Petersburg NaCem

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.

Buel, Duane and Dwight Tousley - 4/7/2014

Buel Tousley was born in 1844 in Trumbull County, Ohio, the son of Nelson (b. 1810) and Sally (b. 1813).

(Nelson may have been the same Nelson Tousley who married one Rachel C. Harvey on April 11, 1883 in Cass County, Indiana .)

Massachusetts native Nelson married New York-born Sally possibly in New York. (Nelson may have been the same Nelson Tousley who married one Rachel C. Harvey on April 11, 1883 in Cass County, Indiana.) In any case they eventually moved to Ohio where they were living in 1836 when their son Duane was born, and they remained in Ohio until at least after 1845. The family moved to Michigan sometime after 1847, and by 1850 Nelson was farming in Fair Plain, Montcalm County, and Buel was attending school with his siblings (including his brothers Dwight and Duane who would also enlist in the Third Michigan). By 1860 Buel was a laborer living with his family in Sidney, Montcalm County, where his father worked as a farmer.

Buell stood 5’7” with brown eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 17 years old and probably still living in Montcalm County when he enlisted in Company E on May 13, 1861, along with his older brothers Duane and Dwight, and discharged for consumption on August 9, 1861, at Hunter’s Farm, Virginia.

After his discharge from the army Buel returned to Montcalm County where he reentered the service in Company F, Twenty-first Michigan infantry on July 28, 1862, at Greenville for 3 years, crediting Sidney, and was mustered on August 3 at Ionia, Ionia County. The regiment was organized at Ionia and Grand Rapids and mustered into service on September 9, and left Michigan for Louisville, Kentucky, on September 12. The regiment participated in the battle for Perryville, Kentucky, on October 8, and Buel was sick at Lebanon, Kentucky from October 21 through November. Buel was discharged for disability on December 29, 1862, at Bowling Green, Kentucky.

He returned to western Michigan where he reentered the service a second time in Company G, Tenth Michigan cavalry on January 30, 1865, at Grand Rapids for 1 years, crediting Fairplains, Montcalm County, and was mustered on February 3. He joined the Regiment on March 16 at the dismounted camp in Knoxville, Tennessee, and reportedly remained in Knoxville through May, of 1865. (Meanwhile the regiment participated in Stoneman’s expedition into east Tennessee, southwestern Virginia and west North Carolina from March 21-April 25, and the regiment was on duty at Lenoir and Sweetwater, Tennessee from about May until August and in west Tennessee until November.

It is unclear if Buel ever did in fact join the regiment until it returned to western Tennessee. In any case he was mustered out with the regiment on November 11, 1865, at Memphis, Tennessee.

Buel eventually returned to his home in Montcalm County and by 1870 he was working as a joiner and living with his older brother Loren (?) in Sidney, Montcalm County; next door lived George Butterworth and his mother Elizabeth; George too had served in the Third Michigan infantry. That same year Buel was also listed as working as a carpenter and living with or working for a sawyer named Van Kirk in Greenville, Montcalm County.

By 1880 Buel was probably working as a carpenter and living with Robert Winn in Cheyenne, Laramie County, Wyoming.

No pension seems to be available.

Duane Tousley was born in 1836 in Portage County, Ohio, the son of Nelson (b. 1810) and Sally (b. 1813).

Massachusetts native Nelson married New York-born Sally possibly in New York. In any case they eventually moved to Ohio where they were living in 1836 and they remained in Ohio until at least after 1845. The family moved to Michigan sometime after 1847, and by 1850 Nelson was farming in Fair Plain, Montcalm County, and several of the Tousley children were attending school (including Buel and Dwight who would also enlist in the Third Michigan). By 1860 Duane was a farm laborer (possibly living with his sister Ruth, age 13) working for a farmer by the name of William Lampman in Sidney, Montcalm County.

Duane stood 6’1” with dark eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 25 years old and possibly still living in Montcalm or perhaps in Ionia County when he enlisted as Third Corporal in Company E on May 13, 1861, along with his brothers Buel and Dwight. By mid-November of 1861 he may have been sick in a general hospital in Washington, DC. (Either Duane or his brother Dwight.)

Duane was absent sick in the hospital in August of 1862 through October (so was his brother Dwight), and discharged for consumption on November 27, 1862, at Convalescent Camp, Virginia.


Duane may have been living with and/or working for William Piper in Montana by 1870.

He applied for and received a pension (no. 131512).

