update 2017

James Renwick - update 5/2/2017

James Renwick was born on June 30, 1842, in Scotland, the son of Scots John Renwick (1806-1891) and Janet Henderson (1812-1895).

John and Janet were married on November 27, 1835, in Hobkirk, Roxburgh, Scotland. James came to the United States with his family, possibly aboard the Niberma arriving in New York City in July of 1853, eventually settling in Geneva, Ontario County, New York. By 1855 James was living with his family in Seneca, Ontario County, New York. The family eventually moved westward, and settled first in Bedford, Calhoun County, Michigan but in 1858 moved to Keene in Ionia County. By 1860 John and Janet were living in Keene with three of their young children.

James stood 5’8” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was a 20-year-old farmer probably living in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company D, probably with his cousin (?) William, on February 11, 1862, at Saranac, Ionia County for 3 years, crediting Saranac, 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 and William were probably related to John Foulks, whose mother was Jane Renwick; Foulks also enlisted in Company D and was also from Keene.)

James was wounded in the left hip on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and hospitalized in 3rd Corps hospital at Alexandria, Virginia on September 1, 1862. By the second week of September he was a patient in Washington Street hospital in Alexandria reportedly “doing well.” James was discharged on March 2, 1863, at Alexandria, Virginia for partial anchylosis of the left hip, and listed Saranac as his mailing address on his discharge paper. After he was discharged from the army James eventually returned to Ionia County. By the summer of 1863 when he registered for the draft he was single and working as a farmer in Keene, Ionia County.

On April 9, 1879, he married Canadian Ellen Renwick (1852-1926), in Keene, and they had one child, an adopted daughter, Miss Olive Arnold (b. 1885).

By 1880 James was working as a farmer and living with his wife in Keene; also living with them was one Thomas Blythe, a servant and farm laborer. He may have been living in Ovid, Clinton County in 1883 but by 1888 he was living in Ionia. In 1890 he was residing in Easton, Ionia County, in Keene, Ionia County in 1894 and in Saranac from 1894-95 and 1906-10 and on R. R. no. 12 in 1911. (His home was near a place called Potter’s Corners. William Renwick also lived on R.R. no. 12.) In 1910 he was farming in Keene and living with his wife Ellen and adopted daughter Olive; also living with them was a boarder Homer Osgood. By 1920 James was living in Keene, Ionia County along with his wife and his daughter Olive. By 1922 he was living on R.R. no. 12 in Saranac in 1925 and probably also in 1927.

James was a member of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association, and on June 15, 1925, he responded to an invitation for the upcoming Association reunion by saying that while he would like to attend “my condition does not permit me to take the journey to Grand Rapids. If any of you could come to my home I would surely enjoy a visit with you as my head is alright.” He added that “What the coming year may hold we can none of foresee, but standing on the threshold let me send good wishes for the year to be.” Toward the end of his life, one observer noted that “Though unable to get around without aid, Mr. Renwick was always cheerful, and retained a keen intellect.”

James became a member of the Masonic Order on March 27, 1865. In 1866 he applied for and received a pension (no. 67,727), drawing $2.00 by 1883.

James was a widower when he died of pneumonia at his home in Keene, at about 1:30 Saturday morning, May 14, 1927. Funeral services were conducted under the auspices of the Masonic Lodge on Tuesday afternoon at 2:00 at the home, and pallbearers were chosen from the American Legion chapter. Mrs. Gleason Gamsby furnished music and the Rev. Regan of Saranac officiated. James was buried in Saranac cemetery: lot 347.

Samuel E. Pelton - update 5/2/2017

Samuel E. Pelton was born on July 5, 1848, in Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan, the son of Aldrich M. (1823-1895) and Amanda Gray (1828-1873).

Canadian born Aldrich married New York native Amanda sometime before 1846 by which time they had settled in Michigan. By 1850 Aldrich had and his family were still living in Grand Rapids where he worked as a carpenter. In 1860 Samuel was attending school with his siblings and living with his family in Walker, Kent County, where his father worked as a carpenter.

Samuel stood 5’6” with black eyes, dark hair and a light complexion and was a 15-year-old farm laborer probably living in Walker, Kent County when he enlisted in Company I on January 23, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Walker, and was mustered the same day. He was the nephew of Silas Pelton and the cousin of Albert and was probably related to Andrew and Alfred Pelton as well.

Samuel joined the Regiment on February 17 at Camp Bullock, Virginia, and was transferred to Company I, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864.

Samuel was absent sick in July, returned to the regiment and reportedly wounded severely and captured on October 27, 1864, at Boydton Plank road, near Petersburg, Virginia.

In fact, according to Franz Muhlberg, who was then commanding Company I, Samuel “was killed at Hatcher’s Run [near Petersburg, Virginia, on] Oct. 13, 1864, by being shot in [the] right side, and was left on the field. I saw him when he was shot and fell being near him at the time.” He was presumably among the unknown soldiers buried near Petersburg and was possibly reinterred as such in Petersburg National Cemetery.

His father was working as a carpenter (he owned some $9000 worth of real estate) and living in Grand Rapids’ 5th Ward, Kent County in 1870. He applied for and received a dependent father’s pension (no. 388,348), drawing $10 per month in 1890.

Andrew Jackson Pelton - update 5/2/2017

Andrew Jackson “Jack” Pelton was born on May 18, 1842, in Leighton, Allegan County, Michigan, the son of Canadian James Pelton (1814-1891) and New York native Elizabeth Hurling (1814-1878).

James and Elizabeth settled in Michigan by 1839 and by 1850 James was working as a laborer and Andrew (listed as “Jackson” in the census for that year) was attending school with his younger siblings in Byron, Kent County.

Andrew was 19 years old and living in either Grand Rapids or Plainfield, Kent County when he enlisted in Company K on November 26, 1861, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered on December 23 at Detroit. He was possibly related to Alfred Pelton who also enlisted in Company K, Silas Pelton who enlisted in Company B, and  Albert and Samuel both of whom would also serve in the Old Third.

Andrew was reported sick in August of 1862. He eventually returned to duty, however, and reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Plainfield. He was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864, and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February. “Jack” was wounded in the head on May 6, 1864, at the Wilderness, Virginia, subsequently hospitalized and transferred to Company A, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864.

On November 1, 1864, the Grand Rapids Eagle wrote that “A letter, full of loyalty to our country and love of the old flag, has just been shown us from A. J. Patton [Pelton], one of the gallant boys of the old Third -- now of the Fifth Mich. Inf., before Petersburg -- in which the writer says, that the soldiers, though hitherto friends of McClellan, will not, standing as he does on the Chicago platform, and being surrounded by the political managers of the so-called Democratic party, support him for president; that all the soldiers who vote at all, will cast their ballots for President Lincoln. We learn, also, from this letter that Truman Gilbert [Freeman Gilbert], a member of the old Third, from Byron Township, died in the rebel prison at Andersonville, Georgia, on the Second day of July last; and that William Prindle, also of the same command, and from the same place, was, when last heard from, lying very low and not expected to recover, a victim to rebel meanness and cruelty, in their treatment of Union prisoners.”

“Jack” was reported as a Sergeant on April 1, 1865, and was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana. “Jack” returned to Michigan after the war and settled in Gaines Township, Kent County.

He married his cousin Canadian native Elizabeth A. Pelton (1846-1935) on June 8, 1867, in Gaines, and they had at least nine children: Marilla J. (b. 1869), Liberty M. (b. 1872), Edith E. (b. 1873), Elwood Jackson (1876-1953), a son Statie F. (b. 1878), Ruth L. (1880-1933, Mrs. Van Tine), Charles E. (b. 1882), Emily Lucinda (b. 1886) and James I. (b. 1889). (Elizabeth, daughter of Ira Pelton, may have been related to Canadian-born Silas Pelton, who had also served in the Old Third.)

