Thursday, July 30, 2009

John Lindsey

John Lindsey was born in November 4, 1835, in New York.

John’s parents were both born in New York and presumably married there. In any case, John left New York and moved westward, eventually settling in western Michigan. He was living in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in September of 1855 when he joined the Grand Rapids Artillery, under the command of Captain Lucius Patterson. (Captain Baker Borden would eventually succeed Patterson, and indeed the GRA would serve as the nucleus of Company B, also under the command of Borden, of the Third Michigan infantry.)

John married Mary R. Dunlap (1839-1907), on July 6, 1860, in Hannibal, Missouri, and they had at least two children: Mary L. (1861-1861) and John L. (1863-1869).

John stood 5’6” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 25 years old and probably working as a carpenter and living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted as Second Sergeant in Company B on May 13, 1861. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant on January 1, 1862, and resigned on May 21, 1862, on account of disability.

After his discharge John returned to Grand Rapids where he reentered the service in Company B, First Michigan Engineers and Mechanics on December 22, 1863, for 3 years, crediting Grand Rapids, and was mustered on January 5, 1864.

John probably joined the regiment somewhere in the vicinity of Chattanooga, Tennessee where it was on engineering duty as well as at Bridgeport, Stevenson and on line of the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad, Nashville & Northwestern Railroad, Tennessee & Alabama Railroad and Memphis & Charleston Railroad building block houses, etc., till May, 1864.

According postwar testimony, “while at Chiamanga [?] Tenn. about the first of August" 1864, John "was detailed to take a prisoner to regimental headquarters at Rome Ga. He slipped when getting off the car [and] fell astride the iron railing injuring his testicles.”

The Regiment was on duty on the Atlantic & Western Railroad building block houses, etc., till September when it was ordered to Atlanta, Ga., September 25. Old members were mustered out October 31, 1864. It remained on duty at Atlanta September 28 to November 15; and participated in the March to the sea destroying railroad track, bridges and repairing and making roads November 15-December 10; in the siege of Savannah December 10-21, in the Carolina Campaign January to April, 1865; in the advance on Raleigh April 10-14, and occupation of Raleigh April 14; in the surrender of Johnston and his army. The regiment then marched to Washington, D. C., via Richmond, Va., April 29-May 20, and was in the Grand Review on May 24. Ordered to Louisville, Ky., June 6; then to Nashville, Tenn. Duty at Nashville July 1 to September 22.

John was mustered out as an Artificer on September 22, 1865, at Nashville, Tennessee. The regiment was discharged at Jackson, Jackson County, Michigan on October 1.

After the war John returned to his home in Grand Rapids and from 1865 to 1869 worked as a mechanic for Wheeler, Borden & Co and resided at 55 Broadway on the west side of the Grand River. (One of the owners, Baker Borden, had been captain of Company B.)

In 1870 he and his wife Mary were living in Grand Rapids’ Fourth Ward where John worked as a carpenter. (Next door lived another carpenter who worked for Borden and who had also served in Company B, Third Michigan and with Borden in the First E & M, E. C. Phillips and his family; Phillips had also served in the Third Michigan during the war.)

By 1880 John was working as a publisher and living with his wife in Grand Rapids’ Seventh Ward. In fact John lived the rest of his life on the west side of the river where he was employed for some years as a furniture worker. By 1884 he was living at 86 Scribner Street in Grand Rapids.

He became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association in December of 1879, and during the Twenty-fourth annual reunion of the Old Third Infantry Association, held in December of 1895, Lindsey spoke briefly about his wartime experiences. His “remarks,” noted the Grand Rapids Democrat, “aroused a considerable enthusiasm. He referred to ‘old company B’, the artillery company that existed in Grand Rapids before the war, and gave a general but brief overview of his own army experience.”

By 1900 John and his wife were living in the Masonic Home near Reed’s Lake, East Grand Rapids (located where the high school is today).

In 1882 John applied for and received a pension (no. 519321), drawing $10 per month by 1901.

He died of cancer of the stomach on November 15, 1901, while visiting in Grant, Newaygo County. His body was returned to Masonic Home for the funeral service which was held at 2:30 p.m. on November 17, and he was buried in Greenwood cemetery, Grand Rapids: section B lot 46.

In December of 1901 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 529827), drawing $8 per month by 1907. In 1904 she was living at 279 Seventh Street in Grand Rapids.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Arad Ellis Lindsay Sr.

Arad Ellis Lindsay Sr. was born on December 30, 1830, in the vicinity of Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York, the son of William and Abigail.

Arad eventually left New York and settled in Michigan. He was probably the same Arad Lindsay who in 1855 was reported working as a schoolteacher in New Haven Township’s first school built on section 33 in New Haven, Gratiot County (located just across the County line from Bloomer, Montcalm County).

Arad married Ohio native Harriet Herrick (1836-1919), on March 27, 1858, in LaPaye, Lorain County, Ohio, and they had at least three children, Jay (b. 1859), May or Mae (b. 1861), and Arad Ellis Jr. (1864-1930).

By 1860 Arad was working as a farmer and living with his wife and son in Bloomer, Montcalm County; also living with them was one John Lindsay, b. 1822 in New York, who was working as a mechanic. (There is one William Lindsay, b. c. 1818, buried in Bloomer cemetery, Montcalm County; he died in 1903. Also buried with him is one Berthia or Bertha Lindsay, his wife, who was 65 years old when she died in 1883. She too is buried in Bloomer.)

Arad stood 5’9,” with light complexion, grey eyes and auburn hair, was 30 years old, working as a farmer, carpenter and painter and residing in either Bloomer, Montcalm County, or Ionia, Ionia County when he enlisted in Company E on May 13, 1861. (His daughter May was born in Ionia in 1861 and in early 1864 he listed his residence as Ionia, Ionia County.) Company E was composed in large part by men from Clinton and Ingham counties, as well as parts of Ionia County.

Arad was a Corporal and a provost guard on “extra duty” at Brigade headquarters from May through August of 1862. he was present with the regiment from September through December and as of January 20, 1863 he was on detached service as a Provost guard. From February of 1863 through April he was a guard at Division headquarters, and on April 23, 1863, he was a Sergeant when he allegedly deserted while on furlough from headquarters First Division, Third Corps.

It is unclear what became of the charge of desertion. (It is possible that he was in his quarters sick or, more likely, in a hospital being treated for illness.) In any case, Arad returned to the regiment and was reportedly treated for influenza from May 20 to July 3, 1863 and furloughed for ten days and returned on July 12.

According to his service record, sometime in mid-1863 Arad was apparently assigned to the Veterans Reserve Corps (also known as the Invalid Corps), and by June 30, he was apparently in Detroit when it was reported that he had been in the hospital for some three months suffering from diarrhea. His character while in the hospital was listed as “good.” He was given a furlough on July 2, 1863.

First Lieutenant D. C. Crawford, who was then temporarily commanding Company E., however saw Arad’s situation somewhat differently. In fact, he had little good to say about Arad in a note he wrote from Warrenton, Virginia, on August 9, 1863, to Lieutenant Colonel Smith, who was commanding the rendezvous barracks in Detroit.

I have the honor to ask you for information of Sergeant Arad E. Lindsay of my Co. He obtained a furlough of fifteen days from the Provost Marshall of this Division where he was at the time on detached service. When he went away he told some of the men in my Co. that he should not come back if he could help it at the expiration of fifteen days. I recd orders from the Provost Marshall to report him a deserter which I did and have not heard from him since. He was never in an engagement & always was a good camp soldier but a poor fighter . . . . He is no doubt playing off somewhere in Michigan. I have heard that he reported to you. If he is within your reach I wish you would send him on to his regiment as he is no better to stand the hardships of a soldier’s life than the brave & tried veterans who have borne the brunt of war.

And on October 29, Captain Stephen Lowing, who had taken over command of Company E. wrote to Lieutenant Colonel Smith maintaining Arad’s desertion status, adding “that his reputation is not good as a soldier that he obtained a furlough and went home and has since failed to report.”

It was during this same period, however, that Arad sought a commission in the U.S. Colored Troops. In fact on December 8, 1863, Arad was transferred to the First Michigan Colored Infantry, and on January 8, 1864, commissioned as Captain. The regiment was organized at Detroit between August of 1863 and February of 1864, and was mustered into service on February 17, 1864.

The regiment was moved to Annapolis, Maryland, on March 29 where it joined the Ninth Corps; it remained at Annapolis until April 15 when it was ordered to Hilton Head, South Carolina. It was employed on picket and outpost duty on Hilton Head and St. Helena islands and in garrison at Port Royal until June 15. According to one source,

The First left the state March 28, 1864, for Annapolis, Md., where it joined the Ninth corps. It was soon detached and sent by transports to Hilton Head, S. C., where it arrived on the 19th of April. During the next two months the different companies were on picket duty at St. Helena and Jenkins [or Jekyl?] Islands, and on Hilton Head Island. The regiment then occupied Port Royal and assisted in constructing fortifications and other fatigue duty.

In August the First was sent to Jacksonville, Fla., and then marched to Baldwin, where it did picket duty and destroyed railroad tracks. It was attacked by the enemy, and during the engagement the regiment convinced its officers that the men could be relied upon when serious service was demanded.

After a long march through eastern Florida the First embarked on transports at Magnolia for Beaufort, S. C., and arrived the 31st. In September the First was sent to different points on Coosa and Port Royal Islands, and in October the enemy attempted to surprise and capture the regiment, but was repulsed and driven off.

November 30, 1864, a detachment of 300 of the First joined the forces under General Foster, at Boyd's Landing, and engaged the enemy at Honey Hill, S. C., Tillifinny, and at Deveaux Neck.

At Grahamsville the detachment of the First fought a sanguinary battle with the enemy and received the highest commendation of the officers in command for the determination the regiment displayed in holding its ground under a severe fire and in repulsing a charge and charging in turn. The artillery of the expedition suffered severely from the enemy's fire, and so many horses had been killed that two guns had to be abandoned, but were hauled off the field by hand by the First and saved. Many of the men, though wounded and bleeding, refused to go to the rear and fought until the battle was concluded.

The regiment was reunited at Pocatalligo in February, 1865, and made several expeditions in the enemy's country, driving off his cavalry and destroying railroads and building breastworks. It was then sent to Charleston, where it built defenses and then embarked for Savannah, Ga., and returned to Charleston again on the 9th of April. Here the regiment was divided, each wing making daring incursions to the interior of the state, meeting the enemy in several severe skirmishes, but beating him in each engagement.

