California

John Abram Taylor - update 8/31/2016

John Abram Taylor was born on April 3, 1836, in Michigan, son of James Hough (born 1811 in Ontario, Canada, died 1873 in Michigan) and Harriet Brewer (born 1811 in New York, died 1854 in Michigan).

James married New York native Harriet on November 11, 1832, in Wilson, Niagara County, New York. and came to Michigan sometime before 1834, and by 1840 had settled in Oakland County. At some point after 1843 James moved his family again, and by 1850 had settled in Eagle Township, Clinton County, where John was attending school with his siblings. After Harriet died in May of 1854, James remarried to Chloe Stansell that July and the family settled in Allendale, Ottawa County. James was serving as a Justice of the Peace in Ottawa County by the early 1860s.

John A. was 26 years old and living in either Allendale or Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company I on November 5, 1862, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Grand Rapids, joining his three younger brothers Chauncey, James and Martin. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.)

John A. joined the Regiment December 26, 1862, at Camp Pitcher, Virginia, and by late April he was sharing a tent with his two brothers James and Martin. John was shot in the right shoulder on May 2, 1863, at the battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia, the bullet exiting near the upper part of his arm. He was subsequently hospitalized, and transferred to 78th Company, 2nd Battalion, Veterans Reserve Corps (VRC) on January 15, 1864, at Washington, DC.

He was eventually discharged from the VRC and returned to Allendale.

In January of 1865 he married Amanda Jane Todd (1850-1909), and they had at least three children: Charles H. (b. 1866), Frank J. (b. 1871) and Anna M. (b. 1873). Following the death of Amanda, John may have married a third time to a Susan McFarline. In 1867 John applied for and received a pension (no. 82351).

John was a member of the 3rd Michigan Infantry Association. He worked as a farmer on 78 acres in section 9 until about 1876 when he moved his family to Indiana and then on to Kansas, where he was joined by his two brothers James and Martin. All three brothers remained in Kansas from 1877 until about 1887 when they moved to Arkansas. They were living in Little Rock in 1900 and in about 1902 both James and John moved to the Oakland, California area, where John worked for some years as a cabinet-maker; brother Martin returned to Ottawa County. John was living as a widower in Oakland, California in 1910.

John A. died on August 27, 1915, in Oakland, and was buried in Mountain View cemetery in Oakland, California. Curiously, however, the dates of birth & death are left blank in the space reserved for them on his headstone. It is possible that he was buried in another location, quite likely with his third wife. In fact, according to the SUVCW database, he died in 1918 and was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Battle Creek, Calhoun County, although this has yet to be confirmed.

James Mortimer Taylor - update 8/31/2016

James Mortimer Taylor was born on May 22, 1838 in Detroit, Michigan, the son of James Hough (born 1811 in Ontario, Canada, died 1873 in Michigan) and Harriet Brewer (born 1811 in New York, died 1854 in Michigan).

James married New York native Harriet on November 11, 1832, in Wilson, Niagara County, New York. and came to Michigan sometime before 1834, and by 1840 had settled in Oakland County. At some point after 1843 James moved his family again, and by 1850 had settled in Eagle Township, Clinton County. After Harriet died in May of 1854, James remarried to Chloe Stansell that July and the family settled in Allendale, Ottawa County. James was serving as a Justice of the Peace in Ottawa County by the early 1860s.

James Mortimer stood 5’11” with blue eyes, brown hair and was 23 years old and probably living in Allendale when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861, along with his younger brothers Chauncey and Martin. Another older brother, John A., would join them in 1862. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.) By late April of 1863 he was sharing a tent with his two brothers John and Martin.

