William P. H. Ferris

William P. H. Ferris was born in either 1813 or in March of 1822, in Essex County, New York.

William married Connecticut native Maria (Pennell?, 1811-1888), and they had at least four children: George (b. 1832), Mary (b. 1833), Marcia (b. 1844) and Allen Frank (b. 1857).

William may have been living in Franklin, Knox County, Ohio in 1830. In any case, the family was living in Ohio in 1832 and 1833 and moved to Michigan sometime before 1844. By 1850 William was working as a mason and living with his wife and three children in Plymouth, Wayne County. He eventually moved his family to the western side of the state and by 1858 William was living in Grand Rapids when he joined the Valley City Guard, a local militia company which would serve as the nucleus for Company A, Third Michigan infantry in 1861; in fact, he would remain a member of the VCG until the outbreak of war.

By 1859-60 William was working as a mason living on the west side of Ransom Street between Lyon and Fountain Streets in Grand Rapids, and in 1860 he was reportedly working as a mason and living with his wife and one child in Grand Rapids Third Ward.

William stood 5’8” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 38 years old and probably living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted as Fifth Sergeant in Company A on May 13, 1861. He was discharged on December 16, 1861, at Fort Lyon, Virginia for a "prolapsed anus produced by the fatigue occasioned by the march to and from Bull Run” between July 18 and 21, 1861, and which “made its appearance immediately after that event.” He promptly applied for and received a pension (no 12320).

After his discharge William returned to Grand Rapids, ran for election as Third Ward constable defeating Josiah Cook for that office in April of 1863.

Soon after becoming ward constable, noted a local newspaper, “One of the soldiers from Camp Lee,” the draft depot in Grand Rapids, “got ‘salubrious’, from the too free use of liquid “overjoyful” yesterday, and thereupon believing himself a skirmishing party -- in fine, opened with his “maulers” on the enemy, whereupon officers Parkman and Ferris put a period to the contest, by arresting and lodging in jail the belligerent or offensive party. The result caused quite a gathering of the ‘peops’ and brass buttoned gentry at the foot of Monroe Street, last evening, to discuss the merits and demerits of the parties personally interested. All passed off quietly, however, and the young man is doubtless all right again today.”

And four days later the Grand Rapids Eagle reported that one “John Hogan, a deserter from the Fourteenth Regiment Michigan infantry, was arrested by officer Ferris, in this city yesterday, and lodged in jail, charged with deserting from the U.S. army.”

William served as constable for the Third Ward from 1865 through 1869, and was also a deputy sheriff from 1868 to 1869, during which time he resided at 46 Ransom Street. He was still living on Ransom Street in 1870, working as a constable, living with his wife; also living with them was 13-year-old Frank Allen.

William was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association.

He died of apoplexy just after noon on June 25, 1873, and the funeral was held at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday at the home of his son-in-law A. H. Kimball, 32 Livingston Street. The location of William’s grave is presently unknown; it does not appear that he was buried in Kent County. The Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War graves database report him as buried in Riverside cemetery in Hastings, Barry County, but that cannot be confirmed either.

By 1880 his widow was apparently living with her daughter, Mrs. Mary Pennell Moon and son-in-law, Frederick Shriver and their family in Grand Rapids (Mary was Fred’s second wife). Shriver had also served in the Old Third during the war.

Washington Knapp Ferris

Washington Knapp Ferris was born 1819 in New York.

Washington was married to his first wife, New York native Mary Jane (b. 1828), probably in New York, and they had at least one child Viola (b. 1847).

He moved to Michigan, probably from New York, sometime before 1847, and by 1850 he was working as a farmer (he owned some $3000 worth of real estate) and living with his wife and daughter in Emmet, Calhoun County. By 1860 Washington was a farmer and a merchant living with his second wife, New York native Catharine M. (b. 1834), in Rutland, Barry County. Besides the daughter from his first marriage, he also had two other children: Ciola (b. 1853) and Mary (b. 1857), both girls were born in Michigan. (It is not known what became of his first wife Mary.)

Washington stood 5’9” with blue eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was 42 years old and still living in Barry County, probably in the Hastings area, when he was elected First Lieutenant 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, Washington eventually enlisted in Company E on May 13, 1861.

Apparently there were rumors around Hastings that Washington had thrown the regimental colors away during the battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861. However, according to Isaac Reed, also from Hastings and formerly of the Third Michigan but on detached duty as Brigade wagoner, in fact Ferris suffered a sunstroke on Thursday, July 18, when the Regiment first engaged the enemy at Blackburn’s Ford, near Bull Run, but was soon back on duty and participated honorably with the regiment on July 21.

Washington was discharged for hemorrhoids on November 19, 1861, at Fort Lyon, Virginia. He returned to western Michigan where he reentered the service as Captain in Company D, Third Michigan infantry (reorganized), commissioned on July 29, 1864 and mustered at Grand Rapids on September 10, crediting Rutland. He was under arrest as of December 4, 1864, reason(s) unknown, but he resigned from army soon afterwards. On February 28, 1865, while in camp near Huntsville, Alabama, Ferris wrote in his resignation that “I do not consider myself competent to discharge the duties of the office” of company commander. There is no known record of what prompted his resignation or what exactly was the nature of his “incompetency.” His resignation was accepted by Headquarters, Department of the Cumberland on March 12, 1865.

