Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Henry Durett

Henry Durett was born January 3, 1835, in Peru, Clinton County, New York, the son of Antoine ( b. 1814 in Canada) and Alice (b. 1811).

Antoine (or Anthony), who was born in Quebec, Canada, married New York native Alice, sometime before 1828, either in Canada or in New York. In any case, by 1830 Antoine was living in Beekmantown, Clinton County, New York. The family was living in Keeseville, Essex County, New York in 1833 in Perus, Clinton County, New York in 1835 and in Plattsburgh Village, Clinton County, New York, in 1840 but eventually moved westward. By 1860 Antoine was reportedly living in Centerville Township, Leelanau County, Michigan.

Henry was probably living in western Michigan when he married Sarah or Polly H. Esget (b. 1843 in Pennsylvania), on March 3, 1860, in Crockery, Ottawa County, Michigan, and they had at least seven children: Margaret Polly (b. December 1860), Laurie Henrietta (b. 1864), Harry Anthony (b. 1866) and Catherine or “Corianna” (b. 1868), and infant in 1870 and another infant in 1873, and Gertrude E. (b. 1876).

In 1860 they were both living with Polly’s father Daniel in Nunica, Crockery Township where Henry was reportedly working as a mason or plasterer (a trade both he and his brother Lewis followed for many years).

Henry was 26 years old, stood 5’6” with hazel eyes and brown hair, and probably living in Crockery, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.) He was reported sick in the hospital in August of 1862, and hospitalized from December of 1862 through September 1863. He appears to have returned to Nunica, Ottawa County sometime in mid-summer and was reported in Nunica in early July, possibly to recover his health.

It appears that Henry was discharged for disability on October 1, 1863, at Washington, DC, although according to one source, he was discharged in order to be transferred to the Company D, Second Michigan cavalry on December 28, 1863 at Washington, DC. However, no record of such an enlistment is found in the Regimental descriptive rolls or 1905 Regimental history for the Second Michigan cavalry.

Nevertheless, according to Henry’s pension records he did in fact enlist in Company D, Second Michigan cavalry in late December of 1863 and was reportedly hospitalized in Franklin, Tennessee from the end of August to the end of December 1864. He was reportedly discharged at Macon, Georgia, in September of 1865.

It is not known if Henry returned to Michigan after the war although this seems likely. By 1870 Henry had settled his family in Louisville, Cass County, Nebraska, where he was working as a farm laborer along with his brother Lewis. He was also a member -- along with his brother Lewis -- of GAR Post No. 32 in York, Nebraska. By 1880 he was working as a bricklayer in Ogden, Weber County, Utah. Sometime between 1883 and 1886 he may have moved for a time to Burleigh County, Dakota Territory where he was reportedly widowed.

He eventually settled in California by 1888 and was residing at 337 Commercial Street in 1898. By 1900 he was reported as a single man living at the National Military Home, Pacific Branch, in Los Angeles (Santa Monica), California.

He received pension no. 363,524.

Henry died on March 31, 1912, probably at the National Home, and was buried in the Los Angeles National Cemetery: plot 21 D/12.

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