By 1870 Andrew who was working as a farmer was living with his wife and child and they were all living with Andrew’s parents James and Elizabeth in Gaines, Kent County. Andrew was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Gaines in 1880; also living with them was his father James as well as an old widower farm laborer named William Herrick who may have also served in the Old Third. He was living in West Carlisle, Gaines Township, in 1890 and 1895, and indeed he may have lived in West Carlisle for much of his postwar life -- although at one point he may have lived briefly in Allegan County. By 1900 he was working a farm and living with his wife and three children in Gaines, Kent County.

He was a member of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association, and his widow would become an honorary member of the Association.

In February of 1888 Andrew was living in Michigan when he applied for and received a pension (no. 419041).

Andrew joined Grand Army of the Republic Watson post no. 395 in Grand Rapids in 1891, but was suspended in June of 1898.

Andrew died of apoplexy on January 27, 1901, probably at his home in West Carlisle, and was buried in Blain cemetery, Gaines.

In February of 1901, his widow was living in Michigan when she applied for and received a pension (no. 522570). She was residing in Grand Rapids at 2047 Gardner Avenue, in 1916, probably the home of her daughter Marilla Horton.

Alfred Pelton - update 5/2/2017

Alfred Pelton was born on April or May 24, 1841, in Canada.

Alfred eventually left Canada and moved to Michigan, eventually settling in Grand Rapids, Kent County along with at least two other Canadian-born Peltons Aldrich and Silas; Silas would also serve in the 3rd Michigan.

Alfred stood 5’5” with black eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was a 20-year-old farmer probably living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted with the consent of the Justice of the Peace in Company K on May 13, 1861. He was probably related to Andrew Pelton who also enlisted in Company K,  Silas Pelton who enlisted in Company B and Albert Pelton, son of Silas as well  Samuel Pelton who would enlist in Company I in 1864.)

Alfred was probably wounded slightly in the head on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and by the second week of September he was in Wolf Street hospital in Alexandria, Virginia. (He claimed in 1887 that he had been Sergeant of the company in late 1862.) Alfred eventually returned to duty and reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Cannon, Kent County. He was absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864 and probably returned to the regiment on or about the first of February.

Alfred was reported absent sick in the hospital in March Or probably just late April) of 1864, suffering from Intermittent fever. He eventually returned to duty and was shot in the right arm on May 12, 1864, at Spotsylvania, Virginia. He was hospitalized soon afterwards and was still absent sick when he was transferred as a Sergeant to Company I, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He remained absent wounded through October and probably until he was discharged on January 15, 1865, in the field near Petersburg, Virginia, for a gunshot wound of the right arm causing a loss of “motion of the limb and he is unable to use a musket.”

After his discharge from the army Alfred returned to Grand Rapids.

He was working as a farmer in Gaines, Kent County when he married Grand Rapids native Eliza J. Dennis (1843-1927) on August 28, 1868, at Grand Rapids. They had at least five children: Viola (1869-1956), Mabel (1871-1956), Aldrich “Aud” (1875-1904), Agnes (b. 1878), Clarence (1882-1901) and Leota. (Andrew Pelton was also from Gaines Township.)

In July of 1874 Alfred was appointed Postmaster for Ross, Kent County. By 1880 Alfred was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Byron Township, Kent County. He was residing in Ross, Byron Township, by December of 1883 when he became a member of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association, as did his son Aldrich (named for Alfred’s brother), and in fact, he probably lived in Ross for the rest of his life. In 1883 Alfred was drawing $12.00 per month for a wounded right arm (pension no. 51,891). He attended the excursion to Gettysburg for the dedication of the Michigan monuments in 1889, and he was living in Ross in 1890 suffering, he claimed, from the effects of a gunshot wound to his left arm, left hip and back of the head (although he had been reportedly been wounded in the right side).

He was possibly living in Dorr, Allegan County, in the early 1890s.

His health gradually declined and he was seriously injured in the spring of 1893. According to Alonzo Green of Byron Center, on or about April 11, 1893, Alfred came to Green’s warehouse to pick up some flour “and while loading” his goods “the team attached to the wagon started forward then backed up as’ Alfred “was standing in the wagon back of the high backed seat” and “the movement threw [him] upon the seat causing severe injury to his injured right arm causing him to fall dow[n] fainting upon the bottom of the wagon box.”

Alfred never recovered from his fall. He died of myocarditis, noted by his attending physician as a result of “wounds received in the war,” in Ross on April 20, 1893. He was buried in Jones cemetery, Dorr, but subsequently removed to Oak Hill cemetery: section A lot 87.

During the business meeting at the 26th annual reunion of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association in December of 1897, the case of the widow of Alfred Pelton was discussed. She claimed to have been “beaten” out of her pension by a “foolish petition of physician and judge,” and the association strongly recommended that someone assist her. It is unknown if anyone in the Association did in fact help her, although eventually she did apply for and receive a pension (no. 577050), drawing $30 per month by 1927. Subsequently, there was also a pension application (no. 678,195,) submitted on behalf of a minor child but the certificate was never granted. By late 1927 Eliza was living in Byron Center, Kent County.

Albert C. Pelton UPDATE 13 July 2018

Albert C. Pelton was born on May 30, 1843, in Grand Rapids, Michigan or Canada,  the son of Canadians Silas M. Pelton (1819-1899) and  Elizabeth Anderson (1823-1904). 

Silas left Canada with several of his other family members. He married Elizabeth on January 14, 1840, in Grand Rapids. In 1850 Albert was living in Grand Rapids with his family, and by 1860 he was working as a lumberman and living with his father and living with his family in Grand Rapids’ 4th Ward. 

Albert stood 5’0” with hazel eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 17 years old and probably still living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted with his parents’ consent in Company A  on May 13, 1861. (His father Silas enlisted in Company B. Albert was probably the nephew of Alfred Pelton and the cousin of Samuel Pelton and may have been related to Andrew Pelton, all of whom served in the 3rd Michigan.)

He was shot accidentally in the foot while cleaning his rifle in August of 1861, but the wound was not serious and he eventually returned to duty. He was an ambulance driver and Corporal in July of 1862, and discharged  on December 26, 1862, at Camp Pitcher, Virginia, for a varicocele of four months’ standing. 

After his discharge from the army Albert returned to Grand Rapids, and from 1867 to 1868 was working  as a laborer and boarding at his father’s home on the southwest corner of Lincoln and Third Streets. 

He was working as a painter and living in Hopkins, Allegan County, when he married Michigan native Mary W. Brewer (1857-1931) on December 31, 1875, in Hopkins, and they had one child: Edna (1876-1938, Mrs. Bertsch). 

Albert was possibly working as a farmer when he died in Hopkins on April 21, 1876, and was originally buried in Allegan County. His parents had the body disinterred several days later and brought back to Grand Rapids where it was interred in the family plot in Fulton cemetery: block 3 lot 21 grave 3. 

Although Albert apparently never joined the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association, his widow eventually became an honorary member. Mary remarried one Roderick Phillips, in 1878. By 1880 Mary and her husband were living in Hopkins, Allegan County; also living with them was Edna Pelton. In December of 1890 Mary Phillips was living in Michigan when she applied for and received a pension (no. 887,963). She and Roderick divorced in 1902. By 1917 she was living in Rolette, North Dakota.

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Updated 3rd Michigan biographical sketches

I've recently updated the following biographical sketches:

Frederick Brooks
Hiram Brown
Joseph A. Brown
Emery Bryant
Edwin Buchanan
William Buck
Edward Bugbee
Daniel Bugel
Henry Calkins
John Calkins
David Carlisle
George Carlisle
Lawrence Cavender
Edgar W. Cark
John H. Clark
William Clark
Benjamin Cole
Lyman Crandall
Perry Crandall
John Donovan
Herman Hardenburg
Sylvanus Snell

An corrections or additions please drop me a note!