The 29th of May, General Lee and General Johnson having surrendered, the regiment proceeded to Charleston, and for the next few months occupied Summerville, Branchville, Orangeburg, Winnsboro, and returned to Charleston, where it was mustered out Sept. 30, and arrived at Detroit, Mich., where it was paid and disbanded Oct. 17, 1865.

It was in engagements during its term of service at Baldwin, Fla., August 8, 1864; Honey Hill, S. C., November 30, 1864; Tullifinny, S. C., December 7, 1864; Deveaux Neck, S. C., December 9, 1864; Cuckwold's Creek Bridge, February 8, 1865; Sumterville, S. C., April 8, 1865; Spring Hill, S. C., April 15, 1865; Swift Creek, S. C., April 17, 1865; Boykin's, S. C., April 18, 1865; Singleton's Plantation, S. C., April 19, 1865.

On May 23, 1864, the First Michigan Colored Infantry was reorganized as the One Hundred and second U.S. Colored Infantry and attached to the District of Hilton Head, South Carolina (Dept. of the South) and District of Beaufort, South Carolina (Dept. of the South). The One Hundred and second was garrisoned first at Port Royal, South Carolina from the time it was organized until June 15 when it moved to Beaufort and remained in garrison there until August 1. It was then moved to Jacksonville, Florida from August 1-3, on picket duty at Baldwin until August 15 and participated in the attack on Baldwin August 11-12 as well as in the raid on the Florida Central Railroad August 15-19. It was at Magnolia until August 29, moved to Beaufort August 29-31 and remained on duty there until after the first of the year, engaged in outpost and picket duty on Port Royal, Lady and Coosa Islands until January of 1865.

On November 30, 1864, a detachment under the command of Captain Lindsay, was engaged at Honey Hill, South Carolina, when Arad was reportedly killed in action. According to the official report of Colonel Chipman. Then commanding the One Hundred and second USCT,

Three hundred men of the One hundred and second U.S. Colored Troops were all of that regiment who were engaged on the 30th. This portion of the One hundred and second U.S. Colored Troops under my command reached the landing at Boyd's Point at about 11 a.m. of the 30th and started immediately for the front, which it reached at I p.m. The two left companies were at once deployed across the road as guards, to stop and return to their regiments all stragglers from the front. Lieutenant-Colonel Ames, chief of artillery, having called for a detail to haul off some guns belonging to Battery B, Third New York Artillery, which had been stripped of both men and horses, Capt. A. E. Lindsay was sent with his company to do this work, but before he reached the pieces he was killed, and his only officer, Lieut. H. H. Alvord, severely wounded in two places. The command now devolved upon the first sergeant, who, knowing nothing of the object for which his company had been advanced, filed it right into the woods and formed line toward the enemy. Afterward, when the rest of the regiment was formed in line of battle, Sergeant Madry brought his company and formed it in its proper place in the battalion. The first attempt having thus failed a second was made, and First Lieut. O. W. Bennett was sent with his company to endeavor, if possible, to save the guns. Lieutenant Bennett, with thirty men, went forward fully 100 yards in advance of our first line, and succeeded in bringing away the three guns. Too high praise cannot be awarded to Lieutenant Bennett for the gallant manner in which he led his men in that perilous enterprise, nor to his men who so faithfully followed their leader. At this time the regiment left the road and was posted in line of battle on the road, its left resting on the road, supporting the battery then in action at that point. At 3 p.m. I was informed of the wounding of Colonel Hartwell, and that I was in command of the brigade. From that time the command of the regiment devolved upon Capt. C. S. Montague. The regiment remained in line till 7.30 p.m., when it withdrew. After reaching the church it was also employed in carrying wounded to the rear.

Brigadier General John P. Hatch, commanding the Coast Division, wrote in his official report:

Between 1 and 2 p.m. the One hundred and second U.S. Colored Troops reached the field, having arrived at the landing at 11 a.m.

The ammunition of the troops engaged being nearly expended, and none arriving from the rear, this regiment was necessarily held in reserve, as I received information from deserters and prisoners that large re-enforcements were being received by the enemy by railroad. One section of Mesereau's artillery, having been placed in battery in a position completely commanded by the artillery and sharpshooters of the enemy, lost two of its officers wounded, and most of its horses and cannoneers; two of the ammunition-chests on the limbers were blown up. A detail of a company from the One hundred and second U.S. Colored Troops was ordered to bring off the guns. Capt. A. E. Lindsay, commanding the company, was killed, and Lieut. H. H. Alvord was severely wounded. The command of the company devolved upon a sergeant, who did not understand the object of the advance, and failed to accomplish it. First Lieut. O. W. Bennett, One hundred and second U.S. Colored Troops, with thirty men was detached for the same purpose, and executed it in the coolest and most gallant manner. Mesereau's artillery was then sent to the rear, and Titus' battery brought into action. The artillery fire was directed to be continued slowly, as the ammunition was being expended and none received from the rear. The caissons as fast as emptied were ordered to the landing to refill. About 3 p.m. 6,000 rounds of musket ammunition was received and issued to those regiments entirely out. It was, however, now certain that the enemy's position could not be carried; and whilst a moderate fire was kept up, arrangements were commenced for retiring as soon as it became dark. The ammunition of Titus' battery, except twenty rounds each for two guns, being expended, the naval guns under Lieutenant Commander Matthews were brought into action, one section at a time. The ambulances having been lauded commenced reaching the front. One section of Titus' battery, supported by two regiments of infantry, took post half a mile in the rear. Two regiments of infantry were then drawn from the flanks and posted one mile farther to the rear, where the road crossed a ravine. Two regiments of infantry were detailed to carry the wounded. At dusk the retreat commenced. The Naval Brigade, with the exception of its two pieces of artillery, then engaged, was ordered to occupy the cross-roads; the One hundred and twenty-seventh New York Volunteers and One hundred and second U. S. Colored Troops, with one section naval artillery, remained at the front, keeping up a slow fire with artillery until 7.30 p.m., when, the main body of the command being well on its march, they withdrew, and were in their turn covered by the Fifty-sixth and One hundred and forty-fourth Regiments New York Volunteers; these were again covered by the Twenty-fifth Ohio and One hundred and fifty-seventh New York Volunteers, posted as before mentioned. The whole retrograde movement was executed without loss or confusion; there was no pursuit by the enemy or alarm of any kind; not a wounded man was left on the field, except those who fell at the foot of the enemy's works in the charges in which we were repulsed; no stores or equipments fell into the hands of the enemy, except some thrown away by the men on the advance, to enable them the better to follow the enemy in his retreat.

Arad was presumably buried at or near Honey Hill and may have been reinterred in Beaufort National Cemetery.

In January of 1865 Harriet applied for and received a widow’s pension (no. 68599). She eventually remarried Daniel Sinkey. (Daniel was probably the older brother of Othaniel Sinkey, who was also from Montcalm County and who, like Arad Sr., had served in Company E.) In 1869 Harriet was living in Bloomer, Montcalm County when she applied for and received (no. 13211) for her minor children. They were still living in Bloomer in 1870.

Curiously, in 1898 one “Eddie” Lindsay or Lindsey, then living in Beaufort, South Carolina, the son of Hattie Williams, who, he claimed had married Arad E. Lindsay, and who further claimed that he was born in 1865, applied on behalf of himself for a minor child’s pension, (no. 680611). The claim was rejected on absence of any substantiation in relationship to Arad E. Lindsay The government further noted that in a note written on November 1, 1901, to Mr. Lindsay’s attorney that since “the claimant in this case is a colored person, it would seem that he is not the legitimate child of the solider.” In 1880 there was a 48-year-old widow named Hattie Williams (listed as a “mulatto”) working as a washer and living with her three children (one of whom is a son born around 1865) in Beaufort Township, Beaufort County, South Carolina

In November of 1915 Harriet was judged to be “mentally incompetent” and was placed under the guardianship of one Walter Yeomans of Ionia, Michigan. Harriet is buried in Middle Branch cemetery, Osceola County, next to her son Arad Jr.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

John Henry Lindemeier

John Henry Lindemeier, also known as “Johann Heinrich” or “Henry Lindemier,” was born on October 13, 1834 in Bremen, Germany.

“John” immigrated to the United States eventually settling in western Michigan. By 1860 he was working as a farmer and living with the Eastway family in Olive, Ottawa County.

He stood 5’8” with gray eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was a 26-year-old farmer living in Olive, 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 shot in the left arm on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and by mid-September he was a patient in Fairfax Seminary Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia, and reported to be “doing well.” He remained hospitalized until he was discharged on November 17, 1862, at Fairfax Seminary hospital, Virginia, for a “gunshot fracture of upper third of left humerus with extensive superation.”

Following his discharge Henry returned to Ottawa County where he lived the remainder of his life.

John married Mary S. Sophronia (1850-1905), and they had at least two children: Harriet (b. 1877) and Carrie (b. 1879).

By 1880 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and two daughters in Olive, Ottawa County, and in Ottawa center in 1883 when he was drawing $6.00 per month for a gunshot wound to the arm and knee (pension no. 10,979). He was living in Holland in 1888, in the First or Second Ward in 1890, and in the Second Ward in 1894 where he reported that his war wound was “still a running sore”; he was still living in Holland in 1896 and around 1900.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, and he provided an affidavit for Samuel Camp’s children in their application for a minors’ pension in 1896.

John died a widower, on March 25, 1910, possibly at Edmore, Montcalm County, and was buried in Olive cemetery, Ottawa County: section A lot 12 grave 1.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Smith K. Lewis - update 8/22/2016

Smith K. Lewis was born on August 10, 1830, in Dix (?), Chemung County, New York, the son of Nathaniel and Sophia Fargo (or Perrigo).

Smith left New York and moved west, eventually settling in western Michigan by 1860 when he was a farm laborer working for and/or living with Nelson Stillwell, in Wright, Ottawa County.

Smith stood 5’5” with blue eyes, auburn hair and a fair complexion and was a 28-year-old farm laborer living in Casnovia, Muskegon County when he enlisted in Company H on May 13, 1861. (He was possibly related to John and/or Ezra Lewis, both of whom enlisted in Company H on May 6.) George Lemon of Company H, apparently had little regard for Smith. He reported many years after the war that while the regiment was engaged at the battle of Fair Oaks, Virginia, on May 31, 1862, he heard it said in the company afterwards “that as soon as the fighting began [Smith] left the ranks and went back to where we had camped. There was nothing matter with him at that time that I knew of. I just heard that he went back.”

