Saturday, July 24, 2010

Rufus B. Scoville

Rufus B. Scoville was born around 1833 in Albany, Rensselaer County, New York.

Rufus settled in western Michigan where by 1860 he was working as a dentist and living in Grand Rapids’ First Ward; also living in the First Ward was a printer John S. Scoville, and his family. John, too, would join the Third Michigan.

Rufus stood 5’4” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 28 years old and probably still living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company A, possibly at the same time that John Scoville enlisted in Company E on May 13, 1861. Rufus was discharged for consumption on October 2, 1861, at Arlington Heights, Virginia.

He apparently returned to Michigan, possibly to Detroit where he may have been residing in mid-November of 1861, when he took the Oath of Identity in his application for a pension. However, his pension -- which had been filed on November 29, 1861 (no. 159), was abandoned sometime after early 1862. In any case, there is no further record.

It seems that Rufus reentered the service on February 1, 1864, as a private, age 32, at Weesaw (?), Michigan, in Company A, Sixth Michigan infantry and was mustered in on February 4, 1864. (The Sixth Michigan infantry was officially converted into a heavy artillery unit in July of 1863, and was thus subsequently known as the Sixth Michigan Heavy Artillery.)

The regiment re-assembled at its former camp at Kalamazoo after the expiration of the thirty days furlough and returned to Port Hudson, where it arrived May 11. The Sixth moved to Vicksburg, Mississippi, where it served as engineers, and then moved to White River and soon after to Ashton, Arkansas. The regiment was divided into detachments to serve as heavy artillery and was stationed at Fort Morgan, Fort Gaines, Dauphin Island, and Mobile Bay, in Alabama.

The regiment received orders to return to Michigan, and it arrived at Jackson on August 30, 1865, and was paid off and discharged September 5, 1865.

Rufus reportedly died of disease on November 19, 1864, in New Orleans and was presumably buried there.

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