Alexandria National Cemetery

Samuel J. McMurray - updated 3/22/2015

Based on a review of pension records: 

Samuel J. McMurray was born in 1822 in Montgomery, Orange County, New York.

Samuel was living in Woodland, Barry County, when he married Clarissa Ann Barnum (1826-1894), at her family’s home in Carlton, on January 13, 1845, and they had at least seven children: Adelia (b. 1847), Hannah (b. 1849), Lafayette (b. 1850), Madison (b. 1852) and Lucretia (b. 1853), Samuel Eugene (b. 1861) and Effie May (b. 1864).  Clarissa was probably related to Andrew Barnum of Woodland, Barry county; Andrew, too, would join Company E 3rd Michigan in 1861.
By 1860 Samuel was working as a mechanic and carpenter and living with his wife and children in Hastings, Barry County.

Samuel stood 6’1” with blue eyes, dark hair and a light complexion and was 39 years old and probably still residing in Hastings when he was elected Fourth Corporal of the Hastings Rifle Company in April of 1861. Although the company was disbanded shortly after it arrived in Grand Rapids to become part of the Third Michigan infantry then forming at Cantonment Anderson just south of the city, Samuel eventually when he enlisted in Company E on May 13, 1861. In July of 1862 he was detached as a teamster driving an ammunition train, by August he was absent sick in the hospital, but was back on detached service in September and October. In January of 1863 he was serving with the Brigade wagon train, with the ambulance train from February through April, probably as a teamster, and in November he was a teamster in the First Division.

He reenlisted at Brandy Station, Virginia on December 23, 1863, crediting Wyoming, Kent County, was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough, perhaps at his home in Barry County, in January of 1864, and probably returned to the Regiment on or about February 1. Samuel was transferred to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and by August he was absent sick. On November 2, 1864, he was admitted to the Third Division hospital at Alexandria, Virginia, suffering from chronic dysentery, and according to his admission report he had been suffering from this disease “for about four months previous to admission into hospital [and] when admitted was considerably emaciated & having from ten to fifteen evacuations in 24 hours. Gave astringents & tonics, rice and milk diet. Was improving when transferred.”

Samuel was sent to Grosvenor Branch hospital, Alexandria, on November 19 where he died of chronic diarrhea on January 2, 1865, and was buried in Alexandria National Cemetery: grave no. 2864.

In 1865 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. In 1888 he applied for and received a pension (no. 550156), drawing $8.00 per month by 1883. Clarrissa was still living in Hastings in 1870, along with several of her children, and she was still living in Hastings in 1883, in 1888 and 1890.

Josiah E. Huff

Josiah E. Huff was born in 1841.

Josiah was 20 years old and probably living in Allegan, Allegan County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861.
He died of typhoid fever on November 20, 1861, at Fort Lyon, Virginia, and at the time of his death owed the Regimental sutler, Ben Luce, $10.00. Josiah was presumably buried near Fort Lyon, and may be among the unknown soldiers interred in Alexandria National Cemetery.

No pension seems to be available.

Thomas Griffin

Thomas Griffin was born 1834 in Canada.

Thomas came to the United States from Canada sometime before the war broke out, eventually settling in western Michigan.

He stood 5’11” with blue eyes, black hair and a light complexion, and was a 27-year-old lumberman probably living in Muskegon County when he enlisted in Company H on May 13, 1861. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers,” was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties.) On July 1, 1862, he was admitted to one of the hospitals in Alexandria, suffering from consumption, and was discharged on August 18, 1862, at Fairfax Seminary hospital, Virginia, on account of “advanced” consumption, in the “last stage.” According to his discharge paper he had been “off duty 4 1/2 months.”

It seems that Thomas never left Virginia, however. He died of consumption, on either August 24, 1862, or March 19, 1864, at Alexandria, Virginia, and was buried at Alexandria National Cemetery: section A, grave no. 904-9.

No pension record seems to be available.

Munson Granger

Munson Granger, also known as "Manson," was born 1845 in Cayuga County, New York, the son of Joseph (b. 1811) and Esther (b. 1811).

New York natives Joseph and Esther were married and settled in New York by 1840 and resided there for some years. Between 1848 and 1855 Joseph settled his family in Michigan, and by 1860 Munson was attending school with his siblings and living on the family farm in Berlin, Ionia County.

