Freeman Gilbert

Freeman Gilbert, also known as “Gilbert Freeman,” was born January 27, 1847, in Chester County, Pennsylvania, or Ohio, the son of Norton (1814-1903) and Mehitable (Whitman, 1817-1878).

New York native Norton married Massachusetts native Mehitable in 1839, near Cleveland, Ohio, where Norton owned property. In 1851 Norton moved his family to Byron, Kent County, Michigan, where they were still living in 1860.

Freeman stood 6’0” with gray eyes, dark hair and a light complexion, and was a 17-year-old farmer possibly living in Byron or perhaps in Oakfield, Kent County when he enlisted in Company K on January 23, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered the same day. He joined the Regiment on February 17 at Camp Bullock, Virginia, was captured on May 6, 1864, at the Wilderness, Virginia, and confined at Andersonville prison in Georgia. He was transferred as a prisoner-of-war to Company I, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864.

Norton was still living in Byron in 1870 and by 1890 he was probably living in Corinth, Kent County.

Freeman died of scorbutus on July 4, 1864, at Andersonville prison. He was reportedly buried in Andersonville National Cemetery: grave no. 2862; there is also a marker for him in Gilbert cemetery, Kent County; see photo G-182.

No pension seems to be available.

Norton and Mehitable were still living in Byron in 1870; by 1890 Norton was living in Corinth, Kent County.