At the close of the previous installment of the Historical Outline, we were in the year 1862.
Just a brief review of a few interesting items for the previous Decade, 1850-1860:
In 1851 the farm Animal population was:
342 horses and 304 working oxen in the Ypsilanti area
494 horses in Superior Township
509 horses in Salem Township
5524 sheep in the Ypsilanti area
92,964 sheep in Washtenaw County
Eighteen fifty one was the year of the great fire in Ypsilanti when almost the entire business block of wooden buildings on the north side of Congress Street (Michigan Avenue) between Huron and Washington Street was burned out but soon replaced by brick structures that are there today.
The Ypsilanti population increased in that decade from 1792 to 3956 in 1860.
And now we return to the days of The War Between the States. According to Official Records, the Fourteenth Michigan Infantry was organized in Ypsilanti in February 1862. Recruiting and enlistment began at once.
One interesting Ypsilanti recruits was Sylvester ('Vett”) Noble, age 20 and living with his parents at 22 S. Huron, now 212 S. Euron.
Sylvester ('Vett') Noble was born in Ann Arbor Michigan, March 27, 1842. Some of his early education was in a one room country school and then his family moved to Ypsilanti. His father, Alonzo Noble, was a photographer specializing in the Daguerreotype picture and also bought and sold horses, the Amy being his best customer.
The old house at 22 South Huron was demolished about 1903 to make way for the handsome fieldstone house built by Darwin Griffin, a very successful Ypsilanti attorney. Some of the decorating in that house is reported to have been done by the same man who did the dome in the Nation's Capitol. At any rate, the house is now owned by Joseph D. Lawrence whose progenitors were very prominent in Ypsilanti mercantile history. The two story brick barn, still standing on the property, gives evidence of horses and activities of Alonzo Noble the father of Sylvester.
Vett was a natural story teller, always good naturedly observing and analizing his surroundings. The 135 letters written from the various Army camps in the South to his family show a writing ability far beyond that of the correspondents from the newspapers of that far off day. These letters are in the Archives of the Ypsilanti Historical Museum., thru the great talent of Louis S. White for collecting historical items. These are only part of the letters Vett wrote to his mother during his enlistment as Company Clerk in the 14th Michigan Infantry Regiment. Often critical of Army procedure but never complaining about the rigors and hardships of Army camp or his pay of $13. Per month. He enlisted February 13,1862, a brash, strong, intelligent young man not quite twenty years old and so able to clearly express himself orally or in writing, and after many campaigns, miles of foot travel, from Nashville to Atlanta, and to the Atlantic Ocean, serving as Clerk for General Tecumseh Sherman, he was discharged July 18 1865 at Louisville, Kentucky. After The War Between the States, Vett served as City Clerk in Ypsilanti and then joined a cousin in Houston, Texas in the office of the Huston and Texas Central Railroad. He died in 1916 and is buried in Columbus, Ohio.
Donald W. Disbrow has read and with remarkable talent annotated and edited these 135 letters. His pamphlet, reprinted from the March 1968 CIVIL WAR HISTORY MAGAZINE, is in the Ypsilanti Historical Museum Archives.
Richard Beaham was Captain of Company “H” of the Fourteenth Regiment. The regiment was presented with a. handsome flag from the ladies of Ypsilanti, left Ypsilanti in April 1862, after a delay caused by the U.S. not sending in the payroll money.
By April 28th 1862 the Regiment was in Farmington, Tenn., “One and one half miles from the Rebels”, according to one of Vett's letters.
1862 April 6-7 1862 The battle of Shiloh in Southwest Tennessee. General Grant with 33,000 men vs. Beauregard and Johnson with 40,000 men. The North claimed a Union victory, breaking the hold of the Confederacy on western Tennessee.
May 3, 1862 The Battle of “Fair Oaks”, Virginia. McClellan with 42,000 men vs. Johnson and Smith with 42,000. A draw. Johnson was wounded and Robert E. Lee became Confederate Commander.
July 17th 1862 The United States authorized Negroes for Military Service freeing some three million blacks.
July 1, 1862 “Malvern Hill” battle, Virginia. McClellan with 80,000 men vs. Lee with a like number. Union victory claimed by the North after almost certain defeat.
August 29-30 1862 Second Battle of Bull Run, across the Potomac from Washington. Pope with 64,000 vs. Jackson with 78,000. A Confederate victory and opening the way for Lee to invade the North. Burnside removed from command by the North.
September 11 1862 William Sidney Porter (O. Henry) born Greensboro, North Carolina.
September 17 1862 Battle of Antietam-Maryland. McClellan with 82,000 vs. Lee with 40,000. Union victory but McClellan removed from command. Bloodiest battle of the War.
In 1862-Ypsilanti Parmenio Davis was re-elected Mayor of Ypsilanti and Rev. George Tindall was selected as Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church.
1862 Rev. Edward Van Pammell appointed Resident Pastor of St. John's Catholic Church.
December 13 1862 The Battle of Fredericksberg, Virginia, where the winters are so often mild, Burnside with 113,000 men vs. Lee with 78,000. A Confederate Victory. Burnside again removed from Command.
W.H. Pattison served as Sheriff from 1861 thru 1863.
E.D. Lay was Supervisor 1861 thru 1865.
