter quarters at Camp Pitcher, near Washington, DC. On March 9, he wrote to two female friends, Kate and Catharine Hamilton of Grand rapids, how much he enjoyed his recent trip back home.

I must say that I never did enjoy myself better in my life than I did that Monday eve [?] and Tuesday morning I went to the . . . school [and was] well until I came to part with my sister at the depot and there I kept up good spirits as long as I was in their presence but it was lonesome enough to sit in the cars and rehearse the proceedings of the past two weeks or so. But I was not entirely alone as Lieutenants [Thomas] Tate and [Andrew] Nickerson & Sergeant [Charles] Van Dusen all of this regiment were just returning to the regiment.

I came via Canady [sic] and NY city. I left the Rapids on Tuesday morning [and] arrived at Washington on Thursday morning. I went to the Provost Marshal [and] got my transportation pass for to return to my regiment the next day. Stayed with my brother [?] that night . . . . I was a little tardy in getting to the boat the next morning consequently did not leave Washington until yesterday morning. Arrived in camp in the afternoon. You could only imagine how lonesome I was. I know you would pity me, the fact is it was a rainy day & the regiment was nearly all out on picket. They did not return until Tuesday. The time did seem long to me & you young people around there were the subjects of my thoughts a good share of the time.

I feel a little more at home now [that] the boys are here. But still I would give (now) all of my old shoes to be back there & free from the army [and] have peaceable times again.

Now you said you would write if I would, pray do so. You cannot imagine how much consolation it is for a soldier to hear from his friends while away off down here in an enemy’s country weith no associates but soldiers.

I would be very much obliged to you for your picture, iff you feel so disposed as to send them.

Give my respects to all the inquiring friends, if any there be
.

By late April the regiment had changed its location and the men were busy constructing new quarters for themselves. Still, Martin took time to wrote to his friends, the Hamilton sisters in Michigan, to express his condolences on the recent death of their father.

Permit me once more [he wrote on April 21] to address a few lines to you in reply to your ever welcome letter of the 24th ult. which was happily received and eagerly perused. But sad was the news it contained. I tell you girls I did feel sad to hear of the death of your poor father. To think that you should be left without a father to counsel and guide you. As you know that ll young people no matter what time[of life] do need a counsellor for many a young person has been ruined by being left alone in this dark world & not seeing . . . full enough.

I know full well how to sympathize with you dear friends.

I presume you can remember when my mother died, it was on the 7th day of May, 1857.

So I was quite a small boy then.

And notwithstanding I have a good step mother, yet it does not seem like home.

I am sorry that I did not go on and see your father when I was there. But I suppose that all is for the best, so says the scriptue. The old must die and the young may die. We know not how soon it may be the fate of one of us to follow him. But we must hope for the better. Look always up on the bright side and make ourselves as happy as possible for this is a world of sorrow and trouble at the best. Well I must change the subject for I am incompetent of advising you feel as though I needed some one to aid me in this unfriendly world.

However girls do the best you can and I will try and do the same.

We have changed our quarters since I wrote you before. We are about two and a half miles from the old camp. It is a very rolling country. Our camp is situated on the side of a hill in a little pine grove surrounded by hard wood such as oak, hickory, beech, a little holly and . . . good spring water. Our houses are all nearly of a size neatly arranged in line by company in columns at company distance. The streets between the companies are turnpiked with . . . sidewalks (four feet in width) in front of the houses. My tent mates are Brothers John & James. Our house is built of three-inch plank . . . 10 ft. 6 in long by 6 ft 8 in wide [and] 5 ft high. A good door on wooden hangings [with a] better floor than the most of the Virginia houses have. A neat little table fastened to the side of the house by leather hinges and a large arm chair of our own manufacture. And what makes it so comfortable and pleasant in rthe evening is the . . . little fire place. All who call on us say we have the most comfortable house in the camp.


Martin was promoted to First Sergeant on March 1, 1864, and was mustered out on June 20, 1864, at Detroit.

Following his discharge Martin returned to Michigan and married his first wife Alicia Matilda Brennan (1848-1911) on December 10. 1865 in Allegan County, and they had at least seven children: William Alexander (1867-1937), Harriett Elizabeth (1870-1961), Florence E. (1873-1875), Annie E. (1875-1904), Ella Maud (1878-1885), Bertha Rebecca (1880-1970) and Nellie A. (1883-1959).

He and Alicia were living in Georgetown, Ottawa County in 1870 and in Kalkaska, Kalkaska County in 1870. They mau have lived for a time in Wyoming, Kent County, but sometime in late 1876 or early 1877 Martin and his brother James joined their brother John A. in Kansas.

By 1880 Martin was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Ohio, Morris County, Kansas. Martin remained in Kansas from 1877 until perhaps late 1886 or early 1887 when he probably moved back to Ottawa County. He was reported living in Eastmanville and in Allendale in 1888, in Conklin, Ottawa County in 1890, in Wright, Ottawa County in 1894 and by 1896 he was living in Grandville, Kent County, working as a lumberman, carpenter and farmer. By 1900 he and his won William were living in Pennington, South Dakota.

Martin was a member of the 3rd Michigan Infantry Association, a Protestant and he received pension no. 738,771, drawing $12.00 in 1910, increased to $30.00, then $40.00 and finally to $50.00 by 1918.

Martin was back living in Grandville in 1906 and in fact resided in Grandville until he was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 5707) on July 26, 1910, and discharged at his own request on October 14, 1915. He was readmitted on May 3, 1917, discharged on March 5, 1919, and eventually moved out west.

On December 15, 1919, he was admitted as a widower to the National Military Home in Leavenworth, Kansas, and discharged at his own request on July 11, 1921. (Virtually the same dates apply to his admission and discharge form the NMH in Losa Angeles.) By 1920 he was living in the National Military Home in Malibu, Los Angeles County, California. He was soon back at his home in Grandville and was again admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home on April 12, 1921, and discharged for the final time on November 16, 1923. He was readmitted to the Leavenworth Home on September 1, 1925 and discharged at his own request on October 15, 1925.

Martin married his second wife, Ohio native and widow Mrs. Mary Jane Way Bremner (b. 1849) On August 23, 1923, in California. By 1925 he had reportedly moved to La Honda, California. By 1930 he and his wife Mary were living in La Sierra Heights, Temeschal Township, Riverside County, California; also living with them was Mary’s daughter from a previous marriage, Elizabeth Bremner (b. 1891 in Michigan).

