Hiram G. Ellison

Hiram G. Ellison was born 1843 in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, the son of Hiram P. (b. 1808) and Betsey (b. 1820).

Hiram (elder) was born in Massachusetts or Canada and married Vermont born Betsey sometime before 1837 when they were living in New York. The family resided in New York for some years but between 1843 and 1849 moved to Massachusetts and by 1850 were living in Lenox, Berkshire County, Massachusetts where Hiram worked as a sawyer. They eventually left Massachusetts and moved westward, settling in western Michigan. By 1860 Hiram (younger) was working as a gardener and living with his family in Grand Rapids’ Third Ward, where his father worked as a teamster and his mother as a domestic.

Hiram G. stood 5’8” with gray eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion, and was 18 years old and possibly living in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861. (Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County.) He was reported absent sick in the hospital, probably in Maryland, in July and August of 1862. He supposedly deserted on September 21, 1862, at Upton’s Hill, Virginia, but was in fact discharged for chronic rheumatism on September 20 at Fort McHenry, Maryland.

He reentered the service on February 12, 1864, in Company B, Second U.S. Sharpshooters, at Jackson, Michigan, and was mustered in on February 22. Hiram was transferred to Company B, Fifth Michigan infantry on February 18, 1865, and was discharged, possibly for disability, on June 21, 1865, at Chester, Pennsylvania. (There was also one Hiram Ellison who served in the Twenty-seventh Michigan infantry, another unit which produced sharpshooters.)

At some point after the war Hiram returned to Michigan. His father, who may have remarried Massachusetts native Sylvia (b. 1832) was living on a farm in Campbell, Ionia County in 1870. Hiram (elder) was apparently married to one Catharine and living in Campbell, Ionia County in 1880. Hiram (younger) may have been living in Lowell, Kent County in 1890 and was living in Michigan by 1891 when he applied for and received a pension.

William W. Dorry - updated 1/23/09

William W. Dorry was born around April 16, 1822, in Hadley, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, probably the son of William (b. 1781) and Lovisa (b. 1790)

William’s parents were both born in Massachusetts and presumably married there. William (younger) had a twin brother who died when seven years of age. By 1820 there was one William Dorry living in West Springfield, Hamsphire County, Massachusetts. According to one source, his parents removed to the State of Connecticut in 1829, and afterward to Dansville, Livingston County, New York, where they resided until their death. Indeed, by 1850 William (elder) and Lovisa were both residing in North Dansville, New York. William (younger) may have settled in Sparta, Livingston County, New York by 1840.

William married Ohio or New York native Sarah Filkins (b. 1828) sometime before 1849, probably in New York, and they had at least three children: William H. or Jr. (b. 1849), James Albert (b. 1852) and Edmon or Edward (b. 1856).

By 1850 William was working as a paper-maker and living with his wife and son in Pike, Wyoming County, New York. Between 1852 and 1856 William took his family and moved to Michigan, and by 1860 William was working as a farm laborer and living with his wife and children in Plainfield, Kent County.

William was 38 years old living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company A on June 10, 1861. According to George Miller also of Company A and a tentmate in the winter of 1861-62, he was “ a hard old customer, but good natured and full of fun.” William was absent sick in the hospital from August 16, 1862, through December, eventually returned to duty, and was again hospitalized on April 28, 1863. By June he was reported as a nurse in the Regimental hospital where he remained through September, although in late July he was reported apparently transferred to a general hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and working as a nurse.

By the end of the year he had returned to the Regiment when he reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Grand Rapids. He was absent on veterans’ furlough in January of 1864, probably at his home in Michigan, and returned on or about the first of February, the same month he was reported as a hospital attendant. He was listed as a nurse in the Regimental hospital in March and April, on detached service as nurse, probably in the Division hospital, when he was transferred to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and he remained on detached duty through April of 1865. According to one postwar source, he “served till the close of the war as division field hospital steward.”

William was reported as a teamster in May, and was mustered out on July 5, 1865 at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

“After the close of the war,” William “returned to Michigan and engaged in farming and practicing medicine.” Indeed. William eventually went to medical school, and, according to one source, “Dr. Dorry studied medicine when a young man, and . . . practiced, more or less, for thirty years.”

He left Michigan and moved to Wisconsin, and by 1870 had settled in Eau Galle, Dunn County, in 1870, where he still owned a farm in 1880. He was probably living in Wisconsin in 1875 when he purchased 160 acres of land through the Eau Claire land office. (His son William H. purchased 80 acres through Eau Claire in 1884 and 160 acres in 1891 through the Ashland land office.)

By 1880 William was working as a physician and living with his wife Sarah in Spring Brook, Dunn County, Wisconsin; also living with him was his some James and they all lived next to his son Edward and his family. He moved to Knapp, Wisconsin in December of 1880, where he kept a boarding house for the manufacturing company of Hall, Dann & Co.

William W. died around 1890 in Wisconsin.

His widow was living in Wisconsin in 1890 when she applied for and received a pension (no. 353176?).

William and Charles V. Chamberlain

William H. Chamberlain was born 1842 in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Ambrose (1813-1860) Martha M. (Nelson, 1816-1871).

Ambrose was working for Valentine & Co. of Boston when he married Martha M. Nelson in April of 1838, in Milford, Massachusetts. By 1840 they were living in Cambridge, Middlesex County and in 1850 were still living in Cambridge where Ambrose owned and operated a soap and candle manufacturing plant, and William was attending school with his siblings. (In 1850 there was one William H. Chamberlain living in Marlborough, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, where his younger brother Charles had been born in 1846).

Ambrose moved his family moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, from Massachusetts sometime after 1854 and by 1860 the family was residing in the Third Ward. Ambrose died in January of 1860, probably in Grand Rapids. (In 1860 one William H. Chamberlain in was residing in Boston, Massachusetts.) At some point William was apparently employed as clerk for Wilmarth & Fuller in Grand Rapids. His mother was extremely wealthy by standards of the day, and claimed in 1860 to be worth $18,000 in real estate and another $12,000 in her personal estate. By 1860 William was probably still working as a clerk and residing with his family in Grand Rapids' Third Ward.

William stood 5’6” with blue eyes, sandy hair and a light complexion, and was 19 years old and probably still living with his family when he enlisted with his mother’s consent as Fourth Corporal in Company A on May 13, 1861. He may have been a member of the Valley City Guard, the prewar Grand Rapids militia company whose members would form the nucleus of Company A. If so, he probably joined the VCG shortly before war broke out. (William’s younger brother Charles would enlist in the Third Michigan in 1864, and his sister Mary married Captain Edwin Pierce of Company E just before the regiment left Grand Rapids in June of 1861.)

It seems that William was a friend of Charles Wright, also of Company A, who wrote home in August of 1861 that he and Chamberlain had recently gone to Alexandria on a pass. Wright wrote home that

[W]e went upstairs to the fourth story and there in one corner of a small room was a little hole which went out on the [roof] in which was the very same flagstaff which bore the secession flag which Ellsworth took down and which now bears the flag he raised. The flag staff was about 40 feet long and at the bottom it was about 6 inches [though] it was considerably whittled and we took the liberty to whittle it a little . . . as a token of that horrible event. I saw where the bullet lodged that killed Ellsworth; it lodged in a plank in an adjoining room after passing through a door. . . . There is two war steamers 12 guns each anchored in the river near the city. The city had a population of 20,000 before war broke out, but now it is nearly deserted, only a few stores are open; splendid mansions are closed and everything has the appearance of a once rich and prosperous city (now the grass grows in the streets). I was informed by a mechanic that resided there that two-thirds of the inhabitants are Secessionists and that they had secret meetings. We took dinner with a gentleman that informed us that he had a farm off 4 miles and that the Northern cavalry had destroyed a large field of oats of his and that he had lost 4 niggers which he thought had gone off with our army but did not know where they had gone but they had run away any how which he said was $4,000 loss to him and he seemed to feel very bad about it. Of course we sympathized with him he was no doubt a secessionist but very rich. We had fresh codfish and boiled corn bread but no butter, potatoes, which was a good meal for us poor soldiers. He seemed to pity us for the thought the north would get licked. . . .