Thomas Ninde was Probate Judge 1861 thru 1865.
C.S. Woodard, Surveyor 1861 thru 1869.
1863 January 1, 1863-President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing three million blacks all in rebel territory.
It was early in that year that a School for Training Teachers was established as the Michigan State Normal.
The Ypsilanti Historical Archives has a copy of an interesting letter from another Ypsilanti recruit.
1863-April 23 Relief Camp of Picket Guard
…We have left our camp at Washington for good now. Our camp is at Fairfax Court House…and camp Brigade is composed of 5th, 6th and 7th Mich. Cavalry, is doing picket duty on a line 16 miles long.
We expected an attack…it rains like sixty. My dogtent leaks…We have nothing but the shelter tents here perhaps you never saw one of them. They are made of common cotton cloth and in two pieces about 4 ½ feet square put up in style both ends open so the sun can shine in and rain comes in like now when it rains.
Give my love to your father and mother and all the rest of the folks. I would like to see you all.
C.K. 5th Mich. Cavalry
fr: John F. Lusk, Corporal
September 19th, 1864 this young man was killer in action at Winchester, Virginia.
We regret being unable to learn more about this young man, the name of his parents or the 'Dear Cousin'. Mr. and Mrs. Charles Roberts have the original letter.
Thru the courtesy and kindness of Russella and Agnes Wardroper we have copies in the Archives of many poignant letters written by Robert Wardroper, a Confederate soldier, age 40, to his wife and children in 1863. We excerpt from letters written by this Confederate soldier.
Monroe Co. Cotton Gin, Miss. April 11, 1863.
Just a week since I left home at Cotton Gin on the Bigby, the extreme head of navigation on that river. At the Bigby took steamboat to Choctaw Bluff, staying on board two days and long enough to get tired of it. The present encampment is very disagreeable being flat and other forces being encamped here before. Columbus is decidedly a rather pretty place, particularly in the suburbs-some very handsome fixed-up places.
We have stricter rules today than ever before, nobody passing outside the lines without a pass. Whiskey, I think is the cause as there are several stills about. There is one government one in sight but they neither sell nor give.
If you did not get my last letter, the wool to be Wardroper letter continued-
sold at the highest rates. It will be worth four or five dollars in August if the war continues. If there is a showing for peace, it ought to be sold off quick.
Your affectionate husband,
Okolona, June 10th 1863
Your ma wrote me that you are spelling great. I was glad to hear it and when knives come about again, you shall have a fine two blade knife. You must feed the poultry and help keep ay garden clean, go to the mill and learn to catch your horse yourself.
Howdy Davy for me and tell the black ones they must be smart or provisions will be scarce. I want to see you very much but soldiers cannot do as they please. It seems strange for me to live here in Mississippi while you live at hone in Alabama three or four hundred miles apart. Goodbye. Kiss me in your thoughts,
Your affectionate father
New Albany, Sept. 30 1863
…I feel in much better spirit myself owing to Bragg's success and the tone of the French Emperor and think the Confederacy is looking up a little, I am writing under a tent of my own construction which is my blanket stretched over a pole, the corners tied out, and a little trench round the edges, which will keep me dry as a bone. It is now raining, the first in two months…
June 16th 1864 Forsyth, Hardie Hospital, Georgia
I arrived here today worn out with work and attacks of diarrhea. I am here sleeping under a roof and on a bunk away from that eternal skirmishing. Sick at the craw but now expect to get strong again.
Johnson has not given away any for 20 days and I am in hopes he will be able to hold his ground as the yanks have enough of Georgia, and the wheat growing portion too.
Two of my company were wounded and our Colonel is supposed to be killed if not a prisoner.
Sink a twenty dollar bill, if you have a new issue, in your next letter. We are on the railroad between Atlanta and Macon.
I any stay here three weeks or three months. Kiss and hug the children for me and also consider yourself fully remembered in loving kindness by your affectionate husband.
Love to John and Davy
August 7, 1864 Forsyth, Georgia
It becomes my painful duty to inform you of the death of your husband, Robert Wardroper, who died in Hardie Hospital on the 16th of July.
Knowing you would like the particulars concerning his sickness and death, but for the past two months we have been so crowded with sick and wounded, and their attentions divided so the nature of his sickness and length of time he was confined to his room I am unable to tell you.
Those men I inquired of spoke of Mr. Wardroper in terms of praise. He seemed to be much resigned to his sickness and never complained…
He is buried in the soldier's burying ground at this place and his name is marked on his head board so you will have no difficulty in finding his grave if you ever visit this place.
Very respectfully yours,
T.W. Myers, Clerk
April 1 1863 The 27th Michigan Regiment recruited in the counties touching Lake Superior and the 28th Regiment was at Ypsilanti. Both were slow in signing Recruits. The 27th was ordered to Port Huron and then to Ypsilanti where the two Regiments combined and thereafter known as the 27th Michigan Regiment reaching full strength by April 10 1863.
July 24th 1863 War Department, Washington Governor H. Barnes, Esq., of Detroit has applied to this department for authority to raise a regiment of colored troops in your State. The department is very anxious that such regiments should be raised and authorizes you to raise them…
Edwin M. Stanton
Secretary of War
To: His Excellency, Austin Blair Governor of Michigan, JacksonWar Department
Adjutant General's Office
July 25th 1863
I am instructed by the Secretary of War to inform you that you are hereby authorized to raise one regiment to be composed of colored men, to be mustered into the United States Service for three years, or during the war.
