Sunday, April 10, 2011

Elbridge Gerry Wellington Jr.

Elbridge Gerry Wellington Jr. was born on February 3, 1837, in Troy, Rensselaer County, New York, the son of Elbridge Gerry Sr. (1814-1884) and Lucinda or Lorinda (Dombolton, b. 1813).

Elbridge’s parents were married probably in New York sometime before 1836 by which time they had settled in Troy. The family was living in Troy’s First Ward in 1850 where his father worked as a painter and he attended school with his siblings. His family eventually moved from New York to Michigan sometime after 1850, and by 1860 Elbridge Jr. was a painter living in Bengal, Clinton County where his father owned and operated a substantial farm.

Elbridge Jr. stood 5’6” with black eyes, black hair and a light complexion and was 23 years old and probably still living in Clinton County when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861. He was discharged for hepatitis and chronic diarrhea on August 5, 1861, at Hunter’s farm, Virginia. He gave St. Johns, Clinton County as his mailing address on his discharge paper

In fact after his discharge Elbridge returned to Clinton County where he reentered the service as a Sergeant in Company A, Twenty-third Michigan infantry on July 18, 1862, at St. Johns for 3 years, crediting Bengal, and was mustered on September 11 at East Saginaw, Saginaw County. The regiment was organized at East Saginaw and mustered into service on September 13. It left Michigan for Louisville, Kentucky on September 18 and Shortly after arriving in Kentucky the Twenty-third was engaged in the pursuit of General Bragg to Crab Orchard, Kentucky from October 1-16, and participated in battle for Perryville on October 8. He was First Sergeant in December of 1862, and promoted to Second Lieutenant of Company B in February of 1863, commissioned February 26, replacing Lieutenant Ashley. The regiment spent most of the year in Kentucky and eastern Tennessee (during the second half of 1863). It participated in the Knoxville campaign of November-December and in the siege of Knoxville. In January of 1864 he was absent sick with leave from January 27 through February, and absent sick from June through August.

According to the assistant Surgeon of the Twenty-third, Dr. John Bacheler, shortly after the regiment left Mossy Creek, East Tennessee, “while crossing the Coosa River, near Resaca, Georgia,” on May 16, 1864, Elbridge “was obliged to wade and swim the . . . river, and caught cold, which settled in his right lung, producing cough. After a short time the cough nearly stopped and he was troubled with a severe pain in [his] left lung, which increased constantly and on” June 24 “he was sent to Altoona hospital.” The doctor added that in his opinion, “Wellington was a good and efficient soldier and officer who never failed of performing his duty while in the service.”

Elbridge was commissioned Captain on July 17, but resigned on August 19, 1864, on account of disability.

After his discharge from the army Elbridge returned to his home in Michigan, probably to Clinton County. Beginning in about 1865 he served for some time as Clinton County Treasurer. And he was probably living in Clinton County where, on March 13, 1866, he was married to New York native Louise (or Lois) E. Kentfield (b. 1844) in St. Johns. They had at least seven children: Harvey G. (b. 1867), “Lulu” Louise or Lois A. (b. 1868), Aaron Arthur (b. 1870), “Kate” Catharine M. (b. 1872), “May” Mary E. (b. 1875), Gertrude (b. 1877) and Claude (b. and d. 1879).

By 1870 Elbridge Jr. was working as a farmer (he owned $2000 worth of real estate) and living with his wife and children in Bengal, Clinton County (his parents were living in Fairfield, Shiawassee County in 1870). By 1880 he was working as a painter and living with his wife and children in Bath. In fact Elbridge probably lived the rest of his life in Clinton County.

He applied for and received a pension (no. 51605).

Elbridge died of lung and heart disease in Bengal, Clinton County on May 6, 1881, and was buried in Stoll (also known as Soule or Sowle) cemetery, Clinton County.

Louise applied for and received a widow’s pension (no. 196618). She remarried in June of 1882 (?) to one Robert Fisher, and moved to St. Johns, Clinton County. Elbridge’s children received minor’s pension no. 199,158.

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