Although William was reported to be absent sick in a hospital in July of 1862, in fact had been discharged for a wounded left ankle on May 28, 1862 at Washington, DC. There is no record of his having been wounded, although if it occurred it very possibly happened during the opening phases of the Peninsular campaign in the area of Yorktown and Williamsburg, Virginia

In any case, following his release from the army he returned home to Grand Rapids.

On Saturday, July 26, 1862, Rebecca Richmond, teenage daughter of William Almy Richmond, one of Grand Rapids’ leading businessmen, wrote in her diary that she had spent the evening at the home of Captain Edwin Pierce of Company E and his wife, Mary, who was William’s sister. “The company numbered about thirty,” Rebecca wrote, “and consisted of young married and unmarried people.” Dr. Zenas Bliss, Regimental Surgeon for the Third Michigan, Captain Pierce “and Willie Chamberlain . . . gave military dignity to the session. We danced some, after piano music, but it was so long some of us had ‘tripped it on the light fantastic toe’ that we made rather bungling work of it at first. I had ever so pleasant a time -- enjoyed it much. The Olive Branch, or rather the remnants of that once flourishing society, met here at six o'clock this evening. It is apparent that the girls have lost their interest, and will hardly be able to preserve their organization much long.”

Rebecca saw William again, this time along with his friend Peter Weber -- who had also enlisted in Company A in 1861, and who was on furlough in Grand Rapids -- on July 29 and on August 11, 1862.

Sometime between the time he was discharged and the spring of 1863, William decided to emigrate westward. On March 8, 1863, Rebecca noted in her diary that “Willie Chamberlain has gone to California to seek his fortune” in the gold fields of California.

Any hopes for improving his circumstances in California were soon dashed, apparently, and William returned east, ending up New York City where on June 11, 1863, he enlisted in Battery D, Eleventh New York Artillery, and was mustered in as Private on June 21 to serve 3 years. (This unit was eventually reorganized as Battery M, Fourth New York Heavy Artillery.) He was present for duty from September of 1863 through June of 1864, and was reported as First Sergeant on June 1, 1864.

William was reported missing in action on August 25, 1864, at Reams Station, Virginia, and in September and October he was reported as having been reduced to the ranks, presumably on account of his status as missing in action. William had in fact been taken prisoner near Petersburg, Virginia, on August 25, and was sent to Richmond on August 27. From Richmond he was transported to Salisbury prison in North Carolina, where he arrived on October 9.

He was admitted to the prison hospital on January 2, 1865, and died of pneumonia at Salisbury hospital on January 3 or 4, 1865.

According to one Sergeant J. W. Swift, who had served with William in the same battery, Chamberlain “died in the rebel prison pen at Salisbury, North Carolina, on the 3d day of January last. He died of fever brought on by exposure.” Apparently sometime in March Swift had written to the family to inform them of William’s death. William was reportedly buried in Salisbury National Cemetery: no. 524, although there is a marker for him in Fulton cemetery, Grand Rapids.

No pension appears to be available.

In 1870 his mother was residing in Grand Rapids’ Third Ward with her daughter Mary and son-in-law Edwin Pierce, who had also served as Lieutenant Colonel in the Third Michigan.

Charles V. Chamberlain was born May 12, 1844, in Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, the son of Ambrose (1813-1860) Martha M. (Nelson, 1816-1871).

Ambrose was working for Valentine & Co. of Boston when he married Martha M. Nelson in April of 1838, in Milford, Massachusetts. By 1840 they were living in Cambridge, Middlesex County and in 1850 were still living in Cambridge where Ambrose owned and operated a soap and candle manufacturing plant, and Charles was attending school with his siblings. Ambrose moved his family moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, from Massachusetts sometime after 1854 and by 1860 Charles was attending school in Grand Rapids where he resided with his family in the Third Ward. Ambrose died in January of 1860, probably in Grand Rapids. His widow was extremely wealthy by standards of the day, and claimed in 1860 to be worth $18,000 in real estate and another $12,000 in her personal estate.

Charles stood 5’3” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion, and was an 18-year-old clerk living in Grand Rapids’ Third Ward when he enlisted in Unassigned on February 12, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Grand Rapids’ Third Ward, and was mustered on February 17; although he is not found in the 1905 Third Michigan Regimental history, but he is in the 1905 Fifth Michigan infantry Regimental history. (His older brother William had enlisted in Company A in 1861, while his older sister Mary married Captain Edwin Pierce of Company E, just before the regiment left Grand Rapids in June of 1861.)

Charles may have been detached -- probably as a clerk at Brigade headquarters but this is not known for certain until later in his term of service -- before joining the Regiment or he may have possibly joined the Regiment sometime in late February or early March and subsequently detached to other duties, although there is no record of this and as far as is known he was never assigned to a particular company in the Third Michigan.

In any case, Charles was transferred (on paper at least) to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and was reported on detached service in July. By August he was sick in a hospital and on detached service from September through December. In January he was a clerk at Division headquarters, in February he was serving as a clerk at Brigade headquarters where he remained through May of 1865, and indeed probably until he was mustered out on July 5, 1865 at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

It is not known if Charles returned to Michigan after the war. He later claimed to have settled in Knox County, Illinois after the war where he worked as a laborer for some years.

In 1870 his mother was residing in Grand Rapids’ Third Ward with her daughter Mary and son-in-law Edwin Pierce who had also served in the Third Michigan.

According to statements he made in 1898 and again in 1915 he had never been married and had no children.

By 1883 Charles was living in Illinois when he applied for and received a pension no. 544,822.

Charles was living in Truro or Eugene, Knox County, Illinois in 1884 and in Knox County, Illinois when he was admitted to the Illinois soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home in Quincy, Illinois (no. 1412), and was apparently admitted a second time (same admission number) on September 25, 1895. he was subsequently admitted to the Central Branch, National Military Home in Columbus Ohio, on August 10, 1898. On October 2, 1909, he was admitted to the Mountain Branch National Military Home in Knoxville, Tennessee, from the Central Branch Home, and on May 21, 1912 he was admitted to the National Military Home in Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio; he was living at the Dayton Home in 1914.

Charles died of heart disease on May 16, 1918, at the Northwestern Branch, National Military Home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and was buried in Wood National Cemetery: plot 21-0-5.

Rufus Buxton

Rufus Buxton was born January 20, 1840, in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Simeon (1812-1866) and Rhoda Ann (Haskins, 1809-1891).

Simeon was born in Sutton, Massachusetts and he married Boston native Rhoda in 1831, probably in Massachusetts. The family was living in Massachusetts in 1834 and in Chazy Corners, Massachusetts in 1837; by 1840 they were residing in Boston, Massachusetts . They were living in New Bedford, Berkshire County, Massachusetts in 1843 and still in Massachusetts in 1845, but sometime after 1846 they moved westward and may have settled for a short time in Ohio.

In any case, according to one source, Rufus, and presumably his family, probably settled for a time in Ionia County, Michigan. quite probably Odessa where in about 1853 or 1854 he made the acquaintance of King Olmstead. (King and Rufus would enlist together in Company D, Third Michigan during the war.) By 1860 Rufus was living with the George Myers (?) family in Woodland, Barry County; that same year Simeon and his family were living in Odessa, Ionia County, and in fact, Simeon and Rhoda would live in Odessa for the rest of their lives.

