Alfred B. Ames

Alfred B. Ames was born February 23, 1841, in St. Lawrence County, New York, the son of Henry.

(There was a Henry P. Ames reportedly living in Potsdam, St. Lawrence County, New York in 1840 and a Henry Ames living there in 1815, 1820, 1830 and 1850. There was another Henry Ames living in DeKalb, St. Lawrence County in 1830 and in Canton, St. Lawrence County in 1840.)

In 1850 there was one Alfred Ames living in Elizabethtown, Essex County, New York, and in 1860 one living in Groton, Tompkins County, New York.

In any case, sometime before the war broke out Alfred left New York and moved westward, settling in Michigan.

He stood 5’10”, with blue eyes, a light complexion and light hair and was 20 years old and working as a farmer living in Muskegon County when he enlisted in Company A. (Assuming Alfred was living in Muskegon when war broke out, in 1927 he claimed to have enlisted on April 12, 1861, in Muskegon, which would have placed him with the “Muskegon Rangers”, a local militia company formed in mid-April in Muskegon which would become the nucleus for Company H. If Ames did in fact enlist in Muskegon he must have been transferred from Company H to Company A soon after the company arrived in Grand Rapids, which was on May 15. )

George Miller, also of Company A and a tentmate in the winter of 1861-62, wrote home on November 21, 1861, that he thought Ames “a very disagreeable self-conceited fellow.”

By September of 1862 Alfred was detached to Brigade headquarters as a hostler, and in April of 1863 he was guarding baggage. Alfred was treated for opthalalgia from March 4 to March 7, and from September 19 to 28 and October 4 to 7 and 9-10 he was treated for gonorrhea. He was sick in October, apparently in a hospital in Washington, DC, and in fact, he was being treated for gonorrhea from October 3, 1863 through March 14, 1864. Although reportedly returned to duty, in fact he was apparently still being treated for gonorrhea from March 19 until June 9, and it is quite possible that he never did rejoin the regiment but remained in a Washington hospital until mustered out on June 20, 1864.

It is not known if Alfred ever returned to Michigan after his discharge from the Third Michigan -- although he may have resided briefly in Harrisburg, Ottawa County.

Alfred eventually reentered the service as a private and substitute on October 16, 1864, for one year, in Company A, Eighth Illinois infantry. He was treated for a “contused wound” on October 25, 1864, and soon returned to duty. He was subsequently treated for “inflammation of the pleura” from October 28 to November 2 and again returned to duty. He was on detached service as an ambulance driver from March 8, 1865 to April 2. By July of 1865 he was again undergoing treatment for gonorrhea. Alfred was discharged from the army on October 14, 1865, probably in New Orleans, Louisiana.

After he left the army Alfred returned to Illinois (probably Chicago and possibly Berryville) where he lived off and on from about 1866 to 1890, and reportedly worked as a farmer for some years.

Alfred was married to Arvilla De Voe in 1866 in Hainesville, Illinois and was apparently married a second time to one Martha Stevens. Alfred had at least two children: Emma (b. 1867) and Helen Ames Duel, and possibly one stepdaughter, a Mrs. Maud Champlin (living in Ipswich, South Dakota in 1929).

He resided in Chicago, Illinois from 1866 to about 1871 when he moved to Sioux City, Iowa, where he remained until about 1884 when he returned to Illinois, settling in Chicago; he was living at 1092 Harrison Street in Chicago in 1891. For many years he worked as a farmer. From 1897 probably until about 1927 he lived in Wisconsin, and by 1911 he was living in Breed, Oconto County, Wisconsin.

Sometime in 1920 Alfred moved in with one William Flynn, in Breed, Wisconsin, and was living in Breed in 1924. In 1925 Flynn testified that Alfred’s physical condition had deteriorated. He was “unable to dress himself, he is growing more feeble and helpless daily,” and he had “to sit in a position with his feet elevated” as a result of his having a double hernia.

In 1890 he applied for and received a pension (no. 685,992), was drawing $72.00 per month in 1927.

Alfred was admitted to the hospital at the Michigan Soldiers’ Home on November 2, 1927, with a double inguinal hernia and arteriosclerosis. He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association and a Protestant.

Alfred remained at the Home until he died a widower, on August 31, 1929, of senility. Although he requested that his body be sent back to his half-brother, D. R. Ames in Libertyville, Illinois, in order to be buried at Ivanhoe, Illinois, he was interred in the Home cemetery: section 7 row 22 grave no. 17.