Pelton

Samuel E. Pelton - update 5/2/2017

Samuel E. Pelton was born on July 5, 1848, in Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan, the son of Aldrich M. (1823-1895) and Amanda Gray (1828-1873).

Canadian born Aldrich married New York native Amanda sometime before 1846 by which time they had settled in Michigan. By 1850 Aldrich had and his family were still living in Grand Rapids where he worked as a carpenter. In 1860 Samuel was attending school with his siblings and living with his family in Walker, Kent County, where his father worked as a carpenter.

Samuel stood 5’6” with black eyes, dark hair and a light complexion and was a 15-year-old farm laborer probably living in Walker, Kent County when he enlisted in Company I on January 23, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Walker, and was mustered the same day. He was the nephew of Silas Pelton and the cousin of Albert and was probably related to Andrew and Alfred Pelton as well.

Samuel joined the Regiment on February 17 at Camp Bullock, Virginia, and was transferred to Company I, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864.

Samuel was absent sick in July, returned to the regiment and reportedly wounded severely and captured on October 27, 1864, at Boydton Plank road, near Petersburg, Virginia.

In fact, according to Franz Muhlberg, who was then commanding Company I, Samuel “was killed at Hatcher’s Run [near Petersburg, Virginia, on] Oct. 13, 1864, by being shot in [the] right side, and was left on the field. I saw him when he was shot and fell being near him at the time.” He was presumably among the unknown soldiers buried near Petersburg and was possibly reinterred as such in Petersburg National Cemetery.

His father was working as a carpenter (he owned some $9000 worth of real estate) and living in Grand Rapids’ 5th Ward, Kent County in 1870. He applied for and received a dependent father’s pension (no. 388,348), drawing $10 per month in 1890.

Andrew Jackson Pelton - update 5/2/2017

Andrew Jackson “Jack” Pelton was born on May 18, 1842, in Leighton, Allegan County, Michigan, the son of Canadian James Pelton (1814-1891) and New York native Elizabeth Hurling (1814-1878).

James and Elizabeth settled in Michigan by 1839 and by 1850 James was working as a laborer and Andrew (listed as “Jackson” in the census for that year) was attending school with his younger siblings in Byron, Kent County.

Andrew was 19 years old and living in either Grand Rapids or Plainfield, Kent County when he enlisted in Company K on November 26, 1861, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered on December 23 at Detroit. He was possibly related to Alfred Pelton who also enlisted in Company K, Silas Pelton who enlisted in Company B, and  Albert and Samuel both of whom would also serve in the Old Third.

Andrew was reported sick in August of 1862. He eventually returned to duty, however, and reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Plainfield. He was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864, and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February. “Jack” was wounded in the head on May 6, 1864, at the Wilderness, Virginia, subsequently hospitalized and transferred to Company A, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864.

On November 1, 1864, the Grand Rapids Eagle wrote that “A letter, full of loyalty to our country and love of the old flag, has just been shown us from A. J. Patton [Pelton], one of the gallant boys of the old Third -- now of the Fifth Mich. Inf., before Petersburg -- in which the writer says, that the soldiers, though hitherto friends of McClellan, will not, standing as he does on the Chicago platform, and being surrounded by the political managers of the so-called Democratic party, support him for president; that all the soldiers who vote at all, will cast their ballots for President Lincoln. We learn, also, from this letter that Truman Gilbert [Freeman Gilbert], a member of the old Third, from Byron Township, died in the rebel prison at Andersonville, Georgia, on the Second day of July last; and that William Prindle, also of the same command, and from the same place, was, when last heard from, lying very low and not expected to recover, a victim to rebel meanness and cruelty, in their treatment of Union prisoners.”

“Jack” was reported as a Sergeant on April 1, 1865, and was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana. “Jack” returned to Michigan after the war and settled in Gaines Township, Kent County.

He married his cousin Canadian native Elizabeth A. Pelton (1846-1935) on June 8, 1867, in Gaines, and they had at least nine children: Marilla J. (b. 1869), Liberty M. (b. 1872), Edith E. (b. 1873), Elwood Jackson (1876-1953), a son Statie F. (b. 1878), Ruth L. (1880-1933, Mrs. Van Tine), Charles E. (b. 1882), Emily Lucinda (b. 1886) and James I. (b. 1889). (Elizabeth, daughter of Ira Pelton, may have been related to Canadian-born Silas Pelton, who had also served in the Old Third.)

