Peter Myers - updated 11/6/2017

Peter Myers was born in 1841 in Chatham, Ontario, Canada, the son of Ontario, Canada natives Hiram Myers (1814-1900) and Barbara Traxler (1819-1895).  

Peter’s parents were married in 1834 in Chatham, Ontario, Canada (where Barbara had been born), and resided in Chatham until sometime between 1843 and 1845, when they settled in first Sparta then Alpine Township, Kent County, Michigan.

In 1847 and 1850 Hiram and his family were living in Plainfield, Kent County, and back in Sparta by 1854. By 1860 his father owned and operated a substantial amount of land in Sparta, Alpine Township. That same year Peter was attending school, working as a farm laborer and living with his family in Sparta.

He was 20 years and probably still living in Sparta when he enlisted with his parents’ consent in Company C on May 13, 1861. (His younger brother Andrew would join Company F in 1864. Peter’s sister Elizabeth married the brother of Allen Thayer would also join Company F, 3rd Michigan about the same time as Andrew Myers.) Peter was shot in the shoulder on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and admitted to Bellevue hospital in New York City on September 12, 1862, from the steamer Bellevue. He remained hospitalized through January of 1863. He was awarded the Kearny Cross for his participation in the battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia on May 3, 1863, and was again absent sick in the hospital in August. Peter eventually recovered and rejoined the Regiment. He was taken prisoner on November 30, 1863, at Mine Run, Virginia, and reportedly confined at Andersonville prison along with a brother who had joined the 1st Michigan cavalry (who allegedly died around August 1, 1864, at Andersonville).

By the end of 1864 Peter was a prisoner in Blackshire, Georgia.  He was paroled at Jacksonville, Florida on April 28, 1865, admitted to the hospital at Annapolis, Maryland on June 20, and discharged the same day.

After he left the army Peter returned to Sparta.

He married Canadian-born Henrietta Emmons (b. 1846) on July 4, 1865 in Sparta, and they had at least five children: Euphemia Barbara (1866-1929), George (b. 1874), Ethel (b. 1876), Grace (b. 1878) and Eugene (b. 1880). Henrietta was the sister of David Emmons who had served in Company K.

By 1870 peter was working a large farm and living with his wife and daughter in Sparta, next door to his parents and siblings. By 1880 the family had moved out west and living in Creighton, Knox County, Nebraska. The family eventually returned to Michigan. Peter may have been a member of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association. In 1870 he applied for and received a pension (135407).

Peter reportedly died in April of 1883, probably in Sparta, and was buried in Myers cemetery, Sparta: 0-123-1.

In August of 1883 Henrietta was living in Michigan when she applied for and received a widow’s pension (no. 885766). She eventually married Charles Marsh and in 1891 (?) she applied on behalf of one or more minor children for a dependent child’s pension which was granted (no. 354965).

S. H. Harden of Newaygo

Even though Harden was a member of an Ohio company of sharpshooters and not the 3rd Michigan I'm including him since his monument in Newaygo City Cemetery (Michigan) is truly unique.

While it is not uncommon to see a life-size statue of a Union soldier at a Grand Army of the Republic Monument, it's rare to see one at the grave of a single soldier.

S. H. Harden, 6th Independent Co. Ohio Sharpshooters

James C. Hayward

[This may be the same James Hayward who served in Company K, 3rd Michigan Infantry.]

James C. Hayward was born in August 14, 1821, in Mount Morris, New York, the son of Abijah Hayward and Rachel Allwood.

James married Scottish immigrant Jane McGowen (1826-1897) and they had at least four children: James W. (b. 1854), Marguerette (b. 1858), Charles (b. 1860) and Emma (1861-1942, Mrs. Abel).

By 1850 they were living in Amherst, Lorain County, Ohio and moved on to Michigan between 1854 and 1858. By 1860 James was working as a shingle-maker living with his wife and three children in Nelson, Kent County. (In 1860 there was a deaf farm laborer named Amherst Hayward living with the Vorce or Bouce family in Ionia, Ionia County.)

