Michigan Soldiers' Home

John Sayles - update 5/2/2017

John Sayles was born in 1846 in Ionia County, Michigan, the son of New York native Elias Sayles Sr. (1803-1897) and Canadian-born Hannah Showers (1808-1872) and stepson of English-born Eliza Ann Wrigley (1819-1885).

Elias, probably along with his brother Cyrenius and his family, moved from Canada to Michigan sometime between 1843 and 1846, and by 1850 John was living with his family and attending school with his older siblings (which also included his older brother William who would enlist in Company F) in Keene, Ionia County; next door lived Charles and Harrison Soules, both of whom would enlist in Company C in 1861. And not much farther away lived a Sayles cousin, Lyman, Cyrenius’ son, who would also enlist in the 3rd Michigan.

John stood 5’7” with black eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion and was a 16-year-old farmer probably living in Lowell, Kent County or in Keene when he enlisted in Company G on April 4, 1862, at Lowell for 3 years, and was mustered the same day. (He may have been related to Lyman Sayles of Company H.) By late June, according to Homer Thayer of Company G, John was sick in the hospital at Annapolis, Maryland, and he remained absent sick in the hospital through September when he allegedly deserted on September 21 at Upton’s Hill, Virginia. In fact, he was discharged for consumption on June 24, 1862, at Annapolis, Maryland.

After he was discharged John returned to Michigan where he reentered the service in Company L, 6th Michigan Cavalry on February 27, 1865, for 1 year at Grand Rapids, age 21, and was mustered on February 28 at Grand Rapids, crediting Keene. He joined the Regiment March 19, was absent sick in May -- he may have missed the participation by the regiment in the Grand Review in Washington on May 23 -- and was discharged, probably for disability, on June 23, 1865, at Washington, DC.

John eventually returned to Michigan after the war.

He married Canadian Mary M. Gardner (1848-1926) on February 21, 1867, and they had at least five children: Rebecca (b. 1869), Lewis (b. 1872), Leon (b. 1874), Grace (b. 1881) and Ida (b. 1884).

He may have been living in Lowell, Kent County by 1870. In 1870 John, his wife Mary and their infant daughter Rebecca were living with Mary’s father in Keene, Ionia County. By 1880 he was working as a laborer and living with his wife and children in Berlin (Saranac), Ionia County. He was living in Otisco, Ionia County in 1890. In 1910 he and Mary were living in Otisco; also living with them were their daughters Grace and Ida and daughter Rebecca Brooks and her husband. By 1910 John was working as a commercial traveler selling pianos and living with Mary and his daughter Ida in Belding’s 3rd Ward, Ionia County. By 1920 John was living in the Soldiers’ Home in Grand Rapids.

In 1880 he applied for and eventually received a pension (no. 984966).

John died on June 17, 1921, and was buried in the Michigan Soldiers’ Home cemetery, Grand Rapids: 6-10-2.

In 1921 his widow was residing in Michigan when she applied for and received a pension (no. 905653).

Chauncey Brewer Taylor - update 8/31/2016

Chauncey Brewer Taylor was born on April 30, 1843 in Pontiac, Oakland County, Michigan, the son of James Hough (born 1811 in Ontario, Canada, died 1873 in Michigan) and Harriet Brewer (born 1811 in New York, died 1854 in Michigan).

James married New York native Harriet on November 11, 1832, in Wilson, Niagara County, New York. and came to Michigan sometime before 1834, and by 1840 had settled in Oakland County. At some point after 1843 James moved his family again, and by 1850 had settled in Eagle Township, Clinton County, where Chauncey was attending school with his siblings. After Harriet died in May of 1854, James remarried to Chloe Stansell that July and the family settled in Allendale, Ottawa County. James was serving as a Justice of the Peace in Ottawa County by the early 1860s.

Chauncey stood 5’9” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was an 18-year-old farmer probably living in Allendale when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861, along with his older brothers James and Martin. Another older brother, John A., would join them in 1862. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, many from the eastern side of the County.)

Chauncey was reported sick in the hospital in November of 1862, but eventually returned to duty. He was with the regiment while it was in winter quarters at Camp Bullock, Virginia, near Washington, DC.

On February 12, 1863, he wrote to Catharine Hamilton, a young friend in Grand Rapids.

With pleasure I pen you a few lines this evening to let you know that I am still well and able to take my share of the confiscated property that is to be found in this state, and also, somebody else’s share, if they only let it lay out in the dew, so that it will stick to my hands. I do not mean to insinuate that I ever steal anything, for you know I do not, but I sometimes buy a pig, or a sheep, or a chicken when the owner is gone to mill.

You know I do not take anything that I cannot carry, unless there is someone to help me.

But enough of this. I arrived in camp the night of the ninth and I have been so lonely ever since that I don’t know what to do with myself.

You see there is no one that knows that I have returned to the army as yet and I have not got any mail until this evening, and that was from home, and I have to find something to busy myself about, and so I have taken to writing to my friends that are far away. I have written twelve letters since I came here and have worked all the time. The sun gives me lite so I could work to get my house built, so to do nothing but write.

There is nothing to do in camp for me now but to tend to my correspondences.

Catharine write to me as soon as possible for you do not know how I love to get letters from my friends, and I will gladly reply, and as often as you wish to write, and perhaps oftener. Catharine, if you only knew how much joy it is to the joy forsaken soldier to read the letters from friends . . . and to get letters from anywhere, you would write very often, I am sure.

And I hope you will not fail to write, as it is and then I will try to tell you how pleasant it is, and more. I will promise to prove to you that it is very pleasant by showing you how constant I will be and prompt to answer every one you write.

Now how is the rest of the young people that I am acquainted? How is Olive and Louisa and Mr. Barker [?] and all the friends. Please give my kindest regards and best wishes to them. Say to them that I should like to hear from them very much.

Hoping this may find you in good health and to hear from you I remain, Your true friend, Chauncey B. Taylor.
Although Chauncey was reported AWOL in August of 1863, he had returned to duty by the time he reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Hamburg, Livingston County. He was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough, probably in Michigan, in January of 1864, and probably returned to the regiment on or about the first of February. He was transferred as a Musician (probably a bugler) to Company I, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and was listed on detached service from September through October of 1864. He was reported as a nurse in City Point hospital, Virginia in November and serving with the Quartermaster department in December of 1864, possibly as a nurse, and in March of 1865 was in the Division ambulance train. He was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war Chauncey returned to his home in Allendale where he lived briefly and possibly worked as a carpenter.

He married Sarah Ellsworth (b. 1859) on August 26, 1865, in Allendale, and they had at least two children: George (b. 1877) and John L. (b. 1879). Sarah and Chauncey eventually divorced.

Chauncey moved to Cheboygan, Cheboygan County, and was living in Evart, Osceola County in 1877 when he became a member of Grand Army of the Republic Sedgwick Post No. 16 in Evart. By 1880 he was working as a common laborer and living with his wife Sarah and their two sons in Munro, Cheboygan County; he was living with Alonzo Carter. He eventually moved on to Wisconsin, living variously in Columbia, Neillsville in 1900 and 1905 and Eau Claire.

Chauncey married his second wife Mary Dunn Sullivan on November 15, 1891 in Leelanau County; they, too, were divorced.

He was married a third time, on June 28, 1893 to Frances or Florence L. Stolliker, in Milwauekee, Wisconsin; this also ended in divorce. He had at least three more children: Joseph B., Louisa B. (b. 1898) and Chauncey Jr. (b. 1901), the last two by Florence.

Chauncey was a member of the 3rd Michigan Infantry Association, a Protestant and he received pension no. 802,503, drawing $25.00 in 1914, raised to $40.00 by 1920.

Chauncey was living in Farmington Waupaca, Wisconsin in 1910 and probably living in Wisconsin in 1911 when he was admitted to the Northwestern Branch National Military Home in Milwaukee. He was discharged and admitted as a single man to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 6717) on October 8, 1914, discharged at his own request on September 20, 1915, readmitted on October 6, 1916, discharged on October 9, 1918, and admitted for the final time on July 8, 1920. (This last admission date of July 8, 1920, must be a typographical error – his death certificate as well as newspaper obituary and the MSH records state his date of death as April 20, 1920.)

