John Steffen was born in 1821.
John was probably living in western Michigan by 1864.
In 1850 there was a 25-year-old laborer named John Steffens, born in the Netherlands, working for and/or living with an engineer named Ira French (?) in Spring Lake, Ottawa County. This was probably the same John Steffens, age 35, b. in the Netherlands, who was married to Dutch-born Ellen (b. 1830), with two children: Henry (b. 1856) and Elizabeth (b. 1859), all of whom were living in Blendon, Ottawa County in 1860; John was working as a farmer (he owned some $1200 worth of real estate). Next door lived one Hendrikus Steffens (b. 1795 in Holland) and his wife Maatje (b. 1795 in Holland. John and Ellen were still living in Blendon with their children in 1880.
In any case, John stood 5’7” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was a 43-year-old laborer possibly living in Muskegon County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company C on January 29, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Muskegon, and was mustered the same day. He joined the Regiment on February 18 at Camp Bullock, Virginia, and may have been absent sick when he was transferred to Company I, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He was subsequently reported absent sick through September of 1864, and was mustered out on on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.
In 1877 John applied for and received a pension (no. 182585).
John may be buried in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There is a John Steffen, who was probably a resident of the National Military Home in Milwaukee in 1890, and who was reported as having served in Company C, Fifth Michigan from late January of 1864 until June of 1865. (This may very well have been the same “John Stephen’ who was listed in the Fifth Michigan’s regimental history as having enlisted in February of 1864, although no company is reported.) In any case this John Steffen died on February 28, 1892, probably at the National Military Home in Wisconsin, and was buried on March 1, 1892 at Wood National Cemetery: 10-96.
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