Pennsylvania

Michigan Monuments at Gettysburg

So, my wife and I were in Gettysburg recently and spent a morning tracking down all the memorials dedicated to Michigan units who fought at Gettysburg. All photos from May 2019.

(Steve Hawks has put together an incredibly comprehensive website that provides details of the Gettysburg memorials including inscriptions, locations and much more. The links below will take you to the relevant pages on the site.)

1st Michigan Infantry Located off Sickles Avenue in the Rose Woods loop; close to the 5th Michigan monument.

photo © Steve Soper. All rights reserved.

photo © Steve Soper. All rights reserved.

3rd Michigan Infantry Located at the southeast edge of the Peach Orchard along Birney Avenue.

photo © Steve Soper. All rights reserved.

photo © Steve Soper. All rights reserved.

4th Michigan Infantry Located on De Trobriand Avenue just before Sickles Avenue.

photo © Steve Soper. All rights reserved.

photo © Steve Soper. All rights reserved.

5th Michigan Infantry Located on Sickles Avenue just before the loop in Rose Woods; close to the 1st Michigan monument.

photo © Steve Soper. All rights reserved.

photo © Steve Soper. All rights reserved.

7th Michigan Infantry Located just west of Hancock Avenue and south of the "Copse of Trees."

photo © Steve Soper. All rights reserved.

photo © Steve Soper. All rights reserved.

showing the “copse of trees,” the high water mark on the far right. photo © Steve Soper. All rights reserved.

showing the “copse of trees,” the high water mark on the far right. photo © Steve Soper. All rights reserved.

9th Michigan Battery The monument is along Hancock Avenue almost directly opposite the Pennsylvania memorial.

photo © Steve Soper. All rights reserved.

photo © Steve Soper. All rights reserved.

16 Michigan Infantry Located about a third way down the front slope of Little Round and close to the Michigan Sharpshooters memorial. There is a path to the monument.

photo © Steve Soper. All rights reserved.

photo © Steve Soper. All rights reserved.

24th Michigan Infantry Located just west of Gettysburg on Meredith Avenue.

photo © Steve Soper. All rights reserved.

photo © Steve Soper. All rights reserved.

Michigan Cavalry Brigade Located in the East Cavalry Field on the eastern side of Route 15 and out of the normal flow of tourists to the park.

photo © Steve Soper. All rights reserved.

photo © Steve Soper. All rights reserved.

detail, relief showing Brigade in action against confederate cavalry. photo © Steve Soper. All rights reserved.

detail, relief showing Brigade in action against confederate cavalry. photo © Steve Soper. All rights reserved.

Michigan Sharpshooters Located about half-way down the slope of Little Round Top and close to the 16th Michigan monument. The memorial is not accessible except by scrambling over rocks and through the underbrush; but the park asks you to remain on the paved path since they are presently restoring the landscape.

photo © Steve Soper. All rights reserved.

photo © Steve Soper. All rights reserved.

3rd Michigan buried at Gettysburg PA

Of the 171 Michigan soldiers buried here 10 (not 11) were members of the 3rd Michigan Infantry; three errors are noted, however: Erson Smith was not killed but taken prisoner and died of his wounds in Richmond in September of 1863, Reuben Tower is listed incorrectly as Reuben "Power" and John M. Brown is incorrectly reported in the 3rd Michigan cavalry.

Perry Goshorn updated 2018

Perry Goshorn was born December 9, 1832, in Beaver, Beaver County, Pennsylvania, the son of Hugh A. (1797-1853) and Rosina or Rosanna (Law, d. 1837).

Hugh and Rosina were married in Beaver, Pennsylvania on June 6, 1817, and resided in Beaver for many years. Sometime between 1832 and 1836 they left Pennsylvania and moved to Seneca County, Ohio. In 1837 Rosina died, probably in Ohio, possibly in Seneca. In any case, Hugh was probably living in Crawford, Ohio when he married Jane Shira in 1844. Hugh died in Crawford in 1853.

Perry and his older brother James left Ohio, eventually settling in Allegan County in 1849; according to one source they lived briefly in Otsego. By 1860 Perry was a farmer living with James and his wife Margaret in Saugatuck, Newark Township, Allegan County.

Perry stood 5’9” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was 26 years old and living in Allegan County when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861. According to one source, he was among the second wave of recruits to come out of Ottawa County and did not in fact enlist until the end of May, along with Albert Hamlin, Calvin Hall, Nelson Davis and David Davis, Joseph Payne, Albert Gardner, James Rhodes, Sylvester Gay, Joseph Soler (Josiah Schuler), Quincy Lamereaux, William Suret and John Ward.

He was shot in the right foot either on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia or on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run. Ain any case, as of October 6 he was reported in Presbyterian Church hospital in Georgetown, DC. “The ball,” noted one physician, “which was conical, passed through all the toes fracturing the bones of four of them. The third toe has been amputated. His wounds has [sic] produced a lameness that would interfere with the gait required in a soldier.” He was also shot in the right thigh. Perry remained hospitalized until he was discharged on November 18, 1862, at Presbyterian Church hospital in Georgetown. The witnesses were Andrew and Elmira Welch.

After his discharge from the army Perry returned to Saugatuck, where he was living when he married Ohio native Caroline “Carrie” E. Welch (1846-1870) on December 7, 1862, in Gaines, Kent County; they had at least two children: Edwin (b. 1866) and Caroline “Carrie” (b. 1871).

In 1864 Perry reportedly purchased part of James’ farm on Goshorn Lake and soon afterwards built a house on Bee Line road. By 1870 Perry was working as a farmer and living with his wife and son in Saugatuck; Carrie died later that year. 

After Carrie’s death Perry married Clarissa Welch (1841-1900), who was possibly related to his first wife,on April 29, 1874, in Dutton, Michigan, and they had at least two children: Hattie (b. 1876) and Catherine “Kate” (1879-1936, Mrs. Miller). An examination of the 1850 and 1860 US census records did not reveal any relationship between the two women.

Perry was still living in Saugatuck in 1880 where he was working as a farmer and residing with his second wife and children. He was still living in Saugatuck in 1883 drawing $4.00 per month for a wounded right thigh (pension no. 18,068, dated 1863), and in 1889 and in 1894; he probably lived in Saugatuck most if not all of his life.

Perry died of paralysis in Saugatuck on September 29, 1895, and was buried in Riverside cemetery, Saugatuck, next to his first wife.

In 1896 his widow Clarissa applied for and received a pension (no. 443092), drawing $8 per month by 1900.

P9560655_1.jpg

James Charles Williams - update 8/29/2016

James Charles Williams was born in 1844 in Canada.

James’s father was born in England and his mother in Wales.

He was reportedly 21 years old and possibly living in Kent County, Michigan, when he enlisted with his parent’s consent (thus placing him younger than 21) in Company A on May 13, 1861. (Company A was made up largely of men from Grand Rapids, and many of whom had served in various local militia units before the war, specifically the Valley City Guards, or VCG, under the command of Captain Samuel Judd, who would also command Company A.) By early September he was reported as a patient suffering from slight sickness in Carver hospital in Washington, DC. James allegedly deserted on September 29, 1862, but he was in fact discharged on September 29 at Carver hospital, Washington, DC, presumably for disability. (The charge of desertion was removed in 1898.)

It is not known if James returned to Michigan after his discharge. He was apparently residing in New York when he reentered the service as Sergeant in One hundred seventy-sixth New York infantry on December 2, 1862, at Syracuse for 9 months, and was mustered on December 22 at New York City. He was present for duty when he was discharged by Special Order no. 224 (September 8, 1863) from the headquarters Department of the Gulf, New Orleans. Colonel George H. Hanks, commanding Superintendent of Negro Labor, requested that Williams be discharged as “His services will be needed on a government plantation and can be secured provided his discharge is granted.” In fact he had been on detached service working on a government plantation in July and August. The discharge was approved.

It is not known if James ever returned to western Michigan.

He was married to Pennsylvania native Anna E. (b. 1849) and they had at least two children: Carrie (Mrs. Stoughton, b. 1874) and Charles (b. 1875).

James and Anna were living in Ohio in the mid-1870s when their two children were born. James was living in Pennsylvania in 1883 when he applied for and received a pension (no. 867656) for service in both Michigan and New York regiments. By 1890 he was living in Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania. By 1920 James was living with his wife on Holland Street in Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania; also living with them were their daughter Carrie and son Charles.

James died on July 9, 1923, in Warren, Pennsylvania, and was buried in Erie Cemetery, Erie County, Pennsylvania.

In August of 1923 his widow, then living in Pennsylvania, applied for and received a pension (no. 939841).


Theodore F. Peterson - update 8/29/2016

Theodore F. Peterson was born in 1844 in Michigan, the son of John G. (1807-1863) and Jane Ann (b. 1809)

John left his home in New York and moved west, eventually settling in Michigan where he married Jane sometime before 1834. By 1850 Theodore was attending school with his two older brothers and living in Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County where his father worked as a carpenter. By 1860 Theodore was a farm laborer living with his family in Ada, Kent County, where his father worked as a carpenter.

