Riverside cemetery Hastings

Isaac J. Walker

Isaac J. Walker was born on January 27, 1815, in Steuben County, New York, the son of Joseph (1783-1840) and Abi (Lamkin, b. 1787).

New Jersey native Joseph married Connecicut-born Abi sometime before 1809 when they were living in Woodhouse, Ontario, Canada. Joseph was a professor of religion for some thirty years (as well as an Elder in the Free Will baptist Church), and taught in Woodhouse for many years. They eventually settled in Steuben County, New York, but at some point they probably returned to Canada: Joseph would die there in 1840 and Abi is buried there in the Woodhouse United Church cemetery (section 1 row V).

Isaac was possibly living in Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada when he married his first wife Margaret Louise Disbrow (1818-1844?) on March 4, 1835, in Woodhouse, Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada, and they had at least four children: Charles Gilbert (b. 1836), Russell L. (b. 1838), Charlotte Matilda (b. 1839) and Isaac James (b. 1841) . They were still living in Ontario by late 1836. (According to one family historian, Isaac James changed his name to James Disbrow sometime after the Civil War, and all of his descendants were thus known by Disbrow. The reasons for this remain unclear. One might conclude that it was to dishonor his father’s name who may have abandoned and/or divorced Isaac James’ mother Margaret.)

He soon moved back to the United States and was living in Steuben County, Indiana when he married his second wife Betsey Pierson on June 9, 1844, in Steuben County. (It is unclear as to what became of Margaret. )

Isaac was married a third time to a Michigan woman by the name of Lena (b. 1818). By 1848 he had moved to Michigan and in 1850 was working as a farmer and living with Lena and two children in Vienna, Genesee County: Isaac (b. 1848) and James (b. 1849).

He was still living in Genesee County when he married his fourth wife Ontario native Harriet Sines (1827-1892) on October 13, 1851, and they had at least two children: Herly (b. 1853) and Marilla (b. 1858).

Isaac stood 5’9” with blue eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was a 46-year-old farmer probably living in Barry County when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861. He was present for duty from July of 1861 through August, on picket duty sometime in September and October, present in November and December of 1861 through April of 1862 and subsequently absent sick in the hospital in Yorktown, Virginia. He was in the convalescent camp at Alexandria, Virginia, from May of 1862 through November, and dropped from the company rolls on December 30, 1862, in compliance with G.O. no. 92 (under the assumption that he had deserted). In fact he had been hospitalized since the end of April or first of May, and at some point was transferred to Chestnut Hill hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was returned to the Regiment (“on paper”) from “desertion” on January 12, 1863, at Philadelphia.

Isaac later claimed that “During the siege of Yorktown” about May 1, 1862, “he was taken sick with a fever and sent to [the] hospital at Yorktown” where he remained for some three or four weeks “and upon his fever leaving him he found himself all crippled up with rheumatism, and after some months in Convalescent Camp at Yorktown was sent north to Philadelphia. As well as he can recollect he reached Chestnut Hill hospital” probably “in fall of 1862, and remained there until discharged by reason of said rheumatism which had become chronic.”

He was in fact discharged on February 7, 1863, for chronic rheumatism and hemorrhoids at West Philadelphia hospital.

After his discharge Isaac returned Michigan, probably to Barry County. By 1870 he was working as a laborer and living with his wife Harriet and two children in North Irving, Irving Township, Barry County. By 1880 Isaac was working as a farmer and living with his wife in Carlton, Barry County.

He may have lived for a while in Eaton County.

In any case, he was living in Hastings, Barry County in 1888, and in Carlton, Barry County in December of 1890 when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. By 1894 he was residing in Wright, Ottawa County.

In 1885 he applied for and received pension no. 316701, drawing $17.00 in 1896.

Isaac died a widower in South Hastings on March 13, 1896, and was buried in Riverside cemetery in Hastings: block G-south, lot no. 43, grave northwest 1/4-2.

James Lee and Merrick D. Reed

James Lee Reed was born on July 10, 1837, in Dundee, Monroe County, Michigan, the son of Peter (1791-1851) and Crusa (Parker, 1802-1878).

In 1839 his family moved from Dundee to Bellevue, Eaton County where, at the age of 16, James worked at the trade of tailor for one winter and then drove a stagecoach for some two years. By 1850 James (known as “Lee”) was attending school with his younger brother Merrick (who would also join the Old Third) and living with their family in Bellevue where his father worked a farm. In 1855 James learned the trade of blacksmith at Bellevue, and after completing his education moved to Hastings, Barry County in 1856.

James married his first wife English-born Sarah Jane “Jennie” Simpson (1839-1913) in February of 1858 or 1859, and they had at least one child, Addie Clara (b. 1860); some years later they adopted a son from the “Protestant Home” in Toledo, Ohio, and named him Fred T. (b. 1867).

In 1860 James was working as a blacksmith and living with his wife and child in Bellevue, and he continued to work at his trade until the war broke out.

James stood 5’11” with dark eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 23 years old and living in Barry County when he enlisted in the Band on June 10, 1861. (About the same time his younger brother Merrick joined Company E.) On July 20, James wrote home and described the recent action of July 18 at Blackburn’s Ford, near Bull Run, Virginia.

