George Ames

George Ames was born 1838 in Seneca County, New York.

George eventually left New York and was possibly living in Ottawa County, Michigan when he married 18-year-old New York native Elizabeth Olmsted (b. 1843) on February 7, 1861, at Polkton, Ottawa County; they had at least two children: Delia L. (b. December 10, 1861) and Frederick I. (b. March 29, 1863). (Elizabeth was the sister of Lewis Olmstead who would also join the Third Michigan.) They were living in Greenfield, Wayne County in December of 1861, but had moved back to Ottawa County and were living in Wright by March of 1863 when their son Frederick was born.

George stood 5’8” with blue eyes, light hair and with light complexion, and was a 26-year-old farmer probably living in Tallmadge, Ottawa County when he enlisted on January 14, 1864, in Company E for 3 years at Grand Rapids, crediting Ada, Kent County; he was mustered on the same day. (His brother-in-law Lewis Olmstead would also enlist in Company E the following month.)

He was not sent out to the Regiment until February 10, 1864, and was transferred to Company E, Fifth Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. George was reported as missing in action on October 27, 1864, following the engagement at Boydton Plank road, Virginia, and in fact had been taken prisoner on October 27. He died of scurvy on March 23, 1865, in either Libby prison, Richmond, Virginia, or in West’s Building Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.

George was possibly buried in Richmond (if he did in fact die there), or in Baltimore, but in any event it appears that his remains were returned to Ottawa County and that he was buried in Marne cemetery. In fact, according to Van Eyck’s Ottawa County in the Civil War, as well as Ottawa County cemetery records, there is a stone memorial for “George Ames” in Marne (formerly Berlin) cemetery, Ottawa County, and the inscription “reads that George died while a prisoner at Libby prison, d. March 23, 1865.” (Also buried in Marne is one Hiram Ames, b. c. 1838.)

In May of 1865 Elizabeth was living in Ottawa County and in Berlin, Ottawa County, in October of 1865 when she applied for and received a widow’s pension (no. 62280); and in 1867 Elizabeth was listed as guardian when she applied for and received a minors’ pension (no. 105308). Elizabeth remarried in 1866 to one Calvin Martin. By 1870 Elizabeth and Calvin and Freddie Ames were living in Wright, Ottawa County; that same year Lillian was living with the Eli Sheldon family in Berlin, Ottawa County. Also living with the Sheldon family was Elizabeth’s brother Lewis Olmstead and his wife.