Theodore was 17 years old and probably still living in Ada when he enlisted with his parents’ consent in Company A on May 13, 1861. Theodore was described by George Miller of Company A, a tentmate in the winter of 1861-62, as “a very wild boy, but good hearted.” He was wounded in the shoulder on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and hospitalized soon afterwards. He was eventually transferred to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and by late July of 1863 was in the Christian Street hospital in Philadelphia, “wounded in the shoulder severely, but doing pretty well.”

However he died of pneumonia on August 22, 1863, at West Philadelphia hospital, Philadelphia, and was buried in Philadelphia National Cemetery: section B, grave 10.

His family’s suffering did not stop with Theodore’s death, however. In late October of 1863, the Grand Rapids Eagle reported the death of his father John on October 10; the funeral to be held in Ada on October 17.

Our readers will remember [wrote the Eagle on November 11] that a article appeared in our columns a few weeks since, announcing the death, in this city, of John G. Peterson, Esq. of Ada. Mr. Peterson was a highly esteemed citizen -- a most affectionate father, and a true and loyal man who had contributed one son, Theodore F. to company A, of the Third Regiment of Michigan Infantry, and who was severely wounded in one of the battles in the Peninsular campaign, and died in hospital in Philadelphia, some months afterward. Lately, another son, Albert C. of company L, Eighth Michigan Cavalry, also died at Bowling Green, Kentucky. While Albert lay very ill, his father made a trip to Kentucky to see him, and, if possible, to try and bring him home, but alas! when he arrived, Albert had been dead two days. This bereavement, added to his former one, so wrought upon the father, mentally and bodily, that on his return home, he was prostrated with congestive fever, and for prompt medical treatment was removed to the residence of a relative, Mr. Edwin Cox, in this city, where every attention that kindly care and competent physicians could give were bestowed upon him, but without effect, and he departed this life, his last words being those of hope and encouragement for his country.

The following testimonial to his son Albert, was sent with him to the hospital, and we publish it as an honorable record to a noble soldier [dated at the headquarters of the Eighth Michigan cavalry, Camp Sterling, Kentucky, August 15, 1863]: “We, the officers of company L, do certify, that Corporal Albert C. Peterson, has been compelled through disability, and against his wishes to go into the Army Hospital. Ever since he entered the service, he has been afflicted with hemorrhage of the lungs, and at times, it seemed almost impossible for him to attend to his duties. He has shown a determination to remain in service, worthy of a true soldier. He has performed his duty, when others, had they been in his situation, would have been placed on the sick list. He had marched until he had almost fell from his horse, when attacked with disease. He has at all times exhibited true bravery, and pure patriotism; was always in the front when there was a prospect of a skirmish. A truer, braver soldier never enlisted in his country's cause. It is with deep regret that we part with him. Let every true lover of our brave soldiers, respect and honor him.”

The foregoing was signed by Charles C. Lamb, Captain; Nate S. Boynton, 1st Lieutenant; Aaron L. Abbey, 2nd Lieutenant; to which Major Mix, commanding 3rd Battery and G. S. Warner, Lieutenant Colonel commanding Regiment, add: “We cheerfully endorse the statement of his officers, and we have known him ever since he joined the Regiment, and we are confident his officers cannot speak too highly of him.”

Another brother is in the service, in a Texan or Missouri Regiment.

Mrs. Peterson has had a treble loss -- two favorite sons, and a husband within the year, laid upon the altar of our country.

In 1871 his widowed mother Jane applied for and received a pension (no. 156004).


Francis “Frank” G. Kimball update 10/18/2016

Francis “Frank” G. Kimball was born in 1838.

Francis was 23 years old and possibly living in Kent County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company A on May 13, 1861. George Miller of Company A, who shared a tent with Francis in the winter of 1861-1862, wrote home on November 21, 1861, that he thought Kimball “a good natured fellow.”

By August of 1862 Francis was employed as a wagoner, probably detached to Brigade headquarters where he continued to work through June of 1863. He was reported missing in action on July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and in fact had been taken prisoner. He was eventually released and was apparently mustered out on June 20, 1864, at Detroit.

Frank also served in Companies A and E, Third Pennsylvania cavalry.

It is not known if Francis returned to Michigan after his discharge and probably settled in Philadelphia after the war.

He married Sarah Meade (1846-1908).

In February of 1883 he applied for a pension (no. 472672) but the certificate was never granted. Frank may have been living in or near Fernwood or Landsdowne, Pennsylvania when he died on November 5, 1887. He was reportedly buried in Fernwood cemetery.

In April of 1888 his widow applied for a pension (no. 370272) but the certificate was never granted. In the Grand Army of the Republic Journal of the 1888 National Encampment, his widow, who was then living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, wanted to obtain the addresses of any former comrade of Company A who knew her husband. She pointed out that he was taken prisoner at Gettysburg and that she was “desirous of obtaining a pension,” and all replies were to go through John Hayes of the Grand Army of the Republic U.S. Grant post in Philadelphia. However the certificate was never granted.

Sarah eventually remarried to a Mr. Thornton and in 1890 she was listed as formerly the widow of Francis Kimball, and living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In 1891 a pension was filed subsequently on behalf of one William Meade, a one minor child and granted (no. 435726).

Robert L. Hart updated 10/11/2017

Robert L. Hart was born in November of 1845 in West Lebanon, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, the son of Pennsylvania natives John D. Hart (1818-1889) and Nancy Lowry (1823-1907).

By 1850 Robert was attending school with two of his younger siblings and living with his family on a large farm (his father owned $1100 worth of real estate) in Young Township, Indiana County, Pennsylvania; next door lived his uncle Robert Hart and his family. By 1860 Robert was attending school with three of his younger siblings and living with his family on a large farm (his father owned some $4800 worth of real estate) in West Lebanon, Young Township, Indiana County, Pennsylvania. Robert left Pennsylvania and moved westward, eventually settling in Detroit sometime before 1863.

He stood 5’8” with blue eyes, dark hair and a fair complexion, and was an 18-year-old laborer possibly living in Detroit when he enlisted in Company H on May 1, 1863, at Detroit for 3 years, and was mustered the same day.

Apparently Robert had originally enlisted in the 5th Michigan Infantry. According to a letter dated June 6, 1863, at Camp Sickles, Virginia, from First Lieutenant William H. Tillotson, recruiting officer for the 5th Michigan, to Lieutenant Colonel Smith, commanding the barracks at Detroit, Hart had the oath administered to him “just before the boat left for Cleveland, Ohio, but had no blanks to complete the enlistment.” Tillotson added that Hart “has been borne up on the rolls of the 3rd Michigan Infantry Vols.” Since he “preferred that Regt.” Most importantly, Tillotson reported that Hart was “entitled to State and [national] Government bounties and for transportation to Washington.”

Robert reported to the Regiment at Potomac Creek, Virginia, probably sometime in June of 1863. He was reported sick in the hospital in May of 1864 and was driving an ambulance when he was transferred to Company A, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He remained detached as an ambulance driver through April of 1865 and was a teamster in the Quartermaster department in May of 1865. Robert was mustered out probably on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

Robert returned to his home in Pennsylvania after the war.

He married Pennsylvania native Martha Patterson (1847-1912), and they had at least one child: John (b. 1873). By 1870 Robert was working as a farmer and living with his wife in West Lebanon, Young Township, Indiana County, Pennsylvania, and in 1880 he was working in a sawmill and living with his wife and son in West Lebanon. In 1890 he was living in Young, Indiana County, Pennsylvania and in 1900 and 1910 he was living with his wife Martha in Young, Pennsylvania.

Robert married Pennsylvania native Margaret Craig (1863-1921) on March 11, 1915 in Indiana County, Pennsylvania. In 1920 Robert was working as a farmer and living with his wife Margaret in Young, Pennsylvania; also living with him was his son John.

By 1901 Robert was probably living in Iowa when he applied for and received a pension (no. 1120655).

Robert was a widower for a second time when died of heart disease on May 16, 1925, in West Lebanon, Pennsylvania. He was buried in West Union Cemetery, Armstrong Township.

William Graham

William Graham was born about 1833, in Warren, Bradford County, Pennsylvania.

William left his home in the east and moved to Michigan sometime before the war broke out.

He stood 6’1” with brown eyes and hair and a light complexion, and was a 27-year-old farmer probably living in Lyons, Ionia County when he enlisted in Company E on May 13, 1861. (Company E was composed in large part by men from Clinton and Ingham counties, as well as parts of Ionia County.)

In June of 1862 he was reported sick in a hospital in Bottom’s Bridge, Virginia, suffering from fever and consumption, was on detached service (probably as a teamster) from October of 1862 through December, and with the Brigade wagon train in January of 1863. In April he was absent sick in a hospital, and on June 9 he left for home on sick furlough. He remained absent sick, probably in Michigan, from July until he was discharged for “chronic eczema with tumefaction [swelling] of the right leg & foot” on November 17, 1863, at Detroit.

William listed Bushnell, Montcalm County as his mailing address on his discharge paper, but was apparently living in Grand Rapids by 1888.

Henry Eaton - update 8/29/2016

Henry Eaton was born in 1846 in Van Buren County, Michigan, the son of Chauncey (b. 1801) and Jane (b. 1805).

