Phil NaCem

George Spencer

George Spencer was born in 1837 in Warren County, Pennsylvania.

George left Pennsylvania and settled in western Michigan where by 1860 he was a boatman living with and/or working for R. Morse, a ferryman in Georgetown, Ottawa County.

He was 24 years old and probably still residing in Georgetown when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861; he was probably related to Alfred Spencer who was also from Ottawa County and who would enlist in Unassigned in 1864. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County.)

George was reported as a Sergeant and sick in the hospital in August and September of 1862, probably in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and he died of typhoid fever on September 10, 1862, in ward no. 2 at Chester hospital in Philadelphia. He was originally buried at Chester and then reinterred in Philadelphia National Cemetery: section A, grave 64.

In 1873 George’s father applied for and received a pension (no. 166708).

George Slocum

George Slocum was born on February 25, 1813, in Darien, Genesee County, New York, the son of Peleg (1773-1849) and Ruth (Hill, 1770-1834).

Peleg reportedly served as Musician and then Drum Major in Varian’s New York regiment during the War of 1812. In any case, he was married to Ruth Hill in 1791 in Pawling, Dutchess County, New York.

George was married to New York native Sophronia Kinsman (b. 1818), on July 1, 1836, probably in Genesee County, New York (she was born in Darien, Genesee County, New York as well), and they had at least six children: Nancy Almeda (b. 1838), Lucius Elliott (b. 1843), Richard Miller (b. 1845), twins Ebgert and Edgar (b. 1850), Helen A. (b. 1854) and Amelia (b. 1857).

George and Sophronia left New York and settled in Michigan sometime before 1838. By 1840 they were living in Hartland, Livingston County where they were still residing and working a farm in 1850. By 1860 George had taken his family and settled on a farm in Keene, Ionia County.

He was a 49-year-old farmer probably living in Keene when he enlisted in Company D on February 2, 1862, at Saranac, Ionia County for 3 years, and was mustered the same day. (Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County.) He was wounded on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and by the first of July was a patient in Buttonwood Street hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

George died from his wounds, either on July 8, 1862, in Buttonwood, and was buried in Philadelphia National Cemetery, or on July 18, September 18 or November 1, 1862, at Washington, DC.

In February of 1863 (?) his widow Sophronia applied for and received a pension (no. 8590).

Moses Robbins

Moses Robbins was born in 1843 in Ohio, the son of Ira (d. 1849) and Elizabeth (Mann, d. 1896).

Ira and Elizabeth were married in New Portage, Ohio in 1834 and they resided in Ohio for some years. The family apparently moved back to Orleans County sometime in the late 1840s and in 1849 Ira died in Knowlesville, Orleans County, New York. By 1850 Moses was attending school with two of his siblings and living with his mother in Ridgeway, Orleans County. Moses and his family eventually left Orleans County, New York and came to western Michigan where by 1860 he was living with and/or working for Joseph Robbins (b. 1790) in Boston, Ionia County. Two doors down lived Martin (b. 1837) and Elizabeth Robbins and next door to them lived one Russell Robbins (b. 1819) and his wife Adaline and their family.

Moses was 18 years old and probably still living in Ionia County when he enlisted with the consent of the Justice of the Peace in Company D on May 13, 1861. (Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County.)

Moses was absent sick in the hospital from December of 1862 until he died of pleuro-pneumonia at 2:30 p.m. on March 18, 1863, in ward 8 of Chestnut Hills hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Another source reported his as having died on March 24, 1863 from chronic diarrhea. In any case, he was originally buried in “The Soldier’s Rest,” Odd Fellows cemetery, grave no. 15, but later reinterred in Philadelphia National Cemetery: section 5, grave 151.

The only relative noted on his death record was a sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Hitchcock who was then residing in Waterford, Orleans County, New York. In fact his mother Elizabeth was living in Waterford in 1865 when she applied for and received a pension (no. 72608), drawing $12.00 per month by 1896. (In 1870 there was one Elizabeth Robbins residing in Lowell, Kent County.)

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).


Michael Murphy

Michael Murphy was born in in 1843.

Michael was 18 years old and probably living in Grand Rapids, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company B on December 10, 1861, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered on December 23 at Detroit. (Company B was made up largely of men from Grand Rapids, and many of whom had served in various local militia units before the war, in particular the Grand Rapids Artillery, under Captain Baker Borden, who would also command Company B.) He was absent sick in a hospital in February of 1862 and reported to be in a Washington, DC hospital in January of 1863.

