Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Orlow J. Brackett

Orlow J. Brackett was born 1843 in Vermont, the son of Josiah (b. 1804) and Clarissa (b. 1802 in Vermont).

Orlow’s parents were probably married in Vermont sometime before 1837 when his older brother Albert was born. (Josiah was possibly living in Plattsburgh, Clinton County New York in 1830 and in Ogdensburg, St. Lawrence County in 1840.) By 1850 Orlow (or Orlo) was living with his family in Morristown, Lamoille County, Vermont.

Orlow eventually left Vermont (possibly with an older brother who also served in a Michigan regiment) and moved westward, eventually settling in western Michigan. By 1860 he was a farm laborer working for and/or living with the Edwin Bradford family in Sparta, Kent County.

Orlow stood 5’6” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion, and was 18 years old and possibly still working as a laborer in Kent County when he enlisted in Company E on May 13, 1861. On June 15, 1862, Eli Hamblin, another member of the Third Michigan who also came from the vicinity of Sparta, wrote home to his parents: “There was a letter in the package for Edwin Bradford containing twenty-five dollars which makes out the sixty-five dollars Arlo [sic] Bracket sent that to Bradford. He is a young fellow that lived to Edwin Bradford’s father.”

He was reported absent sick from July of 1862 until he was discharged for epilepsy on October 28, 1862, at Baltimore, Maryland.

After his discharge from the army Orlow returned to Kent County and reentered the service in Company D, Tenth Michigan cavalry on August 31, 1863, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Hampton, Bay County, and was mustered September 18, probably at Grand Rapids where the regiment was organized between September 18 and November 18, 1863, when it was mustered into service. It left Michigan for Lexington, Kentucky on December 1, 1863, and participated in numerous operations, mostly in Kentucky and Tennessee throughout the winter of 1863-64. Most of its primary area of operations would eventually be in the vicinity of Strawberry Plains, Tennessee.

He allegedly deserted on February 8, 1864, at Camp Nelson, Kentucky, and returned on June 11. In November of 1864 he was on detached service in Kentucky, and in March of 1865 he was at Division headquarters.

Orlow was shot and killed by “bushwhackers” at Statesville, North Carolina on April 16, 1865, and presumably buried in Statesville.

No pension seems to be available.

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