Louis Petit

Louis Petit was born in 1839 in New York, the son of Reuben (b. 1807-1892) and Sally (b. 1805) or Sarah.

New Yorker Reuben married Vermont-born Sally and they settled in New York. Reuben was living in Farmington, Ontario County, New York in 1820 and in Yates, Orleans County, New York in 1840. By 1850 Reuben had settled his family in Somerset, Niagara County, New York, where Reuben worked as a cradlemaker. Reuben moved his family on to Michigan and by 1860 Lewis (or Loius) was a farmer living with his family in Saranac, Ionia County.

Louis was 22 years old and probably still living in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861. He was taken sick in the fall of 1861 and admitted to the hospital at Annapolis, Maryland, on November 3, 1861. He eventually recovered, was returned to duty and wounded on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia. He was hospitalized through September, returned to the Regiment and had been promoted to Corporal by the time he was again wounded, this time in both hips, on May 3, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Virginia; he received the Kearny Cross for his participation in that battle. Lewis was hospitalized through September when he was sent home on furlough to Michigan, and he remained absent wounded until he was was transferred to the Veterans’ Reserve Corps on December 6, 1863, February 10 or 15, 1864, or May 4, 1864, at Washington, DC.

After he was discharged from the army Louis returned to Michigan, probably back to his parents home in Ionia County.

He married Ohio native Louisa (b. 1849) and they had at least three children: Wilber (b. 1871), Eddie (b. 1874) and Frank (b. 1878).

By 1870 Louis was working as a farm laborer and living with his wife and son in Berlin (Saranac), Ionia County, next door to his parents’ farm (his father owned some $2200 worth of real estate). Louis eventually moved his family to Kent County, settling in Grand Rapids where he worked for some years as a farmer. He was living in Grand Rapids in 1879 and by 1880 Louis was working as a carpenter and living with his wife and three sons in Grand Rapids’ Seventh Ward. He was living in Grand Rapids in 1883, 1885, in 1890.

Louis became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association in 1879. In 1867 he applied for and received pension no. is 87,111, drawing $4.00 per month in 1883 for a wound in both buttocks. He may at one time have been a member of Grand Army of the Republic Sanborn post no. 98 in Port Huron, St. Clair County.

On July 3, 1893, Louis was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 1937), where he died of chronic bronchitis on November 14, 1900, and was buried in Greenwood cemetery: section F, lot 35. His wife was living at 260 Seventh Street in Grand Rapids when he died.

In 1901 an application for minor child pension was filed and granted on behalf of at least one of Lewis’ children (no. 514334).