After he resigned from the army Washington probably returned to Michigan, but by 1883 he was apparently residing in Arizona when applied for a pension (no. 452232), although the certificate was never granted. In fact at one time he operated a saloon in Arizona in the late 1880s in either Arizona or New Mexico. Washington eventually returned to Michigan, however, and was living in Hastings, Barry County in 1890, and indeed he lived most of his postwar years in the Hastings area.

He became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association in December of 1889, and was also a member of the Grand Army of the Republic Fitzgerald Post No. 125 in Hastings.

Washington died in Hastings on January 5, 1892, and was buried on January 7 in Riverside cemetery, Hastings: block B-south, lot no. 9, grave northwest 1/4-1; see photo G-291.

Squire H. Ferris

Squire H. Ferris was born 1817 in Orange County, New York.

In 1820 there was a Gideon “Farris” living in Greenfield, Orange County, New York, and a Sarah “Farris” living in Cornwall, Orange County, New York. By 1830 one Elijah Ferris was living in Newburgh, Orange County, New York. That same year Augustus Ferris was living in Ira, Cayuga County, New York. Squire may in fact be related to New York native Thatcher Ferris (b. 1786) who settled in Ira, Cayuga County, New York, around 1804 and lived most of his life in Ira.

We do know that "Squire H." married New York native Jane (b. 1817), presumably in New York, and they had at least three children: Henry (b. 1838), Lucilla (b. 1839) and Gilbert (b. 1846).

By 1840 Squire was living in Ira, Cayuga County, New York, and in 1850 he was working as a shoemaker and living with his wife and three children in Ira. Sometime after 1856 Squire took his family and moved westward, eventually settling in Michigan. By 1860 he was working as a shoemaker and living with his wife and two children in Campbell, Ionia County.

He stood 5’10” with gray eyes, light hair and a light complexion, and was a 45-year-old shoemaker and farmer possibly living in Campbell, Ionia County when he enlisted in Company C on February 14, 1862, at Saranac, Ionia County for 3 years, and was mustered the same day. He injured his the left arm and wrist sometime in 1862, possibly at Second Bull Run on August 29, 1862, and was admitted to Judiciary Square hospital in Washington, DC. He was discharged on December 6, 1862, at Judiciary Square hospital for “loss of left arm by amputation.”

In 1862 Squire applied for and received a pension (no. 10663).

In 1870 Henry Ferris was living in Fairfield, Shiawassee County; also living with him was his mother Jane and a basket-maker named Maquis Ferris (b. 1846 in New York). In 1880 Gilbert Ferris was a single man working as a mechanic in Campbell, Ionia County and Jane was listed as a widow living in Owosso, Shiawassee County.

James M. Ferris

James M. Ferris was born 1838 in Oakland, Oakland County, Michigan, the son of Morgan (b. 1806) and Catharine (Wycoff, b. 1802).

Morgan and Catharine were born native New Yorkers and were probably married in New York sometime before 1832. (Morgan may have been living in Roxbury, Delaware County, New York in 1830.) In any case they resided in New York for some years before emigrating to Michigan. By 1840 Morgan was living in Southfield, Oakland County. By 1850 James was living with his family in Southfield, Oakland County, where his father worked a farm. By 1860 James was a student living with his family and working as a foundryman, probably for his father who was operating an iron foundry in Lyons, Ionia County.

James stood 5’10” with gray eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion, and was 23 years old and probably still living and working in Ionia County when he enlisted as Second Sergeant 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 acting Sergeant Major in August of 1862, and from September 11, 1862, through April of 1863, he was in Michigan on detached service, recruiting for the Regiment. By the end of May he was back on duty with the regiment in Virginia, and he reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Byron, Kent County. James was probably absent at his family’s home in Michigan on veteran’s furlough in January. Curiously, he was reported as having been reduced to the ranks on January 31, 1864, offense(s) unknown.

In any case, he probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February of 1864.

On June 1 or 2, 1864, James was taken prisoner at Cold Harbor (or Gaines’ Mills), Virginia, and confined in Andersonville prison, Georgia for a period of about 10 months (until about February of 1865). He was transferred as prisoner-of-war and, curiously, listed as a Sergeant to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. Following his release in March of 1865 he was sent to the United States general hospital, Division No. 1 in Annapolis, Maryland, on March 7, 1865, and was subsequently transferred to Camp Chase, Ohio on April 23. He was mustered out as a Sergeant on July 6, 1865 at Detroit.

It is not known if James ever returned to Michigan.

He was married and had at least one child, a daughter Effale. He claimed in 1898 that his wife died in 1894.

He was probably living in New York when he was admitted to a National Military Home, probably the Southern Branch (?). On January 16, 1896, James was admitted to the National Military Home in San Francisco; he was still living there in 1898. By 1899, however, he was living at the National Military Home in Danville, Vermillion County, Illinois.

In 1876 he applied for and received a pension (no. 362796).

According to his daughter James died on June 16, 1901, in the National Military Home at Danville, Illinois, but there doesn't appear to be any record of his burial in Danville.