Lemon remembered that Smith was “delicate in appearance” and “was quite frequently excused from duty. I know that well because my name came just after his in the company roll and the Orderly Sergeant would come to me and say that Smith K. Lewis was excused from duty and that I should take his place for duty. That happened frequently and I remember [him] well as I had to do extra duty on his account.” Lemon also noted that this tended to happen “mostly during the winter months when we were in camp and the weather was bad.”

Smith was serving with the regiment when it participated in the battle of Groveton (or Second Bull Run) on August 29, 1862. On September 6, 1862, J. F. Doud of Dayton, Newaygo County, wrote home to a friend, William Utley, describing the recent action at Groveton and how the 3rd Michigan had been “cut up badly.” He added “that Smith Lewis came up to our regiment to see me. He is the same Smith who was in the fight [at Groveton] and he said he stood behind a stump and fired five shots and he thought he hit some of them [rebels]. That is five more than I gave them. Probably he hit more than I did but they were as close as I ever want them to come.”

Smith was quite sick off and on during the winter of 1862-63. He was admitted to the regimental hospital on January 14 suffering from cephalgia, and returned to duty the following day; admitted on March 5 for influenza and returned on march 6, again admitted for influenza on March 24 and returned to duty on March 26. Sometime in early April he was admitted for diarrhea and returned to duty on April 14.

Smith was shot in the left foot on July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, subsequently hospitalized in West’s building hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, and he remained absent sick and wounded in the hospital until he was mustered out on June 20, 1864, at Detroit.

After his discharge Smith returned to Michigan and worked variously as a farmer and lumberman, probably in Casnovia.

He was living in Plainfield, Kent County when he married Indiana native Shelda May Young (1848-1923) on September 30, 1869, in Alpine, Kent County, and they had at least three children: Herbert (b. 1871), Capitolia May (b. 1872) and Dayton L. (b. 1874).

By 1870 Smith was working as a farmer and living with his wife in Casnovia; next door lived one Alonzo Lewis, possibly an older brother. Smith was living in Trent, Muskegon County in December of 1877 when he became a member of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association, and in 1880 was farming and living with his wife and three children in Casnovia, Muskegon County, next door to Alonzo Lewis and his family. He was residing in Trent in 1885 and probably in 1886 when he was granted a pension (no. 679303).

By 1890, Smith was residing in Casnovia. By 1900 Smith and Shelda were living at 522 Lake Avenue in Traverse City’s 4th Ward, Grand Traverse County. He was living at the Michigan soldiers’ Home in Grand Rapids, Kent County, in 1909 and in 1910.

Smith was probably living with his son Dayton at 210 E. 14th Street in Traverse City, Grand Traverse County when he died of heart disease on December 18, 1913 and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Traverse City: 1st add. Block 256-02-05. (Note the dates inscribed on the stone are incorrect.)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Royal P. Lewis - updated 7/9/2011

Royal P. Lewis was born on November 30, 1835, in Ohio, the son of New York native David (1802-1851) and Dolly Ellsworth (1814-1852).

Royal’s parents were quite possibly married in Truxton, New York and settled in Ohio sometime before 1832. The family eventually moved westward and between 1842 and 1846 settled in Michigan. By 1850 David had settled the family in Ionia, Ionia County where he worked as a laborer and Royal attended school with his siblings. According to family historian Ronald Lewis, after Royal’s parents died in 1851 and 1852, the children were distributed to various families in Ionia County. By 1860 Royal was a farm laborer working for and/or living with B. Chapman, a farmer in Boston, Ionia County.

Royal stood about 6’, with gray eyes, dark complexion and was 25 years old and probably still living in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861; three of his four brothers also enlisted in Michigan Regiments during the war: Solomon and Daniel in the 7th Michigan Infantry and Edgar in the 21st Michigan Infantry; only Solomon would survive the war. (Royal may have been related to Edwin and/or Oliver Lewis, who were also from Ionia County, although they enlisted in Company E -- the other Ionia County Company made up largely of men from Ionia and Eaton Counties.)

Royal was sick in the hospital in September of 1862, and transferred to the 6th United States cavalry on December 6, 1862, at Falmouth, Virginia. According to one source Royal was taken prisoner during action at Fairfield, Pennsylvania on July 3, 1863.

He was apparently died on January 20, 1864, possibly at home in Ionia County, or perhaps in Virginia and his body was brought home to Ionia County and was buried in Saranac cemetery: lot or grave no. 34.

No pension seems to be available.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Oliver Lewis

Oliver Lewis was born on March 3, 1834, in Greenfield, Huron, Ohio, the son of Adam A. (1790-1864) and Lucy (Coleman or Colburn, 1790-1880).

New York native Adam married Lucy Coleman (born in Connecticut) in February of 1816 in Rome, Oneida County, New York and had settled in Ohio by 1829. They left Ohio sometime after 1834 and eventually settled in western Michigan. By 1850 Oliver was living with his family on a farm in Orange, Ionia County, and in 1860 Adam and Lucy were living on a farm in Orange with their son Nelson.

He stood 5’10” with blue eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion and was 27 years old working as a farmer in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company E on May 13, 1861. (He was possibly related to Edwin Lewis also of Company E and who had also been living in Ionia County when the war broke out. He may also have been related to Royal Lewis who was also from Ionia County but who enlisted in Company D, the other Ionia County company.)

Oliver was reported absent sick in the hospital from August of 1862 through November, was back with the regiment by late May of 1863, and again absent sick in July of 1863. He had apparently returned to duty by the time he reenlisted on December 23, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Paris, Kent County, was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough, probably in Michigan, in January of 1864 and returned to the Regiment by the middle of February. He was wounded in the right shoulder on May 12, 1864 at Spotsylvania, Virginia, and admitted from the field to Mt. Pleasant general hospital in Washington, DC on May 16, with a gunshot wound to the right shoulder. (When he was admitted to the hospital in Washington, DC, he listed himself as single and his nearest relative as one Eunice Lewis in Portland, Ionia County.)

He was still hospitalized when he was transferred to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. Oliver remained absent wounded through July, and quite possibly until he was mustered out as a Corporal on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war Oliver eventually returned to Michigan.

He married Connecticut native Rebecca Mary Sherwood (1843-1917) on June 16, 1867 in Berlin (now Saranac), Ionia County, and they had at least five children: Annie Charlotte (b. 1868), Lucy (b. 1870), Oliver (b. 1875), Phoebe Ann (b. 1877), Alexander A. (b. 1880 and Lydia (b. 1884.

By 1870 Oliver was working as a farmer and living in Orange with his wife and children. Indeed, they lived in Orange for a number of years but by 1880 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Elbridge, Oceana County, and in 1888 he was living in Hesperia, Oceana County and by 1890 had moved to Holton, Muskegon County where he operated a store for some years before selling it to one Joseph Bernier. Oliver then farmed 155 acres in section 27 of Holton, and indeed he lived the remainder the his life in Holton.

He was probably still living in Holton in 1899 when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association; he was also a member of Grand Army of the Republic Dahlgren post no. 149 in Holton. In 1869 he applied for and received a pension (no. 105028).

Oliver died on March 21, 1912, presumably at his home in Holton, and was buried in Holton cemetery.

In late March of 1912 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 743725).

Friday, July 24, 2009

Henry Nash alias "John Lewis" - updated 9/8/2015

Henry Nash, alias “John Lewis,” was born in 1822 (or 1831) in New York, ad was possibly related to Amasa (born 1794 in Massachusetts died 1867 in Michigan) and Sophia.

Amasa had fought in the War of 1812 from the state of Massachusetts but at some point moved west, probably settling in Amsterdam, Montgomery County New York by 1820; he was still living in Amsterdam in 1830. Amasa eventually pushed west and in 1837 and 1838 applied for land grants in Lapeer County, Michigan. It appears that he and Sophia soon settled their family in Campbell, Ionia County, sometime before 1850 probably around present-day Clarksville where they lived the rest of their lives.

In 1850 Henry Nash was probably working as a laborer for a farmer by the name of Willson or Wilson in Lapeer, Lapeer County. (There was a John Lewis who was unable to read or write, and probably living in Mayfield, Lapeer County, Michigan, in 1850.)

Henry was probably living in Muskegon County when, for reasons unknown, he listed his name as John Lewis when he joined the 3rd Michigan Infantry in May of 1861. Henry stood 6’0” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 30 years old and still living in Muskegon when he enlisted in Company H on May 6, 1861. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers,” was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties – there was an Ezra Lewis who also enlisted from Muskegon in Company H.)

(His service record during the war used the name John Lewis, however his pension record reflected the true name of Henry Nash alias John Lewis.)

On November 7, 1861, John was hospitalized, probably in E Street hospital in Washington, DC, suffering from typhoid fever, and he remained hospitalized until January 20, 1862, when he was returned to duty. He was apparently hospitalized again and from July of 1862 through January of 1863, was on detached service as a hospital nurse, and was a nurse in a hospital in Alexandria from February through March.

He allegedly deserted from the hospital on April 28, 1863, and was subsequently dropped from the company rolls as being AWOL under General Order no. 92 (1862) of the War Department. He claimed in 1890 that in fact he had be honorably discharged in May of 1863, although the record does not presently substantiate this claim.

Henry eventually returned to Michigan and lived briefly in Pontiac, Oakland County in the summer of 1865 when, he claimed in 1890, his discharge papers were taken from his trunk. He soon returned to Lapeer County, and may have been working in the Mayfield area in 1866. By 1876, John was residing and working as a farmer in Lapeer as “Henry Nash alias John Lewis.” He was still living in Lapeer in December of 1886 when he applied for a pension; he was still in Lapeer in 1887.

Henry’s physician, Dr. William Jackson of Lapeer, testified in 1887 that he had been acquainted with Henry Nash since before the war. “Since his discharge from the service,” Dr. Jackson wrote, “he has at various times had severe attacks of eczema for which he has had medicines from me.” In June of 1869 Nash suffered from “an exacerbation of eczema and accidentally received a blow upon the head, the whole upper part of the body being in an irritated condition.” He also suffered from “an erysipelas form of disease totally interfering with active labor although he kept about most of the time. On May 19, 1878, he came to see me again suffering from another attack for which I gave him medicines. This last attack or exacerbation kept up until into June.” Dr. Jackson also claimed that Nash suffered from chronic diarrhea and continued bouts of eczema.