Martin died on June 12, 1930 in Arlington, California, and his body was sent back to Michigan where it was buried in Grandville Cemetery.

John Abram Taylor - update 8/31/2016

John Abram Taylor was born on April 3, 1836, in Michigan, son of James Hough (born 1811 in Ontario, Canada, died 1873 in Michigan) and Harriet Brewer (born 1811 in New York, died 1854 in Michigan).

James married New York native Harriet on November 11, 1832, in Wilson, Niagara County, New York. and came to Michigan sometime before 1834, and by 1840 had settled in Oakland County. At some point after 1843 James moved his family again, and by 1850 had settled in Eagle Township, Clinton County, where John was attending school with his siblings. After Harriet died in May of 1854, James remarried to Chloe Stansell that July and the family settled in Allendale, Ottawa County. James was serving as a Justice of the Peace in Ottawa County by the early 1860s.

John A. was 26 years old and living in either Allendale or Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company I on November 5, 1862, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Grand Rapids, joining his three younger brothers Chauncey, James and Martin. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.)

John A. joined the Regiment December 26, 1862, at Camp Pitcher, Virginia, and by late April he was sharing a tent with his two brothers James and Martin. John was shot in the right shoulder on May 2, 1863, at the battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia, the bullet exiting near the upper part of his arm. He was subsequently hospitalized, and transferred to 78th Company, 2nd Battalion, Veterans Reserve Corps (VRC) on January 15, 1864, at Washington, DC.

He was eventually discharged from the VRC and returned to Allendale.

In January of 1865 he married Amanda Jane Todd (1850-1909), and they had at least three children: Charles H. (b. 1866), Frank J. (b. 1871) and Anna M. (b. 1873). Following the death of Amanda, John may have married a third time to a Susan McFarline. In 1867 John applied for and received a pension (no. 82351).

John was a member of the 3rd Michigan Infantry Association. He worked as a farmer on 78 acres in section 9 until about 1876 when he moved his family to Indiana and then on to Kansas, where he was joined by his two brothers James and Martin. All three brothers remained in Kansas from 1877 until about 1887 when they moved to Arkansas. They were living in Little Rock in 1900 and in about 1902 both James and John moved to the Oakland, California area, where John worked for some years as a cabinet-maker; brother Martin returned to Ottawa County. John was living as a widower in Oakland, California in 1910.

John A. died on August 27, 1915, in Oakland, and was buried in Mountain View cemetery in Oakland, California. Curiously, however, the dates of birth & death are left blank in the space reserved for them on his headstone. It is possible that he was buried in another location, quite likely with his third wife. In fact, according to the SUVCW database, he died in 1918 and was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Battle Creek, Calhoun County, although this has yet to be confirmed.

James Mortimer Taylor - update 8/31/2016

James Mortimer Taylor was born on May 22, 1838 in Detroit, Michigan, the son of James Hough (born 1811 in Ontario, Canada, died 1873 in Michigan) and Harriet Brewer (born 1811 in New York, died 1854 in Michigan).

James married New York native Harriet on November 11, 1832, in Wilson, Niagara County, New York. and came to Michigan sometime before 1834, and by 1840 had settled in Oakland County. At some point after 1843 James moved his family again, and by 1850 had settled in Eagle Township, Clinton County. After Harriet died in May of 1854, James remarried to Chloe Stansell that July and the family settled in Allendale, Ottawa County. James was serving as a Justice of the Peace in Ottawa County by the early 1860s.

James Mortimer stood 5’11” with blue eyes, brown hair and was 23 years old and probably living in Allendale when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861, along with his younger brothers Chauncey and Martin. Another older brother, John A., would join them in 1862. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.) By late April of 1863 he was sharing a tent with his two brothers John and Martin.

During the battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia, on May 3, 1863, when General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was wounded, James and several other men of the 3rd Michigan became separated from the regiment. In 1888, Taylor wrote to the editor of the National Tribune, the newspaper for the Grand Army of the Republic,

I notice quite a number of articles in The National Tribune of late concerning the death of Stonewall Jackson. I was present at the time Stonewall Jackson was killed. I was a member of Co. I, 3d Mich., of the Third Division (the Red Diamond), Third Corps. Our corps that day had been thrown out nearly five miles in the advance of the main army, following, as we then supposed, Lee’s retreating army; but, as we soon learned, it was one of Jackson’s ruses to draw us out while he made his flank attack upon Gen. [O.O.] Howard’s (Eleventh) Corps. In the afternoon we fell back nearly three and a half miles to within about one and a half miles of our main army, where we found ourselves cut off, with Early’s and Jackson’s troops between us and our army. We formed in line for battle in a large cleared field, where our brigade lay in two lines about 12 feet apart. While we were in line there some person on horseback dashed by us, jumping the rear line about 30 feet to my right, passed between the two lines -- about 60 feet apart, jumped the front line and dashed into the woods to the front and left of where I lay, he coming from the direction of [confederate Gen. Jubal] Early’s command and going toward Jackson’s.

From the description I had of Gen. Jackson I always believed that it was he.

Shortly afterwards, about 11 o’clock, [Gen. David] Birney’s whole division moved forward to that famous night charge, [Gen. Hobart] Ward’s brigade leading, ours following, and Graham’s following us, with orders to make as little noise as possible until we came upon the enemy; then make all the noise possible, both with our guns and throats, which we did to the best of our ability. In this charge we got separated, part swinging to the right and part toward the left. I was near the center, and after the first heavy firing had abated I found myself between two fires. While taking my bearings, the firing having ceased, and studying in which direction to go, I heard a shot, followed by a light volley but a short distance away, and immediately heard the Johnnies saying “the ____ Yanks have killed Jackson,” when I lit out in the opposite direction, and finally came out where we started from.

Capt [Thomas] Tait [sic] and eight others got together from my regiment that night. We got an early breakfast, while the Captain said he would look for the regiment. We swallowed our grub in a hurry, in anticipation of hot work as soon as daylight came; and before sunrise the rebs were peppering it to us form three sides, when, you bet, we did some tall running just about that time. It has always been a mystery to me how we ever escaped form there. I can look back now, and as I imagine I see those long strides and lying coat-tails, I think we must have outrun their infernal lead, to which I attribute our miraculous escape.

