William S. Corlis

William S. Corlis, also known as “Corliss” or “Joseph Coffee,” was born around 1838 in Dumfries, Ontario, Canada.

William left Canada and moved to the United States sometime before 1860 when he was working as a farm laborer for one John Koum (?) and his family in Vergennes, Kent County. (Next door lived George Woodruff who would also enlist in Company A, Third Michigan, in February of 1862.)

William stood 5’10’ with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was a 24-year-old farmer possibly living in Kent County when he enlisted in Company A on February 28, 1862, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered the same day. In April of 1863 he was reported as a nurse in the Regimental hospital, and was slightly wounded in early May of 1864. He was transferred as a Corporal to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and mustered out as a Sergeant on March 5, 1865, at Petersburg, Virginia.

William eventually returned to Michigan, and by 1888 was living in Marine City, St. Clair County.

He was married to Malinda J.

William was living in Illinois in 1891 when he applied for and received a pension (no. 650405). (In 1910 there was one William S. Corlis, born around 1834, living in Sidney, Champaign County, Illinois.)

William died on September 23, 1912 (?), possibly in Illinois and is presumably buried there.

His widow was living in Illinois in 1912 (?) when she applied for and received a pension (no. 716,961 ).