Benjamin C. Carpenter was born August 7, 1836, in Niagara, Ontario County, New York, son of Asa Philopilus (b. 1802) and Margaret (Ullman, b. 1798).
Vermont-born Asa and New Yorker Margaret were married in 1824, probably in New York, and settled in Niagara, Ontario County, New York where they lived for many years. In 1853 Benjamin accompanied his family to Michigan where they eventually settled in Croton Township, Newaygo County. After “obtaining a fair common-school education” he was “employed in farm labor”.
Benjamin stood 5’8” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 24 years old and residing in Newaygo, Newaygo County when he enlisted in Company K on May 13, 1861, along with his older brother John. (Another brother Henry would join them in 1862.) Sometime in 1862 Benjamin contracted “rheumatism”, which plagued him in later years, and while the Regiment was near Harrison’s Landing, Virginia, he was diagnosed as having a varicocele, the result he later claimed of “hard marching” during the Peninsular campaign. He apparently recovered sufficiently to rejoin the Regiment but was sick in the hospital with dyspepsia from January 5 to 7, 1863. He eventually returned to duty, but from February 13 to 14 was again absent this time suffering from diarrhea. He was again absent sick from March 4 to 11, but soon recovered enough to rejoin the Regiment for the spring campaign.
On May 3, 1863, Benjamin was serving with the Regiment when he was shot through the mouth, resulting in the loss of his teeth, at Chancellorsville, Virginia. He was briefly hospitalized and treated for his wounds from May 13 to 16, and returned to duty. He was present from January through April of 1864 and was mustered out of service on June 20, 1864, probably in Detroit.
After his discharge Benjamin returned to his family farm in Croton where he lived until his marriage to Sarah Frances Higbee (1842-1936) on April 12, 1866, in Ionia County (she was from Orleans, Ionia County). They had at least four children: Laura E. (b. 1868), Maggie E. (b. 1869), Frank L. or S. (b. 1871) and Edwin Ralph (b. 1874).
In 1867 he and his wife moved from Croton Township to Morley, Mecosta County where he worked for his father-in-law, Nelson Higbee for some 15 months. (In 1870 Tommy Byers who had also served in the Third Michigan worked as a cook for Higbee, who was then a wealthy lumberman in Croton.)
Benjamin remained in Mecosta County until 1868 or 1869 when “he went to Ionia County and bought a farm, containing 40 acres of land. On this he resided six years, rented the place and went to North Plains center in the same County, where he was resident two years, going thence to Ionia. Six months later he sold his farm and removed to Newaygo County [in about 1877], where he settled on 80 acres of land in Big Prairie, given him by his father.” It was soon, reported one source, “well improved and under advanced cultivation, with good buildings.” Indeed in 1870 Benjamin and his wife were living on a farm in Ionia.
From 1877 to 1905 Benjamin apparently lived in Newaygo County, probably in Croton on a farm given him by his father, and he was living in Croton in 1883, drawing $15.00 per month (pension no. 773,881) when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association; he was also a Republican. He was living in Croton in 1888, 1890 and 1894. By 1906 he was back in Ionia County, and in 1907 was living in Orleans. Indeed, he probably resided in Orleans for the remainder of his life.
Benjamin died of apoplexy on February 4, 1911, in Orleans and was buried in Higbee cemetery, in Orleans (and so, eventually, was his wife).
His widow, Sarah applied for and received a pension (no. 718,849), drawing $12.00 per month in 1911.
Henry Ullman Carpenter was born May 31, 1830, in Niagara, Ontario County, New York, the son of Asa Philopilus (b. 1802) and Margaret (Ullman, b. 1798).
Vermont-born Asa and New Yorker Margaret were married in 1824, probably in New York, and settled in Niagara, Ontario County, New York where they lived for many years. In 1853 Henry accompanied his family to Michigan where they eventually settled in Croton Township, Newaygo County. By 1860 he was a farmer living with his family in Croton; near-by lived Thomas White who would enlist in Company H.
Henry stood 6’1” with blue eyes, dark hair and a light complexion and was 32 years old and probably living in Croton or Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company K (joining his two brothers Benjamin and John who had enlisted the previous year) on August 16, 1862, at Grand Rapids. Henry joined the Regiment on September 8 at Upton’s Hill, Virginia, and was reported as suffering from acute diarrhea on January 3 and 4, 1863. He was returned to duty. Henry was wounded in the right thigh at Mine Run (near Jacob’s ford), Virginia, on November 27, 1863. On December 4 he was admitted to the Third Division hospital in Alexandria with a “gunshot wound of right thigh and leg opening the knee joint.” According to his hospital record on December 5, “A minie ball entered the right thigh just above the knee joint, on its outer aspect and taking a downward & outward direction fractured the external condyle of the femur, opened the joint & made its exit about four inches from the point of entrance. Discharges very profusely a stinking, bad-looking pus. Limb in too bad condition to be operated upon at present. General condition & spirits fine.”
On December 13 his thigh was “amputated in middle third” and his “Spirits excellent.” He was placed on a diet of whiskey and egg. On December 30 Henry was reported to be “doing finely ever since operation. Appetite has been good [he was taking beef & tea along with the whiskey & egg], bowels regular, has suffered no pain, has slept well & been in splendid spirits all the time. Stump has healed well & discharged a healthy, laudable pus. Today he had a chill followed by a very heavy sweat, but still looks well & says that he feels well as usual. His pulse however is 120 & weak & his hands tremble like those of a man with palsy.”