To these troops no bounties will be paid. They will receive ten dollars per month and one ration per day, three dollars of which monthly pay may be in clothing…I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C.W. Foster, Assistant Adjutant Gen.
The recruiting of the regiment commenced April 12 1863 under Colonel Henry Darnes. Peter E. Mead from Ypsilanti is listed as 2nd Lieutenant in Co. B. He became 1st Lieutenant November 16 1864 and served to Honorable Discharge September 30 1865.
1st Colored Michigan Volunteer Infantry and a list of those from Ypsilanti-October 26 1863 to March 25 1865. Note the wide range of ages-15 to 44.
Name Age Company Anderson, John 30 A Bonson, Dondridge 26 I Carter, Wilborn 18 F Davis, Thomas I. 44 B Potson, John 23 K Embrose, William 32 C Gay, John 34 C Goings, Daniel 13 C Gray, John E. 22 C Grayson, Henry 19 F Harper, Benjamin 20 F Hart, John K. 30 C Hawkins, Washington 35 C Hays, William 21 C Hopkins, Henry 18 E Hyatt, James 18 K Johnson, Sylvester 18 G Johnson, William R 44 D Jones, Wilbourn R. 43 G King, William 19 K Laker, Henry 18 K Leake, Frederick 25 C Lewis, Robert E, 40 D Lewis, Wilbourn B. 18 D Long, Frederick 18 D Lowe, Edward 29 G Moore, George H. 29 C Morgan, George H. 21 E Oliver, Jesse 30 F Patton, Jeremiah 41 E Porter, John 21 K Price, John 20 A Pritchard, Isiah 20 K Ratliff, Albert J. 18 F Scott, Alexander 36 G Scroggins, Alexander 19 K Sterling, Martin 28 F Stewart, Jesse 18 K Thomas, George 34 G Ward, James R. 28 F Washington, George 25 F Watts, Alexander 35 C Weaver, William P. 27 H Wilson, Edward 35 H Wilson, John 33 C Wilson, William H. 40 H Winslow, Oliver 18 F York, David 18 B York, George 15 B
Thru the diligent research of A.P. Marshall we are able to list these names. So far as known this is the first time these colored recruits have been recognized in Ypsilanti. Act of July 1 1862 6th Section made it the duty of any person liable to Income Tax on or before first Monday in May each year to list his annual income.
On July 12 1862 the Congress established the Medal of Honor and the first awards were March 25 1863 for the Army and April 3rd 1863 for the Navy.
Three men in the 'Normal Company' were awarded the Medal of Honor in 1863, they were: Andrew J. Kelly, Irwin Shepherd and David McFall.
March 3 1863 Conscription began causing riots in New York and other large cities. (The Confederate States passed a Draft Law April 16 1862).
During The War Between the States, composers of Music were “busy. George F. Root composed several sad ones: “just Before the Battle Mother”, “in A Prison Cell I Sit”; “Lorena”” was composed in 1857 by Rev. Henry DeLafayette Webster and became a favorite of both Yanks and Rebels during the War. The Confederates often sang that sad ballad and after 1865, some of the Confederate Generals blamed the loss of the War on that song, adding to the homesickness of the Rebel troops and causing wide desertion.
After every big battle, someone wrote a song about it. James Pierpont wrote many songs for the Confederacy but today he is only remembered for his “Jingle Bells”. “The Yellow Rose of Texas” was very popular with both sides. words Changed to fit the south or North as were so many songs in those days.
1863 David Edwards served as Ypsilanti's Treasurer
May 2 1863 Battle of Chancellersville, Virginia. At the close of this great Confederacy truimph, Thomas Jonathan (Stonewall) Jackson, one of the great military Captains of all time, riding ahead of his outposts in the gloaming, as all firing ceased, a single shot by a faroff outpost, brought on firing by both sides.
In the confusion of the twilight, Jackson was accidently shot by one of his own men. He is reported to have said before he died: “Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees”:. A very touching and lengthy statement for a man whose arm had been sawed off with anesthetics in a crude field hospital.
May 18 1863 Battle of Vicksburg, Miss. U.S. Grant vs J.C. Pemberton. A Union victory and cutting the Confederacy in two and opening the Mississippi river.
June 20 1863 State of Virginia established as the 35th State giving the Union more men and materials.
July 1-3 1863 Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Meade with 93,5000 men vs. Robert E. Lee with 70,000 men. Union victory and turning point of the long war.
July 2 1863- Land Grant Bill passed to establish Agriculture Colleges, allowing 13 million acres to be distributed to the various States with a State being able to receive as many as 30,000 acres within its borders.
September 19-20 1863-Battle of Chicamauga-William S. Rosencrans with 55,000 men vs. Braxton Bragg with 70,000. Chattanooga was kept in Union hands.
Second Lieutenant James M. Wallace married Ellen Davis, daughter of Dr. Parmenio Davis.
November 19th 1963-President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, almost unheard and unhearalded at the time. (we can't write to George Washington because he is dead but you can write to Abraham Lincoln because we have his Gettysburg Address).