James enlisted in Company F, 6th Michigan Cavalry on September 8, 1862, at Nelson for 3 years, crediting Nelson, and was mustered on October 13 at Grand Rapids where the regiment was being organized. The 6th remained on duty at Grand Rapids until December 10 when it left for Washington where it participated in the defenses of the capital. He was discharged for disability on April 1, 1863.

He reentered the service (listed as James Haywood) in Company K, 6th Michigan cavalry on February 22, 1864, for three years, and was mustered the same day, and was transferred to Company H, 1st Michigan Cavalry on November 17, 1865. He was discharged at Detroit on April 16, 1866. James eventually returned to western Michigan.

Hayward who was working as a farmer and living with his wife Jane and son Charles in Richland, Montcalm County in 1880. He was living in Michigan in 1880 when he applied for and received a pension (no. 291775) for service in both cavalry regiments.

By 1890 the James Hayward who had served in the 6th Michigan cavalry was living in Home, Montcalm County.

After Jane died he married New York native Mrs. Cynthia Newell Phelps (1828-1902) on August 4, 1897 in Courtland, Kent County.

In 1900 he and Cynthia and her son (?) from her first marriage, James Phelps, were living in Courtland.

James was a widower when he died of old age on June 1, 1905 and was buried in Vinewood cemetery, Edmore, Montcalm County, alongside Jane.

John Sayles - update 5/2/2017

John Sayles was born in 1846 in Ionia County, Michigan, the son of New York native Elias Sayles Sr. (1803-1897) and Canadian-born Hannah Showers (1808-1872) and stepson of English-born Eliza Ann Wrigley (1819-1885).

Elias, probably along with his brother Cyrenius and his family, moved from Canada to Michigan sometime between 1843 and 1846, and by 1850 John was living with his family and attending school with his older siblings (which also included his older brother William who would enlist in Company F) in Keene, Ionia County; next door lived Charles and Harrison Soules, both of whom would enlist in Company C in 1861. And not much farther away lived a Sayles cousin, Lyman, Cyrenius’ son, who would also enlist in the 3rd Michigan.

John stood 5’7” with black eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion and was a 16-year-old farmer probably living in Lowell, Kent County or in Keene when he enlisted in Company G on April 4, 1862, at Lowell for 3 years, and was mustered the same day. (He may have been related to Lyman Sayles of Company H.) By late June, according to Homer Thayer of Company G, John was sick in the hospital at Annapolis, Maryland, and he remained absent sick in the hospital through September when he allegedly deserted on September 21 at Upton’s Hill, Virginia. In fact, he was discharged for consumption on June 24, 1862, at Annapolis, Maryland.

After he was discharged John returned to Michigan where he reentered the service in Company L, 6th Michigan Cavalry on February 27, 1865, for 1 year at Grand Rapids, age 21, and was mustered on February 28 at Grand Rapids, crediting Keene. He joined the Regiment March 19, was absent sick in May -- he may have missed the participation by the regiment in the Grand Review in Washington on May 23 -- and was discharged, probably for disability, on June 23, 1865, at Washington, DC.

John eventually returned to Michigan after the war.

He married Canadian Mary M. Gardner (1848-1926) on February 21, 1867, and they had at least five children: Rebecca (b. 1869), Lewis (b. 1872), Leon (b. 1874), Grace (b. 1881) and Ida (b. 1884).

He may have been living in Lowell, Kent County by 1870. In 1870 John, his wife Mary and their infant daughter Rebecca were living with Mary’s father in Keene, Ionia County. By 1880 he was working as a laborer and living with his wife and children in Berlin (Saranac), Ionia County. He was living in Otisco, Ionia County in 1890. In 1910 he and Mary were living in Otisco; also living with them were their daughters Grace and Ida and daughter Rebecca Brooks and her husband. By 1910 John was working as a commercial traveler selling pianos and living with Mary and his daughter Ida in Belding’s 3rd Ward, Ionia County. By 1920 John was living in the Soldiers’ Home in Grand Rapids.

