Abram A. Martindale - update 8/23/2016

Abram A. Martindale was born around 1838 in Ohio, the son of New York natives Benjamin Franklin (1804-1883) and Esther (or Hester) Gray (1799-1864).

Abram’s parents were married in in 1828 in Brutus, Cayuga County, New York. Benjamin lived in Cayuga County for some years but by 1838 he moved his family to Ohio, then back to New York between 1838 and 1842 before moving to western Michigan sometime after 1844. By 1850 Abram was living with his family in Grand Rapids, where his father worked as a carpenter.

Abram was living in Grand Rapids when he married Harriet Hotchkiss on December 15, 1859. In 1860 his father Benjamin was living in Walker, Kent County. (Benjamin married his second wife, Sarah A. Rindge, probably in Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan.)

Abram was 23 years old and probably living in Plainfield, Kent County when he enlisted as Fourth Sergeant in Company F on May 13, 1861. He allegedly deserted on March 23, 1862, or August 28, 1862, or September 21, 1862 at Upton’s Hill, Virginia. In fact, he had probably been hospitalized in late July, and by August 4 he was reported as a patient in the general hospital at Annapolis, Maryland. In fact, he was among the sick and wounded soldiers who had been brought to New York from Alexandria, Virginia aboard the steamer Daniel Webster, on September 5.

Nevertheless, Abram was reduced to the ranks from First Sergeant on September 9, 1862. It is unknown what happened to Abram after he returned to Alexandria. It appears that he failed to join the regiment, though, and it is possible that he returned to Michigan, perhaps to recover his health.

Abram was still absent from duty when he was transferred as a deserter to Company F, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He eventually reported to the provost marshal at New York City on April 13, 1865, and was officially returned from desertion on May 17, 1865 near Washington, DC, under the President’s Proclamation of March 11, 1865, providing amnesty for deserters. He was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

It is unknown if Abram returned to Michigan after the war. By 1870 he was working as a carpenter and living in Jamesville, Martin County, North Carolina. (His father and stepmother were living in Walker, Kent County in 1870.) Abram apparently married Cora M. Poston (b. 1858) and they had at least three children: Fielder (1876-1942), Wallace Ames or Amos (1878-1962) and Edgar (b. 1880).

Abram and his family were living in Maryland in 1876 but in Grand Rapids, Michigan two years later when Wallace was born. By 1880 they were back in Maryland where Abram was working as a carpenter and living with Cora and his children in the 1st Precinct, Baltimore.

Abram died of a liver abcess on November 18, 1880 in Cincinnati, Ohio, and was presumably buried there. (Although oddly enough, he is listed in the Kent County, Michigan Death Returns, but having died in Cincinnati. Was his body returned to Michigan or Maryland for interment? To date no records have come to light confirming any burial location.)

Cora returned to Grand Rapids in 1881 but soon went back to Baltimore where she was living in 1886, 1921 and 1923. No pension seems to be available.