John T. McConnell was born in 1838 in Ruggles, Ashland County, Ohio, the son of New York native Guian McConnell (b. 1809) and Emeline Johnson (1816-1882).
John’s parents were married in 1835 in Huron County, Ohio and by 1836 were living in Ruggles, Ohio, whey they resided for some years. By 1850 the family was living in Ruggles, Ohio, where John was attending school with his siblings. In 1852 his family may have been living in Caledonia, Kent County. By 1860 the family settled in Brownville, Caledonia Township, Kent County.
John was probably living in Caledonia when he probably married Ohio native Anna Mary Stowe (b. 1843) of Cascade on April 20, 1859 in Kent County. They had at least two children: Clarissa (b. 1862) and Caroline (b. 1867).
John and Anna were living in Cascade, where he worked as a farmer in 1860.
John stood 5’8” with gray eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was a 22-year-old farmer probably living in Cascade when he enlisted in Company B on May 13, 1861. John may have been hurt during the battle of First Bull Run on July 21, 1861. George Miller of Company A, who was from Bowne, Kent County and probably knew McConnell before the war wrote home that in the aftermath of Bull Run on July 21, McConnell was all right.
John was absent sick in the hospital from July of 1862 through August, allegedly deserted on September 21, 1862, at Upton’s Hill, Virginia, but in fact he was still hospitalized.
Although he was returned (officially) to his Regiment on October 6 at Upton’s Hill, he was discharged for consumption on October 27, 1862, at a hospital in Portsmouth Grove, Rhode Island.
John returned to Michigan and may have been living in Caledonia when he enlisted at the age of 23 as a private in Company E, 21st Michgian Infantry, on August 14, 1862, and was mustered in on September 3. he was taken prisoner on March 24, 1865, paroled on May 15 and discharged at Detroit, Michigan on June 3, 1865.
He was a witness for Lee Kelly’s pension in Washington, DC in 1863.
John returned to Kent County after the war and by 1870 was farming and living with his wife and two children in Caledonia. By 1880 he and Annie and their daughter Ida were living on a farm in Tuscarora, Cheboygan County.
In 1886 John applied for and received a pension (no. 545257) for his service in the 21st Michigan Infantry.
John died of Bright’s Disease on September 18, 1891, in Hurd, Cheboygan County and was buried in Silver Lake Cemetery, wolverine, Cheboygan County.
1891 when his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 327925). By 1900 Annie was living in Mentor, Cheboygan County; also living with her was her grandson Frank.
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