Chauncey died of acute dilatation of the heart on April 20, 1920, at Blodgett hospital in East Grand Rapids, and was buried in the Michigan Soldiers’Home cemetery: section 7 row 13 grave no. 34.

In 1924 his widow applied for a pension (no. 1222681), but the certificate was never granted.

John Wright (1)

John Wright (1) was born in 1831 in Ireland, the son of Oliver W. (b. 1804) and Ann (Best, b. 1803).

Sometime between 1831 and 1834 John and his parents left Ireland and immigrated to North America, settling first in Canada by 1834, and moving to New York sometime between 1834 and 1837. They lived in New York for some years and by 1850 John was working as a sailor and living with his family in Hounsfield, Jefferson County, New York, where his father was a laborer (and his mother was unable to read or write). In any case, John left New York and moved westward, settling in western Michigan by the winter of 1862.

John stood 5’8’’ with brown eyes and hair and a dark complexion, was 31 years old and possibly living in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company C on February 13, 1862, at Saranac, Ionia County for 3 years, and was mustered the same day. He was suffering from debility when he was admitted to the hospital (probably Chesapeake) at Fortress Monroe, Virginia on August 12, 1862, and transferred on August 16 to the general hospital at Annapolis, Maryland. He was sick in the hospital in Baltimore, Maryland through December, and was dropped from the company rolls on January 10, 1863, at Camp Pitcher, Virginia.

In fact he never rejoined the regiment, and was admitted to the general hospital in Alexandria, Virginia on January 17, 1863, suffering from the effects of typhoid fever. He was discharged at Alexandria, Virginia, on February 16, 1863, for ‘stiffness of the joints and chronic rheumatism.”

John listed Sackett’s Harbor, New York, as his mailing address on his discharge paper, and indeed he probably returned to his family home where he worked for a time as a sailor (probably on Lake Ontario). He eventually returned to Michigan, however, and was living in Tuscola, Tuscola County by 1890.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. In 1876 he applied for and received pension number 250,320.

John was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 3417) on July 14, 1900 and died five days later. He was buried in the Home cemetery: section 4 row 9 grave no. 8;

George S. Woodruff

George S. Woodruff was born in 1841 in Michigan, the son of Joseph P. (b. 1815) and Harriet (Robinson, b. 1821 in New York).

Joseph and his wife eventually settled in Michigan sometime before 1839 (when their daughter Elizabeth was born) and by 1850 George was living with his family and his father was working as a a laborer in Ada, Kent County. By 1860 George was working as a farm laborer for the William Robinson family in Vergennes, Kent County. (Next door lived William Corlis who would also enlist in Company A, Third Michigan, in February of 1862.)

George stood 5’10” with gray eyes, black hair and a light complexion and was a 24-year-old farm laborer possibly living in Vergennes when he enlisted in Company A on February 12, 1862, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered on February 24. He was wounded by a gunshot to the left chest and lung on July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and subsequently hospitalized in Turner’s Lane hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from late July of 1863 through April of 1864. George may have 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. In any case he was probably present for duty when he was discharged on February 24, 1865, at the expiration of his term of service, near Petersburg, Virginia.

After his discharge from the army George returned to Kent County. He was living in Detroit in 1890 and in Detroit’s Fourth ward in 1894.

He was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 4200) as a widower on January 5, 1904, and was “dishonorably” discharged on March 16. Sometime in mid-1904 moved into the Hermitage Hotel annex, on South Division Street in Grand Rapids.

In 1875 he applied for and received pension no. 137,269, drawing $12.00 in 1904.

George apparently remarried to a woman named Julia.

Early in the morning of December 23, 1904, George, who was “one of the well-known characters of the local downtown streets,” reportedly suffered an acute attack of delirium tremens in his room at the Hermitage and, according to the Press, “was removed to the County jail for safe keeping, did not rally under the treatment at the jail, and last night at 10 o’clock was found dead in his cell.” He “was given,” wrote the paper, “every attention during his ravings, but later in the evening he became quieter. Deputy Sheriff Pettis went to the cell at 10 o’clock before returning and found the old fellow dead.”

Officially George was reported as having died of “organic heart disease,” and his funeral services were held at Metcalf & Gibson’s chapel. Although not a member of the Home, he was nevertheless buried in the Home cemetery: section 4 row 17 grave no. 17.

His widow was living in Brooklyn, New York in 1905 when she applied for and received a pension (no. 605319).

Charles M. and William E. Woodruff

Charles M. Woodruff was born on March 1, 1834, in Niagara County, New York, the son of Jonathan (b. 1799) and Delila (Cramer, b. 1805).

Pennsylvania native Jonathan married New Yorker Delila sometime before 1823 by which time they had settled in New York, and indeed lived for many years in New York state. By 1850 Charles (as well as his younger brother William who would also join the Third Michigan) was living on the family farm in Wilson, Niagara County, New York.

Charles was married Wisconsin native Sarah Sanborn (b. 1843), sometime in 1859, and they had at least two children: Ida (b. 1861) and Lilia (b. 1866).

They eventually settled in western Michigan, and by 1859 charles was probably a member of the Boston Light Guards, an Ionia County militia company that would form the basis for Company D of the Third Michigan Infantry in 1861. By 1860 Charles was working as a mason and living with his wife in Boston, Ionia County (Peter Granger who would also enlist in Company D lived next door.)

Charles stood 5’4” with gray eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was 27 years old and probably still living in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company D on December 21, 1861, at Grand Rapids, and was mustered on December 23 at Detroit; his younger brother William would enlist in Company D in February of 1862. (Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County.)

Charles was the company barber from July of 1862 through August, but absent sick in a hospital in September and October. He was reported as a nurse in the Regimental hospital in January and February of 1863 and was discharged on March 16, 1863, at Camp Pitcher, Virginia, for “chronic diarrhea with gastric irritability of six months’ standing. He is now much emaciated.”

After his discharge from the army Charles returned to Michigan and for many years worked as a mason.

In 1863 Charles applied for and received a pension (no. 32521).

By 1870 Charles was working as a stone mason and living with his wife and two daughters in Cambria, Hillsdale County. Sarah sued for divorce charging him with cruelty and habitual drunkeness and they were divorced on October 29, 1873, in Stanton, Montcalm County.

Charles married his second wife a two-time widow named Eliza J. Collier on August 31, 1874. (She had been married to one John Terryberry who was beaten to death in a brawl in Montcalm County in 1872 and then to one Abraham or Adam Thompson in 1873 who died about six months later.

By 1910 Charles and Eliza were living in Grand Rapids’ Twelfth Ward, Kent County. In 1915 he was living in Grand Rapids when he suffered a hip fracture.

Charles was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (but not as a member) hospital where he died of an “accident” on April 12, 1915. He was buried in the Home cemetery: originally in section 7 row 11 grave no. 31 but moved to section 6 row 3 grave no. 25.

In 1915 his widow Eliza was living at 1015 Dorcester Avenue in Grand Rapids, Kent County, when she applied for and received a pension (no. 796449).

William E. Woodruff was born in 1837 in Niagara County, New York, the son of Jonathan (b. 1799) and Delila (Cramer, b. 1805).

Pennsylvania native Jonathan married New Yorker Delila sometime before 1823 by which time they had settled in New York, and indeed lived for many years in New York state. By 1850 William (as well as his brother Charles who would also join the Third Michigan) was living on the family farm in Wilson, Niagara County, New York.

William left New York, possibly with his older brother Charles and eventually and had settled in western Michigan.

He stood 5’10’ with black eyes, black hair and a light complexion and was a 25-year-old teamster probably living in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company D on February 1, 1862, at Saranac, Ionia County for 3 years, and was mustered the same day; his oldier brother Charles had enlisted in Company D just a month previous. (Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County.)

William was absent sick from July through September, and reportedly admitted at one time to the general hospital in York, Pennsylvania. However, he was discharged for varicocele and “irritable testes” on October 5, 1862, at Baltimore or Annapolis, Maryland.

He eventually returned to Michigan.