Rufus stood 5’5’ with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was a 22-year-old farmer probably living in Ionia County when he enlisted along with King Olmstead in Company D on March 5, 1862, at Saranac, Ionia County for 3 years, and was mustered the same day. (Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County.) He was sick in the hospital, suffering from measles, scurvy and typhoid fever, probably in Alexandria, Virginia, from July through August, and reported as a deserter on September 21, 1862, at Upton’s Hill, Virginia. He was treated at the general hospital in Portsmouth, Virginia and on the hospital boat at Fort Monroe.

In fact he had been hospitalized at least since July, and sometime in October arrived in New York City aboard the hospital ship Europe along with 250 other sick and wounded soldiers. Rufus was reported sick with chronic diarrhea although his prognosis was good and it was thought he would return to duty. In fact, he was discharged for chronic diarrhea of 3 months’ duration on November 2, 1862, at the Convalescent Camp near Alexandria.

Rufus returned to Ionia after he left the army and married Ohio native Zarah Dolly Probasco (1849-1912), on February 26, 1863, in Muir, Ionia County, and they had at least five children: Guy H. (b. 1864), Frank James (b. 1865) Ben (b. 1867), Glendora (b. 1869 and died as an infant) and Benjamin (b. 1890). Zarah and Rufus were divorced in Watonga, Oklahoma, on June 21, 1906.

In 1865 they were possibly living in Grand Haven, Ottawa County where their son Frank was born. They lived in Ionia County for some years and by 1869 were residing in Odessa. They were still living in Odessa in 1870 next door to his old friend and former Company D comrade, King Olmstead and his wife. Rufus was still living in Ionia County in 1876 and in Odessa in 1878, and in 1880 Rufus and his family were still living in Odessa, still near King’s family.

Around 1880 – although King Olmstead thought it in about 1884 or 1885 -- Rufus moved to Kansas where he reportedly lived until about 1892 when he moved to Oklahoma where they were living in 1906 when they were divorced. Rufus was living in Geary, Blaine County, Oklahoma in 1910, 1912, 1914 and in 1915, although he also spent some time in New Mexico as well during this same period. By 1920 he was living in Watonga, Oklahoma.

Rufus married his second wife, Mary D. Gibson, on February 22, 1912, in Geary, Blaine County, Oklahoma. (Mary was a widower; her husband Adnah Shelley died in 1904.)

He received pension no. 33,664 (?), dated 1863 (?).

Rufus died on June 25, 1925, in Geary, Blaine County, Oklahoma, and was presumably buried there.

Emery D. Bryant

Emery D. Bryant was born in September of 1824 in Swansea, Bristol County, Massachusetts, the son of Massachusetts natives Caleb Bryant (b. 1781) and Avis Round (b. 1784).

His parents were married in Rehoboth, Massachusetts on April 1, 1804.

According to one source, sometime in October of 1838, Emory enlisted in Captain Hannibal Day’s company (Company F), in the Second Regiment of Infantry, in Boston, Massachusetts, for five years, and subsequently fought in the Seminole War in Florida. It was further claimed that he was discharged at Buffalo, New York, on February 2, 1843. (He was probably only 14 at the time he enlisted although he later claimed to have been 21.) Another source reported that he had “served four years in the army in Florida, and also as First Lieutenant in the Massachusetts volunteers in the Mexican War. He was through many of the principal engagements, and was wounded at the battle of Monterey [sic].”

His parents were living in Smithfield, Rhode Island in 1850 and also in 1868 when Emory died. His mother was living in Providence, Rhode Island in 1875.

By the mid-1850s Emery had left Massachusetts and moved westward eventually settling in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and for some years worked as a cordwainer/shoemaker.

He married Michigan native Louise V. Smith (1834-1902) on July 30, 1860, at Richland, Kalamazoo County; they had at least one child, a son, Emory Addison (b. 1863). Louisa had been working as a school-teacher in Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County where she lived with her widowed mother and two brothers Willliam and Addison, both of whom would also join the 3rd Michigan.

By early 1861 Emery had left Grand Rapids and moved to Muskegon where he resumed his trade as a shoemaker. Because of his military background he soon became closely involved in the first “Union” meetings held in Muskegon soon after the fall of Fort Sumter in mid-April. These meetings soon resulted in the organization of a local militia company, the “Muskegon Rangers”, captained by Bryant, and which would form the nucleus of Company H of the Third Michigan infantry. According to local newspaper accounts, Bryant drilled the men several hours every day.

On Wednesday evening, April 24, a large number of citizens in Muskegon held a “war” meeting in the basement of the Methodist church,

for the purpose of taking some measures for the organization of a volunteer military company, and for raising money to aid the State in equipping the brave soldiers she will send forth to battle for our country’s flag and the nation’s honor. The large room was crowded and the enthusiasm manifested, showed plainly enough that the citizens of Muskegon of all political parties, are [devoted] to the Union, and will [support] the Government and uphold the Administration and [rally] to the [call] in defense of the Stars and Stripes. Eloquent and patriotic speeches were made by the Rev. A. St. Clair, Hon. Chauncey Davis and W. H. Smith, Esq., which were interrupted by frequent cheers from the enthusiastic audience. W. V. Wood, C. Davis, R. W. Morris, and A. Trowbridge, were appointed a committee to solicit subscriptions towards the state loan. It was determined to make an effort to organize a military company at once, and several signed their names on the spot as volunteers.

The next evening another meeting was held at the church, “at which there was an even larger attendance than at the first. Speeches were made by the Hon. C. Davis, Rev. L. Earl, Dr. C. W. Bigelow, W. H. Smith, E. D. Bryant and H. Nicholson, Esq.” there was yet a third meeting planned for Friday evening.

These “union” or “war” meetings proved very effective in recruiting men for the militia company Emery was then in the process of organizing.

On Friday, April 26 Bryant wrote to Michigan Adjutant General John Robertson informing him that “Muskegon is wide awake and responds freely to the call of our beloved country. Since last Wednesday I have enrolled sixty names and will soon have my complement required by law. I would like you to send me all the necessary papers to organize a company of volunteers under the laws of Michigan [and] the tactics you wish me to drill by so we may be in readiness when called upon. We wish to organize and report next week, please notify me what provisions the State has made in regard to the equipments, pay, when it commences how much, etc. Our company is to be called when organized the Muskegon Rangers.”

On Saturday evening, April 27, “another large and most enthusiastic Union meeting was held at the basement of the Methodist Church” in Muskegon. “Patriotic and stirring speeches were made by Hon. C. Davis, W. H. Smith, Esq., and others.” On the following day, the Muskegon Rangers “marched to church . . . both in the forenoon and evening, to the music of drum and fife.”

On Wednesday evening, May 1, “an immense crowd assembled at the” Methodist church, “again to manifest their devotion to the Union. Capt. T. J. Band presided. The room was tastefully and appropriately decorated. Many ladies were present, and the Muskegon Rangers were out in full force, with music, flag and badges. They presented a really fine appearance. The assemblage was addressed by Rev. L. Earl, Rev. A. St. Clair, Dr. C. P. Bigelow and W. H. Smith, Esq., of this place, and Hon. W. M. Ferry of Ferrysburgh. Each of the speakers addressed some appropriate remarks to the Rangers, telling them, if called upon, to defend their country’s flag on the field of battle, never to falter in the fight, and sooner than see the Stars and Stripes dishonored, to perish every one of them. The Star Spangled Banner, the Red White and Blue, and other patriotic airs were sung by the Muskegon Union Glee Club in an excellent manner.” It was reported on May 4 that the citizens of Muskegon also subscribed $1,200 “for the benefit of the volunteer company just organized here. The families of our noble volunteers will not be allowed to suffer.”