According to a family historian, Duane died on April 14, 1876 in Menasha, WI and is presumably buried there. 


Dwight Tousley
was born in 1842 in Trumbull County, Ohio, the son of Nelson (b. 1810) and Sally (b. 1813).

Massachusetts native Nelson married New York-born Sally possibly in New York. In any case they eventually moved to Ohio where they were living in 1836 when their son Duane was born, and they remained in Ohio until at least after 1845. The family moved to Michigan sometime after 1847, and by 1850 Nelson was farming in Fair Plain, Montcalm County, and Dwight was attending school with his siblings (including his brothers Buel and Duane who would also enlist in the Third Michigan). By 1860 Dwight was a laborer living with his family in Sidney, Montcalm County, where his father worked as a farmer.

Dwight stood 5’6” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 19 years old and probably still living in Montcalm County when he enlisted with his parents’ consent in Company E on May 13, 1861, along with his two brothers Buel and Duane. By mid-November of 1861 he may have been sick in a general hospital in Washington, DC. Dwight was sick in the hospital in August of 1862 (so was his brother Duane), but eventually returned to duty and by October was the company washerman. According to Andrew Kilpatrick, also of Company E, Dwight was a Corporal present for duty with the regiment in late May of 1863.

In September of 1863 Dwight was reported as under arrest, for offense(s) unknown, but these were apparently not serious since he reenlisted as a Corporal on December 23, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Paris, Kent County. He was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough, possibly in Michigan, in January of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February.

Dwight was a good friend of another man in Company E, Edwin Van Wert. On March 19, 1864, while the regiment was still in camp near Brandy Station, Virginia, Edwin wrote home to Amanda, one of his younger sisters to tell her about Dwight. “In regard to Phylancy’s beau she found on the cars I hope he’s a smasher [?]. But I have got one for you. He is a bully little fellow and I know you would like him.[He] belongs to the same company that I do. He is going to write to you. But I would not answer it this time. He talks some come home with me and then you can see him. He took care of me when I was sick. He stays in the same tent with me. But I am afraid the love that my little sister has got for her brother will be another’s when she sees the soldier I picked out for her. His name is Dwight Tousley.”

Dwight was wounded, probably on May 23, 1864, at North Anna, Virginia, and he was still absent wounded when he was transferred to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864.

He died from his wounds in the Division field hospital on June 20 or July 1, 1864, and may have been buried at North Anna or possibly near Petersburg, Virginia.

No pension seems to be available.

Thomas O’Hearn - update 5/2/2017

Thomas O’Hearn was born in 1847, in Ohio, the son of Irish natives Dominic O’Hearn (b. 1819-1898) and Margaret Horan (b. 1830).

Dominic and Margaret left Ireland and by 1847 had settled in Ohio. Between 1851 and 1855 the family moved to Michigan. By 1860 Thomas was attending school with his younger siblings in Tallmadge, Ottawa County.

Thomas stood 5’9” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 18 years old and probably working as a farmer in Muskegon County or perhaps in Tallmadge, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company E on February 8, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Muskegon, Muskegon County, and was mustered the same day. He joined the Regiment on March 27, and was quite possibly wounded in early May of 1864.

He was transferred to Company E, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and was either killed in action on June 16, 1864, near Petersburg, Virginia, or he may have died on July 16, 1864, from wounds received near Petersburg (or perhaps in early May). In any case, he was presumably among the unknown soldiers interred in Petersburg National Cemetery.

In June of 1897 his mother Margaret was still living in Michigan when she applied for a dependent’s pension (no. 656903) but the certificate was never granted. His family was still living in Tallmadge, Ottawa County in 1870.

Leonard Dietrich

Leonard Dietrich, also known as “Diederick”, was born possibly in 1832 in Prussia.

Leonard immigrated to the United States before the war broke out, and eventually settled in western Michigan.

He stood 5’10” with brown eyes and hair and a light complexion, and was probably a 29-year-old laborer from Kent or Muskegon County when he enlisted as Fourth Sergeant in Company C on May 13, 1861; he was possibly related to Herman Dietrich, also of Company C, who was living in Muskegon County in 1861. (Company C was made up largely of German and Dutch immigrants, many of whom lived on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids. This company was the descendant of the old Grand Rapids Rifles, also known as the “German Rifles”, a prewar local militia company composed solely of German troopers.) Leonard was the recipient of the Kearny Cross for his participation in the battle of Chancellorsville, May 3, 1863.