By 1870 Andrew who was working as a farmer was living with his wife and child and they were all living with Andrew’s parents James and Elizabeth in Gaines, Kent County. Andrew was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Gaines in 1880; also living with them was his father James as well as an old widower farm laborer named William Herrick who may have also served in the Old Third. He was living in West Carlisle, Gaines Township, in 1890 and 1895, and indeed he may have lived in West Carlisle for much of his postwar life -- although at one point he may have lived briefly in Allegan County. By 1900 he was working a farm and living with his wife and three children in Gaines, Kent County.

He was a member of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association, and his widow would become an honorary member of the Association.

In February of 1888 Andrew was living in Michigan when he applied for and received a pension (no. 419041).

Andrew joined Grand Army of the Republic Watson post no. 395 in Grand Rapids in 1891, but was suspended in June of 1898.

Andrew died of apoplexy on January 27, 1901, probably at his home in West Carlisle, and was buried in Blain cemetery, Gaines.

In February of 1901, his widow was living in Michigan when she applied for and received a pension (no. 522570). She was residing in Grand Rapids at 2047 Gardner Avenue, in 1916, probably the home of her daughter Marilla Horton.

Alfred Pelton - update 5/2/2017

Alfred Pelton was born on April or May 24, 1841, in Canada.

Alfred eventually left Canada and moved to Michigan, eventually settling in Grand Rapids, Kent County along with at least two other Canadian-born Peltons Aldrich and Silas; Silas would also serve in the 3rd Michigan.

Alfred stood 5’5” with black eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was a 20-year-old farmer probably living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted with the consent of the Justice of the Peace in Company K on May 13, 1861. He was probably related to Andrew Pelton who also enlisted in Company K,  Silas Pelton who enlisted in Company B and Albert Pelton, son of Silas as well  Samuel Pelton who would enlist in Company I in 1864.)

Alfred was probably wounded slightly in the head on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and by the second week of September he was in Wolf Street hospital in Alexandria, Virginia. (He claimed in 1887 that he had been Sergeant of the company in late 1862.) Alfred eventually returned to duty and reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Cannon, Kent County. He was absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864 and probably returned to the regiment on or about the first of February.

Alfred was reported absent sick in the hospital in March Or probably just late April) of 1864, suffering from Intermittent fever. He eventually returned to duty and was shot in the right arm on May 12, 1864, at Spotsylvania, Virginia. He was hospitalized soon afterwards and was still absent sick when he was transferred as a Sergeant to Company I, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He remained absent wounded through October and probably until he was discharged on January 15, 1865, in the field near Petersburg, Virginia, for a gunshot wound of the right arm causing a loss of “motion of the limb and he is unable to use a musket.”

After his discharge from the army Alfred returned to Grand Rapids.

He was working as a farmer in Gaines, Kent County when he married Grand Rapids native Eliza J. Dennis (1843-1927) on August 28, 1868, at Grand Rapids. They had at least five children: Viola (1869-1956), Mabel (1871-1956), Aldrich “Aud” (1875-1904), Agnes (b. 1878), Clarence (1882-1901) and Leota. (Andrew Pelton was also from Gaines Township.)

In July of 1874 Alfred was appointed Postmaster for Ross, Kent County. By 1880 Alfred was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Byron Township, Kent County. He was residing in Ross, Byron Township, by December of 1883 when he became a member of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association, as did his son Aldrich (named for Alfred’s brother), and in fact, he probably lived in Ross for the rest of his life. In 1883 Alfred was drawing $12.00 per month for a wounded right arm (pension no. 51,891). He attended the excursion to Gettysburg for the dedication of the Michigan monuments in 1889, and he was living in Ross in 1890 suffering, he claimed, from the effects of a gunshot wound to his left arm, left hip and back of the head (although he had been reportedly been wounded in the right side).

He was possibly living in Dorr, Allegan County, in the early 1890s.

His health gradually declined and he was seriously injured in the spring of 1893. According to Alonzo Green of Byron Center, on or about April 11, 1893, Alfred came to Green’s warehouse to pick up some flour “and while loading” his goods “the team attached to the wagon started forward then backed up as’ Alfred “was standing in the wagon back of the high backed seat” and “the movement threw [him] upon the seat causing severe injury to his injured right arm causing him to fall dow[n] fainting upon the bottom of the wagon box.”

Alfred never recovered from his fall. He died of myocarditis, noted by his attending physician as a result of “wounds received in the war,” in Ross on April 20, 1893. He was buried in Jones cemetery, Dorr, but subsequently removed to Oak Hill cemetery: section A lot 87.

