Monday, April 26, 2010

Walter D. G. Quigley

Walter D. G. Quigley was born around 1843 in Portsmouth (?), New York.

Walter left New York and headed west, eventually settling in western Michigan where by 1860 he was working as a laborer living with his older brother (?) Robert in Croton, Newaygo County; another older brother (?) George lived near by.

Walter stood 5’9” with gray eyes, light hair and a fair complexion and was 18 years old and probably still living in Newaygo County when he enlisted with the consent of the Justice of the Peace 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.) He was hospitalized in the Regimental hospital on September 1, 1861, and discharged to return to duty on or about November 1. In 1889, former Second Lieutenant of Company H Thomas Waters testified that “on the Peninsular campaign in the summer of 1862 in the White Oak Swamp, Virginia, [Quigley] was troubled with rheumatism. He got so bad with it that he was sent off to the hospital and did not come back to the company again.”

In fact, during the Peninsular campaign of 1862 Quigley contracted dysentery followed by rheumatism near Richmond, Virginia, and on or about June 25, 1862, was sent to Newton University hospital in Maryland where he remained until about August 15 when he was transferred to the convalescent camp near Fort McHenry, Maryland. He remained at Fort McHenry until he was discharged on October 3, 1862, for general debility and chronic rheumatism.

Walter returned to western Michigan where he reentered the service in Company D, Sixth Michigan cavalry on August 27, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 1 year, crediting Croton, and was mustered the same day. He joined the Regiment on September 21 and was generally present for duty. However, h was reported at the dismounted camp in City Point, Virginia, in April of 1865, absent sick in May and discharged on June 26, 1865, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. According to William Sagan, a former comrade in Company D, Quigley “was a man of good habits and always did his duty when able but he was afflicted with rheumatism and rheumatism of the heart a good deal.”

After the war Walter returned to Michigan and lived in Mecosta County from 1865 until about 1871, although he may have resided for a time in Evart, Osceola County.

He married Maine native Susanna or Rosanna or Rose Gerrish (1846-1898) on October 4, 1866, in Newaygo County, and they had at least three children: Blanche (b. 1867), Lillie M. (b. 1868) and Flora M. (b. 1870).

By 1870 he was working as a farmer and living in Deerfield, Mecosta County. By 1880 Walter was working as a hardware merchant and living with his wife and children in Evart, Osceola County.

He became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association in 1881 when he was living in Cedar Springs, Kent County, and in 1886 he applied for and received pension no. 547,838.

In the summer of 1881 he may have been the same Walter Quigley who was working in partnership with a man from New York, whose name was also Quigley, to establish telephone lines in the area of Rockford, Kent County. By January of 1886 Walter was living and working as a merchant in Big Rapids, Mecosta County. Quigley claimed in a statement he gave the pension bureau on May 24, 1912, that after the war he lived in Grand Rapids until 1882 (in fact it was Cedar Springs), when he moved to Superior, Wisconsin where he resided until 1896; in 1891 he was living in Superior at 513 1/2 Tower Avenue, West Superior, Wisconsin.

In 1896 Walter moved to Turtle Lake, Wisconsin where he lived from 1896 to 1914, and in February of 1913 his landlady, Florence Gaffney, stated under oath that Quigley had been very feeble for some four years, that he had boarded with her for over three years and wasn’t able to walk some two blocks to go downtown. She further stated that it wasn’t “safe to leave him alone at any time for [he had] very bad attacks of heart trouble.”

Walter died, probably a widower, on September 1, 1914, in Turtle Lake and was presumably buried there.

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