We came out at the Chancellor House, after which we found our regiment at the point or curve of our line, about a half mile to the right of the Chancellor House, where we made another charge, led by Maj. [Moses] Houghton in his short-sleeves, a revolver in each hand, and we took in about 500 prisoners in short order. We remained at this point until the close of that battle.

This Spring [1888], I took a trip down through Arkansas. Six miles south of Clinton I took dinner with an old Johnny by the name of Samuel Shannon, of Co. I, 19th Ga., and two other ex-Confederate soldiers who served in Lee’s Army of Virginia. Mr. Shannon was present when Jackson was shot. He held Gen. Jackson’s horse as Jackson mounted and started to the front where he received the shot, as claimed by Comrade Sweet, shot by Rankin, followed by a light volley. Mr. Shannon is positive he was not shot by their men, but by our men; which, with my own knowledge, forever settles with me the manner of Gen. Jackson’s death. Mr. Shannon also says that Jackson passed from Early’s command through our corps that night to his command, which I fully believe
.

James was absent sick in the hospital from June of 1863 until he was transferred to the Veterans’ Reserve Corps September 30, 1863, and was possibly stationed in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He apparently served in Company B, 9th Veterans Reserve Corps (VRC).

He married Henrietta Clum in September of 1863, possibly while he was posted with the VRC in Pennsylvania.

James was eventually discharged from the army and returned to Allendale where for some years he farmed on the northeast corner of 84th Avenue and Buchanan Street. He was probably still living in Allendale in 1870 when he applied for and received a pension (no. 131252).

In late 1876 or early 1877 James and his brother Martin moved to Kansas to join another brother, John A., and by 1880 James was farming in Ness County, Kansas and living with his wife. James remained in Kansas from 1877 until about 1887 when he moved to Arkansas with John A. where they lived until 1902 (in 1900 James was living in Springdale, Arkansas).

Both James and John A. then moved to the Oakland, California area (Martin returned to Ottawa County) and by 1911 James was residing at 626 59th Street in Oakland, California. On October 8, 1919 James was admitted as a widower (his nearest relative was C. H. Taylor in Oakland) to the National Military Home in Sawtelle, California. He was discharged at his own request on November 1, 1919. In 1920 he was lodging with the Krijczk family in Alameda, California.

James was a member of the 3rd Michigan Infantry Association.

James died on September 11, 1923, in Oakland, and was reportedly buried in the Soldiers’ Home in Oakland.

Chauncey Brewer Taylor - update 8/31/2016

Chauncey Brewer Taylor was born on April 30, 1843 in Pontiac, Oakland County, Michigan, the son of James Hough (born 1811 in Ontario, Canada, died 1873 in Michigan) and Harriet Brewer (born 1811 in New York, died 1854 in Michigan).

James married New York native Harriet on November 11, 1832, in Wilson, Niagara County, New York. and came to Michigan sometime before 1834, and by 1840 had settled in Oakland County. At some point after 1843 James moved his family again, and by 1850 had settled in Eagle Township, Clinton County, where Chauncey was attending school with his siblings. After Harriet died in May of 1854, James remarried to Chloe Stansell that July and the family settled in Allendale, Ottawa County. James was serving as a Justice of the Peace in Ottawa County by the early 1860s.

Chauncey stood 5’9” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was an 18-year-old farmer probably living in Allendale when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861, along with his older brothers James and Martin. Another older brother, John A., would join them in 1862. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, many from the eastern side of the County.)

Chauncey was reported sick in the hospital in November of 1862, but eventually returned to duty. He was with the regiment while it was in winter quarters at Camp Bullock, Virginia, near Washington, DC.

On February 12, 1863, he wrote to Catharine Hamilton, a young friend in Grand Rapids.

With pleasure I pen you a few lines this evening to let you know that I am still well and able to take my share of the confiscated property that is to be found in this state, and also, somebody else’s share, if they only let it lay out in the dew, so that it will stick to my hands. I do not mean to insinuate that I ever steal anything, for you know I do not, but I sometimes buy a pig, or a sheep, or a chicken when the owner is gone to mill.

You know I do not take anything that I cannot carry, unless there is someone to help me.

But enough of this. I arrived in camp the night of the ninth and I have been so lonely ever since that I don’t know what to do with myself.

You see there is no one that knows that I have returned to the army as yet and I have not got any mail until this evening, and that was from home, and I have to find something to busy myself about, and so I have taken to writing to my friends that are far away. I have written twelve letters since I came here and have worked all the time. The sun gives me lite so I could work to get my house built, so to do nothing but write.

There is nothing to do in camp for me now but to tend to my correspondences.

Catharine write to me as soon as possible for you do not know how I love to get letters from my friends, and I will gladly reply, and as often as you wish to write, and perhaps oftener. Catharine, if you only knew how much joy it is to the joy forsaken soldier to read the letters from friends . . . and to get letters from anywhere, you would write very often, I am sure.

And I hope you will not fail to write, as it is and then I will try to tell you how pleasant it is, and more. I will promise to prove to you that it is very pleasant by showing you how constant I will be and prompt to answer every one you write.

Now how is the rest of the young people that I am acquainted? How is Olive and Louisa and Mr. Barker [?] and all the friends. Please give my kindest regards and best wishes to them. Say to them that I should like to hear from them very much.

Hoping this may find you in good health and to hear from you I remain, Your true friend, Chauncey B. Taylor.
Although Chauncey was reported AWOL in August of 1863, he had returned to duty by the time he reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Hamburg, Livingston County. He was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough, probably in Michigan, in January of 1864, and probably returned to the regiment on or about the first of February. He was transferred as a Musician (probably a bugler) to Company I, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and was listed on detached service from September through October of 1864. He was reported as a nurse in City Point hospital, Virginia in November and serving with the Quartermaster department in December of 1864, possibly as a nurse, and in March of 1865 was in the Division ambulance train. He was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war Chauncey returned to his home in Allendale where he lived briefly and possibly worked as a carpenter.

He married Sarah Ellsworth (b. 1859) on August 26, 1865, in Allendale, and they had at least two children: George (b. 1877) and John L. (b. 1879). Sarah and Chauncey eventually divorced.

Chauncey moved to Cheboygan, Cheboygan County, and was living in Evart, Osceola County in 1877 when he became a member of Grand Army of the Republic Sedgwick Post No. 16 in Evart. By 1880 he was working as a common laborer and living with his wife Sarah and their two sons in Munro, Cheboygan County; he was living with Alonzo Carter. He eventually moved on to Wisconsin, living variously in Columbia, Neillsville in 1900 and 1905 and Eau Claire.