During the business meeting at the 26th annual reunion of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association in December of 1897, the case of the widow of Alfred Pelton was discussed. She claimed to have been “beaten” out of her pension by a “foolish petition of physician and judge,” and the association strongly recommended that someone assist her. It is unknown if anyone in the Association did in fact help her, although eventually she did apply for and receive a pension (no. 577050), drawing $30 per month by 1927. Subsequently, there was also a pension application (no. 678,195,) submitted on behalf of a minor child but the certificate was never granted. By late 1927 Eliza was living in Byron Center, Kent County.

Albert C. Pelton UPDATE 13 July 2018

Albert C. Pelton was born on May 30, 1843, in Grand Rapids, Michigan or Canada,  the son of Canadians Silas M. Pelton (1819-1899) and  Elizabeth Anderson (1823-1904). 

Silas left Canada with several of his other family members. He married Elizabeth on January 14, 1840, in Grand Rapids. In 1850 Albert was living in Grand Rapids with his family, and by 1860 he was working as a lumberman and living with his father and living with his family in Grand Rapids’ 4th Ward. 

Albert stood 5’0” with hazel eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 17 years old and probably still living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted with his parents’ consent in Company A  on May 13, 1861. (His father Silas enlisted in Company B. Albert was probably the nephew of Alfred Pelton and the cousin of Samuel Pelton and may have been related to Andrew Pelton, all of whom served in the 3rd Michigan.)

He was shot accidentally in the foot while cleaning his rifle in August of 1861, but the wound was not serious and he eventually returned to duty. He was an ambulance driver and Corporal in July of 1862, and discharged  on December 26, 1862, at Camp Pitcher, Virginia, for a varicocele of four months’ standing. 

After his discharge from the army Albert returned to Grand Rapids, and from 1867 to 1868 was working  as a laborer and boarding at his father’s home on the southwest corner of Lincoln and Third Streets. 

He was working as a painter and living in Hopkins, Allegan County, when he married Michigan native Mary W. Brewer (1857-1931) on December 31, 1875, in Hopkins, and they had one child: Edna (1876-1938, Mrs. Bertsch). 

Albert was possibly working as a farmer when he died in Hopkins on April 21, 1876, and was originally buried in Allegan County. His parents had the body disinterred several days later and brought back to Grand Rapids where it was interred in the family plot in Fulton cemetery: block 3 lot 21 grave 3. 

Although Albert apparently never joined the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association, his widow eventually became an honorary member. Mary remarried one Roderick Phillips, in 1878. By 1880 Mary and her husband were living in Hopkins, Allegan County; also living with them was Edna Pelton. In December of 1890 Mary Phillips was living in Michigan when she applied for and received a pension (no. 887,963). She and Roderick divorced in 1902. By 1917 she was living in Rolette, North Dakota.

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Silas M. Pelton UPDATE 13 July 2018

Silas M. Pelton was born on December 28, 1819, in Blenheim, Oxford County, Ontario, Canada, the son of Vermonter James Pelton (1791-1851) and Canadian Anna Doyle (1790-1848).

James left his home in Grand Isle County, Vermont and moved to Canada where in 1813 he married Anna at her home in Buford, Oxford County, Ontario. They lived in Buford for several years before moving to Batavia, New York residing there briefly before returning to Canada and settling in Blenheim, Oxford County, Ontario where they lived for many years.

Silas left Canada and moved to Michigan along with several other family members.

He married Canada native Elizabeth Anderson (1823-1904) on January 14, 1840, in Grand Rapids, and they had at least ten children: Albert C. (1843-1876), two daughters, S. A. (b. 1843) and E. E. (b. 1845) -- both of whom may have died young; Sylvia (b. 1846), Francis (b. 1847), William H. (b. 1850), Alice (b. 1852), Cora or Nora (b. 1854), Kitty (b. 1855), Amy W. (b. 1868), and Silas H. (b. 1859), Carrie May (b. 1861), Frederick H. (b. 1869).

Silas and his wife moved to Michigan, probably from Canada, sometime before 1843, and by 1850 (?) he and his family were living in Grand Rapids where he was working as a carpenter, a trade he followed for many years before the war.

He also worked as an architect, and in 1858 he designed the plans for the new engine house for Wolverine fire company no. 3. “Mr. Silas Pelton, architect,” wrote the Grand Rapids Enquirer on May 26, “has shown us a drawing and plan made by him, for an engine house for Wolverine Company No. 3, and, as we believe, accepted by the Company. The plan, it appears to us, could not be improved; and, if constructed according to design, the building will be an ornament to the city. It is to be of brick, with four tasteful plaster columns in front. The estimated cost of the building is $2,500, and the Common Council is asked to appropriate $1,200 of the amount -- the Company and other citizens of the West Side pledging themselves to make up the balance. The Company have a fine lot, and it is to be hoped that their present laudable design may be carried into effect.”

