Wilson Jones

Wilson Jones was born on June 13, 1815 in Onondaga County, New York, the son of Thomas and Lucy (Gunn).

Wilson left New York sometime in the early 1840s and moved westward. He was possibly living in Illinois when he married New York native Elizabeth (1823-1898) on January 1, 1843, in Chicago, and they had at least four children: Helen (b. 1843), William H. (b. 1846), Charles W. (b. 1852), Eugene W. (b. 1856), Elizabeth (b. 1861) and Mary (b. 1864).

In any case, Wilson eventually settled in Grand Rapids sometime in 1843 shortly after he and Elizabeth were married. By 1850 they were living in Grand Rapids where Wilson worked as a carpenter. In the summer of 1855 Wilson joined the newly formed “Grand Rapids Artillery,” a local militia company, as a sergeant.

By 1859-60 Wilson was working as a carpenter and residing on the southwest corner of Scribner and First Streets, on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids. In 1860 he was a carpenter living with his wife and children in Grand Rapids, Fourth Ward. Living with and/or working for him was Allen Foote, who would also enlist Company B. Next door lived David Northrup and his family; David too would join Company B in 1861. And two doors from David lived Baker Borden who would command Company B when the Third Michigan was first organized in the spring of 1861.

Wilson stood 6’0” with black eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 46 years old when he enlisted in Company B on November 18, 1861, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered on December 23 at Detroit. (Company B was made up largely of men from Grand Rapids, and many of whom had served in various local militia units before the war, in particular the Grand Rapids Artillery, under Captain Baker Borden, who would also command Company B.) According to Dr. James Grove, Regimental Surgeon, he contracted hepatitis on or about May 23, 1862, “two or three days after the march of the Regiment from Cumberland Landing to Baltimore Crossroads” and was in the Regimental hospital when he was listed as a bugler and missing in action on July 1, 1862, at White Oak Swamp, Virginia.

In fact Wilson had been taken prisoner at Baltimore crossroads, Virginia, on June 29, probably while a patient in Kearny’s Division hospital. According to one report Jones had been “Among the prisoners at the hospital on the York River, held by the rebels” and “the New York Herald says that the joy of the poor wounded soldiers at their anticipated release was very great, but when they were informed that they must return to the hospital again and be held there as prisoners, their grief was indescribable, especially among those who were sick. The scene was heartrending.”

Wilson was interned briefly in Libby prison, paroled on July 11 at Talleysville, Virginia, and sent to Fortress Monroe, where he arrived at Old Point, Virginia, near Fortress Monroe, on the John Tucker, on the afternoon of July 11. From Virginia he was sent on to Camp Parole in Annapolis, Maryland where he arrived on July 13, and he remained at Camp Parole until returned to the Regiment on December 20 at Camp Pitcher, Virginia. According to Captain Fred Stowe of Company B, Jones was suffering from general debility when he rejoined the Regiment, and was discharged for chronic hepatitis and general debility on January 14, 1863, at Camp Pitcher, Virginia.

Following his discharge Wilson returned to Grand Rapids where he lived the rest of his life, and for many years worked as a carpenter. In 1867-68 he was residing at 11 Lincoln Street.

He was probably the same Wilson Jones who, according to a story in the Eagle of September 9, 1871, accused one Watson Parrish “with having insulted him (Jones) in a manner to grievous to be borne with patience, and so Wilson J. attempted to prove such charge in a court of law. Six ‘good and true yeomen’, however, decided that Watson had not so wronged Wilson, and Jones had his own costs to pay, a matter of $13.52. He is not as fond of the law business as he was formerly.” Three days later the Grand Rapids Eagle reported that