He died of disease on February 1, 1863, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was originally buried in Mt. Moriah cemetery and subsequently reinterred in Philadelphia National Cemetery: grave 242.

No pension seems to be available.

Andrew J. Hath update 10/18/2016

Andrew J. Hath was born in 1846 in Vermont, the son of Sanborn Sr. (1791-1879) and Emily (Hooker, b. 1802).

New Hampshire native Sanborn Sr. and Vermonter Emily were married in Peacham, Caledonia County, Vermont, in 1832. They eventually left Vermont and had settled in New York by 1837 when their son James was born, although apparently they returned to Vermont where they were living in 1841 and 1846. The family eventually moved on to Michigan and were probably living in Milan, Monroe County in 1840. Sanborn Sr. eventually settled his family in Dewitt, Clinton County. By 1860 Andrew was working as a farm laborer, attending school with his siblings and living on the family farm in Dewitt, Clinton County.

Andrew stood 5’8” with blue eyes, dark hair and a light complexion, and was a 15-year-old farmer possibly living in Dewitt when he enlisted, at the same time as his older half-brother Sanborn Hath, Jr., in Company G on May 13, 1861. According to Homer Thayer of Company G, Andrew was shot in the left leg on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and by mid-September was in E Street-Baptist Church hospital in Washington. He remained absent sick until he was discharged on March 18, 1863, at Detroit for a “gunshot wound of left leg inducing some lameness.”

Andrew listed Dewitt, Clinton County as his mailing address on his discharge paper, and was probably living in Dewitt n August of 1863 when he applied for and received a pension (no. 18674), drawing $4 per month by October of 1863.

Andrew reentered the service in Company C, 27th Michigan infantry on December 9, 1863, at Owosso, Shiawassee County for 3 years, crediting Owosso’s 1st Ward, and was mustered on January 29, 1864, at Ovid, Shiawassee County.

He probably joined the regiment in east Tennessee in February or early March, and in March he was sick at Honeyville, Tennessee. The regiment left Knoxville, Tennessee for Annapolis where it arrived on April 5 and then on to the James River where it eventually participated in the battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania and North Anna in May and also at Cold Harbor in early June. It is possible that Andrew was wounded on June 3 at or near Cold Harbor. In any case, he was reported as absent wounded in June.

Andrew died of his wounds on June 25, 1864, probably in a hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was reportedly buried in Philadelphia’s National cemetery: no. 803.

By 1870 Sanborn, Sr and his wife were living in Charlotte, Eaton County.

In 1875 his mother applied for and received a pension (no. 174416). Sanborn Sr. died in Dewitt in 1879.


Edwin R. Goble

Edwin R. Goble was born 1838 in New York, the son of Hiram (b. 1807) and Rossanna (b. 1817).

His parents were both New York natives and quite possibly married in that state sometime before 1834. In any case, the family moved from New York to Michigan sometime after 1847, and by 1850 Edwin was attending school with his siblings and living with his family in Almena, Van Buren County, where his father was a farmer. In 1860 Edwin was working as a sawyer and living with his parents in Almena.

Edwin was 23 years old and probably living in Saugatuck, Allegan County when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861. He was shot in the arm on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and subsequently admitted to the Fifth Street hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he died from his wounds on June 24, 1862. He was buried the same day in the Philadelphia National Cemetery: section B, grave 69 (originally lot 77, grave 1).

No pension seems to be available. See photo P-349.

His parents were still living in Almena in 1870.

Asa B. Gilbert

Asa B. Gilbert was born 1829 in Washtenaw County, Michigan or in New York.

In 1850 there was one Asa B. Gilbert, age 31 and born in New York, working as a farmer for one James Tyler in Freedom, Washtenaw County.

Sometime in the early 1850s Asa married New York native Mary Elizabeth Barrett (b. 1835), and they had at least three children: Myron C. (b. 1854), Junelia (b. 1857) and Owen (b. 1861).

By 1860 Asa was working as a day laborer and sawyer living with his wife and children in Algoma, Kent County; that same year Wilbur Wait, who would also enlist in Company F, was boarding with Asa and his family.

Asa stood 5’8” with blue eyes, brown hair and sandy complexion and was 32 years old and may have been living in Grand Rapids, quite possibly in the area of Lamphamville and Rockford, when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861, possibly with Wilbur Wait.