During the battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia, on May 3, 1863, when General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was wounded, James and several other men of the 3rd Michigan became separated from the regiment. In 1888, Taylor wrote to the editor of the National Tribune, the newspaper for the Grand Army of the Republic,

I notice quite a number of articles in The National Tribune of late concerning the death of Stonewall Jackson. I was present at the time Stonewall Jackson was killed. I was a member of Co. I, 3d Mich., of the Third Division (the Red Diamond), Third Corps. Our corps that day had been thrown out nearly five miles in the advance of the main army, following, as we then supposed, Lee’s retreating army; but, as we soon learned, it was one of Jackson’s ruses to draw us out while he made his flank attack upon Gen. [O.O.] Howard’s (Eleventh) Corps. In the afternoon we fell back nearly three and a half miles to within about one and a half miles of our main army, where we found ourselves cut off, with Early’s and Jackson’s troops between us and our army. We formed in line for battle in a large cleared field, where our brigade lay in two lines about 12 feet apart. While we were in line there some person on horseback dashed by us, jumping the rear line about 30 feet to my right, passed between the two lines -- about 60 feet apart, jumped the front line and dashed into the woods to the front and left of where I lay, he coming from the direction of [confederate Gen. Jubal] Early’s command and going toward Jackson’s.

From the description I had of Gen. Jackson I always believed that it was he.

Shortly afterwards, about 11 o’clock, [Gen. David] Birney’s whole division moved forward to that famous night charge, [Gen. Hobart] Ward’s brigade leading, ours following, and Graham’s following us, with orders to make as little noise as possible until we came upon the enemy; then make all the noise possible, both with our guns and throats, which we did to the best of our ability. In this charge we got separated, part swinging to the right and part toward the left. I was near the center, and after the first heavy firing had abated I found myself between two fires. While taking my bearings, the firing having ceased, and studying in which direction to go, I heard a shot, followed by a light volley but a short distance away, and immediately heard the Johnnies saying “the ____ Yanks have killed Jackson,” when I lit out in the opposite direction, and finally came out where we started from.

Capt [Thomas] Tait [sic] and eight others got together from my regiment that night. We got an early breakfast, while the Captain said he would look for the regiment. We swallowed our grub in a hurry, in anticipation of hot work as soon as daylight came; and before sunrise the rebs were peppering it to us form three sides, when, you bet, we did some tall running just about that time. It has always been a mystery to me how we ever escaped form there. I can look back now, and as I imagine I see those long strides and lying coat-tails, I think we must have outrun their infernal lead, to which I attribute our miraculous escape.

We came out at the Chancellor House, after which we found our regiment at the point or curve of our line, about a half mile to the right of the Chancellor House, where we made another charge, led by Maj. [Moses] Houghton in his short-sleeves, a revolver in each hand, and we took in about 500 prisoners in short order. We remained at this point until the close of that battle.

This Spring [1888], I took a trip down through Arkansas. Six miles south of Clinton I took dinner with an old Johnny by the name of Samuel Shannon, of Co. I, 19th Ga., and two other ex-Confederate soldiers who served in Lee’s Army of Virginia. Mr. Shannon was present when Jackson was shot. He held Gen. Jackson’s horse as Jackson mounted and started to the front where he received the shot, as claimed by Comrade Sweet, shot by Rankin, followed by a light volley. Mr. Shannon is positive he was not shot by their men, but by our men; which, with my own knowledge, forever settles with me the manner of Gen. Jackson’s death. Mr. Shannon also says that Jackson passed from Early’s command through our corps that night to his command, which I fully believe
.

James was absent sick in the hospital from June of 1863 until he was transferred to the Veterans’ Reserve Corps September 30, 1863, and was possibly stationed in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He apparently served in Company B, 9th Veterans Reserve Corps (VRC).

He married Henrietta Clum in September of 1863, possibly while he was posted with the VRC in Pennsylvania.

James was eventually discharged from the army and returned to Allendale where for some years he farmed on the northeast corner of 84th Avenue and Buchanan Street. He was probably still living in Allendale in 1870 when he applied for and received a pension (no. 131252).

In late 1876 or early 1877 James and his brother Martin moved to Kansas to join another brother, John A., and by 1880 James was farming in Ness County, Kansas and living with his wife. James remained in Kansas from 1877 until about 1887 when he moved to Arkansas with John A. where they lived until 1902 (in 1900 James was living in Springdale, Arkansas).

Both James and John A. then moved to the Oakland, California area (Martin returned to Ottawa County) and by 1911 James was residing at 626 59th Street in Oakland, California. On October 8, 1919 James was admitted as a widower (his nearest relative was C. H. Taylor in Oakland) to the National Military Home in Sawtelle, California. He was discharged at his own request on November 1, 1919. In 1920 he was lodging with the Krijczk family in Alameda, California.