According to the Muskegon Reporter of May 4, the “Rangers . . . a fine volunteer company, numbering one hundred men, has been organized in our village. They are a fine looking set of young fellows, and for patriotism and pluck, bone and muscle, we do not believe they can be surpassed by any other volunteer company in the State. They are now drilling six hours each day, and are making good progress.” The “Rangers” were commanded by Captain Emery D. Bryant and First Lieutenant Charles D. Spang and Second Lieutenant William L. Ryan. “It is expected that this company will form a part of the Third Regiment, and will probably be ordered away soon. We believe the Muskegon Rangers will give a good account of themselves, when the hour of conflict comes.”

Recruiting men for the new company had indeed been successful and by the middle of May the “Rangers” had reached full capacity of nearly 100 officers and men. On May 14, the Muskegon Rangers, under the command of Captain Emery Bryant, left Muskegon on the tug Ryerson and arrived in Grand Haven where they took supper. “A fine military company,” wrote the Grand Haven News on May 15, “numbering ninety-five volunteers from Muskegon, passed through our village yesterday on the way to their place of rendezvous, Grand Rapids. Muskegon has certainly patriotically responded to the present emergency of our country, and her example is worthy of imitation. May her soldiers win bright and fadeless crowns of honor and distinction.” The “Rangers” arrived in Grand Rapids on Tuesday evening, and, with a reportedly full complement, the men spent the night at the Eagle Hotel and Barnard House. Although it rained all day on Wednesday, May 15, the Rangers reported to Cantonment Anderson, located about two miles of the city on the old County fairgrounds. Frank Siverd, who was from Lansing and had just enlisted in Company G described them as “a fine class of men”.

The company did not remain in camp that evening but instead returned to the city to spend the night in various hotels. Siverd wrote to the Lansing newspaper “They were dissatisfied about something and left for home the next day.” However, one “Ranger”, George Vanderpool, made no mention in his diary of the company leaving for home. On Thursday, the 16th, the Rangers did parade through the city and stopped at the Bronson House, but they did not return to Cantonment Anderson. The following day, Friday, the company was still in the city awaiting orders from Captain Bryant.

In fact, there had been “a serious misunderstanding” between the Rangers and Colonel Dan McConnell, commanding the Third Michigan infantry. Earlier in the month the company had received orders from McConnell to report to Grand Rapids to join the Regiment, then nearing its full capacity of 10 companies, but when it arrived it was discovered that a company from Georgetown in Ottawa County had been placed in the Third Regiment “and the Muskegon Company, so to speak, were ‘left out in the cold.’” Bryant was reported to have threatened to take the company to Detroit or perhaps to return to Muskegon. More specifically, what happened was

Colonel McConnell required two things, 1st, that the Company, after inspection by the regimental surgeon, should consist of only the number of men prescribed by the U.S. call; and 2nd, that there must be at least one person fully capable of instructing the Company in the prescribed drill. The colonel reserving a right, in case there should be no such person in the Company, to select one non-commissioned officer for the "Rangers". These were the primary causes of dissatisfaction. And from these have arisen a hundred rumors of a distorted and audacious character.

The superior officers to the colonel would have had just cause to censure him, had he disobeyed their orders; and he did only that which it was absolutely necessary he should do under the circumstances. So uncertain were the ultimate intentions of the Muskegon Company, that the Military Board did not assign them to our regiment; but placed the Georgetown company in the position which the "Muskegon rangers" were to have had. At length, (on Tuesday evening of last week) the Muskegon Company appeared in our city; and the next day, ascertained that they really did not belong to the 3rd regiment, at all, in addition to the other real or fancied grievances of which they complained. But Colonel McConnell immediately opened a correspondence by telegraph, with the military board at Detroit, and eventually obtained permission for the "Rangers" to be placed in the 3rd regiment, in case they complied with the conditions which had been accepted by the remaining companies. Further objections were then interposed, and the Rangers were allowed until 8 o'clock Thursday evening to decide upon their action. No answer being given, the Colonel received the Georgetown company, and ordered them to appear at Cantonment Anderson at as early a a date as possible. I understand that they will arrive in our city tomorrow evening.

This crisis soon passed, however. “We are pleased to announce,” noted the Grand Rapids Enquirer, “that all difficulties which may have existed in regard to the Muskegon Company have been satisfactorily arranged, and the ‘Rangers’ have been regularly received as a component part of the ‘3rd Regiment’. This will be gratifying news, not only to our own citizens, but to the people of that region of country from which the ‘Rangers’ hailed.” At last, on Saturday, May 18, the company marched back to its quarters in Cantonment Anderson. The “Rangers” were designated Company H.

Emery enlisted at the age of 36 as Captain of Company H on May 13, 1861 (the day the Third Michigan was mustered into state service), although as we have seen the company did not in fact actually join the Third Michigan until May 18. Emery was joined by his brothers-in-law Addison and William W. Smith, who also enlisted in Company H.

When the Third Michigan left Grand Rapids for Washington on June 13, 1861, Emery was accompanied by his wife, Louisa. On July 5, Frank Siverd of Company G, wrote home to Lansing that Mrs. Bryant “is the only lady in camp. She moves about as if she were an angel of mercy, daily she may be seen carrying some nice dish to some of the sick members of the company; she has a smile and a kind word for everyone -- many times her presence is worth exceedingly more than a Physician's prescription, and I am sure she can exert as much influence, without speaking a word, as a dozen chaplains can by preaching.” (In fact she would eventually be widely noted for being a "volunteer nurse" and eventually burie din Arlington National Cemetery.)

During his service in the Third Michigan Bryant ran afoul of the military authorities on more than one occasion. On September 3, 1861, the Headquarters of the Army of the Potomac promulgated Special Order No. 28, which announced that Bryant was to be court-martialed, charged with violating Article 42. He reportedly left camp and remained AWOL overnight near Hunter’s Farm, Virginia. He was subsequently placed under arrest. The members of the court were appointed and the trial was set to begin at the camp of Israel Richardson’s Brigade (of which the Third formed a part) in Virginia. The trial was scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 5, but no further record of this court martial is found. However, Emery was still under arrest in October of 1861, but reported present for duty from November through December. (One of the members of Company H, Private Charles Brittain, wrote home to his family on October 9 that “the captain is not released yet and I don’t know when he will be. . . .”

As commanding officer of a company, one of his duties was to soothe concerns of families about the health and well-being of their sons and husbands. On November 21, 1861 he replied to inquiries from the father of George Lemon, one of the men in Company H.

I received your letter today [Bryant wrote] concerning your son George W. Lemon who is in my company. The reason of your not hearing from [him] is undoubtedly since he has been in the hospital he has been too sick to write, and they have not the conveniences near them. He has had the typhoid fever, he was taken to our Regimental Hospital (which is on our grounds and I can see them every day) about four weeks ago. He has been a very sick boy, but is now convalescent, is considered out of danger if he does not have a relapse. I went to see him as soon as I received your letter. He told me to write you [that] he had the best of care a plenty to make him comfortable. The food is generally what the boys mostly complain of, that is when they begin to get better, their appetite craves more than their stomach will digest and the doctors are very particular about what they eat and how much while they are in the hospital. Our doctors have had better luck with the typhoid fever than any other Regiment around us. They have not lost one patient and we have had as many as twenty at a time in the hospital. This disease is a lingering one,it takes one some time to get over it. It will probably be some weeks before he will be able for duty. He complains much of his feet being sore; if it weren't for that he would be able to walk out now. Anything I can do or my wife for his comfort we shall do willingly. My wife has a particular interest for him as a cousin of his (Martha Hurlburt) and she used to be schoolmates. She and George often conversed about Mishawaka, South Bend and those he knew of her acquaintances. I will see that George is furnished with stationary at the hospital so he may write you. If he should have a relapse and does not get along as well as he ought I will let you know.