Another member of company C recalled years later that in the fall of 1863 the regiment was camped along with the division near Bristoe Station, Virginia. “Our camp,” Theodore Castor wrote,

was close to the rail-road and when the first train came in with supplies, I and Sergeant Dietrich went down the track and we got to a car where they were unloading hams. There was no guard there yet and we pretended that we were sent there to guard the hams. And we did for a little while until they had finished and moved down to some other car and we watched our chance and slipped a ham apiece under our overcoats and started for camp. In our camp we had everything fine, the houses were big enough to accommodate 20 persons with a fireplace and bunks and table in them. And you could cook alone or pick your company of two or more and cook together. There were four of us -- Sergeant Dietrich who done the cooking, Frank Martig -- our company wagoner who could get into any wagon in the brigade. He done the stealing and stole anything at night that he could lay his hands on from the officers and get it in camp, and Rudolph Nagel and I. When we were not on duty we played poker and furnished the rest whenever Frank would make a good haul. We didn't have to furnish very much, we could buy anything we wanted to eat -- bread, cookies, potatoes, onions and anything at the commissary where they kept everything to sell for the officers. They didn't draw any ration from U.S. and had to buy everything and pay for it out of their monthly pay, and if we wanted anything we would ask our Lieutenant Theodore Hetz for an order and he would gladly supply us by us inviting him to a dinner or two or by buying a bottle of bitters. And as money and everything came easy we could afford to live as well as any other Major General in the army.

Leonard reenlisted on December 21, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Grand Rapids. 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. He was transferred to Company I, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864.

Leonard was wounded on June 18 in action near Petersburg and subsequently sent to the Third Division, Second Corps field hospital where he died on June 20 or 21.

Writing after the war, Dan Crotty of Company F described Dietrich’s last moments in a field hospital: “Poor Sergeant Diedrick. No better soldier in the service, and one who has carried one of the colors of my Regiment, but now he is dying, after bearing the starry flag aloft for over two years. . . . I try to cheer him up, but no use, as he says he is bound to die, and I find, when I go to see him next morning, that he is in the arms of death. Poor fellow, thou hast fallen at last, bearing the starry emblem of your adopted country. Who will say that the foreigners have not done their duty in this rebellion?”

Leonard was presumably among the unknown soldiers buried at Petersburg National Cemetery.

No pension seems to be available.

Louis Brandis

Louis Brandis, also known as "Lewis" or “Brandeis”, born April 7, 1837, in Hanover, Germany, the son of Anna (1811-1893).

Sometime before the war Louis immigrated to the United States along with his mother (and possibly stepfather), eventually settling in western Michigan. He lived with his mother and stepfather, William (or Friedrich) Koch, in Nunica, Ottawa County before moving to Muskegon, Muskegon County to work in the sawmills. By 1860 he was working as a mill hand in Muskegon and living at the Thomas Wing boarding house. (In 1860 Anna and John F. Rock or Koch were living in Crockery Township, Ottawa County.)

Louis stood 5’11” with gray eyes, light hair and a fair complexion and was 24 years old and probably still residing in Muskegon when he enlisted on May 13, 1861, in Company H, which was made up largely of “Muskegon Rangers”, although it is unclear whether Lewis was a member of the Rangers before they left Muskegon. (The “Rangers” were a local militia company formed in Muskegon soon after the fall of Fort Sumter in April of 1861, and were reorganized into Company H of the Third Michigan infantry then forming at Cantonment Anderson in Grand Rapids.)

Louis was sick (or wounded) in the hospital in August of 1862, and supposedly deserted on September 21, 1862, at Upton’s Hill, Virginia (and consequently dropped from the company rolls). He was returned from “Dropped from the Rolls” on November 23, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, and subsequently under arrest at Third Corps headquarters, presumably as a consequence of the desertion charge. The charge appears to have been dropped, and Louis was back with the Regiment by late December when he reenlisted on December 23, 1863 at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Muskegon (although he gave his residence as Nunica). He was presumably absent on 30-day’s veterans’ furlough in January of 1864, probably at his family home in western Michigan, and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February.

He was transferred to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864.

Louis was killed in action on June 22, 1864, near Petersburg, Virginia, and was presumably buried among the unknown soldiers at Petersburg.

In 1890 his mother applied for and received a dependent’s pension (no. 340,070), drawing $12.00 per month by 1892. Her husband died in 1880 and by 1890 she was residing in Benton County, Kansas. She was still living in Kansas when she died in 1893.