Alfred, John Jr., Thomas and William Tate

Alfred E. Tate was born in 1842 in Franklin County, Massachusetts, the son of John (1815-1900) and Barbara (1815-1888).

Sometime between 1837 and 1840 his parents moved from England to Massachusetts, and then from Massachusetts to Michigan between 1844 and 1846, and by 1850 Alfred was living with his family in Georgetown, Ottawa County, where his father worked as a laborer.

By 1860 Alfred was living with his family and attending school with three of his younger siblings. He was also apparently was working as a mill hand and living at the Paddock boarding house in Georgetown along with John Finch (Company I), Albert Hayes (Company I), Joseph Ledbeter (Company B), Benjamin Parker (Company I), James Parm (Company I), Thomas Rowling (Company B), Stephen Scales (Company I), his older brother William (Company I), and John M. Taylor (Company I).

Alfred stood 5’10” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 22 years old and probably still living in Georgetown when he enlisted in Company F on February 8, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered the same day, joining his three older brothers Thomas, William and John who had previously enlisted in Company I (and he was possibly related to Frederick who would also enlist in Company I). Alfred joined the Regiment on February 17 at Camp Bullock, Virginia, was absent sick in the hospital in May and may have still been absent in the hospital when he was transferred to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He was absent on sick leave from December of 1864 through January of 1865, and was mustered out as a Corporal on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war Alfred eventually returned to western Michigan.

In 1871 Alfred married New York native Joanna (d. 1854), and they had at least four children: Frank (b. 1874), Alfred, William and Ray.

He was possibly working as a drayman (if so possibly for his brother Thomas who owned a livery stable in Lowell) and living in Lowell, Kent County in the late 1860s. By 1870 he was living with his parents in Georgetown, Ottawa County in 1870; his father owned $2000 worth of real estate. By 1880 Alfred was working as a farmer and living with his wife and son Frank in Georgetown. And he was living in Georgetown in 1890 and in 1894. By 1895 he was residing in Hudsonville, Ottawa County where he was living from 1906-10 and on R.R. no. 1 in 1911 and 1922, and in Grandville, Kent County in 1916, 1923 and 1925.

Alfred was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, and the Grand Army of the Republic Custer Post No. 5 in Grand Rapids until he was suspended November 26, 1908.

In 1890 he applied for and received a pension (no. 791371).

Alfred died on September 14, 1928 or 1929, in Hudsonville, and was buried in Georgetown cemetery: lot 452 grave no. 1.

In 1928 or 1929 his widow also applied for a pension (no. 1627856) but the certificate was never granted.

John Tate Jr. was born in 1844, probably in Leighton (?), Massachusetts, the son of John (1815-1900) and Barbara (1815-1888).

Sometime between 1837 and 1840 the family moved from England to Massachusetts, then from Massachusetts to Michigan between 1844 and 1846, and by 1850 John was living with his family in Georgetown, Ottawa County, where his father worked as a laborer. His father John was still living in Georgetown in 1860.

John stood 5’9” with blue eyes, brown hair and light complexion and was an 18-year-old farmer living in Georgetown when he enlisted in Company I, joining his older brothers Thomas and William (who had enlisted in Company I in 1861), on August 19 or 20, 1862, at Ionia for 3 years, crediting Georgetown, and was mustered on August 19 at Detroit; another older brother Alfred would enlist in Company F in 1864. John may have been related to Frederick who also enlisted in Company I. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.)

John Jr. joined the Regiment on September 8 at Upton’s Hill, Virginia, and was in the Regimental Quartermaster department in charge of public animals from December of 1862 through November of 1863. In late February and early march of 1864 he was hospitalized, presumably in the regimental hospital, suffering from “intermittent fever” and returned to duty probably sometime in March. In any case, he was present for duty and with his company when he was severely wounded in both of his thighs on May 6, 1864 and subsequently hospitalized. John was probably still absent sick when he was transferred to Company I, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and he remained absent sick through the summer. In fact he was furloughed, probably from a hospuital, in late July. He remained absent sick from the regiment until he was discharged for disability on October 8 at Armory Square hospital, Washington, DC, or on October 14, 1864, near Petersburg, Virginia.

