Saturday, November 24, 2007

Hugh Boyd Jr.

Hugh Boyd Jr. was born February 23, 1840, in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada, the son of Hugh Sr. (b. 1808) Ellen (b. 1810).

Hugh’s parents were probably married in Ireland. In any case sometime before 1840 they left Ireland and immigrated to America. By 1840 Hugh Sr. may have been living in Vermont. Hugh Sr. eventually took his family to Michigan and by 1850 they were living in the vicinity of Muskegon, near Lake Michigan, where Hugh Sr. worked as a laborer and Hugh Jr. attended school along with his siblings. By 1860 Hugh Jr. was working as a day laborer, probably with his brothers John and Alexander, and living with his mother in Muskegon, Muskegon County.

Hugh stood 5’6” with blue eyes, sandy hair and a light complexion and was 21 years old and probably still living in Muskegon when he joined the Muskegon Rangers in April as Third Corporal. The “Rangers” were a local militia company formed in Muskegon soon after the fall of Fort Sumter in April of 1861, and were reorganized into Company H of the Third Michigan infantry then forming at Cantonment Anderson in Grand Rapids. Hugh consequently enlisted as Third Corporal of Company H on May 13, 1861. He was reported as a deserter on November 26, 1861, along with George A. and George W. Bennett, also of Company H. Like the Bennetts, Hugh eventually returned to the regiment under the President’s proclamation of amnesty on April 7, 1863, at Camp Sickles, Maryland. He was mustered out on June 20, 1864, at Detroit.

After his discharge from the army Hugh returned to Muskegon and worked for many years as an engineer. On October 28, 1865, he married Victoria Campau (1844-1873) at the Congregational Church in Grand Haven, Ottawa County. (She was probably the sister of Adolph Campau who had served in Company B.) Victoria died in childbirth on February 28 or March 1, 1873; the child, a son Hugh, died three months later.

Hugh was admitted as a single man to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home on September 7, 1889 (no. 1085), and discharged at his own request on July 7, 1890.

Hugh was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association and in 1889 he applied for and received pension (no. 509,617), drawing $50 per month by 1922.

Hugh was admitted to the Northwestern Branch National Military Home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin: the first time on January 17, 1891, some six months after his discharge from the Michigan Home, and then discharged on August 2, 1899, or just 12 days before his readmission to the Michigan Home on August 14, 1899. He was again discharged at his request on June 12, 1900. It is possible that one of Hugh’s brothers was residing in Wisconsin and that Hugh had gone to stay with him. It is also possible that Hugh found the National Military Home more attractive than the state-run Michigan Soldiers’ Home.

In any event, Hugh apparently returned to Wisconsin following his discharge from the Michigan Home in 1900 since he was reported to be living at 745 47th Avenue in West Allis, Wisconsin from around 1900 to 1904, and by 1911 he was supposedly living in the Milwaukee National Home. In 1920 he was boarding with the Virginia Roepke family in Milwaukee.

In fact, it is quite likely that he remained in Wisconsin until he died a widower of apoplexy and myocarditis at the Milwaukee National Home on June 11, 1922. He was buried in Wood National Cemetery, Milwaukee: section 24, grave no. 3.

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