Freeman Gilbert

Freeman Gilbert, also known as “Gilbert Freeman,” was born January 27, 1847, in Chester County, Pennsylvania, or Ohio, the son of Norton (1814-1903) and Mehitable (Whitman, 1817-1878).

New York native Norton married Massachusetts native Mehitable in 1839, near Cleveland, Ohio, where Norton owned property. In 1851 Norton moved his family to Byron, Kent County, Michigan, where they were still living in 1860.

Freeman stood 6’0” with gray eyes, dark hair and a light complexion, and was a 17-year-old farmer possibly living in Byron or perhaps in Oakfield, Kent County when he enlisted in Company K on January 23, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered the same day. He joined the Regiment on February 17 at Camp Bullock, Virginia, was captured on May 6, 1864, at the Wilderness, Virginia, and confined at Andersonville prison in Georgia. He was transferred as a prisoner-of-war to Company I, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864.

Norton was still living in Byron in 1870 and by 1890 he was probably living in Corinth, Kent County.

Freeman died of scorbutus on July 4, 1864, at Andersonville prison. He was reportedly buried in Andersonville National Cemetery: grave no. 2862; there is also a marker for him in Gilbert cemetery, Kent County; see photo G-182.

No pension seems to be available.

Norton and Mehitable were still living in Byron in 1870; by 1890 Norton was living in Corinth, Kent County.

Asa B. Gilbert

Asa B. Gilbert was born 1829 in Washtenaw County, Michigan or in New York.

In 1850 there was one Asa B. Gilbert, age 31 and born in New York, working as a farmer for one James Tyler in Freedom, Washtenaw County.

Sometime in the early 1850s Asa married New York native Mary Elizabeth Barrett (b. 1835), and they had at least three children: Myron C. (b. 1854), Junelia (b. 1857) and Owen (b. 1861).

By 1860 Asa was working as a day laborer and sawyer living with his wife and children in Algoma, Kent County; that same year Wilbur Wait, who would also enlist in Company F, was boarding with Asa and his family.

Asa stood 5’8” with blue eyes, brown hair and sandy complexion and was 32 years old and may have been living in Grand Rapids, quite possibly in the area of Lamphamville and Rockford, when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861, possibly with Wilbur Wait.

Asa was reported sick in the hospital in July and August of 1862, but eventually recovered and rejoined the Regiment. He reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Caledonia, Kent County, was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough, probably at his home in Michigan, in January of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February.

Asa was shot in the right arm on May 6, 1864, at the Wilderness, Virginia, subsequently hospitalized and was probably still in the hospital when he was transferred as Sergeant to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He was sent to Mower hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on September 20, and transferred to Islington Lane hospital in Philadelphia on January 21, 1865, where he died of smallpox on March 9, 1865. He was originally interred on March 11 in Glenwood cemetery: no. 56 or 54, and then reburied in the Philadelphia National Cemetery: section B, grave 644.

In April of 1865 Mary applied for and received a widow’s pension (no. 54880). It is possible that she subsequently remarried and is the "M. E. Valkenburgh" listed as guardian for Asa’s minor children pension applications in 1866 (no. 76307).