Monday, April 28, 2008

Daniel Gilbert Converse Jr.

Daniel Gilbert Converse Jr. was born 1837, in Parkman or Parkmanville, Geauga County, Ohio, the son of Daniel G. Sr. (1790-1858) and Thankful (Carter, 1797-1869).

Vermont native Daniel Sr. served as a Sergeant in the Second (Fifield’s) Regiment of Vermont infantry in the war of 1812, He was probably living in Vermont when he married Polly Morgan in 1813, and in Randolph, Orange County, Vermont, in 1820. Daniel Sr. was either widowed or divorced when he married Vermont-born Thankful Carter in 1826, possibly in Vermont. In any case, Daniel Sr. settled his family in Parkmanville, Geuga County, Ohio, around 1829 and farmed there for many years; he was living in Parkmanville in 1830, 1840 and 1850. In 1850 Daniel Sr. and his family lived next door to one John Convers and his family, a miller in Parkmanville; John was born in about 1793 in Vermont and was probably Daniel’s brother. In any case, Daniel Jr. was attending school with three of his siblings in 1850. Daniel Sr. served several times as Justice of the Peace and was deacon of the Congregational Church.

In 1855 Daniel Sr. moved his family from Ohio to western Michigan settling in Saranac, Ionia County where he died in 1858. In July of 1857 one Daniel G. Converse bought 40 acres of land through the land office in Ionia County, Michigan.

Daniel Jr. was living in Ionia County when he joined the “Boston Light Guard," a local militia company in western Ionia County, on January 22, 1858. According to one contemporary source he was Second Corporal of the Boston Light Guard, which would serve as the nucleus for Company D, Third Michigan Infantry in 1861.

On April 14, 1858, Daniel Jr. married Ohio native Emma A Chipman (b. 1841), who had been married once before to one Edgar B. Smith, probably in Ohio, and they had at least one child, a daughter, Hester Louise. (Emma was probably the daughter of Ami and Ruth Chipman and was probably living with her family in Boston, Ionia County, Michigan in 1850.)

By 1860 Daniel Jr. was a farmer living with his wife Emma in Berlin (Saranac), Ionia County; also living with them was one Oliver Converse, age 42 and born in Vermont and one Charles Patten, age 6 and born in Ohio who was attending school in Saranac.

Daniel stood 5’9” with gray eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 24 years old and still living in Ionia County when he enlisted at the age of 24 in Company D on May 13, 1861. (Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County.)

He was reported missing in action at Savage Station, Virginia, on July 1, 1862, and had, in fact, been taken prisoner, possibly while sick in the hospital. He was soon paroled at Richmond, Virginia, and arrived at Old Point, Virginia, near Fortress Monroe, on the steamer John Tucker, on the afternoon of July 11. In late August he was reported among the paroled prisoner-of-war at Camp Parole, at Annapolis, Maryland.

By November 20, 1862, Daniel had returned to the Regiment where he was promoted to Sergeant Major, and in May of 1863 he was absent sick. He was again absent sick in October and November. By December he was detached on recruiting service in Michigan where he remained through March of 1864. He reenlisted on February 26, 1864, while in Grand Rapids.

Although in April of 1864 Daniel was still on recruiting service in Michigan, nevertheless he was promoted to First Lieutenant of Company H on April 1, 1864, at Brandy Station, Virginia, replacing Lieutenant Calvin McTaggert. He was transferred to Company F on May 5, 1864, and then transferred as First Lieutenant to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. In July he was promoted to Captain and assigned to Company A on July 30, commissioned as of June 13, replacing Captain Daniel Root, who had been promoted to Major.

In September Daniel was absent sick, but was soon back with his company by October, and on leave in November. He was present for duty in December of 1864, and in February of 1865 he was on recruiting service in Detroit through May. He returned to the regiment from recruiting service on June 8, at least on paper; in fact he may never have left Michigan. In any case, he was mustered out of service with the regiment on July 5, 1865 at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

Curiously, no pension seems to be available and there appears to be no further record of either Daniel or his wife Emma.

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