John Dennis

John Dennis was born 1833 in England.

John immigrated to the United States sometime before 1860, settling in Lyons, Ionia County, Michigan where he was a farm laborer working for and/or living with A. Byron Johnson, Justice of the Peace.

John stood 5’7” with blue eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion, and was 28 years old and still living in Lyons when he enlisted in Company E on May 13, 1861. (Company E was composed in large part by men from Clinton and Ingham counties, as well as parts of Ionia County.) He was shot the left arm and thigh sometime during the Peninsula campaign, probably on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, subsequently absent sick from July of 1862 through January of 1864, probably as a consequence of his wounding. He eventually recovered, and returned to duty by the time he reenlisted on February 17, 1864, at Camp Bullock, Virginia, and was mustered the following day, crediting Lyons. He was on veterans’ furlough in March, returned to the Regiment, probably in April and was absent sick in the hospital that same month.

He soon returned to duty, however, and was again wounded, this time in the left shoulder and arm on May 5, 1864, at the Wilderness, Virginia. On May 15 he was admitted to Armory Square hospital in Washington, DC with “three flesh wounds” and a compound comminuted “fracture of middle portion of humerus, ball entering 3 in. above external condyle of humerus and escaped at upper third of arm at the extremity of out border of axilla.”

John was still absent sick when he was transferred to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, although he probably never returned to active duty. He remained absent sick probably at Armory Square hospital until he was transferred on May 14 or 15, 1865, from Armory Square hospital to Summit House hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with a “compound fracture of left arm and humerus (lower Third), flesh wound left shoulder, flesh wound left thorax, flesh wound left leg,” the result of being struck with several minie balls at the Wilderness, Virginia on May 5, 1864.

On July 5, 1864, John was transferred from Philadelphia to Harper hospital in Detroit, with the same admission diagnosis, and he was discharged on February 9, 1866 at Harper hospital for a “gun shot wound of left thigh entering at lower third externally passing out internally at upper third not injuring the bone but lacerating and dividing the nerves, producing atrophy & loss of use of the limb, also compound comminution fracture of left humerus from gun shot wound; wound of left shoulder caused by a minnie [sic] ball piercing it; also flesh wound of back across the left side under the scapula by a minnie [sic] ball.”

John gave his mailing address as Muir, Ionia County on his discharge paper, and apparently he returned to Ionia County and settled in Muir, where he lived the rest of his life.

John was probably married to a woman named Lorinda and they had at least four children: Minnie (b. 1868), Venia (b. 1872), Herbert J. (b. 1874) and George (b. 1877).

He was working as a farmer and living with his wife Lorinda and four children and one stepson (Henry Stowell, born 1861) in Muir in 1880. John was living in Muir in 1883 drawing $24.00 per month for a wounded left humerus (pension no. 72,939). He was still living in Muir in 1882, 1890 and when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association in December of 1892; he was living in Lyons Township, Ionia County, in 1890, and in Muir in 1894.

John was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic Dresser Post No. 100 in Lyons.

Although the details remain obscure, John was reportedly killed in Muir on December 19, 1906, and presumably buried there.