Munson stood 5’6” with black eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was a 19-year-old farmer possibly living in Boston or in Berlin, Ionia County when he enlisted in Company D on January 27, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Boston, and was mustered the same day; he was possibly related to Peter Granger from Ionia County and who also served in Company D. (Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County.)

Munson joined the Regiment on March 6 at Camp Bullock, Virginia, and probably spent very little if any time with the Regiment. According to George Fargo who also served in Company D and who was also from Ionia County, he wrote home in late February of 1864 “Munson Granger had the measles the next day after he got here and is around again.” Indeed, he was absent sick in the hospital in May, and was still absent sick when he was transferred to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864.

He remained absent sick until he died of disease on October 10, 23, 25 or 28, 1864, at Alexandria, Virginia, and was buried in Alexandria National Cemetery, although he is also noted as interred in Saranac cemetery: lot 13.

No pension seems to be available.

By 1870 his parents were still living in Berlin, Ionia County.

Henry Gabel

Henry Gabel was born in 1819.

In 1850 there was a Henry Gabel, born around 1819 in Germany, who was apparently married (?) to German-born Hannah, (b. 1827), and living in Texas, Wayne County, Pennsylvania.

Henry was 42 years old and probably living in White River, Muskegon County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company E on May 13, 1861.

(Interestingly, he did not enlist in Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers,” which was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties. If he was born in Germany or central Europe it is interesting that he did not join Company C, which was made up largely of German and Dutch immigrants, many of whom lived on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids. This company was the descendant of the old Grand Rapids Rifles, also known as the “German Rifles,” a prewar local militia company composed solely of German troopers. In any case, Company E was composed in large part by men from Clinton and Ingham counties, as well as parts of Ionia County.)

Henry was reportedly killed in a railroad accident on March 1, 1862, near Alexandria, Virginia.
While it is possible that Henry was aboard a train near Alexandria when he was killed, most likely he was struck by a train near the Third Michigan campsite. The regiment was still in its quarters at Camp Michigan at the time he was killed, and would not break camp for the spring campaign until the middle of the month. In any case, the regiment would not be put aboard railroad trains but would march to ship transports in Alexandria.

Henry is possibly buried among the unknown soldiers at Alexandria National Cemetery.

No pension seems to be available.

Alexander and George French, Jr.

Alexander French was born 1843 in St. Lawrence County, New York, the son of George Sr. (1803-1853) and Sally (Freeman, 1805-1860).

New York native George Sr. married Vermonter Sally Freeman around 1825 and they soon settled in Essex County, New York. Between 1836 and 1840 they settled in St. Lawrence County, New York. Between 1846 and 1850 the family moved westward and by 1850 had settled on a farm in Cannon, Kent County, Michigan where Alexander attended school with his siblings and his older brother George Jr., who would also join the Old Third, worked as a laborer. George Sr. died in Algoma in 1853. In the fall of 1854 Sally remarried one Silas Moore in Big Rapids, Mecosta County. By 1860 Alexander was a day laborer living with his older brother George and their younger sister Margaret, and living with their mother in Big Rapids. That same year Sally died in Big Rapids.

Alexander stood 6’3” with blue eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion, and was 18 years old and living in Mecosta County when he enlisted with the consent of the Justice of the Peace in Company K on May 13, 1861, along with his older brother George. On September 15, from Washington, Alex wrote to his brother (probably Zerah) back in Mecosta County,

The object of this letter is to inform you that one of boys here wants to buy land of [from] you on my recommendation. I drew him a map of your village as near as I could from memory and he says that if he could get a lot right north of mine that he would pay the gold all within this payment and the next [referring to his army pay?]

Now what I want of you is to write and tell me if any of those along north of mine is vacant and if they are tell the lowest figure that you will take for them. He is a boy about my age and he says that he tries to keep his money here that he will spend it sure and if he sends it home there will be nothing sure about finding it when he gets there now. I would like to have you be as easy as you can be with him for he is a poor boy like myself.

If those lots are not vacant tell in your next the nearest to mine that is vacant; tell me something more than just the number of the lot and block you know you can tell me where they lay so that I can tell him.


