Charles H. Vosburgh

Charles H. Vosburgh was born in September of 1842 in Jefferson County, New York, the son of Ephraim (b. 1813) and Lodena (b. 1824).

New York natives Ephraim and Lodena were married, presumably in New york where they lived for many years. By 1850 Charles was attending school with his two siblings and living with his family on a farm in Lyme, Jefferson County, New York. By 1860 Ephraim had settled his family in Michigan and was working as a farmer (he owned $2000 worth of real estate) in Bingham, Clinton County. By 1860 Charles was a day laborer living with and/or working for a wealthy carpenter by the name of C. E. Dodge in Lansing’s Second Ward.

Charles stood 5’7” with gray eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 20 years old and possibly living in Lansing, in Ionia County or Clinton County when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861. He was absent sick in the hospital from July of 1862 until he was discharged for aphonia (loss of voice) on April 22, 1863, at Emory hospital in Washington, DC. According to the discharging physician he suffered a “complete loss of voice of one year and 8 months standing [and that] he has been off duty for nine months, and has been in Carver hospital [in Washington] five months.”

After his discharge Charles returned to Michigan where he reentered the service in Company B, Fifth Michigan cavalry on December 30, 1863, at Pontiac, Oakland County for 3 years, crediting Holly, Oakland County, and was mustered the same day.

He married New York native Marsilva (1838-1902), probably in January of 1864 before leaving to join his Regiment in February of 1864 at Stevensburg, Virginia. They had at least six children: Charles A. (b. 1865), Hollis O. or William (b. 1868), Lena M. (b. 1872), Bart B. (b. 1877), Bertha (b. 1882) and Howard (b. 1884).

Charles rejoined his regiment and was probably on duty when his regiment participated in Kilpatrick’s raid on Richmond in late February and early March of 1864, during the movements from the Rapidan to the James river, then Todd’s Tavern and the Wilderness and Sheridan’s raid to the James river, all in early May. Charles was taken prisoner on June 12, 1864, at White House (or perhaps Trevillian Station), Virginia, and was eventually paroled and reported to Camp Chase, Ohio on May 12, 1865, as a paroled prisoner-of-war, where he was honorably discharged on June 23, 1865. (He may also have served in Company B, First Michigan cavalry.)

After the war Charles returned to Michigan and eventually settled in Fenton, Genesee County. By 1870 he was working as a painter and living with his wife and children in Fenton village; next door lived his younger brother Byron who was also a painter. His father was also living in Fenton and working as a carpenter. Charles was working as a painter and living with his wife and children in Fenton in 1880; next door lived his parents. He was still in Fenton in December of 1884 when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, and in 1885. By 1890 he had moved to Detroit’s Tenth Ward, and was living in Detroit’s Fifteenth ward in 1894 and living in the Sixth Ward in 1900; for many years he worked as a painter.

In 1879 he applied for and received a pension (no. 285628).

Charles was probably living in Fenton when he died a widower of Bright’s disease on September 19, 1916, in Fenton and was buried in block D (section no. 4), Oakwood cemetery, Fenton.