On January 7, 1862, while the Third Michigan was in winter camp in Virginia, Emery applied for a leave of absence of 15 days due to ill health. “I think,” he wrote to the assistant Adjutant General from Camp Michigan, “a change of climate and diet for a few days will tend to restore my health.” The same day Regimental assistant surgeon, Dr. George B. Wilson, certified that having “carefully examined this officer” he found “that for about six weeks past he has had a severe cough -- the result of bronchial irritation -- which has not been relieved by the ordinary remedies, but continues to harass and weaken him.” In Wilson’s opinion, Bryant was “unfit for duty” and would remain so for at least 15 days. And furthermore, “under the circumstances a temporary change of climate would materially expedite his recovery.” According to Wilson, Bryant intended to visit his family home in Massachusetts.

It is unknown if Bryant received his furlough. In fact, he was under arrest in late January of 1862, when he was court-martialled for allegedly stealing property from a private home near Pohick Church, Virginia. Held at Johnson’s House, opposite General Heintzelman’s headquarters near Fort Lyon, Virginia on January 30, 1862, the Court charged Bryant with violation of the 54th article of war. Specifically, in that he “did enter a house and take therefrom and carry away, a window sash, and glass therein contained. He then and there, not having been ordered so to do, by the commander-in-chief of the armies of the United States. This near Pohick Church, Va., on the 25th day of Dec. A.D. 1861.” To both charge and specification he pled not guilty. The Court proceeded to take extensive testimony. Major Byron Pierce of the Third Michigan was the first witness called; all other persons required to give evidence were directed to withdraw and remain in waiting until called for.

Question by Judge Advocate: Do you know Capt. Emery D. Bryant?
Answer: I do.
Question: Do you know of his taking any property from any house on or about the 25th of Dec. last?
Answer: I know nothing of the taking of any property. I saw him with some property. Question: Where did you see him and what did you see in his possession?
Answer: On a reconnaissance made that day to Pohick church, I saw him on horseback, half way between Pohick church and our camp, returning to the camp, with a window sash and lights.
Question: Do you know where he got the property?
Answer: I do not.
Question: Do you know what he did with that property?
Answer: [I] do not; it was the only time I saw it.

Lieutenant Robert M. Collins, Regimental Quartermaster was then called to the stand and sworn in.

Question: Do you know Capt. Emery D. Bryant?
Answer: I do.
Question: Do you know of his taking any property not his own from any house on or about the 25th of Dec. last?
Answer: No sir; I don't know that I do.
Question: Did you see him with any property not his own that day?
Answer: I saw him with a window sash on his horse on that day while returning from a reconnaissance about half or three quarters of a mile this side of Pohick Church.
Question: How do you know that it was not his own property?
Answer: I have no knowledge that it was not his own property.
Question: When did you first see him with that property?
Answer: Coming from a small house about three quarters of a mile this side of Pohick Church. Question by the Court: Was the house occupied when you passed it?
Answer: It was not, it was nearly torn to pieces.
Question by the Court: Have you seen the window sash since?
Answer: I have, or one that much resembled it.
Question by the Court: Where have you seen it?
Answer: In Capt. Bryant's tent door.
Question by the Judge Advocate: How lately, before passing the small house had you seen him?
Answer: Not since leaving Pohick.
Question: Did you see him at the house?
Answer: I did not.
Question by the Court: Did the accused make any remarks to while in possession of the sash? Answer: I told him the Col. had just given orders for every one to come away from that house and let things be, and I said to Capt. Bryant “you are setting a bad example”, he replied, “I might as well have it to save it”.
Question by Accused: Who was present when that conversation took place?
Answer: Surgeon Bliss was riding along with us.
Question: Was there any one else within talking distance?
Answer: I think not.

Collins was excused and Regimental Surgeon Zenas E. Bliss was then called and sworn.

Question by the Judge Advocate: Do you know Capt. Emery D. Bryant?
Answer: I do.
Question: Do you know of his taking any property not his own from any house on or about the 25th Dec. last?
Answer: I know of his having certain property in his possession at that time.
Question: Did you see him enter any house? take therefrom any property and carry it away, not his own?
Answer: I did not.
Question: What was the property you speak of knowing that he had, and when did you see it? Answer: A window, near Pohick Church.
Question: Had you ever seen that window before?
Answer: I had not.
Question: Do you know whose it was?
Answer: Do not.
Question: Do you know where it came from?
Answer: Do not.
Question by the Court: How many lights had the window?
Answer: I should judge about six, from the way in which it was carried under his arm.

Captain Stephen L. Lowing of Company I was then called to testify.

Question by the Judge Advocate: Do you know Capt. Emery D. Bryant?
Answer: I do.
Question: Do you know of his taking any property not his own from any house on or about the 25th of Dec. last?
Answer: I was in company with him coming from Pohick Church; he rode around to the back side and called to me. I rode around to where he was, he asked me to hold his horse a short time. I did so. he went into the house, I heard a noise, and saw a window sash taken out from upstairs. Soon after Capt. Bryant came out with a window sash in his hand. He got on to his horse and carried the window away.
Question by the Court: Have you seen the window since?
Answer: I don't know. I have seen a window in Capt. Bryant's tent door, but don't know as it is that one.
Question by the Court: How does the window in his tent door correspond with the one you saw him bring from the house?
Answer: Should think it the same, am not very definite about it.
Question by the Court: How many squares of glass do you think there were in the sash? Answer: I think about six, am not certain.
Question by the Court: When you saw the window wrested from its place in the house did you see the person who took it?
Answer: I saw the man's arm but could not see the person enough to identify him.
Question by the Judge Advocate: was any one in the house at the time or before Capt. Bryant went in?
Answer: There was not that I saw, after he went in. I saw men go in at the front door. Question: How could see them?
Answer: Saw them through a window.
Question: Was the house in condition to be occupied when you first got there?
Answer: I don't know why not, everything seemed to be all right outside.

After Lowing was excused, Lieutenant Almon D. Borden of Company K was called and sworn.

Question: Do you know Capt. Emery D. Bryant?
Answer: I do.
Question: Do you know of his taking any property not his own from any house on or about the 25th of Dec. last?
Answer: No sir; I don't know that I do.
Question: Did you see him with any property at that time?
Answer: I saw him with a six-light sash on the road from Pohick Church, on his horse returning to camp about half a mile from camp.
Question: Do you know where that sash came from?
Answer: I do not.

Following the testimony of Almon Borden, Captain Israel C. Smith of Company F called to the stand.

Question by the Judge Advocate: Do you know Capt. Emery D. Bryant?
Answer: I do.
Question: Do you know of his taking any property not his own from any house on or about the 25th of Dec. last?
Answer: I don't know that I do, but while passing a house this side of Pohick I saw Capt. Bryant and three or four men, perhaps more, in the house. The Col. ordered the men out. I next saw Capt. Bryant at a stream about a mile this side, he then had a sash. This was the first time I saw him with a sash in his hand, when I saw him in the house I don't know that he had anything there.
Question by the Court: Do you know for what purpose Capt. Bryant was in that house? Answer: I do not.

