William Choate

William Choate, also known as “Choates”, was born 1836, in Scotland.

William immigrated to the United States and eventually settled in Michigan.

He was married to Canadian-born Mary Ann Miller (b. 1826) on November 8, 1857 in Lansing, Ingham County.

By 1860 William was working as a bricklayer and his wife was working as a servant (probably for the hotel) and they both boarded at the hotel of William Goff in Owosso, Shiawassee County.

William was 25 years old and probably still living in Owosso when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861. He was serving with the Regiment when it left Grand Rapids on June 13, 1861, heading for Washington, DC. Upon their arrival in Washington on June 16, the Regiment proceeded up the Potomac and encamped on the bluffs overlooking Chain Bridge which crossed the river into Virginia. William died of typhoid fever at Camp Blair near the Chain Bridge, on July 1, 1861, and it is quite possible that his wife was with him when he died. William was the first man in the Regiment to die after leaving Michigan.

On the very day William died, a member of the Third Michigan at Georgetown Heights, Virginia, wrote to Detroit that “It becomes our duty,” he wrote, “to announce the presence of death in our camp. Last night, William Choate, of Owosso, a private in Company C, died of quick consumption. He was buried this afternoon with military honors.” According to George Miller of Company A, Choates “was buried on a hill not far from [Camp Blair]; his comrades fired 3 salutes over his grave, he leaves a widow who had followed him here.”

It is quite possible that William's remains still lie buried somewhere near the former location of Chain Bridge, although it is also possible that his widow brought his body back to Michigan.

In 1865 his widow, under the name of Mary A. Stevens was living in Boston, Massachusetts when she applied for a pension no. 96157 but the certificate was never granted and the application was abandoned.