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

James died on September 11, 1923, in Oakland, and was reportedly buried in the Soldiers’ Home in Oakland.

William Haney - update 8/20/2016

William Drew Haney was born in 1832 in Stowe, Vermont or in New Hampshire, son of Hiram (b. 1801) and Hannah (b. 1804).

Hiram was born in Vermont and married New Hampshire native Hannah, and by 1830 were living in New York, in Canada East (Quebec) in 1834 and 1836, they eventually settled in New Hampshire. In any case, Hiram moved his family to New York sometime before 1840 and then on to Ohio and finally to Michigan, sometime between 1842 and 1844, eventually settling in Allegan County. By 1860 William was working as a farmer and living with his family on a farm in Leighton, Allegan County; next door lived an older brother Heman and his family. Living with Heman was their brother Hiram who would also enlist in the Third Michigan.

William stood 5’6” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 29 years old and may have been working in the vicinity of Hastings, Barry County (or he may have been a farmer in Leighton) when he enlisted in the Hastings Rifle Company in April of 1861. The company was disbanded shortly after it arrived in Grand Rapids and its members distributed to other companies of the Third Michigan infantry then forming at Cantonment Anderson just south of the city.

William eventually enlisted in Company K on May 13, 1861 (Hiram R. would join him in 1862). He was taken sick with “remittent’ fever in the summer of 1861 while the regiment was in quarters near Washington, DC, and was hospitalized on August 23 at the Union Hotel hospital in Georgetown. He returned to duty on September 1. William was reported as a company cook in January and February of 1862, and on April 2 or 3, 1862, he was sick in Chesapeake hospital at Fortress Monroe, Virginia, suffering from “catarrhus.” On May 24 he was transferred to Washington where he was admitted on May 25 to Judiciary Square hospital suffering from chronic diarrhea. He remained hospitalized until he was discharged for pneumonia on June 12, 1862, at Judiciary Square hospital, Washington, DC.

After his discharge William returned to Michigan and by about July 1, 1862, was back in Grand Rapids staying at the home of his brother George Haney. According to Henry Haney, an older brother, during the late spring and summer of 1864 William “was engaged in the occupation of peddling maps through Allegan and the adjourning counties, traveling while doing this in a buggy or light-wagon.”

He stayed with George until he reentered the service as a Sergeant in Company H, Twenty-eighth Michigan infantry on September 20, 1864, at Portage, Kalamazoo County, for 3 years, crediting Waterloo, Jackson County, and was mustered the same day at Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County where the regiment was being organized. The regiment left Michigan for Louisville, Kentucky October 26-29 and remained on duty there until November 10. It participated in the battle of Nashville and subsequently occupied Nashville. The Twenty-eighth moved back to Louisville in mid-January of 1865 and on January 18 was moved to Alexandria, Louisiana where it remained until February 19.

The regiment was eventually transferred to New Berne, North Carolina in late February. It participated in the campaign in the Carolinas from March 1-April 26, the advance on and occupation of Raleigh, North Carolina in mid-April, the surrender of Johnston’s army and subsequently on duty at Raleigh until August. In May of 1865 William was on furlough from May 30 through June, and he was mustered out with the regiment on June 5, 1866 at Raleigh, North Carolina.

William returned to Grand Rapids after the war and for three years lived with George Haney. About 1869 he moved west. He was living near Sedan (then) Howard County (and now) Chautauqua County, Kansas, from about September of 1870 to May of 1876, “breaking prairie” in partnership with one Thomas Darnell and moved to Ouray County, Colorado in October of 1876.

William married Missouri native Martha Matilda Darnell (1852-1911), on August 13, 1871, probably in Kansas, and they had at least eight children: George E. (1874-1966), May (b. 1875), Joseph (b. 1877), Alva Elam (187901949), Belle (b. 1881), Leo D. (b. 1888), Myria G. (b. 1890) and Roland Green (1892-1976). According to his pension files he was divorced.

