Saturday, December 15, 2007

Harvey S. Briggs

Harvey S. Briggs was born 1836 in Tioga (?), Ohio.

Both of Harvey’s parents were born in New York and eventually settled in Ohio. Sometime before the war Harvey left Ohio and moved westward, probably with his family and settled in western Michigan. By 1860 he was a day laborer working for and/or living with the Horatio N. Tubbs family in Leighton, Allegan County; by the winter of 1861 he was probably living in or near Wayland, Allegan County.

Harvey stood 5’9” with blue eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion, and was 25 years old and probably still living in Allegan County when he enlisted as Fifth Corporal of Company F on May 13, 1861. He was probably wounded at Fredericksburg, Virginia on December 13, 1862, but not seriously. In any case, by late February of 1863 Harvey had been promoted to Sergeant. He was a witness for the prosecution in the court martial of Elijah Warner who was absent without leave from the regiment during the battle of Chancellorsville.

Harvey was absent sick in November of 1863, probably as a result of chronic diarrhea, but had returned to the Regiment the following month when he reenlisted on December 23, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Grattan, Kent County. He was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February.

Sometime “In the spring of 1864 at N.Y. City,” Harvey claimed in 1893, “I was indiscreet and contracted venereal disease and was treated for same in hospital at City Point [Virginia] & I was there entirely cured.” Indeed, he did recover and was probably on duty with the regiment when he was transferred to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. Harvey was suffered a sunstroke sometime during the summer, near Petersburg, Virginia, and was absent sick from October through December of 1864; possibly as a consequence of the sunstroke. He was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war Harvey returned to Michigan, living briefly in Decatur, Van Buren County, before settling in Wayland, Allegan County.

Harvey was married to Michigan native Carrie R. Olney (1845-1930), on May 6, 1866, in Wayland, and they had at least three children: Frank (b. 1868), Idona (b. 1872) and Ella (1881-1887).

By 1870 Harvey was working as a farmer and he and Carrie were living with the Tubbs family in Wayland; also living in Wayland were Norton Briggs’ family as well as William Briggs, possibly Harvey’s younger brother. For many years Harvey worked in the lumbering business, often in partnership with George Crippen -- they were also neighbors in Wayland from about 1870 until the late 1880s.

Harvey probably maintained a home in Wayland but by 1876 he was living and working in the vicinity of Evart, Osceola County. He left Evart in about 1878 and moved back to Wayland, but was reportedly back in Evart by 1880 working as a laborer and living with his family. By 1889 and 1890 he was living in Chase, Lake County, next door to John Miller, formerly of Company H, Third Michigan Infantry. By 1891 Harvey was back living in Wayland, where his wife resided.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association as well as Grand Army of the Republic Post No. 16 in Evart, and Grand Army of the Republic Sterling Post No. 74 in Wayland. He received pension no. 909,630, drawing $12.00 per month by 1891; his widow also received a pension.

Harvey was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 1629) on December 10, 1891, discharged on April 12, 1892, readmitted November 28, and discharged on May 15, 1893; he was readmitted on September 29 and discharged on October 15, 1899; he was admitted to the Home for the final time on June 10, 1906. Carrie remained in Wayland when her husband was first admitted to the Home, but by 1906 they were both apparently residents of the Home.

Harvey died while on furlough from the Home, at his home in Wayland on June 30, 1906. He was buried in Elmwood cemetery, Wayland: lot 5, grave 2.

Carrie continued to reside at the Home after her husband’s death. She also applied for and received a pension (no. 620812).

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