Taylor cemetery Ganges

Nelson Davis UPDATE 2018

Nelson T. Davis was born in 1837, the son of David Davis and Vermont-born Susan Smith (1803-1903).

David and Susan were married in Waterville, Vermont on May 8, 1829. By 1840 David L. Davis was living in Adams, Ohio. The family eventually left Ohio and by 1860 Susan was living with her daughter Ann and her husband Oliver Carman and their family in Ganges, Allegan County, Michigan. Next door lived Nathaniel Plummer; his daughter Pamelia would eventually marry Nelson’s younger brother David.

Nelson was 24 years old and probably living in Ganges when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861, along with his brother David (known as Lyman). They may have been related to Washington Davis of Company A (his father’s name was Nelson).

David and Nelson were among the second wave of recruits to come out of Ottawa County and did not in fact enlist until the end of May, along with Albert Hamlin, Calvin Hall, Joseph Payne, Albert Gardner, James Rhodes, Perry Goshorn, Sylvester Gay, Joseph Solder (Josiah Schuler), Quincy Lamereaux, William Suret and John Ward.

Sometime during 1861 Nelson was struck down with measles. (His brother David also suffered from measles in July of 1861.) He eventually recovered (as did his brother) and was on duty with the regiment when it participated in the opening phases of McClellan’s Peninsular Campaign in Virginia in the spring of 1861. On May 29th Nelson wrote home to his mother,

It is not much that I have to write this time. I received yours of the 13th last night; it found me in good health and I hope this will find you all as well as it leaves me. You wanted me to help you to a pair of light shoes. Now I would do it if I had the money. From the time we left Yorktown till within a few days I bought my own living for I was sick and could not eat government food. We shall get our pay before many days and when we get it I will send the required amount. I shall not write anything of our late movements for it has been forbidden and I think it . . . is not our business to write home what is transpiring here. It is warm and pleasant here; corn is large enough to hoe; wheat is headed out; string beans are ripe. The season of cherries will soon be at hand and then I will enjoy myself while they last. I was sick with the measles last year when they was ripe. L. [his brother Lyman] has just got back from the spring with some cool water and I feel like indulging to the extent of a canteen full or less. I expect that you will see me at home sometime in July provided we both live for it is my opinion that the game of Rebellion is nearly played out. We made a point [?] at Williamsburg and we will shank [?] them at Richmond.

Well I have wrote more than I expected when I commenced but my head is not quite empty so I will . . . write a little more. The Allegan boys are all here and they are all well. Harry Campion has been promoted to a corporalship.

I guess that I won’t write much more for I am tired of writing; write often I will write when I can. Love to all and keep a share to yourself.

Nelson added a postscript to his brother-in-law “Oll” (Oliver Carman):

I shan’t write to you until you write to me. Oll you had better enlist; Uncle Sam gives us two drinks of good whiskey every day [although] I don’t indulge; he also gives us plenty of hard bread, bacon, sugar and coffee, also plenty of beans. Lyman and I carry a three-quart dish to cool beans in; we can eat the full of it at one meal and wish that it held more. I was pretty hard up for nearly a month but I am well now. I hope that you are in as good health as your humble writer. Well Oll I will close for this time. Write soon. I remain your affectionate brother, Nelson.

Nelson was killed in action on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia. His remains were returned to Michigan and he was interred in Taylor cemetery, Ganges, Allegan County; buried next to him is his mother Susan and near him is his brother David.

In February of 1863 his mother applied for and received a pension (no. 146670). In 1870 Susan was living with the Richard Ames family in Saugatuck, Allegan County.

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Alfred M. Gardner UPDATE 2018

Alfred M. Gardner was born 1839 in Perry, Wyoming County, New York, the son of Alanson (b. 1801) and Marillinette (b. 1808).

Alfred’s parents were both born in New York and presumably married there sometime before 1829. By 1850 Alanson was working as a carpenter and Alfred was living with his family and attending school with three of his younger siblings in Perry, New York. Alfred eventually left New York and moved west, settling in western Michigan by 1860 when he was a lumberman and farm laborer working for and/or living with Dennis Sutherland, a farmer in Ganges, Allegan County.