Today [July 20] finds us all well. A kind Providence has spared our lives through a terrible battle fought on Thursday [July 18]. Our regiment escaped unharmed except two wounded slightly. One of the wounded is James Beck, son-in-law of R. H. Stilson. The other I do not know. We ran into a regular hornet’s nest, and were driven back by the rebels. The Band marched into the field behind the Regiment. There were about 27,000 of our men, and we do not know how many rebels. Only about 4,000 of our men were engaged in the fight. Our loss is about forty, and it is supposed the rebels have lost a thousand men. -- The fighting was mostly done with cannon. When we were retreating they fired a canister shot at the Band and they struck all around us and passed all about our heads, but we escaped unhurt. The cannon balls passed all about us. We could hear them coming and drop on our faces upon the ground and let them pass over us. I expected every moment to be shot down. The Band has orders to remain, hereafter, with the physicians and help take care of the wounded, so that we shall not be so exposed again.

The N.Y. 12th regiment lost 18, and the Mass 1st, 30 men. . . .

Gen. Scott is here, and he says he is going to take the rebels without losing a man. We should not have lost many men before if Gen. Tyler had obeyed orders, which were not to march any further [sic] than Fairfax, and there await further orders. He want great renown, and lost all.

“Do not believe all you read and hear,” James added. “Our food is crackers, meat and coffee; I want nothing better.”

On August 4 James wrote the editor of the Hastings Banner to praise the boys from Barry County,

I take pleasure of addressing you with a few lines. I am proud to state that the soldiers of Barry Co. and vicinity have proved themselves true to their profession. They profess to be true patriots and their conduct has proven them so. Our noble men from the beautiful little village of Hastings who are honored with office in the Regiment, I am happy to say, during the battle at Bull Run were seen to stand up unshaken by the sound of the enemy’s cannon, and while the balls were whistling on all sides of them, all they seemed to want was to have the command to fire.

I am also happy to state that while other Regiments’ colors were not seen floating, ours, borne by our brave Flag bearer, Mr. W. K. F., [Washington K. Ferris] could have been seen at any moment during the battle waiving proudly over the column of the Mich. 3d. We believe our officers are of the best timber, and know the privates will back them.

Our boys were served up by the sound of well known “Dixie,” played by the Regimental Band, led by Prof. Steeg, late of Detroit, formerly of Cleveland, while entering the battle.

James was discharged “as a member of the band, not as musician” on March 24, 1862, at Hampton, Virginia.

After he was discharged James returned to Michigan where he reentered the service in Company C, Eleventh Michigan cavalry on October 22, 1863, at Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County for 3 years, and was mustered the following day, crediting Hastings, Barry County. The regiment was organized at Kalamazoo and Detroit between October 7 and December 10, 1863. It moved to Lexington, Kentucky December 10-22 and remained on duty there until April 28 when it commenced operations in eastern and then southern Kentucky through the summer in Tennessee by late fall of 1864 and southwestern Virginia by early 1865.

James served in the Regimental band from December of 1863 through April of 1864, in June he was at Catlettsburg, Kentucky guarding government stores, and was mustered out on March 3, 1865, to date December 28, 1864, at Louisville, Kentucky, to accept an appointment in the United States Colored Troops.

He reentered the service as Second Lieutenant in the One hundred twentieth United States Colored Troops, which was organized at Henderson, Kentucky, in October and November of 1864. The regiment was discontinued on June 21, 1865 after serving in various capacities in the Department of Kentucky. James served subsequently as First Lieutenant in Company F, Fifth United States Colored Cavalry, being mustered in as such on June 17, 1865, probably serving on the staff of General Burnbridge; the Regimental rolls to October 31, 1865, show him as absent on special duty with the Regimental band. The regiment had served in Kentucky and southwestern Virginia and was at Camp Nelson until August of 1865 when it was assigned to the Dept. of Arkansas, where it remained on duty until March of 1866.

After some three months on Burnbridge’s staff he was transferred to General Brisbin’s staff at Lexington, Kentucky, where he apparently served in the Regimental band from October through December. He was on a leave of absence in January and February of 1866, when he went home to visit his family, and he returned to duty still sick from a previous bout with malaria and jaundice. His unit had been ordered to Arkansas where they remained until February of 1866 when he resigned due to ill health. He was discharged subsequent to his resignation for malarial poisoning, at Helena, Arkansas to date January 18, 1866. (He would continue to suffer from bouts with malaria for the remainder of his life.)

After he left the army James returned to Barry County. He opened his first blacksmith shop in Hastings at the end of 1866, and continued in business until September of 1883 when he sold out and built another, larger shop. By 1870 he was working as a blacksmith (he owned $1200 worth of real estate) and living with his wife and child in Hastings. By 1880 James was working as a carriage builder and living with his wife and son on Apple Street in Hastings’ Third Ward; also living with them was one Dr. Arnold Bolt.

By 1886 he was engaged in manufacturing lawn seats and piano stools in Plainwell, Allegan County, although he continued to live in Hastings for the remainder of his life working as a blacksmith. That same year he declined to testify for the widow of Jacob Stegg, formerly of the Old Third’s Band, on the grounds that he had no information to provide her.

