Emery P. and Wilbur Moon

Emery P. Moon was born on November 1, 1840, in Ogden, Monroe County, New York, the son of Tracy (1807-1889) and Abigail (Beadle, 1811-1876).

New York natives Tracy and Abigail were presumably married in New york where they resided for some years before moving west. By 1843 the family had moved to Michigan and by 1846 had settled in Otisco, Ionia County. By 1850 Emery was living on the family farm in Otisco and attended school with four of his siblings, including his older brother Wilber who would also join the Third Michigan. By 1860 Emery (or Emory) was still living with his family and attending school with three of his younger siblings in Otisco. Sometime in early 1861 Emery, who may have moved into Grand Rapids, Kent County, probably joined the Valley City Guard, the prewar Grand Rapids militia company whose members would form the nucleus of Company A .

Emery stood 5’8” with black eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was 20 years old and possibly residing n Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company A on May 13, 1861, along with his older brother Wilbur.

Emery claimed after the war that he had been wounded in the back of the left hand at the battle of Fair Oaks, Virginia, on May 31, 1862, and again in the right side at the battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia, on May 1 or 2, 1863. He further claimed that in July of 1863, during the battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, while on duty in a skirmish line directly in fornt of a Union artillery battery, he became partially deaf from the heavy cannonading resulting in his inability to “understand or hear common conversation.”

He reenlisted as a Sergeant on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Grand Rapids, was subsequently absent on veteran’s furlough, probably at home in Ionia County, in January of 1864, and he returned from furlough, probably by the first of February.

On April 28, 1864, Emery was recommended for admission into the “Free Military School” designed to produce officers for “Colored” Regiments. However he was shot in the right hand on May 5, 1864, at the Wilderness, and on May 26 was admitted to Campbell general hospital in Washington, DC, with a flesh wound of the fourth finger of the right hand. On June 5 he was transferred to Lovell general hospital in Portsmought Grove, Rhode Island, suffering from a dislocated right shoulder.

He was still absent wounded in the hospital when he was transferred as a Sergeant to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and was reported absent sick July through September. In fact, Emery was furloughed form the hospital in Rhode Island on August 15, 1864, presumably for 30 days, but this remains uncertain.

Emery returned to western Michigan to recover from his wounds and on October 27, 1864, while at home, he was transferred as a Second Lieutenant to Company A, Reorganized Third infantry at Grand Rapids, which was then forming in Grand Rapids under the command of Colonel Moses B. Houghton, formerly Lieutenant Colonel of the Old Third Michigan. Emery was commissioned as of July 29.

In November he was promoted to First Lieutenant of Company B, replacing Lieutenant Dickerson, commissioned November 15. On December 5, 1864, Charles Wright, formerly of Company A, wrote home to his family from the Fifth Michigan infantry that he had “heard from the new Third the other day. They were down in Georgia and had been in a four day fight, and lost five men out of the Regiment in killed and wounded. With two exceptions that Regiment has a lot of cowards for officers, Lieut. Moon, formerly sergeant of my company is not one of them nor is John Sumner captain of that Regiment.” In January of 1865 Emery was promoted to Captain of Company G, replacing Captain Hall. He was mustered out on May 25, 1866 at Victoria, Texas, brevetted Major of United States Volunteers as of March 13, 1865.

After the war Emery traveled in Texas, Mexico, New Mexico, California and Colorado before returning to Michigan. (His parents were living in Otisco, Ionia County in 1870.) Emery settled in Otisco in 1876 and was living in Otisco when he married Matilda M. Randall on April 4, 1877, in Grand Rapids. He was still living in Otisco in February of 1880, and by the summer of 1880 Emery was working as a farmer and living with his wife in Otisco; also living with them was his father Tract. He worked as a farmer most of his life. In 1881 he returned to Colorado and settled in Colorado Springs where he lived for many years.

He was still living in Colorado Springs in 1911, and was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association.

In 1880 he applied for and and received a pension (no. 233,491), drawing $25.00 a month in 1915, and his widow received no. 797108.

He was residing at 223 Cedar in Colorado Springs in the spring of 1915.

Emery died of a cerebral hemorrhage on August 6, 1915, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and was buried in Evergreen cemetery, Colorado Springs.

In 1915 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 797108).