By 1874 and 1875 they were living in Kansas and by 1878 and 1879 had settled in Colorado. By 1880 William was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Park, Ouray County, Colorado. He was living in Ouray County, Colorado in 1888 and in 1900 working as a farmer. By 1908 he was living in Cripple Creek, Colorado. He remained in Colorado until about 1911 (probably after his wife died) when he moved to California, settling in Corning, Tehamo County.

In 1880 William applied for and received a pension (no. 317138), drawing $12 in 1882 and $16 per month by 1885. He was a member of GAR Post Henry Halleck No. 19 in Chico, California.

William was probably living with his son Leo D. Haney, in Corning or Chico, California when he died on October 27, 1912. He was interred in Chico Cemetery, Chico, California: 21-GAR-76-1.


John Miller (1) - update 8/20/2016

John Miller (1) was born on December 9, 1841, in Scotland.

John immigrated to the United States in 1857 and eventually moved west settling in Grand Rapids, Kent County. By 1859-60 he was working as a blacksmith for Cook & Seymour in Grand Rapids.

He was 20 years old and probably living in Grand Rapids, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861. He was described by George Harris, also of Company F, as “the man who swore to stand by me through thick and thin before we left Grand Rapids and has always kept that pledge inviolate, he has stood by me in danger and we have fought side by side; we tented together and slept together and are as firm friends as ever.” Harris, who was taken prisoner and spent a brief sojourn in a southern prison, had apparently requested Miller to write to Harris’ girlfriend since Miller “of course knew your address having seen me direct my letters many a time and when he was sure that I was either killed or captured he considered it his duty and in fact it was my request that if I fell in action he should in case he survived to acquaint my friends with the facts. He answered yours of about the 19th of July which I thanked hastily for doing when he told me what he had done for I naturally supposed my love that it relieved your mind of a great deal of anxiety.”

John was attached to the ambulance corps from September of 1862 through January of 1863, and reported as an ambulance driver for either Bramhall’s New Jersey Battery or Company K, 6th New York Artillery from February of 1863 until he was mustered out on June 20, 1864.

He may have been a member of the 6th Independent battery of an unknown New York artillery regiment, and it is quite likely that he was the same John Miller who enlisted in the 6th New York Artillery on August 21, 1862, at Haverstraw, Rockland County, New York, and was mustered out at Washington, DC on August 24, 1865.

It is unknown whether John ever returned to Michigan.

He married Priusian-born Bertha Wilhelmina Seibt (1847-1890), and they had at least one child: Bertha M. (Mrs. Donovan, 1874-1940).

By 1880 John was working as a blacksmith and living with his wife in Santa Rosa, California. He was living in Santa Rosa in December of 1886 when he became a member of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association, and in 1900. In 1903 he applied for and received a pension (no. 1077924).

John died on May 18, 1906, probably in Santa Rosa, California, and was buried in Old Rural cemetery, in Santa Rosa.



James Little - update 8/20/2016

James Little was born in 1837 in Downs, Ireland.

James immigrated to America and may have settled first in Ohio before moving on to Michigan. By 1860 he was living in Muskegon, Muskegon County and working as a mill hand at the Lyman Mason and/or Alva Trowbridge mill, along with William Courser and Yans Knudson (both of whom would also enlist in Company H), or at the Hubbard mill with John Freeman (who would join Company A).

James stood 5’7” with blue eyes, black hair and a light complexion and was 24 years old and probably still living in Muskegon when he enlisted as Seventh Corporal in Company H on May 6, 1861. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers,” was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties.)

On October 19 James was admitted to Seminary Hospital in Georgetown, reportedly suffering from typhoid fever; he was transferred to the hospital in Annapolis on November 1.

James was discharged on December 4, 1861, at Fort Lyon, Virginia, for asthma “of some five years standing.” Following his discharge from the army James returned to Muskegon where he worked as a sawyer. He was living in Muskegon in 1863 when he married Michigan native Thankful Parish (1844-1927) on September 10, 1863, in Muskegon.

There was one James Little who married Michigan native Theresa (b. 1848), and they had at least one child: Andrew (b. 1866). By 1870 he was working as a laborer (he also owned some $500 in real estate) and living with his wife Theresa and their son in Muskegon.

