Documents, clothing articles, personal items and equipment of the members of the Battery will be shown here. If you have anything from a Battery member, we would be thrilled to see it and share it on this website. Please contact John Hughes at Robinsonsbattery@aol.com.
Table of Contents Reunion Ribbon T. Martin Towne's Sheet Music Calvin Ashley's Death Certificate Lt. Calkin's Commission Lt. Calkin's Uniform Captain Dees' Military Papers William Derby's Papers Abel Dunton's Pension Paper John Durfee's Veteran Home Record James Durose's Veteran Home Record Alexander Hunter's Papers Joseph Ingram Not a Deserter Brazil Jerry's Death Certificate Lewis Moore's Widow's Pension Rejection Judson Parker's Discharge Orson Prouty's Reenlistment James Rathbone's Personal Effects Sanford Smith's Documents Henry Shier's Pension Application Henry Shier's Corporal Document Henry Shier's Lieutenant Commission Philip Wilking's Death Certificate
A commemorative ribbon for the 1891 reunion of members of Battery C held in Detroit
Photo courtesy of John Hughes
Sheet Music by T. Martin Towne
This is the cover of a ballad written by T. Martin Towne, brother to Dewitt and Hiram Towne who served with the Battery.
It was dedicated to Mrs. Thos. Yarndley of Detroit, Michigan. A search has found a Mr. Yarndley who was a noted organist in that city but the woman, so far, remains a mystery.
Courtesy of John Hughes
Calvin Ashley's Death Certificate
Lt. Calkin's Commission as 2nd Lieutenant
State of Michigan
Lansing Jany. 21, 1864
The Adjutant General
Issue Commission to John J.
Calkins to be 2d Lieutenant in the 3d Michigan Battery.
[Ed. - Austin Blair was Michigan's governor during the Civil War.]
Lt. John Calkin's Uniform
In 1921, Lt. Calkin's widow donated his uniform to the Michigan Historical Museum. An old tag on the coat indicated that it had been made by Henrietta
Potter, a tailoress in Pompey, Onondaga County, New York.
Lt. Calkins's artillery officer's trousers have a large rip in
the rear hip area that has been repaired with a dark blue material appearing to be the same type of material used in the Union Army sack coat.
Captain Dees' Military Papers
Court Martial Summons of September 29, 1862
Sept. 29,1862 By telegraph from Corinth
To Capt. Dees 3rd Mich battalion
You are hereby required to appear --------- before the court martial assembled at Corinth this day by virtue
Sept 29, 1862
By Telegraph from Corinth 29 1862
To Capt Dees
Care Col. Mauer
You are hereby required to
appear forthwith before the court Martial assembled at Corinth this day by virtue of general order No
130 Hd Qrts Army Miss - by order of the court
M. P. Hepbain
Maj 2nd Iowa Cav
Medical Examinations of Captain Dees
Ed - This is why penmanship matters <sigh>.
Camp Comal nr Corinth Miss
Oct. 10th 1862
This is to certify that on Wednesday the (1st)
first day of October (1862) Eighteen Hundred & Sixty Two, I carefully
examined A.W. Dees Captn of (3rd) Third Michigan L. A. and found
him suffering under a severe attack of dysentery, which rendered him unfit for military duty, he has been under my treatment from that time to the present - said disease was in my oppinion [sic] caused by exposure and impurity of the water
John A. Edmunson M. D.
Dr & Asst Surgeon
Corinth General Hospital
Misp Oct 13,1862
This is to certify that I examined the bearer Capt, A. W.
Dees on the 8 or ninth of this month and found the following conditions. His
feet were swollen with dropsy, the bowels swolen [sic] and tender with I thought -------- effusion he complained of diarrhea with dysentery symptoms His hands were cold and clammy like all those
who are suffering from diarrhea with other symptoms of weakness
Norman Gaybury M.D.--
In charge of Hospitial
Captain Dees' recommendation of George Robinson
Camp Near Grand Junction
Messers Jackson & Wiley
Gentelmen, it is My intention
to resign, and it is My wish that you see Govener Blair, and have George
Robinson Appointed Capt of this Battery-for
the following reasons. first George is more
competent than any of the other Lieutenants, secondly he is the only
Republican in the Battery that holds a
Respectfully your Obdent
Capt. 3Mich Artillery
Jackson & Wiley Letter to Governor Blair
Founders and Machinists
Corner of Fifth and Woodbridge
Nov 19, 1862
Gov Austin Blair
Enclosed you will find Capt Dees letter of the 3rd
Mich Battery indicating his intention of resigning his commission with the
petition that George Robinson 2nd Lieut of the 3rd
Battery should be appointed to the Captaincy of the same.