The chills continued through the next several days, and on January 2, 1864, his condition was “about the same.” His condition in fact quickly worsened. On January 10 he was reported to have “had chills without much regularity, sometimes none for a day or two & then two or three in 24 hours, followed each time by a debilitating sweat. His diet has been whiskey beaten up with raw eggs & beef-tea ad librium. Sometimes he could eat pretty well & at others had no appetite. He suffered almost no pain at any time & had no complaints to make, always said that he was perfectly comfortable up to the time of his death at 8 o’clock this morning.” Post-mortem examination 24 hours after death revealed that his lungs were “filled with metastatic abscess & pleural cavities contained about a pint of turbid serum. Liver healthy, kidneys in a state of fatty degeneration, intestines healthy, heart somewhat enlarged.”
Henry was buried on January 12 in grave no. 1107, U.S. Military Cemetery in Alexandria, renamed Alexandria National Cemetery: section A, no. 961, grave 11 (old grave no. 1297).
His widow was living in Everett, Newaygo County, in March of 1864 when she applied for and received a pension (no. 24737). She eventually remarried in 1867 to Darwin Nelson.
By 1870 Asa and his family were still living in Croton, Newaygo County. By 1926 Helen, again a widow (Darwin died in 1899), was living in Scottville, Michigan.
John Grow Carpenter was born September 4, 1828 in Niagara, Ontario County, New York, son of Asa Philopilus (b. 1802) and Margaret (Ullman, b. 1798).
Vermont-born Asa and New Yorker Margaret were married in 1824, probably in New York, and settled in Niagara, Ontario County, New York where they lived for many years. In 1853 John accompanied his family to Michigan where they eventually settled in Croton Township, Newaygo County. By 1860 he was a carpenter living with his family in Croton where his father worked as a farmer; and near-by lived Thomas White who would enlist in Company H.
John stood 5’7” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 33 years old living in Newaygo County when he enlisted as Fourth Corporal of Company K on May 13, 1861, along with his younger brother Benjamin. (Another brother Henry would join them the following year.) According to Wallace W. Dickinson, regimental hospital steward and another member of Company K, during the action at Fair Oaks, Virginia, on May 31, 1862, John, who was a member of the color guard, “had a musket ball pass through his hat.
He was absent sick in the hospital but soon returned to the Regiment and was taken prisoner (for the second time) on August 29 at the battle of Second Bull Run. He was returned to the Regiment on November 13 at Warrenton, Virginia, and absent sick from December of 1862 through April of 1863. John claimed later that he was sent to Third corps hospital near Alexandria, Virginia just after the battle of Fredericksburg, and that he arrived at the hospital on December 15 and remained there until about the middle of January 1863. Apparently he was admitted to the general hospital at Fairfax Seminary, Virginia, on January 26, 1863 and was returned to duty on March 31. In May he was reported as AWOL, although he had in fact been discharged for chronic bronchitis and valvular heart disease on May 19, 1863, at Camp Convalescent (near Alexandria), Virginia.
Following his discharge John returned to Newaygo County where he reentered the service as Private in Company A, Tenth Michigan cavalry on August 18, 1863, at Brooks, Newaygo County for 3 years, crediting Croton, and was mustered on September 10 at Grand Rapids where the regiment was being organized. (Wallace Dickinson also reentered the service in the Tenth Michigan cavalry.) It is not known if John in fact ever served in the Tenth Michigan cavalry, however. He was reported as a hospital nurse from October of 1863 through May of 1864, and he claimed that he was taken prisoner in August (presumably of 1864) while guarding the ford at McMillan’s Bend near Strawberry Plains, Tennessee. He “had to march on foot and keep up with the rebel cav. For three days’ had to ford streams, got wet, slept with wet clothes, caught cold.” In any case he was reportedly paroled and returned to the regiment after resting for a couple of days and was assigned to special duty serving as a hospital steward for about six weeks before being mustered out.
From March of 1865 through May of 1865 he was on detached service at the dismounted camp at Knoxville, Tennessee. John claimed some years later that he “was with the medical department most of the time.” From September through October of 1865 he was detached at Memphis, Tennessee. John was mustered out with the regiment on November 11, 1865 at Memphis. (Although he claimed to have been with the headquarters hospital when he was mustered out.)
After the war John returned to western Michigan, to his father’s home in Croton, Newaygo County where he worked as a joiner. He lived at his family’s home until about the first of May, 1866, when he moved to Grand Rapids. He worked as a joiner in Grand Rapids until the spring of 1867 when he returned to Croton and worked as lumbering part of the time “and part of the time doing neither.” He then moved to Everett, Newaygo County and lived there until October, working as both a joiner and bridge builder.
He married Ontario, Canada native Rebecca Mathews (1844-1884) and they had at least four children: Charles (b. 1867), Idella (b. 1869, John (b. 1874) and Willie (b. 1880).
By 1870 John was working as a farmer and living with his wife and two daughters in Big Prairie, Newaygo County. He remained in Big Prairie until October of 1871 and worked as a farmer. He eventually moved his family to Montcalm County and settled in Howard City where he lived for many years working as a carpenter. He also claimed to have been Justice of the peace for eight years in Montcalm County, and was Superintendent of Schools for one year for Reynolds Township, while working occasionally at his trade of carpentry.
John was living in Howard City when became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association in September of 1885. He was probably a member of Grand Army of the Republic Jones Post No. 252 in Howard City. He received a pension (no. 438683).
By 1897 John was living at 1769 6th Street in San Diego, California; he was still living in San Diego in 1897, apparently under the care of his daughter Mrs. Idella McCord.
John died a widower of palsy in Howard City on April 4, 1901, and was buried in Reynolds cemetery (old section).