Captain Smith was excused and the Prosecution called its last witness, Private Roderick R. Ackley of Company “and in response to questions said” that he had been “standing near my Captain's tent in camp, saw Capt. Bryant come into camp with a window sash, but don't know where he got it.”

The prosecution closed its case and the Court adjourned until 10:00 a.m. the next morning, Friday, January 31, when Captain Bryant presented his defense. He called Private E. J. Wright of Company H to the stand.

Question by the Accused: Do you know the condition of a small two story frame house about half a mile this side of Pohick Church previous to Dec. 26th last, is so state its condition. Answer: About three weeks before the 25th I was in that neighborhood, there are two frame buildings near each other, one is of one story and the other of two. That of two, had the doors and windows all shattered, I don't think there was a whole pane of glass in the house. Question: Was there any furniture in it?
Answer: There was a chair and bureau broken.
Question by the Judge Advocate: When did you first see the house and what was its condition then?
Answer: More than two months ago. It was then in good condition a family had just left it. Question: When did you next see it?
Answer: I was there about two weeks afterwards, and the doors were then all to pieces, and the windows shattered, it was six weeks ago at least, that I first saw it in a ruinous condition.

Captain Bryant then presented his written defense statement.

It is with feelings of deep regret and sorrow that I am compelled to strand before you to defend and refute the charges brought against me by the Colonel commanding my Regiment. I am charged with the violation of the 54th article of war, but he has failed to bring one single evidence to substantiate the charge. The specification alleges that I did take and carry away a window sash from a house a half mile from Pohick Church, and he has brought two witnesses to prove the taking and carrying away a sash & glass as alleged in the Specification from the said house. I look upon the Charge as complaint, as one of annoyance and not for public utility or justice he would have filed in charges long ere this against officers of this Regiment who has torn down houses, barns, etc. and brought the roofs and boards in camp to cover log houses. It seems to me his complaint was brought for no other reason than to whip them over my back. The defendant's evidence introduced proved there were no whole sashes or doors in the house and had there been such taken as there were no whole sash in the said house. Therefore I submit the case to the wisdom to the judgment of the court.

As there were no witnesses who could place him as the culprit, the court found him not guilty and he was released from arrest.

Emery quickly resumed his duties and was present with his company in March and April of 1862. According to one source, in fact, Louisa worked with Dorothea Dix in caring for the wounded during and after the battles of Yorktown and Williamsburg in May of 1862.

In late April or early May Emery was listed as absent sick, possibly from consumption which would eventually kill him, and he was probably sent first to a hospital in Alexandria before he was transferred on May 7 to a hospital at Annapolis, Maryland. (However at least one source thought he was a malinger during this period.)

He remained at Annapolis through August, although he was supposedly on convalescent duty by perhaps as early as July 14. Bryant again ran into trouble with the authorities. In July the Regiment reported Bryant “absent sick without proper authority”, and in August he was listed as being AWOL since May 9, 1862 (about the time he was sent to the hospital).

In fact, Emery was on detached service at Fort McHenry, Maryland until he was dropped from the company rolls on September 20, 1862. He was honorably discharged on account of sickness by Special Order no. 289, War Department, dated October 11, following his resignation also dated October 11, on account of disability due to heart and lung disease on. (Curiously he was also reported as being dismissed on September 22, 1862, pursuant to Special Order No. 90, Army of the Potomac, regarding deserters.)

Although one source reported that both Emery and Louisa returned to Kalamzoo after his discharge form the army, it appears from correspondence found in Bryant’s pension record that he attempted to join the Veterans’ Reserve Corps in late May or early June of 1863, possibly in Michigan, but in any event he was apparently unsuccessful. He may have remained in Washington to pursue his entry into the VRC or perhaps he came back to Michigan and then sought to join the “Invalid Corps.” (The VRC was made up of men who while ambulatory were generally incapable of performing regular military tasks due to having suffered debilitating wounds and/or diseases and were assigned to garrison the many supply depots, draft rendezvous, camps, forts, prisons, etc. scattered throughout the northern cities, thus freeing able-bodied men for regular military duty.)

In any case, sometime in 1863 Emery applied for a pension (no. 9592) but the certificate was never granted. Dr. D. W. Bliss who had served as the first Regimental Surgeon in the Third Michigan and went on to command Armory Square hospital in Washington later in the war, wrote in late March of 1864 to the Pension Office that in his opinion he had always considered Bryant “a malinger. I know this to be the opinion of the Surgeon of his regiment (Surg. Z. E. Bliss) during the the Peninsular Campaign. I certainly do not believe he ever done [sic] sufficient duty or suffered exposure to produce permanent disability. He left the Regt at Williamsburg, Va. and fell out before the battle.”

Emery eventually did return to Michigan where reentered the service as First Lieutenant of Company H, in the First Michigan Colored Infantry (which became the One hundred and second United States Colored Troops), and was commissioned on January 20, 1864, listing his residence as Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County (recall that his wife's family was from Kalamazoo). “The First left the state March 28, 1864, for Annapolis, Md., where it joined the Ninth corps. It was soon detached and sent by transports to Hilton Head, S. C., where it arrived on the 19th of April. During the next two months the different companies were on picket duty at St. Helena and Jenkins Islands, and on Hilton Head Island. The regiment then occupied Port Royal and assisted in constructing fortifications and other fatigue duty.”

On May 23, 1864, the First Michigan Colored Infantry was reorganized as the One hundred and second U.S. Colored Infantry and attached to the District of Hilton Head, South Carolina (Dept. of the South) and District of Beaufort, South Carolina (Dept. of the South) to August when it was transferred to the District of Florida (Dept. of the South) until October. It was attached to the Second Separate Brigade (Dept. of the South) to November. One hundred and second United States Colored Troops (or First Michigan Colored Troops).

The 102nd USCT was garrisoned first at Port Royal, South Carolina from the time it was organized until June 15 when it moved to Beaufort and remained in garrison there until August 1. It was then moved to Jacksonville, Florida from August 1-3, on picket duty at Baldwin until August 15 and participated in the attack on Baldwin August 11-12 as well as in the raid on the Florida Central Railroad August 15-19. It was at Magnolia until August 29, moved to Beaufort August 29-31 and remained on duty there until after the first of the year, engaged in outpost and picket duty on Port Royal, Lady and Coosa Islands.

But Emery was still too ill to undertake any serious military responsibilities, and was apparently suffering from the debilitating effects of his lung disease. He was taken sick about September 10, 1864, and although he remained sick through the end of the year, in October he was reported to be serving with Company G, and was furloughed, probably as a result of his poor health, on December 26, 1864. He apparently returned to duty, however, and was reported as Captain of Company B or D by May of 1865, commissioned May 6, replacing Captain Arad Lindsey (also formerly of the Old Third), who had been killed on November 30, 1864.

The 102nd USCT participated in various actions throughout South Carolina, particularly in the Charleston area, throughout early 1865, and in fact moved to Charleston on April 29, thence to Summereville on May 7-8, to Branchville on May 18, to Orangeburg on May 25 and remained on provost duty there until they left for Winsboro, July 28-August 3, where they remained in garrison until September. The regiment moved to Charleston and Emery was mustered out of service with the regiment at Charleston on September 30, 1865. From Charleston the regiment returned to Detroit where it was paid off and disbanded on October 17, 1865.

After the war Emery returned to Michigan and settled in Kalamazoo where he was living in 1867 working as a shoemaker and cordwainer.

Emery died of consumption on November 18, 1867, in Kalamazoo, and was reportedly buried in Riverside cemetery, Kalamazoo.

Louisa applied for and received pension (no. 109,662), eventually drawing $17.00 per month.

