Friday, November 23, 2007

Charles F. Bouton

Charles F. Bouton was born August 22, 1844, in Genesee County, New York, the son of Daniel S. (b. 1816) and Maria (b. 1820).

Both Massachusetts natives, Charles’ parents were probably married in Massachusetts but eventually settled in New York. The family moved westward from New York, eventually settling in Michigan where by 1860 Charles was working as a farm laborer and residing with his family in Crockery, Ottawa County.

Charles was 17 years old and probably still living with his family in Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.) He was detached as a teamster, probably in the Third Brigade wagon trains, from November through December of 1862, and was serving with the Third Brigade wagon train from January of 1863 through March. From February of 1864 through March he was reported on the Brigade commissary staff.

Charles was shot in the right forearm on May 5, 1864, during the Wilderness campaign. On May 11 Charles was admitted to Emory hospital in Washington, DC, for a gunshot wound to the lower third of the right forearm with the ball passing through and fracturing the ulna; he was discharged from the hospital on June 9, and mustered out June 10, 1864.

After his discharge from the army Charles eventually returned to Michigan, and by August of 1864 was working as a farmer in Nunica, Ottawa County.

He married his cousin Minerva E. Bouton (1845-1929) in Grand Haven, Ottawa County, on September 21, 1864, and they had at least three children: two died before being named, and a son Charles (b. 1866).

Charles’ parents were still residing in Nunica, Crockery Township in 1870 and 1880.

He may have been the same Charles Bouton who in 1878 purchased 136 acres of land through the Traverse City land office in northern Michigan. In any case, by 1894 Charles had moved north and was reportedly living in Escanaba, Fourth Ward, Delta County. (In 1910 their son Charles was living in Escanaba’s Seventh Ward; he may have been living in Los Angeles in 1920.)

Charles received pension no. 35823, drawing $19 per month in 1912, $25 per month by 1914, $30 per month by 1919 and $50 per month by 1922.

Charles and his wife eventually moved west and by 1920 Charles (listed as “Bowton”) was a resident at the National Military Home, Malibu Township, Los Angeles County, California. By the summer of 1922 they were residing in Sawtelle, Los Angeles County, California. (Charles Axtell, who had served in the Regimental Band also lived out his last years in Sawtelle. In fact, Sawtelle was where the Soldier’s Home hospital was located.) Charles apparently suffered a stroke, or perhaps was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease from about 1919 and was under the total care of his wife.

He died on November 22, 1922, at the Soldier’s Home hospital in Los Angeles and was buried in Los Angeles National Cemetery: plot 35 RK G/3.

His widow applied for and received a pension (no. 931856). She was living at 1417 Federal Avenue in Sawtelle, when she died in 1929.

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