Wilbur Moon was born on January 1, 1839, in Monroe County, New York, the son of Tracy(1807-1889) and Abigail (Beadle, 1811-1876).

New York natives Tracy and Abigail were presumably married in New york where they resided for some years before moving west. By 1843 the family had moved to Michigan and by 1846 had settled in Otisco, Ionia County. In 1850 Tracy had settled his family on a farm in Otisco where Wilber was attending school with four of his siblings, one of whom was his younger brother emery who would also join the Third Michigan. By 1860 Wilber’s family was still living in Otisco.

One description of Wilbur’s early life noted that “Amid the primitive surroundings of the early home in Ionia County Wilbur Moon grew to manhood. He pursued his studies in the district school of Otisco Township and first taught in Ada Township, Kent County. There he was engaged for three successive winters, building up a reputation for tact and mental ability.”

Wilbur was 22 years old and still teaching in Ada when he enlisted with his younger brother Emery in Company A on May 13, 1861. He was reported as an Adjutant’s clerk in November of 1862 and in January of 1863 he was detached in order to return to Michigan and bring conscripts forward to the Regiment. In early August he arrived in Grand Rapids on recruiting service for the Regiment, and he remained recruiting in Michigan through March of 1864.

While at home Wilbur was married to New York native Satira R. Fallass (1839-1920) on November 8, 1863, in Fallassburg, Kent County, and they had at least four children: Myrtle A. (b. 1866), Frank C. (b. 1867), Cora A. (b. 1869), and Elenora (b. 1871).

Wilbur probably never rejoined the Regiment, and was mustered out as a Sergeant on June 20, 1864.

After he was discharged from the army Wilbur returned to his home in Keene Township where he taught school for ten years. (His parents were living in Otisco, Ionia County in 1870.) In 1870 he was working as a farmer (he owned some $4000 worth of real estate) and living with his wife and children in Keene, Ionia County. (Next door lived Satira’s younger brother John and his family.) By 1880 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Keene.

Wilbur was elected Ionia County Superintendent of Schools in 1872. According to a postwar biography, the name of Wilbur Moon

is familiar to the residents of Ionia County and will be recognized by other readers, as he who bears it has been intimately connected with educational affairs and was at one time County superintendent of Schools of Ionia County. He came hither in his boyhood and has not only seen the County improved but has himself aided in bringing about the present state of affairs, material and social. Reared upon a farm he had a share in the improvement of [property, and in his later years he has tilled the soil and now is carrying on a farm on section 19, Keene Township. For several years he was engaged in teaching and he has from that time kept up his interest in the cause of education and done what he could to promote the efficiency of the schools.

A staunch Republican, Wilbur “filled the office of Township clerk two years, and was for a long time Inspector of Schools of Keene Township. He became a resident of that Township in 1866 and has given more or less time to the cultivation of an 80-acre tract of land.” He continued to take a serious interest in education, while his wife “was a teacher in her youth and has always been interested in school work and mental growth. She and her husband have endeavored to keep up their own discipline of mind by extensive reading, supplementing in this way the education of their earlier years so as to enjoy an interchange of thought with their children and friends. Mr. and Mrs. Moon have four children, in whose education they have taken much interest, and all except the eldest were graduated from Ionia High School.”

As to his character, it was said that Wilbur took “a lively interest in the political and social questions agitating the minds of the people and has a decided influence by reason of his mental ability, good judgment and pleasing personal qualities. He ranks as a successful educator and honorable business man and a skillful farmer. Personally he is genial and entertaining, his hospitality is well known, while the members of his family circle aid him to the best of their ability in making their residence the center of true culture of mind and heart. They draw around them a pleasant circle of friends that is constantly reaching out and adding to its numbers and influence.”

Wilbur was a member of Grand Army of the Republic Wilson Post No. 87 in Lowell and a strong supporter of the Methodist Church. He lived virtually his entire postwar life along the border between Ionia and Kent counties, and he was living in Fallassburg in December of 1882 when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. By 1885 he was residing in Saranac, Ionia County and Fallassburg in 1888, in Lowell, Kent County in 1889, in Keene, in 1890 and 1894. He returned to Lowell probably in 1906.

In 1890 he applied for and received a pension (no. 956783).

Wilbur resided in Lowell until he died of organic heart disease on April 17, 1912, and was buried in Fallassburg cemetery.

The week after Wilbur died his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 744309).