New York natives Chauncey and Jane were married presumably in New York where they resided for some years. Between 1839 and 1846 the family left New York and settled in Michigan. By 1850 Henry was living with his family on a farm in Arlington, Van Buren County. By 1860 Henry was attending school with his three younger siblings and living with his father on a farm in Columbia, Van Buren County.

Henry stood 5’8” with black eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion, and was 18 years old and possibly working in Stronach, Manistee County, or in Hastings, Barry County (his father was living in Hastings in 1864) when he enlisted in Company E on February 8, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Stronach, and was mustered the same day.

He joined the Regiment on March 23, was transferred to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and was wounded on June 17, 1864, near Petersburg, Virginia. On June 28 he was transferred from Staunton (?) general hospital and admitted to Satterlee general hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, suffering from “burns of hands and face from explosion of a caisson.”

He died of valvular heart disease at 8:30 a.m. on July 11, 1864, in ward 4 at Satterlee hospital. Henry was originally buried in Mt. Moriah cemetery and reinterred in Philadelphia National Cemetery: no. 534 or no. 93.

No pension seems to be available.

By 1870 his father had married New York native Caroline (b. 1813), and was working as a farm laborer and living in Hastings, Barry County.


Albert Dewitt Carr

Albert Dewitt Carr was born March 14, 1838, in Pennsylvania, the son of Stutley (1798-1888) and Elizabeth (Tyler, 1800-1844).

Stutley was born in Herkimer County, New York and married Elizabeth before 1825 when their son William was born. By 1830 Stutley was living in Dryden, Tompkins County, New York, and by 1840 in Cossawago, Crawford County, Pennsylvania. After Elizabeth died in 1844 he married New York native Eunice Eliza Stafford (b. 1812). By 1850 Albert (listed as Dewitt) was attending school with his younger sister Laura and living with his father and stepmother and other younger siblings on a farm in Union City, Erie County, Pennsylvania.

At some point Albert left Pennsylvania and moved west. By 1860 he was a laborer working for and/or living with a farmer by the name of Jessie Mattison in Concord, Jackson County, Michigan. (His brother William and family as well as his sister Adelia apparently resided in Lansing that same year.) He was living in Lansing when he married Jessie Mattison’s daughter, Vermont native Augusta D. Mattison (1842-1911) on November 20, 1860, in Jackson, Jackson County, Michigan. In any case, by the time the war broke out he was a member of the Lansing company called the “Williams’ Rifles”, whose members would serve as the nucleus of Company G.

Albert was 22 years old and probably living with his wife and working in Lansing when he enlisted in Company G on May 10, 1861.

According to Frank Siverd of Company G, Albert was sick with “inflammation of the lungs” at Cantonment Anderson in Grand Rapids shortly before the regiment left Michigan in June of 1861. In fact, when the Third Michigan left Michigan on Thursday, June 13, 1861, for Washington, DC, Albert was one of three dozen or so men too sick to travel and he soon went home to Lansing to recover. He reportedly died of congestion of the lungs at his brother’s house (probably William w.) in Lansing on August 12 or 16, 1861, and was presumably buried there.

In April of 1873 when Mt. Hope cemetery was first opened in Lansing, Albert’s remains were reinterred in the Carr family plot in section B, lot 3, grave 10 of Mt. Hope cemetery.

In 1885 his widow was residing in Sandusky County, Ohio when she applied for and received a pension (no. 240099).

Charles E. Califf - update 12/14/2016

Charles E. Califf was born July 19, 1846, in Smithfield, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, the son of David E. (b. 1825) and Harriet (Knickerbocker, 1825-1890).

Pennsylvania-born David and New Yorker Harriet were married sometime before 1845. (Harriet was the sister of Ira Knickerbocker who would also serve in the Old Third.) By 1850 the family was living on a farm in Franklin, Bradford County, Pennsylvania (where David was born and raised), but in the late 1850s David and Harriet moved their family westward, eventually settling in Michigan by 1858 and in Fruitland, Muskegon County, Michigan, a year later David bought 160 acres of government land and after selling most of the timber on the land for lumber, cleared it for farming. By 1860 Charles was working as a farm hand and living with his family in Dalton, Muskegon County. (In 1860 there was one Hubbard "Caliph," born in Pennsylvania, 30 years old and working as a ferryman in Muskegon, Muskegon County.)

Charles stood 5’5” with black eyes, light hair and a sandy complexion and was a 19-year-old farmer living in Dalton, Muskegon County (or in Mears, Oceana County) when he enlisted in Company E on January 26, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Dalton, and was mustered the same day. He joined the Regiment on February 10, and was wounded on May 8, 1864, at the Wilderness, Virginia.

On May 14 he was admitted to the Second Division (Baptist church) hospital in Alexandria, Virginia, suffering from chronic diarrhea. Sometime afterwards, he wrote his mother from the hospital,

I take this opportunity to write you a few lines to let you know how I am getting along & I am getting along better than I was. I was pretty sick for about three weeks and I am not very well now. Now I will tell you about the fight so much as I know of it. We broke camp the third of May at 11 o’clock at night and marched all that night and till 2 o’clock the next day when we camped on the Chancellorsville battleground. There was graves where they were half out of the ground some with their arms in sight & others with their legs in sight with no end of skull bones lying around. The next day we marched till noon when we heard cannon off tot he right and about 3 we got where they were fighting. We were put on the skirmish line for about an hour then we were ordered to charge on them and we did too. The underbrush was so thick that we could hardly get through but we did get through. We charged up a hill when we got on top of the hill when the colonel ordered us to lay down and fire and how the bullets did [fly] cutting the bushes down on every side of us. The boys said they never saw men fall as fast as they did there. We had to get out of there on the double quick when we got up to leave I never expected to get out alive but I did not get hurt but I felt a ball touch my knee. The next morning I was taken with the diarrhea and sent to the regimental hospital and kept there four or five days and then sent here. There was five days I never ate a mouthful. I got so weak that I could hardly walk. I can’t eat anything now but bread and milk and rice. I wish you would send me some postage stamps for this is the last one that I have got. I like to have forgot to tell you that Uncle Ira is wounded. . . . Mr. Sheffield was wounded but I don’t know how bad. I don’t know where either of them are. I am all alone. Don’t forget to send some stamps for I have not got a cent of money. So good bye from Charlie.

Charles was transferred on June 7 to Summit House general hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was still absent sick when he was transferred to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and returned to duty from Summit House hospital on July 10, 1864. He was mustered out on July 5, 1865 at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war Charles returned to his home in Fruitland where he farmed for many years.

He was living in Fruitland near his parents farm when he married Ohio native Emma R. Evans (1852-1928), on June 19, 1867, and they had at least six children: Ada (b. 1869), Ella (b. 1874), Hattie (b. 1876), Harry (b. 1878), Charles De L. (b. 1881), Leslie A. (b. 1884), Mabel J., (b. 1886), Edna M. (b. 1890) and Ernest F. (b. 1892).

Charles and Emma were living on a farm next to his parents’ farm in 1870, and he was still farming in Fruitland in 1880 and living with his wife and children. (David was living in Fruitland in 1887-1890.) By 1890 Charles was residing in Whitehall, Muskegon County, but by 1894 he was back in Fruitland.

In 1878 Charles applied for and received a pension (no. 421,563), and drawing $8.00 per month by 1889. In February of 1889 he became a member of the Grand Army of the Republic Noah Ferry Post No. 3 in Whitehall, Fruitland Township, Muskegon County.

Charles had been ill for some months in early 1896, possibly the consequence of having suffered a stroke.

In any case he died as a result of partial paralysis at his home in Fruitland on June 12, 1896, and was buried in Fruitland cemetery: block 1, grave no. 64.

In 1896 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 437,149).

Alfred M. Burns

Alfred M. Burns was born 1838 in Berks County, Pennsylvania, the son of James (b. 1815) and Allace (b. 1820).

James and Allace were both born in Pennsylvania and probably married in Pennsylvania sometime before 1838. (In 1840 there was one James Burns living in Bethel, Berks County, Pennsylvania.) In any case, Alfred’s parents moved from Pennsylvania to New York sometime between 1838 and 1840, and by 1842 they had settled in Michigan. In1850 Alfred attending school with his siblings and living with his family in Lyons, Ionia County. By 1860 his family was still in Lyons, although Alfred was not listed with them. In fact he was working as a carpenter and joiner with Benjamin Donaldson in Saline, Washtenaw County.

Alfred stood 5’8” with blue eyes, sandy hair and a light complexion and was a 23-year-old mechanic in Ionia County when he enlisted as Third Sergeant in Company E on May 13, 1861. (Company E was composed in large part by men from Clinton and Ingham counties, as well as parts of Ionia County.)

Alfred was most likely the subject of the following story, reported in the Sturgis (Michigan) Journal in August of 1861:

A gentleman by the name of Burnes [sic], a member of the Third Michigan Regiment, was captured soon after the Federal forces retreated [from Bull Run], and was put in irons. After which he was robbed and then subjected to many indignities, among which he was forced against a tree and then a bayonet was thrust at him so as just to graze the body and pinion his clothes to the tree. After awhile the persecutors of Burnes left, to engage in the more refined business of plundering the dead; and he finding that one of the handcuffs was not clasped, succeeded in getting it off, and, watching an opportunity fled, and though fired upon by the rebels succeeded in making good his escape.