In justice to the parties concerned it is right that a more comprehensive statement should be made of the case Wilson Jones vs. Watson Parrish, mentioned in our police report the other day. Mr. Jones has been an orderly c of the place for a quarter of a century. He made complaint against Watson Parrish, a constable of Walker, under the ordinance which declares the wanton use of disrespectful, immoral, insulting or abusive language by one person toward another in the streets to be disorderly conduct rendering the use of such language liable to a fine. Mr. Jones has a natural defect in his eyes; one of the being turned inward, and this is the fact that gives point to the particular language complained of, which was that the defendant, while passing him in the street called him a ‘d___d cock-eye.’ In the trial by jury before Justice Budington, the complainant testified that Parrish used this language publicly, and this was corroborated by others; Jones also testified that on several occasions the defendant had insulted him on the streets, without provocation, by the use of that or similar language. Parrish was sworn and admitted the use of the language, but asserted that it was addressed to a third person and was not intended for the plaintiff’s ear. There was the testimony and there the ordinance, and there the jury who, with both before them, brought in a verdict of ‘no cause of action’, thus saddling the costs upon the complainant, who says he is now in doubt as to whether they considered such vile language from such a source insulting and abusive or not. It was certainly such as no gent would use touching the misfortunes or natural deformities of another.

He was working as a carpenter and living with his wife and five children in Grand Rapids’ Seventh Ward in 1880.

Wilson was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, of Grand Army of the Republic Custer Post No. 5 in Grand Rapids and of the Old Residents’ Association.

In 1892 he applied for and received a pension (no. 634220), drawing $12 per month by 1901.

He was a widower when he died of “senile decay” at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday July 6, 1901, at his home at 104 Washington Street in Grand Rapids. The funeral was held from his home at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, July 8, and he was buried in Oak Hill cemetery: block B lot 42.

“As a citizen,” wrote the Grand Rapids Herald, “he was a gentleman of the old school, upright, honest, industrious, in all things a fitting example for the young. His death was typical of his life -- quiet and peaceful.”

William Jones

William Jones was born in 1833 in either Wyoming County, New York or in Indiana.

Sometime in the late 1850s William settled in western Michigan, and by 1860 he was working as a blacksmith for James A. Belknap in Grand Rapids, Fifth Ward. Shortly before the war broke out William probably became a member of the Valley City Guard, the prewar Grand Rapids militia unit many of whose members would form the nucleus for a company.

He stood 5’7” with gray eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was 28 years old when he enlisted in Company A on May 13, 1861. George W. Miller, also serving in Company A wrote, home to his parents on November 21, 1861, and described the men sharing his tent during the winter of 1861-62. He said that Jones was formerly a blacksmith in Grand Rapids, and was the bedmate of Francis Kimball, also of Company A. Sometime in May of 1862 he was struck down with consumption and hospitalized until he was discharged for consumption of 4 months’ standing on September 29, 1862, at Upton’s Hill, Virginia.

After he was discharged from the army William returned to Michigan where he reentered the service in Company M, Tenth Michigan cavalry on August 20, 1863, at Eureka, Montcalm County for 3 years, crediting Eureka, and was mustered on September 21 at Grand Rapids where the regiment was organized between September 18 and November 18, 1863, when it was mustered into service. It left Michigan for Lexington, Kentucky on December 1, 1863, and participated in numerous operations, mostly in Kentucky and Tennessee throughout the winter of 1863-64. Most of its primary area of operations would eventually be in the vicinity of Strawberry Plains, Tennessee. (He is found in both Third infantry and Tenth cavalry 1905 Regimental histories.)

William was absent with leave from January 4, 1864, through May when he was sick at Knoxville, Tennessee. He was promoted to Corporal on October 1, 1865, and mustered out on November 11, 1865 at Memphis, Tennessee.

Following his discharge from the army in 1865 William returned to western Michigan and eventually settled in Algoma, Kent County. He was probably working as a blacksmith and living with the Halsey family in Algoma in 1870.

He may have been a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association (his death is mentioned at the Association reunion in December of 1897). In1882 he applied for and received a pension (no. 490326).