His name is Walter Wait; he is six feet two inches and a half tall. You can depend upon him and most of your money is ready now.


Write as soon as you receive this and let me know all about it. You will probably get thirty dollars ($30,00) from me at the same time you get this or the mail before for I have sent it already.


There is nothing more to write at present that I can think of so I will close by telling you that I intend to have you clear off my lots as fast as I get more [?] from the United States.


Alexander was present for duty with the regiment when it began the spring campaign, up the Virginia “Peninsula.” On May 3, 1862, from a camp near Yorktown, Virginia, he wrote home to his brother Zerah in Mecosta County,

As I feel in writing this morning I will endeavor to write a few lines to let you know that we [Alex and his other brother George] are all well and I also have some other good news to write. Last night an [sic] balloon went up and reported the rebels evacuating the works in the front of our camp and of course something was done right off and the result is the 40th New York, 37th New York and the 5th Michigan are in possession of the enemy fortifications. . . . The 37th and 5th both belong to our brigade and they are going and coming from the first they have taken possession of all the time. This morning was the first real hearty cheering that I had heard for some time and now the bands are playing the national airs for the first time since we have been here. They were not allowed to play any doe fear they would discover our camps in the swamps and shell us out.

More good news still; the order has just come to have two days rations on hand in the shortest possible time. This you will see means up and after them. “GOOD.”

You have of course heard of the capture of New Orleans by Farragut & Porter. If you have not I can tell you that the Crescent City is ours. But there is too much excitement here at present for me to speak of other places & we are looking for the order to march every minute. There was three of our regiment wounded on picket day before yesterday, slightly. Probably the next time you hear from me will not be dated at this place but you must direct the same as usual.

There is too much excitement to write; drums are beating, bugles are blowing and the boys are cheering. VMJ [?] is cooking as hard as he can getting ready for a start. Our Big Rapids [boys] are all touch as bucks. . . .

Give my love to all your family. I will write again as soon as circumstances will permit. . . .

It seems as though everything is going in favor of the North lately and it seems as though it is impossible to get defeated in any place. They evacuated New Orleans, Beauregard is evacuating Corinth & Magruder is evacuating Yorktown. Banks & McDowell is coming up in his [Magruder's?] rear and two divisions left this army five [?] days ago and crossed the York River and marched up the James [?] on the other side & on the whole I think if they don’t get bothered some in their retreat I am mistaken. Porter’s division is in line and ready to start after them. Professor Lowe and his balloon is already high above their fortifications watching their movements & McClellan is bound to skin them. I believe we can trust him.

According to Wallace W. Dickinson, also of Company K, during the battle of Fair Oaks, on May 31, 1862, Alexander “was among the sharpshooters, and came out without a scratch.”

Alexander was wounded in the right hand on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and by the second week of September he was in Wolf Street hospital in Alexandria, Virginia. He was still in the hospital when his brother George wrote to another brother back in Mecosta County that during the battle at Second Bull Run “Alexander was hit on the right hand and lost his third finger. He is in the hospital at Alexandria, and is doing first rate.”

Alexander eventually rejoined the Regiment but sometime, probably in early spring of 1863, he was taken ill and was eventually hospitalized, probably in Washington. He was given furlough, probably in late March or early April and quite possibly returned home to Michigan to recover his health. According to a lady friend in Washington, writing on April 20, 1863,

I should have written to you before this, but as I did not know exactly how to direct. I thought if you should improve sufficiently you [might?] return before it reached you, but as your furlough has expired and you have not come I fear your health has not improved much -- we feel very anxious about you -- as your brother says that he has not heard from you but once since you left.

We have had a few spring days which I hope will produce a good effect on invalids. My oldest brother is quite sick with erysipolas [?]. The other one comes home every two or three weeks. Capt. Benedict is still with us as he has been very sick since you saw him.

Annie received a letter from your brother on Saturday. He says his health has much improved and that they were off to drive in pursuit of the rebels. How much I wish this war was over, I have nothing of interest to write you. Annie sends her respects to you. You must get real strong before you return -- for although we would like very much to see you, we are not willing to see you return to the Reg without being strong enough to stand what is before.

Although he might have been wounded again, slightly, in May of 1863, and although he was listed among those recipients awarded the Kearny Cross for participation in the battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia, on May 3, 1863, in fact it seems he did not return to the regiment until on May 4. In any case he was listed as hospitalized in September.