Chauncey married his second wife Mary Dunn Sullivan on November 15, 1891 in Leelanau County; they, too, were divorced.

He was married a third time, on June 28, 1893 to Frances or Florence L. Stolliker, in Milwauekee, Wisconsin; this also ended in divorce. He had at least three more children: Joseph B., Louisa B. (b. 1898) and Chauncey Jr. (b. 1901), the last two by Florence.

Chauncey was a member of the 3rd Michigan Infantry Association, a Protestant and he received pension no. 802,503, drawing $25.00 in 1914, raised to $40.00 by 1920.

Chauncey was living in Farmington Waupaca, Wisconsin in 1910 and probably living in Wisconsin in 1911 when he was admitted to the Northwestern Branch National Military Home in Milwaukee. He was discharged and admitted as a single man to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 6717) on October 8, 1914, discharged at his own request on September 20, 1915, readmitted on October 6, 1916, discharged on October 9, 1918, and admitted for the final time on July 8, 1920. (This last admission date of July 8, 1920, must be a typographical error – his death certificate as well as newspaper obituary and the MSH records state his date of death as April 20, 1920.)

Chauncey died of acute dilatation of the heart on April 20, 1920, at Blodgett hospital in East Grand Rapids, and was buried in the Michigan Soldiers’Home cemetery: section 7 row 13 grave no. 34.

In 1924 his widow applied for a pension (no. 1222681), but the certificate was never granted.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Updated biographies

On August 29-30, the following bios were updated:

Sylvester Gay
James Gillespie
Robert Graham
James McGinley
Louis or Lewis Ockert
Edgar Perkins
Christopher Reglin
Charles and John Shaft
Claudius Steele
Matthew Wright

John Shaft - update 8/30/2016

John Shaft was born in 1837 in either Canastota, Madison County, New York or Herkimer County, New York, the son of New York natives Jacob V. Sr. (1810-1886) and Margaret Jane (Putnam, 1820-1861).

John’s parents were married in 1836 in Geneva, Ontario County, Ohio, although both were living in New York at the time. They settled first in Canastota, Madison County, New York -- where Jacob had been living -- but soon moved on to Herkimer County, New York where they were living by 1840. By 1848 they had moved westward and were living in Shiawassee County, Michigan; and by 1850 had settled in Woddhull, Shiawassee County where John was attending school with his siblings (including his younger brother Charles would would also enlist in the 3rd Michigan Infantry). By 1860 John was working as a farm laborer with his father and living with his family in Owosso, Shiawassee County. (Jacob Sr. remarried in 1863 to Jane Offen Reed, in Venice, Sandusky County, Ohio.)

John stood 5’6” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was a 25-year-old farmer probably living in Owosso’s 2nd Ward, Shiawassee County when he enlisted in Company G on May 13, 1861, probably with his younger brother Charles. According to Frank Siverd of Company G, during the first battle of Bull Run, Virginia, on Sunday, July 21, one of the Shaft boys was taken prisoner (he does not mention which one), along with Joshua Benson and Oscar Van Wormer, all of Company G. They were captured, wrote Siverd, “by four rebel scouts; they discovered the boys, and they showing too much pluck to be marched into the rebel camp, let them go. It is presumed they made pretty good double quick time from that to camp.”

By the late summer of 1862 John was reported sick in a general hospital since May 20. In mid-June of 1862 he was reported to have been left at the hospital near the Chickahominy River, and by late June he was sick in the hospital at White House landing, Virginia, suffering from fever, and he remained absent sick in the hospital from July of 1862 through August.

John allegedly deserted on September 21, 1862, at Upton’s Hill, Virginia, but in fact he had probably been absent in the hospital. He was eventually transferred to the Convalescent Camp near Alexandria, Virginia where he was discharged and returned to duty on February 21, 1863. He returned to the Regiment on March 8, 1863, at Camp Pitcher, Virginia, and was present for duty through the remainder of the year. He reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Owosso’s 2nd Ward and was probably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864 (quite possibly with his brother).

While on furlough he married Mena Reamer, on January 23, 1864, at his father’s home in Sherman Township, Huron County, Ohio. The very same day his brother Charles married their step-sister Sanana Reed in Sherman.

He probably returned with his brother to the Regiment on or about the first of February.

He was wounded in the left arm and right leg in early May, but apparently recovered and was transferred to Company F, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. John was again wounded, this time  by a gunshot to one of his thighs sometime between June 12 and June 22, possibly near White House Landing, Virginia.

John died in as a result of his wounds at the division hospital on June 22 or 23, 1864, near Petersburg, Virginia. He was presumably buried among the unknown soldiers at Petersburg.

His widow -- who was unable to read or write -- was still residing in Sherman, Ohio in July of 1864 when she applied for and received a pension (no. 102,141).

By 1870 John’s father was living in York Station, Sandusky County, Ohio, when he applied for a dependent father’s pension (no. 140,250), and drawing $8.00 per month by 1870.

John West - update 8/30/2016

John West was born around 1821 in Bethany, New York.

John was married to New York native Susan E. Robins (b. 1821) on January 11, 1844, in Carlton, Orleans County, New York, and had at least five children: Charles Henry (b. 1845), Eugene Gillman (b. 1846), Harriet Imogen (b. 1849), Daniel Dwight (b. 1851) and Mary Sophia (b. 1854). By 1850 John was working as a laborer and living with his wife and children in Carlton, Orleans County, New York. Sometime between 1851 and 1855 John moved his family to Michigan, and by 1860 John was working as a farm laborer, unable to read or write and living with is wife and four children (including his oldest son Charles who would also join the 3rd Michigan) in Boston, Ionia County.

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

John was a regimental pioneer in December of 1862.

He died of disease on March 10, 1863, at Camp Pitcher, Virginia, near Falmouth, Virginia, and was presumably buried there.