How many men served in the 3rd Michigan? - update 5/20/2017

Based on present research, when the 3rd Michigan left Grand Rapids, Michigan on June 13, 1861, it had enrolled (inclusive of officers, musicians and wagoners) 1,046 men and officers:

Company A 102
Company B 100
Company C 103
Company D 101
Company E 102
Company F 103
Company G 101
Company H 102
Company I 106
Company K 99
Staff 8
Band 19

During its existence, the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry recruited some 366 additional men. They joined the original group of 1,046 who had enlisted by June 10, 1861, for a total of 1,412 men who either enlisted in or were assigned to the regiment during the war.

Of the total enrolled:

Company A 127
Company B 123
Company C 132
Company D 133
Company E 163
Company F 130
Company G 126
Company H 128
Company I 144
Company K 131
Unassigned 44
Staff 11
Band 20

It should also be noted, however, of the Unassigned five men are accounted in the transfer to the 5th Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the two regiments in June of 1864, and nine others are known to have entered other units instead of the Third Michigan, leaving a total of 30 men who remain today unaccounted for.

We can say with some certainty that a total of 1,373 men actually served at one time or another and in one capacity or another in the Third Michigan infantry (first organization).

Abraham Johnson “John” Whitney update 8/10/2017

Abraham Johnson “John” Whitney was born on January 13, 1820, in Canton, Steuben County, New York, the son of Connecticut native Zerah Whitney (1784-1873) and Jane Demond (1788-1843).

Abraham’s parents were married in Danby, Tompkins County, New York (where Jane was born) in February of 1808 and soon settled in Canton, Steuben County, New York. Zerah eventually moved his family west and by 1832 they were living in Buffalo, Erie County, New York where he was working as a tanner on Ohio Street.

Abraham came to Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan in 1834 or 1836 and in 1840 enlisted in the regular army. He was sent to Copper Harbor on Lake Superior, when war broke out he was sent to Mexico. According to another source, when the war with Mexico broke out Abraham enlisted for five years in the 2nd U.S. Infantry, took part in the battle of Monterrey under Genral Zachary Taylor, served under General Winfield Scott and fought in the battles of Vera Cruz, Contreras, Churubusco, Chepaultepec and Molino del Rey. After he was discharged form the army Abraham returned briefly to New York before heaidng out to California where he spent 18 months mining for gold. He eventually came to Whitneyville, Michigan, taking up the trade of farmer.

His father Zerah left New York and eventually settled in Hopkins, Allegan County, Michigan. By 1850 Zerah and Abraham were both living with Abraham’s older brother Ezra and his family in Cascade, Kent County.

Abraham married Julia Ann Morse (1833-1865), on April 26, 1852, in Whitneyville. She was the daughter of Benjamin Morse and sister of William Morse both of Lowell, Kent County. William would join the 3rd Michigan during the war as would his cousin, another Benjamin Morse, also from Lowell. Abraham was the uncle of Oscar Whitney who would also join the 3rd Michigan in 1861.

By 1860 Abraham (listed as “A. J. Whiting”) was working as a master carpenter (with $1,200 in real estate and $400 in personal property) and living in Lowell, Kent County, with his wife Julia and two young girls: Adelaide and HelenWhitney. They were all living with Julia’s parents.

He was 41 years old and possibly living in Hastings, Barry County when he enlisted as Second Lieutenant of Company I on May 13, 1861, commissioned First Lieutenant on August 1, 1861, and transferred to Company G, replacing Lieutenant Robert Jefferds. Whitney very possibly joined Company G sometime in late July, and in fact, on August 1, Frank Siverd of Company G, wrote to the Republican that Whitney had just replaced Jefferds as First Lieutenant.

Whitney was generally liked, and the transfer caused no problems within Company G. Charles Church of Company G wrote home on August 8, 1861, that “Our first Lieutenant is a Lieutenant out of Co. I. He is a good one.” And George Miller of Company A wrote home three days later that “John Whitney has been promoted to First Lieutenant of company G. He makes a good officer and is universally like by his men which I find is a great difference from some of those who held this station.” Siverd agreed. He wrote on September 8 that “Lieutenant Whitney commands the company, and is deservedly popular, he knows neither fear nor favor, and when he becomes a little better acquainted with the character of the men he has to deal with, will be entirely successful as a commanding officer.” Sometime in 1861 Whitney’s wife come east to be with her husband. George Miller wrote home on November 11, 1861, that he had just seen “Lieutenant Whitney’s wife the other day. She has got to be quite a lady.” He added that “Whitney is acting as Captain of company G.” Miller wrote his parents that on December 28 that Whitney, accompanied by his wife, left that day for Michigan on recruiting service, and that Whitney would stop by to see his [George’s] family.

Abraham arrived in Detroit on the morning of January 1, 1862, “and reported himself,” wrote the Free Press, “to Colonel Backus, who has all the recruiting in this state, under his supervision. By his directions Lieut. Whitney will shortly be assigned his headquarters, and those wishing to enlist in a first-class Regiment of infantry cannot do better than apply to the Lieutenant for admission to the Third.” George Miller certainly hoped so. He wrote home on January 15, 1862, “I presume Whitney will get some of those fellows at home out here. I hope he will, I should like to see somebody from there first rate.” And on February 11, Frank Siverd wrote to Republican that Whitney was in Michigan “on the recruiting service, and would be glad to receive the names of any who are desirous of entering immediately into active service. ”

By the time the Virginia “Peninsular” campaign began in the spring of 1862, Whitney had rejoined his company. Siverd informed the Republican on May 2 that “Captain Jefferds, Lieutenant Whitney and H. L. Thayer arrived in camp recently. The two latter, from Michigan, were most warmly welcomed.”

Abraham was wounded slightly in the arm by gunfire on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and shortly afterwards commissioned Captain of Company G on June 9, 1862, officially replacing Captain Jefferds. He was absent with leave from July 6, and according to Homer Thayer of Company G, as of at least July 5, Whitney was “sick and at the hospital at Fortress Monroe, but writes me that he will soon be back to join his company.” In fact, Abraham resigned on September 30, 1862.

After he resigned Whitney returned Michigan. By the summer of 1863 when he registered for the draft he was working as a farmer in Lowell; no mention of his prior military service in the record, however.

After Julia died in 1865, Abraham reportedly married New York native Virginia Amanda Chatterdon (d. 1868), on November 17, 1866, in Muskegon, Muskegon County. (Abraham may have been living in Musekgon at the time; in any case, Virginia was from Lowell, Kent County.) After his wife died in Muskegon, Abraham settled in Grand Rapids.

He was probably living in Grand Rapids when he married Englishwoman Frances Bennett (1839-1909), on May 18, 1870, in Grand Rapids, and they probably had at least one child: Willard Johnson (1876-1954).

By 1870 he was working as a blinds maker and living with his wife Frances and two children in Grand Rapids’ 1st Ward: Larry (b. 1858) and Elizabeth (b. 1863; Elizabeth had been born in Ontario, Canada.) By 1880 he was working as a chair maker and living with his wife and son Willard in Grand Rapids’ 5th Ward. He was living in Grand Rapids in 1888 and 1890, indeed he probably lived out the remainder of his life in Grand Rapids, serving as 6th Ward alderman and as a supervisor for the Township of Grand Rapids.

He was a member of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association, and inducted into the Old Settlers’ Association in January of 1880. He was also probably a member of the Universalist church. He received pension no. 117,186, dated June of 1871, drawing $4.00 in 1883.

Abram died of malarial fever around midnight Wednesday-Thursday, March 11-12, 1891, at his home at 82 Monroe Street in Grand Rapids, and the funeral service was held at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday at the Universalist church. He was buried in Greenwood cemetery: section E lot 44.

In April of 1891 Frances was living in Michigan when she applied for and received a pension (no. 357977). By 1900 she was living in Grand Rapids’ 6th Ward; her son Willard and his wife Carrie were also living with her.



