Monday, September 03, 2007

Jackson J. Bennett

Jackson J. Bennett was born 1828 in Ellery, Chautauqua County, New York.

Jackson left New York and was probably living in Pennsylvania when he married his first wife, Abigail Rue in Rome, Bradford County, Pennsylvania, on October 21, 1849, they had one son, Omer or Osmer (b. 1856).

Jackson and his wife may have been living in Spring Creek, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania in 1856 (when Omer was born). In any case, they probably moved from Erie County, Pennsylvania to Michigan in the late 1850s, and by 1860 Jackson was working as a laborer and living at the Pemberton boarding house in Muskegon, Muskegon County. (Also living at the same boarding house was Charles Althouse, who would enlist in Company H as well, and one William Jackson, who may have been the same William Jackson who would enlist in Company A.

(It should also be noted that in 1860 there was a 25-year-old domestic named Abby Bennett, living in Union, Erie County, Pennsylvania; also living in Erie County, in Franklin, were John, William and Margaret Rue, b. c. 1807, 1802, and 1806, respectively, all in New York.)

Jackson stood 5’8’ with blue eyes, brown hair and a fair complexion and was 33 years old and probably still working as a laborer in Norton, Muskegon County when he joined the Muskegon Rangers in April as Fifth Sergeant. The “Rangers” were a local militia company formed in Muskegon soon after the fall of Fort Sumter in April of 1861, and upon their arrival in Grand Rapids were reorganized into Company H of the Third Michigan infantry then forming at Cantonment Anderson in Grand Rapids. Jackson subsequently enlisted as Fifth Sergeant in Company H on May 13, 1861.

Jackson was reported sick in the regimental hospital sometime during the months of November and December of 1861 while the regiment was in winter quarters at Camp Michigan, Virginia, near Alexandria. He was discharged on March 4, 1862 at Camp Michigan for chronic spinitis, “the result of chronic inflammation of the lumbar vertebra of the spine and extending down the illiac . . . to the thighs disenabling [sic] him from walking or standing.” It was also reported that he had been “in poor health when he first joined the regt.”

Following his discharge Jackson returned to Michigan, and was residing in Grand Rapids in 1862 and 1864.

In 1862 Jackson applied for and received a pension (no. 45,204), dated March 1862, drawing $4.00 per month.

He was married a second time (apparently he had divorced Abigail), to Sarah Anne.

Jackson died on January 1 or 17, 1865, in Grand Rapids, possibly of kidney failure or of chronic diarrhea. Although no burial record is available, it is possible that he may have been one of the several “unknown” soldiers buried in either Greenwood or Oak Hill cemeteries.

His first wife, Abigail (“Abby”) remarried one Alex McGinty in 1867, and in 1868 she was living in Winnebago County, Wisconsin, seeking to gain a minor’s pension, as guardian, for Omer Bennett (minor’s pension application no. 164,967), Jackson’s son, but the certificate was never granted.

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