Moses William “Bill” Townsend - updated 1/23/2016

Moses William “Bill” Townsend was born in 1835 in Mendon, Monroe County New York.

Moses William “Bill” Townsend was born in 1835 in Honeoye Falls, Mendon, Monroe County New York.

Moses left New York and moved west. By 1860 he was probably a laborer and living with and/or working for a saloon-keeper named Bradley Salter and his wife in Muskegon, Muskegon County.

Moses W. stood 5’11” with hazel eyes, black hair and a fair complexion and was a 26-year-old shoemaker probably living in Muskegon, Muskegon County when he enlisted in Company H on May 6, 1861. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers,” was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties.)

Moses, known as “Bill” was not highly thought of by at least one of his comrades. Charles Brittain, also of Company H, wrote home to his family on October 9, that “Bill Townsend is going to get his discharge. He has not done anything since he came here and says he won’t if he stays a year and I believe him for he is the greatest shirk [?] that I ever saw.” Moses was discharged for consumption on October 14, 1861, at Fort Richardson, Virginia.

It appears that Moses returned to his home in New York and enlisted as a private on April 15, 1864, in Company E, 108th New York Infantry at Rochester, Monroe County, New York.

Ther is no further record and no pension for service in either the Michigan or New York regiments is available.

It is possible that Moses returned to Michigan after the war. He may have been the same Moses W. Townsend, born 1837 in Rochester, New York, who married Dutch immigrant Fanny Mellema (b. 1841), on March 2, 1873, in Holland, Ottawa County.