Stephen Decatur Thompson updated 10/12/2017

Stephen Decatur Thompson was born on December 27, 1839, in Madison County, Indiana, the son of New York natives Leonard Thompson (b. 1810) and Amy Ferguson.

Stephen’s parents moved to Indiana sometime before 1838 and resided there for some years. Between 1844 and 1846 they moved from Indiana to Ohio and by 1849 had moved to Michigan, probably Grand Rapids, Kent County. In 1850 Leonard was working as a blacksmith in Grand Rapids where Stephen attended school with his siblings. According to one source, around 1850 Leonard left Grand Rapids and went west to look for gold in California, but found cholera instead and perished somewhere in the Rocky Mountains; Stephen’s mother died about the same time. Stephen went to live with the George Jenny family and in 1852 Jenny moved to Newaygo County looking for work, which he found with the Brooks construction company. Stephen also took a job with Brooks, but after a short time he went to work at the Big Red Mill.

Stephen stood 5’4” with gray eyes and a dark complexion and was 21 years old and working as a laborer and butcher, probably in Newaygo County, when he enlisted as Fourth Corporal in Company F on May 13, 1861. He was shot in the left forearm on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run. In his pension affidavit for General Israel C. Smith, who had been Captain of Company F at the time, Thompson testified that he saw Smith get hit in the back of his right shoulder, and he remembered this distinctly because he was standing by Smith’s side and was himself “wounded at almost the same instant, and these words passed between us: On receiving my wound ‘I said Captain I am shot’. [Smith] turned practically around towards me, and exclaimed ‘My God I am shot too.’’”

According to Wallace W. Dickinson of Company K, Thompson was promoted to Sergeant for his “gallant conduct” during the action at Second Bull Run. As of early October of 1862 Stephen was a patient in the Presbyterian church hospital in Georgetown, DC, and he remained hospitalized until discharged for disability on December 13, 1862, at New York or Newark, New Jersey.

Stephen returned to Newaygo following his discharge from the army and in 1863 entered into a partnership with his former army comrade, Wallace Dickinson in Newaygo, and they engaged in the business of mining marl in Pennoyer Creek and burning it in a kiln to recover the lime and thus manufacture builder’s lime. However, Dickinson reentered the army in July of 1863, and presumanly the business partnership was dissolved. That summer when he registered for the draft, Stephen was single working as a clerk in Muskegon; his prior service in the 3rd Michigan duly noted in the record.

Stephen married New York native Adelia L. Bennett (1848-1904) on August 30, 1866 in Newaygo, and they had four children: Maud (1869-1932, Mrs. Gregor), Louis Irving (1867-1936), William Grant (1872-1950) and Howard Steven (1877-1916).

They soon moved to Big Rapids, Mecosta County, where Stephen opened a restaurant. By 1870 Stephen was working as a saloon keeper (he owned $1000 worth of real estate) and living with his wife and children in Big Rapids’ 1st Ward, Mecosta County.

Apparently Stephen found the restaurant business unsuitable and returned to Newaygo by 1874 where he was employed by the Simmons grocery store in Newaygo as a “silent partner.”

Soon after returning to Newaygo Thompson became sheriff of Newaygo County in 1876, and on October 26, and according to the Democrat, he “arrested one Ezra Wright and William Mapes last evening, whom suspicion rests upon having burned the new church building in Ashland [Newaygo County] the 23rd inst.”

In 1877 he purchased the grocery store outright, and engaged in this business until 1898 when he turned the store over to two of his sons, Lou and Will, so that he could devote more time to a wood product business, and in 1900 he became involved in the Newaygo Portland Cement company. He was residing in Newaygo in 1879, 1881, 1884-85, 1889, 1891, and 1895. By 1900 Stephen was a merchant living with Delia and three of their children in Brooks. In fact, Stephen lived in Newaygo most of his postwar life.

In 1904 Adelia died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. B. McGregor, in Michigan City, Indiana. According to her obituary,

Three weeks ago today Mrs. Thompson left home for a visit with her daughter in Michigan City, and her friends, knowing her physical condition, advised her not to go. Thinking that she would have rest while there, she decided to go. She was in her usual health, even better than that, until on Thursday last, she was seized with a relapse, or rather a second attack of la grippe, and while no fears were felt by her friends, her husband was sent for and joined her on Saturday. The physician attending her assured her friends that she was in no danger whatever, even as late as two o’clock p.m. of the day of her death, which occurred at seven o’clock last Monday evening; so suddenly that there was no time to summon a physician.

[She] was the daughter of William and Clarinda Bennett, and was born in Mt. Morris, N.Y., Sept. 7, 1848. In 1862 with her parents she came to Grand Rapids and the year following moved to Newaygo, where was married to Stephen D. Thompson in 1866. With the exception of a few years spent in Big Rapids, Mr. and Mrs. Thompson have resided in Newaygo since their marriage. Four children, three sons and a daughter, were the fruits of their marriage, all of whom, together with her husband, survive her. Mrs. Thompson was a noble Christian woman, a leader in society, church and social affairs, and to her ambition to aid in every good cause and to her devotion to duty may, perhaps, be partially attributed to her fatal illness. Many times when nature called for rest she has persisted in discharging her duties to her church and the Chapter of the O.E.S., of which she was the Worthy Matron. No charity, no public or private enterprise that needed her assistance was ever refused. Her wonderful energy and executive ability were ever at the command of those in need, and many times she responded to the demands made upon her when her friends warned her that she could not endure the expenditure of health and strength. She was a devoted wife, a loving mother, a Christian in the broadest sense of the word, and not alone her family, but the entire community, is stricken with grief at the taking away of one whom all loved and respected. The funeral will be held at the home at 2 o’clock p.m. today, Rev. Sidney Beck, of Grand Rapids, officiating.

Stephen married Illinois native Mrs. Jennie Downs Lapham (1842-1935) on August 18, 1908. He was residing in Newaygo in 1903-11. By 1910 he was working as a a real estate dealer and living with Jennie on Wood Street in Brooks.

He was a member of the 3rd Michigan Infantry Association, as well as the Grand Army of the Republic Samuel Judd Post No. 133 in Newaygo, and he attended the 1889 reunion at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

In 1863 Stephen applied for and received a pension (no. 11,170), drawing $12.00 per month in 1883 for wounded arm and shoulder.

He died of chronic nephritis at his home in Newaygo on April 17, 1914, and was buried in Newaygo cemetery: lots 17 & 18.

In 1916 Jennie filed for and and received a pension (no. 544169) based on the service of her first husband, Truman Lapham in the 35th Illinois.


Edward Stevens - updated 2/23/2017

Edward Stevens was born November 26, 1847, in Chipstead, Surrey, England, the son of James Stevens (1820-1902) and Caroline Smith (b. 1824).

James and Caroline were married on April 21, 1844, in Hampton Wick, Middlesex, England. Edward emigrated to the United States, probably with Richard Stapleton and Margaret Stevens, and numerous older siblings, arriving in New York City aboard the ship America on January 18, 1854. Edward eventually made his way west, settling in Barry County, Michigan. In 1850 there was a 43-year-old Edward Stevens living in Leroy, Calhoun County, Michigan, and one Edward Stevens living in China, St. Clair County.

Edward stood 5’2” with black eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was an 18-year-old farmer possibly living in Rutland, Barry County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company E on February 8, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Rutland, and was mustered the same day. He joined the Regiment on March 23, was on detached service in May, and probably still on detached service when he was transferred to Company E, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He was absent sick from September through November, and mustered out presumably on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war Edward returned to Michigan, probably to Barry County.

He married Michigan native Harriet Maria Wilkins (1851-1927) on August 13, 1867, and they had at least 10 children: Robert (b. 1868), Albert (b. 1869), Mary Emma (b. 1870), George E. (1872-1945), Caroline (1874-1956), Jennie (b. 1875), Ormond S. (1878-1899), Kitty (1880-1903), Edith May (1884-1967, Mrs. Lucas), and Merle Jean (1887-1957).