In 1886 Henry applied for a pension (no. 591,906) as “Henry Nash alias John Lewis,” but the certificate was never granted.

Henry was still living in Lapeer in 1888 and in Mayfield in 1890.

Henry Nash died on October 6, 1892, in Lapeer County, and was buried in Five Lakes Cemetery, Lapeer County.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ezra W. Lewis updated 31 December 2021

Ezra W. Lewis was born around 1840 in Ohio, the son of Abraham Lewis (1805-c.1847) and Elida VanPatten.

Abraham and Elida had three sons while living in Lower Sandusky, Ohio: John Henry (born on September 28, 1835), Charles Washington (born March 14, 1838) and Ezra W. (born circa 1840).v In 1845 the family moved to Michigan, living first in Ingham County and ultimately settling in Kent County. When Abraham died circa 1847, the family was split up, John Henry being apprenticed to a Mr. Young, Charles moving in with Peter and Sarah J. Smith in Ashland (Newaygo County), Ruama marrying Canadian native Thomas H. Smith (who had been born to Jessy and Elizabeth Smith in 1826) and Ezra going to live with the David and Rachel Smith family. By 1850, Ruama and Ezra were both living in Walker, Kent County, Michigan. By 1860, Ruama and Thomas Smith had moved to the village of Muskegon.

In 1850 Ezra was attending school and living with the David Smith family in Walker, Kent County. Next door lived Hiram Blood and his family; Hiram, too, would join the 3rd Michigan.

Ezra was 21 years old and probably living in Muskegon County when he enlisted in Company H on May 6, 1861; he was possibly related to John Lewis and/or Smith Lewis both of whom also enlisted in Company H. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers,” was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties.)

Ezra was with the regiment at Camp Hampton, Old Point Comfort, Fortress Monroe, on March 28, 1862, when he wrote to his sister Ruama. 

It is with great pleasure that I sit down to write to you a few words of importance. I am very thankful for being permitted the privilege of occupying a few leisure moments in writing to you through a token of friendship and relative acquaintance, informing you that I am well at present. I hope those few lines will find you in the same Situation.

Everything is lovely. The sun shines bright. The robins and other spring birds are busily flying around our camp, telling us that Spring is near. Our soldiers are all in good spirits, waiting very anxiously for the opportunity of trying the operation of accomplishing the undertaking of putting down this rebellion. This rebellion is nearly crushed and we, the great American people of the government, we are capable of putting down this rebellion, for we volunteered our service for that purpose. We can do it. We will do, it and that immediately, for we are the boys that fear no noise. I am proud to inform you that the Stars and Stripes now flows freely over every Southern enemy state but one. I am for one willing to flare the Stars and Stripes in their face, let them be as highly insulted as they will. My motto is death to the traitors and destruction of the Southern territories. They have seceded from the Union, but when old Abe says go for them, fetch them back in the union, his orders shall be strictly obeyed, let the consequence be what it will.

Lieutenant Ryan has just returned to camp. We were all glad to see him. Before he went away I requested him to call and see you. I thought you would like to hear from the [Muskegon] Rangers, for the Rangers are glad to hear from you in return; especially those who were acquainted with Tommey. I think if the Muskegon company returns home again, it will be very apt to raise the market of whiskey. Tell Mr. Roberts to buy lo and keep a good supply. But seeing that you have been so kind and affectionate to me, I shall never more disgrace you in the drinking line. So please excuse and forgive a brother soldier, for you are in remembrance of a true hearted affectionate brother.

Lieutenant Ryan said when you gave him those things to give to me you felt very down hearted. I return to you my sincere thanks for those presents which you have made me. But please don’t care [worry] for me for if I am so unfortunate as to get killed for you and the gallant citizens of the North, I am willing to suffer the consequences, let it be death or anything else. Samuel Holmes sends you his kind respects and says please excuse drunkenness.

Lieutenant Ryan sends his kind respects and wishes you a long and happy life. I send you my kind respects and wish you the same as Lieutenant Ryan. I am very anxious to hear from you. I am in such a hurry to hear from you that I cannot hardly wait for an answer. So, bear it in mind, for I remain your humble brother Ezra W. Lewis. Give my best respects to Tommey and the children. So good bye

And from Camp Scott, near Yorktown, Virginia, he wrote on April 18, 1862 he wrote

Dear Sister.

I received your affectionate, welcomed letter dated April the 9th. It found me in good health. I remain in hopes those few lines will find you in the same situation. I have nothing of any importance to write which I think would interest you. We have finally succeeded in reaching the strongly fortified enimous [enemy’s] place called Yorktown. This place is strongly fortified with batteries extending the distance of ten miles. The enemy has concentrated [at] this place with great rapidity since our approach. Their force here at Yorktown is estimated at one hundred and twenty-five thousand troops, besides an immense quantity of artillery and cavalry. If we succeed in taking this point, which I am very confident we will, we can confidently bid farewell to the rebellious traitors, which will be cowardly and disgracefully driven from their own native soil of Virginia. We have been cannonading for three days in succession. Occasionally now and then light infantry would meet with an engagement. The contest would end by the rebels falling back under their forts.

When we get them routed from this unacquainted hole, I think it quite difficult for them to make another stand with any confidence of holding their position.

Our regiment has been very fortunate. We have not lost many men but still we have passed a great many narrow escapes before and since the battle of Bull Run in July 21st, eighteen sixty-one. Fernando Page in company K while stationed on picket was struck by a bombshell, cutting off both feet just above [illegible] ankle. He is still alive but suffers great pain. This young man is a brother to John Page who married Eliza Jane Smith, one of David Smith’s daughters. I have received letters from Eliza Jane and Catherine Smith since my enlistment. Everything is lovely. The sun shines bright. The soft winds gently blow through the green forests of Virginia. A more beautiful day I have never yet experienced.

I was very sorry to hear of Helen’s unfortunate condition, that she had met with the loss of her husband. For her good I hope it is a false report, for it is a pity for a young lady situated as she is to meet with such a loss. Poor unfortunate girl. How she is to be pitied: left in this wide world a widow only at the age of sixteen. Tell Helen not to mourn for Jack, for we wish for her to understand that if the report is true he died through a noble and just cause, but many a fine lad will fare the same fate.

Ruama, I am under great obligations to you for the kindness you have shown me since my departure. If I am so fortunate as to pass through the dangers of war, if I succeed in returning safely home, I hope I shall have the pleasure of repaying you for your kindness. Please give my love to Helen. Tell Charles that he by my consent can have Mary. I will run the risk of getting Helen. Give my respects to the family. So good bye from an affectionate brother. Ezra W. Lewis.

Ezra was on detached service from July of 1862 through October, and may have been wounded at Fair Oaks, Virginia, on May 31, 1862. (In 1890 he claimed to have been wounded in the left knee joint by a musket ball.) Ezra was sick in the hospital from June of 1863 through December, a cook in the Regimental hospital in February and March of 1864, and was mustered out on June 20, 1864, at Detroit. No pension seems to be available.

Following his discharge Ezra returned to western Michigan. By 1890 he was residing in Ferrysburg, Ottawa County.

Ezra was possibly residing in Muskegon when he was arrested in September of 1893 in Muskegon, “charged,” wrote the Muskegon Chronicle of September 14, 1893, “with a loathsome offense.” Apparently, Lewis was drunk when the unspoken crime was committed. “It seems,” the paper reported, “that Lewis was a brave soldier and once a good citizen but that drink became his bane and led to his downfall. He is the man who carried Major [William L.] Ryan off the battlefield when he was severely wounded.” Lewis pled guilty, and “Judge Dickerman gave him some sound advice and sentenced him to four months’ hard labor in Ionia house of corrections.”

There is no further record.

[letters from John Braden]

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Edwin R. Lewis

Edwin R. Lewis was born in 1834 in New York.

Sometime before 1860 Edwin was married to New York native Harriet (b. 1840), probably in New York. They left New York and eventually settled in western Michigan where by 1860 he was working as a lawyer and living with his wife in Lyons, Ionia County.

Edwin was 27 years old and probably living in Ionia County when he enlisted at the age of 27 in Company E on May 13, 1861. (He was possibly related to Oliver Lewis also of Company E, and who had also been living in Ionia County when the war broke out. He may also have been related to Royal Lewis who was also from Ionia County although he enlisted in Company D, the other Ionia County Company.)

Edwin was hospitalized sometime in early 1862 and was a hospital nurse in July of 1862, a hospital cook from August of 1862 through January of 1863, and serving with the Brigade wagon and ambulance trains in February, presumably as an ambulance driver. He was on detached service from March through June, and at Brigade headquarters from July of 1863 through March of 1864. He was reportedly detached “outside of the department” in April and May, and was mustered out on June 20, 1864, at Detroit.

By 1865 Edwin was probably living in New York when his son Byron was born, but eventually returned to Michigan after the war by 1870.

He was married to his second wife, Virginia native Mary E. (b. 1845), and he had at least three children: Byron (b. 1865), Henry H. (b. 1870) and Edwin L. (b. 1872).

He apparently lived for a time in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, but by 1880 he was working as a physician and living with his wife Mary and three children in Comings, Alcona County, Michigan. By 1889 he was residing in Hastings, Barry County, Michigan, although it appears that in June of 1889 he applied for a pension in Minnesota.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. In 1889 he applied for and received a pension (no. 1046558).

Edwin died on March 22, 1917, in Oklahoma and was presumably buried there.

In April of 1917 his widow was probably residing in Oklahoma when she applied for and received a pension (no. 850236).

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Charles B. Lewis

Charles B. Lewis was born in 1841 in Medina, Ohio, the son of George (b. 1812) and Clarissa (b. 1814).

Connecticut native George married Ohio-born Clarissa and settled in Ohio where they resided for some years. His family moved to Michigan from Ohio sometime after 1850, and by 1860 Charles was working as an apprentice chair-maker and/or printer and attending school with his siblings and living with his family in Lansing’s First Ward where his father worked as a carpenter and joiner.

Charles stood 5’5” with gray eyes, auburn hair and a fair complexion and was 20 years old and residing in Ingham County, probably in Lansing, when he enlisted in Company G on May 13, 1861 -- he was possibly related to Albert Lewis of Company G. (Company G, formerly the “Williams’ Rifles,” was made up predominantly of men from the Lansing area.) Although Charles was officially listed as discharged on September 1, 1861, for chronic rheumatism, according to Frank Siverd of Company G, Lewis and two other men of Company G had in fact been discharged and sent home the first week of August.