In 1863 Susan was living in Boston, Ionia County, when she applied for and received a pension (no. 13117). In 1864 Susan remarried James Sanders (b. 1828) and in 1870 they were living in Boston, Ionia County; also living with them was her son Dwight and daughter Mary.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Updated biographies

As of August 28-29, 2016, the following biographies have been updated:

Byron Austin
George W. Bailey
William Bailey (Baily)
Benjamin Baker
Moses Bigelow
Joseph Bundy
Theodore Castor
Barnett Collins
William Draper
Marvin Dunham
Henry Eaton
Peter Granger
George Hammond
George Dana Hill
Ransom (Robert) Howell
Richard Johnson
William Kirkland
Don Lovell
Frank Marty
Andrew and Edwin Nickerson
Theodore Peterson
John Spencer
Urias Story
Charles Swain
Edgar Teele
Albert Towne
Edward Wheelock
James Williams
Truman Wisner

Andrew Nickerson - update 8/29/2016

Andrew Nickerson was born in 1834 in Ontario, Canada, the son of Elisha or Elihu (1804-1888) and Mary (Winegarden, b. 1814).

New York native Elihu married Canadian-born Mary Winegarden in Windham, Ontario in December of 1831. The family moved from Canada to Cattaraugus County, New York in 1838, then headed westward settling about 1840 in Lake County, Indiana, where they remained until sometime around 1848 when the family moved to Michigan. By 1850 Elisha was running a hotel in Prairieville, Barry County, where Andrew attended school with seven of his younger siblings, including his brother Edwin who would also join the Third Michigan. By 1860 Elisha or Elihu had moved the family to a farm in Leighton, Allegan County where Andrew worked as a farm laborer (along with his younger brother Edwin) and was living with his family.

He was 27 years old and probably still living in Allegan County when he enlisted as Fourth Sergeant in Company E on May 13, 1861; his younger brother Edwin would join Company E the following year.

It is quite possible that Andrew enlisted in the Hastings Rifle Company in April of 1861. That company was disbanded shortly after it arrived in Grand Rapids to join the Third Michgian infantry then forming at Cantonment Anderson south of city and its members distributed to other companies of the Regiment.

Andrew was promoted to First Sergeant on July 19 or July 23, 1861, at Hunter’s Farm, Virginia. He was subsequently promoted to Second Lieutenant and transferred to Company H on August 12, 1862, at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia, replacing Lieutenant Thomas Waters. On September 16, 1862, while the regiment was in camp near Alexandria, Virginia, Andrew wrote to the widow of John Call, formerly of Company E.

It becomes my painful duty to inform you that your husband is no more. He departed this life Sept. 8th, 1862, in the hospital at Alexandria. He died of wounds received in the battle of Groveton Aug. 29th, 1862. Early in the action he received a minie ball in the knee. He was borne from the field by his comrades. His wounds dressed and he was sent to the hospital. None suppose his wound would prove fatal, but it did. I deeply sympathize with you in your great loss. I have known your husband but little over a year yet he seemed as near to me as a brother. He was a favorite of the whole company, brave and generous to a fault. We all mourn his loss and yet almost envy him the proud death he died.

You will see by the note I enclose from the Surgeon in the Hospital that he left no effects of any value. His knapsack with his spare clothes was put aboard a vessel at Harrison’s Landing and when we received them after we returned form Manassas some of them we found to be rotted, having been exposed to the weather. Mr. Call’s was among this number. There was nothing in it except some blankets and a few clothes.

Any information that I can give you I will be most happy to impart. He had about 4 months pay due him at the time of his death.

With all respects, I remain yours truly, Andrew Nickerson, Lieut. Company E 3rd Mich Vol

In October Andrew was transferred to Company K and promoted to First Lieutenant on October 20, replacing Lieutenant Fred Stowe. He was home in Michigan during the winter of 1863, and rejoined the regiment in early March of that year. He was charged with neglect of duty, in that he reportedly forged discharge papers for a private, but nothing came of this apparently and he was never court-martialed.

Andrew was then appointed acting Regimental Quartermaster from July 13, 1863, through September, and in December he was on detached service in Michigan, probably recruiting for the Regiment.

Although he was still reported detached in Grand Rapids in January of 1864 (since December 28, 1863), he was promoted to Captain on January 18, 1864, and commissioned to date November 1, 1863. He eventually returned to the Regiment before the spring campaign of 1864, and was killed in action on May 6, 1864, at the Wilderness, Virginia.

According to Dan Crotty of Company F Nickerson was killed on May 7. Some years after the war Crotty wrote that during the engagement at the Wilderness, “The fearful butchery commences on the morning of the 7th, and charge after charge is made on both sides,” and at one point the Regiment had driven the rebels back inside their works. “They reform and drive us back. We take shelter in some temporary works thrown up by themselves, and here hold them in check for awhile. But they come down on us with superior numbers. We keep them on the other side for awhile, and a hand to hand fight takes place. Here is where Captain Nickerson, of company K, was killed by a bayonet thrust.”

Andrew was buried in Fredericksburg National Cemetery: grave 3550 (old 191).

In 1870 Elihu and Mary were living in Mason County where Elihu worked as a lawyer. (He owned some $6000 worth of real estate.)


Sunday, August 28, 2016

3rd Michigan soldiers buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Allegan County

Edward C. Wheelock block 75


Frank Marty - block 291

George W. Bailey - block 437

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

3rd Michigan veterans buried in South Casnovia Cemetery

William Chase - 3rd reorganized Michigan Infantry

Gabriel Pruden - marker is starting to show it's age

Ira Johnson

Mortimer Bonner

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Biographical sketches updated August of 2016

You can use the "Search this blog" box on the right to locate any of these updated sketches.

Austin, Byron
Bailey, William H.
Baker, Benjamin
Bigelow, Moses
Bliss, D. W.
Brace, William
Bressan, Nelson
Bruer, Henry
Butler, Thomas
Collins, Barnett
Cook, W. S. “Samuel”
Drake, William
Eaton, Henry
Ellsworth, John
Freelove, James
Gillis, Malcolm
Gleason, Lafayette
Granger, Peter
Hammond, George
Haney, Wwilliam
Hapeman, Martin
Hill, G. D.
Howell, Ransom
Johnson, Richard P.
Kearney, Hugh
Kirkland, William
Lewis, Smith K.
Little, James
Lovell, Don
Lubenheimer, Fred
Mackay, Willard
Main, Willard
Martindale, Abram
Metcalf, Levi
Miller, Lewis
Miller, John (1)
Olmstead, Lewlis
Otrey, Thomas
Passineau, Louis
Peck, Dayton S. and Freling S.
Pennoyer, George
Peterson, Theodore
Shekels, Isaac
Spencer, John
Story, Urias
Swain, Charles
Teele, Edgar
Towne, Albert
Van Deusen, James Eaton
Van Dusen, James & Charles
Van Renschler, George
Williams, James
Wilson, William P.
Woodmansee, Oscar

Freling S. Peck - update 8/23/2016

Freling S. Peck was born on May 22, 1844, in Monroe County, New York, the son of William R. (1807-1876) and Lucy (Bathrick).