He was possibly married to New York native Mary (b. 1842), and they had at least two children: William (b. 1865) and Eliza J. (b. 1868).

By 1870 he was working as a carpenter and living with his wife and two children in Saranac, Ionia County; he was still in Saranac working as a carpenter in 1880. He was living in the Oakdale Park area of Grand Rapids in 1888, and in Paris, Kent County in 1890.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. In 1876 he applied for and received a pension (no. 161450).

He died on August 9, 1891, possibly in the vicinity of Saranac, Ionia County and was buried in Saranac cemetery: lot no. 88.

His widow applied for a pension (no. 524179), but the certificate was never granted.

Samuel B. Thurston

Samuel B. Thurston was born in 1843 in Michigan, probably the son of Daniel (b. 1807) and Eliza (b. 1805).

Daniel (elder) was born in New York and married New York native Eliza sometime before 1832 probably in New York where they resided before moving west. Daniel and Eliza moved from New England to Michigan sometime between 1833 and 1835 and by 1850 Daniel was a farmer in Chester, Ottawa County. Eliza apparently died and Daniel remarried a woman named Nancy (b. 1812 in Massachussetts). By 1860 Samuel was a farmer living with his older brother Daniel and his wife in Chester, Ottawa County; their parents lived next door. And two doors from the older Daniel was his oldest son Stephen and his family.

Samuel stood 5’4” with blue eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion and was 18 years old and probably still living in Chester when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861. Samuel was absent sick in a hospital in Washington, DC from October 11, 1862, through February of 1863. He reenlisted on December 21, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Grand Rapids, and while home in Ottawa County on veteran’s furlough he married Ellen H. Boyd on February 1, 1864, and they had at least one child, Lulu. He soon returned to the Regiment and was serving at Division headquarters from April of 1864 through May.

Samuel was transferred (as “Samuel Thorsten”) to Company I, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and was shot in the left thigh on June 22 near Petersburg, Virginia. He was admitted to the Second Division, Second Corps field hospital on June 27, then sent to Harewood hospital in Washington, DC on June 28, where he was furloughed for 45 days on July 18. He applied for an extension of his furlough on August 22, and was absent on medical leave from September 18. He was readmitted to the hospital on September 18, furloughed from October 25 to November 13, and absent on medical leave until December 3 when he returned to the hospital. He returned to duty on December 20, 1864, was promoted to Corporal on January 1, 1865 and mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

Following his discharge from the army Samuel returned to western Michigan and settled on a farm in Walker, Kent County where he lived for many years. (In 1870 his parents were living on a farm in Sparta, Kent County.) He was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 2014) for the first time on October 7, 1893, discharged on April 16, 1895 and was in and out of the Home several times before he was readmitted for the last time on July 25, 1896. In 1866 he applied for and received a pension (no. 68442).

He died a widower of “stomach trouble, and lung difficulty” on February 8, 1897 at the Home hospital.

In fact, Thurston may have been the last man of the Third Michigan to die “from the war.” According to Samuel’s obituary in the Herald, “After carrying a rebel bullet in his right lung for over thirty years” Thurston “has given up the fight. The bullet had for over thirty years been ploughing its way downward through the tissues of the lungs, and yesterday afternoon dropped out, death being almost instantaneous. The ball was covered with a linen patch, just as it had left the rifle of some rebel soldier, the patch and bullet being firmly connected. At 2 o'clock yesterday morning Thurston was taken to the hospital, having been in usual good health up to a short time before that. In the afternoon he complained to his nurse that his heart pained him, and while she was gone to secure a hot water application Thurston died.”

Samuel’s funeral was held on February 10 at the Home Chapel and, according to one eyewitness,

was full of pathetic interest. The chapel was overflowing with veteran comrades dressed in their suits of army blue, gathered to pay the last tribute of homage to the memory of a brave soldier of the civil war. The coffin rested in the front of the platform, half concealed by a drapery of the stars and stripes and bunches of odorous flowers, gifts of friends. One corner of the chapel was reserved for the relatives of the dead man, several pews being filled. The chaplain of the home, Mrs. Alice M. M. Phillips, being sick, the Rev. Dan F. Bradley, D.D. officiated in her stead. The hymns, “Jesus, lover of my soul,” “Rock of ages,” and “Shall we meet beyond the river” were sung by the veterans. The singing was from the heart and although the voices did not blend in the most perfect harmony, the effect was tender and sympathetic.

Dr. Bradley read the following records of the dead soldier: “Samuel Thurston entered the service in company C, 3rd Mich Inf., March 17, 1961 Mustered out Aug. 10, 1865, at the close of the war; admitted to the home on Oct. 7, 1893. Age 56 years, a widower, leaves a daughter 2 sisters and 2 brothers in the near vicinity, also 2 half sisters and a stepmother living in the city of Grand Rapids.

“A brief record,” said Dr. Bradley, “but when this nation shall have become the greatest on earth the generations of that day will turn back to this record and the descendants of this man will be proud to claim kindred with him who threw his life between his country and her enemies in time of peril.”

The old soldiers bowed their heads and wept as Dr. Bradley recalled to their memory the days of danger and lonely nights of watching in those distant times. Dr. Bradley said that the record said nothing of the years of suffering caused from the wound received in battle and of which the soldier died, nor of the heroic fight to gain a livelihood after the war had closed. As he continued his remarks the comrades turned their toward the coffin where their friend and comrade lay still and cold, unconscious of the eulogies being offered to his memory.

Six of the veterans carried the coffin to the hearse, but as they tottered down the steps with their burden, stronger hands than theirs steadied the casket to its place. A drum, bugle and fife corps marched ahead of the hearse playing a funeral dirge on the way to the grave in the Soldier's Home cemetery. The north wind drifted snow on the coffin, the sobbing relatives and the long procession of veterans. The hearse was the only carriage in the line, everyone walking to the grave through the winding road leading through the lonesome valley to the burial spot. A squad of soldiers fired a salute of 3 volleys over the grave when the comrade was lowered, and then the taps of the last call were sounded and the procession returned to the home in military order, the band playing quickstep.

Comrade Thurston was 56 years old. He was wounded in the battle of Petersburg on June 26, 1865. He received a bullet shot in his left lung, the ball remaining there until after his death. The wound has caused him great suffering through all these years, for the reason that a portion of the gun wadding was carried with the bullet.

He bore the affliction with fortitude and made a brave struggle to hold a place of independence in the business world. He has been much interested of late in the revival services held at the home and he died in the Christian faith.

Samuel was buried in the Home cemetery: section 1 row 2 grave no. 21.

John Taylor

John Taylor was born in 1824 in Quebec, Canada.

John left Canada and came to Michigan sometime before the war broke out. (He may have been living in Lyon, Oakland County in1860.)

He stood 5’11” with brown eyes and hair and a dark complexion and was a 37-year-old shoemaker possibly living in Kent County or in Allendale, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861 (he may have been related to the Taylor brothers from Allendale). John allegedly deserted on July 29, 1861, at Arlington, Virginia, but in fact had probably been hospitalized and was discharged for right-side inguinal hernia on September 14, 1861, at Hunter's Farm, Virginia.

After his discharge John eventually returned to Michigan and settled in Grand Rapids where he worked as a farmer for many years.

In 1883 he applied for and received pension no. 518221, drawing $16.00 per month in 1896 (?).

John was a widower with no family when he was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 441) for the first time on November 18, 1886, and discharged on July 30, 1887; he was in and out of the home several times before being admitted to the Home for the last time on March 31, 1897.

John died of senile debility and cystitis at the Home on April 6, 1897, and was buried in the Home cemetery: section 1 row 2 grave no. 33.

Taylor brothers: Chauncey, James, John and Martin - update 8/31/2016

The Taylor brothers were four sons of the son of James Hough (born 1811 in Ontario, Canada, died 1873 in Michigan) and Harriet Brewer (born 1811 in New York, died 1854 in Michigan).

James married Harriet on November 11, 1832, in Wilson, Niagara County, New York, and came to Michigan sometime before 1834. By 1840 the family had settled in Oakland County. Sometime probably after 1843 James moved his family again, and by 1850 had settled in Eagle Township, Clinton County. After Harriet died in May of 1854, James remarried to Chloe Stansell in July of that same year and the family settled in Allendale, Ottawa County. James was serving as a Justice of the Peace in Ottawa County by the early 1860s.

