Elmer Leroy Graves

Elmer Leroy Graves was born 1843 in Oneida County, New York.

Elmer moved to western Michigan, probably from New York, sometime before the war broke out.

He stood 5’9” with blue eyes, light hair and light complexion, and was an 18-year-old laborer 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.) He was wounded in the right arm on May 31, 1862, resulting in amputation of the limb, and by mid-July was a patient in National Hotel hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, having had his “right arm amputated” but reported to be doing very well.”

He remained absent sick in the hospital from July until he was discharged on August 22, 1862, at Baltimore, for “loss of right arm at middle third by amputation after shell wound”; his discharge paper also noted that he was four-fifths incapacitated from “earning a livelihood by manual labor.”

In 1862 he applied for and received a pension (application no. 2541).

Elmer probably returned to Michigan after his discharge from the army.

He married Michigan native Martha J. (b. 1853), and they had at least two children: Dewitt (b. 1875) and Roscoe (b. 1878).

He probably died sometime around 1879, possibly in Michigan. According to one source “Elmer Leroy” is buried in Branch County.

In 1879 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 184547). In 1880 his widow and two children were living in Matteson, Branch County. By 1890 she was living in Bronson, Branch County, listed as “Leroy’s” widow.