23rd MICHIGAN VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Organized: Summer, 1862 Saginaw, MI
Mustered In: 9/23/1862 Saginaw, MI
Mustered Out: 6/28/1865 Salisbury, NC
Discharged: 7/20/1865 Detroit, MI
During the American Civil War (ACW) the 23rd Michigan was a three year, Union, western theater infantry regiment. It spent the winter of 1862/'63 at Bowling Green, Glasgow and Tompkinsville, KY.
In July, 1863 the 23rd started on a long march pursuing Confederate troops under General John Morgan. The march took the Federals into Indiana and Ohio.
August, 1863 found the 23rd in the East Tennessee campaign. Arriving at Knoxville in mid-September, the regiment set out on a prolonged march before returning to Knoxville to intercept Rebel forces under Gen. Longstreet.
At Campbell's Station, a few miles west of Knoxville, a battle was fought with the enemy forces. During this clash the 23rd lost heavily in killed and wounded. Cold, rainy weather coupled with a lack of tents and other equipment caused the regiment additional suffering.
The 23rd suffered the hardships of the East Tennessee campaign until May, 1864. It then started toward Atlanta, GA with Union Gen. W.T. Sherman. After an encounter with the enemy at Rocky Face Ridge the unit moved through Snake Gap and assaulted the enemy's works at Resaca (5/13 - 15). This attack cost the 23rd sixty killed and wounded within a few minutes. Other actions during the Atlanta movements were at Lost Mountain, Kennesaw Mountain 6/27), the Chattahoochee River and the siege of Atlanta itself.
With the capture of Atlanta (6/22), the 23rd was sent in pursuit of Confederate forces of Gen. John Bell Hood. The regiment skirmished heavily with the Rebels at Duck River before falling back to Franklin, TN. There a desperate battle was fought (11/30/1864) which all but destroyed Gen. Hood's army.
After Franklin, Federal forces moved to Nashville, TN. There, a battle (12/15 - 16) was fought which completely defeated Hood's broken Confederates.
The 23rd was next ordered to Virginia. Once there, it was sent southward by water to join with Union forces marching northward through the Carolinas. At Smithville, SC the 23rd participated in the attack on and capture of Fort Anderson. The unit then headed for Wilmington, NC and, from there to Goldsboro where it arrived on 3/22/1865 and joined Gen. Sherman's army the following day.
A march to Greensboro, NC via Raleigh came next. At Greensboro Confed. Gen. Johnston surrendered his army to Gen. Sherman's Union forces.
The fighting war having ended, the 23rd proceeded to Salisbury, NC. There, it was mustered out of Federal service and disbanded.
Officers Killed Or Mortally Wounded: 3; Officers Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.: 4; Enlisted Men Killed Or Mortally Wounded: 70; Enlisted Men Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc. 257.
Residence: Hume Huron County, MI Age: 28.8 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 8/16/1862 S
Mustered Out: 6/28/1865 Salisbury, NC
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Rank At Discharge: Pvt.
Felix Moise "Moses” Filion was born 11/20/1841. His place of birth was Sainte Therese Quebec, Canada.
Parenting Felix were Moise “Moses” Bernard Filion (b. 8/18/1808 St. Therese, Terrebonne, Quebec, Canada - d. 4/6/1890 Bad Axe Huron County, MI) and Angelique "Marie" (nee Dejardins b. 7/13/1813 Riviere Cachee Quebec, Canada - d. 7/9/1877 Bad Axe Huron County, MI) Filion. The marriage took place in Terrebonne Quebec, Canada 11/17/1836. When the Filions emigrated to the U.S. is not known. They were a farming family.
As best as can be determined from U.S. Census tallies, Moise and Marie produced at least ten children. Of the ten, Felix was the fourth born. His older siblings were: Homer Filion (b. 11/8/1839 Canada - d. 12/19/1894 MI**), Ishmael Filion (b.8/30/1837 Canada - d.1928/WA), and Alfred A. Filion (b. 8/18/1838 Canada - d. 1884/MI). Younger than he were Leon Filion (b.8/2/1843 Canada - d. 1924/MI), Desire Filion (b. 9/16/1844 Canada - d. 1828/CA), Joseph Filion (b. 1846 Canada - d. unk.), Mary Esperance Filion (b. 11/6/1847 Canada - d. 1899/MI), Eliza Filion (b. 2/9/1851 Canada - d. 1912/MI) and Simeon Filion (b. 5/2//1849 Canada - d. 1932 WA).
