Preston W. Chaille

Preston W. Chaille, also known as "Presley," was born in 1840, in Jennings County, Indiana, the son of William D. (b. 1814) and Huldy A. (b. 1812).

Indiana-born William married Kentucky native Huldy A. and they settled in Indiana. By 1860 Preston was working as a laborer and living with his family on a large farm in Jackson, Decatur County, Indiana.

Preston stood 5’11”, with a light complexion, hazel eyes and black hair and was probably 23 years old and possibly living in Detroit, Michigan, when he became a substitute for one Samuel F. Crampton (or Crampston or Compton), who had been drafted on February 10, 1863, from Elba, Lapeer County, Michigan for 9 months. Preston was reportedly sent to the Regiment on April 23, but in fact never joined the Third Michigan. There is no service record found in that Regiment’s records at the National Archives, nor is he found in the 1905 Third Michigan Regimental history.

Apparently he enlisted as a substitute for one Daniel Crampston (perhaps related to Samuel F. Crampton, see above) in Battery A, First Michigan Light Artillery on April 14, 1863, at Detroit for 3 years, and was mustered the same day. Shortly afterwards he joined the battery and contracted pneumonia sometime in June of 1863, and possibly tuberculosis as well. He was admitted to the field hospital near Murfreesboro, Tennessee on June 14, 1863 where he remained until June 23 and then sent to hospital no. 19 in Nashville, Tennessee on June 16 until Jul 1. He was admitted to hospital no. 4 in Louisville, Kentucky on July 4 to July 19 and then sent back to Michigan and was admitted to St. Mary’s hospital in Detroit on July 25, 1863 where he remained until he was discharged for phtiasis pulmonialis on September 3, 1863.

Preston probably returned to his former home in Indiana. In any case, he was probably living in Indiana when he probably married Louisa J. Bowen on August 22, 1864, in Decatur County, Indiana.

Curiously, in 1870 "Presley" was working as a farm laborer and living with his parents and siblings in Jackson, Decatur County, Indiana; next door lived the very wealthy Bowen family, presumably his wife’s father and siblings. No mention is noted in the census record of Louisa however.

In 1877 he applied for and received pension no. 177412 for his service in the Michigan artillery. That same year he was residing in Greensburgh, Decatur County, Indiana.

In 1880 “Presley” Chaille was living as a widower and working as a farmer with his family in Jackson, Decatur County, Indiana. It is possible that he was living in Florida in 1885 when he purchased 40 acres of land.

There is no further record.