Mortimer E. Parish was born in 1840 in Bennington, Wyoming County, New York, the son of Asa W. (b. 1817) and Catharine (b. 1817).
New York natives Asa and Catharine settled in New York where they lived for some years before moving west and settling in Michigan. By 1850 Asa was working as a laborer and Mortimer was living with his family in Plainfield, Kent County. By 1860 he may have been a farmer and sawyer living with and/or working for a farmer by the name of John Dinsbach in Alpine, Kent County. He may also have been residing in Lowell, Kent County and living with Charles Scaddin (who would enlist in Company F).
In either case, Mortimer stood 5’8” with blue eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was 21 years old and gave his place of residence as Dundee, Kent County, when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861. He was wounded on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and subsequently hospitalized at the hospital at David’s Island in New York harbor. Mortimer was discharged on July 14 from David’s Island, and discharged from the army on account of his wounds on September 15 or 20 or November 28, 1862, at Detroit.
Mortimer returned to Michigan where he reentered the service in Company K, First Michigan Engineers and Mechanics, on December 20, 1863, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered on January 2, 1864, crediting Alpine. Mortimer probably joined the regiment somewhere in the vicinity of Chattanooga, Tennessee (or Stevenson, Alabama) 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. The Regiment was on duty on the Atlantic & Western Railroad building block houses, etc., till September when it was ordered to Atlanta, Georgia on September 25.
Mortimer, however, remained in Tennessee and was reported sick at Chattanooga on September 19, 1864. He was eventually sent back to Michigan to recover his health and admitted to Harper hospital in Detroit on December 28, 1864.
Mortimer was honorably discharged from the army on May 10, 1865, at Detroit.
After the war Mortimer returned to western Michigan. (His parents were living in Ferry Township, Oceana County in 1870.) He eventually settled in Marquette Township, Mackinac County. (In 1920 there was an 81-year-old Mortimer Parish, born in New York, living at the California Veteran’s Home in Yountville, Napa County.)
In 1862 he applied for and received a pension (no. 11994).
Mortimer died on April 7, 1928, in Rudyard, Mackinac County, and was reportedly buried in Simmons cemetery, Marquette, Mackinac County.