In any case, Charles soon returned to Michigan where he reentered the service in Company E, Sixth Michigan cavalry on February 17, 1865, at Jackson, Jackson County for 1 year, crediting Lansing’s Fourth Ward, and was mustered the same day. He joined the Regiment on March 19, was on detached service from July through September, and was on detached service at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas when he was transferred along with the veterans and recruits to Company H, First Michigan cavalry on November 17, 1865. The First Michigan cavalry served was on duty in the District of Utah from November of 1865 until March of 1866.

Charles was reported on detached service with the First Michigan cavalry from November of 1865 through February of 1866, and honorably discharged on August 17, 1866, at Fort Leavenworth. (The regiment had mustered out on March 10, 1866, however.)

It is not known if Charles returned to Michigan after the war, although it is possible that he was living in Detroit in 1870. He was probably residing in New York in 1904 when he applied for and received a pension (1099565).

Charles died on August 21, 1924 in Brooklyn, New York.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Anson R. Lewis

Anson R. Lewis was born in 1842.

Anson was 19 years old and possibly living in Grand Rapids with his family when he enlisted with his parents’ consent in Company A on May 13, 1861. (Neither he nor his family appear in the 1860 census for Kent County.)

He was killed in action on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and was presumably among the unknown soldiers buried at Seven Pines National Cemetery.

No pension seems to be available.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Albert B. Lewis

Albert B. Lewis was born in 1840.

Albert was 21 years old and listed his place of residence as Wayne County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company G on May 13, 1861. (He was possibly related to Charles Lewis also of Company G, and if so then he was probably born in Ohio.)

Albert was killed in action on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and was probably interred among the unknown soldiers whose bodies were removed from Second Bull Run and reinterred in Arlington National Cemetery.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Charles N. Leroy

Charles N. Leroy was born in 1837.

Charles was probably living in the Lansing area when the war broke out and he became a member of the Lansing militia company called the “Williams’ Rifles,” whose members would serve as the nucleus of Company G on May 10, 1861. He was 24 years old and probably living in Ingham County when he enlisted in Company G. He was wounded in the foot on July 1, 1862, at Avery’s Hill or Malvern Hill, Virginia. According to Homer Thayer, of Company G, early in the morning of July 1 “a Minnie [sic] ball, (of which there we many still dropping around us although we could not hear a gun) struck one of our company, Charles W. LeRoy, who was lying near me at the right of our company, and inflicted a painful wound in his foot.”

Charles was subsequently hospitalized through September, and allegedly deserted on October 23, 1862, at Upton Hill’s, Virginia.

There is no further record, and no pension seems to be available.

According to one source he may have settled in Leelanau County after the war. In 1884 there was a farmer named Charles Leroy living in the area of Lockwod, Mecosta County. However, he was not the same Charles Leroy who was a civil war veteran living in Shelby, Macomb County in 1890 and 1894.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Milton Leonard

Milton Leonard, also known as “Newton F. Leonard,” was born in June 26, 1825, in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, or Courtland County, New York, the son of Amos.

Milton reportedly served in the Mexican War. His wife reported years later that Milton had once told her that he was a boy when he ran away from “his mother” and went off and served under both generals Scott and Taylor.

If so he was possibly the same Newton Leonard who enlisted as a private in Company G, Third Ohio infantry on June 2, 1846, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Newton was in Matamoros, Mexico from August through December of 1846, and at Camp Argo in Mexico in February of 1847, and was discharged on June 21 at New Orleans, Louisiana. According to the War department, he may in fact have been the same Newton Leonard who enlisted on September 27, 1847, at Syracuse, New York, in the Second U.S. Artillery. He joined the battery on October 7 and transferred to Battery M Second Artillery on December 28. He was discharged on July 19, 1848 at Columbus, New York.

Milton married Eliza J. Pullen on October 31, 1849, at Jefferson City, Missouri, and, according to Eliza they were “a youthful couple. I was only out of school two weeks and he had his first moustache.” They had at least three children: Helen (b. 1851), Rollins (b. 1853) and Fanny A. (born 1855).

They were living in Missouri in 1851 and 1853 but were in Illinois in 1855. By 1860 they had returned to Missouri and Milton was working as a printer and living with his wife and children in St. Louis’ Sixth ward.

Milton stood 5’7” with blue eyes, brown hair and a medium fair complexion and was 36 years old and possibly working as a printer in Grand Rapids or in Allegan County when he enlisted as a Corporal in Company F on May 13, 1861. (In fact it appears his wife and children remained in Missouri, however.)

He was promoted to Sergeant and then appointed Second Lieutenant of Company A on February 19, 1863, at Camp Pitcher, Virginia, replacing Lieutenant Charles Cary. By mid-April he was on furlough at his home in Grand Rapids.

Milton soon rejoined the Regiment and was transferred back to Company F on May 1, 1863, but reportedly commanding Company K by September. On November 20 he was reported as acting Regimental Quartermaster, and was detached from December 29, 1863, on recruiting service in Michigan, probably in Grand Rapids.

Milton returned to the regiment brining along a number of recruits in early march of 1864. He wrote to his “dear wife” from a “camp in the field” on March 4,

Your letter of Feb. 28th came to hand this evening and I hasten to reply. I left Gr. Rapids on the 24th ult. With the recruits and arrived here on the 27th. I found a letter from you waiting for me, and its time together with the one received this evening put me in mind of bygone days, and inspire me more than ever with a determination to do all in my power to render you as comfortable as possible. I should have written to you ere this, but the day after I returned our division was ordered to march with five days’ rations to support the 6th corps on a reconnaissance across the Rapidan, and since we came back I have been busy making out muster and pay rolls. The Col. Assigned me to command Co. C for the present, so you see I have been busy and my running neglect in not answering your tender and devoted letter was no fault of mine. I had no time to stop in Washington when I came through and see the Paymaster as I was ordered to report with the recruits at Alexandria, but he will be here to pay us off next week and it will be a relief to me to be able to send you what I told you I would. I have just $20 and I send you half. I have a severe cold, but am in hopes I shall be over it in a few days. I received the Republican by the mail this evening and accept my thanks for it.

Write every week and I will do the same and rest assured you and the children are ever in my mind and my prayer is that we may once again enjoy each others society in our own home, and discard all those feelings of jealousy which only tend to make us unhappy.

Kiss the children for me and accept for yourself the love and esteem of your devoted husband.

Milton was promoted to First Lieutenant on March 4, 1864. On March 30 he was with the regiment in camp near Culpepper, Virginia when he again wrote home to Eliza.

I just received your ever welcome and inspiring letters, and I assure you the sentiments and spirit of devotion they contain are fully appreciated by me, and do not for a moment doubt my constancy and love for you and the children. I was almost heartsick [you had] written when you had the “blues.” I guess I feel more keenly than you do my inability to send you money. We expect our Paymaster any day and the reason of his delay is this: Congress has passed a law requiring them to give more bail in future and Maj. McFarland went home to get it which accounts for the delay. I have not received pay from the Govt since Oct. and have due me between $500 and $600. I know you would think I had deceived you, but God knows the honesty of my intentions and how my heart pains me when I think of your circumstances, and you can appreciate how much pleasure it will be to me to enable you to live as you wish to, and spend the summer with the children – that is, going to see them when you wish to, or, if you think best, keep them with you. Now “Bunch” my love and attachment for you are unchanged, and if you will bear with me a few days I send you substantial proof of my affections. I shall look on the bright side of the future and should my life be spared, it shall be my aim to make those I love most dear – you and the children – comfortable and happy, and instead of playing the truant, remain where I ought to years ago – at home.

We are preparing for a forward movement as soon as the weather will permit, and when the order comes to send off the extra baggage I shall send you my papers by express, as we are not allowed to carry but 20 [?] lbs of baggage and you can send them to me or bring them yourself if I should need them.

Give my love to Mother and tell Roll Pa wishes him to be a good boy and mind you. So here is a kiss for you accompanied with the love and confidence of your devoted husband.

Wednesday morning, March 31 – Capt. Lowing [of company I] has just returned from Washington, saw the Paymaster who will be here to pay us this week certain. I am in better spirits now. Good bye. M.L.

Milton was reassigned to Company A on April 4, and commissioned as Captain, but was never mustered as such. He was killed in action on May 6, 1864, at the Wilderness, Virginia,

Milton’s death was recalled at the 26th reunion of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association in December of 1897. Allen Shattuck, a former member of Company G and the Regimental historian, gave a graphic description of the engagement at the Wilderness in early May of 1864, and he claimed that Leonard was being carried wounded off the field when he was killed by the explosion of a cannon ball.

George Blain of Company K reported some years after the war that on May 6 he assisted his badly wounded Lieutenant off the field and to the field hospital. Milton was presumably buried among the unknown soldiers interred on the battlefield at the Wilderness.

In January of 1863, his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 71460).

Shortly after Milton’s death Eliza allowed her two daughters to be adopted into another family. And in 1869 a guardian by the name of Henry M. Wood of Salem, Marion County, Illinois, applied for and received a pension on behalf of Fanny Leonard, then a minor child (no. 149240).

By 1870 Milton’s father Amos was living in Allegan County.

Eliza eventually married in 1869 to J. B. Stearns in Montana, which was annulled in 1876 in Nevada on the grounds that he had a wife living when he married Eliza.

In 1877 she married James Talbot in Elko, Nevada. He died in 1895. By 1901 she was living in Santa Cruz County, California seeking a renewal of her widow’s pension. In so doing she submitted a statement to the pension Bureau.

When the “War of the Rebellion” broke out and President Lincoln made his call for three-month men my husband was among the first to answer that call. And while I was in deepest sympathy with the distress into which our beloved country was thrown, yet it almost broke my heart to see him go from me, perhaps never to return to me, which proved the case, for I only saw him once in those three weary years, when doubts and fears were my bosom companions. But I crushed back self and all my heartaches and faced the stern realities before me, feeling I too had a duty to perform, a part to take in this great struggle and I did give myself unreservedly to service wherever, and whenever I could serve. Many is the day that I have walked the streets of Saint Louis with blistered feet gathering supplies to be sent to the field hospitals, for the benefit of the sick and wounded soldiers. I being a southerner by birth had access to the inner workings of many a rebble [sic] family, consequently I did some good and timely work in the secret service, also, after those awful battles in the western department, when the hospital boats would come up loaded with the sick and wounded, I was there to assist in bringing them back to life, or to take messages form dying lips, to be sent to absent loved ones.

