Henry A. Bloss

Henry A. Bloss was born 1834, in Washtenaw County, Michigan, the son of Lyman (1809-1907) and Phebe (b. 1812).

Lyman and New York native Phebe were marrid in 1831 in Washtenaw County, Michigan and were probably still living in Washtenaw County in 1840. The family eventually moved to the western side of the state and by 1850 Henry was living with his mother and siblings in Gaines, Kent County (no mention is noted of Lyman). In 1860 Henry was working as a farm laborer and living with his mother and two younger siblings on the family farm in Gaines.

Henry stood 5’3” with gray eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was a 27-year-old farmer possibly working in Kent County when he enlisted in Company A on November 15, 1861, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered the same day. Curiously he did not enlist in Company C, which was made up largely of German and Dutch immigrants, many of whom lived on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids. (This company was the descendant of the old Grand Rapids Rifles, also known as the “German Rifles”, a prewar local militia company composed solely of German troopers.)

In July of 1862 Henry was reported detached as a pioneer, and from August through November was sick in the hospital. In December of 1862 he was again serving as a pioneer, and was back in the hospital in June and July of 1863.

In April of 1864 Henry was still on detached service as a pioneer at Brigade headquarters, and apparently he was wounded by a cannon fragment in the right chest, probably in early May during the Wilderness campaign. Although subsequently absent sick or wounded, he apparently recovered from his wounds and was transferred to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. In any case, he was serving with the Regiment when he was captured at the Boydton Plank road on October 27, 1864. He was mustered out on November 15, 1864.

Henry eventually returned to western Michigan.

He was married to Michigan native Betsey (1853-1897), and they had at least two children: Frederick (b. 1870) and Mary.

By 1870 Henry was working as a farmer (he owned some $2000 in real estate and more than $1000 in personal property) and living with his wife and son in Gaines.

Henry probably died in Gaines, Kent County, and was possibly buried in South Gaines cemetery, where his father is reportedly buried.

By 1880 his wife had remarried one George Underhill, a farmer, and they were living in Gaines; also living with them was Frederick Bloss, age 10.

In 1889 his widow applied for a pension (no. 399,940), but the certificate was never granted. Subsequently, possibly in 1895, an application was filed on behalf of Mary, a minor child (no. 623,727) but the certificate was never granted.