Silas was elected foreman of the Wolverine fire company in May of 1859, superintending some 47 men. In 1859-60 he was working as a carpenter and living on the north side of Bridge Street between Turner and Broadway Streets on the west side of the Grand River, and in 1860 he was listed as a carpenter and builder living with his family in Grand Rapids, Fourth Ward.

In September of 1859 he was elected constable for the Fourth Ward. As Constable, Pelton found himself working frequently with another local officer, George Dodge, who would enlist in Company B. On February 17, 1860, the two officers “arrested four persons who are supposed to be guilty of firing the dwelling house of J. Irwin. The ones arrested are now in jail awaiting examination.”

And on March 24, “Officers Dodge and Pelton brought into town . . . a number of the citizens of Courtland Centre, who are charged with assault and battery on one Chase, of that village. It appears that there is a dispute between said Chase and George W. Bush, in regard to a piece of land. Bush got possession last Fall, and kept it until a few days since, when, being absent for a short time, Chase entered the house, put Bush's furniture out doors, and took possession. The night thereafter, Bush, with three men, returned and broke the door open with an ax and put Mr. Chase and family out.”

In early November Silas suffered a riding accident, but was not seriously hurt. He was out riding on horseback in the country, “some six miles from this city. In crossing a bridge his horse broke through, thus precipitating him to the ground, and fracturing his shoulder to some extent. Dr. Bliss was called, and the fracture dressed. It was not so severe but that Mr. P. was out the next day, with his arm in a sling. He will probably lose the use of his arm for a couple of weeks.”

In 1860 Silas was working as a carpenter and living with his wife and children in Grand Rapids’ Fourth Ward.

Silas was 41 years old and living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted (possibly as Sergeant Major) in Company B on May 13, 1861.

His son Albert enlisted at the same time in Company A; he was probably related to Alfred and Andrew – the former born in Canada and both of whom enlisted in Company K. He was also the uncle of Samuel who would enlist in Company I.

He was promoted to Sergeant Major on October 30, 1861, and on January 1, 1862, he was promoted to First Lieutenant of Company C, commissioned January 2, replacing Lieutenant Felix Zoll who had resigned. Silas was wounded in the right side of his chest on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, the ball “lodging near the lower part of the right shoulder blade. . . .” Although he was reported absent on 30 days’ leave from July 5, in fact he was back home in Grand Rapids by the middle of June, probably recovering from his wounds.

Silas eventually recovered his health and returned to the Regiment. Although he was at first reported missing in action in December of 1862, in fact he was taken prisoner at Fredericksburg, Virginia, on December 13-14, 1862, and by December 20 he was confined in Libby prison in Richmond, Virginia.

It was first believed by his family that Silas died in prison. One of his comrades in Company A, Charles Wright, wrote home on February 11, 1863, that “Lieutenant Pelton, who was missing at the battle of Fredericksburg, is dead; he died at the Libby prison, Richmond.” And the day before, the Eagle wrote that Pelton’s wife had received a letter from their son Albert, “dated at Alexandria, Virginia, in which she is informed that her husband, Lieutenant S. M. Pelton, of the glorious 3rd, who was taken prisoner during the battle of Fredericksburg, is dead; that he died a few days since, in the Libby prison, at Richmond. Although this news comes from a source which cannot well be questioned, still we hope that there may be some mistake, and that it may prove untrue.”

In fact, Pelton was paroled on January 12 (or February 20), 1863, at City Point, Virginia, reported to Camp Parole, Maryland, on February 21 and hospitalized at Annapolis, Maryland along with other paroled prisoners-of-war. On February 27, the Eagle reported that “Mrs. Pelton has just received a letter from her husband that he still lives and that he has arrived among paroled prisoners at Annapolis.”

Silas was put under arrest on April 3, 1863, for disobeying orders, but released on April 8. He returned to the Regiment on May 20, 1863, and was wounded in the back and shoulder on July 2 at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He was shot, he claimed, “between the left shoulder blade and backbone lodging on the right side near the collarbone and neck.” He was subsequently hospitalized at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was furloughed from the hospital in August.

