Gilbert Cooley

Gilbert Cooley was born around 1837 in Ontario, Canada.

Gilbert left Canada and eventually settled in the United States. He may have been the same Canadian-born Gilbert Cooley, age 24, who was working as a farm laborer for a wealthy lumberman named William Smith in Emmet, St. Clair County in 1860. In any case, by the time the war broke out Gilbert was probably working as a lumberman in Grand Haven, Ottawa County.

Gilbert stood 5’10” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion, and was 25 years old when he enlisted in Company I on August 22, 1862, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Ottawa, Ottawa County, and was mustered on August 27 at Detroit. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.) He joined the Regiment on September 27 at Upton’s Hill, Virginia. He was reported missing in action on May 2, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Virginia, and in fact he was taken prisoner on May 2 or 3 and paroled on May 14 at City Point, Virginia. He was sent to Camp Parole, Maryland on May 16, then on to Detroit and from Detroit Barracks to Camp Chase, Ohio on June 5 where he reported on June 6, 1863.

Gilbert had been promoted to Corporal by the time he returned (officially) to the Regiment on October 31 1863, and was on detached service driving an ambulance, and in November he was reported as an exchanged prisoner recuperating at the convalescent camp in Alexandria, Virginia, where he remained absent sick from December through January, 1864. It is quite possible that he reenlisted on January 1, 1864; if so he was probably absent on veteran’s furlough in January or February of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment sometime in February or early March.

Gilbert was taken prisoner on June 2, 1864, at Gaines’ Mills, Virginia, confined at Richmond on June 3, and sent to Andersonville, Georgia on June. He was transferred as missing in action since May 31, 1864, to Company I, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and admitted to the Andersonville prison hospital on October 8 where he died of dysentery on October 11, 1864. He was buried in Andersonville National Cemetery: grave no. 10,644.

No pension seems to be available.