Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Michael Schmidt

Michael Schmidt was born in 1832 in Ansbach, Bavaria, Germany.

Michael left Germany and came to America, possibly in 1852 or perhaps 1857 eventually settling western Michigan sometime before the war broke out.

He stood 5’3” with light eyes and hair and a light complexion and was a 29-year-old common laborer possibly living in Kent County when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861. (Company C was made up largely of German and Dutch immigrants, many of whom lived on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids. This company was the descendant of the old Grand Rapids Rifles, also known as the “German Rifles,” a prewar local militia company composed solely of German troopers.) He was discharged for consumption on July 27, 1861, at either Washington, DC or Arlington, Virginia.

After his discharge from the army Michael returned to western Michigan and eventually settled in Grand Rapids where he probably lived out the remainder of his life. (He may have been living with his family on Bridge street in 1880.) He was living in Grand Rapids in September of 1885 when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, and he was also a member of the German (presently Immanuel) Lutheran church on North Division and Michigan Avenues in Grand Rapids where he was still living in 1890. He was possibly the same Michael Schmidt working as a carpenter and living at 208 Scribner in 1889 and 1890.

In 1890 he applied for a pension (no. 874560) but the certificate was never granted.
Michael died of pneumonia at Butterworth hospital in Grand Rapids, on May 5, 1912, and the funeral service was held at 1:00 p.m. at his residence, 133 Brainard street, and at 2:00 p.m. at the German Lutheran church. He was buried in Oak Hill cemetery: section 1 lot 16. (The obituary incorrectly calls him “George” when it is in fact Michael who was buried in Oak Hill: 1-16 with a government stone that lists his service in the Old Third.)

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