I opine that I am talking to a veteran of that war when I address you [the Commissioner of Pensions]. If so you can realize what we women workers went through. But I never kept the slightest record of any service I rendered in those days. I was neither working for money nor for glory, but just doing what I could to keep the dear old union together, and see old glory kept floating over all our land. You can readily understand that I too am a veteran of that war having taken my stand in the moment the news reached us of the firing on Fort Sumpter, and I held my ground until the last prisoner was paroled in St. Louis.

I have seen thousands die around me and still I am left. I don’t know what for, for I am old poor and rheumatic, could not make my living if I starved. My last husband James Talbott, has been dead 6 years 21st of this month, and had it not have been for the loving kindness of some of the charitable societies I would have been dead from want, as it is I know what it is to be hungry and cold. I know by the reading of this late pension law, where it requires that the marriage relations should exist between the soldier and his wife before the close of the war, was meant exactly to cover the cases of just such widows as I am. I feel that the intent of the law is to restore us from the time we were widowed again.

In marrying Mr. Talbott I saved the government $3600.00, and as I am getting well up to the seventies in age it won’t be long at best that I will be a charge to Uncle Sam. And I do ask you, as a humanitarian if nothing more, to put my claim through as speedily as possible, for people won’t be so kind to assist me if they think I have anything coming to me from any source. They will say why don’t you get your pension, it’s there for you, so don’t let me die through indigent circumstances, before you allow my claim. You will make no mistake in granting my claim, for the same loyalty that prompted me to work for the preservation of this union, would act as effectually in preventing any attempts from me of putting in a fraudulent claim. . . . With great deference I await your answer, Respectfully, Eliza J. Talbott, 83 Center st. [Santa Cruz, CA]

The request was apparently granted and she was drawing $17 per month by 1915 when she was in Ward K, Los Angeles County Hospital.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Nathaniel Lenning

Nathaniel Lenning was born in 1844.

In 1860 Michigan native Elizabeth Lenning (b. 1813) was living in Detroit’s Eighth Ward.

Nathaniel was 20 years old and possibly living in Detroit’s Third Ward when he enlisted in Unassigned on January 12, 1864, at Owosso, Shiawassee County for 3 years, crediting Detroit, and was mustered on January 21.

There is no further record. No pension seems to be available.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hiram and John Lenington - updated 10/23/2015

Hiram Lenington was born in September 20, 1844, in Ontario, Canada, the son of John (b. 1801 in New York) and Mary Newman (b. 1809 in Ontario, Canada).

Hiram’s family left Canada and immigrated to the United States around 1853. The family settled in Ionia County, Michigan and by 1860 Hiram, along with his younger brother John, was working as a farm laborer and living with his family in Boston, Ionia County; Hiram was also attending school with his younger siblings.

Hiram stood 5’9” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was a 23-year-old cooper probably living in Odessa, Ionia County (or in Monroe County) when he enlisted in Company D on February 9, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Odessa, joining his younger brother John who had enlisted on January 12. Hiram was mustered in on February 9, and he and his brother joined the Regiment on February 18 at Camp Bullock, Virginia.

Hiram was probably wounded during the Wilderness and Spotsylvania movements, and was absent wounded when he was transferred to Company A, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He remained absent wounded until he was discharged on May 30, 1865, at Carver hospital in Washington, DC. After the war Hiram eventually returned to Michigan.

He married New York native Emma (1848-1906), and they had at least one child: Maude C. (b. 1874).

By 1870 he was working as a cooper and living with his wife in Saranac, Ionia County, and in 1880 he was working as a cooper and living with his wife and daughter in Lowell, Kent County. He was still living in Lowell in 1890. He apparently resided for a time in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic Custer post no. 5 until he was dropped on November 24, 1904. By 1910 Hiram was a widower living with his daughter Maude and her husband Wilder Lemon in Grand Rapids’ 7th Ward. He may have lived in Monroe County at some point after the war. In August of 1890 he applied for and received a pension (no. 1107311).

Hiram was a widower when he died of a pulmonary embolism on Sunday June 17, 1917, in North Park, Grand Rapids Township. The funeral was held on June 19 at 2:00pm at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Lemon, at North Park. Hiram was buried alongside his wife in Oak Hill cemetery north side: section 6 lot 42.

John Lenington was born on March 20, 1846 in Brantford, Ontario, Canada, the son of John (b. 1801 in New York) and Mary Newman (b. 1809 in Ontario, Canada).

John’s family left Canada and immigrated to the United States around 1853. The family settled in Ionia County, Michigan and by 1860 John, along with his older brother Hiram, was working as a farm laborer and living with his family in Boston, Ionia County; John was also attending school with his older brother Hiram and their younger siblings.

John stood 5’9” with light eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was 18 years old and probably working as a farmer in Berlin (Saranac), Ionia County when he enlisted in Company D on January 12, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Boston, Ionia County, and mustered on January 19. (His older brother Hiram enlisted in Company D on February 9.) Both John and his brother joined the Regiment on February 18 at Camp Bullock, Virginia.

John was shot in the right leg on May 6, 1864, at the Wilderness, Virginia, and subsequently admitted to Douglas hospital in Washington, DC. On May 26 he was transferred on to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he was admitted to Broad and Cherry Streets hospital. He was still absent wounded when he was transferred to Company A, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. On May 9, 1865, he was transferred from Broad and Cherry Streets hospital to Summit House hospital in Philadelphia, and was mustered out on August 29, 1865, at Summit House.

After John left the army he returned to his family’s home in Ionia County, but eventually moved out west, and was probably working in a sawmill in Currant Creek, Nye County, Nevada in 1870.

John returned to Michigan in 1872 when he moved to Wexford County where he resided for many years. (He may have lived in Monroe County sometime after the war.” He was living in Wexford County in 1888 and in Wexford, Wexford County in 1890.

John was living in Wexford County when he married New York native Ruth Mason on October 13, 1891, in Traverse City, Grand Traverse County.

John was living still in Wexford County when he married his second wife Canadian Mary Cronin or Connine (b. 1872) on October 28, 1895.

By 1900 he and his second wife Mary were living with the Connine family – possibly Mary’s family in Sherman, Wexford County.

In 1910 John was listed as a widower and head of household and living in Grant, Grand Traverse County; also living with were Elon and Phoeba Cornell. He was living in Wexford in 1916. In 1878 he applied for and received a pension (no. 161990), drawing $72 per month by 1924.

John died on December 17, 1924, in Grand Rapids reportedly at the Soldiers’ Home hospital, but there is no obituary found in the local newspapers, nor is he listed in the Home burial cards and he does not appear to be buried in Kent County. His remains were apparently returned to Wexford County where he was buried in Cornell cemetery (so are Elon and Phoeba Cornell).

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

George W. Lemon

George W. Lemon was born on December 29, 1839, in Palmyra, Wayne County, New York, the son of James (b. 1803) and Abigail (b. 1805).

Virginia-born James married Connecticut native Abigail and they settled in New York where they resided for some years. George’s family left New York and by 1850 had settled in Mishawaka, St. Joseph County, Indiana, where James worked as a cooper. In 1860 George was living with his family in Mishawaka’s Fifth ward, where his father was employed as a day laborer. George eventually moved to Muskegon, Muskegon County, Michigan, where he was employed as a mill worker.

George was 21 years old and working in the mills in Muskegon when he enlisted in Company H on May 13, 1861. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers,” was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties.)

On June 20, 1861, Lemon wrote his parents from Camp McConnell (also called Camp Blair) to let them know that he was well and to describe the Regiment’s trip from Grand Rapids to Washington, DC.

We left there the 13[th] of June and took the cars for Detroit and got there at 5 o'clock P.M. and marched through some of the main streets and then took supper and left at 8 o'clock for Cleveland. It took two boats to carry us there; we got there about 9 o'clock a.m. and took dinner. We did not see much of Cleveland for we stayed near the depot till we left which was about 11 o'clock a.m. and we took the cars there for Pittsburg, Pa and got there at 9 in the evening. We seen some nice land going through Ohio and some very nice villages. We left Pittsburg about 12 at night for Harrisburg, the capitol of Pa and got there at half past one in the afternoon. We did not have a chance to see much of that place for the cars run through one side of the city, but it is a nice place. We went from there to Baltimore Md. We got there Sunday morning at 8 o'clock a.m.. The country in between H. & B. is mountainous and hilly. We went through a tunnel under the Allegheny mountains which is over a mile long; it was black as night and the boys lit the lamps and there was one more that was about one-fourth of a mile long. After we got in Baltimore we had to march about a mile to get to the Baltimore and Washington R.R. We crossed six bridges which had been burnt by the rebels before we got to Baltimore. They are all repaired now and the 12th Regiment of Pa is stationed along there to guard it. We expected to have a brush in Baltimore but they did not try it. If they had we would of give ‘em fits. Baltimore is the nicest place I think I ever was in; the buildings is most all brick and very large; we see as many colored folks as whites there. We got in Washington at 11 o'clock and marched from there out to Georgetown Heights, 6 miles from the city of Washington on the banks of the Potomac River where we shall stay till ordered away. There is a bridge of 1,000 feet long here crosses the Potomac River; this is guarded night and day.

He added on June 21 that they could “hear the cannons a firing down the river, supposed to be at Alexandria. They say they can call 60,000 troops here in five hours time. . . . It is warm weather here now; our boys all feel well and want to fight. We are 1,000 strong. I guess you will think this an odd letter but better than none.”

On July 6, 1861, he wrote from Camp Blair to his family, “I suppose you would like to know what is a going on here and how I like to be a soldier.