In 1880 he applied for and eventually received a pension (no. 984966).

John died on June 17, 1921, and was buried in the Michigan Soldiers’ Home cemetery, Grand Rapids: 6-10-2.

In 1921 his widow was residing in Michigan when she applied for and received a pension (no. 905653).

James Renwick - update 5/2/2017

James Renwick was born on June 30, 1842, in Scotland, the son of Scots John Renwick (1806-1891) and Janet Henderson (1812-1895).

John and Janet were married on November 27, 1835, in Hobkirk, Roxburgh, Scotland. James came to the United States with his family, possibly aboard the Niberma arriving in New York City in July of 1853, eventually settling in Geneva, Ontario County, New York. By 1855 James was living with his family in Seneca, Ontario County, New York. The family eventually moved westward, and settled first in Bedford, Calhoun County, Michigan but in 1858 moved to Keene in Ionia County. By 1860 John and Janet were living in Keene with three of their young children.

James stood 5’8” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was a 20-year-old farmer probably living in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company D, probably with his cousin (?) William, on February 11, 1862, at Saranac, Ionia County for 3 years, crediting Saranac, and was mustered the same day -- Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County. (He and William were probably related to John Foulks, whose mother was Jane Renwick; Foulks also enlisted in Company D and was also from Keene.)

James was wounded in the left hip on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and hospitalized in 3rd Corps hospital at Alexandria, Virginia on September 1, 1862. By the second week of September he was a patient in Washington Street hospital in Alexandria reportedly “doing well.” James was discharged on March 2, 1863, at Alexandria, Virginia for partial anchylosis of the left hip, and listed Saranac as his mailing address on his discharge paper. After he was discharged from the army James eventually returned to Ionia County. By the summer of 1863 when he registered for the draft he was single and working as a farmer in Keene, Ionia County.

On April 9, 1879, he married Canadian Ellen Renwick (1852-1926), in Keene, and they had one child, an adopted daughter, Miss Olive Arnold (b. 1885).

By 1880 James was working as a farmer and living with his wife in Keene; also living with them was one Thomas Blythe, a servant and farm laborer. He may have been living in Ovid, Clinton County in 1883 but by 1888 he was living in Ionia. In 1890 he was residing in Easton, Ionia County, in Keene, Ionia County in 1894 and in Saranac from 1894-95 and 1906-10 and on R. R. no. 12 in 1911. (His home was near a place called Potter’s Corners. William Renwick also lived on R.R. no. 12.) In 1910 he was farming in Keene and living with his wife Ellen and adopted daughter Olive; also living with them was a boarder Homer Osgood. By 1920 James was living in Keene, Ionia County along with his wife and his daughter Olive. By 1922 he was living on R.R. no. 12 in Saranac in 1925 and probably also in 1927.

James was a member of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association, and on June 15, 1925, he responded to an invitation for the upcoming Association reunion by saying that while he would like to attend “my condition does not permit me to take the journey to Grand Rapids. If any of you could come to my home I would surely enjoy a visit with you as my head is alright.” He added that “What the coming year may hold we can none of foresee, but standing on the threshold let me send good wishes for the year to be.” Toward the end of his life, one observer noted that “Though unable to get around without aid, Mr. Renwick was always cheerful, and retained a keen intellect.”

James became a member of the Masonic Order on March 27, 1865. In 1866 he applied for and received a pension (no. 67,727), drawing $2.00 by 1883.

James was a widower when he died of pneumonia at his home in Keene, at about 1:30 Saturday morning, May 14, 1927. Funeral services were conducted under the auspices of the Masonic Lodge on Tuesday afternoon at 2:00 at the home, and pallbearers were chosen from the American Legion chapter. Mrs. Gleason Gamsby furnished music and the Rev. Regan of Saranac officiated. James was buried in Saranac cemetery: lot 347.