She was living in Colorado Springs, Colorado Territory in 1869, but soon returned to Kalamazoo. By 1870 she was teaching school and living with her mother Rachel and her invalid brother William, who had also served in the Third Michigan in Kalamazoo village; another brother Addison too had served in the Old Third and had died during the war. Also living with her was her 7-year-old son Emery. Louisa was still in Kalamazoo in 1873, but eventually moved to Washington, DC. By 1883 she was residing at 915 F Street northwest, in Washington, DC. By the time she died in 1902 Louisa was living at 1332 New York Avenue in Washington.

Louisa was buried in the old Officer’s Section at Arlington National Cemetery (no. 1258); her headstone lists her simply as a “Civil War Volunteer Nurse.”

Joseph Brown - update 11/29/2016

Joseph A. Brown was born on August 7, 1825, in Colerain, Franklin County, Massachusetts, son of Massachusetts natives Thomas Brown (1802-1885) and Matilda Peck (1804-1847).

Thomas and Matilda were married on February 3, 1823, in Colerain, Franklin County, Massachusetts (they were both natives of Colerain). In 1830 Thomas was living in Colerain, Massachusetts. Sometime around 1831 Joseph’s family moved west to Pennsylvania and after Matilda died in 1847 Thomas returned to Colerain, Massachusetts. In 1853 he remarried to Mary Ann Oaks.

Joseph pushed on to Michigan, settling in Polkton, Ottawa County around April of 1850. (In 1850 there was a 25-year-old farmer named Joseph Brown, born in Massachusetts living in Yolo County, California.)

Joseph married 16-year-old New York native Sarah A. Lawton (1837-1913) in Polkton on December 28, 1852, and they had at least eight children: Arathusa (b. 1854), John C. Fremont (b. 1856), William A. (b. 1858), Edward A. (b. 1860), George (b. 1866-1879), Sarah E. (b. 1872), Joseph P. (1876-1921) and Edith J. (b. 1879).

By 1860 Joseph was working as a millwright and living with his wife in Polkton, Ottawa County. Next door lived the family of Abraham Peck, probably Matilda’s brother. Near by lived Henry Himelberger and his family; Henry too would serve in the 3rd Michigan.

Joseph stood 5’8” with blue eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion and was 35 years old and probably still living in Ottawa County when he enlisted as Eighth Corporal 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.)

Joseph was reported killed in action on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, but in fact was only wounded by a gunshot to the left thigh. His wound produced a “fracture of upper third of left femur” and resulted “in permanent shortening of from 3 1/2 to four inches.” According to a statement Joseph gave in 1888, as a result of the wound he eventually “underwent an operation known as an excision of the head of the Femur.” Apparently on “March 21st, 1863, the head, neck and trochanter all being removed, and the shaft of the femur being cut off 6 inches below the head of the trochanter.” (Part of his femur was removed and subsequently placed in the Army Medical Museum at Washington.)  In a Report of Excisions of the Head of the Femur published by the Surgeon General’s Office:

The limb was kept in position by appropriate apparatus; but suppuration was profuse, and, on two occasions, fragments of bone were removed from the wound. Early in march, 1863, there was great swelling of the thigh, and discharge became scanty and fetid ad pus burrowed amidst the muscles. On March 21st, an exploratory incision was made from three inches above to five inches below the prominence of the great trochanter. The neck and upper extremity of the shaft of the femur were found to be extensively diseased, and excision was decided on. Surgeon D. P. Smith, U.S.V., performed the operation. Difficulty was experienced in separating the muscular attachments from the trochanters, on account of foliaceous masses of callus that had been thrown out. When this dissection was accomplished, many necrosed fragments were extracted, and the periosteum and new bone separated by the handle of the scalpel and preserved as far as practicable. The shaft of the femur was then divided by powerful cutting bone forceps, about six inches below the tip of the great trochanter. A screw was driven into the mass of callus, below the trochanters, to be used as a lever in disarticulating the head, but it would not hold, and the bone seized with large forceps and rotated, so as to facilitate the division of the capsular and round ligaments. The head, neck, and trochanters, and the masses of callus adhering to the trochanters, were then removed. The operation was accomplished with but very trifling hemorrhage, yet great prostration followed and the patient rallied slowly. As the anesthesia passed off, he had much nausea and vomiting. As soon as this subsided, he was given a very full allowance of concentrated nourishment, such as strong beef-tea eggs, milk, etc., with half an ounce of brandy every two hours. The wound was partially closed; the limb was supported on pillows until the third day, when it was dressed in a Smith’s anterior splint. About forty-eight hours after the operation an erysipelatous blush pervaded the limb and the constitutional symptoms assumed a typhoid character. A female catheter was passed though the middle of the wound and another at its lower extremity, through which much offensive decomposed serum and grumous blood escaped. The wound was thoroughly washed out through the catheters with warm water impregnated with chlorinated soda. On the fifth day there was a rigor, and hemorrhage to the extent of six ounces. As the anterior splint did not permit convenient access to the limb, it was removed, and the leg and thigh suspended in a canvas hammock, the leg being horizontal and the thigh in san almost vertical position. A piece of soft toweling extending from the perineum to the popliteal space, and, connected by cords with an upright post at the head of the bed, supported by the muscles on the sides and under surface of the thigh. The wound freely discharged synovia, bloody serum, and thin pus, until the seventh day, when healthy suppuration was fairly established. During April, 1863, the patient’s progress was satisfactory. He was supplied with a very nutritious diet, with porter, and cod-liver oil. He took for a time as much as half a pint of oil daily. During May, the case continued to progress favorably. It was necessary to keep a tube in the wound until June 1st. Previously, whenever it was removed pus would accumulate and burrow. A mesh of suture wire was finally substituted for the tube. This was retained until June 20th, when the patient began to get about on crutches. In the latter part of July the wounds closed.

By mid-September he was reported in Fairfax Seminary Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia, and was discharged for disability on August 25, 1863, at Fairfax Seminary hospital, Virginia.

After his discharge from the army Joseph returned to Michigan and by 1864 had settled in Coopersville, Ottawa County where he lived for many years working as a miller.

On March 21, 1864, he wrote from his home in Coopersville, Michigan, that his "health was good; that he had some control over the movements of the thigh, being able, when standing on the right foot, to swing the left backward and forward, and to adduct the thigh enough to carry the injured limb across the other. He could bear some weight on the limb, and use but one crutch, with a stirrup for the foot. There had been no fistulous orifices since March, 1864, and there was no soreness about the cicatrices. In November, 1865, in accordance with a request from the Surgeon General’s Office, Mr. Brown had a photograph taken to represent the amount of deformity in his limb. . . . The excised bone is preserved at the museum. . ."

