Monday, June 09, 2008

Asa B. Daniels

Asa B. Daniels was born 1846 in Adrian, Lenawee County, Michigan, the son of Andrew P. (b. 1810) and Martha (b. 1821).

Massachusetts native Andrew married New York-born Martha and moved to Adrian, Lenawee County, Michigan sometime before 1845. By 1850 Asa was living with his family on a farm in Adrian, and by 1860 Asa was attending school with two of his younger siblings and living with his parents on the family farm in Olive, Ottawa County.

Asa stood 5’8” with blue eyes, brown hair and a fair complexion, and was an 18-year-old laborer and farmer living in Olive, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company F on January 13, 1864, at Watertown, Clinton County, for 3 years, and was mustered the same day at Corunna, Shiawassee County. (His family apparently moved to Clinton County.)

He joined the Regiment on February 17 at Camp Bullock, Virginia, and on March 10 wrote home to his father “to let you know that I am well and hope that these few lines will find you the same. I am here in Virginia. Have you got that money that I sent you[?] and if you have got it write and let me know. Have you got that land[?] If you have got it let me know. It rains very hard here today. And when you get this letter I wish that you would write and let know. I have wrote you 5 letters since I have been here.”

Asa was transferred to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864.

Less than a week later, on June 16, 1864, he was shot by a minie ball in the right ankle near Petersburg, Virginia, and was sent from the field to the First Division hospital (“Woolf Street”) in Alexandria, Virginia. He was still in the hospital recovering form his wound in mid-September when he wrote home to his father that he was expecting to be furlough within the next week or so. In fact, Asa was furloughed from the hospital commencing October 25 and went home to Olive. Although it was reported that Asa remained hospitalized through May of 1865, in fact he rejoined his regiment on December 12, 1864. Sometime soon after arriving back with the regiment Asa wrote home to his father.

I now take my pen in hand to let you that I am well and hope these few lines will find you the same. I expect that I shall be on picket but I do not know whether I will or not. I have not been detailed yet. I have been mustered today for two months more. The paymaster has not come around yet and I hope [to[ get 4 months pay and . . . bounty and you see that I can send some to you. There is a young fellow here and he is in the same tent and he says that he wants you to write to him. His name is Henry Brown. He is the one that wrote my letters last winter. I was in the same tent last winter. Mr. [Chauncey] Webster is in the hospital. He was wounded the 27 of [October at Boydton Plank road, Virginia]. Charles Land is here to the regiment and well and tough. They say that the home guards are ordered to Washington and I am glad of that. They thought they had a good thing, they thought they could get read [sic] of the draft by enlisting in the home guards. They will not think it quite so wise if they do have to come here.

Charles Land, who tented with Asa, said in a statement after the war that Asa was in fact still serving on duty in the Spring of 1865.

Charles Land claimed that Asa was shot in the forehead by a musket ball on March 25, 1865, at Hatcher’s Run, Virginia, and that he “never appeared natural after he was wounded.” According to Asa, he was hit just above the nose, the ball coming out above the right eye and he was blind for some six weeks after being wounded. He was subsequently hospitalized and was discharged on either June 7 or 9, 1865, at Mower hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

After the war Asa returned to Michigan, probably settling with his parents in Clinton County. In July of 1865 he claimed that he had “partially regained the sight of it though not wholly and that the light on very light days causes him very much pain. Also that several pieces of the skull came out, that he was informed and believes the skull was cracked to about the center of the top of the head. That he thinks sometimes the edges of the fracture work together and pinch the nerves causing very acute pains. That when he bends forward his forehead pains him and feels as though something was dropping through the place where the ball entered.”

In July of 1865 Asa was living in South Riley, Clinton County when he applied for a pension (application no 79304) for his service in the Fifth Michigan. In 1870 his parents were living next door to Henry Cutler who had also served in the Old Third.

Asa died probably in 1872 and probably at his family home in Clinton County and was buried in Wacousta cemetery.

In late February of 1872 his mother applied for a pension (no 201983) and in 1881 his father applied (no 283320), but it does not appear that there was a certificate granted in either case. In fact his father’s pension application was reported first as rejected and then as abandoned.

No comments: