G.A.R. Post: Oliver Morton Post #10 Snohomish, WA
3rd MICHIGAN VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Mustered In: 6/10/61 Grand Rapids, MI
Mustered Out: 6/10/66 Detroit, MI
The 3rd, a three year unit, left Michigan for Washington D.C. and the Army of The Potomac three days following federal muster. Its first action was at Blackburn’s Ford, VA. Following winter quartering at Alexandria, VA the regiment entered upon and fought throughout Union Gen. George McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign.
In August, the 3rd was in action at Groveton during the 2nd Battle of Bull run. It closed 1862 at the Battle of Fredricksburg. 1863 found the 3rd at Chancellorsville, VA where it was in danger of capture or annihilation. Combat July 2nd and 3rd at Gettysburg, PA followed. Various actions, including the Mine Run Campaign, concluded the year.
Activities for 1864 began for the 3rd during the Wilderness campaign. North Anna River and Cold Harbor followed. With initial enlistments ended in October, 1864 the 3rd was reorganized. It proceeded to Nashville, TN, then moved to Decatur, AL, before returning to Tennessee.
In 1865 the unit was at Huntsville, AL before turning to Tennessee to prove efficient in driving out numerous bands of guerillas which infested that state. After surrender of Confederate armies in the east the 3rd proceeded to New Orleans, LA before moving into Texas where it performed provost (military police) duty until final muster.
Residence: Kent Co., MI Age: 32.4 yrs.
Enrolled/Enlisted: 5/13/61 Grand Rapids, MI Rank: Musician (Pvt.)
Deserted/Mustered Out: 10/12/61 Georgetown, MD
Highest Rank: Musician (Pvt.)
NOTE: The original birth – to – death biographical profile on Norman W. Allen was written during the early years of the Civil War Veterans Buried In Washington State project. As a result, it was limited in terms of size and research sources. The biography which follows was created in February, 2019. While it contains many more details than the original it still lacks the depth of many recent entries onto this website which draw heavily on pension, military and other files found in the National Archives located in Washington, D.C.
Personal and family information on Norman W. Allen is, at best, sketchy. Although his parents were from New York State, Norman was born in Canada during the year 1829. No birth month or date have been located within available documents
Also not found are details regarding his parents’ names, possible siblings, childhood, formative, teenaged or young adult years. We do know, however, that as he grew into adulthood, at some point Norman assumed the occupational titles of shoemaker and millner. Also, along the way he married Dianna C. “Lottie” McKeague (b. Canada ca.1832) in Ontario where the two were listed as “Mormons.” In 1851 the couple was residing in District Durham, sub district Clarke Ontario, Canada West.
There are indications that after 1851 the Allen’s ended up in New York State, but with two other families named Aldrich and Decker, removed from there back to Ontario Canada then, southward again to Illinois where, in 1855 their first child, Edgar Carrie, was born. The second Allen child, Carrie was born there in 1858 as was their third, Daniel Webster (b. 1860). The year Daniel was born the U.S. Census found Norman the shoemaker and family residing in Campton, Kane Co., IL.
By 1861 the Allen’s had moved from Illinois to Michigan. In the spring of that year patriotic fervor was high in the United States. Thirteen southern states had seceded from the Union, Fort Sumter outside Charleston, SC had been fired upon, and both the Federal and Confederate states were marshalling forces for war. It was in this atmosphere that Norman decided to volunteer his services to the U.S. Army. In this vein, although he is noted as enlisting as a musician, available records are silent as to the nature of this status, i.e., drummer, fifer, bugler, bandsman, etc.
While it is not spelled out, there are indications that once in the army musician Allen and the military may not have been a good fit. From his date of Federal muster through July and August Company K’s roll placed him in the hospital. Further, the roll for September and October carried the notation “Detached as nurse in Seminary Hospital by order of Gen. McClellan Oct 2, 61.” Interestingly, this was followed not by mention of detached duty, but by “extra duty.” Perhaps a disciplinary move?
The November/December roll concluded with “Deserted from Seminary Hospital Georgetown Oct. 12, 61. Reported December 7, 1861.” Apparently the U.S. Army did not much care about what happened to musician Allen because it appears nothing was done about his desertion and in later years a notation would be made that he had been mustered out of the military on 10/12/61. Maybe the desertion was a clerical error and really not a desertion after all!!
Military service behind him, Norman returned to Michigan. It was there on 1/12/63 the Allen’s fourth child, William” Willie”George was born.
1870 and 1880 census reports continue to show the family in Michigan residing in the community of Millbrook located in Mecosta County. In 1870 Norman’s occupation was “shoe maker”. In 1880 it was “millner”.
By 1900 the Allen’s had departed Michigan in favor of Washington State. Exactly when and why the moved occurred is not documented. Likely, though, the why was to be near their adult children residing in the area.
Interestingly, during the 1900 census shoe maker Allen was listed as residing in two locations. On the one hand, he, alone, but married was noted as being in Everett Snohomish Co., WA in the home of daughter Carrie, then Mrs. Edward Heath/Hearth. On the other, both Norman and Lottie were noted as being in the home of son Daniel and family in Snohomish, Snohomish Co. WA.
Dianna C. “Lottie” Allen died in 1904. No details of her passing are available. She was/is buried in the Grand Army Of The Republic (G.A.R.) Cemetery in Snohomish.
Norman W. Allen died June 11, 1909. He was/is buried in the G.A.R. Cemetery beside Lottie.
Buried at Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery Snohomish
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