Alfred A. Garlock

Alfred A. Garlock, also known as “Alford,” was born 1843 in Rockford, Winnebago County, Illinois, the son of John (b. 1817) and Mahitable (b. 1818).

New York native John and Canadian Mahitable were married sometime before 1836, and probably in Canada where they were living when their son Alanson was born in 1836. They eventually moved to Illinois and by 1850 Alfred was living with his family in Burritt, Winnebago County, Illinois. Just before the war broke out Alfred left Illinois and moved to Michigan, making his home with James Benedict in Lyons, Ionia County.

Alfred was an 18-year-old broom-maker probably living in Lyons, Ionia County when he enlisted with his parents’ consent as a Musician 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 is not found in the 1905 Third Michigan Regimental history; but he is found in the 1905 Regimental history for the Tenth Michigan cavalry; see below.)

Alfred was taken sick in the summer of 1861 soon after arriving in Virginia with the regiment, and was sent to Columbia College hospital in Washington, where he remained for about three weeks.

He was reported missing in action on July 1, 1862, and in fact had been taken prisoner at White Oak Swamp, Virginia (he may also have received a bayonet wound on the same date).

He was confined in both Libby and Belle Isle prisons at Richmond, Virginia, and paroled at Aiken’s Landing, Virginia on September 13. According to the Richmond Dispatch of September 15, 1862,

Three thousand three hundred of the Yankee prisoners left Richmond on Saturday for Varina to be exchanged. – Such as could not walk were conveyed away in wagons. The officers, of which there were 61, went in carriages, provided for the purpose. As the long line filed past the C. S. Prison, on Cary Street, they greeted their less lucky compeers with a feeble cheer. A small cavalry escort accompanied them down. Another large gang were started for Aiken’s landing, on James River, yesterday morning. During Saturday and Sunday five thousand two hundred and twenty-eight were sent away. This leaves on hand only about seven hundred, a good many of whom are in the hospital under treatment for wounds or disease, who were unable to bear removal. Three Yankee women and eight Yankee deserters, or rather men who came over to us and professed to be such, were sent from Castle Thunder. Though these deserters professed to have left their brethren in great disgust, they were very willing to be sent back to the North. The departure of the prisoners will save the Confederate Government an expense of about $4,000 per day, which was the average that their food as soldiers cost.

He was officially returned to the Regiment on September 28 at Upton’s Hill, Virginia, and was probably sent to Camp Banks, near Alexandria, Virginia, on or about October 28, and was present at Camp Banks on November 17.

Alfred claimed later however that he and some 6000 others were paroled at about the same time and sent to Annapolis, Maryland, where they spent 10 days “huddled together . . . without tents or provisions, living on crabs, lobsters and oysters.” It was “during this time he was bitten by a large tarantula on the left leg. The leg swelled badly from this . . . and made him very sick, so that he did not know anything for the most of the balance of the day. He was treated by a citizen physician of Annapolis” and “was laid up for 12 or 14 hours. This resulted in a feeling of numbness of the leg extending from his foot to the ends of his fingers on the left side. . . .” After about 10 days or so near Annapolis he was sent to Camp Parole, near Alexandria, Virginia.

He returned (again officially) to the Regiment on December 20 at Camp Pitcher, Virginia, and was subsequently absent sick or wounded in a general hospital through January of 1863. In fact he claimed that he remained at Camp Parole until he was discharged on January 13, 1863, at Camp Banks, Alexandria, Virginia, for a spinal injury previous to enlistment.

After his discharge from the army Alfred returned to his home in Ionia County and by April of 1863 was working on a farm for Jacob Benedict in Ionia County. He remained with Benedict until he reentered the service as Sergeant in Company G, Tenth Michigan cavalry on October 12, 1863, at Muir, Ionia County, crediting Lyons, and was mustered on October 14 probably at Grand Rapids where the regiment was organized between September 18 and November 18, 1863, when it was mustered into service. It left Michigan for Lexington, Kentucky on December 1, 1863, and participated in numerous operations, mostly in Kentucky and Tennessee throughout the winter of 1863-64. Most of its primary area of operations would eventually be in the vicinity of Strawberry Plains, Tennessee.

Alfred was acting Sergeant Major from June of 1864 through October, and by February of 1865 was on recruiting service in Michigan. In March he was at the dismounted camp at Knoxville, Tennessee through April, and was discharged on May 1 to accept promotion to Second Lieutenant of Company L, commissioned to date January 7, and mustered on May 2, replacing Lieutenant Botsford. He remained on detached service at the dismounted camp in Knoxville, and was detached to General Upton’s escort from July 15, 1864.

Although Alfred was seriously injured when kicked by a horse in his left side on or about August 20, 1865. While he was at Sweetwater, Tennessee, he was detailed to go and get some horses in the possession of various cavalry regiments at Sweetwater. “While in the discharge of this duty in command of a squad of men, an officer called his attention to a horse tied up and asked him if that was a government horse and” when he walked around “to ascertain of he was branded he was kicked by the horse rendering him unconscious and he remained so until the following morning.”

Alfred was discharged on October 2, 1865, to accept the promotion to First Lieutenant of Company G, commissioned to date March 1, and was mustered on October 3 at Memphis, replacing Lieutenant Soule. He was mustered out at Memphis, Tennessee on November 11, 1865.

After the war Alfred returned to Ionia County and made his home with Jacob Buck until February or March of 1866. In the spring of 1866 he went to work in Bigole’s sawmill at Muir, Ionia County, and remained there for three years. In the Spring of 1869 he went to Maple Corners, Portland Township, Ionia County, and remained there less than three years whenhe moved 2 miles north of Portland and remained there about three years. He then moved to Sebawa, Ionia County, and was there about 9 years when he moved to Sebawa Corners, where he was living by 1885.

He was married to New York native Eliza A. (b. 1844).

By 1870 he was working as a farm laborer and living with his wife in Maple Corners, Portland Township, Ionia County. By 1874 was residing in Sebawa, and by 1880 he was listed as a retired grocer and living with his wife in Danby, Ionia County. He was residing in Sebawa in 1885when he was reported as a Justice of the Peace and Notary Public, in 1888 and 1890. He owned a house at Emert’s Corners and a farm just east of the Corners. For a time he lived in Portland, Ionia County, and was probably appointed postmaster of that village in the mid-1880s, a post he held until July 3, 1897.

He was prominent as a Democrat in the Portland and Sebawa areas especially, “and was one of the influential men of his section, filling the office of justice of the peace for several terms and doing much of the legal work of the community.”

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, a Mason and Odd Fellow. In 1877 he applied for and received a pension (no. 327097).

Alfred died at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 2, 1904, at his home in Sebawa, and the funeral was held at the house on Wednesday, October 5. He was buried in the Danby cemetery: section 2, lot 94, grave 2.

In late October of 1904 his widow who was living in Michigan applied for and received a pension (no. 596183).