Alfred was discharged on July 29, 1861, at Hunter’s Farm, Virginia for “an oblique inguinal hernia left side which incapacitates him for performing the duties of a common soldier and it was caused by” extreme “exertion and fatigue and made its first appearance during the march . . . from Washington to Bull Run”. Another member of Company E, Charles Finch stated years later that the hernia occurred while Alfred was “in action” at Blackburn’s Ford, Virginia, on July 18, 1861. In fact, Alfred himself said some years afterwards that the rupture occurred while they on a double quick march to support their skirmishers at Blackburn’s Ford that he stumbled and fell.

Following his discharge Alfred returned to Michigan and he was probably the same Alfred M. Burns who enlisted as a 23-year-old Corporal in the First Michigan Lancers on December 7, 1861, at Coldwater, Branch County for 3 years, and was mustered on December 31, 1861, at Detroit. The Lancers were organized at Detroit, Saginaw and St. Johns, between November 30, 1861 and February 20, 1862, and mustered out of service on March 20, 1862. As a result, Alfred was transferred as a Private on February 28, 1862, to Company K, First United States Sharpshooters, and was mustered on March 20 (the day the Lancers were mustered out) at Detroit, listing his residence as Wayne County. (The First U.S. Sharpshooters were comprised of companies from several different states; Michigan was represented in Companies C, I and K.)

On March 22 the regiment moved to Fortress Monroe, Virginia, and subsequently participated in the advance on and siege of Yorktown April l-May 4, the Battle of Williamsburg on May 5, the battle of Hanover Court House May 27, the Seven days before Richmond June 25-July 1, the Battles of Mechanicsville and Gaines’ Mill, White Oak Swamp, and Malvern Hill. The regiment was on duty at Harrison’s Landing until August 15. It also participated in the Battle of Groveton August 29-30 and the Maryland Campaign September 6-22: the Battle of South Mountain and Antietam September, as well as the battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, December 12-15.

It also made the notorious “Mud March” of January 20-24, 1863, and remained at Falmouth, Virginia, until April. It was in the Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6, and the Gettysburg Campaign June 11-July 24. It participated in the Mine Run Campaign November 26-December 2, and in the battles of the Wilderness May 5-7, Spotsylvania May 8-12, the North Anna River May 23-26 and Cold Harbor June 1-12.

The regiment joined in the siege of Petersburg from June 16 to December 31, 1864, and the numerous engagements fought in that area. The veterans and recruits of the regiment were assigned to Companies I and K in August of 1864, when the regiment was mustered out, and consolidated with the Second U.S. Sharpshooters on December 31, 1864.

It is not known if Alfred ever returned to Michigan.

He was married to Margaret Jane Jewell in Bethel, New York and they had at least one child, a daughter Lillie.

Alfred was apparently a single man by the time he was admitted to the National Military Home in Togus, Maine (no. P-867027).

He received pension no. 867,027.

Alfred died on December 19, 1898 in Togus, and was buried in the Togus National Cemetery: west cemetery, section J, row 3, no. 34, grave 1462.

Sometime in 1916 his daughter tried to reestablish contact with him, not having seen him since she was a little girl. It is not known if she was ever informed that her father had died many years earlier.

Joseph P. Bundy - update 8/29/2016

Joseph P. Bundy was born 1819 in New York, probably the son of Caleb (b. 1783) and Polly (b. 1792).

Connecticut native Caleb married New York-born Polly and they settled in New York for some years. By 1850 Caleb had moved his family west and settled in North Plains, Ionia County, where Joseph worked as a farmer along with his father. Also living with the Bundy family was 10-year-old Catherine Dalrymple. She was probably the sister of 12-year-old Sylvester Dalrymple, who was himself living nearby with the George Kellogg family; Sylvester too would join the Third Michigan and was in fact a good friend of the Bundy family (see below) . George Kellogg was apparently the brother-in-law of Caleb Bundy.

Joseph was probably still living in Michigan sometime when he married Sarah E. or C. Mills (1835-1905) on December 31, 1854, in Dallas, Clinton County; and they had at least one child: Ella (b. 1854).

By 1860 he was a farmer living with his wife in Bennington, Shiawassee County; also living with them in 1860 was one Martha Strickland, a domestic.

Joseph was 42 years old and possibly still living in Bennington when he enlisted in Company E on December 9 or 19, 1861, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered on December 23 at Detroit.

On January 13, 1862, from the Regiment’s winter quarters at Camp Michigan in northern Virginia, Joseph wrote to his “Dear and beloved wife,”

I will pen a few lines to you to let you know what we are about. We have just received our pay and I will send you five dollars enclosed in this and I would send you more if I could but I want a little to use and I have sent for some books which I will send to you in about ten days. I would like to send you more and will as soon as I can. Try to keep up good courage for all will be well yet. I received your letter yesterday and was glad to hear that you and Elly was well and hope you will remain so ‘til I return. May God’s blessing rest upon you both through life. I am well as usual and so is George. You will hear from me as often as possible. We are a going to Stockton’s Regiment tomorrow to see some boys and when we get back I will tell you who I find there. It is about eleven miles there and will be gone two days and then I will write again. I will not say much more now for it is a getting late and I must stop. So good night. This from your dear husband, Joseph P. Bundy. To S. E. Bundy.Yours truly

Their friend Sylvester Dalrymple added in the same letter, “Sarah I though I would say a word or two. I am well and hope you are. We got our pay today and the boys are all happy. It is very pleasant here. We have had a long rain and it is quite muddy. We have lots of fun, plenty to eat and drink and it is good enough.”

Two weeks later Joseph wrote again to Sarah, his “dear wife,”

I received your kind letter today and was glad to hear that you were all well. . . . This is a very pleasant country. We have not had over three inches of snow here this winter and what did come did not last long. Sometimes we do have one inch at night and the next day it is all gone. It is cold and warm days. I would like to be there and take one good ride with you. I would like to have send grandfather but there’s no use talking. . . . When I left I went about one mile from camp yesterday to a planter’s residence and it was a nice place. There was no men there but some women and a few slaves. They were very glad to see us and we had a nice visit with them. The most of the people here don’t know as much as a last year’s bird nest with the bottom knocked out. I can’t tell you much about them now but when I get home I will tell you all about them. I have sent you five dollars an as I can get some more I will send you some more. I have sent four books and will send a few more. . . . The boys have sent for over fifty dollars worth of books from the tent that I am in and we expect to get them tonight. We are all well and hearty and I hope we shall remain so. We don’t think that the war will last long and I hope it won’t. I can’t think of much more to write. . . . Give my love to all who inquire about me but keep the most for yourself and Elley. The boys send their respects to you all and wish they could see you. No more at present so good night. And now Jane a few words to you. I want you to kiss the baby and Elley for me. You wanted to pray for you and I will begin now, O God be merciful until all my friends. This from yours truly Bundy,

Sometime in early summer of 1862 (probably during the Peninsular campaign), Joseph was taken prisoner near Richmond, Virginia, and soon afterwards exchanged. However, it is quite likely that he never rejoined the Regiment but was hospitalized instead, and indeed by July was reported absent sick in a hospital. He was soon transferred to the Episcopal Hospital at 708 Walnut Street in Philadelphia, where he arrived on July 28 aboard the Daniel Webster, a recently released prisoner of war.

Joseph died of consumption on August 4, 1862, at the Episcopal hospital in Philadelphia, and was originally buried in Glenwood cemetery but reburied at Philadelphia National Cemetery: section B, grave no. 16.

One E. W. Biddle who was serving in a spiritual capacity at the Episcopal hospital wrote on August 8 to Sarah.

Mrs. Bundy, It is with sincere sympathy I write to let you know that your worst fears with regard to your husband are confirmed – he is no more. He died August the 3rd. He was extremely ill when he came to the hospital and the physicians had hardly any hope he would rally. He grew weaker day by day, and it was found impossible to subdue his disease, which was chronic diarrhea, ending in consumption. I do not think he suffered very much except from extreme debility. You may rest assured that he received the best possible care, and that all that medical skill and kindness could do was done to restore him to health and add to his comfort. His spiritual wants too were attended to. The chaplain led a prayer with him frequently. In speaking with him one day of God’s mercy in delivering him from the dangers to which he had been [exposed] he seemed to be greatly impressed by it and said the balls & bullets fell around him like hail. I tried to press home upon him his duty to God. He said he had always been a kind neighbor, . . and had never injured any one. “Well then”, said I, “if you have thus done your duty to your neighbor, how is it with your God – have you loved and served him as you should?” “Ah,” said he, “there’s the trouble. I know I have not.” After a little more conversation I asked if I should pray with him and as I prayed he joined very fervently. I read the Bible & some hymns to him. After this I had not another opportunity for religious conversation with him for though he lived a day or two longer he was too feeble to bear it. I once told him he might die and asked if he had any messages for you. He said he would have to collect his ideas but he was evidently too much wasted and too weak to think to say much. He passed away quickly at last. May God strengthen and support you under the fearful trial and give peace to say “Thy will be done,” and to live henceforth a life of devotion to the service of your God and Savior. Your husband was decently buried in Glenwood cemetery in this city. He left a few articles of clothing, etc., which will be forwarded to you, if you will send us an order for them to Dr. Thomas, Episcopal Hospital, 708 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Truly your friend, E. N. Biddle

His widow was living in Bennington when she applied for and received pension no. 9136, dated 1863.