April, 1861 saw civil war sweep across America. In 1862 Canadian citizen Felix Filion joined the U.S. Army. His unit, for almost three years was the 23rd Michigan Infantry. All we can say about his period of service - without accessing his military records - is that he survived the trials and tribulations of war and returned to civilian life.
Exactly where Felix settled after returning from the army is not known. It may, however, have been in Canada as that is where he married on 10/21/1869.
Felix's bride was Josephine “Marie” Aurora Parent. Miss Parent had born circa 1846 in Roxton Falls, Acton Quebec, Canada. Where and when the two had met are unknowns. Other unknowns are exactly when and where their marriage vows were given.
Although the information is somewhat sketchy, it appears that during their time together Felix and Josephine produced at least four children, most of who were birthed in Canada. That having been said, it seems evident that, after being wed, Felix and Josephine set up house in (Quebec), Canada.
Felix and Josephine’s children were: Alma Filion (b. 7/25/1870 Canada d. 3/10/1967/WA), Homer A. Filion (b. 6/12/1872 Quebec, Canada - d. 7/4/1952 Clallam Co. WA), Charles Arlington Filion (b. 8/26/1874 Quebec, Canada - d. 12/11/1956 Clallam Co. WA), and Ella "Ellie" Rebecca Filion (b. 5/25/1877 Lincoln Huron County, MI - d. 3/3/1956 Clallam Co. WA).
As noted by the birth places of Felix and Josephine's children, the Filions remained in Canada until sometime after 8/1874 (Charles birth). What prompted the family move from Canada to Michigan in the U.S. is not known.
At the time of the 1880 U.S. Census Felix and family were residing in Lincoln Huron County, MI. At that time Felix noted his occupation as "farmer."
Josephine died on 10/11/1889. Details of her passing are unknowns. Her death came in Bad Axe Huron County, MI. She is buried in Colfax Cemetery in Huron Co. MI. ***
In June, 1890, during the Civil War Veterans Census, Felix was still living in Huron County, MI. At that time his community of residence was still Colfax.
1900. By the dawn of the twentieth (20th) century, with Josephine gone for over a decade, Felix was no longer living in Michigan. Instead, he was residing in Port Angeles Clallam County, WA**** with Brother Homer’s, son William Filion, his wife, child and others. Two of those "others" were Felix son, Homer, his wife Gladys and daughter. An additional two were married daughter, Ella and her husband.
What had drawn Felix to the Pacific Northwest was likely having adult children and relatives living here and, the timber industry. In 1900 Felix noted his occupation as "shingle sawyer."
A decade later: 1910. By that time Felix was living in Bellevue Clallam County, WA with son Homer, his wife Gladys and child. Also under that roof were daughter Ella and her daughter, Nettie. At that time Felix noted his occupation as "shingle mill." His newspaper obituary would later note that he had been a mill operator, so it is surmised that at some point in time he was the owner/operator of a shingle mill. More on this, shortly.
As of 1920 Felix was residing in Port Angeles Clallam County, WA. At that point in time he was apparently the owner of his own home with married daughter Ella, her husband and Ella's daughter under his roof. This census tally also noted that Felix was a naturalized American citizen. ***
Felix Moses Filion died in Port Angeles, WA on 10/27/1927. His obituary, published the following day read, in part, as follows:
Felix Moise Filion...died in his home, 902 West Fifth Street .Thursday evening after a lingering illness. Mr. Filion leaves to morn him two brothers, four children (all of Port Angeles) and six grandchildren."
Burial was/is in the Port Angeles Ocean View Cemetery. In 1930 a military headstone was added to his final bivouac.
* During Felix’s period of American Civil War (ACW) service and in the American Civil War Research Database, his surname appears as Fillion
** During the ACW Homer served in the 23rd Michigan’s Co. “F” with Felix. He survived The War
***1889 was additionally significant for Felix because – at some point during that calendar year- he became a naturalized U.S. Citizen.
****Time-wise, somewhere along in here, after moving to Port Angeles, Felix acted as the executor of the estate of former Civil War soldier Nelson Devendorf. Devendorf died in Port Angeles Clallam County, WA on 8/30/1889. He is buried in the Ocean View Cemetery.
Buried at Ocean View Cemetery GAR Section Clallam Co.
Row: Section 1 Lot 8
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