Edmund Dewey Bement - updated 12/6/2008

Edmund Dewey Bement was born on March 22, 1835, in Palmyra, Wayne County or Lowville, Lewis County, New York, probably the son of Edmund Collins (1817-1875) and Sally Ann (Ranier, 1817-1887).

New York natives Edmund (sometimes referred to as “Edwin”) and Sally (or perhaps “Sarah”), were married probably in New York and resided in Wayne County and possibly also in Lewis County as well. When he was less than two years old Edmund’s family left New York and moved to LaGrange, Lorain County, Ohio, where he grew up, and indeed the family remained in LaGrange between 1838 and 1850. In fact Edmund’ s parents were living in Ohio when they died.

Edmund (also referred to as “Edward”) left Ohio and moved westward, and around 1855 settled in Charlotte, Eaton County. He lived in Charlotte for about two years before settling in Oneida, Eaton County, Michigan sometime around 1857. With the exception of the time he spent in the army and a few years in Grand Ledge, Edmund lived in Oneida for nearly his entire life. Edmund was living and working as a carpenter in Oneida in 1860.

Edmund was still living in Oneida when he married Ellen Augusta Jones (1836-1881) on December 24, 1857. They had at least 11 children: Edward P. (1859-1878), Mrs. Luella Wright (1860-1943), George Burton (1861-1931), Mrs. Betsey or Bettie Ann Mitchell (1864-1956), Mrs. Mae Dodge (1866-1920), Mrs. Nettie Marietta (1868-1944), Mrs. Ida Emma Donovan (1870-1920), Elizabeth “Lizzie” (1872-1879) Mrs. Jesse Laura Palladay (1874-1908), Mrs. Edna B. Potter (1876-1935) and Mrs. Mariam Augusta Chesley (1878-1972) -- the last ten being born in Oneida.

Edmund stood 6’0” with gray eyes, dark hair and a light complexion and was 27 years old and working as a carpenter and mechanic possibly in Oneida when he became a substitute for one Calvin Troop, who had been drafted on February 10, 1863, for 9 months from Watertown, Clinton County, crediting Watertown. However, Edmund never joined the Regiment, and there is no service record found in the Third Michigan records at the National Archives.

In fact, he was drafted (or perhaps enlisted) for nine months in Company G, Twelfth Michigan infantry, on February 10, 1863, and probably joined the regiment near Middleburg, Tennessee where it remained through May. It subsequently moved to Memphis, Tennessee and then to Vicksburg, Mississippi on June 3 and participated in the siege of Vicksburg and capture of the city on July 4. In late July the regiment moved to Helena, Arkansas and to Clarendon in mid-August and to Duvall’s Bluff on the 22nd. It participated in Steele’s expedition to Little Rock September 1-10 and in the capture of that city on September 10. Edmund was present for duty until September or October when he was reported sick in camp at Little Rock, Arkansas or in the hospital at Duvall’s Bluff, Arkansas. He was mustered out at Little Rock on November 20, 1863, at the expiration of his nine-months’ term of service.

After his discharge, Edmund returned to Grand Ledge, Eaton County where he reentered the service on February 16, 1865, for one year (age 28), in Company I, Eleventh Michigan infantry (reorganized), at Grand Ledge, crediting Oneida, and was mustered on March 7, probably at Jackson, Jackson County, where the regiment was (re)organized from January 4 to February 26, 1865. Four companies left the state for Nashville, Tennessee, on March 5 and six companies left Michigan on April 1 for Chattanooga, Tennessee. The regiment was moved to east Tennessee in late April and was on duty guarding the Chattanooga & Knoxville railroad until July when it moved to Knoxville where it remained until August 3. It was then moved to Nashville. In August of 1865 Edmund was serving in the pioneer corps, and he was mustered out with the company on September 16, 1865, at Nashville, Tennessee.

After the war Edmund returned to his home in Eaton County and by 1880 was residing on a farm in the west half of Oneida, Eaton County, along with his wife and children. He eventually settled in Grand Ledge. He was residing in Grand Ledge’s Second ward in 1894, and indeed he lived the most of his life in Grand Ledge and for many years worked as a carpenter.

Aftr his is wife Ellen died of dropsy in Oneida in 1881 he married New York native Frances Pauline Burnham Reed or Ferris (1850-1904) on April 12, 1885, in Grand Ledge. (She had been married to a Mr. Reed or Reid in 1865 and had one child by him, a son Charles.)

In 1920 Edmund was living in Oneida; also living with him was his daughter Edna Potter.

Edmund received pension no. 426950, drawing $72 per month by 1926.

Edmund was a widower when he died of senile gangrene, possibly at his home in Grand Ledge, on October 19, 1926. Prayer services were held at his home in Oneida at 1:15 and funeera services were held at 2:00 at the Congregational church with Rev. Latham presiding. Stewart Blair and Mrs. Colville sang.

Edmund was buried in Oakwood cemetery in Grand Ledge, Eaton County.