Edwin S. and Henry M. Morse

Edwin S. Morse was born on April 13, 1834, in West Bloomfield, Ontario County, New York, possibly the son of Lysander and Eliza (Douglas, b. 1811

Lysander married New York native Eliza, possibly in New York where they resided for some years. The family came to Michigan in 1836, and settled in Ottawa County in 1854 where Edwin lived until the war broke out. By 1860 Eliza was living with the Robert Jennings family in Nunica, Crockery Township, Ottawa County.

Edwin was 27 years old and probably living near Nunica when he enlisted in Company A on May 13, 1861, along with his younger brother Henry. Edwin was shot in the right knee on July 18, 1861, at Blackburn’s Ford, near Bull Run. The Enquirer described Morse’s wound “as severe, but not dangerous.”

William Drake, also of Company A, described what happened. “You have undoubtedly heard,” Drake wrote a friend shortly after the engagement at Blackburn’s Ford, “that one of our boys [Edwin Morse] had his knee cap partly shot off.” His brother, Henry “eased him up while he fired again & [Edwin] was then carried out of the Hell Hole by Yankee of our Co. [Henry] retreated sideways or backwards loading & firing as he went -- one of the boys asked why he did so -- ‘oh’ said [Hank] ‘my mother told me never to be shot in the back.’”

Severe or not, Edwin was hospitalized soon afterwards and was reported driving an ambulance from August of 1862 through May of 1863 Edwin. In June was a nurse in a hospital in Washington, DC, in July a driver in the ambulance corps, in October a teamster in the Third Brigade, and in November in the ambulance corps, probably working as a teamster. He was on detached service with the Brigade in December, was a teamster in the ambulance train from January of 1864 through April, in May was with the Brigade wagon train, and he was mustered out on June 20, 1864.

Following his discharge from the army Edwin returned to Michigan, either to Ottawa County or possibly to Kent County. Edwin was married to Canadian-born Elizabeth (1848-1937), and they had at least five children: Mrs. Nora Hamilton (b. 1868), Sarah (b. 1870), Edwin L. (b. 1875), Minnie (b. 1879 and Fred R. (His daughters were also Mrs. Lester C. Fox, Mrs. George Holland.)

By 1870 Edwin was working as a farmer and living with his wife, child and mother in Nunica, Crockery Township, Ottawa County; next door lived his brother Henry and his family. By 1880 Edwin had moved his family to Nelson, Kent County, where he was working a farm next to his brother Henry and living with his wife and children in Nelson.

Edwin was living in Grand Rapids in 1874. By 1880 he was operating a livery stable with his brother Henry and living with his wife and children in Cedar Springs, Kent County. (Next door lived his brother Henry and his family.) He was still living in Cedar Springs, Kent County in 1883 when he was drawing $2.00 for a wounded right knee (pension no. 134,095).

By 1888 he was back in Grand Rapids, and in 1889 and 1890 he was reported to be working as a “car driver” and living at 745 Hall Street in Grand Rapids; and in 1890 he was reportedly living with his brother Henry in the Tenth Ward. In 1894 he was residing in Wyoming, Kent County, but had returned to Grand Rapids the following year and was living on Morton avenue in Grand Rapids in 1907, and in 1909 at 31 Worden Street where he lived the remainder of his life.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, of Grand Army of the Republic Custer Post No. 5 in Grand Rapids and of the First United Brethren church in Grand Rapids.

He died of anemia in Wyoming, Kent County on Sunday, December 10, 1911, and the funeral services were held at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday at the First United Brethren church. He was buried in Garfield Park cemetery: B-58.

In late December of 1911 his widow was still living in Michigan when she applied for and received a pension (no. 735452).

Henry M. Morse was born on May 11, 1838, in Michigan, possibly the son of Lysander and Eliza (Douglas, b. 1811).

Lysander married New York native Eliza, possibly in New York where they resided for some years. His family came to Michigan in 1836, and by 1860 Eliza was living with the Robert Jennings family in Nunica, Crockery Township, Ottawa County.

Henry stood 5’6” with blue eyes, light hair and a sandy complexion and was 23 years old and possibly residing in Kent County or Crockery, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company A on May 13, 1861, along with his older brother Edwin. During the engagement at Blackburn’s Ford, Virginia on July 18, 1861, Edwin Morse was shot in the knee and helped off the field by his brother. William Drake, also of Company A, described what happened. “You have undoubtedly heard,” Drake wrote a friend shortly after the engagement at Blackburn’s Ford, “that one of our boys [Edwin Morse] had his knee cap partly shot off.” His brother, Henry “eased him up while he fired again & [Edwin] was then carried out of the Hell Hole by Yankee of our Co. [Henry] retreated sideways or backwards loading & firing as he went -- one of the boys asked why he did so -- ‘oh’ said [Hank] ‘my mother told me never to be shot in the back.’”

George Miller of Company A and a tentmate in the winter of 1861-62, described Henry as “a young fellow of 24, small, having a great conceit of his own strength; but an agreeable fellow.”

During the battle at Fair Oaks, Virginia, on May 31, 1862, George Miller was reported missing in action, and in early June Henry, who had been a good friend and a comrade in Company A, felt compelled to write to George’s mother and express his own grief over George’s disappearance and presumed loss during the battle. “I am grieved,” wrote on June 7, “to write such news to a father that has lost his son. Your son was a dear friend of mine, but since the last battle we can't find anything of him. The last was seen of him, he and a boy in our company was seen to go toward the Rebels. That was the last seen of either of them until after the battle. The boy that was with him was found dead, but G.W. could not be found, he probably was taken prisoner, and I pray that he is for then he will be restored to you again. I have got his likeness and if you have not got one I will send it to you although it was a present to me while we were at Camp Michigan.”

Henry was reported a teamster in August of 1862, but by October 11 he was absent sick from chronic diarrhea. He remained absent sick through May of 1863, was a nurse in the hospital in July, a nurse in the hospital at Annapolis, Maryland in August and September, and a nurse in a hospital in Washington, DC from October through November. He was absent sick from December of 1863 through May of 1864, and was mustered out on June 20, 1864, at Detroit.

Following his discharge Henry returned to Michigan and for a time worked in Grand Rapids as a laborer. Henry was married to New York native Elizabeth “Lizzie” (1843-1889), and they had at least two children: Mary (b. 1867, Mrs. C. W. Weaver?) and Dora (b. 1869, Mrs. J. L. Dodge?).

He was working as a carpenter in Grand Rapids from 1867-68, boarding on the east side of Ottawa between Hastings and Bridge Streets. By 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Nunica, Crockery Township, Ottawa County; next door lived his brother Edwin and his family and his mother Eliza. By 1874 Henry was living in Grand Haven, Ottawa County. By 1879 he was residing in Cedar Springs, Kent County, where he lived for some years. Indeed, by 1880 Henry was operating a livery stable with his brother Edwin and living with his wife and two daughters in Cedar springs, next to his brother Edwin and his family.

Henry was living with his brother Edwin in Grand Rapids Tenth Ward in 1890 and in 1895. He was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 2534) on November 18, 1895, was discharged from the Home and readmitted on October 10, 1898.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. In 1875 he applied for and received pension no. 418,545.

Henry died of pernicious anemia on August 12, 1915, at the Home hospital, and the funeral service was held at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday at Lyzen’s chapel. He was buried in Elmwood cemetery, Cedar Springs.

In 1916 his widow applied for a pension (no. 1076559) but the certificate was never granted.