Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Edwin Allen

Edwin Allen was born April 17, 1842, in Littleton, Grafton County, New Hampshire, the son of Nathaniel (b. 1807) and Almira (b. 1817).

Edwin’s parents were both born in New Hampshire and presumably were married there. (Almira may have been Nathaniel’s second wife.) By 1850 Edwin was attending school with three of his older siblings and living with his family in Troy, Orleans County, Vermont where his father worked as a saddler. By 1860 Edwin was working as a cordwainer and living with his family in Lowell’s Third Ward, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. Sometime before the war broke out Edwin left New England and moved westward, settling in western Michigan by 1861.

He stood 6’0’ tall, with gray eyes, light hair and a light complexion, and was a 19-year-old shoemaker possibly living in Ionia County when he enlisted as a Corporal 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.)

Edwin was wounded in the right foot on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, subsequently hospitalized, and by July in a hospital in Lowell, Massachusetts. A Dr. D. P. Gass (?) wrote to one Lieutenant Colonel H. Day, of the War Department on July 3, 1862, that Allen “is now under my charge being wounded in the foot by a ball at the battle of Fair Oaks. He also has intermittent fever (fever & ague) so that he is not able in my opinion t report to you for a few days, but I hope may be by Monday (7th inst.) & there receive a furlough for such length of time as you deem necessary for his recovery.” In fact, he was still in Lowell in November of 1862, and was discharged for disability on November 11, 1862 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Edwin apparently remained in Massachusetts, and was probably residing in Lowell (probably with his family) on January 9, 1864, when he was appointed a Second Lieutenant in Company F, Sixth Regiment Corps d’Afrique at Port Hudson, Louisiana. The Sixth had been organized on June 6, 1863, from the Fourth Louisiana Native Guard infantry and was attached to the First division, Nineteenth Army Corps (Department of the Gulf), to July. It participated in the defenses of New Orleans to September, and was attached to the Second Brigade, First Division, Corps d’Afrique to April of 1864. It was in garrison at Forts St. Phillip and Jackson, on the Mississippi River from August 7, 1863, until February 20, 1864 when it moved to Port Hudson, Louisiana, February 20-22 and remained on duty there until April. This regiment was subsequently renumbered the Seventy-eighth U. S. Colored Troops.

The Seventy-eighth was organized on April 4, 1864, and Edwin was promoted to First Lieutenant, Seventy-eighth U.S.C.T., on March 3, 1864. The regiment remained at Port Hudson, until April of 1865.

Edwin was transferred to Company D on November 1, 1864.

The Seventy-eighth remained in the District of Lafourche, Dept. of the Gulf, until January of 1866. Edwin was mustered out of service with the regiment on January 1 or 6, 1866.

It is not known if Edwin ever returned to Michigan.

After the war he resumed his trade as a shoemaker, and in 1866 was living in Lowell and then Lawrence, Massachusetts. He moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1867 and remained there for some two years, before moving to San Francisco in 1868. By 1870 he was back in Boston where he lived until about 1875. From 1876 to 1889 he lived in Worcester, Massachusetts, and in fact in 1880 he was working as a shoe manufacturer and living with his mother Almira and his sister Eliza (b. 1844 in New Hampshire) on Sudbury Street in Worcester. He was living in Spencer, Massachusetts from 1889 to 1897 when he settled in Boston. In 1901 he was working as a “sales agent” and residing at 82 Brook Street in Brookline and his post office address was 185 Franklin Street, Boston. By 1915 he was living at 2002 W. Brookline Street, Boston.

By 1922 Edwin was living in Goffstown, New Hampshire, suffering from partial paralysis caused by a cerebral hemorrhage he suffered in October of 1921; soon afterwards he was admitted to the National Military Home in Togus, Maine (near Augusta).

Edwin was a member of Grand Army of the Republic Post No. 64 in Goffstown, New Hampshire.

Edwin was married to Anna M. Fainter (or Wheeler) on December 15, 1880 and they were divorced in Providence, Rhode Island in October of 1889. He married a second time on May 31, 1906, to Bertha Piper Whipple (b. 1860); she was divorced from her first husband, William Whipple in Boston in April of 1906. Bertha had at least one child by her previous marriage, a daughter Clara.

In 1892 Edwin applied for and received pension no. 1,060,042, drawing $72.00 in 1924.

Edwin died of arteriosclerosis on May 27, 1924, at the National Military Home in Togus. His body was reportedly sent back to New Hampshire and reportedly buried in Goffstown, New Hampshire, probably in Westlawn cemetery.

Bertha was residing in Boston, Massachusetts in January of 1925. She applied for and received widow’s pension (no. 1,575,129).

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