In 1889 James was living and working as a blacksmith in Hastings, in the Fourth Ward in 1890, in 1894 and by the 1890s was engaged in the manufacture and repair of wagons and carriages, and he was residing in Hastings in 1909, 1911, 1912 and 1914.

He was a widower when he married his Charlotte Barlow Russell (who had been widowed in 1901) on April 29, 1914, in Hastings. By 1920 James and Charlotte were living together in Hastings.

He was a firm Democrat, and served as Alderman for some five years, as supervisor of the Second and Third Wards of Hastings. James was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association and of Grand Army of the Republic Fitzgerald Post No. 125 in Hastings. In 1887 he applied for and received pension no. 400,299.

James died on April 20, 1921, at his home on 228 N. Church Street in Hastings, and, according to cemetery records, was buried on April 22, in Riverside cemetery, Hastings: block A-east, lot no. 11, grave NE 1/4-1; his headstone is next to Sarah’s but no date of death for James is inscribed.

Merrick D. Reed was born on August 3, 1840, in Dundee or Monroe, Monroe County, Michigan, the son of Peter (1791-1851) and Crusa (Parker, 1802-1878).

In 1839 his family moved to Bellevue, Eaton County (although Crusa may have returned to Monroe County when she gave birth to Merrick in 1840). By 1850 Merrick was attending school with his older brother James (known as “Lee” and who would also join the Old Third) and living with their family in Bellevue where his father worked a farm. (Next door lived Levi Booth whose father had remarried a Sarah Reed and who would also join the Old Third.) By 1855 Merrick was living with his family in Bellevue.

Merrick stood 5’11” with gray eyes, auburn hair and a light complexion and was a 21-year-old shoemaker or mechanic probably living in Barry County when he enlisted in Company E on May 10, 1861. (About the same time his older brother James joined the Regimental Band.) Merrick was present for duty through June 30, 1862, and reported AWOL in July and August, although he had probably been hospitalized near Yorktown, Virginia.

Merrick was not carried on the rolls from March of 1863 through May, although according to Andrew Kilpatrick, another member of Company E, Merrick was a Private present for duty in late May of 1863. And subsequent rolls through August 31 show him as present for duty. In September and October he was on detached service, probably as a teamster driving an ammunition train, and he reenlisted on December 23, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Cascade, Kent County.

He was presumably 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, although he was reported was present for duty from January through April 30, 1864. He was transferred to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and was reported as a Corporal when he was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war Merrick returned to Michigan, probably to Bellevue, Clinton County where he was living from about 1865 until about 1870.

He married Ohio native Elizabeth (1844-1928), and they had at least three children: George (b. 1866), Frank (b. 1867) and a daughter (b. 1870).

By 1870 he was working as a shoemaker and living with his wife and three children in Hastings, Barry County (James L. also lived in Hastings that year). By 1880 Merrick was working as a wagon maker and living on Railroad Street in Hastings’ Fourth Ward with his wife and children. He was still living in Hastings with his wife Elizabeth in 1920. In fact, he probably lived in Hastings for the rest of his life (as did his older brother James).

He was living in Hastings in 1883 when he was drawing $2.00 per month for partial loss of his right index finger (pension no. 176, 041, dated October of 1880), in December of 1888 when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association.

In 1889 Merrick was part of the reception committee welcoming his former comrades to the annual reunion of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association held that year in Hastings.

He was living in the First Ward in 1890 and at 418 High Street from 1909-11, and probably in 1912 he was drawing $15.00 per month, and $72.00 by 1921. He was living in Hastings in 1891, in the First Ward in 1894, in Hastings in 1906-1907, 1912 and 1915. In 1920 he was living with his wife Elizabeth in Hastings.

Merrick died on October 3, 1921, and was buried on October 5 in Riverside cemetery, Hastings: block A-west “free ground,” lot no. 38.

In late October his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 911122).

William Paustle - update 5/2/2017

William Paustle was born in 1842, in Ohio, the son of New York native Harriet (b. 1805).

In 1850 William was living with his mother and younger brother Austin and their young sister Antoinette in Bloom, Seneca County, Ohio. (Austin would also enlist in the 3rd Michigan.) By 1860 William was living with his mother and two older brothers Henry and George and younger sister Annetta, in Tiffin, Seneca County, Ohio. William left Ohio, probably with his family and settled in western Michigan. He was working as single farmer and living in Vermontville, Eaton County when he registered for the draft in the summer of 1863.

William stood 5’5” with dark eyes and hair and a light complexion and was 22 years old and probably a mechanic working in Barry County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company E on January 27, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Barry County, and was mustered January 28. He joined the Regiment on February 10, and was transferred to Company E, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He was wounded on June 16, probably near Petersburg, Virginia, subsequently hospitalized and discharged on July 28, 1865, at Trenton Barracks, New Jersey.

After the war William returned to western Michigan.

He married to Michigan Adelia McMurray (1841-1912), on January 1, 1863 in Barry County, and they had at least four children: Harriet or Hattie (b. 1867), William L. (d. July of 1871), Irving (b. 1872) and William F. (b. 1876).