You will remember that George Robinson has already been
honorably mentioned by Gen Rosecrans for meritorious conduct in the last battle
at Corinth, in which battle he commanded the 3rd
Battery & earned it with great skill &
We earnestly hope
this efficient Officer who has served in every battle in which the 3rd
Mich Battery has been engaged, & whom we personally know to be a man of the
best principles & of correct habits & universally a favorite with his Battery may meet at your hands that encouragement &
preferment as his efficiency merits.
We write this because
we wish a loyal man devoted to the administration, desiring the speedy &
successful termination of the war, that Officers shall be placed in command who
will fight & want to fight.
We respectfully refer you to R. A. Rumley, Messers Bahl
& Duchacne Lothers, although you ( we believe) may remember C. P. Jackson
the Senior partner of our …..
We are very truly yours
William Derby's Papers
William Derby's declaration
William Derby's enlistment papers
Abel Dunton's Pension Paper
ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE
Washington April 7, 1888 #575,093
Respectfully returned to the Commissioner of Pensions.
Washington, April 7, 1888 Abel Dunton, a Private of Company "C" (3rd Batty) 1st Regiment Michigan L.A.
Volunteers is reported:
On roll for May and June, 62, absent sick in hospital at Hamburg,
Tenn., since May 10, 62. July and August,62 absent - deserted by G.O. No. 73, Hd. Qrs. Army
of the Miss. June 19, 62. Return for July, 62, not on file.
Station of Battery June 3 of 62 and July 31/ 62 at Camp Clear
Ed: They seemed to use the label 'deserter' much more casually than we would today as this man clearly returned to duty after being listed as a deserter.
John Durfee's Veteran Home Record
It seems that John Durfee was in and out of veteran's
homes for the last years of his life.
James Durose's Veteran Home Paper
Mr Durose was variously listed in the original Battery roster as Duvere. A Veteran Home Record found by battery historian, Deb Gosselin, comfirms that his surname was Durose. This is a record from a Leavenworth Veteran's home for an
earlier stay by Mr. Durose in 1886-1887. However, he was
living in Stillwater, Minnesota in the 1890 vet census and didn't die until 1897 so he
must have gone to a different veteran home sometime thereafter as the cemetery
records show that as his last place of residence. He appears to have been kicked out of the home for a clothing debt.
This record also shows his movement
from Co K of the 5th Minnesota to our battery.
Alexander Hunter's Papers
Joseph Ingram - Not A Deserter
Joseph must have been listed in error as a deserter - this is the official document used to correct that mistake.
Brazil Jerry's Death Certificate
Lewis Moore's Widow's Pension Rejection
Orpha Finch, Lewis Moore's widow, was rejected for a widow's pension as his cause of death could not be related to a specific war injury.
Judson Parker's Discharge Paper
Judson was discharged only to enlist in another unit.
Orson Prouty's Reenlistment Paper
Despite his troubles and illness, Orson still reenlisted in the Battery. See Biography.
James Rathbone's Personal Effects
Rathburn died the day after the Battery was mustered out of service in
Detroit. James never served in the field with the
Battery having enlisted January 4, 1865 while the Battery was in the
midst of the Carolina campaign. The new recruits were to go via New
York and then sail down the Atlantic Coast, then when Sherman's trrops made
their way to the sea, the recruits would join up with their companies. Along the
way he got sick and was in the hospital as the war ended. He is buried in the
National Cemetery at Brooklyn, N. Y., Grave No.3046. At left, is the list of his personal effects at the time of his death.
Sanford Smith's Documents
Documents courtesy of Jerry Radloff
Prisoner of War
Henry Shier's Pension Application
The Pension Papers of
When Civil War veterans applied for their pensions, they
were required to show that their disability was related to their service. This can provide additional information about
their service, and their life more generally.
In his application for a pension, Henry describes the action at the
Sandtown Ferry near Atlanta,
GA, where he suffered a medical
problem, which he believed significantly, reduced his capacity for work. He also comments on why he was not able to
get medical attention in a timely way, and his distrust of hospitals. The account in his pension papers also
reveals the command situation in the battery in the summer and fall of 1864,
and why he chose discharge in December 1864, rather than reenlisting.
