William Harrington

William Harrington was born on July 12, 1830, or in 1840.

In the official 1905 regimental history for the Fifth Michigan infantry, there is one William H. Harrington, age, 21, from Shiawassee County, who enlisted in Company H, Fifth Michigan infantry on August 9, 1861, at Fort Wayne, for three years, and was mustered in on August 28. He was discharged for disability on March 20, 1863, at Washington, DC.

In any case, William was 23 years old when he enlisted in Unassigned, Third Michigan infantry on December 29, 1863, at Owosso, Shiawassee County for 3 years, and was mustered on January 21, 1864, crediting Detroit.

There is no further record (and there is no service record found in the Third Michigan records at the National Archives), although he is listed in the official 1905 regimental history. And in the Regimental Descriptive Rolls for the Third Michigan the only notation made after his enlistment information was “see veteran book no. 63.” This implies William was in fact a “veteran” or reenlistee on December 29 and not a “new” recruit.

Furthermore, on December 28 the Fifth Michigan regiment returned en masse to Michigan, and was reenlisted as a “veteran” regiment (i.e., made up of sufficient number of reenlisted soldiers to retain its numerical designation). It is quite plausible that William reenlisted shortly after the Fifth returned to Michigan and was mistakenly listed as Unassigned for the Third Michigan.

And indeed there was a William H. Herrington, age 21 who enlisted in Company H, Fifth Michigan infantry, on January 4, 1864, at Owosso, for three years. He was most likely the same William Harrington who had served in the Fifth (see above), was mistakenly listed as having joined the Third Michigan and in fact reenlisted in Company H. In any case, he was wounded in action at the Wilderness on May 5, 1864, and mustered out with the regiment at Jeffersonville, Indiana, on July 5, 1865.

This “second” William Herrington returned to Michigan, eventually settling in Howell, Livingston County. He was living in Burns, Shiawassee County in 1890.

This Fifth Michigan William Herrington or Harrington was married to Mary E., and in 1863 he applied for and received a pension (no. 101566) based on his Fifth Michigan service; his widow also received a pension (no. 499162). It seems that this William H. Harrington was born on July 12, 1830, and died, possibly in Howell on March 9, 1900. He was buried in Lakeview cemetery in Howell: section A, lot 81. (See photo G-621).

There was also a William N. Herrington, age 30, who enlisted in Company B, reorganized Third Michigan infantry, on September 26, 1864, at Grattan, Kent County, for three years, and was mustered on October 1. He probably never left the state when the regiment departed for the southwestern theater of operations in October, and he died of disease on April 11, 1865, probably at the rendezvous in Jackson, Michigan. He was probably reinterred in the Soldier’s Cemetery: no. 20, in Jackson; and according to burial records he was at one time interred in Mt. Evergreen cemetery in Jackson. (Curiously the Fifth Michigan William was also reported as having died on April 12, 1865 at Indianapolis, Indiana, and was allegedly buried in the cemetery there: no. 506.)

Another William Harrington, age 16, enlisted at Wyoming, Kent County, in Unassigned, reorganized Third Michigan infantry in March of 1865 but there is no further record of him.

Richard Harrington

Richard Harrington was born in 1837 in Macomb County, Michigan, the son of William (b. 1795) and Mary (b. 1808).

Rhode Island native William and New York-born Mary were married and eventually settled in Michigan where they were living by 1831. By 1850 Richard was attending school with his three siblings and living with his family on a farm in Forest, Genesee County. By 1860 Richard was probably working as a farm laborer and living with the Lyman family in Richfield, Genesee County.

Richard stood 5’6” with hazel eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was a 24-year-old farmer possibly living in Shiawassee County when he enlisted in Company B on May 13, 1861; he may have been related to Aaron Harrington also of Company B. He was discharged on June 18, 1862, at Knight Street hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or in Washington, DC, for a dislocated knee.

He returned to Michigan where he reentered the service as a Private in Company M, Third Michigan cavalry on December 21, 1863, at Forest, Genesee County for 3 years, crediting Forest, and was mustered on January 2, 1864, at Flint, Genesee County. He joined the Regiment on May 30 at Huntersville, Arkansas, and was probably on duty with the regiment throughout 1864.