By 1870 he was working as a railroad laborer and living with his wife and daughter in Hastings, Barry County. By 1880 he was working as a laborer and living with his wife and children on Railroad Street in Hastings. He was living in Hastings in 1883, 1884, 1888, and 1890; by 1894 he was living in Hastings’ 2nd ward. In 1900 he was working as an engineer in a grist mill and living with his wife in Hastings; also living with hem was their son Irving and daughter-in-law Maud In 1910 he was living on East Grand Street in Hastings’ 2nd Ward with his wife Adelia and their grandson Leon Paustle. By 1911 he was living at 735 East Grand Street. He was living in Hastings in 1916.

He married New York native Elizabeth A. (1838-1922).

By 1920 William and Elizabeth were living together in Hastings.

He was a member of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association and in 1869 he applied for and received pension no. 105,883, drawing $10.00 in 1883 for an injured abdomen.

William was probably a widower when he died on September 4, 1923, presumably in Hastings, and was buried on September 5 in Riverside cemetery, Hastings: block G-south, lot no. 19, grave NW 1/4-3. Both his wives are buried with him.

Philander J. Myers

Philander J. Myers was born on October 5, 1844, in New York, the son of Henry S. (b. 1812) and Eliza (b. 1812).

Philander’s parents were both born in New york and presumably married there, probably sometime before 1834; in any case they resided in New York for many years. Henry eventually took his family and moved west, settling in Michigan. By 1860 Philander was attending school, living with his family and working for Thomas Shtoft in Hastings, Barry County.

He was 16 years old and probably still living in Barry County when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861. He was admitted to E Street hospital in Washington, DC, on November 15 where he remained through at least early December. In August of 1862 he was reported as an officer’s waiter, and on January 18, 1863, he was transferred to the Third United States artillery at Camp Pitcher, Virginia.

After the war Philander returned to Michigan, eventually settling back into Barry County.

He was married to New York native Eunice (b. 1846).

By 1870 he was working as a farmer and living with his wife in Hastings, Barry County; his brother John and father Henry both lived near by.

In 1867 he applied for a pension (no. 126846) based on his service in the U.S. artillery.

Philander died of “lung fever” on May 8, 1877, probably in Hastings. He was buried on May 11 in Riverside cemetery, Hastings: block A-west, “free ground,” lot no. 60. (Two other individuals apparently share the same lot with him: Nellie, died at the age of 12 in 1871, and Donald died in 1910 at the age of 1 week.)

Israel S. Geer

Israel S. Geer, also known as “Greer” and “Gear,” was born in 1826, possibly in Sheldon, Genesee County, New York and possibly the son of Israel T.

Both of Israel’s parents were reportedly born in Vermont. Israel S. was probably living in Sheldon, New York in 1840. By 1849 he had settled in Hastings, Barry County, Michigan where by 1850 he was working as a clerk and either living with or employed by an innkeeper named Nathan Barlow. Israel was married to Michigan-born Margaret Young (d. 1859), and they possibly had one or perhaps two children: Nellie (b. 1855) and possibly also Willie (b. 1856). In any case, both children were living in Hastings in 1860 with their maternal grandmother, Nancy Young and her family

He was 35 years old and probably living in the Hastings area, Barry County, Michigan, when he was elected Third Sergeant of the Hastings Rifle Company in April of 1861. Although the company was disbanded shortly after it arrived in Grand Rapids to become part of the Third Michigan infantry then forming at Cantonment Anderson just south of the city, Israel eventually enlisted as a Sergeant in Company D on May 13, 1861. He was soon afterwards detached as Sergeant Major.

Israel was promoted to Second Lieutenant of Company C on August 1, 1861, replacing Lieutenant Felix Zoll who had been promoted, and on December 25, 1861, Geer was promoted to Captain from Second Lieutenant, replacing Lieutenant Max von Kraus. He was present for duty from January of 1862 until March 28, 1862 when he was admitted to the Chesapeake hospital at Fortress Monroe, suffering from febris remittens (fever), and he returned to duty on April 18. However, on April 27 he was admitted to the Third Corps hospital at Yorktown suffering from dysentery, but was returned to the Regiment three days later. He was present for duty through December of 1862, in January of 1863 was on a leave of absence and was subsequently under arrest for overstaying his leave.

On February 11, Lieutenant Colonel Byron Pierce, then commanding the Third Michigan, wrote to the acting assistant Adjutant General in Washington, requesting Geer “be ordered before the military board, he having been absent on leave for fifteen days and having overstayed his leave seven (7) days.”

On March 9, 1863, Assistant Adjutant General Thomas Vincent wrote to Pierce informing him “The proceedings of the Court of the case of Captain I. S. Geer, of your Regt are approved by the Secretary of War. The bar to his receiving pay is hereby removed.” It is unclear what the “proceedings” consisted of or what had transpired in the case, but it seems fairly certain that Geer received a Regimental court martial for overstaying his leave. He was present for duty from March through June, 1863, and was detached on July 27 for recruiting service in Grand Rapids where he arrived on or about the first of August, assigned to “commanding organizations of detachments for old Regiments.” He was still reported in September as being in command of Company C.

