Thursday, July 10, 2008

Andrew F. Dinsmore - update 11/29/2016

Andrew F. Dinsmore was born in 1842 in Ionia, Ionia County, Michigan, the son of Massachusetts –born Mr. Dinsmore and New York native Arsinoe (b. 1819).

The family eventually settled in Ionia County, Michigan (according to the 1920 census) at and by 1850 Andrew and his younger brother Francis (b. 1846 in Michigan) were living with the family of Maine native Amos Monroe (b. 1823) a carpenter and his wife New York-born Arsina (b. 1822) in Lyons. Arsina was in fact most likely their mother Arsinoe who had remarried. (That same year, a 37-year-old shoemaker named William Densmore, born in Massachusetts, and his family were living in Portland, Ionia County; they had settled in Michigan from New York sometime between 1835 and 1838.)

By 1860 Arsinoe was working as a seamstress (she owned $800 worth of real estate) and living as the head of the household in Lyons; also living with her was her 10-year-old son Matthew.

Andrew stood 5’11” with gray eyes, dark hair and a fair complexion, and was a 19-year-old printer probably living in Ionia when he enlisted with his parents’ (?) consent in Company E on May 13, 1861. He was shot in the left thigh on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and on June 4 was admitted to Hygeia Hospital at Fortress Monroe. On June 12 he was put aboard the hospital steamer Fulton and sent to New York. On June 15 he was admitted to De Camp Hospital on David’s Island. (A photograph of Andrew and his wound was taken in 1866.) He was reported sick in July and hospitalized from August through March of 1863 and by early August Andrew was still a patient in David’s Island Hospital in the East river of New York harbor. He remained at David’s Island until he was discharged for “gun shot fracture of left thigh” on April 9, 1863. .

Andrew gave his mailing address as Lyons, Ionia County on his discharge paper, and presumably he returned home to Michigan where he reentered the service on July 8, 1863, in the 2nd Battalion, Veterans Reserve Corps (VRC) at Detroit for 3 years. Andrew served in the 25th Company and in the 137th Company of the 2nd Battalion as well as in the 3rd Independent Company of the VRC.

It is quite possible that Andrew was posted to Indianapolis with the VRC, in which case he may have been a guard at Camp Morton, the confederate POW located at the fairgrounds just outside of the city. Furthermore, the former captain of Company D, Captain Ambrose Stevens, who was also from Ionia County, was the commandant at Camp Morton during much of the latter part of the war.

Andrew was discharged as a Corporal on July 21, 1866, at Indianapolis, by reason of his “term of service having expired”.

Shortly after his discharge from the army Andrew returned to Michigan where he married Michigan native Imogene (b. 1848) and they had at least one child, a daughter Ethel (b. 1869).

By 1869 Andrew was probably still living in Michigan.

Shortly after his discharge from the VRC, Dinsmore apparently attempted to get a political appointment in Washington. On July 30, 1866, he wrote to the editor of the Grand Rapids Eagle, from Washington, DC. “Permit me,” he wrote, “

to say one word in reference to your Representative, Hon. T. W. Ferry, through whose influence I obtained an appointment under the government. On arriving in this city, I called at the ‘National’ [hotel], the house at which he was stopping, and told him my object, and also that I was formerly a member of Co. E, 3d Mich. Vols. (Capt. Ed. S. Pierce’s company), and requested him to accompany me to the several departments and endeavor to obtain for me a Clerkship. He did so, and more -- he demanded the appointment, on the ground that such positions should be filled by men who had served their country in the field, and been disabled, and were competent. He devoted a share of nearly every day for two weeks to my case, and finally succeeded. There are many other Michigan soldiers here who have him to thank for their positions, and his untiring zeal and energy in their behalf. Such men as he should and will receive the hearty support of every soldier and true Unionist. He has become, during a short career, one of the most steadfast and esteemed. It is peculiarly satisfactory to contrast the constant and unselfish patriotism of such a man with the half-hearted deportment of others. He is always definite, affirmative, positive and frequently aggressive. He is never approached by the corrupt, or doubted by the traitors.

Indeed, by 1870 he had probably received his appointment to a government job, and was living with his wife and child and working as a printer in Washington DC’s Second Ward. By 1880 Andrew was working as a draftsman and living with his wife and daughter on F Street, NE in Washington. Also living with them was his mother, Arsinoe Brown (b. 1819). Darius Hinds, a clerk for the Interior Department who had also served in the Old Third during the war was living in the Dinsmore house as well.

By 1890 Andrew was chief of the drafting division for the U.S. General Land Office in Washington, and either living or working at at 647 A Street northeast. By the following year he was listed as chief of the Topography Division of the GLO and probably living or working at the Hotel Kenmore. He probably lived in Washington the rest of his life.

He was married a second time to Maryland or Canadian native Mary Beersheba Millson (b. 1855-1944).

In 1863 He applied for and received a pension (no. 17454) and was a member of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association.

Andrew was living in Washington, DC in 1911, and he and his Mary were both living in Washington, DC in 1920; he was still working as a government clerk.

Andrew died on June 7, 1925, in Washington. He was reportedly buried in Arlington National Cemetery: section White grave 20607 or he was reinterred in Imlay cemetery, Lapeer County.

His widow was living in Washington in June of 1925 when she applied for a pension (no. 963454). Mary may have returned to Michigan. She died in 1944 and was buried in Imlay cemetery, Lapeer County.

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