William Schumacher was born in 1840 in Prussia.
William immigrated to America and settled in western Michigan sometime before the war broke out.
He stood 5’5” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was a 21-year-old farmer probably living in Grand Rapids 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.)
William was wounded on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and subsequently hospitalized in New York City. On June 30 he was discharged from City Hospital in New York City, returned to the Regiment and was awarded the Kearny Cross for his participation in the battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia, on May 3, 1863. In May he was a Division provost guard, in June a provost guard at Corps headquarters through July and he reenlisted on December 21, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Grand Rapids.
William was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864, and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February. He was transferred as Corporal to Company I, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He was wounded on June 16 near Petersburg, Virginia, and died of his wounds on June 18 or 19 in a field hospital near Petersburg. William was first buried on the Henry Bryan farm near Meade Station, Virginia, but then reinterred in City Point National Cemetery: grave no. 44.
In 1890 his mother applied for a pension (no. 481078) but the certificate was never granted.