Sarah was living with the Moss family and working as a housekeeper in 1870 (no mention of either her daughter Ella or the “baby” referred to by Joseph in his letter of January 27, 1862). In any case, she was possibly living near her family. She eventually remarried to Joseph Helmer in 1873 (he died in 1891) in North Plains.


Eli W. Brown updated 2/24/2008

Eli W. Brown was born March 20, 1840, in Columbus, Warren County, Pennsylvania, the son of William F. (1818-1894) and Mary (Ploof, b. 1822).

Massachusetts native William married New York born Mary, and they eventually settled in Pennsylvania (William’s father and family had settled in Warren County, Pennsylvania in about 1833. In 1840 there was one William Brown living in Columbus, Warren County, Pennsylvania, and one William T. Brown living in Freehold, Warren County, Pennsylvania.) By 1850 Eli was living with his parents -- his mother was listed as unable to read or write -- and two younger siblings on a farm in Freehold, Warren County, Pennsylvania. In1856 Eli reportedly left Warren County and moved westward, eventually settling in Eaton County, Michigan, where he lived until 1858, settling thereafter in Portland, Ionia County. Eli’s father William was probably living in Michigan when he married Michigan native Louisa M. Miner (d. 1887) in 1857.

It appears that William was probably living in Michigan around 1859 when his son Jay was born. In any case, William soon returned to Freehold, Warren County, Pennsylvania, and by 1860 was working as a laborer and living with his wife Sarah and four sons – but not apparently including Eli.

Eli stood 6’1” with blue eyes, black hair and a black complexion and was a 21-year-old farmer possibly living in Lyons, Ionia County when he enlisted as Fifth Corporal in Company E on May 13, 1861. (Company E was composed in large part by men from Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties, as well as parts of Ionia County.)

He was wounded on May 3, 1863, at the battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia, but apparently quickly recovered. According to Andrew Kilpatrick, also of Company E, Eli was a Private present for duty with the regiment in late May. According to Kilpatrick, Eli was under arrest in mid-June of 1863, and indeed he was reported as absent under arrest from June through July of 1863, offense(s) unknown. He was listed as absent sick from August of 1863 through February of 1864, when he probably rejoined the Regiment near Brandy Station, Virginia, and reenlisted on March 9, 1864, crediting Grand Haven, Ottawa County.

Eli was absent on veteran’s furlough in April, and probably rejoined the Regiment on or about the first of May. In any case, Eli was absent in the hospital when he was transferred to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He remained hospitalized through July of 1864, and was mustered out of service on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war Eli returned to Michigan and was probably living in the vicinity of North Star, Gratiot County, when he married Michigan native Lucy J. Delap (1840-1890), on August 16, 1865, in North Star.

He and Lucy were living in Bad River, Gratiot County in 1870, the same year he purchased nearly 170 acres in Gratiot County, and indeed he lived in Gratiot County (possibly for a time around Stella), from the time he was discharged until May or June of 1871 when he moved to Grand Island, Hall County, Nebraska. He remained in Grand Island until the fall of 1876 when he moved to Sidney, Nebraska remaining there until the spring of the following year. He then settled in Black Hills, Bismarck, South Dakota, living there until 1880 when he moved to Billings, Montana; he was reportedly living in Billings in the early 1880s. He moved around quite a bit until about 1885 when he returned to Michigan, settling in Manistique, Schoolcraft County.

By 1890 Eli was still living in Manistique, and although the following year he was reported living in Manistee, Manistee County, he was back in Manistique by 1892. He left Manistique in 1893 or 1894, and by 1894 was residing in North Star, Gratiot County; he was still living in North Star in 1897 and in 1898. For many years he worked as a farmer and as a builder and contractor.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association and a Protestant. In 1890 he applied for and received pension no. 715,363, drawing $12.00 per month by 1902.

Eli was a widower when he was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home on August 6, 1900 (no. 3436).

Eli died of stomach cancer at the Home on October 29, 1903, and his body was sent to North Star for burial. (See photo G-665).

Charles F. Brittain

Charles F. Brittain, also known as “Brittam”, was born January 29, 1836, in Hartford (or Harford), Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, the son of William F. (b. 1806) and Catharine (Case, b. 1807).

New York native William married Connecticut-born Catharine in the fall of 1833, by a minister of the Universalist church, in Hartford (or Harford), Pennsylvania. The family moved from Pennsylvania and sometime between 1843 and 1847 settled in Illinois where they resided for some years. sometime after 1849 they left Illinois and moved to Michigan, eventually settling in Ottawa County. By 1860 Charles was a cooper living with his older brother James and his wife Mary E.; James was employed as a mail contractor. That same year Charles’ family was living in Spring Lake, Ottawa County; and living with them was a farm laborer named Jerry Richardson who would also join Company H. In fact Charles referred to “Jerry” in a number of letters home (see below). And living next door was Miner Emlaw who too would join company H. During 1861 and 1862 Charles’ father William delivered mail between Ferrysburg and Muskegon and kept a hotel in Ferrysburg as well.

Charles stood 6’0” with blue eyes, fair hair and a light complexion, and was 25 years old and probably still living in Muskegon when he enlisted in Company H on May 13, 1861. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers”, was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties.)

Although Charles was reportedly discharged for hepatitis on August 20, 1861, at Hunter’s Farm, Virginia, in fact he was never discharged at all and remained on duty with the regiment. On September 28, he wrote home to his mother that he had received her letter the day before and was glad to hear from her.

I have just finished writing Jim [?] a long letter and now I will write you all the news I have got. I am pretty well at present and I hope these few lines will find you the same. I can’t tell whether I shall come home or not this fall but I see may be I will. . . I am sure I have no news to write you. I have written the news before. I have some money and I will send some home when St. Clair [?] comes back and you can keep it for me till I come. You can take it to Pennsylvania with you and if I meet you there I can use it. If I don’t [meet you, you can] use it if you want it I don’t need much money here. I have enough to eat and wear and that is all I want here. I don’t know when I shall [see a] battle. I should not wonder if we never had one. I think it is as likely that way as any. at any rate I hope so. I won’t think there is any danger but that we all come home in the spring if we want to. Jerry’s leg is very sore. I think he will have to be discharged before long if his leg won’t get better. I suppose Bill Read has got home before this if he has he can tell you all about us. I know I can get my discharge if I have a mind to but I don’t like to till the rest are. I should like to come home first rate. I don’t think it is right to come till the rest do. I cannot think of any more to write so good day for the present. Write as soon as you get this.

On October 9, Charles wrote home to his mother informing her that he was well.

I receive[d] a long time ago stating that you was going to Pennsylvania the last of this month but you [needn’t] expect to see me there. I am better of[f?] here each co[mpany] has a good room for those that are not very well. It has a good fire place in and we have our own times and I think it is as well to stay here and get pay and get my clothes and board as it is to come home and lay around all winter. But if there is any fighting done I shall be ready for that whether I am well or not. Mr. St. Clair [?] is here and I was glad to hear from [him] that you was well. He said that he stopped at your house when he came away and talked with you. He said that you was all well. I was glad to see the old man as ever I was any body. I suppose that you received the money and letter that I sent. . . . If I can get to Washington or Alexandria before St. Clair goes [?] home I will send my likeness but I don’t think I shall be able to do it for they keep us pretty close [?] for we have orders to march or to be ready to at a moment's notice. It [is] very raw wintry weather here and [a] great many of the men have bad colds. I have not had much colds yet. I have a first rate appetite but I can’t get much bread and meat to eat but I am getting so that I relish it pretty well. I can tell you that it don’t go half so hard as it did at first. There is more companies now drilling at sham fighting in plain sight of our window. It is a pretty sight to see them, but I have drilled till I am tired of it and I don’t have to drill any more than I have a mind to and that ain’t much. I can tell you Jerry has a sore leg yet and I don’t think he will get well very soon if he stays here and lays on the ground [in] this rainy weather. I should like to see you but I don’t think it would be [right] to come home right away for I could not do anything if I did come home and I should want to get back if I did. I can’t make up my mind to come home yet. I should think you might write to me a little oftener. I am sure you have a chance to write as I do for I have writ[ten] when I get a chance and when I get a chance I have to write on my knee or on an object, for I shan’t write any more till I hear from you. Mind that now St. Clair brought a box of blankets for different ones that was sent by their friends. I suppose when it is opened I shall find one from you for I know that you have got plenty of them. A good blanket would [be] very acceptable to me just now for it is cold here. The next move we make I think we shall got to Mount Vernon where we shall see Washington’s tomb and then I shall see some things more to write about. I have written about everything that I have seen and more too so I have nothing more to write of any importance and for that very reason you must not expect much but however I will try to fill out this sheet with something so that you may know that I am alive and kicking. I should think that you might send me some papers to read or something else. It [is] very lonesome here without anything to read. I buy a great many papers but that takes up the change pretty fast you know and I haven’t any too much of that. Any reading matter that you can send me I shall be very glad to get. If you go to Pennsylvania write while you are there and I will answer it.

