Calvin Curler

Calvin Curler was born May 18, 1839, in Watertown, Jefferson County, New York.

Sometime before the war broke out Calvin left New York and moved westward, eventually settling in western Michigan.

He stood 6’2” with black eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion, and was a 22-year-old laborer possibly living in Muskegon County when he enlisted in Company H on May 13, 1861 along with his younger brother Ira. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers”, was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties.)

Calvin contracted rheumatism in August of 1861, but eventually recovered and returned to duty, although it appears that he spent quite a bit of time in the hospital.

George Vanderpool of Company H said after the war that about the time of first Bull Run he didn't “think [Calvin] was on duty much but was doctoring a good deal. He seemed to be a good faithful fellow enough but gave out easily. I remember a couple of times we started out on picket post and he had to be excused. I think he was excused because he had the rheumatism . . . but it may have been because he was weak from disease. He was not a particular chum of mine." Captain Thomas Waters, also a former member of Company H, remembered in 1899 that Curler “was sick a good deal in [the] fall of 61 at Arlington, but I really can’t say what the trouble was.”And another former Third Michigan veteran, Miles Chubb testified in 1899 that Calvin in fact "was not a tough soldier, that "he was a loose-join[t]ed tall fellow, who could not stand much service.”

In any case, Calvin was shot in the left arm and side on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and admitted to the hospital at Judiciary Square in Washington, DC, where he was reported to be “doing well” by early July. Calvin remained sick in the hospital in August of 1862, and was discharged on account of his wounds on October 29, 1862, at Upton Hill, Virginia.

After his discharge from the army Calvin eventually returned to Michigan. He was married to Ohio native Almina or Almira McConnell (b. 1842), possibly in Michigan, and they had at least four children: Margaret (b. 1864), Mary (1866-1917), James (b. 1868) and Louisa (b. 1876). (One of his daughters would become Mrs. A. L. Mugridge.)

Calvin and his wife were living in Michigan in 1864 and by 1870 Calvin was working as a farmer (he owned some $3000 worth of real estate) and was living with his wife and three children in Wales, St. Clair County. He was still working as a farmer and living with his family in Wales in 1880; that same year their daughter Margaret or “Maggie” was also listed living with her grandfather James McConnell and attending school in St. Clair, St. Clair County.

Calvin was living in St. Clair, St. Clair County in 1883, in Smith Creek, St. Clair County in 1888 and possibly in Memphis, Tennessee sometime in the late 1880s. By 1894 he was living in Wales (probably Smith Creek), St. Clair County, in Port Huron in 1895 when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, back in Smith Creek in 1904, and in Wales by 1906.

He was a member of Grand Army of the Republic Miles Post No. 113 in St. Clair, and he received pension no. 29,260, dated May of 1864, drawing $6.00 in 1883, $17.00 in 1906, and $90.00 in 1929.

Calvin died a widower on June 30, 1927, at Port Huron, St. Clair County, and was buried in Lakeside cemetery: section I, in Port Huron (also buried with him are his daughter Mary and one Sarah Jane Curler, who died in 1927 as well.)