By 1890 James was living in California when he applied for and received a pension (no. 915213).

James died in San Francisco on January 27, 1898, and was buried in the San Francisco National Cemetery at the Presidio: WS-603. Curiously, his Thankful’s name (actually Thankful Parish) is engraved on the back of his stone.

His widow applied for and received a pension (no. 461915).


William Clark - update 1/28/2017

William Clark was born on December 29, 1839, in South Lyon, Oakland County, Michigan, the son of New York natives John B. Clark (b. 1808) and Lucinda Hickox (1814-1892).

His parents settled in Michigan by 1832 (possibly Wayne County), and had settled in Michigan (probably Wayne County). John B. may have been living in Vernon, Shiawassee County in 1840. By 1850 William was living with his family in Dewitt, Clinton County (so was his older brother Edgar who would also join the Old Third).

William was probably living in Clinton County and stood 5’11” with hazel eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was a 22-year-old farmer when he enlisted in Company G on May 10, 1861. (Edgar would enlist in Company G in 1862; and they may have been related to Charles Clark who like Edgar was from Lansing and who also enlisted in Company G. Moreover, Company G, formerly the “Williams’ Rifles,” was made up predominantly of men from the Lansing area.)

William was wounded slightly in the shoulder on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and by late June he was at home in DeWitt, Clinton County, recovering from his wound. He soon recovered his health and on August 11 William arrived in Detroit Barracks, the transit depot for soldiers returning to and from their Regiments, and on Friday, August 15, left Michigan to rejoin the 3rd Michigan. He was promoted to Corporal on September 1, 1862, and according to Edgar Clark of Company G, William “honestly” deserved the post. “His pay is no more than it was before but it relieves him of a great many little duties which a private is subject to, such as standing guard.” For much of his time in service William and Edgar shared not only the same tent but the same bed as well, a common use of limited sleeping space in the nineteenth century,. Apparently William and Edgar got their pictures taken on April 22, 1863.

On Sunday October 11, noted Edgar Clark, William “was splitting some kindling wood off a rail, when the hatchet made a glance and cut his big toe bad. So they sent him to Washington to a hospital.” On October 24 Edgar reported home that William was in Stanton hospital in Washington and his foot was not doing well. William eventually recovered, rejoined the regiment and reenlisted on December 23, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia.

William returned home to Michigan on veteran’s furlough during January of 1864 and rejoined the regiment on or about the first of February. It is quite possible that while he was home on furlough William married Michigan or Pennsylvania native Mary Francis Reynolds (1843-1883) they had at least one child, a daughter Gertrude Estelle (b. 1876).

Shortly after William returned to the regiment, on March 5, 1864, Edgar wrote to his own wife, Catharine, “William got a letter from his dear wife last night. She feels quite bad for she says Alice Collins has reported a story that he slept with three girls one night and she does not like it much. I would not either if I was in her place. I think myself there must be some mistake for I do not think he would cut up such a caper as that so near home, much less to tell Alice of it. I do not know what is the matter with him nor do I care much. He knows that I do not like his Mary nor never did see how he can but you know love will go where it is sent, and you know somebody must like her and he may as well be the victim.”

William was transferred as a Sergeant to Company F, 5th Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. During the movement through the North Anna area by the Army of the Potomac in late May of 1864, William reportedly shot and killed a rebel, possible his first kill. On May 26, Edgar Clark wrote home to his wife that “William wanted I should tell you he killed a rebel yesterday. He has got a sharp [Sharp’s?] target rifle which will kill a man as far as you can see. He went out on a skirmish line and got a good aim at one and after he shot he saw four men carrying a man off.” William was promoted to First Sergeant on November 2, 1864, and mustered out of service on July 5, 1865 at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

It is unknown if William returned to Michigan, although he have been living in Lansing in 1876 when his daughter was born. It’s possible that William and Mary separated sometime after Gertrude was born. By 1880 Mary and their daughter Gertrude were living with Mary’s family in Dewitt, Clinton County; the family included Mary’s brothers Nelson and Foster, her sister Hannah and their mother Tizah. Gertrude eventually went to live with her father in California after her mother died.