On February 6, 1864, Israel was relieved from “duty in charge of barracks” and “ordered to report to Detroit and await the arrival of a detachment en route to the Army of the Potomac, which he will join and proceed to join his Regiment on March 8, 1864.” The detachment “was ordered forward March 11, 1864,” but on March 1 Geer sought a medical leave of absence, and he asked Dr. B. Gilman, post surgeon at the draft depot in Grand Rapids, to provide him with a certificate. Gilman wrote that he found Geer to be suffering from ‘valvular heart disease” and not ready to resume his military duties for at least another ten days. By March 21 Geer was back with the Regiment when he wrote to one of the staff officers at Third Corps requesting permission to visit the Irish Brigade in the Second Corps “on important private business.”

On May 6, 1864, Israel was commanding Company C when he was severely wounded in the right leg and taken prisoner at the battle of the Wilderness, Virginia. In fact, several days after he had been captured his leg was amputated. George Lemon of Company H wrote home on July 6 saying that Geer had been taken prisoner at the Wilderness, and Dan Crotty of Company F wrote after the war that at the Wilderness Captain Geer “received a severe wound, and had to be left to the tender mercies of the enemy, driving us over the same ground they had to skeedaddle over only a short time before.”

According to one source, “His wound was received very peculiarly. He was standing in line of battle in the place assigned a company commander of infantry, directly in the rear of the first sergeant. A minnie ball struck the sergeant in the leg, causing him to fall and giving him a wound from which he lost a leg. The same ball passed through the sergeant’s leg and struck Capt. Geer in the leg, causing a wound that cost him also his leg, if we remember rightly. Both men recovered after much suffering.”

Geer was subsequently confined at Lynchburg, Virginia, Macon, Georgia, and at Libby prison in Richmond. He was taken from Staunton, Virginia, to Richmond on September 8. It is assumed Israel was transferred as a prisoner-of-war to the Fifth Michigan infantry on June 10, 1864, when the Third and Fifth were consolidated into one regiment.

Theodore Castor of Company C had also been wounded and taken prisoner at the Wilderness, and many years after the war Castor described how he found Captain Geer in the prison at Lynchburg. As several of his comrades helped him out of the wagon when the got to the prison (he too had suffered an amputated leg) “the first thing I noticed was that somebody was calling my name. I looked around and up and I saw Captain I. S. Greer [Geer] who had lost his right leg the same time I did and whom I had not seen or heard of since the day we were wounded at the Wilderness, and it sounded like a voice from home.”

During his stay at Lynchburg, Castor had struck up a relationship with one of the local women in Lynchburg, Lydia Hicks, and she visited him regularly at the prison.

I and my companions had a good time from that time on. The girls [Lydia and her sister] and Nero [their servant] kept us supplied with reading matter and a daily paper printed on brown tea paper -- the size of a sheet of legal cap, and a full meal for the three of us every night. And in a few days I found out where the extra dish that Nero fetched in every night went to. Nero made a mistake and handed me the wrong letter and when I read it early in the morning I found out that it was directed to Captain I. S. Greer [Geer] who was in another room on the same floor and Captain of my company, and found out that he was corresponding with Lydia's sister. After I had been there about a month Lydia's mother came one day to the office and pleaded with Doctor Drummers for permission to come and visit us and as it was against the rules for anybody to visit us, she failed but got a promise and Doctor told her what day to come back when he would be at liberty and he would take her around. So when the appointed day came she was on hand and her and the Doctor came up. The Doctor took out his watch and give her ten minutes time to talk to us and pleaded with him and got his consent that if she got two pair of crutches and give them to Nero that he would see that I and Captain Greer [Geer] got them, when he called up Nero and told him when he got the crutches to bring them to his office and he would see that we got them all right as the guards wasn't allowed to let anything pass through the line what was intended for the prisoners.”

Castor was subsequently transported from Lynchburg to a variety of other prisons throughout the south before ending up in Richmond awaiting parole.

And one morning we were turned out and told that those that were able to walk to work their way to the steamboat which lay below the Navy Yard and about one mile from Libby Prison. And those that wasn't able they hauled there. When I got to the boat I heard somebody call my name and looking up saw Captain I. S. Greer [Geer] waving his hand to me. He had stayed in Lynchburg all this time and had come from there that morning, and when I got to him he told me all about the good times he had with the Hicks family. And all I could tell him was that I seen more of the C.S. and more hardships and spent more money than any body on the boat.

Israel was paroled at Varina, Virginia on September 12, 1864, and admitted to Division no. 1 general hospital at Annapolis, Maryland on September 14 with a gunshot wound to the right thigh lower third. He was transferred as a paroled prisoner-of-war on September 20 to the general hospital at Camp Parole, Maryland, and given a leave of absence for 48 hours to visit Washington on September 20. He reported back to Camp Parole on September 21, and was mustered out of service the same day.

After he was mustered out Geer returned to western Michigan, and by October was in Grand Rapids. Captain Geer “is again with us,” wrote the Grand Rapids Eagle on October 27, “and though minus a leg lost in the service of his country, under the old flag, he had not lost any of his patriotism nor love of country, and will, we understand, return to duty in some department of the service as soon as he gets a cork walker to take the place of the lost portion of his leg.” According to the Evening Leader, “it was the custom of Capt. Geer and Sergeant Castor to take turns carrying that wicked minnie ball, a year at a time. It is considerably flattened and deformed from striking the bones of its brave victim[s].”