Alfred stood 5’9” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was 22 years old and still residing in Allegan County when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861. According to one source, he was among the second wave of recruits to come out of Ottawa County and did not in fact enlist until the end of May, along with Albert Hamlin, Calvin Hall, Nelson Davis and David Davis, Joseph Payne, James Rhodes, Perry Goshorn, Sylvester Gay, Joseph Soler (Josiah Schuler), Quincy Lamereaux, William Suret and John Ward.

He was wounded by a gunshot to his leg above the knee at about 4:00 p.m. on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and was subsequently hospitalized as a consequence. By early August he was a patient at the hospital on David’s Island in the East River, New York harbor. He was still a patient at David’s Island when he wrote home to his parents on October 5, 1862.

Dear parents,

I received your some time ago and I hope you will pardon me for not answering sooner. At present my health is very good. The abscess on my head is nearly healed up and my wound has healed nicely but my thigh is quite sore and I am still obliged to use a cane. It will be some time yet before I shall be able to join the regiment again. The doctor says he is afraid that my head will break out the second time but I do not think I shall have any farther [sic] difficulty from that source. I do not know whether all hospitals have the same rules and regulations in regard to money, clothing, watches etc. belonging to deceased soldiers or not but I think it is a general rile throughout the U.S. which is the same one as the one in this hospital. When a soldier dies in this hospital every thing is carried to headquarters to the surgeon in charge for safekeeping. His money, watch, etc. if he has any is put into a safe furnished for that purpose and his clothing is packed, labeled and sent to the storeroom. A memorandum of both is taken and sent to his friends or relatives to know what disposal shall be made of them and they are dispose of according to the wishes of his friends. You may perhaps ask how do they know where to direct to his friends.

When a soldier enters a hospital the recording clerk comes around takes your name, co., regiment, place of enlistment, age, rank, married or single, and where to direct a letter to his friends. He also inquires if they have any money or other valuables you wish to deposit with the surgeon in charge. If they have he takes them to headquarters and the head surgeon gives them a receipt. After this is done he brings around cards and nails up to the head of each one’s bed with their name, co., regiment, disease and the time they are admitted into the hospital. You will see that after they are through asking questions they know very near as much about a soldier as he knows himself.

I think perhaps they have written to some of his Spencer’s relatives. You can find out by writing to the surgeon in charge of U.S. Hospital at Harrisburg Landing. There [is] nothing on the Island but a hospital. When I first came to the Island there was but one house here and that was a dwelling house. The soldiers were quartered in tents. Since that time the government has expended about $25,000 for hospital buildings and they still keep building. There are at present about 1,500 [men] quartered in tents and as many more quartered in the new buildings that are finished. I heard today that we were all going to be moved from the tents to the buildings before the 15th of this month on account of the cold weather. W have just had our equinoxial rain storm and that together with the cold sea breeze off the Long Island Sound has made the tents very uncomfortable for the past week.

We are not allowed to leave the Island unless we have a pass from the surgeon in charge. They will not grant a pass for only six days. This one reason why I have not made Henry a visit and another is I have not the funds to make the trip. I have 7 months pay due me which I am expecting to get in a few days.

It is quite pleasant here on the Island. All the vessels and steamers going to Boston, New Haven, and Portland also the steamships going to England pass within half a mile of the Island. The Great Eastern has passed here three times since I have been here. I have heard nothing of Perry Goshorn being wounded the second time. In regard to the subject you spoke of the latter part of your letter I will simply say that I have never laid up any hardness towards you. I should [have] liked very much to have been there and seen Dennis [Sutherland?] shake. I should [have] had a hearty laugh to [have] heard his teeth chatter. I could have paid him off in his own coin. Give my love to all, yours truly, Alfred

Alfred remained hospitalized until he was discharged for “deafness” as well as a “flesh wound,” on December 31, 1862.

Following his discharge Alfred returned to Allegan County, probably settling in Ganges.

He married Ohio native Lydia A. (1841-1924), on November 23, 1864, in Otsego, Allegan County.