William eventually moved to California where he married his second wife, California native Ida Alice Maloon (1855-1932) in 1883; and they adopted a baby girl named Irma Viola (1892-1920).

By 1900 William was working as a contractor and living with his family in Oakland’s 3rd Ward, Alameda County, California; also living with them was his daughter Gertrude and 57-year-old Benjamin Maloon, Mary’s father. William was still in Oakland’s 3rd Ward, in 1910, working as a railroad employee, and living on Linden Street with his wife Ida, daughter Irma and father-in-law Benjamin was also still residing with them.

In 1871 William applied for and received a pension (no. 118522).

William died on June 16, 1918, in Oakland, California, and was buried on June 19 in Mountain View cemetery in Oakland: sec. 45, grave 136.

In July of 1918 Ida applied for and received a pension (no. 864551). By 1920 Ida was listed as the head of the household and living on Linden Street in Oakland; also living with her was her daughter Irma and her husband C. B. Stevens. Living in the same house was Gertrude Rirth (b. 1876 in Michigan) and her son Rennolds as well as another woman named Gertrude (b. c. 1877), possibly William’s daughter and her 11-year-old son Rennold (b. 1909) By 1930 Ida was living alone on Berkley Way in Berkeley, California..

Thomas Spafford Butler - update 8/20/2016

Thomas Spafford Butler was born October 2, 1840, in Eaton Rapids, Eaton County, Michigan, the son of Chauncey (1793-1858) and Aurelia (Baldwin, 1798-1847).

Chauncey (born in New York) and Aurelia (born in Connecticut) were married in May of 1815 in Eaton Rapids, MIchigan but by 1821 were living in Conewango, Cattaraugus County, New York. By 1825 the family was in Sheffield, Ashtabula County, Ohio and by 1827 back in Eaton Rapids where they resided for a number of years. The moved to Kansas City, Missouri by late 1833 but by 1840 had returned to Eaton Rapids and were still living in Eaton Rapids when Aurelia died in 1847. The family was still living in Eaton Rapids in 1858 when Chauncey died.

By 1860 Thomas was a day laborer in Lansing’s Third Ward, Ingham County, and working for John Godley who kept a livery and stable in Lansing; he may also have worked as a printer in Lansing. When the war broke out Thomas joined the “Williams’ Rifles” of Lansing, a local militia company that would serve as the nucleus for Company G of the Third Michigan infantry.

Thomas stood 5’8” with blue eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion, and was 20 years old and probably still living in Lansing (or Ingham County) when he enlisted in Company G with the consent of the Justice of the Peace on May 10, 1861. According to Frank Siverd of Company G, Thomas was in the “measles infirmary” shortly before the regiment left Michigan on June 13, 1861. (Siverd also reported that Regimental Surgeon D. W. Bliss, in order “to prevent the disease spreading, as soon as the first symptoms appear,” had all the measles cases “removed to the house of a physician, some three miles from camp.”)

It is also quite likely that Thomas was one of the three dozen or so men of the Third Michigan who were left behind in Grand Rapids to recover their health when the Regiment left for Washington in mid-June.

In any event, Thomas apparently recovered and eventually rejoined the Regiment in Virginia, but by late November of 1861 was again sick, suffering from “fever” and was presumably in the hospital. In fact, according to the War Department he was admitted to the Columbian College hospital on 14th Street in Washington, DC, on November 20, 1861, suffering from remittent fever, and was transferred on December 3, 1861. He was sick in April of 1862 suffering from “general debility” and typhoid fever in Chesapeake hospital at Fortress Monroe, Virginia, and was sent home on May 24, 1862. In fact he entered Judiciary Square hospital in Washington on May 25 and was discharged from the army for general debility on June 12, 1862 at Judiciary Square hospital in Washington, DC.

He enlisted on September 4, 1864, at Jackson, Mississippi, in Company C, 2nd Regiment, Veterans Reserve Corps (VRC) and was honorably discharged from the VRC on November 11, 1865.

It is possible that Thomas returned to Michigan after his discharge. In any case he was probably living in Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska where he married Omaha native Sarah H. Thompson on March 31, 1867; they had at least one child a daughter Eleanor (b. 1869).

