Sylvester Dalrymple

Sylvester Dalrymple, also known as “Dalyrmple”, was born March 19, 1838 in either Detroit, Michigan, or Livingston, New York, the son of Eli (1808-1865) and Mariah (1809-1846).

Eli and Maria (or Mary) were married on November 8, 1828 in Lebanon, New Jersey (where both had been born), and they lived in New Jersey for some years. By 1834 they had settled in Livingston, New York, remaining there until sometime between 1840 and 1844 when they moved to Michigan. By 1846 when Mariah died (possibly during childbirth) they were living in Ionia County, probably in North Plains. Around 1847 Eli remarried one Orilla (b. 1815). By 1850 Sylvester was living with one George D. Kellogg in North Plains, Ionia County, Michigan (lived near by was the family of Joseph Bundy who would also join the Third Michigan; in fact living with the Bundys was Catharine Dalrymple.) In 1860 he was a farm laborer working for and/or living with Floyd Palmer in North Plains. (Eli died in North Plains in 1865.)

Sylvester was 23 years old and still living in Ionia County 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 probably wounded on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and was subsequently absent sick in the hospital from August of 1862 through April of 1863. (In 1890 he listed himself as having been wounded in the shoulder and having a thumb shot off.)

He was detached to the Veterans’ Reserve Corps, probably as Sergeant, from May through June of 1863, probably through September as well, and was absent sick in October. In fact, he was formally transferred to the VRC on November 26, 1863 at Washington, DC. (The VRC was made up of men who while ambulatory were generally incapable of performing regular military tasks due to having suffered debilitating wounds and/or diseases and were assigned to garrison the many supply depots, draft rendezvous, camps, forts, prisons, etc. scattered throughout the northern Cities, thus freeing able-bodied men for regular military duty.) Sylvester was transferred to the Fifty-third Company, Second Battalion VRC, on August 24, 1863, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and he remained with the VRC until he was mustered out on June 9, 1864, at Philadelphia.

After he was mustered out of the army Sylvester eventually returned to Michigan.

He married Ionia County native Olive Adelaide Barnes (1847-1919) on June 24, 1866, in Ionia County; they had at least 11 children: William Ernest (b. 1867), Lucy (b. 1869), Rueben S. (b. 1871), Sarah Elizabeth (b. 1873), Clarence (b. 1875), Joseph Allen (b. 1876), Bert (b. 1879), unknown infant (b. 1881), Frank (b. 1883), Arthur Ray (1886-1935), Olive A. (b. 1888).

The family lived in Ionia County for some years but by 1871 had settled in Montcalm County. By 1880 Sylvester was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Sidney, Montcalm County; they were still living in Sidney in 1881. They eventually moved to South Dakota where they were living in 1886 when their son Arthur was born and in 1888, and in Dell Rapids in 1890.

By 1900 Sylvester and his family had returned to Michigan and were living in Arcada Township, Gratiot County, and in fact lived in Arcada the remainder of their lives there.

In 1867 Sylvester applied for and received a pension (no. 88859). He was a member of GAR Dunlap Post in 1904.

Sylvester was a widower when he died on February 3, 1925, in Alma, Gratiot County, and was buried in Riverside cemetery, Alma: block D, lot 35W, no. 4.