Wednesday, January 19, 2011

John A. Tompkins

John A. Tompkins was born in 1839 in Grove, Allegany County, New York

John may have been living in Ionia County, Michigan when the war broke out, or he may have been the same John Tompkins living in Plainfield, Kent County in 1860.

(John was possibly related to John (b. 1808 in New York) and Sally A. (b. 1793 in Pennsylvania). They moved from New York to Michigan before 1840 when they settled in Ionia, Ionia County. By 1850 John (elder) was running a hotel in Ionia and in 1860 operated the Exchange Hotel.)

John stood 5’11”’ with blue eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was a 22-year-old laborer probably living in Ionia County or possibly in Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861. (Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County.) He was wounded on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and subsequently hospitalized from July of 1862 through April of 1863 at Washington, DC. He eventually recovered, returned to duty and was again wounded on November 27, 1863, at Mine Run, Virginia, although apparently not severely.

John reenlisted on December 23, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Boston, Ionia County, was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough, possibly at his family home in Michigan, in January of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February.

He was reported absent sick in May of 1864, but in fact he was apparently captured during the Wilderness and Spotsylvania movements in the first half of May. John was transferred as a prisoner-of-war to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and reportedly interned for a time in Andersonville prison. Although he was listed as missing in action through June of 1865, in fact he died of disease on October 7, 1864, in the prison at Florence, South Carolina, and was presumably buried among the unknown soldiers interred there.

No pension seems to be available.

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