Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Frederick A. Stow

Frederick A. Stow was born on April 13, 1832, in Seneca County, New York.

Fred’s father was born in Massachusetts and his mother in New York. In any case, by 1835 the family had left New York and settled in Washtenaw County, Michigan. After Fred’s parents died he moved to the western side of the state eventually settling in Grand Rapids.

In any case, Frederick was living in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in September of 1855 when he enlisted in the Grand Rapids Artillery, which would serve as the nucleus of Company B, Third Michigan infantry in the spring of 1861, and Fred would remain a member of the company until war broke out. (The GRA was first commanded by Lucius Patterson, and he would be replaced by Captain Baker Borden who would also command Company B of the Third Michigan infantry in 1861). On August 10, 1859, Fred was promoted to Third Lieutenant of the company, and was still serving as Third Lieutenant of the company by the end of 1860.

By 1859-60 Fred was working as a grocer and living on the north side of Bridge Street, east of Front Street on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids.

Frederick was 24 years old and probably still living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted (according to the muster-in roll) as First Sergeant of Company B on May 13, 1861, when the Regiment was mustered into Michigan state service, but was recorded as Second Lieutenant of Company B on June 10, 1861, when the Regiment was mustered into federal service, just three days before the Third Michigan left for Washington, DC. In the wake of the battle of Bull Run, Fred’s brother wrote him to say that

It relieved me of much anxiety, for I was very solicitous to hear from you, for I knew not what circumstances you might be placed in. And I was right glad that the only loss you sustained was the loss of your coat, -- blanket & knapsack. By the way, Ellen, Mahlon's sister wished me to tell you that you were scared and threw them away, but however I trust this was not the case, for I have more confidence in your bravery than that, and . . . you might have received a much more serious loss and one which could not be repaired. But I will not dwell upon such a point lest by so doing I should cast a gloom over your spirits.

But here I often feel quite brave and all most wish to shoulder a musket, and engage in the same glorious cause which you are engaged in. It seems as though I would like to get a chance to shoot at that scoundrel who may have appropriated your lost articles to his use.

But you need not look for me down there at present. If I go I shall go from a sense of duty, duty to God and my country, with the deliberate determination to shoot as many as I can. It may surprise you to hear me talk so, it surprises me to think that I can so indifferently talk so, for I am what some would call “chicken hearted,” at least I am possess of a very sympathetic nature and can not bare [sic] to see the most insignificant creature suffer, much less a human being, and at any other time my soul would revolt at the idea of the sufferings and death occurring from war. But instead of feeling so now, I feel more like being engaged in the present difficulties. Although I may not take up the sword, from having duties to perform here, yet I make it a matter of earnest prayer to god. I make mention of you nearly every day to our heavenly Father, that you may have grace to keep you from evil and that you may overcome all your enemies. Our boys of the 1st Reg. returned here on Friday, and seem to be in good spirits, some of them are missing and their fate is yet unknown, whether they are killed or taken prisoner is not yet ascertained. I wrote you a letter on the Monday evening after the battle and had just closed when I heard of the defeat of our troops, but whether you have yet received it or not I do not know. I requested in that, that you would send me your likeness taken with your uniform on, if it is so you can. There is another thing Fred, which I wish to mention, yet I feel somewhat delicate about mentioning it and would not did I not feel so much the importance of my having a good education. What I wish to ask is, can you help me to the means so that I can attend school one year at a theological institute out west; if so I shall try and teach this winter and commence next spring attending school. If not, I shall try probably try to join the conference this fall, which I feel unprepared to do, but if I do I shall want some books and clothes, and I also owe a little, but I shall be near able to pay that with what I earn this summer, and if you cannot assist me in going to school, can you let me have enough to get some books . . . as Methodist Minister does not get very large salaries. You will find a letter enclosed to E. McMillan which I wish you would give him.

On October 21, 1861, Fred wrote to Henrietta Chubb, his future wife, from Arlington Heights, Virginia.

I am well. It has been extremely warm today. It is very quiet here in camp. Yesterday we had battalion drill, but not parade. Today we had both. We have not yet received orders to move, but our General has been heard to say that we have been transferred to another division below Alexandria & the talk is that we shall go tomorrow, but it is not certain yet. I hate to leave here it is healthy & pleasant. We have been here so long it seems like home. We have got everything comfortable here & everything we want is brought to us. We can live as well here as in the city. When we we leave we shall be deprived of all these things & the many privileges we have here enjoyed. It will take a long time to have our quarters arranged as comfortable as we have them here if at all, but we did not come here on a pleasure excursion by any means. We came here as soldiers, but would like to be as comfortable as well as any body. While on dress parade a balloon passed over us. It must [have] went up at Fall's Church & landed over in Maryland. I have not seem any of the eighth reg. yet. Some of the cavalry of my acquaintance have been over. If we do not go tomorrow I will try & go over & see them at Fort Albany (just across the road from us). They have been firing heavy guns for practice. The ball is now opened, the music has struck up & the dancers have taken their places. It is now near time for our school & I will adjourn till morning. I may then have some news to write. Saturday morning [October 22]. I have just returned from roll call, & will now finish my letter although I have not heard any news. There is not much prospect of our leaving today. I caught cold last night & am half sick this morning. I will try to get a pass & go to the city after breakfast & to the eighth reg. Our cook is setting the table for breakfast & I must get out of the way.

Fred was commissioned First Lieutenant on January 1, 1862, and promoted to Captain of Company B on October 27, 1862, commissioned October 25, replacing Captain Fred Schriver (not Charles Lyon, as listed in the 1905 Regimental history).

He was absent with leave in January of 1863 when he married Michigan native and school teacher Henrietta Chubb (1839-1924) on January 26, 1863, at her parent’s home in Lyons, Ionia County, and they had at least two children: George F. (b. 1867) and Arthur F. (b. 1869).

It is possible that Fred returned to the Regiment briefly, but in any case he resigned on March 27, 1863, probably on account of a gunshot wound in the chest and a wounded ankle.

After his discharge Fred returned to (or remained in) western Michigan and on April 22, 1863, the Eagle reported that Stowe, “owing to poor health, has been compelled to resign his command. He has been just returned to his home in this city.”

Fred resumed his trade of grocer, working on Canal Street in the Collins block but eventually he moved to West Bridge Street and from 1867 to 1869 was living on the southeast corner of Bridge and Water Streets on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids. By 1870 he had moved to Clinton County and was working as a farmer (he owned $4800 worth of real estate) and living with his wife and children in Dallas, Dallas Township; he was still farming in Dallas in 1880. By December of 1884, when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, Fred was living in Fowler, Clinton County and resided in Fowler for many years. In 1897 he left the farm in Dallas and settled in Pewamo, Ionia County. By 1906 he was residing in Pewamo, Ionia County where he was living in 1909 through 1912, and was working in the insurance business in Pewamo in 1913 when he and wife celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Fred was still living in Pewamo in 1917.

Fred was a member of Grand Army of the Republic Hutchinson post no. 129 in Fowler. In 1866 he applied for and received a pension (no. 63077).

Fred died on March 13, 1924, in Pewamo, Ionia County or perhaps in St. Johns, Clinton County, and was buried in Mt. Rest cemetery in St. Johns.

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