See their individual biographical sketches:

Chauncey Brewer Taylor
James Mortimer Taylor
John Abram Taylor
Martin Van Buren Taylor

Joseph Clark Sutton

Joseph Clark Sutton was born in 1836 in Ontario County, New York.

Joseph left New York and by 1863 had settled in western Michigan.

He stood 5’9” with hazel eyes, black hair and a dark complexion and was a 27-year-old painter possibly living in Hastings, Barry County when he became a substitute for David R. Cook who had been drafted on February 10, 1863, for 9 months from Prairieville, Barry County. He was assigned to Company E, and joined the Regiment on March 10 at Camp Pitcher, Virginia. According to Andrew Kilpatrick, also of Company E, Joseph was a Private present for duty in late May of 1863.

He was reported as “not wounded” and working as a nurse in a Philadelphia hospital in mid-July, but was also listed as absent wounded from July through October, and was mustered out either in the field on November 14, 1863, or in Detroit on November 18, 1863.

After his discharge Joseph returned to Hastings.

He was married to New York native Elizabeth (b. 1843) and they had at least three children: William (b. 1864), Ellsworth (b. 1867) and Mary (b. 1869).

By 1870 he was working as a farmer (he owned $2000 worth of real estate) and living with his wife and children in Hastings. He also worked as a painter and farmer, and was living in Woodland, Barry County in 1888 and 1890.

Joseph was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. In 1886 he applied for and received pension no. 933,343. He was a member of the GAR Steadman post no. 198 in Reed City, Osceola County, and at one time had probably been a member of the Mauch post no. 241 in Hastings, Barry County.

Joseph was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 2187) as a widower on July 25, 1894, and was in and out of the Home some 10 times. By 1895 he was residing in Holton, Muskegon County and in Tustin, Osceola County around 1900 and at the Home in 1906. By 1920 he was living alone in Reed City, Osceola County.

Joseph was discharged from the Home for the final time on April 16, 1921, and was possibly living in the vicinity of Reed City when he died on April 28, 1927. He was buried in Burdell cemetery, near Tustin in Osceola County.

Ezra Stewart

Ezra Stewart was born in 1836, the son of Joseph and Johanna (Beach).

In 1860 there was a 35-year-old carpenter & joiner named Ezra Stewart, born in New York, living with his wife New York native Mary (b. 1820) and their three children Myron (b. 1846), Martin (b. 1852) and Leroy (b. 1858) in Algoma, kent County,Michigan.

In any case, Ezra was 25 years old and possibly living in Montcalm County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861. He was reported serving with the ambulance corps from October of 1862 through July of 1863, and in October of 1863 was absent wounded, probably from a gunshot to the foot, and possibly received at Gettysburg. In any case, he was in the hospital in Washington, DC, from October 16, 1863, through May of 1864, and was mustered out on June 20, 1864, at Detroit.

After he left the army Ezra returned to Michigan and may have settled for a time in Solon, Kent County. He married Mary Chase in 1866, and may have been the same Ezra Stewart who married Lucinda Thomas, also in Montcalm County, on April 29, 1868. He was possibly living in Algoma in 1870.

Ezra a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, and living in Crystal, Montcalm County in 1883 when he was drawing $1.00 per month for a wounded left foot (pension no. 192,635, dated July of 1881), increased to $2.00 and then to $12.00 per month. (His older brother Ira was living in Crystal in 1880.)

In 1888 he was living in Muskegon County in 1888, and for some years worked as a sailor and as a laborer.

He was a single man when he was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 1264) on March 11, 1890 and he listed his nearest relative as his brother Ira (1826-1901) who was living in Montcalm County (and is buried in Crystal cemetery).

Ezra was discharged at his own request on June 25, 1890, readmitted on August 2, 1890, and discharged July 7, 1891; readmitted on December 18, 1891 and discharged January 30, 1892; admitted on September 16, 1892 and discharged on November 21, 1892; admitted on July 20, 1893 and discharged on September 13, 1893; admitted on December 15, 1894 and discharged on February 16, 1895; admitted on October 1, 1895 and discharged December 16, 1895; admitted on March 4, 1896 and discharged on June 15, 1896; admitted on September 22, 1896 and discharged on December 15, 1896; admitted on March 27, 1897 and discharged on June 15, 1897; admitted September 11, 1897 and discharged December 10, 1897; admitted on August 20, 1898 and discharged May 21, 1899; admitted on July 7, 1899 and discharged December 11, 1899; admitted July 11, 1900 and discharged on January 2, 1901.

He was admitted for the final time on February 2, 1901, and he died of neuritis at the Home hospital at 3:15 a.m. on February 10, 1907. The funeral was held in the Home chapel and he was buried in the Home cemetery: section 4 row 21 grave 33.

Charles Stark

Charles Stark was born on January 8, 1837, in Champlain, Clinton County, New York, the son of Reuben (b. 1797-1877) and Mary (Gentile).

Vermonter Reuben married Mary around 1821, possibly in New York. In any case they soon settled in Clinton count, New York where they lived for many years. Indeed, Reuben was living in Champlain, New York in 1830 and in 1840. Reuben moved his family to Michigan and by 1860 Reuben was living in Wright, Ottawa County and Charles was working as a farm laborer and living with his two older brothers (James and Hiram) and their families in Tallmadge, Ottawa County.

Charles stood 6’0” with gray eyes, brown and a light complexion and was 24 years old and residing in Lamont, Ottawa County when he enlisted as Eighth Corporal in Company B on May 13, 1861. Charles was appointed Sergeant on January 1, 1862, and was present for duty through the end of the year. During the battle of Williamsburg on May 5, 1862, Starks was color bearer for the Regiment. “While we were in company formation,” wrote Ezra Ransom, also of Company B, in 1917, “ready to do our ‘bit’, Charley Starks, color bearer, again showed the white feather by pleading sick, advancing to the front of the line he told the Colonel -- who was a short distance in front -- ‘Colonel I am sick & can’t bear the colors in battle’. The Colonel called for a volunteer & I who had often taken Starks place before, stepped through the line from the rear. . . . ‘I’ll take them Col’. ‘Starks you may take that man’s gun & get into the ranks, this [h]as occurred too often’ or words to that effect.”

For reasons unknown Charles was reduced to the rank of private on December 13, 1862, probably as a consequence of a regimental court martial, and shortly afterwards was on detached service as a teamster with the Brigade. He was treated briefly for diarrhea from January 1 to 5, 1863, but soon recovered and returned to duty.

He was probably a teamster detached to the ammunition train in February of 1863, was reported at Brigade headquarters in March, and was serving with the Brigade ammunition train from April through July. In October he was at First Division headquarters, and a teamster in First Division from November of 1863 through January of 1864. Charles was at Brandy Station, Virginia, working as a teamster in the First division, Third Corps ammunition train in late December of 1864 when he wrote home, presumably to his cousin Reuben Randall who had been discharged two years earlier from the Third Michigan.

I guess you began to think I have forgotten you entirely but I believe I have a faint recollection of seeing you. Well I am about as healthy as I have been since I left home. We are having very easy times at present. We have inspection every Sunday. I saw Ben Curtis [from Tallmadge, Ottawa County and in the Fifth Michigan cavalry] and Lou a short time ago. If I can get time I shall go and see them this week. We have had a very warm winter so far – not very little snow or rain. The roads are quite dry. I think the army will soon strike out again for parts unknown but you will soon hear where we are after we start.

Well I suppose you are having a good time these months and a few days and I will begin to have a good time if I am alive and well at that time. I suppose those old veterans cut a big swell while they were at home. That big bounty was a big thing but I could not see the point this time. My eyes are getting so I can’t see so quick as I could when I enlisted.

Abe [Palmer] is driving here in the same train that I am in. he is all right. Abe and I have some pretty good times if we are in the army.

I will have to hurry this to a close. Give my best wishes to all the girls and some of the married women.