After he was discharged from the army John returned to Michigan.

In October of 1864 he applied for and received a pension (no. 35432).

He was probably living in Lowell, Kent County in 1869, when he married Michigan native Fanny or Fannie M. Miller (1850-1926) on September 6, 1869, in Vergennes, Kent County, and they had at least three children: Lizzie B. (b. 1871), Edith Lucy (b. 1881) and John Evert (b. 1884).

By 1870 he was working as baggage agent and living with his wife in Lowell village, Kent County; his older brother Thomas operated a livery stable and lived just two houses away. (His parents were still living in Georgetown, Ottawa County in 1870; his father owned $2000 worth of real estate.) John and his wife were still living in Michigan in 1871 by the time their daughter was born but eventually moved to Kansas. By 1880 John was working as a stock and grain dealer and living with his wife and daughter in Concordia, Cloud County, Kansas; also living with them were Ann Miller, his mother-in-law, a boarder named George Evans and a servant named Lizzie Williams.

John died on February 14, 1886, in Chicago, Illinois, and the body was returned to Concordia where he was buried on February 17, 1886.

Fannie was living in Concordia, Kansas, in 1886 when she applied for a dependent widow’s pension. By 1890 Fannie had remarried to a W. E. Poston and was living in Concordia, Kansas in August of 1890 when she applied for a pension as guardian on behalf of aher two minor children (no. 427013). (She eventually divorced Mr. Poston and remarried to Fernando Page, of Grand Rapids and Washington, DC. Page, too, had served in the Third Michigan during the war.

Thomas Tate was born in 1837 in England, the son of John (1815-1900) and Barbara (1815-1888).

Sometime between 1837 and 1840 the family moved from England to Massachusetts, then from Massachusetts to Michigan between 1844 and 1846, and by 1850 Thomas was living with his family in Georgetown, Ottawa County, where his father worked as a laborer. His father John was still living in Georgetown in 1860.

Thomas was 24 years old and probably living in Georgetown when he enlisted as Fifth Sergeant in Company I on May 13, 1861, along with his younger brother William. Their younger brothers John and Alfred would enlist in Company I in 1862 and in Company F in 1864, respectively. Thomas may also have been related to Frederick who also enlisted in Company I. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.)

Thomas was promoted to Second Lieutenant April 3, 1862, commissioned the same day, and in October was promoted to First Lieutenant, commissioned as of September 17. He was home in Michigan during the winter of 1863, and rejoined the regiment in early March of that year. Thomas transferred to Company B on May 1, 1863 and promoted to Captain, commissioned March 28, 1863, replacing Captain Fred Stowe.

He was wounded slightly in the right eye on May 3, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Virginia. According to James Taylor of Company I, Thomas and eight other men became separated from the Third Michigan. About 11:00 p.m., wrote Taylor after the war, Birney’s division,”moved forward to that famous night charge, Ward’s brigade leading, ours following, and Graham’s following us, with orders to make as little noise as possible until we came upon the enemy; then make all the noise possible, both with our guns and throats, which we did to the best of our ability. In this charge we got separated, part swinging to the right and part toward the left. I was near the center, and after the first heavy firing had abated I found myself between two fires. . . . Capt Tait [sic] and eight others got together from my regiment that night. We got an early breakfast, while the Captain said he would look for the regiment.” It is unclear what became of Tate after that.

In any case, Thomas apparently recovered and by the first of September was reportedly in command of Company F. He was on detached service in Michigan, presumably recruiting, from December 29, 1863, through January of 1864, and returned to the Regiment in time for the opening of the Spring campaign. He was shot in the left side of his groin on May 12, 1864, at Spotsylvania, Virginia, and according to Dan Crotty of Company F, Thomas had been severely wounded while leading his company on a countercharge against the rebels. He was admitted to Mt. Pleasant hospital in Washington, DC on May 12 with a gunshot wound, and sent to Armory Square hospital in Washington on May 20.