Samuel E. Pelton - update 5/2/2017

Samuel E. Pelton was born on July 5, 1848, in Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan, the son of Aldrich M. (1823-1895) and Amanda Gray (1828-1873).

Canadian born Aldrich married New York native Amanda sometime before 1846 by which time they had settled in Michigan. By 1850 Aldrich had and his family were still living in Grand Rapids where he worked as a carpenter. In 1860 Samuel was attending school with his siblings and living with his family in Walker, Kent County, where his father worked as a carpenter.

Samuel stood 5’6” with black eyes, dark hair and a light complexion and was a 15-year-old farm laborer probably living in Walker, Kent County when he enlisted in Company I on January 23, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Walker, and was mustered the same day. He was the nephew of Silas Pelton and the cousin of Albert and was probably related to Andrew and Alfred Pelton as well.

Samuel joined the Regiment on February 17 at Camp Bullock, Virginia, and was transferred to Company I, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864.

Samuel was absent sick in July, returned to the regiment and reportedly wounded severely and captured on October 27, 1864, at Boydton Plank road, near Petersburg, Virginia.

In fact, according to Franz Muhlberg, who was then commanding Company I, Samuel “was killed at Hatcher’s Run [near Petersburg, Virginia, on] Oct. 13, 1864, by being shot in [the] right side, and was left on the field. I saw him when he was shot and fell being near him at the time.” He was presumably among the unknown soldiers buried near Petersburg and was possibly reinterred as such in Petersburg National Cemetery.

His father was working as a carpenter (he owned some $9000 worth of real estate) and living in Grand Rapids’ 5th Ward, Kent County in 1870. He applied for and received a dependent father’s pension (no. 388,348), drawing $10 per month in 1890.

Andrew Jackson Pelton - update 5/2/2017

Andrew Jackson “Jack” Pelton was born on May 18, 1842, in Leighton, Allegan County, Michigan, the son of Canadian James Pelton (1814-1891) and New York native Elizabeth Hurling (1814-1878).

James and Elizabeth settled in Michigan by 1839 and by 1850 James was working as a laborer and Andrew (listed as “Jackson” in the census for that year) was attending school with his younger siblings in Byron, Kent County.

Andrew was 19 years old and living in either Grand Rapids or Plainfield, Kent County when he enlisted in Company K on November 26, 1861, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered on December 23 at Detroit. He was possibly related to Alfred Pelton who also enlisted in Company K, Silas Pelton who enlisted in Company B, and  Albert and Samuel both of whom would also serve in the Old Third.

Andrew was reported sick in August of 1862. He eventually returned to duty, however, and reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Plainfield. He was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864, and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February. “Jack” was wounded in the head on May 6, 1864, at the Wilderness, Virginia, subsequently hospitalized and transferred to Company A, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864.

On November 1, 1864, the Grand Rapids Eagle wrote that “A letter, full of loyalty to our country and love of the old flag, has just been shown us from A. J. Patton [Pelton], one of the gallant boys of the old Third -- now of the Fifth Mich. Inf., before Petersburg -- in which the writer says, that the soldiers, though hitherto friends of McClellan, will not, standing as he does on the Chicago platform, and being surrounded by the political managers of the so-called Democratic party, support him for president; that all the soldiers who vote at all, will cast their ballots for President Lincoln. We learn, also, from this letter that Truman Gilbert [Freeman Gilbert], a member of the old Third, from Byron Township, died in the rebel prison at Andersonville, Georgia, on the Second day of July last; and that William Prindle, also of the same command, and from the same place, was, when last heard from, lying very low and not expected to recover, a victim to rebel meanness and cruelty, in their treatment of Union prisoners.”

“Jack” was reported as a Sergeant on April 1, 1865, and was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana. “Jack” returned to Michigan after the war and settled in Gaines Township, Kent County.