I can't say I like it as well as I thought I would for they keep us pretty strict. There is 5 out of each company to go out to the city or where they please every day. I was down to the city last Monday. We went to Georgetown and there took a bus for the Capitol which is two miles for 6 cents; the two places are close together, a river going through to the Potomac divides the two cities. After I got in the Capitol I went to the Post Office and from there to the Patent Office where you can see everything in the shape of machinery you ever thought of besides a little more. I was in there about two hours and then did not see more than one quarter they had there for I got tired of looking. I see a coat there that was worn by General Washington in the battle of New Orleans and coat and pants worn by General Jackson when he was in service. There I see models and patterns of everything I could not tell of all they had if I knew. The building is one of the largest ones in the city except the Capitol. I went from there to the Capitol but only went through the main entrance so I did not see much of the building. It is one of the largest buildings I ever saw. The dome on it is not finished. They are to work on it now. I went from there back in the city and I met one of our boys and then we started off and met a soldier of the 2nd Regiment; he was going to the museum and wanted us to go along so we went with him there. The museum is open free from 9 a.m. till 3 p.m.; it was the first time I ever was in one. They have all kinds of animals & reptiles there that they generally have in such places. I see all kinds of birds you can think of from a hummingbird up to the wandering albatross. And they had all kinds of animals from a mouse to a grizzly bear, and snakes, the greatest lot i ever see; they were in glass jars preserved in some kind of spirits. They had two that were alive called the pine wood snakes. They had one Alligator which was alive and 3 feet long. I see a good many kinds of fish most of them were small and preserved in glass jars. They had a shark there that was caught in the Potomac; it was about 5 feet long. They have a good many things that are too numerous to mention. I see a piece of copper that cost the United States government $5,654; it was bought of the Indians out by the Lake Superior copper mines. And I see a great many valuable things that came from a great way off. I guess I must tell you a little more about us soldiers. We were promised a dollar a day from the 25th of April to the 13th of May, but the state complained of hard times and said they could not raise it then, though they raised enough to pay us 5 dollars apiece. That was before we left G.R. They said the rest would be raised and sent to us here by an agent by the 1st or middle of July. We got one set of clothes from the state of Michigan before we left; dark gray color. We are getting a new uniform now, the color is blue.

On July 12 he wrote his parents to describe to them details about his Brigade. “There is 4 Regiments in this Brigade, the Michigan 3rd, 2nd and New York 12th and Mass. 1st.

The Mass. 1st is camped one mile below us, the Michigan 2nd is camped near by in sight; the New York 12th is above us in sight. We got our new pants last Sunday. They are better than the first ones we got. The rest of the uniform came last night. We are a going to have new canteens, haversacks and knapsacks. They say the canteens came last night with the boots. We are drilled before breakfast in the morning one hour and in the afternoon comes battalion drill and after that we are formed for dress parade the way we are when on the battle ground. Then we are exercised wit our arms; the band marches in front from the right of the battalion to the left and plays for us. After the exercises are over with, the Adjutant has the First Sergeant's report, when they step out two paces in front then they turn right and left and march to the Adjutant and then report. After that they march to their posts when the parade is dismissed. The commissioned officers step in front and file right and left to the Adjutant and then front face and march to the colonel and get the countersign and other instructions. And the Orderly Sergeants take command of the company and march them to their quarters where we put up our guns and accouterments and then go to supper. We have tea for supper with bread and meat. We have coffee for dinner and breakfast. We have rice or bean soup for dinner and pork or beef boiled. Our rations are small we have a pint of coffee with a third of a loaf of bread and a little piece of meat. You may think enough but our coffee is very weak and we get tired of one thing all the time. The boys of Co. A have got up a petition for to have our quartermaster removed and one put in that will give us something to eat but I don't think we can do it unless our officers have a hand with us.

The most of us are all well now. There has been a good many sick with the colic caused by the weather and climate; it is warm weather here now, but cool nights. There was 5 companies of boys that were raised in the District here stationed at the bridge. Their time was out this week and they have gone to the city. They did not know whether they should serve more or not. The bridge is guarded by our boys now. Co. C being on the Virginia side and some of our boys on the bridge. There is a battery here of five guns, 2 howitzers placed before the bridge, one of them a 12-pounder, the other a 32[-pounder] and up on the bluffs above is 3 columbiads [and] one 32[-pounder] and 2 64-pounders. The road leading to the bridge on the Virginia side is through a deep valley so that it would be difficult for the enemy to attack us here. If they did they would get enough and want to back out. There is a canal here that runs close to the river from Georgetown to the Ohio River. This bridge spans them both. There is blackberries and raspberries ripe here now.

On July 26, 1861, he wrote home to his parents to let them know that he was well, and to describe the recent events at Bull Run.

We left camp Blair July 16 and started for Manassas Junction; we left camp at 3 p.m. and traveled till about 11 o'clock at night when we encamped for the night. The country through which we went was very stony and hilly. We see nothing of much account; that day we did not see many men or anyone else as the most of them had been pressed in the southern army. We encamped near Vienna the first night; you have heard of that place where there has been a skirmish 2 or 3 times. We were alarmed once or twice in the night but it did not amount to anything. The first one was caused by a horse that came in to camp and stepped one one of our boys. He [yelled] and that raised the whole of us every man up and had his cartridge box on and gun in hand, but we was soon ordered to lay down again and go to sleep. We were aroused once more but what caused it I did not learn in the morning we eat our breakfast and packed up our things and marched. There was not many buildings at Via [Vienna?] the R.R. runs through there but no cars run now; we see [about] 8 or 10 cars that had been burnt by the rebels. There was one store there and our troops took possession of it and took what they wanted. We had a very good meal that day. All that we wanted most was water; good water was scarce along the road, and when we did get it you would have to wait for there is so many that it takes a good while for them to get enough. The further we got into Virginia the less it was inhabited and every lace was deserted. Once in a while we would see a white man that had escaped the rebels, and he said they had all been pressed in the army.

We came across today where there had been numerous camps of rebels; we came to a place today called Germantown, a small place that was deserted a day or two before we came through; there was a colored family living there and two secession soldiers left behind sick; there had been 1,000 of them encamped there. Our troops burnt half of the town down and our skirmishers freed a good many as they went through. There was a good many places we came to day where the road had been sloped up by falling trees into to stop the passing of our troops, but our pioneers soon cleared the road. We came through two of their batteries today where they calculated to make a stand, but give it up. We encamped near Centreville that night there was nothing of account that happened that night. The next day we were up and off today we did not travel so fast as we were getting nearer the enemy, for we could see by their signs that we were driving them right before us for their campfires still smoked in many places and we see a good many wagons and other things they left behind them. One wagon load of flour was drove into a field nearby the road and the barrels broken open and the flour dumped into a mud hole. Everything seems deserted. There is no crops of anything to be seen except a few oats or a little corn. The fences have all been taken down for firewood near where they have encamped and there is no one to be seen. I told you I my last that our Regiment and the Michigan 2nd with the Mass. 1st and New York 12th formed the 4th Brigade. The colonel of the 2nd Michigan is our brigadier general. Today in the afternoon about 2 p.m. we come near the enemy. We are halted and our artillery goes ahead; we opened fire upon them at 3 p.m. and was answered very quick. We were not there very long before we were ordered to advance. Their situation is in a hollow amongst the hills and mountains, so you see it is a hard place to fight. We were ordered by General Tyler to advance and so we had a chance of seeing the rebels. The fight was kept up till night. There was one killed in Co. A, 2 or 3 others wounded; that was all in our Regiment. The Mass lost 8 or 10 killed, 10 or 15 wounded.

On August 25 he wrote his parents from Arlington Heights that the Regiment had moved since he wrote last.

We moved Wednesday Aug. 21 about 2 miles up on Arlington Heights where the rest of our Brigade is camped. Our Brigade has been altered: the Mass 1st & the New York 12th have gone out & the Mass. 14th & New York 37th have come in it; we are all camping within 5 minutes walk of each other. The camp is a very good one we have here. The Mass. Regiment have charge of a fort called Fort Albany where there is 18 large guns mounted. When we are drilled we go down in the valley or flats towards the river where our whole Brigade is drilled together by our brigadier general I. B. Richardson. We all like it better since we came here for our colonel kept us so close that we could not get outside the guard. When we moved here our colonel posted a guard around the camp which took about 60 or 70 men. They had not been out more than 2 hours when Colonel Richardson ordered them in all but 3 which are posted inside at the colonel's headquarters & one at the quartermaster's tent & one where the horses are kept. Now we are allowed to go from one Regiment to the other in our Brigade, which is quite different from being kept confined inside a guard all of the time. Our colonel is not liked very well by any of us, for he has kept us closer than there was any need of; we have been confined more than any other Regiment around here. We are a getting some of our things now that we wanted which we left at Bull Run; we have drawed 2 pair of stockings this last week & a new knapsack today which we needed very bad for to keep our clothes and things in. I expect we will stay here till we are ordered away to the battle field or some where else. We have had some very warm weather here till lately we have had some very cold nights which I did not expect to see till in Sept. or October. We will be drilled about 3 times a week while here or oftener if the weather keeps cool. My health is good and I am glad to hear that mother's health is a getting better I hope that it will continue so till she is able to do all that is required of her to do.

Father, I guess you was mistaken in regard to our wages; they are raised from 11 to 12 dollars instead of 15. The report here was that they were $15 and then the papers stated that they were raised from 11 to 13 instead of 15. We are to be paid off the first of Sept. 2 months wages. Father, I would like to get them things you asked me to but it is a bad thing to get across the river to the city unless it is something very urgent; [even] commissioned officers are not allowed to go across the river without a pass from the brigadier general or some superior officer. I will try & send you some money in Sept. or after pay day if I can. There was a captain escaped from the rebels at Richmond [Fairfax = crossed out] who belonged to the 4th Regiment of Michigan & lieutenant with him. They state that the rebels are advancing on us now in large forces.

On Sunday September 15, 1861, he wrote to tell his parents that he had been sick since the 9th.

I have had the intermittent fever the doctor calls it, but it seems to me like something else, more like the rheumatism, by the way I feel for my bones are sore and flesh too in some places and I fell like an old man that is all crippled for life. I have taken medicine every day but one and I think it does me no good. As I can see since I wrote my last we have moved again. There was 5 compan[ies] taken from our Regiment and stationed on the side of a high hill where we have been to work on the fort; we have had to work every day since we came back from Bull Run, Sundays and all, till last Sunday a week ago today which was the first one in a good while; but General McClellan has passed a rule that there shall be no more working on the sabbath day which I think is a good one. Two weeks ago last Thursday I chopped in the rain all day with the rest of the Company. The next day I think it was one of our boys was taken sick and went to the hospital and has been there ever since. I catched cold that day after chopping in the rain and have had some ever since. I got a little more cold while on guard one night since and I did not feel well ever since and I had to work every day or else go on the sick list which I would not do till I could not stand it any longer. Some of our boys will go on the sick list to get rid of work but you know that hain't me. We are now in sight of a rebel battery which is about 4 miles from here; we can see the rebels on their fort and one flag with a spyglass. This fort here is called Fort Richardson. We have got two guns here now, they are 30-pounder rifled cannon. I don't no [sic] as I can write you much more news; we got our United States pay yesterday afternoon, which was $23.66 cents. They had 20 dollars in treasury notes, which you can take to any bank and draw the gold for them, that is the reason why I have not written before. I will send you $20 in notes.

