John Blanchard

John Blanchard was born in November 12, 1832, in Lockport, Niagara County, New York, the son of David (1808-1895) and Sarah (1812-1876).

David and Sarah were married on January 25, 1829, in Elba, Genesee County, New York, living briefly in Niagara County, New York and Oakland County, Michigan, before settling on 40 acres of land in Clinton County, probably sometime between 1833 and 1837 (although many years later David claimed it was in 1841). In any case, by 1850 John was living with his family in Riley Township, Clinton County, where his father operated a farm. By the time the war broke out John, the eldest son, was reportedly working part of the property to help support his family. Indeed, by 1860 John was working as a farm laborer and living with his family on a farm in Riley. (Nearby lived Francis Lackey who would enlist in Company G in 1861.)

John was 28 years old and living with his family in Dallas, Clinton County, Michigan, when he enlisted as Sixth Corporal in Company G on May 10, 1861. According to Frank Siverd of Company G, in early June John was sick with the measles. He was, Siverd was quick to add, “well cared for. [Regimental Surgeon D. W.] Bliss leaves nothing undone that will contribute to the comfort of the sick. To prevent the disease spreading, as soon as the first symptoms appear,” Bliss had Blanchard, along with several others “removed to the house of a physician, some three miles from camp.” John eventually recovered sufficiently enough to leave Michigan with the regiment on June 13, 1861, and by early September he had been detailed as a Color Guard.

John was killed in action on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia.

On June 3, 1862, Homer Thayer of Company G wrote to the Lansing State Republican that “Sergt. Chas. T. Foster, the Color Sergt. of the Regiment was the first to fall. He was bravely holding the colors, and by his coolness and courage, doing much to encourage the boys to press on. Orderly E. F. Siverd was soon after wounded, but still did his duty and urged his comrades on. Soon after this Corporals Case B. Wickham, John Blanchard and Nathaniel T. Atkinson, and privates Samuel Dowell and Charles T. Gaskill received fatal shots. Atkinson and Dowell were brought from the field before they died. All have been buried, and their resting places marked with aboard giving the name, company and Regiment.”

He may have been buried among the unknown soldiers in Seven Pines National Cemetery, although there is a marker for him in Boughton cemtery, Clinton County: sec N2 lot 2 grave 4.

Sarah died in 1876 and was buried in Boughton cemetery, next to two of her three sons. (Another son Charles F. also died during the war and is also buried in Boughton cemetery).

David was living in Petoskey, Emmet County in 1887 when he applied for a dependent father’s pension, no. 252901. By 1889 David was living in Petoskey, although he was reported as having spent his summers there with one of his daughters, a Mrs. Stafford. David died in 1895 and was interred alongside his family in Boughton cemetery.