By 1850 Freling’s family was living in Paris, Kent County, Michigan, where his father, who had apparently remarried a Canadian woman named Julia (b. in Canada in 1824) was working as a carpenter and Freling and his siblings, including his older brother Dayton who would also join the Third Michigan, were attending school. By 1860 Freling (“Freeland”) was working as a farm laborer for the Charles Rathbun family in Paris, Kent County.

Freling stood 5’8” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was a 17-year-old farmer living in Paris when he enlisted in Company B, joining his older brother Dayton, on November 18, 1861, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Grand Rapids, and was mustered on December 23 at Detroit. He was wounded in the body on July 2, 1863. at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and subsequently hospitalized through December, probably in Philadelphia. He remained absent sick in January of 1864, but apparently recovered and reenlisted on February 4, 1864, near Culpeper, Virginia. He was absent on veterans’ furlough through early March of 1864, probably at home in Michigan and returned to the Regiment in late March.

In April Freling was reported absent in the hospital, was 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, and he remained absent until October when he returned to duty with the Fifth Michigan. He was missing in action on October 27, 1864, presumably at Boydton Plank road, near Petersburg, Virginia, and was absent sick from November through January of 1865.

Freling had apparently been shot by a minie ball which “struck the right shoulder in front, passed under the should joint and passed out at the top and back of the shoulder injurying he should joint by fracturing it producing a severe wound.” He was promoted to Corporal on May 1, and was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war Freling returned to the Grand Rapids area where he lived the rest of his life. According to one report “After returning from the army his health was shattered, and he was unable to engage in active life.” By 1870 he was working as a clerk in a store and living with hus older brother Manser in Paris, Kent County.

In 1874 he was working as Turnkey under Sheriff S. S. Bailey, and he served in that capacity for a number of years. The Grand Rapids Eagle described Peck as the “gentlemanly turnkey,” and reported in June of 1874 that Peck, who had just returned from a trip to Traverse and Mackinaw counties, said “ that an unusually large number of tourists are visiting those regions at this season of the year.”

In September of 1876, Peck, who was Republican candidate for Sheriff of Kent County, was charged by someone calling himself “Half Bushel” with malfeasance while working as turnkey.

I have noticed published in your paper one or two references o the connection of Mr. Peck, present republican candidate for sheriff, with a certain bill presented to the board of supervisors by Mr. Bailey, while sheriff, for services rendered by Mr. Peck as night watchman of the jail. I recollect something about that bill, and if my memory serves me right the circumstances were these: Mr. peck was hired by Bailey to watch the jail and was to receive $16 per month while on duty. This pay he received, but when Bailey presented the bill to the board of supervisors for payment by the people of the County, it bore the sworn statement of Peck that the bill was correct, which bill, instead of being $16 per month was for $45 per month. I do not remember what became of the bill, but I believe it was paid; nor do I known who pocketed the surplus over the $16 per month.

As Mr. Peck has been a hanger-on of place for so long, as deputy sheriff, night watchman, etc., and so many incidents crowding upon him in the meantime, his memory, like Hayes’, may be a little defective, but there are many republicans who would like to known just how much of the transaction he does remember anyhow.

The next day a second anonymous writer who described himself as just “Republican” wrote the Democrat noting

In your issue of August 30th, one of your correspondents asks Mr. Peck, the Republican candidate for sheriff, to explain in regard to certain overcharges made by him against the County for labor performed. Being a Republican myself I had hoped to see Mr. Peck clear himself, and I therefore set to work and went to investigate myself. Other charges appeared against him, one of which is Mr. Peck charging Kent County for attending the Circuit Court. Having myself been drawn as one of the jurors for the Circuit Court and served as such juror within the last two years, I think about fifty or sixty days, I determined to find out by going to Mr. Peck’s own bills as made out against the County, and I must own that my investigation did not suit, for the charge proved true. I found that for the last one and a half years (that being Peck’s time as Deputy Sheriff) he has got charged to Kent County for attending Circuit Court for 118 days, for which he has received the sum of $177, or at the rate of more than $100 per year, for doing nothing. I must here say that in all my time in the Circuit Court I never saw Mr. Peck in attendance for a single half day. And upon further inquiry on this subject I found that Mr. Peck never did attend court at all. By the same bills I find many other things worth looking at and worth explaining. One item, hotel bills while on the road, I find all the other officers charge “dinner 50c.” Peck charges “dinner 75c.” And the item of bus and hack fare largely all through Mr. Peck’s bill charges from 50c up to $1.50, while that item is not found in the other officers’ bills at all, save in rare cases -- having prisoners in charge, etc. Also the item of conveying prisoners from jail to court house. Peck charges 50 cents, the other officers 18 cents; the last being the legal fee, and many other wrong charges that I will not now mention. After Mr. Peck shall have explained all the charges made against him, I will give him some more of the same sort.

Having thus satisfied myself in regard to Mr. Peck’s overcharges, it becomes our duty to let the tax-payers of this County know who to vote for, and who not to vote for, and from now henceforth I say to all: Gentleman vote for General [Israel] Smith. He is at least a free-holder and tax-payer, and more than all he is an honest man, You can depend upon it, that he will not charge for 188 days work never performed.

Less than a week later Peck wrote an open letter to the editor of the Eagle, responding to the charges raised by the Democrat that Peck and Sheriff Bailey had padded his bill for services as turnkey.

In an article in your paper of the 3rd ult. [Peck wrote] you call upon me to explain in regard to certain matters charged upon me by anonymous writers in one of our daily papers, and you very properly suggested the reason why I have hitherto paid no attention to them, viz: They are very anonymous signatures. But since you have called upon me for an explanation I hasten to make it. And first it is not true and I hereby deny it and charge the same to be false, that “while Mr. Bailey was Sheriff of this County I was hired for night watch around the jail and was to receive $1.50 per night for my services; and that when Mr. Bailey presented his account to the Board of Supervisors he presented a bill for $3 a night for my services and that I swore to the same,” as charged in the article signed “Republican” in the Democrat of August 20.

I also deny and charge as false the statement that I was hired by Mr. Bailey to watch the jail and was to receive $16 per month while on duty, and that when Bailey presented the bill to the Board of Supervisors for payment by the people of the County it bore the sworn statement of myself that the bill was correct, which bill, instead of being $16 per month, as charged in the article signed “Half Bushel,” and published in the Daily Democrat of September 1st.

