Chester H. Adams

Chester H. Adams was born in 1825, probably in New York State, the son of William (1793-1835) and Almira (Stevens or Harrington, b. 1797).

Vermont natives, his parents were married in 1814 in New York, and on October 25, 1835, his father William died at Aurora, Erie County, New York. Chester may have been working as a joiner for one Lester Gerry in Alden, Erie County, New York in 1850.

In any case, Chester left his home in New York and moved westward, and by the mid-1850s he had settled in Ottawa County, Michigan, where he worked as a mechanic and engineer along the Grand River. (His mother apparently remained behind in New York, living probably in East Pembroke, Genesee County, and Chester reportedly paid the rent on her house as well as sending her money regularly.) By 1860 Chester was probably working as an engineer living with and/or working for Grosvenor Reed in Ottawa, Ottawa County.

Chester was 36 years old and possibly living in Blendon, Ottawa County when he enlisted as Seventh Corporal in Company B on May 13, 1861. (Company B was made up largely of men from Grand Rapids, and many of who had served in various local militia units before the war, in particular the Grand Rapids Artillery, under Captain Baker Borden, who would also command Company B.)

On May 31, 1862, Chester was shot in the right leg, according to his service record by a musket ball in the thigh, while the regiment was engaged at Fair Oaks, Virginia. On June 3 he was admitted to Harewood hospital in Washington, DC, "with a compound fracture of thigh," wrote his physician,

in upper third. The ball entered on the outer and posterior aspect of the limb, and remaining in. The external wound was freely enlarged, and the bone found obliquely fractured, but not comminuted [in pieces]. Two days after admission [June 5], a swelling in the groin over the great vessels, and rather above the line of Poupart’s ligament, made its appearance, with much discoloration and great tenderness. I presumed the ball was the occasion of it, and made a free opening, carefully dissecting through the tissues to Poupart’s ligament, and dividing it. Pus came in large quantities, and a round ball, much flattened and very ragged, was carefully withdrawn from its bed on the great vessels. Simple extension and poultices were the local treatment, and he was doing well when removed, June 12th, per steamer, to New York.

Chester was indeed transferred to New York City where he was admitted to Cook’s City hospital on June 15. However, he failed to recover from his wounds and died from “secondary hemorrhage” on June 19 or 20 at the City Hospital. He was buried on June 20 in Cypress Hills National Cemetery on Long Island: section 1, grave no. 100.

His mother was living in East Pembroke, New York, by October of 1863. That same year she applied for and received a dependent’s pension (no. 53957).