He was a teamster in the Brigade wagon train from February through April, in the ammunition train in May, and was mustered out of service on June 20, 1864, at Detroit.

Charles married English-born Mary Alice Smedley (b. 1845) in New Boyton, Pennsylvania, on February 20, 1865, and they had at least two children: Frank Sidney (b. 1866) and Bertha (b. 1870).

After his discharge from the army, Charles may have returned to Michigan, or he may have lived briefly in Pennsylvania; he was apparently in Ohio in 1866 when his son was born. In any case, he did eventually return to his family home in Ottawa County and by 1870 he was working as a farmer (he owned $3000 worth of real estate) and living with his wife and children in Wright, Ottawa County. (His parents still lived in Wright in 1870.)

He lived in Ottawa County until about 1876 when he moved to Dubuque, Iowa where he lived for about eight years. In 1880 he was working as an engineer and living with his wife and son in Dubuque. In about 1884 he moved to Kansas where he lived for about two years and eventually moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. By 1890 was a resident of the Northwestern branch of the National Military Home in Milwaukee. Charles and Mary were divorced in 1891, and apparently Mary was living in Chicago.

According to her testimony Charles deserted her sometime around 1899 and never returned. In any case, he was still living at the National Home in 1897 and 1898 but eventually returned to Michigan., probably to Cedar Springs.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, a Protestant. In 1891 he applied for and received pension no. 985,856, drawing $6.00 in 1900, and $15.00 by 1907.

Charles entered the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 3420) on July 16, 1900, and listed himself as a single man. He was discharged several years later, and was apparently back at the National Home in Milwaukee in 1892 and 1905. In any case, he was probably living in Cedar Springs, Kent County when he reentered the home on September 18, 1908, and was dropped on September 24, 1910, returning to his residence in Cedar Springs where he was living at no. 33 R.F.D in 1907, 1909, 1911 and 1912; indeed, he probably split his residence between the Home and Cedar Springs .

He was apparently being taken care of by one Eva Fitzsimmons when he died of cancer of the gall duct in Solon Township, Kent County on September 13, 1912. Charles was buried at Solon cemetery.

William A. Smith

William A. Smith was born in 1843, in Canada.

William came to western Michigan sometime before the war broke out.

He was 27 years old and possibly living in Kent County when he enlisted in Company A on May 13, 1861. He was absent sick or wounded in a general hospital from July of 1862 through August, and discharged for rheumatism on April 26 or 29, 1862.

After he was discharged from the army William returned to Michigan and for a time may have lived in Grand Rapids, however he eventually settled in Berlin (Marne), Ottawa County where he was living when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association in December of 1888. He was still living in Marne in 1890. (In 1870 there was a 26-year-old harness-maker named William Smith, born in Canada, married to 19-year-old Anna, and they had at least two children: Carnette (b. 1868) and Francis (b. 1870).

William received pension no. 816,955, drawing $8.00 per month in 1895, and had been married; he had at least one son, William L.

In fact, William was either divorced or a widower when he was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 2354) as a single man on January 25, 1895. He was discharged on May 9 and readmitted to the Home on December 31, 1895.

William died of heart failure at the Home on January 12, 1900, and the funeral services were held in Berlin (Marne) on Sunday at the residence of relatives. He was buried in Marne cemetery.

Harding Smith

Harding Smith was born in 1822 in Steuben County, New York.

Harding was married to New York native Margaret (b. 1824), probably in New York, and they had at least three children: Wallace H. (b. 1848), Emma S. (b. 1853) and David (b. 1860).

They moved from New York to Ohio around 1848, and back to New York by 1850 when “Harden” was working as a wagoner and living with his wif eand son in Tyrone, Steuben County, New York. The family eventually settled in Michigan sometime before 1853 and by 1860 Harding was a wagonmaker living with his wife and children in Portland, Ionia County.

He stood 5’7” with blue eyes, light hair and a dark complexion and was 39 years old and still 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 discharged for general debility on July 29, 1861, at Hunter’s Farm, Virginia.

Harding returned to Portland where he reentered the service in Company D, Fifth Michigan cavalry on August 18, 1862, for 3 years, and was mustered on August 27 at Detroit where the regiment was being organized. The regiment left Michigan for Washington on December 4, 1862 and was attached to the Provisional Cavalry Brigade and participated in the deffenses of Washington through the summer of 1863. The occupied Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on June 28, 1863, was in action at Hanover, Pennsylvania on June 30 and at the Battle of Gettysburg from July 1-3. They also participated in the pursuit of Lee’s forces to Williamsport and back into Virginia. It is not known for certain if Harding was serving the regiment during this period. He was reported with the Fifth Corps from August of 1863 through October, was stationed at the dismounted camp in November and on detached service at Camp Stoneman, Virginia, from September of 1864 through December. He was taken prisoner on March 16, 1865, paroled on March 26, subsequently absent sick in Michigan and honorably discharged on June 12, 1865, at Camp Chase, Ohio.

Following his discharge Harding returned to Michigan and settled in Saginaw, Saginaw County where he lived most of remainder of his life, and for many years worked as a wagon-maker. By 1870 he was working as a wagon-maker and living with his wife and children in Saginaw village. (Curiously, in 1891 there was one Harding Smith working a farm in Steuben County, New York.)

It appears that Harding married a second wife named Nancy who may have been from Ohio.

In 1882 he applied for and received pension no. 515,256, drawing $12.00 per month.

Harding was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 200) as a single man (either a widower or divorced) on January 26, 1886. He was discharged at his own request on September 18, 1892, and subsequently readmitted on June 18, 1893, discharged on November 15, 1894; readmitted on August 29, 1895, discharged on August 3, 1896, and admitted for the final time on August 1, 1898.

Harding died of “senile debility” and “La Grippe” (influenza) in the Home hospital on January 31, 1899 and was buried in the Home cemetery: section 2 row 6 grave 4.

In April of 1902 a woman named Nancy applied for a widow’s pension (no. 760204).

Wilbur C. Scott

Wilbur C. Scott was born in 1835 in Sandy Creek, Jefferson County, New York.

Wilbur married New York native Harriet J. (b. 1844), probably in 1859 or 1860, possibly in New York, moving to Michigan shortly afterwards. In any case, they had at least five children: Warren (b. 1866), Edson (b. 1869), Minnie (b. 1871), Delia (b. 1874) and Sheridan (b. 1877).

By 1860 Wilbur was working as a beet farmer living with his wife in Blendon, Ottawa County. Next door lived the family of Justus Wait; he was the father of Walter Wait who would also enlist in Company I. And on the other side from the Wait family farm lived Asahel Tewksbury; he too would join the Third Michigan.

He stood 6’1” with hazel eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 26 years old and living in Blendon when he enlisted as Third 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.) Wilbur was promoted to Sergeant by the time he was reported sick in the hospital in August of 1862, and he remained hospitalized until he was discharged for heart disease on September 12, 1862, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

After his discharge Wilbur returned to Michigan where he reentered the service as Private in Battery B, First Michigan Light Artillery on December 15, 1863, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Blendon, and was mustered the same day probably at Grand Rapids where the battery was originally organized between September 10 and December 14, 1861. (The battery left Michigan on December 17 for St. Louis, Missouri, and during the battle of Shiloh in early April was overwhelmed and captured except for Lang’s section which was attached to Mann’s Battery “C,” First Missouri Artillery. It was subsequently reorganized at Detroit in December of 1862.)

The battery left for Columbus, Kentucky on Christmas day, and remained in Columbus until it was moved to Corinth, Mississippi January 4-9, 1863. It remained in Corinth until early March when it was moved to Bethel, Tennessee and remained on duty there until early June. It subsequently moved back to Corinth on June 7 and remained there until October 29 when it was moved to Pulaski, Tennessee, remaining on duty there until late April of 1864. It participated in the Atlanta campaign from May until September and was on duty at Rome, Georgia until mid-October.

It then moved to Alabama where it participated in numerous operations and was also involved in the March to the Sea November 15 to December 10, in the siege of Savannah in late December and the campaign of the Carolinas from January until April of 1865. It occupied Raleigh, North Carolina on April 14, participated in Johnston’s surrender and the march to Washington via Richmond April 29 to May 19 and the Grand Review on May 24. It was then moved to Detroit June 1-6, 1865.