Charles then brought up a subject that apparently had been weighing on his mind for some time. He felt distressed that his father paid little or no attention to him since he left for the army.

I wonder what the reason is that father don ‘t write. I don’t hear a word from him. I haven’t heard hardly a word from him since I left. I thought he did care something for me when I left but it seems he don’t or else he would say something to me. Tell him he must take good care of the big horses and not work them too hard and when I come [home] I shall have money enough to buy another team as good as them. I am going to save my money so that if ever I do get back I can have something to start with the word with and if I don’t it will do some body some good. Next payday I will send home at least thirty dollars and maybe more and you can take care of it till I come back. I don’t know but I might say a little more about the war. They say that there is a large force of secessh [not far] from Alexandria but I don’t know how true it is nor I don’t care. I should like to have them to do the fighting and stick to it till they fighting is done for. I want to come home and I don’t want to come home till the rest do. But it don’t look well to come home alone and leave the rest of it. One of our men just came from another camp and he heard that we will have to drive the rebels off of our new camp ground; if they are on it we shall drive them off and like enough have a hard brush but we don’t feel afraid of trying our luck with them at any rate for we want to smell powder. I think it will be good that the regt that is going to take over this place has just arrived and I think that we shall leave tomorrow. Bill Townsend [Moses Townsend] is going to get his discharge. He has not done anything since he came here and says he won’t if he stays a year and I believe him for he is the greatest shirk [?] that I ever saw. The captain [Emery Bryant] is not released yet and I don’t know when he will be but I hope he will be before long for I don’t like Charley Spang at all. Pete Bergevin is a first rate fellow and so is Bill Ryan. We have not trouble with them. I don’t know if I have any more to write at present so good day. Write as soon as you can and see if you can [write] as well as I have done. You must excuse my writing and make the best of it you can; if you can’t read it get some body else to read it for you; you must take it as it means not as it reads.

In early December he was with the regiment at Fort Lyons, near Washington, when he wrote home to his mother (and never addressed to his father) that “I just received your letter and was very glad to hear from you. I am feeling first rate better than I have for years. I am sorry to hear that [you] have got rheumatics. I hope you will get better soon. Any more news I have not got but I will try to fill up the sheet with some thing.”

He then goes on to relate how three men of the company, George A. and George W. Bennett and Hugh Boyd have recently deserted and will probably be shot if they are ever caught. (In fact they would all three return to duty under the President’s Proclamation of Amnesty in April of 1863.)

Charles described to his mother how his friend in the company, Jerry or Gerry (probably Jeremiah Richardson) “is a good hearted fellow. I have had one fight on his account. I don’t like to see him abased for he will do anything for me that he can and we never have no trouble. The quartermaster told me today that [we?] was going to have some rifles. That is a pretty sure sign that [we] are going to do something. I think we shall have some fun before long. We have got new clothes and good ones. If I could I would send new overcoat home for it is a nice one. . . . You need [not?] trouble yourself about my sleeping [well] for I sleep warm enough if you get a good chance you may fix up the old big woolen blanket that I used to have on the boat and send it out here and you may tell Ellen to write me a letter.”

On January 27, from Camp Michigan, Charles wrote home to his “respected father.”

I received your kind letter today and hastened to answer it. My health is good. I am sorry that you are not very well but glad to hear that you [are] doing well. You must take good care of the chestnuts and not let them get poor for I shall be home in the spring and by then I want to have some fun with them. . . . I have 20 dollars saved and in about six weeks I shall 26 dollars more and I will send it to you if you want it. I have lent my money to our Lieutenant until next payday then I am going to send it home by express if I don’t get a chance to send it by private conveyance and you can use it if you want. There is no war news at present. Some think that we shall make an advance as soon as the roads get settled enough so that we can and others say that we will never move until we move for home. I don’ like the idea of staying here a year and not seeing one battle you know[but the one we] lost Bull Run and there is a fair prospect of losing all the rest of the battles. I am getting a little homesick and tired of camp life. There is too much confinement here to suit me. I am a strong temperance man since I came here the reason is because I can’t get anything stronger than coffee to drink. You know what I told about the mail I hope you will get it; I should like to have it myself if you don’t want it but you will want it for you can’t do as well at anything else. Give my respects to Chancey Allen and to my Abbott. I don’t know if I have any more to write at present so good by. From your affectionate son, Charles F. Brittain.
Write as soon as you can for I [would] like to get a letter from you.

And the very next day he wrote to his “Dear Mother”,

As I have time I will write a few lines to let you know that I am well and hope you [are] the same. There is not much news to write so I will write for myself this time. I want you to make me up a box of something good to eat; you may send me some butter and a bottle of wine if you have it and such other things as you have. Tell father to send me a bottle of good rum and I will make good use of it and I will send him 40 dollars in six weeks. If you send it you must send it right away for it you do not maybe I shall be away.. Mark it Alexandria and put my name on it; if you mark it as I tell you it will come free. . . . I have got a pass for two days. No more at present from your son, Charles F. Brittain Co H third regt of Mich Alexandria D C in care of the Mich. Soldier’s Relief Association.

On February 5, 1862, Charles wrote to the editor of the Grand Haven News in his desire

to let the people in the vicinity of the Grand River Valley know that the Third Michigan Regiment of Infantry are doing service to their country. I will tell you what the Muskegon Rangers and the Georgetown company did on Monday last, while out on picket service: Capt. Lowing, of the Georgetown Company, made up a party of about eighty picked men, from the foregoing named companies, and made the furthest reconnaissance that has ever been made. We went as far as Occoquan village, fourteen miles below Alexandria. We discovered nothing of unusual interest on the way. Arriving at Occoquan village we found rebels plentiful. They seemed to be having a regular jollification, and did not see us until we had approached within forty rods and fired upon them, killing four or five, and driving the rest to their houses. There were none of our party hurt. We returned in good time to save ourselves, for there was a large force [which] followed us.

On February 22, Charles was with the regiment at Camp Michigan when he wrote his “dear mother”

I received your kind letter today and was glad to hear from you. I am well and hope these lines will find you the same. There is not much news to write at present time. They are celebrating the 22 [Washington’s birthday] today [and] they have been firing cannon all day and tonight the capitol will be illuminated so that it will look like one immense flame of fire and most all of the house sin the City will be illuminated. We have very easy times here and enough to eat such as it is. I have got the box you sent me and ate it most all up but the box and wrote to you about it two or three times. John Smith wants to know where Bob Lavake [?] is. The weather is warm and rainy and lots of mud. There has been no snow here to amount to anything. I will send you some grape vines before long. It is not quite late enough yet for them to do well. I shall send 40 dollars home in the spring. There is so much gab here that one can hardly write at all here. There is no more news. There is a fair prospect of our coming out before a great while and I hope the time will be short. Give my respects [to] every body and excuse my mistakes. Tell some of the folks to write to me and I will answer their letters. The more letters I get the better for I don’t have much to do only to write. I hope that I shall have something to write about. From your son, Charles Brittain

And on March 16, again still with the regiment at Camp Michigan, Charles wrote to his mother:

As I have the time to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well and hope these few lines will find you the same. We are under marching orders and expect to start every day. The weather is fine at present and the mud is drying up very fast. The quartermaster and one captain and one private out of the Pennsylvania 63rd got shot out on picket day before yesterday but it was all carelessness. I saw two prisoners come in today; one of them was said to be a captain and the other was [a] citizen. If we don’t march we shall have to go on picket next Sunday. I shall start the box home tomorrow. You need not send me any more until I tell you to for maybe then I can’t get it when I want anything. I will let you know. I am very much obliged to you for the things that you sent and should be glad of some more but there is no certainty of my getting it if you send one. I suppose you know the picture that is in the letter; if you don’t they are good soldiers both of them and don’t be afraid for the devil. I am on guard today and shall be until nine o’clock tomorrow. We shall get our pay in a day or two if nothing we shall get next week at any rate and the I shall send it home and you can let father use it if he needs it and you can let him have the twenty if he wants it. There is no more news to write so I shall have to wind up. Write as often as you can. From your affectionate son, Charles F. Brittain.

Charles was admitted to the 3rd Division hospital near Yorktown, Virginia, on April 27, suffering from remittent fever. He was reported to have died at Yorktown, on May 19, 1862, presumably of fever. If in fact he did die at Yorktown, he was presumably among the unknown soldiers buried at Yorktown National Cemetery.

In 1880 William applied a dependent father’s pension (no. 261698), which was eventually rejected. By 1883 he was still living in Ferrysburg, Ottawa County; it is not known what became of Catharine, his wife.

Alva Bonney

Alva or Alvah Bonney, also known as “Bonna” or “Bonner”, was born 1841 in Pennsylvania, the son of Walter (b. 1793) and Chloe (1796-1854).