By 1870 Edward was working as a farm laborer and living with his wife and son in Hope, Barry County. He eventually moved to the northern part of the state was living in Chase, Lake County in 1890 and 1894. He probably spent the rest of his life in Lake County. He was working as a blacksmith and living with his wife Harriet and daughter Merle in Chase, Lake County in 1900. By 1910 Edward was working as a farmer and living with his wife Harriet, their daughter Merle and granddaughter Merle Wyman in Chase. He and Harriet were still living in Chase in 1920. By 1930 Edward was a widower living in Chase; his daughter Edith, a cook in a clubhouse, was also living with him.

In 1887 he applied for and received a pension (no. 1112104).

Edward was a widower when he died of a heart attack on September 11, 1934, in Chase, Lake County and was buried in Chase Township Cemetery.

 Many thanks to Kirby Stevens for pointing me to Edward's listing on Familysearch.org!

Sylvanus Travis Snell - update 1/28/2017

Sylvanus Travis Snell was born on August 3, 1835, in Bradford, Steuben County, New York, the son of Silvanus Snell (1801-1851) and New Jersey native Susan Tunnison (1806-1884).

Sylvanus Snell was living in Bradford, Steuben County, New York in 1840. The family eventually left New York, and settled in Ionia County, Michigan. By 1850 Sylvanus (younger) was living with his parents and attending school with his four younger siblings in Easton, Ionia County. By 1860 Sylvanus was living with his mother (she was working as a farmer and owned $3000 worth of real estate) and his younger brother George in Avon, Easton Township, Ionia County. Nearby lived the family of Jacob Snell, Sylvanus’ (younger) older brother.

Sylvanus stood 5’7” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 25 years old and probably living in Ionia County when he enlisted as Second Corporal in Company C on May 13, 1861. He was discharged on July 29, 1861, at Arlington Heights, Virginia, for an ulcer of the right leg.

Sylvanus eventually returned to Michigan.

He married New York native Amanda Johnson (1834-1896), and they had at least three children: Susan (b. 1862), Welden (1867-1869) and Glenn E. (b. 1873).

The family was probably living in Easton, Ionia County, where their son Weldon died of “inflammation of the brain” in 1869. By 1870 Sylvanus was working as a farmer (he owned $2500 worth of real estate) and living with his wife and daughter in Easton, Ionia County; also living with them was his mother Susan. Sylvanus was still working as a farmer and living with his wife and two children in Easton in 1880. Sylvanus eventually settled in Unionville, Tuscola County.

In 1870 Sylvanus applied for a pension (no. 161968), but it is not known if the certificate was ever granted.

Sylvanus died on July 22, 1889, probably in Michigan, and was buried in Hickory Island Cemetery in Akron, Tuscola County.

In April of 1890 his widow was living in Unionville when she applied for a pension (no. 419350) but the certificate was never granted.

James W. Sims - update 2/14/2017

James W. Sims was born in 1817, in New Jersey.

James married New York native Mary Lewis (1817-1870) and they had at least four children: Emma (1844-1921, Mrs. Konkle), James Larie (1848-1866), Emily Arvilla (b. 1850) and William L. (1853-1885).

By 1846 James and his wife had settled in Michigan, and by 1850 James was working as a magistrate and living with his wife and children in Plainfield, Kent County. In 1860 he was working as a lawyer and living with his wife and four children in Plainfield.

James was 44 years old and probably living in Kent County when he enlisted in (but was never mustered into service) in the 3rd Michigan.

Instead, James enlisted in Company F, 14th Michigan Infantry on December 17, 1861, at Grand Rapids, and was mustered on January 7, 1862. He was a hospital attendant from June through August, in September he was assigned to the hospital at Tuscambia, Alabama as of August 29, 1862, and he was at Tuscambia in October. In January of 1863 James was detached to the hospital in Knoxville, Tennessee through April of 1863.

He died of disease at Nashville, Tennessee, on February 28, 1864. His body was apparently returned to Michigan and he was buried in Plainfield cemetery, Kent County: 1-52.

In May of 1864 his widow Mary applied for and received a pension (no. 28687). She is buried in Plainfield cemetery, Kent County: 1-52-4.
William

Lavie

Mary

Family plot it's likley that the father James W. is buried in the open space next to his wife Mary

William R. Sayles - update 5/2/2017

William R. Sayles was born December 22, 1839 in Canada, the son of New York native Elias Sayles Sr. (1803-1897) and Canadian-born Hannah Showers (1808-1872) and stepson of English-born Eliza Ann Wrigley (1819-1885).

The family moved from Canada to Michigan between 1843 and 1846, and by 1850 William was living with his family and attending school with his siblings (including a younger brother John who would enlist in Company G in 1862) in Keene, Ionia County; next door lived Charles and Harrison Soules, both of whom would enlist in Company C in 1861. Nearby lived a cousin, Lyman Sayles, Cyrenius’ son, who would also enlist in the 3rd Michigan.

William farmed for some years in Keene before the war, and in 1860 he was working as a farm laborer and/or living with the Matthew Brown family in Keene; his parents were still living in Keene as well.

William stood 6’1’’ with dark eyes, hair and complexion and was a 23-year-old farmer living in Saranac, Ionia County when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861. He was transferred to Company B on June 12.

There is no further record.

In fact, William may have never left with the 3rd Michigan when it departed Grand Rapids on June 13, 1861.

He married Michigan native Hettie Jane Hunter (d. 1895) on July 14, 1861, and they had at least two children: Charles (b. 1862) and Elroy (1864-1950).

William enlisted as a Private on September 5, 1861, at Marshall, in Company H, 2nd Michigan Cavalry for three years, and was mustered on October 12. He reportedly deserted on March 22, 1863, in Michigan.

Again, there is no further record.

Apparently William eventually enlisted in Company L, 6th Michigan Cavalry at Grand Rapids on January 29, 1864, for 3 years, crediting Keene, Ionia County, and was mustered on January 30. (Both Lyman and John Sayles, also reentered the service in the 6th Michigan Cavalry.)

He joined the Regiment near Stevensburg, Virginia about February 15, and was serving with the wagon train as a teamster from December of 1864 through March of 1865. In June he was on detached service as a teamster through July, and he claimed some years after the war to have been seriously injured by an accident at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in the summer of 1865. (The 6th had been transferred to Fort Leavenworth on June 1 and the veterans and recruits consolidated into the 1st Michigan Cavalry later that month.)

“On or about June 16, 1865,” Sayles testified in 1881, “while on soldier’s duty [with the 6th Cavalry] he was in the act of harnessing a mule to a wagon, the mule becoming scared jumped over the wagon tongue and a rope that was attached to [the] mule’s neck and hub of wagon caught [Sayles] between it and wagon tongue in such a manner as to bend him backwards between the wheel and wagon-box, until assistant wagon-master George Bothwell came to [his] rescue and cut the rope, and from there [Sayles] was sent to hospital.”

And on May 4, 1888, William wrote to Mr. J. C. Black, Pension Commissioner in Washington, that after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox his Regiment “was ordered west and that while in camp at Ft. Leavenworth Kansas,” round June 15, 1865, “I was detailed to drive mules and that (against my own will) and that while in the act of harnessing one of the mules, I was hurt across the back and in the region of the kidney so much so that when I was helped loose that I could not walk or stand on my feet and was injured so that I was sent to [the] convalescent hospital at Fort Leavenworth and remained there about six weeks and was discharged” on August 17, 1865. In fact he was honorably discharged on August 8, 1865, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

After his discharge, William returned to Michigan and resumed farming first in Polkton, Ottawa County from 1865 to 1870, then in Vergennes, Kent County from 1870 to 1874 (actually living in Lowell village in 1870), in Berlin (Saranac), Ionia County from 1874 to 1876, and in Keene from 1876 to 1881. By 1880 he was working as a farmer and living with Hettie and his two sons in Keene, Ionia County.