Sometime in the fall he returned to duty and was wounded a third time, on November 27, 1863, at Mine Run, Virginia.

Alexander died from his wounds on December 5, 1863, at Alexandria, Virginia, and was buried the same day in the Military Cemetery (now National Cemetery) in Alexandria: grave no. 1091, later reconfigured as section A, grave no. 1091,

There seems to be no pension available.

George French Jr. was born December 13, 1833, in Essex, Essex County, New York the son of George Sr. (1803-1853) and Sally (Freeman, 1805-1860).

New York native George Sr. married Vermonter Sally Freeman around 1825 and they soon settled in Essex County, New York. Between 1836 and 1840 they settled in St. Lawrence County, New York. Between 1846 and 1850 the family moved westward and by 1850 had settled on a farm in Cannon, Kent County, Michigan where George Jr. worked as a laborer and his younger brother Alexander, who would also join the Old Third, attended school with his siblings.

George Sr. died in Algoma in 1853. In the fall of 1854 and Sally remarried one Silas Moore in Big Rapids, Mecosta County. By 1860 Alexander was a day laborer living with his older brother George was a day laborer living with his younger brother Alexander and and their younger sister Margaret, and ltheir mother in Big Rapids. That same year Sally died in Big Rapids.

George Jr. was 28 years old, stood 6’2” tall with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and living in Mecosta County when he enlisted on April 20, 1861, as Fifth Corporal in Company K on May 13, 1861, probably along with his younger brother Alexander. By mid-September George was in the hospital.

George eventually recovered from his illness and rejoined the regiment. On September 25, 1862, the Mecosta County Pioneer reprinted several extracts from a letter by George to another brother (probably Zerah) back home in Mecosta County. He described the recent engagement at Second Bull Run, on August 29, 1862.

We left Harrison’s Bar the 15th of August, landed at Alexandria on the 22nd, took the cars for Manassas on the 23d where we arrived in the afternoon. We were on the march night and day until the 29th, when we met the enemy in force near the old battleground on Bull Run. We fought him two days, got flogged, and fell back to Centreville, rested one day, and had another fight two miles from Centreville [Chantilly?]; but this time the rebels got the worst of it, for we drove them off the field killing a good many and capturing some prisoners. Our loss was 700 killed including Gen. Kearny and a Brigadier General belonging to Burnsides’ army. Our division, having lost its general and some other officers, and most of its privates, moved into camp near our old ground at Fort Lyon, within two miles of Alexandria.

The Third Regiment went into the fight with 233 men and out of that number there was 139 killed, and badly wounded. Alexander [French] was hit on the right hand and lost his third finger. He is in the hospital at Alexandria, and is doing first rate. Bob Misner got a charge of buckshot in the hand, but it did not hurt him much. The rest of the Big Rapids boys came off Scott free, unless we count George Cochrane, who is among the killed. We were all in the fight, and what any of us God only knows, for it was a horrid place. There was rebels on the left and front of us, and on the right was a battery throwing an enfilading fire of grape, canister and shell, while a fancy Pennsylvania Regiment was firing on us from behind. Poor old Third! she caught [hell] then. Our United States flag was shot to bits, until there was not a piece as big as your hand left; and finally the standard was shattered and left on the field covered with the blood of the men who had so proudly borne it through all the battles of the Peninsula. Our State colors fared but little better, but we brought it off with us.

George was reported sick in a hospital in Washington, DC from September 16, 1863, through May of 1864, and at one time he may have been charged with desertion, but that charge was later removed. He was mustered out as a Sergeant on June 20, 1864.

After his discharge from the army, George returned to Big Rapids where he married Michigan native Phebe or Phoebe A. Bigelow (1843-1899) on March 1, 1865. (She was half-sister of Stephen Bigalow, who had been a musician in Company H, Old Third Michigan. And in fact, George and Stephen worked together off and on in the Big Rapids area for a number of years.) According to one source, the couple were married “At the residence of Dr. D. F. Woolley on Wednesday evening the 1st by Rev. H. Lucas. . . . we must congratulate our friend George on this happy event in his life, and hope he will find the new campaign in which he was enlisted more delightful than his three years with the army of the Potomac.”