He was still absent wounded when he was transferred as Captain to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and remained absent wounded through August. In fact, he had returned home to western Michigan on furlough. On July 14 he arrived at the Rathbun House in Grand Rapids.”The Captain,” wrote the Eagle the next day, “was wounded in battle on the 12th of May last, and he has been in hospital since that time, or up to within a few days past, when he had so far recovered as to enable him to come home. Capt. Tate and the majority of the men in his command were among the reenlisted veterans, who visited their homes in this city and vicinity, last winter upon a short furlough, under the command of Capt. Loring [Lowing].”

On August 22 he applied for an extension of his leave on the basis of his health, and supposedly left on the morning of September 5 to rejoin his command. In fact, in September of 1864 he reported for duty at the draft rendezvous in Jackson, Jackson County where he served through May of 1865 as Acting Assistant Inspector General. He was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

Thomas eventually returned to western Michigan, and soon settled in Kent County. Thomas worked for some years as a tanner, and by the late 1860s he was working and living in Lowell, Kent County, and in September of 1868 was elected as Second Lieutenant of the newly formed Tanner’s Club in Lowell. The club was in the process building a new tannery in Lowell which was to be dedicated the following week.

He was working in the livery business when he married New York native Phebe Southard (1853-1919) on March 24, 1869, in Grand Rapids; they had at least four children: Willie (1871-1872), Maggie L. (b. 1874), George M. (1876-1961) and Bessie B. (b. 1878).

By 1870 Thomas owned and operated a livery stable in Lowell, Kent County and was living with his wife next door to her family; and next door to the Southards was Thomas’ younger brother John and his wife Fanny. John was working as a baggage agent. (His parents were still living in Georgetown, Ottawa County in 1870; his father owned $2000 worth of real estate.)

He was possibly living in Eaton Rapids, Eaton County in 1872, back in Lowell in 1874 where he operated a livery stable and worked as a deputy sheriff. According to the Eagle of April 11, 1874, deputy sheriff Thomas Tate arrested one William Fry who lived a short distance from Lowell and who was charged with raping his fifteen-year old daughter. Tate brought Fry to Grand Rapids, wrote the paper, “last night and lodged him in jail. He did not dare to leave him in Lowell, fearing that the people, in their indignation, would attempt to mob him, perhaps to lynch him.”

By 1880 Thomas was “keeping a livery stable” and living with his wife and children in Lowell. Also working at the stable was his brother-in-law George Southard.

Thomas was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. In 1870 he applied for and received a pension (no. 107093).

Thomas probably died in 1887, possibly in Michigan, and although there is no record of his death on file in Kent County, he may in fact have died in Lowell and may have been buried in Oakwood cemetery or in the Lowell area. (His widow was buried in Oakwood cemetery, 0-114-3 in 1919.)

In September of 1887 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 343829). By 1890 she was residing in Lowell.

William Tate was born in 1840 in Massachusetts, the son of John (1815-1900) and Barbara (1815-1888).

Sometime between 1837 and 1840 the family moved from England to Massachusetts, then from Massachusetts to Michigan between 1844 and 1846, and by 1850 William was living with his family in Georgetown, Ottawa County, where his father worked as a laborer.

In 1860 William was a mill worker living in Georgetown at the same boarding house as John Finch (Company I) company, Albert Hayes (Company I), Joseph Ledbeter (Company B), Benjamin Parker (Company I), James Parm (Company I), Thomas Rowling (Company B), Stephen Scales (Company I), his younger brother Alfred (Company F), and John M. Taylor (Company I). (His father John was still living in Georgetown in 1860.)

William was 21 years old and residing in Georgetown when he enlisted as Fourth Corporal in Company I on May 13, 1861, along with his older brother Thomas. Their younger brothers John and Alfred would enlist in Company I in 1862 and in Company F in 1864, respectively; he may also have been related to Frederick who also enlisted in Company I. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.)

By mid-November 1861, William was in the Union Hotel hospital in Washington, DC. He apparently recovered his health and was present for duty and had been promoted to Sergeant when he was killed in action on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia. William was buried in Seven Pines National Cemetery: section D, grave 410, although there is a also marker for him in Georgetown cemetery, Ottawa County.

No pension seems to be available.

His parents were still living in Georgetown, Ottawa County in 1870; his father owned $2000 worth of real estate.