1863 November 23-25 1863 Battle of Lookout Mountain, “above the clouds”-U. S. Grant vs. Braxton Bragg. Union victory.
November 25-1863 First National Bank of Ypsilanti organized and granted a Federal Charter, one of the early National Banks in the State and the first such charter in Washtenaw County.
1864 January 1st 1864 Frederic H. Pease whose father father founded Oberlin College in Ohio, was appointed Professor of Music for the Normal succeeding E.M. Foote.
January 5th 1864 First National Bank opened for business, NE corner Congress (Michigan Ave) and Washington Street. Asa Dow, President; Daniel Lace Quirk, Vice President, Benjamin Follett, cashier.
The exact location for this Bank is uncertain. One report says: “second floor” in the Hewitt Block. A small business card by an attorney reads: “North side of Congress over First National Bank, north side of Congress Street””. The location was on the north side of Congress Street but within a year, the First National Bank bought the building at 121 W. Congress and moved there remaining there until 1905.
January 13th 1864 Stephen Collins Foster died in New York City an unknown pauper.
January 1864 David Edwards elected Mayor of Ypsilanti.
E.D. Lay served as County Supervisor from Ypsilanti Township 1861-65.
March 1st 1864 First issue of “Ypsilanti True Democrat” with Charles R. Pattison as beligerant, crusading editor and owner. A well educated man who had been a school teacher and also an ordained Minister. A year later the name of the weekly newspaper was changed to “Ypsilanti Commercial”. Charles Woodruff, classical school, an intellectual and able writer, edited a weekly newspaper, “The Sentinel” with very opposite views and beliefs.
In 1864 the weekly “Ypsilanti True Democrat” carried many letters from men in the Service and had a column telling of War victories, deaths and failures as well as local events. We list a few:
March 10th 1864 Citizens to meet in Hewitt Hall to consider building at the Normal College an Agricultural Museum by the State Agricultural Society, There was great interest in farming and general agriculture all over the country.
March 10th 1684 Austin B. Norton family arrived in Ypsilanti coming from Sharon Springs, New York.
March 21st 1684 General Ambrose E. Burnside, Union General was on a train which stopped for a few minutes at the Ypsilanti Depot.
April 1st 1864 “March work for the Farm-Working oxen need to be in good flesh or spring work will pull hard on them”.
A business card says: “D.B. Greene, Attorney, will give special attention to all War and Pension Claims at fair rates”.
April 2nd 1864 Governor Austin Blair spoke in Hewitt Hall.
Two day exhibit of the Hosler-Vaughan “Polerama” with life-like pictures of Civil War battle scenes.
April 8th 1864 “The True Democrat” has a real estate item saying the home of Edwin Mills has been sold: “Edwin Mills, a resident of Ypsilanti for only a few years, has been emminently successful and is now removing to Jackson, Michigan”. Mr. Mills built the large brick structure with its many handsome features in evidence today-the big Tiffany window was removed by Eileen Harrison and other Historical Society members, and it is on display in the Historical Museum-the house is located at 130 North Huron Street right at the end of Washtenaw (old Ellis Street). Later it was the home of John Starkweather and after Mr. Starkweather's death, Mrs. Starkweather gave the property to the Ladies' Library Association.
April 22 1864 Captain A.A. VanCleve of the 20th Michigan Infantry has left to rejoin his regiment.
“Colonel Byron M. Cutcheon called on us Tuesday last, and like a true patriot subscribed for our paper. His address at present will be Annapolis, Maryland. He goes to join Burnside's corps.”
May 6th 1864 “In the town of Augusta (Township) on the 27th ult., Mary Muir, wife of Andrew Muir, deceased, age 94. She died as she lived, a practical Christian”. The Muirs were in Augusta Township as early as 1827.
May 6th 1864 Battle of the Wilderness-General U.S. Grant with 120,000 trying to dislodge General Robert E. Lee with 62,000 from Eastern Virginia.
May 8th 1864-Battle of Spotsylvania
May 12th 1864-Commander J.E.B. Stuart, one of the greatest and most ingenious Confederates, died of wounds, Yellow Tavern, Virginia.
May 13th 1864 17th Michigan Infantry Captives Near Spottsylvania, Virginia Dear Friends: Yesterday our division, in common with the whole Army, charged the enemy's works, and after much loss at least 100 of our Regiment were taken prisoners. I have no reason to complain of treatment thus far. I am well and feel in good spirits. As near as I can ascertain brother Frank is all right with his regiment. I wish you to have no fear for me for I am well clad and of a robust constitution.
Your son and brother
Delos Phillips-Captain 17th Michigan
May 19th 1864- Lynchburg, Virginia
I am here a prisoner of war-arrived yesterday. Expect to be soon sent to Georgia, I am entirely well and in good spirits. Be of good cheer and in due time I will be again with you.
Your affectionate son,
May 18th 1864 Daniel B. Greene appointed Ypsilanti Postmaster.
John Howland and others bought the Bumpus Tannery on the North side of Forest Avenue at the vest end of the bridge.
McAndrew (William) and Stanway opened a furniture store at 115 W. Congress (Michigan Avenue).
The Ypsilanti Home Association became “Soldiers' Aid Society” during the War years. Sojourner Truth spoke at one of their meetings.