William was admitted as a single man to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 378) on July 20, 1886; he listed his nearest living relative in 1886 as one Emil Jones who was then residing in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

He was discharged from the Home the first time at his own request on August 27, 1887, readmitted on May 3, 1888, discharged August 29, 1890, admitted once again on June 25, 1891, discharged on April 22, 1892, readmitted on December 18, 1893, discharged a fourth time on April 26, 1895 (?), and admitted for the final time on July 11, 1895.

William he died at the Home of general debility and hematemesis (vomiting blood) on October 25, 1897, and was buried in the Home cemetery: section 1 row 1 grave 3.

Walter T. Jones

Walter T. Jones was born in 1840.

Walter was 21-year-old and probably living in Muskegon County, Michigan, 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 may have been a Corporal when he was wounded on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and was subsequently sick in the hospital from August of 1862 through May of 1864.

There is no further record, and no pension seems to be available.

Martin V. Jones

Martin V. Jones was born in 1833 in New York.

Martin was married to New York native Almira Lester (b. 1834) , on November 18, 1855, in Grand Rapids, Kent County, and they had at least one child, a daughter Laura or Lora (b. 1856). By 1860 Martin was working as a farmer and living with his wife and child in Leighton, Allegan County. That same year there was a Martin Jones (b. 1786) and his wife Doris (b. 1793), living with the Jonathan Morry family in Cheshire, Allegan County.

In any case, Martin had blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 29 years old when he enlisted in Company F on August 22, 1862, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Leighton, and was mustered the same day at Detroit. He joined the Regiment on September 7 at Fairfax Seminary, Virginia, and was transferred to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He was killed in action on June 16, 1864, near Petersburg, Virginia, and was presumably buried among the unknown soldiers interred near Petersburg.

In November of 1864 Almira was probably living in Leighton, Allegan County when she applied for and was granted a widow’s pension (no. 42954); in 1889 in Michigan she applied on behalf of her minor children for a pension which was also granted (381237).

James C. Jones

James C. Jones was born in 1834 in Niagara County, New York.

James left New York and moved westward, possibly to Wisconsin and then to western Michigan, sometime before the war broke out.

He stood 6’0” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was a 27-year-old farmer possibly living in Newaygo County when he enlisted in Company K on April 27, 1861. By August of 1862 he was absent sick in a hospital, possibly at Fortress Monroe, Virginia, and on September 21 was reported as a deserter at Upton’s Hill, Virginia. In fact, he was discharged for “lung disease” on November 15, 1862, at Chesapeake hospital, Fortress Monroe, Virginia.

It is not known if James ever returned to Michigan.

He listed Orion City, Richland County, Wisconsin as his mailing address on his discharge paper, and indeed he was living in Marietta, Wisconsin, when he reentered the service on February 3, 1865, as a private in Company G, Forty-seventh Wisconsin infantry. The regiment was organized for one year during the winter of 1864-65 at Camp Randall in Wisconsin, and left the state on February 27, 1865. It proceeded to Louisville, Ky., Nashville and Tullahoma, Tennessee, where it was assigned to guard duty until the close of August. James was mustered out with the regiment on September 4, 1865, at Nashville, Tennessee.

James applied for a pension (no. 886152).

James was living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, when he died on December 14, 1915.

Henry Jones

Henry Jones was born in 1846 in New York City, New York.

Henry left New York State and moved west, settling in western Michigan sometime before early 1864.

He stood 5’10” with blue eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion and was an 18-year-old farmer possibly living in Muskegon County when he enlisted in Unassigned on February 9, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Muskegon, and was mustered the same day.

There is no further record.

However, Henry may have in fact returned to Michigan and enlisted in Unassigned, Twenty-seventh Michigan infantry on February 26, 1864 at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Polkton, Ottawa County. He stood 5’9” with blue eyes, dark hair, light complexion and was a 22-year-old sailor, and was mustered the same day.

Again, there is no further record.