They were still living in Omaha in 1869, and by 1880 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife and daughter in Bloomington or Grant, Franklin County, Nebraska. Thomas may have been living in St. Ignace, Mackinac County in 1883, but by the turn of the century he was residing in Los Angeles, California.

In 1879 he applied for and received pension no. 188,454 (dated 1879).

Thomas was living in Los Angeles when he died of consumption on July 10, 1905, and was buried in Santa Ana Cemetery, Orange County, California.

His widow was living in California in August of 1905 when she applied for and received a pension (no. 605335).


Nelson Bressau - update 5/14/2017

Nelson Bressau was born on January 26, 1842, probably in Quebec, Canada or in Michigan or Syracuse, New York, the son of French Canadians and Quebecois Peter Bressau (1816-1906) and Mary Louisa Dubois (1821-1900).

His parents settled in Michigan in 1842 or 1844. By 1850 Peter was working as a sawyer in Muskegon, at that time a part of Ottawa County, and Nelson was attending school. By 1860 Nelson was a laborer in the vicinity of Mill Point, Spring Lake, Ottawa County living with his family.

Nelson stood 5’9” with brown eyes, fair hair and a light complexion and was a 19-year-old laborer living in Muskegon County (or perhaps in Fairview, Mason County) when he enlisted with the consent of his parents 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.) Nelson was shot in the left arm on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, the musket “ball passed through fleshy part of arm, about midway between shoulders & elbow, granulated and healed kindly.” According to his medical records he subsequently “suffered pain and loss of sensation in the little finger and one-half of the ring finger” and after about three weeks “the pain extended over the whole hand front & back.”

He was first hospitalized at Emory hospital in Washington, DC, and eventually transferred to West’s Building hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and continued to suffer lack of sensation in the two digits but continuing, constant pain in his hand, indeed “leaving the arm helpless and useless and forcing him to handle it like a broken arm.” Apparently the ulnar never was torn by the musket ball and then became inflamed. He remained hospitalized until he was discharged on January 24, 1863, at Baltimore, for disability resulting from his wounds.

Nelson was probably still in Maryland in May of 1863 when he applied for and received a pension (no. 16928), drawing $8.00 per month and $72.00 per month by 1929. By the summer of 1863 Nelson was working as a laborer and living at the Hotel Baylas on 463 New Jersey Avenue in Washington, DC, when he registered for the draft; his prior service in the 3rd Michigan duly noted in the record.

Nelson eventually returned to Michigan.

Nelson was living in Mason County, Michigan, when he married New York native Alice Mary Williams or Willson (1847-1919) on March 27, 1867, in Pere Marquette, Mason County, and they had at least one child: Eva May (1873-1895).

In 1870 Nelson and his wife were living on a farm in Riverton, Mason County, and in 1873 he was living in Ludington. Nelson and his family eventually moved to Indiana and for some years he worked as a mail carrier in Elkhart. They were living in Elkhart when their only child, Eva May died in 1895. Nelson and his wife were living at 113 North Sixth Street in Elkhart and he was working as a mail carrier in 1900; also living with them were his parents and his brother-in-law Fred Willson (b. 1854). He was and living in Elkhart, Indiana in 1906, and was a member of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association.

By 1908 Nelson and Alice had moved on to Los Angeles, California. In 1910 Nelson was working as a mail carrier and he and Alice were living at 715 Frary Street in El Monte, Los Angeles County, California. In 1915 and 1917 he was residing at 727 S. Ivy Street in Monrovia, Los Angeles County, California. By 1920 he was a widower living at 316 Hillcrest in Monrovia; also living with him were a niece and nephew: Indiana natives Louella and Frank Ulrey (?). Nelson married German-born widow Mrs. Anna Dunham (b. 1858), in San Bernardino, California, on January 18, 1926.

Nelson died January 2, 1929, at Monrovia, and was buried in Forest Lawn, Glendale, California: sec. D, lot 23, next to his wife Alice.

In 1929 Anna applied for a pension, which was rejected on the grounds that she “did not marry the soldier prior to June 27, 1905 as required to give title to pension under Act of May 1, 1920.”