Stephen Scales was born in 1842 in New York, the son of Ishial or Jehial (b. 1803).
"Ishial" was born in New Hampshire and eventually settled in New York where he resided for some years before moving west. He left New York sometime after 1850 and by 1860 he had brought his family to western Michigan and was working as a farmer in Georgetown, Ottawa County (nearby lived the family of Harley Bement who would also enlist in Company I.)
By 1860 Stephen was a mill worker living at the Paddock boarding house for laborers in Georgetown, Ottawa County, along with: John Finch (Company I), Joseph Ledbeter (Company B), Benjamin Parker (Company I), James Parm (Company I), Thomas Rowling (Company I), Alfred (Company F) and William Tate (Company I), and John M. Taylor (Company I).
Stephen was 19 years old and residing in Georgetown when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.)
He died of typhoid fever on April 30 or May 1, 1862, at Yorktown, Virginia. According to the Regimental Surgeon Dr. Zenas Bliss,
The regiment was attached to General Berry’s brigade of General Kearney’s division of the Third Corps, and arrived at Fort Monroe on March 26th, 1862, and shortly afterwards moved to Yorktown, and encamped in a thick woods, intermingled with patches of swamp and pools of water, the ground being covered with fragments of fallen trees and decaying vegetable matter. Water could be obtained only by digging holes from two and a half to three feet in depth, and the surface obtained form these was all that the men had. The regiment remained in this camp about five weeks, and was doing picket and fatigue duty on trenches and fortifications all that time. A few intermittents and remittents [fevers] occurred, as also about forty cases of typhoid fever, all very severe, marked by epistaxis tympanitis, and, after a few days, hemorrhage from the bowels, the blood being evidently impoverished. Several of these cases proved fatal.
One case of typhus, marked by hemorrhage from the nose and bowels, and with petchiae and hemorrhagic spots on the surface, occurred in the regiment and proved fatal. All of these patients had active, supporting treatment throughout. The sick were cared for at a hospital, about a mile and a half to the rear, composed of log huts or barracks, built and formerly occupied by the 53d Virginia Volunteers (Confederate), upon a sandy soil, where we obtained an abundance of excellent well water. These barracks were well ventilated, and accommodated a large number of sick and wounded from both the regulars and volunteers. I saw all of the sick and what few wounded there were at this hospital and had immediate charge of very many sick who were members of various regiments; and nearly all of the cases were either low remittents or typhoid fever. I say remittents, because some of them might be easily classed as such; but I believed then, as now, that they were almost pure enteric fever. I held autopsies of all that died who were under my charge, six in number. No post mortem was held on the case of typhus. All the deaths from typhoid fever occurred late in the course of the disease, and the majority from hemorrhages from the bowels, one from coma, and the others apparently from pure exhaustion. The abdominal viscera were those principally examined. Peyer’s glands were found in each case in a state of ulceration; some very large ulcers; some healing while others were in an inflamed condition. Some of the ulcerations extended nearly through the coats of the intestines. I preserved the specimens in each case, but subsequently lost them during the campaign. The small intestines, through their entire length, gave evidence of previous inflammatory action; but all the other abdominal viscera gave no evidence of either organic or serious functional disease, and the soft parts and glands, when divided with the scalpel, seemed to be almost exsanguined. I wish the blood could have been analysed, because I feel confident that the primary trouble was there. In cases of epistaxis, the blood gave only a faint coloring to the spots on linen, and it did not give to the linen that stiffened feel that we get when it is saturated with ordinary blood, from both of which I infer that the blood was deficient in plasma and coloring matter, or defibrinated. In these cases, quinine, brandy, ammonia, and small doses of opium were given with a view to support the patient. Essence of beef and beef tea, of good quality, and in abundance, was furnished and given. The supply of medicines at this time was ample, but at times we were deficient in hospital stores.
He was presumably buried among the unknown soldiers at Yorktown National Cemetery (or he may have been brought home to Michigan for interment).
No pension seems to be available.