Asa was reported sick in the hospital in July and August of 1862, but eventually recovered and rejoined the Regiment. He reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Caledonia, Kent County, was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough, probably at his home in Michigan, in January of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February.

Asa was shot in the right arm on May 6, 1864, at the Wilderness, Virginia, subsequently hospitalized and was probably still in the hospital when he was transferred as Sergeant to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He was sent to Mower hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on September 20, and transferred to Islington Lane hospital in Philadelphia on January 21, 1865, where he died of smallpox on March 9, 1865. He was originally interred on March 11 in Glenwood cemetery: no. 56 or 54, and then reburied in the Philadelphia National Cemetery: section B, grave 644.

In April of 1865 Mary applied for and received a widow’s pension (no. 54880). It is possible that she subsequently remarried and is the "M. E. Valkenburgh" listed as guardian for Asa’s minor children pension applications in 1866 (no. 76307).

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.


Thomas H. Donahue

Thomas H. Donahue, also known as “Donnehieu” or “Donoughue”, was born 1841 in Michigan, possibly the son of Elsey.

In 1850 Thomas and his older sister Mary were living with James Jones in Litchfield, Hillsdale County, and by 1860 Thomas may have been living in Allendale or Tallmadge, Ottawa County or in Hillsdale, Hillsdale County.

Thomas was 20 years old and living in Hillsdale or Ottawa County when he enlisted with the consent of the Justice of the Peace in Company B on May 13, 1861. Thomas was wounded in the leg on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and subsequently sent to Christian Street hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he died July 2, 1862, from vulvus sclopeticum (wounds). He was buried on July 3 in the Philadelphia National Cemetery: section B, grave 54.

In 1883 there was one Elsey Donahue living in Hillsdale County and receiving a dependent mother’s pension no. 123,087.

William J. Cobb

William J. Cobb was born in 1838 in Ohio, the son of Josiah (b. 1807) and Charlotte (b. 1809-1881).

William’s parents were both born in New York and were married in Lysander, New York, on August 30, 1824. They resided in New York State until moving to Ohio sometime between 1834 and 1838, and Josiah may have been living in Detroit in 1840. If so, the family apparently returned to New York between 1841 and 1843, were back in Ohio by 1846 and by 1848 had settled in or returned to Michigan. In 1850 Josiah and his family were living in Essex, Clinton County where William attended school with his siblings. By 1860 William was still living with his family on a farm in Essex.

William was 23 years old and probably residing in Robinson, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861. (Company I was made up largely of men from Ottawa County, particularly from the eastern side of the County. It appears that William was good friends with the Austin family, originally from New York and Clinton County, Michigan, four of whom would also join Company I in 1861.) On November 6 William wrote home to his “Dear Mother” from Fort Lyon, Virginia.

I now take my pen in hand to let you know that [I am] pretty well at present and hope to find you the same. It is awful rainy and windy here this fall. Most all of the boys have got very bad colds a sleeping in these old tents. When it rains they leak like an old sieve if the wind blows much. I am most sick now with a bad cold. We have frosts and pretty cold nights now. Our summer tents don’t keep much of the cold out now but [we] get along pretty well. We are all in good spirits. We are a going to get out pay now in a few days and the next letter I send I will send home fifteen or twenty dollars. The next letter will have some war news in I think for I heard of a fight in South Carolina but we have not heard the particulars yet. I guess that we will winter in Alexandria, a city about two miles from us. It is in Virginia about 6 miles from Washington. It is the talk now that the war will not last a great while. They seem to think that we will go home about next spring but we can’t tell for there is so many yarns a going here in camp that I can’t believe any of them. I should like to come home and make a good visit but there is no chance until this war is settled. I want to know if my likeness has got home yet. I sent it about two weeks ago. I sent two, one to Olive and the other to father and I have not heard from them yet. I can’t think of any more to write so good-bye. I send my love to all of the children and tell them that I have not forgotten them [even] if I am a good a good ways from home. . . .

On November 16, still at Fort Lyon, William wrote to his “Dear father.”

