Ontario

James Henry Van Dusen - update 8/21/2016

James Henry Van Dusen was born on January 26, 1838, in Scotland, Brant County, Ontario, Canada, the son of Abram (or Abraham or Abner, b. 1811) and Louisa (Malcolm, 1816-1853).

New York native Abram married Canadian-born Louisa in 1837 in Scotland, Ontario, Canada, where they resided for many years. Sometime after 1849 Abram brought his family to Michigan and by 1850 he was working as a physician and James was attending school with his younger brother Charles (who would also join the Third Michigan) and younger sister Cecilia in Detroit, Wayne County. Abram eventually settled his family on the western side of the state and by 1853 when Louisa died they were living in Grand Haven, Ottawa County. In about 1855 Abram remarried New York native Laura Robinson (b. 1813), and by 1860 he was practicing medicine in Grand Haven, Ottawa County. (He married his third wife Lucinda Newwell in about 1861 in Michigan.)

James stood 5’8” with brown eyes, black hair and a fair complexion and was a 23-year-old farm laborer probably living in Muskegon or Spring Lake, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company A, joining his brother Charles, on November 12, 1861, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered on December 23 at Detroit. James was reported as a clerk at (presumably Brigade) headquarters from August of 1862 through September, and indeed, according to his pension application declaration of 1905, he “was detailed in General Berry’s Brigade headquarters as clerk at Yorktown,” Virginia (which would have been in the spring of 1862).

By the end of June of 1862 he was sick in a hospital in Bottom’s Bridge, Virginia, suffering from”fever, ague and debility. He was absent sick in November, and allegedly deserted on November 12, 1862, at Alexandria, Virginia, although he claimed in later years that he had in fact been discharged, presumably for disability, at Alexandria, Virginia sometime in October of 1862.

It is not known if James returned to Michigan after his discharge from the army.

He did however return to Brant County, Ontario, Canada, where he married Brant native Kate Malcolm (1846-1910) on April 7, 1863, in Brantford, and they had at least eight children: Charles H. (b. 1865), Alfred M. (b. 1867), Jennie L. 9b. 1869), Louis (b. 1870), Will W. (b. 1872), Stella (b. 1878), Mysta (b. 1879) and James M. (1881).

They settled in Scotland, Ontario where he worked as a druggist for many years. By 1906 he was still living in Scotland, but by 1912 he was reportedly living in Barrington, Massachusetts.

In 1905 his application for pension (no. 1,330,971) was rejected, reasons unknown, but possibly because the charge of desertion was never removed.

James was probably a widower when he died on February 12, 1918, probably in Brant and was buried in Scotland cemetery in Brant.

Simeon D. Woodard - update 9/11/2016

Simeon D. Woodard was born in 1843 in Canada, the son of Vermonter Dexter (1812-1895) and Artemissia (Dutcher, 1812-1898).

Simeon’s parents were married in 1829 and by 1851 the family was living in Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada. Sometime between 1855 and 1859 the family left Canada and by 1860 Simeon and his family had settled in Leoni, Jackson County.

Simeon stood 5’9” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was an 18-year-old farmer possibly living in Jackson County when he enlisted in Company B on May 13, 1861.

He was missing in action on July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and returned to the regiment on September 19 at Baltimore, Maryland.

Simeon was killed in action on November 30, 1863, at Mine Run, Virginia, although Dan Crotty of Company F wrote some years after the war that Woodard's’ death was the result of his own “carelessness.” It was at Mine Run, wrote Crotty in 1876, “that we lost one of our best soldiers by his own carelessness, Simeon Woodard. When about to relieve a man on the picket line, he commenced to walk out to the post upright. We caution him to creep out, like the other men, but he don't heed our admonitions, so he takes the consequences. He had only moved a few rods when he dropped his gun and put back to the reserve. Sitting down, he drops off a corpse. We soon learn that he received his death wound through the bowels.”

Simeon was buried in Fredericksburg National Cemetery: grave 3691 (old 178).

His parents eventually settled in New Haven, Gratiot County, where they were both living along with a number of their children in 1870 and 1880. In 1886 his mother, was living in Michigan when she applied for and received a pension (no. 336,264).

Aaron F. Farr - updated 16 August 2016

Aaron F. Farr was born around 1832, in Niagara, Ontario, Canada, probably the son of Canadians John (1805) and Mary (1804).

In 1851 Aaron was working as a sawyer, probably for his father who was a lumberman, and living with his family in Houghton, Norfolk County, Ontario. He eventually left Canada and moved to western Michigan. By 1860 he was probably working as a mill laborer and living with the Adams family in Tallmadge, Ottawa County.

Aaron stood 5’6” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion, and was 25 years old and possibly living in Tallmadge, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company B on May 13, 1861. He was present for duty from January of 1862 through April, and absent sick at the hospital in Yorktown, Virginia on April 1, 1862 suffering from “piles” (hemorrhoids). He was eventually treated at Judiciary Square hospital in Washington, DC, and reported absent sick in the hospital at the corner of 6th and D Streets and in the 8th Street hospital in Washington, DC, from June 3, 1862, through July and August. According to one source, he was wounded at the Battle of Fair Oaks, Virginia, on May 31, 1862, and put aboard the Elm City at White House Landing, Virginia, and transferred to the hospital in Washington, DC, where he arrived on June 5 or 6.

Aaron was dropped from the company rolls on September 21, 1862, in compliance with G.O. no. 92 (regarding deserters), for having allegedly deserted on September 21, 1862, at Upton’s Hill, Virginia. Although he was probably in the hospital in September, his military service record notes that the “charge of desertion not to be removed and [that he be given] no honorable discharge.” Apparently there was no record of his having been absent sick or wounded at the time he was reported as a deserter. Of course, he may have deserted from the hospital, although there is no record confirming one way or the other.

After his discharge from the army Aaron probably returned to Ontario, Canada.

In June of 1888 he was apparently back in Michigan living in Waters, Otsego County when he applied for a pension (application no. 660,904). His application was rejected, however, “on the grounds that the claimant deserted and never returned to his command and for the reason that an application for removal of charge of desertion and for an honorable discharge in the case has been denied.”

Two months later, in August of 1888, Aaron was back in Houghton, Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada, suffering, he claimed in a letter to the pension commissioner, from piles so bad that he had had to quit work as a laborer and leave Otsego.

Aaron died of kidney and bladder disease on September 15, 1889 in Norfolk, Ontario, Canada.