Jesse Lamson and Mortimer Jay Bonner

Jesse Lamson Bonner was born November 27, 1839, in Branch County, Michigan, the son of Ira (1812-1875) and Mary Louise (Lamson, 1816-1884).

New York natives Ira and Mary were married in 1832 in Coldwater, Branch County, Michigan and by 1834 had settled in Ovid, Clinton County where they lived for some years. Between 1844 and 1846 they moved back to Branch County, settling in Kinderhook where by 1850 the family was living on a farm and where Jesse attended school with his siblings including his younger brother Mortimer who would also enlist in the Third Michigan. Around 1851 Ira settled his family in Casnovia, Muskegon County. By 1860 Jesse, or Lamson as he was known, was working as a laborer and living with his family in Casnovia.

Lamson stood 6’0” with gray eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was 22 years old and working as a” jobber” still living in Casnovia, probably with his family, when he enlisted with his younger brother Mortimer in Company F on May 13, 1861, giving his residence as Muskegon County. Lamson was reported sick in the hospital in August of 1862, and again from November through December of 1862. He may have been wounded during the battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia on May 3, 1863, but in any case, he was again reported absent sick in the hospital in September of 1863. Lamson apparently recovered, however, and reenlisted on December 23, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, along with his brother Mortimer, crediting Vergennes Township, Kent County. Lamson presumably returned to his family home in Casnovia during his thirty days’ veterans’ furlough in January of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February.

Lamson was killed in action on May 6, 1864, at the battle of the Wilderness, Virginia, and buried in Fredericksburg National Cemetery: grave no. 3934.

No pension seems to be available.

The Grand Army of the Republic Lamson Bonner Post No. 306 of Casnovia was named in his honor.

Mortimer Jay Bonner was born April 14, 1841, in Branch County, Michigan, the son of Ira (1812-1875) and Mary Louise (Lamson, 1816-1884).

New York natives Ira and Mary were married in 1832 in Coldwater, Branch County, Michigan and by 1834 had settled in Ovid, Clinton County where they lived for some years. Between 1844 and 1846 they moved back to Branch County, settling in Kinderhook where by 1850 the family was living on a farm and where Mortimer attended school with his siblings including his older brother Jesse L. who would also enlist in the Third Michigan. Around 1851 Ira settled his family in Casnovia, Muskegon County, Muskegon County, and by 1860 Mortimer was working as a farm hand and living with his family in Casnovia.

Mortimer stood 5’8” with gray eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion. and was 20 years old and probably still living at home in Casnovia when he enlisted with his older brother Lamson in Company F on May 13, 1861. Mortimer was treated for general debility from March 16 to April 4, 1862, for intermittent neuralgia from February 4 to the 10th, 1863, for intermittent fever from March 12-14, for dysentery from September 10-14, and again from September 21 to october 1. He was a recipient of the Kearny Cross for his participation in the battle of Chancellorsville, May 3, 1863, and that same month he was detached as a guard in Cook’s hospital, Washington, DC (or New York City).

Mortimer eventually returned to the Regiment and reenlisted on December 23, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, along with his brother Lamson, crediting Grattan, Kent County (Lamson credited his reenlistment to Vergennes, Kent County). He was presumably absent on thirty-day veteran’s furlough in January of 1864, probably at his family home in Casnovia, and probably returned to the regiment around the first of February.

He was severely wounded in the right shoulder during the battle of Spotsylvania, Virginia, on May 12, 1864, and subsequently hospitalized. “A buckshot entered behind the right shoulder joint passed the capsule of the joint and emerged in front.” He was still absent wounded when he was transferred as a Sergeant to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and he remained absent until August. He was furloughed from the hospital from June 30 for 30 days and returned to the hospital July 9. He was subsequently transferred on August 16, although the details remain unclear.

It is possible that he returned to duty and was wounded a second time, at Petersburg, Virginia. In any case, he was mustered out as a Corporal on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war Mortimer returned to Casnovia.

He married Josephine A. Russell (1849-1918) on September 3, 1865, in Grand Rapids, Kent County, and they had at least three children: Sherman M. (b. 1866), Elsie L. (b. 1868) and Walter A. (b. 1872).

After his marriage Mortimer settled into farming for his father in Casnovia, as he had done before the war, and probably lived the rest of his life in Casnovia working as a farmer. In 1870 he and his family were living with his parents in Casnovia, and by 1880 Mortimer was working a farm and living with his wife and children in Casnovia; also living with them was Mortimer’s brother Walter.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, as well as a charter member of Grand Army of the Republic Lamson Bonner Post No. 306 in Casnovia. In 1879 he applied for and received pension (no. 164571), drawing $12 per month by 1911; he was also a member of the Tyrone Grange in Casnovia, and for some years served as Steward.

Mortimer died of a “dilated heart” at his home in Casnovia village on January 16, 1911, and was buried in Casnovia cemetery: no. 81.

His widow was still living in Michigan when she applied for and received a pension (no. 718225).