By 1870 George was working as a carpenter and living with his wife in Big Rapids’ Fourth Ward. He lived in Big Rapids until about 1874 when he moved to Cheboygan, Cheboygan County. He may have returned to Big Rapids in 1879. In any case he was reportedly working as a laborer and listed as divorced and living with the Barney Jehnzen family in Big Rapids in 1880 he was reportedly in Big Rapids in 1882; for many years he worked as a lumberman.

He was residing in Cheboygan in 1883 and 1885 when he testified in the pension application of John Shaw, formerly of Company K. By 1890 he had moved to Saugatuck, Allegan County but in 1907 was residing in Walker’s Point, Mackinaw County and may have returned to Cheboygan by 1908. In fact according to one source he settled in Cheboygan about 1890 and bought a saloon there, running that business along with his lumbering interests. He may also have lived in Detroit for a time. He was also engaged for some years in lumbering interests on Bois blanc island and in the summer of 1909 moved to Pattersonville (presumably in the vicinity of Cheboygan; this place no longer exists), to live with his widowed sister, Mrs. Cook, at a house on North st where he was residing by 1910.

George and his wife separated sometime around 1875. In fact there was a bill of complaint for divorce filed in Big Rapids in 1878 and the divorce was granted in February of the following year. In 1879 Phebe (who apparently remarried to someone named Alley or Allye) was graduated from the University of Michigan’s homeopathic department with a degree in medicine and returned to Big Rapids. According to the local newspaper, “By close application and persistent effort she succeeded standing at the head of her class, which is gratifying to her many friends in this city.” She practiced in Big Rapids for seven years before moving permanently to Grand Rapids.

George was living in Big Rapids in December of 1868 when he was elected an officer in Big Rapids chapter no. 52, R.A.M. and in Lodge no. 171, F.A.M. and he was still living in Big Rapids in 1875. He was also a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, and he was a member and served as the Chaplain of the Ruddock GAR post in Cheboygan (?).
In 1890 he applied for and received a received pension (no. 648,307), drawing $15.00 per month by 1907 and $20.00 per month by 1910.

George died of pneumonia at his home on North Street in Pattersonville, on March 8, 1910, and the funeral was held on March 11, under the auspices of the Masonic lodge in Cheboygan and the GAR. He was presumably buried in Cheboygan.

Martin Clyse

Martin Clyse, also known as “Clise”, was born around 1841 probably in New York, and probably the son of Frederick (b. 1815) and Margaret (b. 1820).

Both New York natives, Martin’s parents were presumably married in New York where they resided for many years. Sometime between 1855 and 1857 the family left New York and settled in Michigan. By 1860 Martin was working as a common laborer and living with his family in Salt River, Coe Township, Isabella County.

He was 20 years old and possibly living in Isabella or Ionia County when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861. (Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County.)

Martin was accidentally shot and killed by a soldier of the Sixty-third Pennsylvania infantry on March 19, 1862 at Alexandria, Virginia. Curiously, according to the U.S. Quartermaster General’s “Roll of Honor” he was reported as having died January 11, 1864 and interred in Alexandria National Cemetery: section A, grave no. 1275; it is possible that he was in fact reinterred on that date.

His parents received pensions based on the service of their son Jacob Clise (b. 1845 in New York) who was killed at Antietam on September 17, 1862, while serving with the Eighth Michigan infantry: in 1886 Margaret received a pension (337867 and cert. no. 231717) and in 1890 Frederick received one as well (704335 and cert. no. 513169). In 1870 the family was living in Bath, Clinton County.

Benjamin C., Henry Ullman and John Grow Carpenter

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).

Alexandria National Cemetery

One of thirteen cemeteries located in a burial complex just off of Wilkes street in Alexandria, the national cemetery contained the remains of some 4,200 Union soliders who perished in nearby hospitals during the Civil War.

Note there is no regularly staffed office support and no map of the cemetery. However near the door of the office you can find a printed list of burials in a binder, arranged alphabetically. You can find a list of burials at Alexandria National Cemetery online at Interment.net.

The cemetery is in fact easy to get around.

With your back to the entrance on the right is section A and then to your far left is section B; graves are then numbered sequentially within each section and the number is printed on the top of the face of each headstone.