I also deny and charge false the statement or pretended charge that I ever charged in my bills as Deputy Sheriff 118 days, or any other number of days, for attending the Circuit Court of Kent County, except when I was engaged in that business by order of the Sheriff.

And I also deny and charge as false, that I had charged for dinners while on the road 75 cents per meal, while all the other officers charged 50 cents per meal, and hereby assert that there is no charge for the same in any of my bills unless the actual disbursements had been made, or that any other charge for buss [sic] or hack hire was ever charged in my bills from 50 cents up to $1.50 without the actual disbursements had been made, and the actual necessity of the case required such disbursement.

I also deny the charge, and assert the same as false, that I charged 50 cents, and the other officers 13 cents, for conveying prisoners from the jail to the court house; or that there are any other wrong charges in my bills, as charged and stated in the article signed “Republican, published in the Daily Democrat of September 2. I believe that the above charges are all that have been made against me so far. They are at least all I have seen.

A word in regard to the 50 cents for bringing prisoners from jail to court. Prior to the October session in 1875, the Board had always allowed fees at 50 cents for bringing prisoners from jail to court. But at the October session, 1875, the Board put the fees down to 13 cents. and kept them there until the June session of 1876, when Mr. Parkman and myself, who had been engaged in handling a dangerous class of prisoners, made out our bills at the old rate of 50 cents. and the bills were allowed at those figures, not for me alone, as stated in the Democrat but also for Mr. Parkman. I will only say, in addition to what I have already said: That the truth or falsity of the charges made against me are susceptible of proof, and I challenge any person to an examination of the books and the record in regard thereto.

Anonymous correspondents, who are too cowardly to sign their names, and back their statements I shall hereafter refuse to notice. My bills of all kinds since I have been connected with the Sheriff’s office of Kent County are accessible and have passed through the hands of the proper committees, and have been open for inspection and inquiry at any and all times.

Hoping that, if the writer of the articles in the Democrat wishes to pursue the matter further, he will be kind enough to give some name, that I may known who he is, and that he will not be so much engaged in Milwaukee that he will have have no time to examine the record now on file in the clerk’s office of this County; and to the end that there can be no error committed in the matter, I make the gentleman this proposition -- that I will submit the truth of his charges to James N. Davis, Esq., or any other fair and impartial man in Kent County, if this author will come forward personally to stand his claims. Yours respectfully, F. W. Peck.

The Eagle came to his support, writing that the “manner of the insinuation” made by an anonymous writer to the Democrat “was of itself cowardly and sneaking, but it is according to the usual methods of that paper in cases where it dare not squarely utter falsehoods. Mr. Peck denies each of them specifically and challenges proof which the Confederates will do well to put forward or shut up. Of course no one expects that paper to do so fair a thing as to correct any of its misrepresentations. Voters will please bear in mind, however, that the official accounts of Mr. Peck as well as others, have been passed upon by Democratic Boards of Supervisors after close scrutiny by Committees with Democratic chairmen, and allowed as just and legal and proper.”

The Democrat continued its attack on Peck hoping to undermine his candidacy for sheriff of Kent County and it carried lengthy articles attempting to subvert his character and integrity, and indeed brought about an official investigation into his work record while serving as deputy sheriff and turnkey for the jail. “Taking it all in,” the paper wrote on October 29, “Mr. Peck is . . . in a very unfortunate position, and one it will be hard to make the electors of this County believe fits him for the office of sheriff.” However, in November he was in fact elected sheriff of Kent County and served two four-year terms.

By 1880 Freling was the sheriff of Kent County and possibly living at the County jail in Grand Rapids’ Second Ward.

Freling probably never married, was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, and he received pension no. 67,730, drawing $6.00 in 1883 for a gunshot wound in the left side, increased to $50.00 by the time of his death.

His brother Dayton was with him when Freling died of consumption at 12:45 a.m. on Sunday August 18, 1889, at the residence of Mrs. Hobart, on the corner of Division and Lyon Streets in Grand Rapids. “He had been ill,” noted the Democrat on August 18, “for two years prior to his death, although he was apparently struck down by consumption in the summer of 1889.”

The Herald wrote on August 19 that his Gettysburg “wound never healed entirely. His lungs began to give way to the effects of the wound a little more than a year ago, and since that time his decline has been steady and rapid.” His funeral was held at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 20, at the Universalist church in Grand Rapids, and the ceremonies were conducted by the Masonic lodge.

When his will was made public on August 22, 1889, he had divided up all he owned among to the Grand River Lodge No. 34 of the F. & A.M., his brother Philo and his wife, his brother Dayton and his brother Manser as well as two nephews and a niece.

Freling was buried in Greenwood cemetery: section F lot 1.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Miner Emlaw in Grand Haven, Michigan: the importance of photographing cemetery monuments

I cannot stress enough the importance of photographing, photodocumenting if you will, cemetery monuments. Nothing lasts forever, not even stone (except in Brittany where the passage graves are older than the pyramids of Egypt), as you can see from the series of photographs below.

The grave site belongs to the family of Miner Emlaw, buried in Lake Forest Cemetery, Grand Haven, Michigan. Miner served in the American Civil War as a private in the 3rd regiment of volunteers from the state of Michigan and his marker is a simple government stone.

The first two photographs I shot nearly 25 years ago; the second pair in 2016.

As you can see, while the other markers (his two wives one on either side of his stone) and later family members are still in fine shape. Miner's stone, however, has simply sunk to the point where it's nearly illegible.

c. 1990:



2016:



James Henry Van Dusen - update 8/21/2016

James Henry Van Dusen was born on January 26, 1838, in Scotland, Brant County, Ontario, Canada, the son of Abram (or Abraham or Abner, b. 1811) and Louisa (Malcolm, 1816-1853).

New York native Abram married Canadian-born Louisa in 1837 in Scotland, Ontario, Canada, where they resided for many years. Sometime after 1849 Abram brought his family to Michigan and by 1850 he was working as a physician and James was attending school with his younger brother Charles (who would also join the Third Michigan) and younger sister Cecilia in Detroit, Wayne County. Abram eventually settled his family on the western side of the state and by 1853 when Louisa died they were living in Grand Haven, Ottawa County. In about 1855 Abram remarried New York native Laura Robinson (b. 1813), and by 1860 he was practicing medicine in Grand Haven, Ottawa County. (He married his third wife Lucinda Newwell in about 1861 in Michigan.)

