William H. Cummings

William H. Cummings was born 1816 in Cayuga, New York.

There was a William Cummings living in Mentz, Cayuga County in 1830 and 1840 and one Catharine Cummings living in Mentz in 1850. We do know that William left New York state and by 1860 had settled in western Michigan where he was a day laborer working for William Jones’ lumber company in Maple Island, Dalton Township, Muskegon County.

William stood 5’8” with brown eyes, black hair and a dark complexion, and was 45 years old and still 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.)

William was admitted to the regimental hospital on January 1, 1863, suffering from acute diarrhea and returned to duty on January 31. He returned to the regimental hospital on February 19, with diarrhea and returned to the company February 25. He was absent sick in the Division hospital in April of 1863, in June he was a guard at Corps headquarters, and in July was guarding supply wagons.

In September of 1863 he was again hospitalized, but had probably returned to duty when he reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Muskegon. He was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February.

William was absent sick in the hospital in March of 1864, but eventually returned to duty and was promoted to Corporal. He was wounded slightly in the head on May 5, 1864, during the Wilderness campaign. He was transferred to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He was hospitalized at Little York hospital in Pennsylvania, and Grace hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and on March 17, 1865, was transferred to Company A, Twenty-second Veterans’ Reserve Corps, at Baltimore, Maryland. He was listed as “deserter” as of July 15, 1865 at Camp Dennison, Ohio. Other records note that he was mustered out of service on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

William eventually returned to Michigan, and for some years lived in Muskegon, Muskegon County working as an engineer.

In 1879 William applied for and received a pension (no. 546829).

William may have been married.

By 1880 William was probably a widower working as a farmer and boarding in Ottawa, LaSalle County, Illinois. In any case, William was living in LaSalle County, Illinois, when he entered the Illinois Soldiers’ Home in Quincy, Adams County, on November 29, 1887, and by 1888 he was residing in Adams’ County, Illinois, probably the Soldiers’ Home. He was living still living at the Illinois Home in December of 1892.

William was probably a widower and possibly died in the Illinois Home in 1902.