From the thinned ranks of the battle-regt. Third [wrote the Eagle on August 7] Pelton “has returned to his home in this city, covered with scars, pale and feeble from the loss of blood and the severity of the wound received in the second days battle of Gettysburg. The Lt. received a terrible wound in the battle of Fair Oaks, from the effects of which it was supposed, for a time, that he could not recover, but contrary to the expectations of his friends, he regained his health and again returned to his command. At the battle of Fredericksburg he was taken prisoner and carried with other brave soldiers to the rebel capital, where he remained for a time and until exchanged; when he again took his command and was in the terribly bloody struggle at Gettysburg, where, in the 2nd day's contest, he received a ball in the soldier which was thought at the time and for some time thereafter to be a fatal wound, but, thanks to God, the Lt. is still alive with a fair prospect for recovery.

Less than four weeks later, the Eagle reported “We were pleased to meet Lt. S. M. Pelton, of the glorious ‘Third’, on the street this morning. The Lieutenant, it will be remembered, has twice been dangerously wounded in battle. The last time, in the terrible conflict at Gettysburg, he was so severely injured by a ball, which is yet in his body, that it was, for a considerable time after the battle, supposed he could not recover. He was, however, enabled to reach home, and through the best of medical care and nursing, he has now so far recovered as to be able to walk a short distance at a time; and the prospects are fair that he will, with due care and time, wholly recover and be himself again.”

Silas may have recovered from his ordeal but he nevertheless resigned on October 22, 1863, for disability -- although according to the Eagle, on December 24, Pelton, having “recovered sufficiently from his wounds, as he thinks,” left Grand Rapids “to rejoin his old command. Good for Lieutenant Pelton. He doubtless thinks himself bullet proof by this time, as most any man who has been shot so many times would.” It is not clear as to what transpired here. Pelton may have returned to Detroit where he was officially discharged from the army on account of his disability, or, less likely, he returned to the Regiment in Virginia, was discharged there and returned to Michigan.

Silas returned to Grand Rapids and on March 29, 1864, his four-year-old son died. That same year he applied for and received a pension (no. 39592).

By 1865 and 1866 he was working as a lumberman and living in 51 Bridge Street on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids, and in 1867-68 he was still engaged in the lumber business and living on the southwest corner of Lincoln and Third Streets. He was a Deputy Marshal in 1871, and on July 24, 1871, the Democrat wrote

We owe Captain Pelton, our efficient Deputy Marshal, an apology for allowing the communication signed ‘Observer’ to appear in our columns on Sunday morning [July 23]. The communication written by an irresponsible person, and inserted in the absence of the managing editor, does the Captain great injustice, whose official career has been satisfactory to our citizens. The author complains that part of Monroe Street is obstructed with building materials, which is true, but then Messers Godfrey & Tracey obtained permission to make such obstruction, and the Marshal or his deputy have no power to remove said obstructions. The Captain has full power to arrest disorderly persons, and should he fail to do so, he would not discharge his duty. Let ‘Observer’, who is a Radical, bear in mind that Captain Pelton's nomination as Deputy Marshal was strongly endorsed by the oldest Republican Councilman on the Board, and that he was confirmed by a vote of 13 to 3, four Republicans voting for him. He has discharged his duties with fidelity, and no one has ever found fault with him except ‘Observer’, who probably has an axe to grind.

Silas was living in Grand Rapids in 1874, and was involved in the building of a large saw mill on Penoyer Creek near Newaygo, Newaygo County in 1876. By 1880 Silas was working as a millwright and living with his wife and two of their children on Scribner Street in Grand Rapids’ 7th Ward; also living with them was another millwright, a nephew named Charles Pelton, his wife and infant daughter. That same year he was also reported working as a millwright in Duluth, St. Louis County, Minnesota. He was back in Duluth in 1885 and in 1890; in 1890-91 he was living at 813 W. 4th Street working as an agent for the James Leffel Water Wheel Co. in Duluth. He was still in Duluth at 813 W. 4th Street in 1891-92.

Sometime in the late 1880s (probably 1888) Silas had moved to Duluth, St. Louis County, Minnesota. He was chronically ill through much of the early 1890s, and, according to one source, he was frequently confined to his home and often to his bed during this period.

He was a member of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association and an active Democrat.

Silas was residing at 813 W. Fourth Street in Duluth, Minnesota when he died on February 4, 1899, in Duluth. His remains were brought back to Grand Rapids and interred in Fulton cemetery: section 3 lot 21.

His widow was living in Minnesota in 1899 when she applied for and received pension no. 478757. She was still living at 813 w. 4th Street in Duluth in 1899, 1902 and 1903.

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