He was back in Hastings by March 25, 1865, and he married his second wife, Mary L. Young (1843-1926), on May 28, 1865; he was 39 years old she 22. (She was most likely the sister of his first wife Margaret Young; both are buried in the same lot as Israel.)

By 1870 Israel was working as a farmer (he owned $12,000 worth of real estate and another $1,000 in personal property) and living with his wife Mary and his two children in Hastings. (His daughter Nellie was working as a domestic.) Israel was living in Hastings in 1874, and on Broadway in the Fourth Ward in 1880 working as the Justice of the Peace and living with his wife and his daughter Nellie. Indeed, he probably lived in Hastings the rest of his life. By 1881 Israel was a police justice in Hastings.

In 1865 Israel applied for and received a pension (no. 43971). He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. Politically, he was a member of the Greenback Party.
Israel died of Asiatic cholera on August 7, 1881 in Hastings, and was buried on August 8 in Riverside cemetery, Hastings: block A-south, lot no. 4, grave NW 1/4-1; see photo G-296.

His widow was residing in Michigan in 1885 (?) when she applied for and received a pension (no. 255939). By 1889 she had moved to Grand Rapids and was living at 50 state Street; the following year she was residing at 82 Charles Street. However, by 1926 she was living at 119 N. Broadway in Hastings where she died.

Samuel Smith Garrison

Samuel Smith Garrison was born May 26, 1836 in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, New York, or Lodi, Seneca County, New York, the son of Robert Tate Garrison (1811-1867) and Jane Eliza (Dubois, 1815-1885).

His parents were married in Seneca County, New York in 1833 and settled first in Lodi, Seneca County, in Poughkeepsie in 1836 and then back to Lodi where they lived for some years. Robert moved his family from Lodi to Tompkins County, New York in 1843 and then on to Michigan in 1854 eventually settling in Baltimore, Barry County, by 1857. By 1860 Samuel was living and working with his family in Baltimore, Barry County where his father operated a substantial farm.

Samuel was 25 years old, stood 5’7” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and probably working as a carpenter and living in Hastings, Barry County when he enlisted in the Hastings Rifle Company in April of 1861. The company was disbanded shortly after it arrived in Grand Rapids and its members distributed to other companies of the Third Michigan infantry then forming at Cantonment Anderson just south of the city, and Samuel eventually enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861.

He was reported as a Regimental teamster in July of 1862, was soon detached from the Regiment in August, probably to Brigade headquarters, and from September through December was employed as a teamster in the Brigade wagon trains. By February of 1863 he was a teamster at Third Corps headquarters, was back serving in the Brigade trains from March to April, and was a teamster for the Corps from May through July. He was a teamster serving with the First Division ammunition wagon train from September of 1863 through May of 1864, and was mustered out on June 20, 1864, at Detroit.

After he left the army Samuel eventually returned to Barry County where, with the exception for about three years he spent in Detroit, he lived the rest of his life.

Samuel married Vermont native Emily or Emma A. Palmer (1843-1907) on August 20, 1865, in Baltimore, Barry County and they had at least five children: Mason (b. 1866), John (b. 1870), Sarah M. (b. 1871), Jay (b. 1874) and Edna (b. 1873).

By 1870 he was working as a farmer (he owned $1000 worth of real estate) and living with his wife and children in Baltimore, Barry County. He probably resided in Baltimore Township during the 1870s. He eventually settled back in Hastings and was living in the Second Ward in 1880, working as a carpenter and living with his wife and children. He was residing in the First Ward in 1890 and the Second Ward in 1894. (In fact, in 1890 Samuel was living near Henry Bailey, who had served in Company F, Third Michigan.) In 1911 he was residing at 528 Dibbs, in 1921 at 820 Michigan Avenue, in 1923 at 620 N. C Street and in 1925 at 520 N. East Street and in 1927 at 320 N. East Street; indeed he probably lived in Hastings until he died in 1927.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association and Grand Army of the Republic Fitzgerald Post No. 125 in Hastings. In 1889 he applied for and received a pension (no. 504619).

Samuel was probably a widower and probably died on or about September 7, 1927, and he was buried on September 8 in Riverside cemetery, Hastings: block F-south, lot no. 6.

Washington Knapp Ferris

Washington Knapp Ferris was born 1819 in New York.

Washington was married to his first wife, New York native Mary Jane (b. 1828), probably in New York, and they had at least one child Viola (b. 1847).

He moved to Michigan, probably from New York, sometime before 1847, and by 1850 he was working as a farmer (he owned some $3000 worth of real estate) and living with his wife and daughter in Emmet, Calhoun County. By 1860 Washington was a farmer and a merchant living with his second wife, New York native Catharine M. (b. 1834), in Rutland, Barry County. Besides the daughter from his first marriage, he also had two other children: Ciola (b. 1853) and Mary (b. 1857), both girls were born in Michigan. (It is not known what became of his first wife Mary.)

Washington stood 5’9” with blue eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was 42 years old and still living in Barry County, probably in the Hastings area, when he was elected First Lieutenant of the Hastings Rifle Company in April of 1861. Although the company was disbanded shortly after it arrived in Grand Rapids to become part of the Third Michigan infantry then forming at Cantonment Anderson just south of the city, Washington eventually enlisted in Company E on May 13, 1861.