The regiment eventually moved from Arkansas to Carrollton, Louisiana in March of 1865 and then on to participate in the siege of Mobile, Alabama during March and April. It then moved to occupy Mobile and was subsequently transferred to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and to Shreveport in early June. The regiment marched from Shreveport to San Antonio, Texas, from July 10-August 2 and went into garrison duty at San Antonio. By November of 1865 Richard was serving in the Quartermaster department. He was mustered out with the regiment on February 12, 1866, at San Antonio, Texas, and was discharged on March 15 at Jackson, Michigan.

Following his discharge from the service Richard returned to Michigan.

He was married to Catharine Cole or Macey (d. 1873), on May 14, 1871, and they had at least one child: Stewart (b. 1872).

Richard was probably living in Forest when Catharine died. In any case, he was living in Forest, Michigan when he married New York native Mindwell Hathey or Hawley (1834-1912), on April 15, 1876, in Otisville, Michigan.

For many years Richard worked as a laborer. By 1880 he was working in a sawmill and living with his wife in Forest, Genesee County; also living with him was his brother Wilbur or Willard. He was living in Dodge, Clare County in 1890, in Genesee County in 1894, in Otisville, Genesee County in 1896, and in Pinconning, Bay County in 1907 when he was drawing $12.00 (pension no. 777,889), drawing $15 per month by 1910.

He was a member of the Wheeler GAR Post No. 186 in Otisville.

Richard was a Protestant when he was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 4991) on July 31, 1907, and discharged on October 3 at his own request, probably returning to Pinconning. (His wife continued to reside in Pinconning while he was an inmate of the Home.)

He died in Michigan on March 28, 1910.

In any case his widow was living in Michigan, probably in Pinconning, in May of 1910 when she applied for and received a pension (no. 726264).

Aaron Harrington

Aaron Harrington was born in 1828 in Genesee County, New York.

Aaron left New York and moved west, eventually settling in Michigan.

He stood 5’6’ with black eyes and hair and a light complexion, and was 33-year-old a farmer possibly living in Shiawassee County when he enlisted in Company B on May 13, 1861; he may have been related to Richard Harrington who would also enlist in Company B.

On the night of July 21, 1861, following the Union retreat from Bull Run, Virginia, Aaron found himself wandering around the Virginia countryside with another member of Company B, Ezra Ransom. Years after the war, Ransom described their ordeal.

Our tramp back to W[ashington] in a drizzling rain without grub was rather an unpleasant feature of that little difficulty with the gentlemen of the south. On reaching W[ashington] the Col [Colonel Daniel McConnell] told what was left over from those who had fallen out by the way side that whoever wished to could go to Alexandria for the night if they would be sure and call on him at the old camp ground on Arlington [heights] the next day. So Aaron [Harrington] & I went to A[lexandria]. On entering the town whom should we see sitting on the porch of a small house and holding his horse by the bridle but our Lieut. Col. [Ambrose Stevens] who asked us if we knew where his Regt. was. We wandered around the old town which was just jammed full of refugees -- offering a five dollar bill apiece for a bed but there were none for sale.

Although the two men became separated, Aaron eventually found his way back to rejoin the Regiment. He was wounded in the left hand and “back shocked by shell” on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and was absent wounded in Judiciary Square hospital in Washington, DC, from July though August, but by early July was reported as up and about.

He never returned to duty, however, and allegedly deserted on September 21 at Upton’s Hill, Virginia. He was reported absent sick from October through December, and in a hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from January of 1863 through February. He was discharged on March 11, 1863, at West’s Buildings hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, for “anchylosis and distortion of the left hand and thumb.”

Aaron returned to Michigan after his discharge from the army.

In March of 1863 Aaron applied for a pension (no. 11397), but the certificate was never granted.

In fact, Aaron reentered the army. He was 37 years old when he enlisted as a private in Company F, Tenth Michigan cavalry, on October 19, 1863 and was mustered in on October 23. On September 5, 1865, he was admitted to Harper hospital in Detroit. He was discharged from the army on September 15, 1865, at Detroit.

He may be the same Aaron Harrington who died at the Shiawassee County poor farm on December 6, 1869, and is presumably buried there.