Affidavit of Henry Shier for Disability Pension
November 25, 1890
The affidavit begins with an account of his birth in New Jersey in 1829, and his family’s move to Michigan in 1843. After his discharge
in Savannah, Henry returned to Michigan
and married Cynthia Preston in Ypsilanti
in 1865. He farmed in Michigan
in Washtenaw County
until 1872 when the Shier family moved to central Kansas
near Salina. They raised their family on the Shier
homestead, and later retired to live in Salina. What follows is quoted directly from the
affidavit. Underlining is in the
before the war an able bodied man, could do a full day’s work with the best at
my business as a farmer, which is my occupation, and I have no other way of
obtaining a living. I never was sick.I claim my
disability had its origin from exposure and hardship previous to and at the
date given July 7, 1864. I never but
once went to the hospital, and that was at Bird’s Point, MO. I had diarrhea; they gave me one oil and
brandy; it did no good. I bought lemons,
ate them and was cured. When ever I had
a recurrence of this disease, was careful of diet and ate lemons, so escaped
the cause of much sickness. I dreaded
the Hospital and tried to keep out of it, I never used liquors as a
beverage or as medicine. I was always
ready for duty up to July 7, 1864. On that
day I was ordered by Captain George Robinson (since deceased) Commanding Battery to take my section and in company with a regiment
of infantry go to the Sandtown ferry. The Chief of Artillery Captain Walker of a
Missouri Battery assigned me my position on the bluff of the river opposite a
rebel fort containing two large rifled guns and left me with instructions where
to find him if I needed. We opened up on
the fort and for a long time had a lively artillery duel and had one man
killed. The day was excessively hot, the
men became exhausted, I found Captain Walker and reported the fact. He told me to rest a while and work slower,
which we did. I was very much overcome
with heat. When at night we closed I
felt utterly exhausted, lay down on the ground and was taken with a chill, and
was compelled to turn the guns over to Sgt. Estabrook (since deceased).
I went to the cook’s tent fly to rest, had
fever all night with headache and pain in my limbs. In a few days I recovered sufficiently to
take my place again, but never fully recovered from the shock I received on
that day.I will be
ask why I did not get attendance? I
never knew a Battery that had a Surgeon with
them; we were dependent on the Surgeon of the Regiment with which we served at
various times. That night I could not if
I wished have found the Surgeon of the regiment; we had never served with them
before and neither myself or the men knew exactly where they were. They were in some sheltered place there being
no call for them to show themselves at that time. Afterwards I thought I should get better and
did not like to go to the Surgeons for fear they would order my discharge for
I wanted to serve my time out if possible; I did not like
to leave when we had fighting all most every day during the Atlanta Campaign. So I stayed on leaving the more active duties
to the Junior Lt. W. W. Hyzer (and here I should state that about July 15,
1864, Captain Robinson was detailed as Chief of Artillery and the command of
the Battery was turned over to me which
command I held until discharge). This
added to my care and responsibility as on account of want of forage and short
rations of grain (and that damaged) our horses were in bad condition. A good many died the first month of my
responsibility; this troubled me very much and although I could not help it, it
helped to keep up my physical disorders.
I wanted things to go right while I had command. I was not
while in Michigan after the war laid up so
that I could do nothing, but I had to be careful of exposure in heat as cold
and could never do any laborious work; so also for some years in Kansas.”
At this point the Affidavit gives dates for problems with
his knee, his shoulder and the condition of his heart. It also names the doctors that treated him
for his medical problems. By 1890 at age
61, he was nearly completely disabled according to his physical examination
included with the pension papers. At
this time Henry’s youngest son was 15 and had to assume
responsibility for running the family farm.
With Henry’s pension papers are several affidavits from
people who had known him before the war and after. They attest that he did all the work normal
for a farmer before the war, and that he was not able to do heavy work after
An affidavit from H. Hyzer, who took over command of the
battery when Henry was discharged, says that, “Henry was always ready for duty,
had good behavior and was always with his command. He began to show signs of exposure in the
summer of 1864, and these increased. He
was significantly disabled after July 1864, and not always able to perform his
duties. His disability prostrated his
nervous system and he had pain in his limbs.
Henry was very committed, and refused a disability discharge though he
was very nervous, trembled, complained of pain in his limbs in camp as well as
on the march. There were no complaints
before the summer of 1864.”
It is hard to say just what happened to Henry on July 7,
1864, but some form of heat exhaustion or heat stroke is a possibility. He may also have had some sort of heart
condition, which got worse from living under field conditions and the stress of
his responsibility for the battery.
Henry Shier's Appointment as Corporal
This is Henry Shier's Appointment as Corporal, kindly shared by his descendant, George Shier.
Henry Shier's Lieutenant Commission
This is Henry Shier's Commission as a Lieutenant, kindly shared by his descendant, George Shier. It is signed by Austin Blair, Governor of Michigan.
Philip Wilking's Death Certificate
His first name is spelled with one L in the roster and the ad for his Detroit blacksmith shop but with two Ls on his death certificate.