June 1-3 1864 The Battle of Cold Harbor, Grant vs. Lee, two West Pointers battling each other, with Lee and the Confederates claiming victory. Grant's worst defeat.
June 10th 1864 “Death of Private Alphonso Hawkins, son of J.K. Hawkins. Alphonso was a student in the Normal College at the time he enlisted. His father enlisted at the same time”.
June 18th 1864 York Township organized the “Soldier's Aid Society” as more and more Veterans were in need.
June 24th 1864 “D.C. Holmes, one of the former proprietors of this printing office (“True Democrat”), was killed in the Battle of the Wilderness. Dave was a brave soldier, he loved his country and manfully has fallen in her defense”.
Delos Phillips and two others who escaped from the train taking them to Prison Camp have reached home.
July 4th 1864 The payment of money in place of serving in the Union Army ended.
July 6th 1864 Lake & Co., Great Western Circus showing in Ypsilanti.
July 11th 1864 The Confederates in the outskirts of Washington.
July 13th 1864 Entry in the 'Diary' of William Lambie confirms the above-“Got in a little wheat-the Rebels said to have taken Washington”.
July 14th 1864 Highland Cemetery dedicated-the first burial in the new cemetery was that of Elias Norton an early pioneer owning acreage SE of Ypsilanti. The second burial was that of Mrs. Asa Dow. The Dows lived in the brick mansion at 220 North Huron which now houses the Ypsilanti Historical Museum and Archives.
Ypsilanti population 4189. Township 1359 in 1864: new school for Blacks built on South Adams below Buffalo Street, 4 grades with John Hall as teacher. The old Presbyterian Church building, a frame structure, on Pearson Street, had been used as a school for Blacks.
August 10th 1864 Ypsilanti political convention held in Larzaleer Hall, NW corner of old Congress and Washington Street. Eurotas Morton, Chairman and Charles Holmes, Jr., Secretary.
August 12th 1864 “James H. Case died in General Hospital at Little Rock, Arkansas, from battle wounds, age 16 years and 5 months. He was in Company “D” 3rd Michigan Cavalry”.
September 2 1864 The fierce battle for Atlanta which began July 22nd was completed. William Tecumseh Sherman vs. John B. Hood, Confederate General. Union Victory and the city burned, looted and occupied by Union troops.
October 19th 1864 Two unrelated events on this date. Shelley Byron Hutchinson born on family farm in Superior Township.
It is also the date the Confederates raided St. Albans, Vermont and escaped into British North America as Canada was called, with $200,000 in cash from the St Albans bank. One of the most daring of many raids made by the Confederates in northern New York and Vermont. Once in Canada, the Union could do nothing except fume and deplore that Canada would harbor such outlaws.
October 21, 1864 “All Clubs or organizations desirous of securing FLAGS, Mottos or Banners will take notice that Thompson's Paint Shop at the Depot is the place to get them on shortest notice-O.E.Thompson”.
October 31, 1864-Nevada becomes 36th State.
November 11th, 1864-“Besides a thousand barrels of Apples, the New Yorkers are going to send Grant's Army $50,000 worth of turkeys for Thanksgiving. Our patrons will please remember our Army of printers”.
November 26th, 1864-Edwin Booth's great truimph as 'Hamlet'-four months later his younger brothers John Wilkes Booth shot President Lincoln shocking Edwin into retirement-he was persuaded to return to the theatre January 3 1866 but was never quite the same. He died June 7 1893.
December 6, 1864-“NOTICE-My wife, Elizabeth Cause, having left my bed and board without just cause or provocation. I hereby forbid all persons to trust or harbor her on my account as I will pay no debts of her contracting-Lea W. Gause”.
December 15-16. 1864-Battle of Nashville, George H. Thomas with 55,000 vs John B. Hood, Confederate General, with 23,000. Union victory and ended the war in the West.
December 19th, 1864-The United order requiring a Passport for all travelers between British North America (Canada) and the United States. This drastic measure greatly reduced railroad income. This is the only time in 200 years that a passport was required to cross that 3000 mile unfortified border. The Act was recinded March 1865, never to be resumed again.
December 23rd, 1864-“5 percent Special Income Tax for 1863 now due, and should be paid before the 7th of January to save 10 percent penalty…””.
December 30th, 1864-“Strayed or Stolen-A Dard Red heifer calf from the pasture of William Watling, 1 ½ miles south of Ypsilanti-Jas. W. Binghans”.
December 30th, 1864-“Tuesday morning the painful intelligence was announced to our citizens through a telegraphic dispatch, that Benjamin Follett was no more. It produced a profound sensation. A public calamity has befallen us. Though Mr. Follett died in early manhood, only 45 years old, he had accomplished a vast deal for himself, his family and this community”. (Mr. Follett had gone to a Spa in New York State hoping to regain his health).
December 30th, 1864-“Great Picture of Wilton's 'Paradise Lost'-this great work of Art that created such an intense excitement in Eastern Cities and Europe, will be exhibited at Follett Hall two days and one afternoon”.
January 6th, 1865-“A narrow escape-Tuesday morning a fire occured in Dr. Gerry's office over 1st National Bank at 4 A.M. William Sheldon and Frank Joslin were sleeping in the Bank. The fire was put out by pails of water from neighboring wells. Strange as it may appear there is no cistern on Congress Street”.