Wilbur was promoted to Corporal on March 1, 1864, to Sergeant on October 1, and was mustered out on June 14, 1865, at Detroit.

He returned to Michigan, probably to his farm in Blendon where he was living with is wife and two children in 1870. Two houses away lived another former member of the Third Michigan, Roelof (“Ralph”) Steffins. By 1880 Wilber was working as a laborer and living with his wife and children on Taylor street in Grand Rapids. Wilber was living in South Blendon, Ottawa County in September of 1885 when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association; he was also a member of Grand Army of the Republic Custer post no. 5 in Grand Rapids.

In 1882 he applied for and received a pension (no. 275284).

By 1888 Wilbur had moved to Grand Rapids and was living at 146 Thomas street in 1890 next door to Albert Babcock, formerly of Company B. He may have been working as a carpenter and living at 579 S. East Street in Grand Rapids in 1889-90.

In any case, Wilbur was living at 138 Second Avenue when he was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 2445) on July 16, 1895.

Wilbur was staying at the Home when he died of tuberculosis on September 7, 1895, and was buried in Oak Hill cemetery: section E lot 3.

His widow was still living in Michigan in late 1895 (?) when she applied for and received a pension (no. 423824).

George Schermerhorn

George Schermerhorn was born in 1839 in Ontario, Canada, the son of Daniel (1804-1887) and Ann (Wall, 1810-1891).

His father was born in New York and married New Brunswick native Ann sometime before 1829, presumably in Canada where they were living by 1829. The family moved to Michigan from Canada sometime between 1846 and 1850 when George was attending school with his siblings and living with his family on a farm in Walker, Kent County. In 1860 George was still working as a farmer and still living with his family in Walker, where his father owned and operated a substantial farm.

George stood 5’11’ with brown eyes, sandy hair and a light complexion and was a 22-year-old farmer living with his family in Walker when he enlisted in Company B on May 13, 1861. He was absent sick at Alexandria, Virginia from October of 1862 until he was discharged on December 28, 1862, at the Third Corps hospital, near Fort Lyon, Virginia, suffering from consumption and chronic diarrhea.

George eventually returned to Walker. He married his first wife Canadian-born Elizabeth Ann Edison (b. 1832) on December 26, 1866, in Grand Rapids, and by 1870 he and Elizabeth were living with her parents on their farm in Walker. He continued farming until about 1872 when he moved into Grand Rapids where he worked for many years as a carpenter and builder.

He was living in Grand Rapids in 1879 when he married his second wife Michigan native Dana Smith Rounds (b. 1843) on January 27, 1879. By 1880 he was working as a carpenter and living with his wife on Canal street in Grand Rapids’ Second Ward; next door was the office of Dr. Walter Morrison who had also served in the Third Michigan as a hospital steward.

In 1878 he applied for and eventually received a pension (no. 324387)

George was still living in Grand Rapids when he was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 250) on March 10, 1886. He was discharged from the Home on May 15, 1886 as a consequence of “local aid discontinued,” and was residing in Paris, Kent County in 1890; by the following year had returned to Grand Rapids. He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association (and served as its president in 1890), as well as Grand Army of the Republic Custer post no. 5 in Grand Rapids.

George died of “rheumatism of the heart” at 12:00 (noon?) on December 26, 1891, at his home, 840 Hall street (corner Hall and Salem), in Grand Rapids. According to the Democrat,

Since the war the deceased has suffered ill health almost continuously as a result of disease contracted in the service. For the past 10 years he has suffered acute pain at times, arising from a diseased condition of the bowels. This difficulty of late has been very frequent and excruciating agony has accompanied its recurrence. On Thursday night last the patient had to succumb to his malady and go to bed. His condition steadily grew worse from that time to the moment of his death and the event came as a release from suffering too intense for human endurance. In his lifetime deceased was an active, energetic man. He was congenial in his relations to his fellow men and respected and beloved by a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. He was an honored member of Custer post and during the year ending with Dec. 16 last was president of the Old 3rd Inf. association. He attended the reunion of his Regiment on the date mentioned. The day before Christmas he was down town for the last time.

The funeral was held at the residence on Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m., arranged by Colonel Edwin S. Pierce (formerly of the Old Third). He was buried in Oak Hill cemetery: section D lot 44

At the annual reunion of the association held in December of 1892, the following resolution was read and entered into the records: “Whereas - Shortly after our last reunion, our honored and beloved President Geo Schermerhorn, was by the Supreme ruler called from our midst to join the army of patriots above, Resolved -- that we we deeply regret, that he who we so much loved,. should be taken from us, while yet in the prime of life, and that we extend to his bereaved wife and family our sincere sympathy. That we feel that his wife and all his relatives, as well as ourselves, may feel proud that they have been connected with so good a man, soldier and citizen. That we feel an assurance of the eternal bliss of Geo Schermerhorn, that we cordially invite his wife to consider herself an honorary member of the” association. She did.

In 1892 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 336978).

Charles H. C. Scaddin

Charles H. C. Scaddin was born on December 3, 1837, in Summerfield (?), New York, the son of Charles (b. 1798) and Amy (Sales, b. 1801).

His parents were born in New York and was presumably married there sometime before 1825. The family moved from New York to Michigan sometime between 1842 and 1844, and by 1850 Charles (younger) was living with his family in Grand Rapids where his father worked a a carpenter. Next door lived one Nathan Sines who would also join the Third Michigan.

By 1860 Charles was working as a sawyer living with and/or working for Mr. Driesbach in Alpine, Kent County and working at the same mill as Mortimer Parish (who would enlist in Company D).

Charles (younger) stood 5’8,” with blue eyes, light complexion and brown hair and was 23 years old and probably still residing in Alpine when he enlisted in Company F. He was reported serving with the ambulance corps from October of 1862 through December. In February of 1863 he was a provost guard at Third Corps headquarters, and in March was sick with intermittent fever. He returned to duty and in April was ill with bronchitis. He was sick with diarrhea from May 18-28, and was detached as provost guard at division headquarters from January 8, 1864, until the end of April. He was suffering from miasmatic disease from March 4-12, admitted on March 24, 1864, to Second Division hospital in Alexandria, Virginia, suffering from “debility,” and was reported absent sick from April through May, possibly at one point in the Methodist church hospital in Alexandria. Charles was working as a clerk in a hospital in Washington, DC when he was mustered out on June 20, 1864, at Detroit .

Following his discharge Charles returned to Michigan and lived for a time in Grand Rapids.

He married Michigan native Marian E. Devenport or Davenport (b. 1835) on April 9, 1865, in Alpine, Kent County and they had at least three children, Sylvia (b. 1866), Amy (b. 1872), Daisa (b. 1875).

Charles was living in Alpine with his wife and one child in 1870, and by 1880 he was working as a laborer and living with his wife and three daughters in Sparta, Kent County.

He and Marion separated in March of 1881. According to a statement Mariam made in 1916, they separated “only because of the soldier’s habits and of his non-support of his family.” (However, another witness, Syrina Mapes, Charles’ sister testified that they separated in the “early 90s”; and other other sources claim between 1895 and 1900.) William Davenport, a cousin of Mariam’s, testified in 1916 that Mariam left Charles “sometime in the nineties . . . because of the soldier’s drinking intoxicating liquors to excess, and his abuse of his family,” but that she never divorced him.

Charles was living in Englishville, Kent County when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association in September of 1885, and resided for a time in Mill Creek, Kent County, and for many years worked as a sawyer and farmer. He was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 4104) on September 18, 1903 and was subsequently dishonorably discharged from the Home, presumably for drunkenness, on three separate occasions: first on December 11, 1903, readmitted December 16; discharged March 16, 1906, and readmitted March 19; and discharged April 5, 1906. He was readmitted on December 23, 1908, and transferred to the Kalamazoo State Hospital in November of 1912.

