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).