Charles M. and William E. Woodruff

Charles M. Woodruff was born on March 1, 1834, in Niagara County, New York, the son of Jonathan (b. 1799) and Delila (Cramer, b. 1805).

Pennsylvania native Jonathan married New Yorker Delila sometime before 1823 by which time they had settled in New York, and indeed lived for many years in New York state. By 1850 Charles (as well as his younger brother William who would also join the Third Michigan) was living on the family farm in Wilson, Niagara County, New York.

Charles was married Wisconsin native Sarah Sanborn (b. 1843), sometime in 1859, and they had at least two children: Ida (b. 1861) and Lilia (b. 1866).

They eventually settled in western Michigan, and by 1859 charles was probably a member of the Boston Light Guards, an Ionia County militia company that would form the basis for Company D of the Third Michigan Infantry in 1861. By 1860 Charles was working as a mason and living with his wife in Boston, Ionia County (Peter Granger who would also enlist in Company D lived next door.)

Charles stood 5’4” with gray eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was 27 years old and probably still living in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company D on December 21, 1861, at Grand Rapids, and was mustered on December 23 at Detroit; his younger brother William would enlist in Company D in February of 1862. (Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County.)

Charles was the company barber from July of 1862 through August, but absent sick in a hospital in September and October. He was reported as a nurse in the Regimental hospital in January and February of 1863 and was discharged on March 16, 1863, at Camp Pitcher, Virginia, for “chronic diarrhea with gastric irritability of six months’ standing. He is now much emaciated.”

After his discharge from the army Charles returned to Michigan and for many years worked as a mason.

In 1863 Charles applied for and received a pension (no. 32521).

By 1870 Charles was working as a stone mason and living with his wife and two daughters in Cambria, Hillsdale County. Sarah sued for divorce charging him with cruelty and habitual drunkeness and they were divorced on October 29, 1873, in Stanton, Montcalm County.

Charles married his second wife a two-time widow named Eliza J. Collier on August 31, 1874. (She had been married to one John Terryberry who was beaten to death in a brawl in Montcalm County in 1872 and then to one Abraham or Adam Thompson in 1873 who died about six months later.

By 1910 Charles and Eliza were living in Grand Rapids’ Twelfth Ward, Kent County. In 1915 he was living in Grand Rapids when he suffered a hip fracture.

Charles was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (but not as a member) hospital where he died of an “accident” on April 12, 1915. He was buried in the Home cemetery: originally in section 7 row 11 grave no. 31 but moved to section 6 row 3 grave no. 25.

In 1915 his widow Eliza was living at 1015 Dorcester Avenue in Grand Rapids, Kent County, when she applied for and received a pension (no. 796449).

William E. Woodruff was born in 1837 in Niagara County, New York, the son of Jonathan (b. 1799) and Delila (Cramer, b. 1805).

Pennsylvania native Jonathan married New Yorker Delila sometime before 1823 by which time they had settled in New York, and indeed lived for many years in New York state. By 1850 William (as well as his brother Charles who would also join the Third Michigan) was living on the family farm in Wilson, Niagara County, New York.

William left New York, possibly with his older brother Charles and eventually and had settled in western Michigan.

He stood 5’10’ with black eyes, black hair and a light complexion and was a 25-year-old teamster probably living in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company D on February 1, 1862, at Saranac, Ionia County for 3 years, and was mustered the same day; his oldier brother Charles had enlisted in Company D just a month previous. (Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County.)

William was absent sick from July through September, and reportedly admitted at one time to the general hospital in York, Pennsylvania. However, he was discharged for varicocele and “irritable testes” on October 5, 1862, at Baltimore or Annapolis, Maryland.

He eventually returned to Michigan.

He was possibly married to New York native Mary (b. 1842), and they had at least two children: William (b. 1865) and Eliza J. (b. 1868).

By 1870 he was working as a carpenter and living with his wife and two children in Saranac, Ionia County; he was still in Saranac working as a carpenter in 1880. He was living in the Oakdale Park area of Grand Rapids in 1888, and in Paris, Kent County in 1890.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. In 1876 he applied for and received a pension (no. 161450).

He died on August 9, 1891, possibly in the vicinity of Saranac, Ionia County and was buried in Saranac cemetery: lot no. 88.

His widow applied for a pension (no. 524179), but the certificate was never granted.