One month prior to his transfer to Kalamazoo “His trouble began,” so the hospital admission record notes, “by his mistreating associates and attendants and rebelling against the discipline. He gradually became very abusive and profane and finally became destructive, tearing his clothes and attempting to destroy the furniture, etc.” He was admitted at 4:00 p.m. on November 9, 1912, with a diagnosis of “acute alcoholism.” The admitting physicians further noted that “His ideas of time and place are very poor” and that he was “bothered a good deal by the idea the some one is persecuting him.” Apparently he suffered from loss of memory, and insisted on getting into bed with other inmates of the Michigan Soldiers’ Home. The examination concluded that he was “inclined to be a trifle irritable” and that his will was “diminished.” “The patent’s social relations were seemingly innocent enough: he was not thought ‘aggressive’ nor ‘very talkative’, and when he was questioned closely he ‘rather inclined to be irritable.’”

His emotional state continued to worsen and his abusiveness and hostility to those around him increased, and he began failing physically as well. On April 17, 1915, he was described as “becoming more deteriorated; irritable spells; complains of feeling numb and dizzy; disoriented; nephritis. This patient is gradually becoming more feeble” and “he complains of feeling dizzy. He was also observed to be more “filthy in his habits.” By the end of the year he was observed to be “very confused” and was often observed to be “crawling about the ward.” The treatment of choice was a quarter grain of morphine. (Charles may in fact have suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.)

Charles was a Protestant. In 1896 he applied for and received pension no. 908,433, drawing $6.00 in 1903 and increased to $12.00 by 1908.

Charles died of interstitial nephritis (renal failure) on February 10, 1916, at the Kalamazoo Hospital and his remains were sent to Grand Rapids where they were buried in the Michigan Soldiers’ Home cemetery: section 7 row 6 lot 30.

His widow was residing in Sparta, Kent County in 1916, the same year she applied for and received pension no. 814,292.

Lyman Allen Sayles - update 5/2/2017

Lyman Allen Sayles was born on October 21, 1844, in Lowell, Kent County or Keene, Ionia County, Michigan, the son of New York native Cyrenius Chapin Sayles (1812-1893 ) and Canadian Eliza Gardner (b. 1816).

Cyrenius and Eliza were married in East Dumfries, Canada, in 1835. Between 1842 and 1844 Cyrenius, probably along with his brother Elias, took his family and left Canada, eventually settling in Keene, Ionia County, Michigan where he farmed for many years and raised 15 children. (Elias also settled in Keene.) One source described Cyrenius as “a man universally respected and liked, while having strong opinions his humerous expressions of them gave no one offence.”

By 1850 Lyman was living with his family on a farm in Keene. Nearby lived his cousins John and William Sayles, two of Elias’ sons, who would also enlist in the 3rd Michigan, as would two of the Soules boys who lived near both Sayles families. By 1860 Lyman was living with his family and attending school with ten of his siblings, one of whom, Olive, was the teacher, in Keene.

Lyman stood 5’6” with dark eyes, brown hair and a fair complexion and was a 17-year-old farmer probably living in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company H on November 21, 1861, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered on December 13 at Detroit. (He was probably related to John and/or William Sayles of Company G and Company C respectively.) Lyman was reported absent sick in the hospital from July of 1862 through August, but according to Lieutenant William Ryan of Company H, in fact he had been absent in the hospital since the first of May.

Although he was reported as having deserted on September 21 at Upton’s Hill, Virginia, Lyman had in fact been discharged from the army on either June 28, 1862, at Detroit or October 3, 1862 at Edward’s Ferry, Maryland, for “anchylosis of the fingers of his right hand, prior to enlistment.” Lyman listed Lowell, Ionia County as his mailing address on his discharge paper (he probably lived along the border between Kent and Ionia counties), and he probably returned to the Lowell/Keene area after his discharge.

It appears that he was living in Lowell when he enlisted at the age of 20 on March 24, 1865, in Company A, 6th Michigan Cavalry and was mustered the same day. He was discharged on August 4, 1865, at Fort Laramie, Dakota Territory.

Lyman eventually returned to Michigan.

He may have been living in Eaton County in 1870.

For reasons which remain unclear, Pinkney Cemetery records in Ionia County report that Lyman died on July 2, 1878 (or July 16, 1868), presumably in Ionia County and was buried in Pinkney cemetery, Ionia County: lot 13, row 3, grave 8.

Lyman married Maine native Sarah Martin or Marston (b. 1847) on February 23, 1863 in Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, and they had at least two children: Emmanuel or Emmet (1867-1930) and a son Jesse E. (1870-1886).

They were probably living in Illinois in 1867 when Emmanuel was born but by 1870 Lyman was working as a farm laborer and living with Sarah and two children in Osolo, Elkhart County, Indiana.

Lyman was working as a teacher in Pierson, Montcalm County when he married New York native Emma Jane Huntington (b. 1852), in Pierson, Montcalm County, Michigan, on July 5, 1874, and that they had at least three children: Laverne (1878-1879), and Ingersoll (b. 1879). By 1880 Lyman was farming and teaching school and living with his wife Emma and his children Emmanuel, Jesse and Ingersoll in Vergennes, Kent County.

Lyman was working as a school teacher and living in Lowell, Kent County when he married 16-year-old Cattaraugus County, New York native Hattie Belle Griswold (b. 1866) on December 3, 1882 in Clarksville, Ionia County, Michigan. They had at least four children: Hattie Mae (b. 1883), Lilla Alta (1886-1980, Mrs. Sopp), Lyman Jay (1891-1959), and Elma Alta (1895-1896).

Lyman and Hattie lived in Evergreen, Montcalm County for some years before moving to South Lyon, Oakland County. Lyman who had worked as a farmer and school teacher eventually became a physician and for many years he practiced in South Lyon, Oakland County. Lyman was living in South Lyon, Oakland County in 1894. In 1900 Lyman and Hattie were living in South Lyon where he was working as a physician; also living with them were their four children. By 1910 Lyman was still working as a physician and living with Hattie in South Lyon; also living with them was their son Jay and mother-in-law New Yorker June Randall (b. 1844). In 1920 Lyman was working as a physician and living with Hattie in South Lyon; their granddaughter Mildred Sayles (b. 1813) was also living with them.

In 1928 Lyman was admitted to the hospital at the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 8184) in Grand Rapids, and was apparently under the guardianship of one Allen Wilkinson of South Lyon, Oakland County; his nearest relative was Hattie living in South Lyon and a daughter Lillie Sopp in Rushton, Michigan.

Lyman was living in the Home in 1930.

In 1880 Lyman applied for and received a pension (no. 354745), drawing $72.00 per month by 1928.

Lyman was still living at the Home when he died of “cirrhosis of the liver (not alcoholic)” on October 19, 1931, and his body was sent to South Lyon for burial.

His widow applied for a pension (no. 1706373), but the certificate was never granted.

William R. Sayles - update 5/2/2017

William R. Sayles was born December 22, 1839 in Canada, the son of New York native Elias Sayles Sr. (1803-1897) and Canadian-born Hannah Showers (1808-1872) and stepson of English-born Eliza Ann Wrigley (1819-1885).

The family moved from Canada to Michigan between 1843 and 1846, and by 1850 William was living with his family and attending school with his siblings (including a younger brother John who would enlist in Company G in 1862) in Keene, Ionia County; next door lived Charles and Harrison Soules, both of whom would enlist in Company C in 1861. Nearby lived a cousin, Lyman Sayles, Cyrenius’ son, who would also enlist in the 3rd Michigan.

William farmed for some years in Keene before the war, and in 1860 he was working as a farm laborer and/or living with the Matthew Brown family in Keene; his parents were still living in Keene as well.

William stood 6’1’’ with dark eyes, hair and complexion and was a 23-year-old farmer living in Saranac, Ionia County when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861. He was transferred to Company B on June 12.

There is no further record.

In fact, William may have never left with the 3rd Michigan when it departed Grand Rapids on June 13, 1861.

He married Michigan native Hettie Jane Hunter (d. 1895) on July 14, 1861, and they had at least two children: Charles (b. 1862) and Elroy (1864-1950).

William enlisted as a Private on September 5, 1861, at Marshall, in Company H, 2nd Michigan Cavalry for three years, and was mustered on October 12. He reportedly deserted on March 22, 1863, in Michigan.