Massachusetts natives Walter and Chloe were married on September 26, 1812, in Chesterfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts, and by 1832 the family had settled in New York where they resided for some years. Between 1836 and 1841 the family moved to Pennsylvania -- probably living in Conneaut, Crawford County in 1840 -- and then on to Michigan. By 1850 Walter had settled his family in Newaygo County, Michigan, where Alva attended school with his older siblings. Walter remarried, probably to Lydia Anna (b. 1817), on January 1, 1855. By 1860 Alva was working probably as a farm laborer and living with his family in Big Prairie, Newaygo County.

Alva was 20 years old and probably still living in Newaygo County (probably with his family in Croton) when he enlisted with the consent of the Justice of the Peace in Company K on May 13, 1861. According to two other members of Company K, Alva was taken sick with measles while the regiment was in camp in Grand Rapids, but had sufficiently recovered his health to accompany the regiment when it left for Washington, DC, on June 13.

On July 16, just before the regiment was to leave its quarters at Chain Bridge overlooking the Potomac from Georgetown Heights, Alva wrote home to his parents, “We have not left here yet as I wrote to you the other day but we have orders to leave at 3 o’clock and it is nearly 3 now and we have about completed our arrangements to leave.” Still, he wanted them to know even in his haste that the regiment had just received its pay “and I have sent ten dollars to the Rapids [Grand Rapids] so you can get it you can” get it there. he also wanted them to “Write soon and tell me all the news.”

Indeed, the regiment left its quarters that very day and marched into Virginia, heading for Manassas Junction.

Alva remained on duty with the regiment through the summer. He wrote home in September that

I am well and enjoying myself. I received a letter from you not long since and was glad to hear that you was well. You wrote that you wanted me to come home and I should have done so if I could but I am bound to stay by the papers until the war is over. We are held as much as we would be if we were regulars and our captain would hardly want to lose one more of his men. There has several of them left this regiment and three have deserted from our Co. Some have been discharged by sickness and one of the toughest men we had died last week so that out of 101 men we have only 80 left and the most of the Co have suffered more than ours. We received our pay yesterday and I have sent you a twenty dollar gold piece. The captain’s father is here he is going to carry it to the [Grand] Rapids. He starts Monday so that by the time you can send an order for it it will be there. Send an [express] order to [Grand Rapids] and you will get it. [Wallace W.] Dickinson [of Company K] has sent his to Whitney the same way so you can get him to get yours. I should have sent it to Whitney if I had known that Dickinson was going to send his. Now father I want you to use the money and not work so hard. Hire someone to help you and provide for the wants of the family. You wrote that our friends . . . was all well. I hardly know whether I have any friends there or not for with the exception those that write to me can’t think that I have any human feelings for they write such letters as I never read before in my life. When I get their letter it makes me mad and when I get over that I have to cry and I shall answer no more letters of this kind. . . I don’t want any one to write as if I was never going home for I am when the war is over but they can’t bear the thought of seeing me happy one moment so they keep harping about something or other all the time. Guess they will catch it when I come back. But enough of this. The army stand[s] the same as they did when I wrote last. It is reported that many of the Secessionists are leaving for home and it is thought to be true but I think that it only a story although one of the Miss. regt did smash their muskets and leave not long ago and they had all better do the same thing for we have got them nearly surrounded and when we do begin they will have no place to run out and their reinforcements will be eaten up. But I must stop writing for I have this sheet nearly full. Keep up your courage and get along the best you can and if I ever come back I will stay with you. Write soon. Kiss sis for me, my love to all, . . . I heard that Nathan . . . has got home, is it so [?]

At some point, possibly soon after he wrote home in September, Alva became ill, and remained sick for some time. He eventually recovered and was even well enough to be posted to picket duty in late November when he wrote home on the 23rd,

After a long delay I now sit down to write to you. I wanted to send you some money when I wrote and we did not get our pay as soon as we expected for the papers was wrong or something was the matter and it has been a long time but we have got it at last and I send you 15 dollars in treasury notes. I could not send any more for I had to me a paid of boots and a pair of gloves and that took 5.50 so you can see that is all I can spare this time. I cannot get any chance to send it by express so I shall have to trust it by the mail. I know you will want it soon for it is pretty near tax-time and taxes must be very high this year. I have been sick a long time but have got well again. I should have applied for my discharge but they have taken our captain away from us and put in [as] Major [of the regiment] but this is no more than I expected for he is too much of a military man to rank as captain. They have put a mean dirty coward over us by the name of Lyon. He is at the Rapids recruiting for the Co and he had best stay there if he wants to keep out of hot water for the whole Co was mad at him before he was put in as capt so this trouble has kept me from doing anything about it and I have got well. I think I shall try to stay for it is my opinion that the war will not last long. I haven’t any news to write. Everything is quiet here and we don’t see a rebel once in a month. Our tickets [pickets?] are in advance of us 10 miles and we have good times. . . . I came off [picket duty] last night after a tour of two days and nights. I should like to be at home Christmas and New Year’s but should like to see this trouble settled first and I think it will be before long but I must close for this time for I have got to write to Stella Eldred today and as I have not slept much for three nights past I don’t feel much like writing. My love to All Alva Bonney.

By early 1862, Alva was still serving with the regiment when he wrote home to express his concern over his father’s welfare.

I now take my pen in hand to write you a few lines and send you some money. We have received our pay and I do not forget you and can send 15 dollars in treasury notes to you they are as good as gold any where so I will send them in stead of gold Father I want you to use it for your own benefit and make yourself comfortable. I have just received a letter from E. he seems to be in trouble about his land but I have forgotten all about it so that I can’t tell him any thing about it and in fact I have enough trouble my head about without that but if I could help him I would but I think that if I take care of you and send money to help you along I am doing pretty well. I can send 15 dollars this time and perhaps more next time. I received a letter from you not long ago and answered it. I received a letter from Amos C. not a great while ago he was well then. I want you to write as soon as you get this and tell me whether it went safe for I shall feel anxious until I hear from it. Give my best respects to Alfred and all inquiring friends and write often.

Alva was present for duty until about June 18 or 19 when he was taken sick. According to Dickinson and Carpenter, they helped Alva into the carriage which took him to the field hospital and apparently suffered from an attack of fever. Carpenter. About three or four days later Carpenter along with George French, also of Company K, went to th4 hospital to check on Alva’s condition. and when they arrived they “found him dead [and] that they inquired of the person in attendance at what hour he had died upon which they were informed that he was alone at the time he died, that they immediately buried him. . . Indeed, Alva was reported sick in Berry’s Third Brigade (the Old Third’s Brigade) hospital at Mrs. Allen’s farm (possibly near White’s Tavern, Virginia, along the Charles City road), suffering from a bad fracture.

In fact, Alva died of pneumonia at either at Savage Station, or Fair Oaks, Virginia, on June 22, 1862, and was possibly buried among the unknowns in Glendale National Cemetery.

In 1867 Alva’s father applied for and received a dependent’s pension (no. 145212).

William H. Baird

William H. Baird was born April 27, 1839, in Erie County, Pennsylvania, possibly Lake City, the son of William B. (b. 1810) and Mary (b. 1811).

Pennsylvania native William B. married Massachusetts-born Mary, possibly in Pennsylvania, but in any case they were living in Pennsylvania by 1836. They eventually moved westward and between 1839 and 1841 settled in Ohio. By 1850 the family was living in Willoughby, Lake County, Ohio where William B. worked as a carpenter and William H. attended school along with two of his siblings. William B. moved his family westward again, settling eventually in western Michigan by 1860 when William was working as a farm laborer and living with his family in Nelson, Kent County.

William stood 5’7” with blue eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion, and was 22 years old when he enlisted in Company K on May 13, 1861. At some point prior to the mid-summer of 1862 he was detached to the Third Brigade as a teamster, a position he would hold until the end of the war. In July of 1862 he was serving in the wagon trains a teamster and he also worked as a saddler, probably in the Brigade trains. By January of 1863 he was detached at Brigade headquarters, in September he was with the First Division supply train, and the following month he was back on detached service with the Third Brigade where he remained through November.

William reenlisted on December 23, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Walker, Kent County, was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February when he was again reported as a teamster at Brigade headquarters. From March through May he was serving with the wagon trains. He was still on detached service when he was transferred to Company I, the Fifth Michigan Infantry (although the Fifth lists him as from Company H, Third Infantry), upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and by November of 1864 he was on detached service as a nurse at City Point, Virginia hospital, and in December he was with the Quartermaster department. He served as a teamster until he was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war William returned to Michigan.

He was married to Michigan native Sarah (b. 1854), and they had at least three children: Elmer (b. 1870), May or Mary (b. 1874) and John (b. 1876).

He later claimed that he resided in Montcalm County after the war for about ten years, then in Nelson Township, Kent County for four years, Lakeview, Michigan ten years then to Lake City, Michigan and from there to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home in 1908.

William possibly lived briefly in Grand Rapids, but was living in Crystal Springs, Montcalm County when he lost two fingers in a sawmill accident in 1866. Apparently he put his foot against a log he was sawing and when the log turned over his foot gave way and as he stuck out his hand to ease his fall, he lost two fingers from his right hand which was caught in the saw. He and Sarah were probably still living in Crystal in 1870, as his father William. In any case, by 1880 he was working as a laborer and living with his wife and three children in Nelson, Kent County. By 1888 he was residing in Sylvester, Montcalm County, and in February of 1890 he was skidding logs for Harvey Borst in Hinton, Mecosta County when he broke his left knee in a logging accident.