By 1888 he was living in Lowell when he wrote to the Pension Bureau on May 4, 1888, continuing his efforts to be granted a pension for his war-related injury. He wrote of how needless his injury had been and yet how much he had suffered ever since.

Now I do not want to find fault but I thought that we should have been discharged after the war closed but was not and the result has been ever since my hurt as I have mentioned I have been impaired so much that I have been a great sufferer ever since and . . . as I grow older I grow worse and I have thought that in time will be unable to perform my labor and now the witnesses that saw the accident are dead as well as all of my company officers with the exception of my first Lieutenant and he was on detached duty at the time. My captain died at Grand Rapids about 4 years ago. Now I do not know as I am entitled to pension or not but Mr. Black if after hearing and reading these few lines you think I had ought to or am entitled to have a pension I wish you would write. I have thought of writing you a great many times for information.

He was eventually granted pension no. 507,485, increased in August of 1902, drawing $12.00 per month.

In 1889 he was probably working as a laborer for Cupples Co. on Coldbrook near Ionia Street in Grand Rapids. By 1890 William was residing at 32 Quimby street in Grand Rapids where he worked for some years as a furniture finisher; he was living in Grand Rapids’ 6th ward in 1894 (as was another civil veteran his brother Elias Sayles Jr.).

William was living in Grand Rapids when he married New York native Mary A. Smith Lovelace on March 21, 1896, in Holland, Ottawa County. Each had been married once before.

William was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 2928) on September 26, 1899 (no mention made of enlistment in the 3rd Michigan).

William was a widower when he died of “progressive paralysis” at the Home on October 17, 1906, and was buried in Saranac cemetery: lot no. WH-462.

William Renwick - update 5/2/2017

William Renwick was born on October 6, 1838, in New York, the son of Thomas (b. 1798) and Janet Turnbull (b. 1798).

Thomas and Janet were married on May 24, 1818, in Southdean, Roxburgh, Scotland. emigrated from Scotland, eventually settling in New York before moving west. Indeed, William probably came to the United States with his parents in 1852, eventually settling in Geneva, Ontario County, New York. The family eventually moved westward, and settled first in Bedford, Calhoun County, Michigan but in 1858 moved to Keene, Ionia County. By 1860 William was a farmer working for and living with his family in Keene (his father owned $2500 worth of real estate).

William stood 5’8” with blue eyes, sandy hair and a sandy complexion and was 25 years old and probably still living in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company D, probably with his cousin (?) James, on February 14, 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 and James were related to John Foulks, whose mother was Jane Renwick; Foulks also enlisted in Company D and was also from Keene.)

In April of 1862 William was reported as a “waiter” for Captain Moses Houghton of Company D, and in May he was awarded the Kearny Cross for his participation in the battle of Chancellorsville on May 3, 1863.

On May 12, 1864, at Spotsylvania, Virginia, Benjamin Morse of Company C and William Renwick captured a stand of colors from the Fourth Georgia Artillery, which eventually earned Morse the Congressional Medal of Honor. The details of the capture, as described by Minnie D. Millbrook in her work on Michigan Medal of Honor Winners in the Civil War, are “while in the line of duty and while on a charge on the rebel breastworks on the morning (3:30 a.m.) of May 12, 1864, at Spotsylvania, Virginia,” Morse “captured a rebel flag (artillery) and that said flag was turned over to the commanding officer of the Regiment and went to Washington, DC. A letter dated September 20, 1864, was discovered in the War Department naming Benjamin Morse as the captor of the flag, and he was also mentioned in a report of General Winfield S. Hancock as the captor. William Renwick of company D, same Regiment, was also named as captor of the flag in the same action, but he too was seemingly overlooked at the time, and as he never applied for a medal he did not receive one.” The medal was issued to Morse on February 24, 1891.

William was transferred to Company A, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and discharged on May 14, 1865, at the expiration of his term of service.

After he left the army William eventually returned to Michigan. By 1870 he was working as a farm laborer and living with his parents in Keene, Ionia County. He was living in Saranac in 1879, and working as a grocer in 1880 and living as a single man with the Edward Foulks family in Saranac. He was still in Saranac in 1885 and 1888, in Boston, Ionia County in 1890, and in Saranac in 1894 and 1909 and on R.R. no. 12 in 1911 (his younger cousin James also lived on R.R. no. 12).

He was a member of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association. In 1902 he applied for and received a pension (no. 994178).

William may have been married to a woman named Jane.

William died of heart disease on February 18, 1913, in Keene, Ionia County, and was buried in Pinckney Cemetery, Keene Township: row 3, grave 203.

Ira J. Poats upated 10/12/2017

Ira J. Poats was born on November 20, 1840, in Adams Township, Seneca County, Ohio, the son of Pennsylvania natives Joseph Poats (1794-1865) and Lydia Kimble (b. 1796).

Ira’s parents moved from Pennsylvania to New York around 1836 and on to Ohio by 1840. In 1850 Ira was living with his family in Adams, Seneca County, Ohio. They eventually brought the family to Michigan settling in Algoma, Kent County in 1855, and by 1860 Ira was working as a farm laborer and living with his family in Algoma, Kent County, where his father worked as a farmer.

Ira stood 5’7” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 20 years old when he enlisted in Company A on May 13, 1861. He was transferred to Company I on August 1, 1861. Ira was in the hospital in January of 1863, and was a Corporal when he was shot in the left hip on May 2, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Virginia. He was hospitalized through December of 1863, and transferred as a Corporal to the 7th (or 75th) Company, 2nd Battalion, Veterans Reserve Corps (VRC) on January 15, 1864, at Washington, DC. He was eventually discharged, although it is not known when. Ira returned to western Michigan.

He married Ohio native Nancy Jane Mizner (1838-1916) on September 4, 1864, and they had at least two children: Estella (1865-1905, Mrs. Wade) and Minnie (b. 1869).

They settled in Algoma in 1864, but by 1880 he was working a farm and living with his wife and two daughters in Sparta, Kent County. He soon moved to Newaygo, Newaygo County where he lived the rest of his life, and for many years worked as a lumberman. He was living in Newaygo in 1890, suffering from blindness, piles and general debility. By 1900 he and Nancy were living in Brooks, Newaygo County; also living with them was his daughter Estella and her husband Garnett Wade.

Ira was a member of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association and a charter member and chaplain of Grand Army of the Republic Judd post no. 133 in Newaygo.

In 1878 he applied for and received a pension (no. 247031).

Ira died of albuminuria on December 29, 1900, and was buried in Newaygo City cemetery: section G, lot 7.

In January of 1901 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 513620). By 1905 she was boarding at 1430 5th Street in Des Moines, Iowa.


Timothy Pendergast - update 5/2/2017

Timothy Pendergast was born in 1838 in London, Ontario, Canada.

Timothy left Canada and had settled in western Michigan by the time war had broken out.

He stood 5’10” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 23 years old and probably working as a bricklayer in Barry County when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861. He was eventually detached as a teamster and was serving in the Brigade trains in October of 1862, and driving an ammunition train from November through January of 1863. On May 2, 1863, during the early action at Chancellorsville, Virginia, Timothy was shot in the right side of his head

by a round ball which struck him on the right side of the OS frontis, about an inch and a half anterior to the coronal structure, fracturing both tables of the bone. Patient states that he was insensible for a long time, but finally recovered himself so far s to be able to walk to the field hospital where the surgeon extracted the ball. He entered this hospital [St. Mary’s in Detroit] Aug. 3d, wound in a bad condition -- the probe revealing necrosed bone, an operation was deemed necessary. The patient was accordingly placed under the influence of chloroform, and the wounded surface of the cranium exposed by making two incisions at right angles, and dissecting away the flaps, a necrosed ring of bone was then removed completely encircling the original wound, 1/4 inch in width . . . so that the dura-mater was exposed for a space as large as a half dollar. The wound was properly dressed, gave the patient but little trouble, and is now nearly well.