I now take my pen in hand to let you know that I am well at present and hope these few lines will find you the same. You seem to think hard of me for not writing to you oftener but I write there letters home where I don’t get one in return. I don’t write them all to you to be sure but I send them to Lewis, Nancy, Mother and yourself so you can hear from me in every letter and then I don’t have time to write very often for one day I have to go on guard and stand 8 hours out of 24 and the other 16 I have to stay around the guard house. Then I come off of guard the next day at nine o’clock so I am tired and sleepy and the next day I am on police, that is I have to bring wood and water for the cook and the next day I have to go out in the woods and chop stockades for to build our fort that we are working on here so I don’t have much time to write. You see they keep us pretty busy here all of the time. We don’t have much time to write or to do anything else. We expect to get our pay this week so I will send you some money. I don’t see why you don’t get more letters from me for I have one to you, one to Lewis, one to Mother and one to Nancy about three weeks ago but I have not got any answer from any of them yet. Now when you write to me I get the letter in five days from the time it is mailed. Now I don’t see why you don’t get my letters inside of three weeks from the time it leaves here. I sent my likeness to Olive by [Albert] Sparks about three weeks ago. He got his discharge and went home. I thought that would be the best way for [me] to send it and then have Olive send it up to you. I got a letter from Olive two days ago but it seems she has not been over there to get it yet. I have not got any news to write this time so good bye. This from your son William to his parents Josiah and Charlotte Cobb.

William again wrote home on November 28, while the regiment was still camped at Fort Lyon.

Dear Father, I now take my pen in hand to let you know that I am well at present and hope these few lines will find you the same. I received a letter from Lewis last week and was glad to hear from home for his was the first letter that I have received from home in about two months but I suppose money is pretty hard to get hold of so I cannot blame you for not writing oftener so write as often as you can. I sent you ten dollars last week. It started from our office the 24[th] of Nov so I guess that you have got it by this time. I sent seven postage stamps with the money. I sent a letter to mother about three or four weeks ago but I never have heard whether she got it or not. I sent five or six postage stamps to her so you & mother could write to me. Lewis dud not writher whether she had got it or not. I am going to send you and Lewis some newspapers. I want you to keep them to remember me. We hear of a fight most every day but the news comes in the papers so when I get hold of one that has much news in I will send it home. Our officers seem to think that we have got to go to South Carolina but we can’t tell till we get started to go where we are going. We had a grand review the 21[st] of Nov. There was 70,000 troops to the review [and] they had 118 pieces of cannon & 1800 cavalry. I tell you it was quite a sight to see so many men together and then there was 25,000 spectators on the field too. We had to march about ten miles to get to the review ground but I tell you I did not begrudge the marching. Have you got my likeness yet? I have not heard whether Olive has got them or not. If you ain’t got it I will get it taken again and send it to you. I wrote two letters to you, one about two & the other about 5 weeks ago. Did you get them? No more at present only I still remain your affectionate son William J. Cobb to his parents Josiah & Charlotte Cobb, good-bye

On January 31, 1862, from the regiment’s winter quarters at Camp Michigan in Virginia, William wrote to his “Dear Father”.

I now take this opportunity you inform you that I am well at present and hope these few lines will find you and all the rest of our folks enjoying the same pleasure. The boys are al well here that you are acquainted with. You did not say whether you got that 5 dollars that I sent you or not. I believe I sent it on the fifteenth but I am not sure and I sent my likeness the same time and you did not say whether you had got that yet or not. I got your letter tonight and was very glad to hear from you all but I am sorry to hear that you are not well but I hope you will soon get better and mother too for I live in hope of coming home sometime and I want to see you both again and all the rest of our folks too. I haven’t had a letter from Olive on over a month. I don’t see why she don’t write unless she has forgot she had a brother so far away from home & friends and I haven’t had but one letter from Lewis in about three months now. I don’t see why they don’t write to me. One of our regiments that is in our brigade had a fight with the rebels. They was out on picket and a nigger come in to their post and told them that about 30 rebels was quartered in an old mill some three miles from there so they give the nigger 5 dollars to show them the way there. The colonel took 50 men and went out there and surrounded the house and shot every one of them but one who gave himself up a prisoner. It was in the night and the rebels had a light in the house. Our men fired three volleys into the house and then closed up onto the house. Some of the rebels jumped out of the windows and our men captured them on their bayonets. The rebels killed one and wounded four of our men that had the fight was the 37 regt of N.Y. We have got to go out on picket in the morning. I have wrote this makes four letters to you this month & two to Nancy and I have got two from you & one from Nancy this month. No more at present so good-by. This from your affectionate son, Wm. J. Cobb to his dear parents Josiah and Charlotte Cobb. I send my love to all the children & yourselves likewise. Good-bye WJ Cobb.

