Jamestown cemetery Ottawa County

David M. Gitchel

David M. Gitchel was born January 21, 1837, in Hayfield (or perhaps Hatfield, Bucks County), Pennsylvania, the son of “Squire” Levi (1811-1892) and Louisa (1817-1897).

“Squire” was born in New York and married Connecticut native Louisa sometime before 1837 when they were living in Pennsylvania. Between 1845 and 1847 David’s family moved from Pennsylvania intending to go to Wisconsin, but instead, they settled in Jamestown, Ottawa County sometime around late 1846 or early 1847 (his father was appointed the first postmaster in Jamestown in 1857). They were still living in Jamestown in 1850 and in 1860.

David was 24 years old and living in Jamestown when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.)

He died of measles on July 12, 1861, at Georgetown, DC. On Friday, July 12 Frank Siverd wrote to the Republican “Another poor fellow has laid down his armor and taken up his long unknown march that must be the fate of all of us. Though moving orders are anxiously awaited, when it comes in this form, though but one of us may receive his sealed orders, it casts a shade of gloom and sorrow throughout the entire camp. He was a member of Co. I, of Georgetown, Ottawa Co -- He was buried with military honors along side his late companion in arms.” Siverd probably refers to his burial near William Choates who had recently died and was buried at Chain Bridge, near Georgetown.

According to another Third Michigan trooper, David was buried at or near the regiment’s camp near Chain Bridge. It is possible that Gitchel’s remains were disinterred and returned home for reburial in Jamestown cemetery, Ottawa County. His name in found on the family headstone in Jamestown cemetery.

His parents were still living on a farm in Jamestown in 1870 and 1880, and in fact would live the rest of their lives in Jamestown. In 1881 his mother applied for and received a pension (no. 303282).