In 1867 he was appointed postmaster of Coopersville. On February 12, 1868, he wrote to the Surgeon General's Office:

“I take pleasure in informing you that my limb is in as good condition as when I last wrote you; but think there is no improvement, except that it is not as tender. There have been no abscesses, nor any pain in the limb, excepting slight pains about the knee, just before storms. About two years ago, I slipped and fell upon the ice, injuring the limb severely about the knee, and was thereby confined to the house for about three weeks. in March last I had a severe attack of ague. The limb swelled quite badly at this time, and was much inflamed for about ten days. I applied cold water and a bandage to reduce the swelling. I had to keep it bandaged about two weeks after the inflammation was removed. Since that time the limb has given me no more trouble than usual. Since I was discharged I cannot see that there is any lengthening of the limb. I have to use a crutch and cane all the time when moving about, and I think I shall always have to do this. The injured limb has wasted away somewhat since I last wrote. The circumference of the well limb at the upper extremity is 22 inches, and the injured limb measures at the same place 19 1/2 inches. The knee of the well limb measures around the centre of the knee-pan 15 1/2 inches; the injured limb measures at the same place 17 inches. The above measurements were made in the evening; I think that in the morning the measurements of the injured limb would be less. The knee still remains quite stiff, and gives me about all the pain there is anywhere int he limb. I have been troubled during the cold weather by coldness of the outer side of the leg, and I have to warm it by the fire before going to bed nearly every night when I have been out.” On November 19, 1868, another letter was received from Mr. Brown, from which the following extract is made: “ I take pleasure in informing you that my limb is in as good as condition as it has been at any time since it was entirely healed, and. if anything, in better condition. It does not pain me about the knee as much as it did one year ago. It does not have any spell of swelling at the knee as it did for the first two years after my discharge, and there is less soreness about the limb than there was even one year ago. I can get around without hurting it as much as formerly. I can bear some weight upon it. I have walked across a room without the aid of crutch or cane, by stepping very quick with the well limb; but it is more like hopping than walking. There have been no abscesses in the limb. I think that it is gradually improving, and hope that I may yet see the day that I can go without a crutch. My general health is good. I have not been sick a day for a year and a half, and then only a few days with ague. My weight is 167 1/2 pounds. Before I entered the army my weight was never quite up to those figures, but within a few pounds of t. I have been postmaster at this office for over a year, and have attended to all the business of the office almost entirely without assistance, and it gives me pretty good exercise.” 

Joseph was working as Postmaster and County Clerk in Coopersville in 1870.

On September 6, 1875, the date of his last examination for pension, the Grand Rapids Examining Board stated: “ There is now a false joint with shortening of the limb.” Since then this pensioner has been exempted from further surgical examinations. He as paid September 4, 1877, remaining in comparatively good health more than fourteen years after the operation.

He was still postmaster in 1879 and in 1880 and living in Coopersville with his wife and children. (In fact he probably lived the remainder of his life in eastern Ottawa County, probably in the Coopersville-Nunica area.)

In 1883 he was still living in Coopersville, where he also served as a Justice of the Peace and a notary public. That same year he was drawing $18.00 per month (pension no. 19,511), drawing $46.00 per month by 1908.

He was also a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. In 1890 and 1895 he was living in Nunica, Ottawa County.

Joseph died of general debility on June 17, 1908, at his home in Nunica. The funeral was held at Nunica on Sunday, June 21, Rev. Ingalls officiating. The text was “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” He was buried in Coopersville cemetery. Note that his government veteran's stone has almost completely disappeared into a nearby tree.

His widow received a pension (no. 667432).

Samuel Aldrich

Samuel Aldrich was born in 1820 or 1826 in Uxbridge, Worcester County, Massachusetts.

He reportedly served in the Mexican war, and if so it was quite likely while he was still residing in Massachusetts.

Samuel married his first wife, Irish-born Eliza Sherwood (b. 1816) in 1852, and they eventually settled in Michigan. By 1860 Samuel was working as a shingle-maker and living with Eliza (who was working as a tailoress) in Norton, Muskegon County.

He stood between 6’5” and 6’7” tall, with blue eyes, gray hair and a fair complexion, and was probably 40 years old and living and working as a sawyer and shingle maker in Norton when he enlisted on April 29, 1861, as Sixth Corporal in F company, crediting Spring Lake, Ottawa County. (Curiously Samuel did not join either the Muskegon-based Company H or the Ottawa County-based Company I.)

Samuel was present for duty through February of 1862, and then absent sick in his quarters in March and April and also in May and June.

Apparently, on May 5, 1862, while “on the march from Yorktown to Williamsburg,” Virginia, Samuel was carrying “the Regimental colors and marching much of the way very rapidly on the double quick when near Williamsburg, being a large and very tall man, he could not endure the excessive fatigue became exhausted and Major Byron R. Pierce, commanding the Regiment, finding that” Samuel “could not keep up with his Regiment told him to fall out and give the colors to another which he did. About two days after this,” about May 8, “varicose veins made their appearance around, above and below his left ankle, also upon his left leg nearly to his hip.”

He was listed as absent sick in a general hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, from August 18 through the end of the year. And indeed, he was subsequently hospitalized at Patterson Park hospital in Baltimore during all or part of the months of August and September. In August of 1862, he was reported sick in the hospital, and was dropped from the company rolls on December 30, 1862 at Camp Pitcher, Virginia.

From Patterson Park he was transferred to West’s Building hospital in Baltimore, where he remained about three months. He was then sent to the Convalescent Camp, in Alexandria, Virginia where he remained until he was discharged on February 16, 1863, for varicose veins of both legs, although he claimed in later years that he had been shot with a poisoned bullet, which produced the varicose veins.

After he was discharged from the army, Samuel returned to Michigan and was probably living in Lenawee County when he married his second wife, Anna Odell (b. 1818) on November 23, 1863, in Ionia County. (It is unknown what became of Eliza.)

Samuel subsequently enlisted in the Second Veterans’ Reserve Corps on December 19, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Grand Rapids’ First Ward. (The VRC was made up of men who while ambulatory were generally incapable of performing regular military tasks due to having suffered debilitating wounds and/or diseases and were assigned to garrison the many supply depots, draft rendezvous, camps, forts, prisons, etc. scattered throughout the northern cities, thus freeing able-bodied men for regular military duty.) Samuel may have been assigned to the rendezvous camp in Jackson, Jackson County. In any case, he allegedly deserted from Company B, Second Regiment, VRC on either April 6 or July 6, 1865.

After the war Samuel lived in Grand Rapids where he woked as a laborer and at one time resided at 36 Waterloo Street. He was probably still living in Grand Rapids when he was admitted to the Central Branch, National Military Home, in Dayton, Ohio on April 1, 1867, and was eventually discharged from the NMH. He again returned to Michigan and was living on Ottawa Street, in Grand Rapids in 1870 when he applied for a pension (no. 113,746, drawing $6.00 per month in 1887). He claimed he was suffering from the effects of varicose veins dating back to May of 1862.

Samuel was working as a laborer and living in Montague, Muskegon County, Michigan when he married his third wife, the widow Sarah Griffin Sargent (d. 1903), on December 3, 20 or 30, 1872, in Oceana County, Michigan. (Sarah was the widow of Fernando Sargeant or Sergeant, who had served in the reorganized Third Michigan infantry.)

It seems that Samuel had neglected to divorce Anna, however, and had apparently abandoned her. In 1875 Sarah reportedly “filed a bill of complaint” against Samuel claiming that when they were married he had another wife, thus nullifying their marriage. She was also seeking divorce from Samuel on the grounds of cruelty. It is not known whether the divorce was granted or not.

Samuel was a member of Grand Army of the Republic Henry Post No. 3 in Montague, Muskegon County, and of Champlin Post No. 29 in Grand Rapids.

In 1880 Samuel was a resident of the NMH in Dayton, listing himself as married and his occupation as lumberman, and he was still in the National Home in Dayton in 1883.

In any case, Samuel was reportedly residing in Grand Rapids when he returned to the National Home in Dayton, Ohio where he died of pneumonia on January 22, 1888. (It is curious that he did not choose to go to the new Michigan Soldiers' Home in Grand Rapids.) He was buried in the Dayton National Cemetery in section G, row 8, grave 12.

In 1897 Sarah was living in Licking, Texas County, Missouri, but by 1901 she had returned to Michigan and was living in Muskegon; she applied for a pension (no. 658553) but the certificate was never granted. In fact it appears that she reapplied for a pension based on the service of her first husband, Fernando Sargent.