And a week later he again wrote to his father in Michigan.

I now take this opportunity to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well at present & hope these few lines may find you & the rest of our folks well. I received your letter the 7th & was very glad to hear that you got that money that I sent you for I began to think that it was lost for it has been over 2 [or 3?] weeks since I sent it. We had a little brush with the secesh last Monday down the river to a village called Occoquan. Cornelius is writing to you so I won’t write the particulars for he is writing them. [vertically in the margin of this page:] do you think my profile looks natural that I sent to you[?] Here is some valentines that I sent to the children. Our troops has taken Fort Henry [and] Cornelius is writing the particulars. I have not much news this time. The boys are all well [and] they send their best respects to you. I got a letter from Olive [his sister] & Lewis; they are well. Lewis is chopping wood for Ed Ferry at five shillings a cord. John is lumbering this winter. He has got in 300 logs; he ain’t got but one team. I don’t hardly think we will get back home by next June but I hope we will. If we get back by next fall it will be sooner than I expect to get back. No more at present. Write soon. This letter from W. J. Cobb to his father Josiah Cobb. Good-bye. I send my love to all. WJC

In the spring of 1862 the Third Michigan along with the rest of the Army of the Potomac started out on the Spring campaign. On April 26, from a camp near Yorktown, Virginia, William (writing on the stationary of the Second New Hampshire Volunteers), wrote home to his father.

I now sit down to write you a few lines to let you know that I am yet in the land of the living & tuff as a buck & fat as a bear & in sight of the rebels & black as an Indian. I will bet the whiskey if we should come home this summer. You would not know me for we are all tanned up as black as Indiana. Well now for the news. The best news is we all got our pay yesterday & I have sent 30 dollars by express to St. Johns for you and Lewis [his brother-in-law?]. Don’t you think this is the best news? I do. Well now for something else. I see fourteen live secesh this morning. Our men charged on one of the rebel batteries about 9 o’clock this morning & took it. Our loss is 3 killed & 20 wounded. I don’t know what the rebel loss is. Our men have been shelling the rebels for 5 or 6 days. They throw a shell every 10 or 20 minutes so as to keep the rebels stirred up. The rebels had a barracks for about 4000 men about half a mile from our pickets. One of our batteries of artillery went out to the pickets & shelled the rebels out. I see some of the shell bursts right in their houses. It tore them all to pieces & killed [a] good many. . . . Our company is running a steam saw mill now, sawing plank to mount some big siege guns to siege out Yorktown. We have got 100 cannon here that carries a 92-pound ball & 5 that carries a 100-pound ball & one that carries a 200 pound shell. . . . Father I will send you a receipt to get that money I sent you. It needs one to get it. I don’t know when you get it I want you to write right back. When you get it you must tear it open at the end so as to preserve the wrapper & then if the money is in all right why then you can do what you are a mind to with it. You must tear it open at the office where you get it & then if the money ain’t in the package why show it to the express agent & I can get it back here for I got a receipt to show that I have sent it. I got a letter from Nancy & Eunice the other day but I ain’t got any stamps & can’t get any here. I wish you would send me some if you get that money. No more this time. Write back soon as you get that money. Wm. J. Cobb to Josiah Cobb, good-by to all.

And some two weeks later, following the actions at Williamsburg, Virginia, William again wrote home to his family (and still writing on the stationary of the Second New Hampshire Volunteers). On May 12, he informed his family,