Alfred died on November 14, 1865, at Saugatuck, Allegan County. He was buried in Taylor cemetery, Ganges next to two of his sisters (Lydia is also buried with him).

In 1870 his parents were residing in Allegan village, Allegan County. By 1880 Lydia was working as a schoolteacher and living with Alfred’s brother John and his family in Pine Plains, Allegan County.

In 1886 his widow, who was living in Michigan, applied for and received a pension (no. 290083), drawing $30 per month by 1924. She was living in Otsego, Allegan County in 1890. It is likely that she lived in Allegan County the rest of her life.
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David Lyman Davis update 2018

David Lyman Davis was born September 7, 1838, in Adams, Seneca County, Ohio, the son of David Davis and Vermont-born Susan Smith (1803-1903).

David and Susan were married in Waterville, Vermont on May 8, 1829. By 1840 David Davis was living in Adams, Ohio. Susan and her family eventually left Ohio and by 1860 Susan was living with her daughter Ann and her husband Oliver Carman and their family in Ganges, Allegan County, Michigan. Next door lived Nathaniel Plummer; his daughter Pamelia would eventually marry David Lyman.

David stood 5’9” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 22 years old and residing in Allegan County when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861, along with his older brother Nelson. They may have been related to Washington Davis of Company A (his father’s name was Nelson).

David and Nelson were among the second wave of recruits to come out of Ottawa County and did not in fact enlist until the end of May, along with Albert Hamlin, Calvin Hall, Joseph Payne, Albert Gardner, James Rhodes, Perry Goshorn, Sylvester Gay, Joseph Solder (Josiah Schuler), Quincy Lamereaux, William Suret and John Ward.

David was taken ill with measles in July of 1861, (Nelson too was struck by measles in 1861) but soon recovered and was on duty with the 3rd Michigan when he was shot in the right hand on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run. He was subsequently absent wounded in Fairfax Seminary hospital from September of 1862 until he was discharged on February 26, 1863, at Camp Convalescent near Alexandria, Virginia, for a “disabled right hand from gunshot wound.”

David listed Ganges, Allegan County as his mailing address on his discharge paper, and probably returned to Allegan County after his discharge. (In 1870 there was a Vermont-born Susan Davis, age 65 living with the Richard Ames family in Saugatuck, Allegan County.)

He married Ohio-born Pamelia H. Plummer (1845-1926), and they had at least one child, a son Clarence (b. 1869).

By 1880 David was working as a farmer and living with his wife and son in Ganges, although by 1885 he was residing in Gaines, Kent County. He had returned to Ganges by 1890, and was still living in Ganges in 1894 where he worked as a fruit solicitor. He eventually settled in Fennville, Allegan County and for many years worked as a merchant. He moved to Orchard Heights near Mobile, Alabama around 1900 and by 1912 he was living in Crichton, Mobile County, Alabama.

In 1878 he applied for and received a pension (no. 975808). He was a member of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association.

David died at 10:00 a.m. in the People’s Bank of Orchard, Alabama, on November 22, 1913, and his remains were sent to Michigan where he was buried in Taylor cemetery in Ganges next to his brother Nelson.

His widow was living in Crichton, Alabama in 1913 when she applied for and received a pension (no. 774679), drawing $30 by 1926 when she was living in Fennville.

 

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Allegan county cemeteries

On Friday I spent several hours touring a handful of Allegan county cemeteries looking for men of the Third Michigan Infantry, and the trip was largely successful.

In Wayland I visited Hill cemetery, located east of town on 4th st. just south off of 135th ave. I also visited Elmwood cemetery, just south of town off of 10th st. (A45). The cemetery is split into two halves divided by the highway, with the older graves found generally on the west side of the road.

I retraced my steps back through Wayland and headed east again on 135th ave. but when I reached 4st st. I turned left or north and drove a couple of miles north to Hooker cemetery in Leighton township.

I then meandered my way to Allegan, the county seat, where I stopped by the enormous Oakwood cemetery. Unfortunately no one available to help me find the three guys I was looking for there and since there were no division markers I moved on to Taylor cemetery in Ganges township. Taylor is located on 68th st., also known as Blue Star Highway, just south of rte 89.