William Cartwright

William Cartwright was born 1817 in Detroit, Michigan.

William may have been the same William William Cartwright who was married to Connecticut native Cynthia (b. 1836), in 1849 or 1850, and by 1850 working as an engineer and living with his 14-year-old wife in Richmond, Ashtabula County, Ohio. He was possibly married to New Jersey native Mary Taylor (1832-1854), on November 27, 1852 in Rochester, Oakland County, Michigan, and if so, they had at least one child: Charles Ogden (b. 1854-1918).

In any case, William stood 5’8” with hazel eyes, black hair and a dark complexion, and was a 44-year-old engineer or merchant probably living in Tallmadge, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.) He was subsequently discharged for varicose veins in both legs on October 7, 1861, at Fort Richardson, Virginia.

It is not known if William ever returned to western Ottawa County. He was living in Algonac, St. Clair County, Michigan in November of 1861 when he applied for a pension (application no. 261), but the certificate was never granted. And he may have been living in the vicinity of Port Huron, St. Clair County in the summer of 1862 when he hired an attorney named Joseph Barrett in Port Huron to apply for his state bounty money for his service in the Third Michigan infantry. (In 1860 there was a Charles Cartwright, born c. 1841 in Michigan, working as a sailor and living with his mother Nancy (a washerwoman b. c. 1810 in Michigan and who was head of the household) as well as a brother George, also a sailor, in Clay, St. Clair County. The family was living in Clay, St. Clair County in 1850 and again Nancy was listed as head of the household.)

It is possible that he was the same William Cartwright who enlisted as a 44-year-old Private in Company I, Nineteenth Michigan infantry on July 30 1862, at St. Joseph, Berrien County for 3 years, crediting Clay, St. Clair County, and was mustered on September 5 at Dowegiac, Cass County, giving his residence as Clay. If so he was discharged for disability at Louisville, Kentucky on either March 14 or May 4, 1863.

There is no further record.

There was one William Cartwright, age 43, who enlisted as a Private on March 30, 1864, in Company F, Second Michigan infantry. He joined the Regiment on May 23 and was killed in action on February 22, 1865, near Petersburg, Virginia. He reportedly died near Meade Station, Virginia, and was buried on Mrs. Virginia Armistead’s property, near Petersburg. In 1872 an application was filed and granted on behalf of a minor child, named D. Curtis Cartright (no. 180710), apparently the son of this same William Cartright of the Second Michigan infantry.

In 1906 a Dr. Cartwright of Sacramento, California inquired of the Pension Bureau seeking information on a man he believed to be his father, one of the three William Cartwrights (one of whom was killed, see above) who he thought to have enlisted from the state of Michigan at the outbreak of the war, and who, it was claimed left home in Michigan in 1861 and was never seen again.

It is not known what ever became of this inquiry, nor whatever became of the William Cartwright who served briefly in the Third Michigan Infantry.