Charles Henderson

Charles Henderson was born in 1837 in Norway.

Charles immigrated to America sometime before the war broke out, and eventually settled in western Michigan.

He stood 5’9” with blue eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and he was a 24-year-old laborer possibly living in Nelson, Kent County or 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.)

On February 7, 1862, Charles was court-martialed at Johnson’s House, Virginia. Specifically, that “having on the 23rd of January, 1862, been duly detailed and mounted as guard at Camp Michigan, Va., was at the hour of 5 o’clock P.M. when it was time to post the second relief, so drunk as to be unable to discharge his duty as sentinel.” Second, he was charged with disobedience of orders. That Charles, “when ordered by his superior office, Sergeant Sidney B. Smith . . . to go to the guard house refused to obey said officer . . . and did reply in words, to wit, ‘I will not go to the guard house and if you attempt to put me there I will kill you,” or words to that effect.” Third and last, with violating Article 9, that Charles “did draw a stick of wood” and threaten to kill Sergeant Smith.

He was found guilty of the first two charges and not guilty of threatening to kill Sergeant Smith, and sentenced to 8 days’ solitary confinement, on bread and water, 30 days hard labor and a $10 fine.

Charles eventually returned to duty and was probably wounded on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and absent sick in the hospital in September of 1862. He was on detached service in October, in the hospital from November of 1862 through March of 1863, and in June he was a guard at Third Corps headquarters. On December 24, 1863, Charles reenlisted at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Nelson, Kent County, was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February. He was reported absent sick in February, but was apparently returned to duty by the time he was transferred to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864.

George Lemon, formerly of Company H, wrote home on July 6, 1864, that Henderson was one of the few remaining members of the old “Muskegon Rangers” left in the Regiment. Charles was a Sergeant when a mine ball shot him in the left leg on March 25, 1865, at the battle of Hatcher’s Run near Petersburg, Virginia (his hospital admission card states “6 miles to the left”). He was subsequently admitted to Armory Square hospital in Washington, DC, on April 1, from Petersburg, suffering from a gunshot wound, the “ball entering anterior portion of left thigh 8 inches below anterior superior spinous process of left ilium, exit one inch from tuberosity of ischium (left).” Charles was transferred to the general hospital in Chester, Pennsylvania where he was discharged on July 13, 1865, for a fractured femur.

After the war Charles returned to Michigan.

He was living in Michigan in 1865 when he applied for and received a pension (no. 100951). He was living in Nelson, Kent County in 1903.

Benjamin C. Henderson

Benjamin C. Henderson, alias “Henry B. Clark,” was born in 1844 in Cuba, Allegany County, New York, the stepson of John B. Gibb and son of Mary B. Gibb.

Sometime before 1862 Benjamin’s family left New York and moved west, eventually settling in western Michigan. In 1860 there was a farmer named John B. Gibb living alone and working in Weaversville, Fremont Township, Newaygo County, Michigan.

In March of 1862 Benjamin, then underage, appealed to his mother and stepfather to allow him to enlist in the Third Michigan infantry. His parents wrote to Third Michigan recruiting officer, Wallace W. Dickinson of Company K -- then in Newaygo County recruiting for the regiment -- on March 22, 1862, “We hereby give you permission to enlist Benjamin C. Henderson being a minor, provided Joseph Whitehead goes [with him] and on no other condition. If he goes we request you to keep him in your company if possible and write for him occasionally and send his wages to Mary B. Gibb Weaversville.” However, Whitehead did not join the Third Michigan, but Benjamin did.

He stood 5’7” with blue eyes, sandy hair and a sandy complexion, and was an 18-year-old farmer probably living with his family in Fremont, Newaygo County, when he enlisted in Company K on March 12, 1862, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered the same day. He was absent sick from September 16, 1863 until March 31, 1864, when, pursuant to G.O. No. 46, War Department, he was transferred to the Veterans’ Reserve Corps. He reportedly served with Company I, Eighteenth VRC, Sixteenth Company, Second Battalion, VRC and One Hundred Twenty-seventh’s cavalry, First Battalion, VRC.

There is no further record.

In fact, Benjamin apparently reentered the service under the name of “Henry B. Clark,” in Company D, Tenth Pennsylvania infantry.

In any case, he survived the war and was living in Pennsylvania in 1904 when he applied for a pension (no. 1321320) for service in both Michigan and Pennsylvania regiments, but the certificate was never granted.