Samuel E. Pelton was born on July 5, 1848, in Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan, the son of Aldrich M. (1823-1895) and Amanda Gray (1828-1873).
Canadian born Aldrich married New York native Amanda sometime before 1846 by which time they had settled in Michigan. By 1850 Aldrich had and his family were still living in Grand Rapids where he worked as a carpenter. In 1860 Samuel was attending school with his siblings and living with his family in Walker, Kent County, where his father worked as a carpenter.
Samuel stood 5’6” with black eyes, dark hair and a light complexion and was a 15-year-old farm laborer probably living in Walker, Kent County when he enlisted in Company I on January 23, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Walker, and was mustered the same day. He was the nephew of Silas Pelton and the cousin of Albert and was probably related to Andrew and Alfred Pelton as well.
Samuel joined the Regiment on February 17 at Camp Bullock, Virginia, and was transferred to Company I, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864.
Samuel was absent sick in July, returned to the regiment and reportedly wounded severely and captured on October 27, 1864, at Boydton Plank road, near Petersburg, Virginia.
In fact, according to Franz Muhlberg, who was then commanding Company I, Samuel “was killed at Hatcher’s Run [near Petersburg, Virginia, on] Oct. 13, 1864, by being shot in [the] right side, and was left on the field. I saw him when he was shot and fell being near him at the time.” He was presumably among the unknown soldiers buried near Petersburg and was possibly reinterred as such in Petersburg National Cemetery.
His father was working as a carpenter (he owned some $9000 worth of real estate) and living in Grand Rapids’ 5th Ward, Kent County in 1870. He applied for and received a dependent father’s pension (no. 388,348), drawing $10 per month in 1890.