I now take this opportunity to write you a few lines to let you know that I am alive and well. We had a pretty hard fight at Williamsburg but we whipped the rebels. We lost on our side about 1300 in killed and about 2000 wounded. The rebels lost in killed about 2000 & 3000 wounded. Our men buried 700 of the rebels in one day. I traveled over the battlefield the next day after the battle. I could walk on the dead bodies for half a mile without stepping on the ground. The 2nd Mich lost about 160 in killed & wounded, the 5th lost 200 killed & wounded, the 37th NY lost 200 in killed & wounded, the 3rd Mich lost only one man. Our regt supported a battery of artillery so we was not in the thickest of the fight. Our regt is lucky I think all the men we’ve lost in battle is two killed & 4 or 5 wounded. The battle was fought in an old slashing. The rebels were all through the slashing behind logs, stumps and brush & everything, but our men drove them out but many a poor fellow lost his life doing it. They had 5 forts besides but our men charged on them & drove them out of two of them & by that time it was dark so we laid on our arms all night ready to commence the next morning but the rebels left in the night. They left lots of muskets, cartridge boxes, knapsacks, cannon & everything you could think of. We followed them two days & then we was so tired with marching our general let us rest one day. I expect we will start again today for Richmond where we expect they will make another stand. We are 40 miles from Richmond now. The rebels say we will have a big fight there. I don’t know as you can read this but I can’t get any ink. Father, have you got the money that I sent you? I sent 30 dollars to St. Johns by express for you & sent you a letter to let you know that it was there. I sent it the 26 of April. I haven’t had a letter from home in some time. I wrote for you to send me some stamps but I have got some now so you need not send any. No more this time. Write often & I will write as often as I can for we are marching most all the time. It is so damned hot here we can’t carry anything but our guns and accoutrements & a few other things. W. J. Cobb to his parents, good bye.

William was captured on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, held prisoner and returned to the Regiment on December 8, 1862. On April 21, 1863, he wrote home to his father from Camp Curtin, Virginia.

I now sit down to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well at present & hope these few lines will find you the same. Father I sent you 20 dollars the 16th of this month. Have you got it yet? I sent it in a letter. Well now for the news which ain’t much. We are under marching orders & have been for 6 days but it rained the same night we hot the order so we are waiting for the roads to dry up a little before we start on our campaign. Well that is all the news I can think of just now. For something else Ben Austin has got his discharge, Ira [Austin] is at Chestnut Hill hospital ten miles from Philadelphia. Sam Taylor is here in the hospital. The rest of the boys are all well. I don’t know whether you know any of them or not., I guess you know Thomas Somersett, Isaac Duvernay & Gilbert Cooley. Well I can’t of anything more so Good night. I send my best respects to all, from W. J. Cobb to his father Josiah Cobb.

In September of 1863 William was seriously injured in a railroad accident somewhere between New York and Philadelphia. According to one of the Third Michigan’s Hospital Stewards, Warren Wilkinson, “Our journey back to the army was very pleasant with the exception of an accident, which happened – three men being hurt by a bridge while riding on top of a car. We were obliged to leave them in the hospital at Philadelphia. Their names were Wm. J. Cobb, Third Michigan, John Linsea and John Lakle, Fifth Michigan [it is unclear who these tatter men were]. I have been informed that Cobb and Linsea have since died. They were good soldiers and had passed through all the different battles with their regiments."

Indeed, William was admitted to the Broad and Pine Streets hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where, according to his “Record of Death” he died on September 16 from a “compression of the brain caused by his head coming into contact with a bridge while passing under it.” He was originally buried in Glenwood cemetery but reinterred in the Philadelphia National Cemetery: section B, grave no. 489.

His parents were living in Maple Rapids, Essex Township, Clinton County in 1870. In 1884 his father, a widower was living in Grand Haven, Ottawa County, when he applied for a pension (application no. 317,467).

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.


Frederick P. Bossardett

Frederick P. Bossardett, also known as “Boppardett”, born in 1832, possibly in France.

Frederick apparently came to Kent County from Greenfield, (probably) Wayne County, sometime before the war. In fact, Frederick may have been the same Frederick “Bozardy”, age 28, who, in 1860, was working as a day laborer for the George Knight family in Walker, Kent County. (It is not too far away lived George and Susan Nardin, who were married in Kent County in 1857. Susan’s maiden name was Bosardis and she was born in France in 1836. In 1860 the only other Bosardis’ listed in the Michigan census records were living in Greenfield, Wayne County: 25-year-old James Bosardis, 67-year-old Peter Bosardis, his wife Mary, age 56, and their two children Charles, age 28 and Fredric (?), age 16, all born in France.)

Frederick was 29 years old and probably living in Kent County when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861. He was reported on picket duty during the months of September and October, 1861, and again in January and February of 1862. He may have been wounded in one of his upper legs, and probably taken prisoner on or about July 1, 1862 at Malvern Hill, Virginia. He was soon paroled and sent to the hospital at City Point, Virginia, then transferred to a hospital in New York City where he arrived on July 29 aboard the steamer Commodore; at some point, he suffered the amputation of his wounded leg.

Sometime in August Frederick was hospitalized at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he died of his wounds on either September 1 or 2, 1862, and was buried in Philadelphia National Cemetery: section B, grave 332.