He was probably residing in Lakeview, Mecosta County in 1890, in Sylvester in 1891 and probably in Hinton in 1894. According to a statement he gave in 1909, from 1865 to 1876 he lived in Crystal Springs, Montcalm County, in Cedar Springs, Kent County, from 1876 to 1880, in Lakeview, Montcalm County from 1880 to about 1900, in Lake City from 1900 to 1907 when he was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 4929) on February 18, 1907. he was living in the Home in 1920.

William was a member of Grand Army of the Republic Macomber Post No. 141 in Lakeview, Mecosta County, was a Protestant and he received pension no. 631,482, drawing $50.00 in 1920.

William died a widower, at the Michigan Soldiers’ Home on January 16, 1921, at 1:30 p.m. of mitral insufficiency, and was buried in the Home cemetery: section 7 row 15 grave no. 22.

James Babe

James Babe was born July 4, 1839, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Peter and Mary.

Both of James’ parents were reportedly born in Pennsylvania, and presumably married there. In the mid-1850s James left Philadelphia and moved to Elmira, New York where he worked for some five or six months on the Williamsport & Elmira Railroad, but by late 1857 or early 1858 he had moved west to Jackson, Jackson County, Michigan where he worked briefly in a livery stable. From Jackson he moved to Kalamazoo and worked for several weeks for Henry Dake at the Dake Hotel. some years later James claimed that he couldn’t make any money in Kalamazoo, so he settled on the old Widoe farm near the Taylor plaster mills outside of Grand Rapids, afterwards moving to Cascade.

He was living in the Grand Rapids area in 1858 when he was arrested for larceny on November 23, 1858, and was found guilty. He was sentenced to a $10.00 fine or 30 days in jail. The Enquirer reported that “Babe not being able to raise the ‘tin’ was marched over to the Cross Bar Hotel”. Babe remarked 18 years later that he had never been to prison and was in jail but once “for drunkenness and stealing. That was the only crime I was ever arrested for, except for a family quarrel, when I choked my father-in-law and brother-in-law.”

By 1860 James was working as a farmer and living in Grand Rapids.

He stood 5’7” with hazel eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was 21 years old and probably still living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company A on May 13, 1861. George Miller, also of Company A and a tentmate in the winter of 1861-62, described Babe as “a jovial fellow”, a comrade “who, ever since the battle of Bull Run, when he hears anything said about cavalry, pretends to be awfully scared and commences to tremble all over, and by his odd motions keeps us laughing continually.” Babe was detailed as Brigade saddler on August 11, 1861, and was serving as a Brigade teamster on December 31, 1861. He was still detached as a Brigade teamster from July of 1862 through July of 1863, and in November he was with the Third Brigade (which included the Third Michigan) still working as a teamster.

James reenlisted on December 23 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Grand Rapids, and was subsequently absent on a 30-day veterans’ furlough. Curiously, he was reported to have married Malina Gorham on December 15, 1863, in Ada, Kent County, thus placing him in Michigan before he reenlisted and therefore before he would have been allowed to go home on veteran’s furlough. Nevertheless, they had at least one child, a son John. James probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February and was transferred to Company A, Fifth Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, where he continued to serve with the Brigade wagon trains through December.

In January of 1865 he was absent on furlough, and in February he was transferred, probably as a teamster, to the Quartermaster department where he remained until he was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war James returned to the Grand Rapids area and, according to a statement he gave in 1876, settled on a farm in Cannon, Kent County where he remained for nearly a year, before moving to Grand Rapids where he lived for a few months before moving to Rockford, Kent County. He then worked for about 18 months at George French’s shingle mill in Cedar Springs, Kent County, after which he returned to the plaster mills near Grand Rapids. His wife left him sometime around 1872, “because”, he claimed some years later, “her folks coaxed her away.”

He was living in Grand Rapids in 1874, and at one point had served as a deck hand on the river steamer Nebraska under Captain Moran who would later become the chief of police of Grand Rapids. In 1875 he was employed by Jeremiah W. Boynton in the construction of the Grand Rapids & Reed’s Lake railway, and when that was completed he worked on the line as a conductor until the close of the season when he was then employed in constructing the west side line of the road and drove a car on that line after its completion in late April of 1876.

On May 16, 1876, James was arrested in Conger, a station on the Grand Rapids & Indiana railroad line just north of the Kent County line, and was charged with arson. It was alleged that Babe and two other men were hired by Boynton to burn Boynton’s flouring mill in Alaska, Kent County, in mid-September of 1872.

According to the Eagle of May 17, 1876, There were some suspicious circumstances connected with the fire, but not enough to warrant the officers in proceeding at that time to an arrest for incendiarism.” The chief of police undertook surveillance of several individuals and “Later, one James Babe, who had been in the employ of Manager J. W. Boynton, on the Reed’s Lake Street Railway, in various capacities, happened, in conversation with an acquaintance, to suggest incendiarism as a means for relieving himself of financial difficulties [with the mill], and that he would attend to such a job for a consideration. From such hints he dropped, his acquaintance was led to believe that he had attended to such work before and knew how to act.

Babe’s friend informed the police and it was decided that the friend would continue to press Babe on additional details regarding the burnings. During further talks with Babe it was learned that he had in fact burned the mill at Alaska as well as a dwelling in Lockwood. Chief Moran took the train north of Grand Rapids a few miles to Conger where he found Babe and arrested him.

James confessed right away and told Moran that Fayette McIntyre, whom he knew from Alaska and “with whom he was boarding in Caledonia, approached him and offered a chance to make some money if he could keep a secret. He said he could, when McIntyre said that J. W. Boynton had offered him $200 for burning his grist mill [in Alaska], to enable him to get the insurance, and that, for reasons he explained, he could not set the fire; that if he, Babe, would do it he should have half the money, or $100; that he gave him, Babe, instructions, and the bargain was consummated and the mill burned.” Furthermore, Babe alleged that he had struck another bargain with Boynton to burn a piece of property in Lockwood, from which Boynton collected $1,000 and that he was to pay Babe $75 or $100. That property was burned in 1874. Chief of Police Moran arrested Jeremiah Boynton and LaFayette McIntyre, “two local, well- respected citizens”.

During his testimony on May 17, 1876, Babe said, in part, that McIntyre approached him because

he was liable to fainting spells and feared he might be attacked with one of them and thus be burned up in the mill. He said the mill must be burned soon -- I think within a week. Subsequently -- I think two days later - he asked me if I would burn the mill, and said if I would not he must do it himself, as the job must be done. He told me it [the mill] was fixed for burning, where there were empty barrels, a can of oil, etc., for starting the flames, in the mill, that I should not try to save anything, and that Boynton would be at the Rapids, and it must be done while he was there. I told him the night before I burned it that it would be done. I found the empty barrels mentioned under the grain spout where they weighed the grain, and the kerosene oil in the upper part of the mill. There was nearly a gallon of the oil. I entered the mill about 11 o’clock at night, I think it was Saturday night, set the fire, and then hurried home as fast as I could with the empty oil can. I went to bed and slept until morning. Afterward he [McIntyre] paid me $40, coming to me in my field where I was husking corn, and said that he got it of Boynton, and that it was a part of the $200 which Boynton had agreed to pay him for the job. Afterward he gave me $20 more, and the balance of $40 was applied on board, as my children and I were boarding at McIntyre’s” (his wife having just recently left him).

On July 1, 1876, McIntyre was found not guilty. His attorney argued that if indeed he was involved with the burning of the mill, he did so with the consent of its owner, Boynton, and Judge Hoyt ruled that Boynton had the full “‘use and occupation’” of the mill. “It was not arson,” read the opinion, “for a man to burn his own uninhabited building, or to hire another to do it, unless the act was done with the intent to defraud, and the information did not allege such intent.”

James, however, was found guilty but with extenuating circumstances, and apparently served no time in jail.

By 1880 James was listed as a widower and working as a fireman in a mill in Grand Haven, Ottawa County, a curious job for one convicted of arson. In any case, that same year he was living in the Eighth ward with the family of Henry Johnson. James eventually left Michigan and moved south. By 1890-91 he was working as a laborer and living at 262 Lafayette in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was still in New Orleans when he applied for a pension in August of 1892, through an attorney in Kansas City, Missouri; he claimed to be suffering at the time from a right inguinal hernia. The pension was re-filed in New Orleans in July of 1894, reopened in May of 1895 and rejected, no reason being given.

By late fall of 1897 James was still residing in New Orleans when he resubmitted his pension application, and he was living in New Orleans in early 1898 when he was at last awarded a pension (no. 982,043), at the rate of $6.00 per month, dated February of 1898; by 1900 it had been increased to $12.00 per month.

By 1900 James had returned to Michigan and may have resided briefly in Corning, Allegan County before he entered the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 3473) on October 10, 1900. He worked as a laborer most of his life, and listed himself as a widower when he entered the Home.

James died at the Home on January 18, 1903, of organic pulmonary heart disease, and was interred in the Home cemetery: section 4 row 14 grave no. 38.