James stood 5’8” with brown eyes, black hair and a fair complexion and was a 23-year-old farm laborer probably living in Muskegon or Spring Lake, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company A, joining his brother Charles, on November 12, 1861, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered on December 23 at Detroit. James was reported as a clerk at (presumably Brigade) headquarters from August of 1862 through September, and indeed, according to his pension application declaration of 1905, he “was detailed in General Berry’s Brigade headquarters as clerk at Yorktown,” Virginia (which would have been in the spring of 1862).

By the end of June of 1862 he was sick in a hospital in Bottom’s Bridge, Virginia, suffering from”fever, ague and debility. He was absent sick in November, and allegedly deserted on November 12, 1862, at Alexandria, Virginia, although he claimed in later years that he had in fact been discharged, presumably for disability, at Alexandria, Virginia sometime in October of 1862.

It is not known if James returned to Michigan after his discharge from the army.

He did however return to Brant County, Ontario, Canada, where he married Brant native Kate Malcolm (1846-1910) on April 7, 1863, in Brantford, and they had at least eight children: Charles H. (b. 1865), Alfred M. (b. 1867), Jennie L. 9b. 1869), Louis (b. 1870), Will W. (b. 1872), Stella (b. 1878), Mysta (b. 1879) and James M. (1881).

They settled in Scotland, Ontario where he worked as a druggist for many years. By 1906 he was still living in Scotland, but by 1912 he was reportedly living in Barrington, Massachusetts.

In 1905 his application for pension (no. 1,330,971) was rejected, reasons unknown, but possibly because the charge of desertion was never removed.

James was probably a widower when he died on February 12, 1918, probably in Brant and was buried in Scotland cemetery in Brant.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

William Haney - update 8/20/2016

William Drew Haney was born in 1832 in Stowe, Vermont or in New Hampshire, son of Hiram (b. 1801) and Hannah (b. 1804).

Hiram was born in Vermont and married New Hampshire native Hannah, and by 1830 were living in New York, in Canada East (Quebec) in 1834 and 1836, they eventually settled in New Hampshire. In any case, Hiram moved his family to New York sometime before 1840 and then on to Ohio and finally to Michigan, sometime between 1842 and 1844, eventually settling in Allegan County. By 1860 William was working as a farmer and living with his family on a farm in Leighton, Allegan County; next door lived an older brother Heman and his family. Living with Heman was their brother Hiram who would also enlist in the Third Michigan.

William stood 5’6” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 29 years old and may have been working in the vicinity of Hastings, Barry County (or he may have been a farmer in Leighton) 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.

William eventually enlisted in Company K on May 13, 1861 (Hiram R. would join him in 1862). He was taken sick with “remittent’ fever in the summer of 1861 while the regiment was in quarters near Washington, DC, and was hospitalized on August 23 at the Union Hotel hospital in Georgetown. He returned to duty on September 1. William was reported as a company cook in January and February of 1862, and on April 2 or 3, 1862, he was sick in Chesapeake hospital at Fortress Monroe, Virginia, suffering from “catarrhus.” On May 24 he was transferred to Washington where he was admitted on May 25 to Judiciary Square hospital suffering from chronic diarrhea. He remained hospitalized until he was discharged for pneumonia on June 12, 1862, at Judiciary Square hospital, Washington, DC.

After his discharge William returned to Michigan and by about July 1, 1862, was back in Grand Rapids staying at the home of his brother George Haney. According to Henry Haney, an older brother, during the late spring and summer of 1864 William “was engaged in the occupation of peddling maps through Allegan and the adjourning counties, traveling while doing this in a buggy or light-wagon.”

He stayed with George until he reentered the service as a Sergeant in Company H, Twenty-eighth Michigan infantry on September 20, 1864, at Portage, Kalamazoo County, for 3 years, crediting Waterloo, Jackson County, and was mustered the same day at Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County where the regiment was being organized. The regiment left Michigan for Louisville, Kentucky October 26-29 and remained on duty there until November 10. It participated in the battle of Nashville and subsequently occupied Nashville. The Twenty-eighth moved back to Louisville in mid-January of 1865 and on January 18 was moved to Alexandria, Louisiana where it remained until February 19.

The regiment was eventually transferred to New Berne, North Carolina in late February. It participated in the campaign in the Carolinas from March 1-April 26, the advance on and occupation of Raleigh, North Carolina in mid-April, the surrender of Johnston’s army and subsequently on duty at Raleigh until August. In May of 1865 William was on furlough from May 30 through June, and he was mustered out with the regiment on June 5, 1866 at Raleigh, North Carolina.

William returned to Grand Rapids after the war and for three years lived with George Haney. About 1869 he moved west. He was living near Sedan (then) Howard County (and now) Chautauqua County, Kansas, from about September of 1870 to May of 1876, “breaking prairie” in partnership with one Thomas Darnell and moved to Ouray County, Colorado in October of 1876.

William married Missouri native Martha Matilda Darnell (1852-1911), on August 13, 1871, probably in Kansas, and they had at least eight children: George E. (1874-1966), May (b. 1875), Joseph (b. 1877), Alva Elam (187901949), Belle (b. 1881), Leo D. (b. 1888), Myria G. (b. 1890) and Roland Green (1892-1976). According to his pension files he was divorced.

By 1874 and 1875 they were living in Kansas and by 1878 and 1879 had settled in Colorado. By 1880 William was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Park, Ouray County, Colorado. He was living in Ouray County, Colorado in 1888 and in 1900 working as a farmer. By 1908 he was living in Cripple Creek, Colorado. He remained in Colorado until about 1911 (probably after his wife died) when he moved to California, settling in Corning, Tehamo County.

In 1880 William applied for and received a pension (no. 317138), drawing $12 in 1882 and $16 per month by 1885. He was a member of GAR Post Henry Halleck No. 19 in Chico, California.

William was probably living with his son Leo D. Haney, in Corning or Chico, California when he died on October 27, 1912. He was interred in Chico Cemetery, Chico, California: 21-GAR-76-1.


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Badger bio update

Updated biography for Joseph J. Badger. The evidence for his joining the Illinois regiment is circumstantial but reasonable.

Anyway, if anyone can confirm whether the 3rd Michigan Badger was the same man who joined the Illinois cavalry that would be a big help.