Apparently there were rumors around Hastings that Washington had thrown the regimental colors away during the battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861. However, according to Isaac Reed, also from Hastings and formerly of the Third Michigan but on detached duty as Brigade wagoner, in fact Ferris suffered a sunstroke on Thursday, July 18, when the Regiment first engaged the enemy at Blackburn’s Ford, near Bull Run, but was soon back on duty and participated honorably with the regiment on July 21.

Washington was discharged for hemorrhoids on November 19, 1861, at Fort Lyon, Virginia. He returned to western Michigan where he reentered the service as Captain in Company D, Third Michigan infantry (reorganized), commissioned on July 29, 1864 and mustered at Grand Rapids on September 10, crediting Rutland. He was under arrest as of December 4, 1864, reason(s) unknown, but he resigned from army soon afterwards. On February 28, 1865, while in camp near Huntsville, Alabama, Ferris wrote in his resignation that “I do not consider myself competent to discharge the duties of the office” of company commander. There is no known record of what prompted his resignation or what exactly was the nature of his “incompetency.” His resignation was accepted by Headquarters, Department of the Cumberland on March 12, 1865.

After he resigned from the army Washington probably returned to Michigan, but by 1883 he was apparently residing in Arizona when applied for a pension (no. 452232), although the certificate was never granted. In fact at one time he operated a saloon in Arizona in the late 1880s in either Arizona or New Mexico. Washington eventually returned to Michigan, however, and was living in Hastings, Barry County in 1890, and indeed he lived most of his postwar years in the Hastings area.

He became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association in December of 1889, and was also a member of the Grand Army of the Republic Fitzgerald Post No. 125 in Hastings.

Washington died in Hastings on January 5, 1892, and was buried on January 7 in Riverside cemetery, Hastings: block B-south, lot no. 9, grave northwest 1/4-1; see photo G-291.

John Henry and Thomas Burk

John Henry Burk, also known as “Burke”, was born April 1, 1843, in Brockport, Monroe County, New York, the son of John (1812-1883) and Bridget (1807-1874).

John and Bridget left Ireland and immigrated first to England and the on to the United States. By 1842 they were living in Massachusetts and eventually settled in western Michigan. By 1860 John H. was attending school and living with his family, including an older brother Thomas who would also join the Third Michigan, in Rutland, Barry County.

John (younger) stood 5’9” with hazel eyes, brown hair and light complexion and was an 18-year-old farm laborer probably living with his family in Barry County when he enlisted in Company E on February 8, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered the same day, crediting Stronach, Manistee County. (His older brother Thomas Burk who would enlist in Company E on February 24.) John joined the Regiment on March 23, and was transferred to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, where he was reported absent sick through November.

In fact he suffered from acute diarrhea during most of September and was apparently stricken with typhoid fever in October. He was furloughed on October 25, 1864 and returned to the regiment (at least one paper) on December 2, 1864. He was reportedly transferred on May 12, 1865, but it is not known to what entity. In any case he was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana, and eventually returned to western Michigan.

After the war John eventually returned to his family’s home in Barry County, and by 1870 he was working as a farm laborer (along with his older brother Thomas) and living with his parents in Hastings.

In 1878 he married Michigan native Jennie Gurnish (1858-1900) in Hastings, and they had at least one child: John Henry (1878-1963)

In 1880 John was working as a laborer and living with his wife and son and they were all living with Jennie’s father Amer E. Gurnish on Clinton Street in Hastings; John’s family lived a few doors away. He was still living in Hastings, Barry County in 1888, 1890, 1898 and in 1900.

He may have been a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association (his death was mentioned in the association records).

In 1890 John was living in Michigan when he applied for and received a pension (no. 536778).
John died on November 17, 1906, presumably in Hastings, and was buried on November 18 in Riverside cemetery, Hastings: block B-west “free ground”, lot no. 4, grave southeast 1/4-2. (His parents, wife and son are all buried in Riverside cemetery as well.)

Thomas Burk, also known as “Burke”, was born 1840 in Lancashire, England, the son of John (1812-1883) and Bridget (1807-1874).

John and Bridget left Ireland and immigrated first to England and then on to the United States. By 1842 they were living in Massachusetts and eventually settled in western Michigan. By 1860 Thomas was working as a laborer and living with his family, including a younger brother John who would also join the Third Michigan, in Rutland, Barry County.

Thomas stood 5’7” with gray eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was a 24-year-old farmer living in Hastings or Maple Grove, Barry County when he enlisted in Company E on February 24, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered the same day. (His brother John H. had enlisted in Company E on February 8, 1864.)

Thomas reportedly joined the Regiment on April 4 at Brandy Station, Virginia, but spent little if any time on duty with the Third and was absent sick in the hospital from May through June. In fact according to one postwar report he entered Harewood hospital in Washington, DC, on April 30, 1864 suffering from pleurisy and was subsequently admitted to Knight’s hospital in Connecticut from Harewood on May 11. 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 remained absent sick through June of 1865. He was subsequently admitted to McDougall hospital in New York City on January 5, 1865, and then transferred to Harper Hospital in Detroit on April 28, 1865, suffering from “valvular disease of the heart”. He was mustered out from the hospital on May 27, 1865, at Detroit.