He returned to the Regiment on October 26, 1863, was detached in November to bring conscripts from Michigan and discharged on November 12 at Detroit, by reason of the gunshot wound to the frontal bone on the right side of the head and neuralgia.

On November 28, 1863, Timothy applied for and received a pension (no. 23692); his surname was listed as “Pender.”

Timothy gave his mailing address on his discharge paper as Grand Rapids but he eventually settled in Detroit.

He married Canadian Sophie Raymond Holmes (1840-1898) and they had at least three children Henry (b. 1860), a daughter Osillie (b. 1862) and Mary (b. 1872). Sophie had been married once before

By 1870 he was living with his wife and two children in Detroit’s 4th Ward. In 1880 timothy was working as a and living with his wife, daughter Mary and stepson George Holmes and stepdaughter Matilda Holmes in Detroit. In 1883 and 1888 Timothy was living in Detroit, and in 1890 he was residing at 181 St. Aubin Street in Detroit (listed as “Pindergast, alias Pinder”). He was probably residing in Detroit’s 9th ward by 1894.

Silas M. Pelton UPDATE 13 July 2018

Silas M. Pelton was born on December 28, 1819, in Blenheim, Oxford County, Ontario, Canada, the son of Vermonter James Pelton (1791-1851) and Canadian Anna Doyle (1790-1848).

James left his home in Grand Isle County, Vermont and moved to Canada where in 1813 he married Anna at her home in Buford, Oxford County, Ontario. They lived in Buford for several years before moving to Batavia, New York residing there briefly before returning to Canada and settling in Blenheim, Oxford County, Ontario where they lived for many years.

Silas left Canada and moved to Michigan along with several other family members.

He married Canada native Elizabeth Anderson (1823-1904) on January 14, 1840, in Grand Rapids, and they had at least ten children: Albert C. (1843-1876), two daughters, S. A. (b. 1843) and E. E. (b. 1845) -- both of whom may have died young; Sylvia (b. 1846), Francis (b. 1847), William H. (b. 1850), Alice (b. 1852), Cora or Nora (b. 1854), Kitty (b. 1855), Amy W. (b. 1868), and Silas H. (b. 1859), Carrie May (b. 1861), Frederick H. (b. 1869).

Silas and his wife moved to Michigan, probably from Canada, sometime before 1843, and by 1850 (?) he and his family were living in Grand Rapids where he was working as a carpenter, a trade he followed for many years before the war.

He also worked as an architect, and in 1858 he designed the plans for the new engine house for Wolverine fire company no. 3. “Mr. Silas Pelton, architect,” wrote the Grand Rapids Enquirer on May 26, “has shown us a drawing and plan made by him, for an engine house for Wolverine Company No. 3, and, as we believe, accepted by the Company. The plan, it appears to us, could not be improved; and, if constructed according to design, the building will be an ornament to the city. It is to be of brick, with four tasteful plaster columns in front. The estimated cost of the building is $2,500, and the Common Council is asked to appropriate $1,200 of the amount -- the Company and other citizens of the West Side pledging themselves to make up the balance. The Company have a fine lot, and it is to be hoped that their present laudable design may be carried into effect.”

Silas was elected foreman of the Wolverine fire company in May of 1859, superintending some 47 men. In 1859-60 he was working as a carpenter and living on the north side of Bridge Street between Turner and Broadway Streets on the west side of the Grand River, and in 1860 he was listed as a carpenter and builder living with his family in Grand Rapids, Fourth Ward.

In September of 1859 he was elected constable for the Fourth Ward. As Constable, Pelton found himself working frequently with another local officer, George Dodge, who would enlist in Company B. On February 17, 1860, the two officers “arrested four persons who are supposed to be guilty of firing the dwelling house of J. Irwin. The ones arrested are now in jail awaiting examination.”

And on March 24, “Officers Dodge and Pelton brought into town . . . a number of the citizens of Courtland Centre, who are charged with assault and battery on one Chase, of that village. It appears that there is a dispute between said Chase and George W. Bush, in regard to a piece of land. Bush got possession last Fall, and kept it until a few days since, when, being absent for a short time, Chase entered the house, put Bush's furniture out doors, and took possession. The night thereafter, Bush, with three men, returned and broke the door open with an ax and put Mr. Chase and family out.”

In early November Silas suffered a riding accident, but was not seriously hurt. He was out riding on horseback in the country, “some six miles from this city. In crossing a bridge his horse broke through, thus precipitating him to the ground, and fracturing his shoulder to some extent. Dr. Bliss was called, and the fracture dressed. It was not so severe but that Mr. P. was out the next day, with his arm in a sling. He will probably lose the use of his arm for a couple of weeks.”

In 1860 Silas was working as a carpenter and living with his wife and children in Grand Rapids’ Fourth Ward.

Silas was 41 years old and living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted (possibly as Sergeant Major) in Company B on May 13, 1861.

His son Albert enlisted at the same time in Company A; he was probably related to Alfred and Andrew – the former born in Canada and both of whom enlisted in Company K. He was also the uncle of Samuel who would enlist in Company I.

He was promoted to Sergeant Major on October 30, 1861, and on January 1, 1862, he was promoted to First Lieutenant of Company C, commissioned January 2, replacing Lieutenant Felix Zoll who had resigned. Silas was wounded in the right side of his chest on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, the ball “lodging near the lower part of the right shoulder blade. . . .” Although he was reported absent on 30 days’ leave from July 5, in fact he was back home in Grand Rapids by the middle of June, probably recovering from his wounds.

Silas eventually recovered his health and returned to the Regiment. Although he was at first reported missing in action in December of 1862, in fact he was taken prisoner at Fredericksburg, Virginia, on December 13-14, 1862, and by December 20 he was confined in Libby prison in Richmond, Virginia.

It was first believed by his family that Silas died in prison. One of his comrades in Company A, Charles Wright, wrote home on February 11, 1863, that “Lieutenant Pelton, who was missing at the battle of Fredericksburg, is dead; he died at the Libby prison, Richmond.” And the day before, the Eagle wrote that Pelton’s wife had received a letter from their son Albert, “dated at Alexandria, Virginia, in which she is informed that her husband, Lieutenant S. M. Pelton, of the glorious 3rd, who was taken prisoner during the battle of Fredericksburg, is dead; that he died a few days since, in the Libby prison, at Richmond. Although this news comes from a source which cannot well be questioned, still we hope that there may be some mistake, and that it may prove untrue.”

In fact, Pelton was paroled on January 12 (or February 20), 1863, at City Point, Virginia, reported to Camp Parole, Maryland, on February 21 and hospitalized at Annapolis, Maryland along with other paroled prisoners-of-war. On February 27, the Eagle reported that “Mrs. Pelton has just received a letter from her husband that he still lives and that he has arrived among paroled prisoners at Annapolis.”

Silas was put under arrest on April 3, 1863, for disobeying orders, but released on April 8. He returned to the Regiment on May 20, 1863, and was wounded in the back and shoulder on July 2 at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He was shot, he claimed, “between the left shoulder blade and backbone lodging on the right side near the collarbone and neck.” He was subsequently hospitalized at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was furloughed from the hospital in August.