Again, there is no further record.

Apparently William eventually enlisted in Company L, 6th Michigan Cavalry at Grand Rapids on January 29, 1864, for 3 years, crediting Keene, Ionia County, and was mustered on January 30. (Both Lyman and John Sayles, also reentered the service in the 6th Michigan Cavalry.)

He joined the Regiment near Stevensburg, Virginia about February 15, and was serving with the wagon train as a teamster from December of 1864 through March of 1865. In June he was on detached service as a teamster through July, and he claimed some years after the war to have been seriously injured by an accident at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in the summer of 1865. (The 6th had been transferred to Fort Leavenworth on June 1 and the veterans and recruits consolidated into the 1st Michigan Cavalry later that month.)

“On or about June 16, 1865,” Sayles testified in 1881, “while on soldier’s duty [with the 6th Cavalry] he was in the act of harnessing a mule to a wagon, the mule becoming scared jumped over the wagon tongue and a rope that was attached to [the] mule’s neck and hub of wagon caught [Sayles] between it and wagon tongue in such a manner as to bend him backwards between the wheel and wagon-box, until assistant wagon-master George Bothwell came to [his] rescue and cut the rope, and from there [Sayles] was sent to hospital.”

And on May 4, 1888, William wrote to Mr. J. C. Black, Pension Commissioner in Washington, that after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox his Regiment “was ordered west and that while in camp at Ft. Leavenworth Kansas,” round June 15, 1865, “I was detailed to drive mules and that (against my own will) and that while in the act of harnessing one of the mules, I was hurt across the back and in the region of the kidney so much so that when I was helped loose that I could not walk or stand on my feet and was injured so that I was sent to [the] convalescent hospital at Fort Leavenworth and remained there about six weeks and was discharged” on August 17, 1865. In fact he was honorably discharged on August 8, 1865, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

After his discharge, William returned to Michigan and resumed farming first in Polkton, Ottawa County from 1865 to 1870, then in Vergennes, Kent County from 1870 to 1874 (actually living in Lowell village in 1870), in Berlin (Saranac), Ionia County from 1874 to 1876, and in Keene from 1876 to 1881. By 1880 he was working as a farmer and living with Hettie and his two sons in Keene, Ionia County.

By 1888 he was living in Lowell when he wrote to the Pension Bureau on May 4, 1888, continuing his efforts to be granted a pension for his war-related injury. He wrote of how needless his injury had been and yet how much he had suffered ever since.

Now I do not want to find fault but I thought that we should have been discharged after the war closed but was not and the result has been ever since my hurt as I have mentioned I have been impaired so much that I have been a great sufferer ever since and . . . as I grow older I grow worse and I have thought that in time will be unable to perform my labor and now the witnesses that saw the accident are dead as well as all of my company officers with the exception of my first Lieutenant and he was on detached duty at the time. My captain died at Grand Rapids about 4 years ago. Now I do not know as I am entitled to pension or not but Mr. Black if after hearing and reading these few lines you think I had ought to or am entitled to have a pension I wish you would write. I have thought of writing you a great many times for information.

He was eventually granted pension no. 507,485, increased in August of 1902, drawing $12.00 per month.

In 1889 he was probably working as a laborer for Cupples Co. on Coldbrook near Ionia Street in Grand Rapids. By 1890 William was residing at 32 Quimby street in Grand Rapids where he worked for some years as a furniture finisher; he was living in Grand Rapids’ 6th ward in 1894 (as was another civil veteran his brother Elias Sayles Jr.).

William was living in Grand Rapids when he married New York native Mary A. Smith Lovelace on March 21, 1896, in Holland, Ottawa County. Each had been married once before.

William was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 2928) on September 26, 1899 (no mention made of enlistment in the 3rd Michigan).

William was a widower when he died of “progressive paralysis” at the Home on October 17, 1906, and was buried in Saranac cemetery: lot no. WH-462.

William M. Rusco

William M. Rusco was born in 1836 in Greenwich, Huron County, Ohio, the son of Laura (b. 1808).

New York native Laura was married sometime before 1826 by which time she was living in Ohio. By 1850 William was living with his mother and family and attending school with his siblings in Greenwich; next door lived his uncle Jeremiah and his family. (In 1864 Rusco listed his nearest relative as one J. E. Rusco living in Greenwich, Ohio. This may very well have been Jeremiah Rusco. ) William eventually left Ohio and had settled in western Michigan by 1860 when he was a mason and farm laborer living with and/or working for Levi L. Phillips, a wealthy farmer in Alpine, Kent County.

William stood 6’1” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 25 years old and possibly residing in Crockery, Ottawa County 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 was reported on detached service at General Heintzelman’s headquarters from July of 1862 through January of 1863. He reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Algoma, Kent County, was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864 and probably returned to duty on or about the first of February.

William was probably shot in the right leg sometime around June 2 or 3, possibly near Cold Harbor, Virginia, and was transferred as absent wounded to Company I, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. William was admitted from the field on June 28, 1864, to Second Division (or “Sickles’”) hospital in Alexandria, Virginia, suffering from a severe gunshot wound to the right leg, and was reported in a hospital in Alexandria in late July. In fact he probably remained absent wounded until he was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

William eventually returned to Michigan after the war and by 1867 was probably living in Eaton Rapids, Eaton County.

He married Michigan native Emma S. Childs and they had at least three children: Laura May (b. 1867), Edith (b. 1870) and James (b. 1872).

(In 1870 his mother was living alone in Union City, Branch County, in a house located between two Eddy families.)

By 1880 William was working as a stonemason and living with his wife and children in Eaton Rapids, Eaton County.

For many years William worked as a mason. He was living in Olyphant, Arkansas in 1889 when he was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 1117) on November 15, 1889.

In 1896 he applied for and received a pension (no. 255928).

William died of “fits and convulsions” at the Home hospital on November 6, 1890. He was buried in the Home cemetery: section 3 row 3 grave 1.

In 1891 his widow was residing in Illinois when she applied for and received a pension (no. 307096).

James Reynolds

James Reynolds was born on April 3, 1840, in New York, the son of John (b. 1804) and Harriet (Lowe, b. 1809).

Both New York natives, John and Harriett were probably married in New York and settled in Michigan sometime after 1844. By 1860 James was living with his family in North Shade, Gratiot County, where his father worked as a laborer.

He was married to Elizabeth (David, 1841-1907).

James was 21 years old and possibly living in Clinton County when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861. He allegedly deserted as of July 21, 1861, at Hunter’s Farm, Virginia. (He had probably just gotten separated from his unit during the federal retreat from Bull Run.) In any case, he was eventually returned to the Regiment and was reported absent sick in the hospital from October of 1862 through January of 1863.

James apparently returned to duty and was wounded at Mine Run, Virginia, on November 27, 1863. He was subsequently hospitalized at Armory Square hospital, Washington, DC, probably through April of 1864, and rejoined the Regiment sometime before May 5 when he was shot in the left side of the head at the Wilderness, Virginia. He was again hospitalized in Armory Square hospital on May 25 and admitted on May 28 to Mt. Pleasant hospital, in Washington, DC, and mustered out on June 20, 1864, at Detroit. (In May of 1864 his wife Elizabeth was reported to be living in Hubbardton, Ionia County.)

After his discharge James returned to western Michigan. (His parents were still living in North Shade, Gratiot County in 1870.) He worked for many years as a laborer in Grand Rapids.

James married his second wife, a woman named Phebe, and they had at least one child, a daughter.

James was living at 82 Conkling Avenue when he was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 6212) on February 16, 1912.

He was a Protestant. In 1885 he applied for and received pension no. 310,423, drawing $15.00 in 1912.

James died of aortic heart disease at the Home at 10:20 a.m. on Wednesday, March 18, 1914, and the funeral service was held at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday afternoon March 19, at the Home chapel, his widow and a daughter attending.

He was buried in the Home cemetery: section 7 row 1 grave 5. (there is one James Reynolds who reportedly served in Company D, Third Michigan infantry, who was reburied in Carson City cemetery in Montcalm County on May 8, 1886.)

In October of 1916 his widow applied for a pension (no. 1080588).