Francis Lambie and wife, Mary, had come to America from Scotland in 1839 and with their family of 8 children, the oldest William Lambie age 18, had bought the Moon farm on Geddes Road in Superior Township straight north of . Even after nearly 20 years he was not satisfied with the Yankees and the States. In 1858, with 4 of their grown children, they moved to British North America (Canada), and bought a splendid farm on the Detroit River below Windsor, Ontario.
Francis Lambie kept a “Waste Book” which is defined by Webster's International Dictionary as the British term for “Record Book”. In the 'Waste Book' entry for January 4th, 1865:
“Moderate today-an embargo is enforced this week on passengers across the Borders by the States Government by demanding a passport. There is little stir”…
January 11th, 1865- “Slaying good but few people passing, too cold I suppose, and the passport”.
January 15th 1865- “River frozen over for some-time, few people passing, the passport system still”.
January 3rd 1865- “Second Baptist Society bought the old frame building on Pearson Street which has been the First Presbyterian Church for many years and the Society will now make use of it”…
January 12th 1865- “The enlarged Hewitt Hall dedicated-3rd floor of the brick building, NE corner of Michigan Avenue and Washington Street”. (Seventy years later this 3rd floor was removed).
January 20th 1865- “Dickinson & Lambie are designing to leave us about March 1st. They have done well at the Depot. They may go in business in Jackson a city that is outstripping its neighbors”.
January 20th 1865- “Major Cicero Newell is at home with us once more. His term of service has expired. He passed thru many 'hair breath' escapes as a Cavalry officer, and has excaped without any mortal wounds”.
January 24th-25th 1865- “Tenth Annual meeting of Michigan Dental Association held at the Follett House with twenty-five registered”.
January 29th 1865- From. “The Chicago Tribune” The Charleston Mercury presents a radically changed Southern view of Abraham Lincoln: “In the Cabinet and the field he has consistently and fearlessly carried out the search for men who could advance his cause and has as unhesitatingly cut off all those who clogged it with weakness, timidity, imbecility, or failure. Blackguard and buffoon as he is, he has pursued his end with an energy as untiring as an Indian's, and a singleness of purpose that night almost be called patriotic. If he were not an unser upulous knave in his intentions and a fanatic in his political views, he would undoubtedly command our respect as a ruler”.
January 31st 1865- “SLAVERY ABOLISHED”: The 13th Amendment was passed by the Senate April 18 1864 but defeated in the House. Reconsidered and passed by the House January 31 1865 and ratification completed December 6 1866.
February 10th 1865- “The Follett House Hotel has been sold at the astonishing low figure of $10,000. A great bargain! The Newell House Hotel, opposite the Depot, a splendid building, is for sale at a surprising low figure”.
February 24 1865- “Mr. Charles Worden, who has been quite out of health for several months, died Sunday morning last. Mr. Worden and brother carried on the tin and hardware business for several years. They built the block which bears their name”.
“Real Estate: Mrs. David Carr to Ward W. Swift $7,000”.
“Mr. Rently Leases the Hawkins House Hotel & furniture to Mr. John kinyon of Plymouth”.
February 24th 1865 = “We were glad to receive a call from Lt. L.B. Loomis, 7th Michigan Cavalry. He is home on a visit and strong in the faith that ultimate victory at no distant day will bring lasting peace”.
March 17th 1865- “Asa Dow sold his residence on North Huron Street to A.H. Goodrich receiving $14,000 for the house and household furnishings”.
“Mrs Anna Wilkinson lest two children from Scarlet Fever”.
“THE DRAFT-No Delay-13 men lacking in the 4th and 5th Wards”.
March 24th 1865- “We notice that the ground is broken and Robert Hemphill is devoting his sole attention to the work of erecting a suitable building for the Ypsilanti Woolen Company. Hail to the first Ypsilanti Factory!”.
(The location was on the west side of the Huron River, south of the Forest Avenue Bridge).
“A March storm with violent winds loosened the spire of the Presbyterian Church from its base and caused it to lean six feet toward the northeast”.
“Mrs. Mary H, Grant offers for sale her brick residence on Washington Street and adjoining lot. Also a quantity of elegant furniture in rosewood, walnut and mahogany, oil paintings and other items”. (now owned by Ladies' Literary Club).
In 1865 the Income Tax was still a novelty and most people proud to have their income made public. Here are a few veil known names and taxable income as published in the newspaper.
I.N. Conklin $2200 C. Cornwell 4000 Asa Dow 5300 Benjamin Follett $4000 R.W. Hemphill 650 Joseph Kitchen 1621 Robert Lambie $1157 D. McIntire 2865 E.J. Mills 4000 Samuel Post 1600 D.L. Quirk $5300 D. Showerman 800 John J. Thompson 919
April 7 1865- E.P. Bogardus elected Mayor of Ypsilanti.
April 9 1865- Pain Sunday and surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, immaculate and handsome in his Army Uniform, at Appomattox in the McLean House.
Headquarters of Army of Northern Virginia
April 10th 1865
General Order No. 9
After four years of arduous service marked by unsurpassed courage and fortitude, the Army of Northern Virginia has been compelled to yield to overwhelming numbers and resources.