Thomas eventually returned to his family’s home in Barry County and was living in Hastings in 1868. By 1870 he was working as a farm laborer (along with his younger brother John) and living with his parents in Hastings.

Thomas married a widow, 54-year-old New York native Mrs. Elsie R. Maynard (b. 1823), on January 16, 1878, in Hastings.

By 1880 Thomas was working as a a laborer and living with his wife on Jefferson Street in Hastings.

In 1868 Thomas applied for and received a pension (no. 105186), drawing $8 per month by 1883.

Thomas died of lung disease and dropsy at his home in Hastings on November 7, 1883, and was buried in Riverside cemetery, Hastings: : block B-west “free ground”, lot no. 4 , grave northwest 1/4-1. (Both his parents as well as his brother John are also buried in the same lot.)

His widow Elsey was still living in Michigan in December of 1883 when she applied for and received a pension (no. 206641).

Cornelius Henry Barkhuff

Cornelius Henry Barkhuff was born 1817 or 1820 in Montgomery, Orange County, New York, possibly the son of William and Rhoda (Cummings).

If he was the son of William and Rhoda his parents were both born in New York and married sometime before 1812.

In any case, Cornelius married New York native Arvilla J. or G. (1827-1865), possibly in New York, and they had at least five children: Edgar A. (b. 1846) , Casper (b. 1849), William (b. 1853), Martha (b. 1854) and Willard (b. 1859).

Cornelius eventually left New York and by 1846 he had settled his family in Michigan. By 1850 Cornelius and his family were living in Albion, Calhoun County, with the Kesley family and where Cornelius worked as a laborer. By 1860 Cornelius was working as a farmer and living with his wife (who was blind) and children in Prairieville, Barry County.

Cornelius stood 5’7’” with blue eyes, brown hair and a fair complexion and was 46 years old and working as a farmer possibly living in Barry County when he enlisted in Company E on December 18, 1863, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Barry County; he was mustered on January 5, 1864, at Grand Rapids. Cornelius joined the Regiment on February 10, and was transferred to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan infantry Regiments on June 10, 1864, when he was reported absent sick.

According to his military service record, Cornelius was sent back to Michigan to recover his health and was a patient in the Detroit Barracks hospital when he was admitted with chronic diarrhea to Harper hospital in Detroit on October 13, 1864. Although reportedly returned to duty from Harper hospital on November 28, 1864, for reasons which remain unexplained he was in fact transferred to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and remained on the sick list until he was discharged on June 5, 1865 at Satterlee hospital, Philadelphia.

However, Cornelius claimed in 1885 that “after the battle of Spotsylvania [on May 12, 1864] on the march to Coal [Cold] Harbor in 1864 [he] was first sent to hospital at White House Landing, Va. It was a tent or field hospital [and he] was sick from chronic diarrhea and fever. [He] was transferred from there to Washington, DC, Lincoln Hospital [and] from there sent Harwood Hospital ward 7, I think. I was very sick for six weeks or more. I think I was from there sent to Philadelphia . . . to be treated for sore eyes [but] can't tell how long I was in that hospital. But was sent from there to Detroit Mich[igan] and was there treated for sore eyes was in Harpers Hospital think it was ward 4.” He further stated that from Harper Hospital he was returned to Virginia and sent to Camp Distribution, probably near Alexandria. He was again transferred to Harwood Hospital in Washington and back to Philadelphia where he was discharged as noted above.

Following his discharge from the army Cornelius returned to Michigan, probably to Barry County. He was probably living in Hastings, Barry County when he married his second wife, New York native Marian Mosher (1834-1917), and they had at least two children, Ada (1867-1939) and Nellie (b. 1869). (His first wife reportedly died while Cornelius was away in the army in 1865.)

By 1870 Cornelius was working as a farmer and living with his wife in Orangeville, Barry County. Also living with them were his two sons William and Willard, as well as two teenage siblings John and Alice Gillespie (possibly the children of Marian).

Cornelius was living in Prairieville, Barry County in 1873, when he testified in the pension claim of another former member of the Old Third, Reuben Babcock (also from Barry County). In 1880 he was reported as married and was living in Prairieville with the family of Jesse Chase, and working as a farm laborer. He resided in Hastings, Barry County where for some years where he worked as a farmer. Cornelius was living in Prairieville, Barry County in 1884 when he attended the Sixth Annual Reunion of the Soldiers and Sailors, at Battle Creek, Calhoun County. Interestingly he is listed with the Fifth Michigan infantry rather than those in the Third.

In May of 1889 Marian divorced Cornelius (she claimed he had deserted her) and he married for a third time, on January 10, 1893, to a widow by the name of Delia A. Thomas McCluer, in Hastings, Barry County.

He resided at various times in Orangeville, Barry County and in 1890 he was living in Richland, Kalamazoo County.

Cornelius was a member of G.A.R. Sackett Post No. 320 in Prairieville. In 1885 he applied for and received a pension (no. 346,844).

Cornelius was back living in Hastings where he died on May 13, 1898, and was buried on May 14, 1898 in Riverside cemetery, Hastings: block L-north, lot no. 74, grave northeast 1/4-1, having been removed from block G, lot no. 33.

His widow applied for a pension (no. 677036) but the certificate was never granted.