G.A.R. Post: Oliver Morton Post #10 Snohomish, WA
9th MICHIGAN VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Organized: 10/15/61 Fort Wayne, Detroit MI
Mustered Out: 9/15/65 Nashville, TN
Discharged: 9/27/65 Michigan
The 9th, a three-year unit, was sent to Kentucky 913 strong almost immediately following Federal muster making it one of the first Michigan regiments to report for duty in the western theater. Once there it immediately set to work constructing fortifications, building roads/ bridges, and generally protecting the Kentucky countryside from the enemy.
Mid ’62 saw the 9th in hard campaigning around Chattanooga, TN. During one of these engagements 250 of the regiment were killed, wounded or forced to surrender to Confederate Gen. Forrest’s cavalry. Final months of the same year found the unit in a campaign under General Rosecrans which culminated in the January, 1863 battle of Stones River and the capture of Murfreesboro, TN. In this action the 9th, while on provost (military police) duty performed gallantly checking the Union army’s initial retreat and returning disorganized forces to the firing line where they repelled the Confederates.
Thus began an extend period of provost assignments for the regiment. In early ’64 the 9th veteranized and was furloughed for 30 days. Leaving Coldwater, MI 2/140/64 with 500 men the unit reported to General Thomas and began the Georgia Campaign. It was on provost duty in all the battles between Chattanooga and Atlanta and, when the latter city fell, served provost duty there.
The 9th next proceeded to Nashville via Chattanooga where it served additional provost service until final muster.
Residence: Bronson, MI Age: 17.9 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 2/8/64 Matteson, MI Rank: Pvt.
Mustered Out: 9/15/65 Nashville, TN
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Lester Osgood Chapman was born in Allen Township, MI 4/19/46 to Amos and Martha (nee Van Fleet) Chapman. Both parents were New York born. No additional information is available on Lester’s birth family.
In February, 1864 the 5’9” fair complexioned farm boy went off to war. In later years he reported that around 7/64 at or near Marietta, GA he contracted lung disease and rheumatism from exposure and sleeping on the wet ground. At some point, also in the line of duty, he had suffered poisoning of the right leg due to a scorpion bite. Although he was not treated in the hospital for these ailments, in post war years they left him disabled and eligible for a government pension which, at the time of his death amounted to $21.50 per month.
Following discharge from the military the former Union private returned to Michigan. There he married a woman identified only as Hanna. There is no record of the couple producing children prior to Hanna’ death in 1875 at Niriania, Mi. In 1879, in Iowa, Lester remarried to Ellen, middle initial L. or C., Sayers. The union would produce five children: Katie J. (1/6/79), Tommie P. (3/3/83), Edith A. (5/18/87), Eddie A. (6/18/89), and Charlie (4/9/94).
After the war Lester appears to have become a locomotive engineer. Perhaps it was railroad work that took him from Michigan to Iowa, on to Oklahoma, then to Washington and, finally, circa 1900, Oregon, where, in 1917 his occupation was listed as “Flagman N.P.T. Co.” Lester Chapman entered Good Samaratin Hospital, Portland, OR in June, 1917.
There, six days later on 6/6/1917 he died. Cause of death was listed as “Alcoholic Pneumonia” with “Acute Alcoholism” contributing. His age was 72.2 years. At present there is no recorded insight into Private Chapman’s family/marital status at the time of his death. Also, why Lester’s mortal remains were transported to Snohomish for burial is not known.
Buried at Snohomish G.A.R.
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