He married his cousin Canadian native Elizabeth A. Pelton (1846-1935) on June 8, 1867, in Gaines, and they had at least nine children: Marilla J. (b. 1869), Liberty M. (b. 1872), Edith E. (b. 1873), Elwood Jackson (1876-1953), a son Statie F. (b. 1878), Ruth L. (1880-1933, Mrs. Van Tine), Charles E. (b. 1882), Emily Lucinda (b. 1886) and James I. (b. 1889). (Elizabeth, daughter of Ira Pelton, may have been related to Canadian-born Silas Pelton, who had also served in the Old Third.)

By 1870 Andrew who was working as a farmer was living with his wife and child and they were all living with Andrew’s parents James and Elizabeth in Gaines, Kent County. Andrew was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Gaines in 1880; also living with them was his father James as well as an old widower farm laborer named William Herrick who may have also served in the Old Third. He was living in West Carlisle, Gaines Township, in 1890 and 1895, and indeed he may have lived in West Carlisle for much of his postwar life -- although at one point he may have lived briefly in Allegan County. By 1900 he was working a farm and living with his wife and three children in Gaines, Kent County.

He was a member of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association, and his widow would become an honorary member of the Association.

In February of 1888 Andrew was living in Michigan when he applied for and received a pension (no. 419041).

Andrew joined Grand Army of the Republic Watson post no. 395 in Grand Rapids in 1891, but was suspended in June of 1898.

Andrew died of apoplexy on January 27, 1901, probably at his home in West Carlisle, and was buried in Blain cemetery, Gaines.

In February of 1901, his widow was living in Michigan when she applied for and received a pension (no. 522570). She was residing in Grand Rapids at 2047 Gardner Avenue, in 1916, probably the home of her daughter Marilla Horton.

Alfred Pelton - update 5/2/2017

Alfred Pelton was born on April or May 24, 1841, in Canada.

Alfred eventually left Canada and moved to Michigan, eventually settling in Grand Rapids, Kent County along with at least two other Canadian-born Peltons Aldrich and Silas; Silas would also serve in the 3rd Michigan.

Alfred stood 5’5” with black eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was a 20-year-old farmer probably living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted with the consent of the Justice of the Peace in Company K on May 13, 1861. He was probably related to Andrew Pelton who also enlisted in Company K,  Silas Pelton who enlisted in Company B and Albert Pelton, son of Silas as well  Samuel Pelton who would enlist in Company I in 1864.)

Alfred was probably wounded slightly in the head on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and by the second week of September he was in Wolf Street hospital in Alexandria, Virginia. (He claimed in 1887 that he had been Sergeant of the company in late 1862.) Alfred eventually returned to duty and reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Cannon, Kent County. He was absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864 and probably returned to the regiment on or about the first of February.

Alfred was reported absent sick in the hospital in March Or probably just late April) of 1864, suffering from Intermittent fever. He eventually returned to duty and was shot in the right arm on May 12, 1864, at Spotsylvania, Virginia. He was hospitalized soon afterwards and was still absent sick when he was transferred as a Sergeant to Company I, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He remained absent wounded through October and probably until he was discharged on January 15, 1865, in the field near Petersburg, Virginia, for a gunshot wound of the right arm causing a loss of “motion of the limb and he is unable to use a musket.”

After his discharge from the army Alfred returned to Grand Rapids.

He was working as a farmer in Gaines, Kent County when he married Grand Rapids native Eliza J. Dennis (1843-1927) on August 28, 1868, at Grand Rapids. They had at least five children: Viola (1869-1956), Mabel (1871-1956), Aldrich “Aud” (1875-1904), Agnes (b. 1878), Clarence (1882-1901) and Leota. (Andrew Pelton was also from Gaines Township.)