On Monday, September 30 he wrote to his sister that

There was an order came after dinner today and we had to fall in with out guns and cartridge boxes on and canteens and haversacks on but we have not started yet and I don't know how long it will be before we are called out; it may be in 5 minutes or it may not be in a week, so you can see we can't tell when we will be called out. I think though we will have to move somewhere in a few days; the rebel forces have fell back from their batteries that was in sight of is here and our troops have advanced and taken possession of Munson's Hill and the union flag floats there now where the rebel's flag has been flying for a good while. How far they fell back we cannot tell yet. I hear our troops have been out as far as Fairfax, but don't believe it here in camp. The balloon goes up nearly everyday for to see the motion of the enemy. It was moved out in advance of where it has usually went up; it was up today nearly 4 or 5 miles from our camp, but what they see I don't know anything about more than you do for they keep everything very still now a days and we don't know what is going on unless we get a pass and go out of camp and they don't give a pass very often so you see we don't know what is going on outside of camp.

On November 21, 1861, Captain Emery Bryant of Company H, wrote to James Lemon, from Fort Richardson, Virginia, in regards to George’s health. Apparently George’s parents had not heard from him in some time and possibly wrote to Captain Bryant in order to find out what had happened to their son.

The reason of your not hearing from [him] is undoubtedly since he has been in the hospital he has been too sick to write, and they have not the conveniences near them. He has had the typhoid fever, he was taken to our Regimental Hospital (which is on our grounds and I can see them every day) about four weeks ago. He has been a very sick boy, but is now convalescent, is considered out of danger if he does not have a relapse. I went to see him as soon as I received your letter. He told me to write you [that] he had the best of care a plenty to make him comfortable. The food is generally what the boys mostly complain of, that is when they begin to get better, their appetite craves more than their stomach will digest and the doctors are very particular about what they eat and how much while they are in the hospital. Our doctors have had better luck with the typhoid fever than any other Regiment around us. They have not lost one patient and we have had as many as twenty at a time in the hospital. This disease is a lingering one, it takes one some time to get over it. It will probably be some weeks before he will be able for duty. He complains much of his feet being sore; if it weren't for that he would be able to walk out now. Anything I can do or my wife for his comfort we shall do willingly. My wife has a particular interest for him as a cousin of his (Martha Hurlburt) and she used to be schoolmates. She and George often conversed about Mishawaka, South Bend and those he knew of her acquaintances. I will see that George is furnished with stationary at the hospital so he may write you. If he should have a relapse and does not get along as well as he ought I will let you know.

George regained his health and on December 18, 1861, he wrote his parents from Camp Michigan, explaining why he had not written in some time.

You know the reason why I have not written to you in so long a time, I was taken sick with the typhoid fever about the 8th of October, but did not go in the hospital until the 14th. The Brigade moved the 12th of October 2 miles below Alexandria and I was in the hospital there until the 9th of December when I went to the company to stay but I only stayed there that day and night for the next day they had to pull up stakes and move. The Brigade moved about 6 miles where they was a going into winter quarters, but they went too far and so only stayed there one night and the next day they moved back about 2 miles. We are now encamped in the woods where we expect to stay for the winter. . Our camp is 4 miles below Alexandria, off from the river we have a pleasant camp here in the woods if they will only let us stay here but there is talk now of our moving to Fort Pickens, but I can hardly think we will go for the boys have all been to work fixing up winter quarters. Although they was not ordered to commence any new shanties for a day or two, the most of the boys have laid up logs [and = crossed out] 3 or 4 feet high and then set their tents on the top of them. The Regiment got new tents in November, but there was not enough of them to keep us all in, each company got 4 new tents, some 5. Our company has got 4 new ones and 2 old ones in use; there is 8 of us in the tent where I am. Our shanty is made of boards about 12 by 16, the boards are nailed up about 5 feet high and covered over with two old tents which make a good roof; we have a trench dug in the ground covered over with sheet iron which runs outside of the tent which we use for a fire place so you see we are very comfortable. We have 2 blankets apiece and there is about 30 bed comforters distributed among the company, which was sent by the citizens of Muskegon with a good many other things. There has been 3 of our boys deserted since I wrote last, one sergeant and 2 Corporals. We have not heard anything from them since they went away. We have not had any snow here yet; it has been pleasant weather here for the last 10 or 12 days. There was a little fight this morning with our pickets of the 2nd Regiment. There was a company of rebel cavalry that come on them and drove them back and took their blankets and knapsacks. Today there was 600 infantry and 100 cavalry went out to look them up.

I have been with the company since last Thursday. I am not well enough yet to do any duty and it will be quite a time before I will be as stout as I was before I was taken sick. I am getting along very well only I am very weak and my feet are sore, but are getting better now and I hope I will soon be able to do duty. I hope I won't be sick any more while I am a soldier, for it is a hard place to be sick.

Father, the last time you wrote to me I was in the hospital and Mr. Bryant took it and read it. He was in the hospital the next day or two and he told me [he] had got a letter for me and he said that he would answer it for me. I was not able to write then. I asked him if he had got an answer yet and he said no. When I got out of the hospital I went and asked him for the letter and he could not find it, so I did not see it when you write again don't write in care of Mr. Bryant write if you answered Mr. Bryant's letter.

Ten days later he wrote his family to let them know that he was “getting along very well now and I am on light duty and I hope I will soon be [able] to do as much as any of the boys.

We have 4 of our men in the hospital here and our fifer is in the general hospital at Alexandria. There was a part of our Brigade that went out on a scouting expedition on Christmas day and two Pennsylvania Regiments went out as far as Pohick church, [a] distance about 9 miles, but discovered none of the enemy except a few pickets. They fired a blank cartridge from one of the guns and . . . took their dinner along with them and returned at night again. Pohick church was built in the year 1773 at the expense of General Washington; the brick was fetched from England. The church is 6 miles from Mount Vernon. It was a nice building once but is going to ruin now; it ain't occupied now only by every one that takes a notion to go in; the rebels go there once in a while on a scouting party, but they don't damage anything. The most that go there leave their names wrote upon the walls. I have not been there but I would like to go there and to Mount Vernon where General Washington lived and I intend to go if I have an opportunity to see them places before leaving here. There is a little town called Accotink about 2 miles from the church, but that is a place you don't know, I guess. I want you to write and tell me if you was ever to Mount Vernon or to Pohick church and what year you left your home in Virginia.

We had 30 new recruits come from Michigan last Thursday and there has 6 officers gone to Michigan to recruit for 6 months. There ain't much signs of the war a being ended right away I don't think, for if we don't whip the rebels before long some other nation will whip us so I hope Uncle Sam will try and have them whipped out by spring so as we can have the Union stand and then we can all fight together if England wants to try it. But I hope we will have peace here first and then we will feel stronger. But at last come to think I would rather be excused from being a soldier for he has got many hardships to endure that he don't see before he meets them. But so far we have had very good times and plenty to eat most of the time. When at Bull Run we got short but the sutler was there and we bought of him till our provision came. We live very good while in camp but when on a march then is when the soldier suffers the most. We drawed new frock coats last Sunday and we all have new over coats which are very good ones and I drawed my new pants yesterday which is the 2nd new pair from Uncle Sam, so you see we have very good clothes. Our pants and overcoats are of a blue color and our overcoats are black and we have plenty of clothes for the winter.

George was absent sick in the hospital in August of 1862, but eventually recovered and was awarded the Kearny Cross for his participation in the battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia, on May 3, 1863.

By July of 1863 he was on recruiting service in Michigan, posted to the draft rendezvous (Camp Lee) in Grand Rapids. On October 30, 1863, George Remington, the Adjutant for the Third infantry wrote to notify Lemon that he was “to report at this place [Grand Rapids] by the 30th day of this month in order to be mustered for pay.” The next day, he was granted permission by Lieutenant Jerome B. Ten Eyck, commanding the draft depot, to remain absent from the draft rendezvous until November 3. He remained detached at the draft depot through February of 1864, but by spring had returned to his Regiment.

George was wounded by a gunshot to the right foot on May 5, 1864, at the Wilderness, Virginia, and on May 13 was sent to Armory Square hospital in Washington, DC. According to a statement he made on December 4, 1875, he had been “wounded by minie ball, striking him in the bottom of the right foot near the heel & passing out near the inside ankle joint fracturing the bones of the foot & causing a wound that has never healed entirely on the bottom of his foot or at the ankle joint.” He was subsequently transferred to a hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 26, and was mustered out of service on June 20, 1864; he received pension no. 63,349 in July of 1864.

George eventually returned to Michigan, and married Michigan native Sarah Bradley (1845-1877) at Richmond, Osceola County on September 20, 1868, and they had at least three children: Mabel Valenta (b. 1872), Cora Belle (b. 1875) and Alfred James (b. 1877).

By 1870 George was working as a farmer and living with his wife in Richmond, Osceola County; next door lived George’s brother Franklin and his family. He was possibly living in Livingston County in December of 1875, and in Deerfield, Livingston County in 1877 when his first wife died.

He eventually moved to Damascus (?), Oregon and married a woman named Mrs. Bills sometime in the 1880s in Portland, Oregon, and they eventually divorced. He was still living in Oregon in 1900 and resided in the Damascus area for some years before moving to southern California. By 1915 he was living in San Pedro, California.

George married his third wife, Fannie McCully (d. 1921), on June 24, 1908; she had apparently been married at least three times before. (In 1920 there was one George Lemon married to Illinois native Mehitable and living in San Pedro.) By 1921 George was living in Long Beach, California.

George was residing at 223 1/2 Elm Avenue in Long Beach in October of 1922 when he applied for an increase in his pension, claiming that his right leg was “off at midway between my ankle & knee.”

By December of 1923 he was in such a bad way that he sent for his son Fred who was living in Salem, Oregon to come and get him, and George was living with his son in Oregon when, according to his pension records, sometime in April of 1923 he suffered a stroke and was confined to his bed unable to feed or take care of himself.

He was still an invalid by the end of the year, and he died in Salem, Oregon, presumably at the home of his son, on September 6, 1925, and was probably buried in Salem.