I need net tell the survivors of so many hard fought battles who have remained steadfast to the last, that I have consented to this result from no distrust of them.
But feeling that valor and devotion could accomplish nothing that would compensate for the loss that must have attended the continuence of the contest, I have determined to avoid the useless sacrifice of those whose past services have endeared them to their countrymen.
By the terms of the agreement, officers and men can return to their homes and remain until exchanged. You will take with you the satisfaction that proceeds from the consciousness of duty faithfully performed. I earnestly pray that a merciful God will extend to you His blessing and protection.
With an unceasing admiration of your constancy and devotion to your country and a grateful remembrance of your kind and generous consideration for myself, I bid you all an affectionate farewell.
Robert E. Lee, General
This polgnant farewell was written by a Staff Officer and circulated but never spoken by General Lee to his men.
April 9th 1865- “Huge celebration over news of General Robert E. Lee's surrender”.
April 14th 1865- President Lincoln shot by John Wilkes Booth, while attending a performance of “Our American Cousins” at the Ford Theatre in Washington.
April 15th 1865- (From the “Waste Book' of Francis Lambie). Had Agnes (Mrs. Dr. Inglis) and the children on a visit before they leave for the far West. Went to Sandwich (Ontario) with them and got my papers, President Lincoln is shot and Seward killed.
“John Hewins, age 18, second son of Jessie Hewins of Augusta, a member of Company “H” 24th Michigan, died at Camp Butler, Springfield, Illinois”.
(From the diary of William Lambie) “My birthday-44 years of my life gone-heard that PRESIDENT LINCOLN has been shot”.
April 16 1865- (Lambie diary) “Mr. Tindell preached about the President's death-the church draped in mourning”.
April 19th 1865- “Sober overflow crowds at Presbyterian Church and Hewitt Hall at time of Lincoln's funeral”.Headquarters Military Division of
Washington, D.C.-May 23 1865
Last Saturday I went over to the Reg't and yesterday (Monday) morning I had my Discharge Papers. Before noon had my money $331.55. Wandered around this little city of Washington till night-got tired and went-to theatre. Then went to hotel and stayed… Found Headquarters about 4 P.M. they had moved since Saturday into town from near Alexandria-tiring myself out looking at the Review of the Army of the Potomac.
General Sherman's Army is to be reviewed tomorrow.
I couldn't think of going off and miss seeing the whole of this Grand Affair-the equal of which the world never yet saw and it will probably be some time before another such is seen.
I have seen the Capitol, Treasury Dept., War and Navy Depts., Patent Office, etc.,etc., also President Johnsons and more Secretaries than you could shake a stick at…
June 4th 1865- “Sunday, 20th Michigan Infantry passed thru City enroute to Jackson for mustering out”.
August 19th 1865- “General Grant in Ypsilanti, August 15th. The special train conveying the hero of a hundred battles paused here. There was a large gathering of people to greet him. The cars remained about 10 minutes giving quite a number of citizens an opportunity to take him by the hand keeping him very busy. He looks every inch the soldier and has an intellectual look. The people delighted to do him honor”.
October 7 1865- “Some arguement over the location of a Catholic Cemetery in the Jarvis subdivision on Ann Atreet”.
“Real Estate Sale: Prof J.F. Cary to Addison Fletcher, farm half mile down the river, $9,000”.
December 2, 1865- “Dr. Edward Batwell, late surgeon of 14th Michigan Infantry has become a resident of our City”.
“A town clock is being erected in the Episcopal Church by the Common Council aided by a number of citizens”.
Editor C.R. Pattison thru the War years published many favorable articles about the colored troops and tures telling of the virtues of the colored people. Any time he heard of a slight or insult by whites to the colored people he published the item and scolded the whites. He noted in 1865: “…the colored population in Ypsilanti is gradually improving, They now have two Churches…”. June 10 1865 “The Ypsilanti Commercial” printed an editorial from the PRESTON, Minnesota paper about the War coming to an end and 'every living soul, as soon as it ceases to be enslaved, becomes endowed with the rights of an American Citizen””, (except women!).
December 9 1865- “Comment from Ex-Governor Gates saying he disagrees with Governor Cox of Ohio who has said:”…white and colored cannot live in the same country…In Washington one of the wealthy citizens is a colored man, and he employs white clerks who can not only endure the 'degredation' but very glad of the employment”.
Ad. for Furniture: “William McAndrew and D. Stanway-Cabinet Ware-Hairs, Sofas, Bureaus, Marble top tables-also keep a Hearse and Coffin and offers services on reasonable rates. Please call and examine work and prices. Congress Street two doors west of Bogardus Bank”.
December 16 1865- Nasby at Washington:-“…Since November elections I have bin spending the best uv time in Washington. I find a melancholy pleasure in lingering around the scene of so many Demoocratic triumphs-Here wux Brooks; the heroic bludgeoned Summer; besides its the easiest place to dodge a board bill in the United States-there's so many Congressmen here who resemble me, that I have no difficulty in passing for one two-thirds of the time…The power in the hands uv Radicals, a state of affairs disgusting in the extreme to the highly sensitive mind””.
