1st Michigan Engineers and Mechanics

Edgar F. Teele - update 8/28/2016

Edgar F. Teele was born in July 1824 or June of 1825 in Troy, Rensselaer County, New York, probably the son or grandson of William (b. 1780).

In 1830 there was one William Teal and one Adam Teal living in Troy’s 2nd Ward, Rensselaer County, New York, There was one William Teal living in Troy’s First Ward, Rensselaer County, New York, in 1840.

Edgar was married to New York native Ruby M. (b. 1825), probably in New York, and they had at least five children: William H. (b. 1849), Alice B. (b. 1852), Robert (b. 1857) and Helen (b. 1859) and Elizabeth (b. 1861).

By 1850 Edgar was working as a painter and living with his wife and son William, and all were living with New Jersey native William Teale in Brooklyn’s Tenth Ward, King’s County, New York.

They probably moved from New York to Ohio sometime before 1852, then to Michigan between 1852 and 1857, and by 1860 Edgar was a painter living with his wife and children, and another painter by the name of Edward Fitch, in Grand Rapids’ 4th Ward.

On July 2, 1860, Edgar joined the Grand Rapids Artillery, commanded by Captain Baker Borden. (The GRA would serve as the nucleus for Company B, also commanded by Borden, of the 3rd Michigan Infantry.)

Edgar stood 5’9” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 36 years old and probably living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted as Second Corporal in Company B on May 13, 1861. Edgar was discharged for general debility and chronic rheumatism on November 12, 1862, at Armory Square hospital, Washington, DC.

After he was discharged from the army Edgar returned to Michigan where he reentered the army in Company A, 1st Michigan Engineers & Mechanics. (Borden interestingly enough, resigned from the 3rd Michigan in the summer of 1861, returned to Grand Rapids, and reentered the service as captain of Company B, Michigan E & M.)

After the war Edgar returned to Michigan, probably to Grand Rapids. By 1870 he was working as a painter and living with his wife and children in Grand Rapids’ 3rd Ward; he was living in Grand Rapids 1874 and 1879, and working as a painter and living with his wife in Grand Rapids’ 3rd Ward in 1880 but reportedly moved to Chicago sometime in the 1880s. By 1890 he was living in Fremont, Dodge County, Nebraska. By 1900 he was la widower living in Omaha’s 6th Ward, Dodge County, Nebraska.

Edgar was a member of the 3rd Michigan Infantry Association.

He was living in Nebraska when he applied for and received a pension (no. 564468).

Edgar was probably living in Omaha, Nebraska when he died on December 12, 1900, and was buried in Forest Lawn Memorial cemetery in Omaha, Nebraska.

Nehemiah D. Merritt up-date 10/18/2016

Nehemiah D. Merritt was born around 1841 in Dutchess County or Venice, Cayuga County, New York, the son of New York natives Daniel N. (b. 1799) nd Mary (b. 1798).

Daniel was living in Dutchess County, New York in 1840. By 1850 Daniel had settled his family in Venice, Cayuga County, New York where Nehemiah was attendsing shcoll with his older siblings; Nehemiah was still living with his family in Venice in 1855. Nehemiah left New York and headed west, eventually settling in Michigan by 1860 when he was a farm laborer working for and/or living with one Levi Bross, a wealthy farmer in Otisco, Ionia County. (By 1860 Daniel’s parents had moved to Clayton County, Iowa.)

Nehemiah stood 5’5” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 20 years old and still residing in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company E on May 13, 1861. (Company E was composed in large part by men from Clinton and Ingham counties, as well as parts of Ionia County.) He was reported missing in action, presumably taken prisoner, on June 30, 1862, at White Oak Swamp. Although he was returned to the Regiment at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia, possibly on August 8, in fact he was reported absent sick until he was discharged on February 4, 1863, at Camp Convalescent near Alexandria, Virginia, suffering from chronic rheumatic pericarditis.

He probably returned to Ionia County where he was working as a carpenter in Easton when he reentered the service in Company C, First Michigan Engineers and Mechanics on December 21, 1863, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Easton, and was mustered on January 5, 1864. He joined the Regiment on April 20 at Chattanooga, Tennessee, where it was on engineering duty maintaining and repairing rail lines and building blockhouses.

Nehemiah reportedly died of consumption on August 25, 1864, at Ringgold, Georgia. He was originally buried in Ringgold, but eventually reburied in the Chattanooga National Cemetery: section K, grave no. 586 (see also no. 10351).

(Curiously, there was one “Matthew” or “Nathan” Merritt, age 26, who also enlisted in Company C, First Michigan Engineers and Mechanics, on the same date and was mustered on the same day, crediting Easton, was also a carpenter and had the same physical characteristics but was sick in Alexandria, Virginia on April 22, 1865 and was mustered out as an Artificer on September 22, 1865 at Nashville, Tennessee.)

No pension seems to be available.

James Timothy Freelove - update 8/23/2016

James Timothy Freelove was born in 1833 in Genesee County, New York, possibly the son of Harvey (1806-1853) and Amilla “Millie (Gould, born in 1806).

James left New York State and moved to western Michigan sometime before the war broke out. In 1860 he was possibly living with Joseph Freelove (b. c. 1828 in New York) and his wife Mary along with the Newell family in Clinton, Macomb County.

James, also known as Timothy, stood 5’8” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was a 28-year-old farmer possibly living in Kent County when he enlisted in Company K on May 13, 1861. He was discharged for chronic sciatica on July 30, 1861, at Arlington Heights, Virginia.

After his discharge from the army James returned to Michigan where he reentered the service as Private in Company B 1st Michigan Engineers and Mechanics on September 16, 1861, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered on October 29 at Marshall, Calhoun County. It is unclear if James ever left Michigan with the E & M in December of 1861 when it was ordered to Louisville, Kentucky. If so, he soon returned to Michigan. He was sick from May 1, 1862, through June at Hamburg, Livingston County, and was discharged as an artificer on May 8, 1862.

No pension seems to be available.

While the evidence is circumstantial James may in fact have been the same James T. Freelove who was living in Lodi, Wisconsin, when he enlisted in Company F, 49th Wisconsin infantry on February 25, 1865 and was mustered out on July 5, 1865 on account of disability.

He applied for and received a pension (no. 110270) on June 19, 1866.

James died on October 15, 1866, in Fond-du-Lac, Wisconsin and was buried in Rienzi Cemetery.