Veterans' Organizations

Of the 971 men who survived the war, at least 327 (and possibly as many as 362) became members of the Third Michigan Michigan Infantry Association, a fraternal organization which existed from 1870 to 1927. (photo: Henry Clay.)

In the first 20 years of the Association’s existence 228 men joined: 136 men joined in the 1870s, and 88 joined in the 1880s.

The last man to join was DeWitt Forman in June of 1912.

The Association was officially disbanded by the surviving six members in 1927.

In the state of Michigan, 198 men are known to have joined Grand Army of the Republic posts, although certainly that number must be low given the popularity of that organization.

Of the survivors 91 men eventually became residents of the Michigan Soldiers’ Home which opened in Grand Rapids in 1885. In September of 1885 Ozias Martin (admission number 7) of A company became the first man of the Regiment to enter the Home. Alfred Ames (number 8154), also of A companywas probably the last man of the Regiment to enter the Home; he became a resident in November of 1927. (Although the men were originally referred to as "inmates", Jeannine Trybus of Grand Rapids has suggested that "resident" would be a more appropriate word and I agree.Thanks Jeannine!)

It is also likely that at least 24 men at one time or another were residents of the various National Military Homes: probably 3 in California; probably 2 in Illinois; 2 in Marion, Indiana; 1 in Leavenworth, Kansas; 2 in Togus, Maine; 6 in Dayton, Ohio; and 8 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Altogether 114 men (11% of the survivors) became inmates of either state-sponsored or federal veteran support care system.