Petroleum V. Nasby is the name David Ross Locke used in writing his humorous sketches which were very popular during the War. In one of his long articles he has a soldier step forward to answer where he enlisted? The soldier briskly answered:
At New York, April 12 1864, Bounty $1,000 and
at Philadelphia, April 14 1864, Bounty $700,
at Pittsburgh April 16 1864, Bounty $800, and
at Cincinnati April 18 1864, Bounty $400
Which perhaps explains why the Bounty sustem was abandoned. Nasby is often discouraged about “living in a Democratic community”.
January 6 1636- “Shall we have railroads? The most feasible is from Toledo thru Adrian, Tecumseh, Ypsilanti, Holly on to Saginaw”.
February 3 1866- “Major James N.Wallace and his brother have returned to their home in Ypsilanti after an absence of nearly five years spent in the Army. Major Wallace has connected himself with the firm of McCormick, Wallace and Davis”.
February 3rd 1866- Jesse James and Gang in first train robbery.
“Editorial Comment:-Street Boys. In no other town have we witnessed such disgraceful acts on the part of street boys-Who is blameworthy for such a reckless class of boys? First the parents should be held responsible. And unless parental training is radically reformed woe to the rising generations!”.
February 17 1866- “Business Card-Cornwell, Hemphill and Co., Bankers (Cornelius Cornwell and Robert W. Hemphill) NE corner of Congress & Huron Streets”.
April 6 1866- “First Post of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) formed at Decatur Illinois.” (The GAR became a political influence thru the following decades.
First National Encampment of the GAR was at Indianapolis, Indiana, November 2 1866. The last encampment was also held at Indianapolis, August 31 1949 with six of sixteen surviving veterans.
May 31st 1866- Fenians invade Canada at Fort Erie-Canadian authorities suppressed it.
June 9 1866- “Common Council-Resolved that the Street running East and West from River Street on the north side of 5th Ward Park be called 'Babbitt Street'-adopted.”
June 16 1866- “Three samples of cloth made by the new Woolen Mill were exhibited. These were speciments of the first work of the Mill. They were much admired”.
Lewis Cass, the veteran Statesman of Michigan, is dead at the ripe age of 83. Territorial Governor of Michigan, Secretary of War 1831; Ambassador to France 1836; United States Senator 1845.
June 16 1866- “Common Council-Resolved that Martin and Lucking have leave to establish a slaughter house south of River Street on the bank of the Huron River-adopted”.
June 23 1866- “Married-Col. J. Webster Childs of Ypsilanti and Miss Frances E. Crawford of Florida-and June 12th-married-Capt. Lewis E. Childs of Ypsilanti to Fannie H. Richardson of Mass”.
July 7 1866- “Common Council-Resolved that the duty to the dead will be best performed by vacating the Cemetary of Summit Street”.
July 27 1866- First Cable across Atlantic Ocean completed.
Four room brick schoolhouse built NW corner E. Congress and N. Prospect. (5th Ward school)
August 1st 1866-Wednesday- “Emancipetion Day Celebration. Delegations from neighboring towns met in the morning at the A.M.E. Church. Marched to Crosse's Grove where all enjoyed 'feast of reason and flow of…” lemonade, etc.
“William McAndrew joined with James N. Wallace and William J. Clarke for furniture and Undertaking”.
“William S. Henderson and Henry P. Glover bought out Samuel Post 'Dry goods'. (In a short time, Henderson withdrew and it was just 'Glover' located NW corner Congress and N. Huron.)
August 18 1866- “The President is to be in Letroit on the 4th of September, on his way to attend the Douglas Monument Inauguration”.
September 1 1866- “The President and his train of Bread and Butter men will pass thru Ypsilanti on September 6th, next Thursday. Let those, and only those, who greet him who cursed him two years ago. Let Republicans reserve their shouts for Grant and Farragut”.
From the William Lambie Diary-
September 5th 1866- Frank and I went to the Depot saw some of the great men of the earth-President Johnson, General Grant, Seward, Farragut and some other leading men.
September 6 1866- Beautiful cool morning. Have hardly any money in the house-almost no water in well-nobody seems to want to buy our wheat or thrash our wheat-the cows get over the fence and rive very little milk, I don't seem to be able to do much good…
September 8 1866-PRESIDENT AND SUITE IN IPSILANT “There was a very rair turnout to see the President. Many had never seen one before. It wan an amazing pity that they could not look upon a better specimen for the first time. There was but little enthusiosn Grant and Farragut receiving the only cheers given. The speech we need not retail to our readers. We had read it in print a dozen times. It was packed with bombast, sophistry and lies. His looks don't belie him-a skin distended to its utmost limits with whiskey. A food many Republicans staid away, feeling a good deal as the Michigan Colonel did: '…you may take Johnson boiled, fried, stewed or sandwiched between tow as good potatoes as Grant and Farragut and he stinks'.
December 31 1866-Rev. Ebenezer Cheever, Dastor of the First Presbyterian Church died.
We are indebted to “Stories of Civil War Songs” by Ernest K. Emurian; Chapman's “Illustrated History of Washtenaw County”; Gilpin's “The Territory of Michigan 1805-1837”; “All our Yesterdays” by Frank B. and Arthur Woodford; “Mr. Jefferson's Disciple-A Life of Justice Woodward”-and the old newspapers, books, and records in the Ypsilanti Historical Archives.
Foster L. Fletcher