From the thinned ranks of the battle-regt. Third [wrote the Eagle on August 7] Pelton “has returned to his home in this city, covered with scars, pale and feeble from the loss of blood and the severity of the wound received in the second days battle of Gettysburg. The Lt. received a terrible wound in the battle of Fair Oaks, from the effects of which it was supposed, for a time, that he could not recover, but contrary to the expectations of his friends, he regained his health and again returned to his command. At the battle of Fredericksburg he was taken prisoner and carried with other brave soldiers to the rebel capital, where he remained for a time and until exchanged; when he again took his command and was in the terribly bloody struggle at Gettysburg, where, in the 2nd day's contest, he received a ball in the soldier which was thought at the time and for some time thereafter to be a fatal wound, but, thanks to God, the Lt. is still alive with a fair prospect for recovery.

Less than four weeks later, the Eagle reported “We were pleased to meet Lt. S. M. Pelton, of the glorious ‘Third’, on the street this morning. The Lieutenant, it will be remembered, has twice been dangerously wounded in battle. The last time, in the terrible conflict at Gettysburg, he was so severely injured by a ball, which is yet in his body, that it was, for a considerable time after the battle, supposed he could not recover. He was, however, enabled to reach home, and through the best of medical care and nursing, he has now so far recovered as to be able to walk a short distance at a time; and the prospects are fair that he will, with due care and time, wholly recover and be himself again.”

Silas may have recovered from his ordeal but he nevertheless resigned on October 22, 1863, for disability -- although according to the Eagle, on December 24, Pelton, having “recovered sufficiently from his wounds, as he thinks,” left Grand Rapids “to rejoin his old command. Good for Lieutenant Pelton. He doubtless thinks himself bullet proof by this time, as most any man who has been shot so many times would.” It is not clear as to what transpired here. Pelton may have returned to Detroit where he was officially discharged from the army on account of his disability, or, less likely, he returned to the Regiment in Virginia, was discharged there and returned to Michigan.

Silas returned to Grand Rapids and on March 29, 1864, his four-year-old son died. That same year he applied for and received a pension (no. 39592).

By 1865 and 1866 he was working as a lumberman and living in 51 Bridge Street on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids, and in 1867-68 he was still engaged in the lumber business and living on the southwest corner of Lincoln and Third Streets. He was a Deputy Marshal in 1871, and on July 24, 1871, the Democrat wrote

We owe Captain Pelton, our efficient Deputy Marshal, an apology for allowing the communication signed ‘Observer’ to appear in our columns on Sunday morning [July 23]. The communication written by an irresponsible person, and inserted in the absence of the managing editor, does the Captain great injustice, whose official career has been satisfactory to our citizens. The author complains that part of Monroe Street is obstructed with building materials, which is true, but then Messers Godfrey & Tracey obtained permission to make such obstruction, and the Marshal or his deputy have no power to remove said obstructions. The Captain has full power to arrest disorderly persons, and should he fail to do so, he would not discharge his duty. Let ‘Observer’, who is a Radical, bear in mind that Captain Pelton's nomination as Deputy Marshal was strongly endorsed by the oldest Republican Councilman on the Board, and that he was confirmed by a vote of 13 to 3, four Republicans voting for him. He has discharged his duties with fidelity, and no one has ever found fault with him except ‘Observer’, who probably has an axe to grind.

Silas was living in Grand Rapids in 1874, and was involved in the building of a large saw mill on Penoyer Creek near Newaygo, Newaygo County in 1876. By 1880 Silas was working as a millwright and living with his wife and two of their children on Scribner Street in Grand Rapids’ 7th Ward; also living with them was another millwright, a nephew named Charles Pelton, his wife and infant daughter. That same year he was also reported working as a millwright in Duluth, St. Louis County, Minnesota. He was back in Duluth in 1885 and in 1890; in 1890-91 he was living at 813 W. 4th Street working as an agent for the James Leffel Water Wheel Co. in Duluth. He was still in Duluth at 813 W. 4th Street in 1891-92.

Sometime in the late 1880s (probably 1888) Silas had moved to Duluth, St. Louis County, Minnesota. He was chronically ill through much of the early 1890s, and, according to one source, he was frequently confined to his home and often to his bed during this period.

He was a member of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association and an active Democrat.

Silas was residing at 813 W. Fourth Street in Duluth, Minnesota when he died on February 4, 1899, in Duluth. His remains were brought back to Grand Rapids and interred in Fulton cemetery: section 3 lot 21.

His widow was living in Minnesota in 1899 when she applied for and received pension no. 478757. She was still living at 813 w. 4th Street in Duluth in 1899, 1902 and 1903.

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Peter E. Peiffer - update 5/2/2017

Peter E. Peiffer was born in 1843 in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, the son of Pennsylvania natives Simon Peiffer (b. 1810) and Catherine Master (b. 1818)

In 1850 Peter was living with his family in Venango, Crawford County, Pennsylvania. By 1860 Peter was attending school and living with his family in Crockery, Ottawa County, Michigan.

Peter stood 5’7” with hazel eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was an 18-year-old farmer living in Crockery, Ottawa County when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861. He reenlisted as a Corporal on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Sparta, Kent County, was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough, possibly at his family home in Allegan County, in January of 1864 and he rejoined the Regiment on or about the first of February.

Peter was living in Nunica, Ottawa County, when he married Springwater, New York native Maria M. Pond (b. 1845) on January 30, 1864, in Muskegon, Muskegon County.

Peter was transferred as a Corporal to Company I, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and was a Sergeant when he was wounded in the arm and forearm while on picket duty on September 16 near Petersburg, Virginia.

He died from his wounds and typhoid fever, in a field hospital on September 22, and was buried either at the Fair Grounds hospital, near Petersburg, Virginia, or one mile east of Avery’s house near a grove, outside of Petersburg. He was reinterred in Poplar Grove National Cemetery: original division D, section C, grave no. 21 or 1205 (headstone).

In April of 1865 his widow was living in Sardinia, Erie County, New York, when she applied for and received a pension (no. 70681).

Austin Paustle - update 5/2/2017

Austin Paustle was born in 1844 in Ohio, the son of New York native Harriet (b. 1805).

In 1850 Austin was living with his mother and older brother William and their young sister Antoinette in Bloom, Seneca County, Ohio. (William would also enlist in the 3rd Michigan infantry.) Austin left Ohio and settled in western Michigan sometime before 1862.

He stood 5’6” with black eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was an 18-year-old farmer possibly living in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company H on March 8, 1862, at Saranac, Ionia County for 3 years, and was mustered the same day. Austin was wounded, probably at Fair Oaks, Virginia, on May 31, 1862, and admitted to the hospital at Judiciary Square in Washington, DC, where by mid-July he was reportedly “getting along well.” He remained hospitalized until he was discharged on March 5, 1863, at a general hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for a gunshot wound of the right (?) foot.

Shortly after he was discharged in 1863 he applied for and received a pension (no. 26175).

Austin listed his mailing address as Odessa, Ionia County on his discharge paper, and indeed he returned to Michigan where he reentered the service as a Corporal in Company K, 27th Michigan Infantry on December 7, 1863, at Ransom, Hillsdale County for 3 years, and was mustered on December 11 at Detroit, giving his residence as Ransom. The regiment had been organized in Port Huron, Ovid and Ypsilanti and all but companies I and K mustered into service on April 10 and which left Michigan for Kentucky on April 12. Company I was mustered into service on January 4, 1864, and presumably shortly afterwards joined the regiment in eastern Tennessee.

In March of 1864 he was left sick at Knoxville, Tennessee from March 6, and, for reasons unknown, was reduced to the ranks on April 15, 1864. Nevertheless, he was probably on duty with the regiment by the time it was transferred to the Army of the Potomac. The regiment arrived in Annapolis, Maryland in early April of 1864 and subsequently participated in the battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania and North Anna in May. and at Cold Harbor and the siege of Petersburg in June.

Austin was killed in action on July 30, 1864, near Petersburg, Virginia. He was originally buried in the 9th Corps cemetery at Meade Station, near Petersburg, but reinterred in Poplar Grove National Cemetery: division A, section C, grave no. 55.

Thomas O’Hearn - update 5/2/2017

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

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

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

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

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