In July of 1874 Alfred was appointed Postmaster for Ross, Kent County. By 1880 Alfred was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Byron Township, Kent County. He was residing in Ross, Byron Township, by December of 1883 when he became a member of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association, as did his son Aldrich (named for Alfred’s brother), and in fact, he probably lived in Ross for the rest of his life. In 1883 Alfred was drawing $12.00 per month for a wounded right arm (pension no. 51,891). He attended the excursion to Gettysburg for the dedication of the Michigan monuments in 1889, and he was living in Ross in 1890 suffering, he claimed, from the effects of a gunshot wound to his left arm, left hip and back of the head (although he had been reportedly been wounded in the right side).

He was possibly living in Dorr, Allegan County, in the early 1890s.

His health gradually declined and he was seriously injured in the spring of 1893. According to Alonzo Green of Byron Center, on or about April 11, 1893, Alfred came to Green’s warehouse to pick up some flour “and while loading” his goods “the team attached to the wagon started forward then backed up as’ Alfred “was standing in the wagon back of the high backed seat” and “the movement threw [him] upon the seat causing severe injury to his injured right arm causing him to fall dow[n] fainting upon the bottom of the wagon box.”

Alfred never recovered from his fall. He died of myocarditis, noted by his attending physician as a result of “wounds received in the war,” in Ross on April 20, 1893. He was buried in Jones cemetery, Dorr, but subsequently removed to Oak Hill cemetery: section A lot 87.

During the business meeting at the 26th annual reunion of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association in December of 1897, the case of the widow of Alfred Pelton was discussed. She claimed to have been “beaten” out of her pension by a “foolish petition of physician and judge,” and the association strongly recommended that someone assist her. It is unknown if anyone in the Association did in fact help her, although eventually she did apply for and receive a pension (no. 577050), drawing $30 per month by 1927. Subsequently, there was also a pension application (no. 678,195,) submitted on behalf of a minor child but the certificate was never granted. By late 1927 Eliza was living in Byron Center, Kent County.

Albert C. Pelton - update 5/2/2017

Albert C. Pelton was born on May 30, 1843, in Grand Rapids, Michigan or Canada, the son of Silas Pelton (1819-1899) and Elizabeth Anderson (1823-1904).

Silas left Canada and moved to Michigan along with several family members. He married Elizabeth on January 14, 1840, in Grand Rapids. In 1850 Albert was living in Grand Rapids with his family, and by 1860 he was working as a lumberman and living with his father and living with his family in Grand Rapids’ 4th Ward.

Albert stood 5’0” with hazel eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 17 years old and probably still living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted with his parents’ consent in Company A on May 13, 1861. (His father Silas enlisted in Company B. Albert was probably the nephew of Alfred and the cousin of Samuel and may have been related to Andrew Pelton.)

He was shot accidentally in the foot while cleaning his rifle in August of 1861, but the wound was not serious and he eventually returned to duty. He was an ambulance driver and Corporal in July of 1862, and discharged on December 26, 1862, at Camp Pitcher, Virginia, for a varicocele of four months’ standing.

After his discharge from the army Albert returned to Grand Rapids, and from 1867 to 1868 was working as a laborer and boarding at his father’s home on the southwest corner of Lincoln and Third Streets.

He was working as a painter and living in Hopkins, Allegan County, when he married Michigan native Mary W. Brewer (1857-1931) on December 31, 1875, in Hopkins, and they had one child: Edna (1876-1938, Mrs. Bertsch).

Albert was possibly working as a farmer when he died in Hopkins on April 21, 1876, and was originally buried in Allegan County. His parents had the body disinterred several days later and brought back to Grand Rapids where it was interred in Fulton cemetery: block 3 lot 21 grave 3.

Although Albert apparently never joined the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association, his widow eventually became an honorary member. Mary remarried one Roderick Phillips, in 1878. By 1880 Mary and her husband were living in Hopkins, Allegan County; also living with them was Edna Pelton. In December of 1890 Mary Phillips was living in Michigan when she applied for and received a pension (no. 887,963). She and Roderick divorced in 1902. By 1917 she was living in Rolette, North Dakota.