Civil War Veterans Buried In Washington State - Ira Bier

Ira S. Bier

Representing: Union

G.A.R Post

  • Pap Williams Post #15 Ludington, MI

Unit History

  • 3rd New York Cavalry A
  • 1st New York Cavalry F

See full unit history

Ira  Bier
Full Unit History

Organized: Meridian Hill Washington, D.C. September, 1861
Mustered In: By Companies 5/14 - 9/13/61 Syracuse, NY, Albany, NY
Elmira, NY, Boonville, NY, Cincinnati, OH and Xenia, OH
Consolidated/Merged: Into 1st NY (Mtd. Rifles) Cav.  7/21/65 Norfolk, VA

Mustered In:
Renamed: 9/6/65 4th NY Provisional Cav.

Name Designation: 9/6/65
Mustered Out: 11/29/65 (Look up in database) City Point, VA

Regimental History


Authority to recruit for what would become 3rd NY or Van Alen Cavalry - James H. Van Alen was the regiment's first colonel - was granted on 7/26/65. Most of the companies were raised in New York State, but Company "L" was recruited in Cincinnati and Xenia, OH and "M" was from New Jersey.

 A three year regiment, the 3rd would see hard service in both the eastern and western (Deep South) theaters of the War. During its term of service it took part in many minor "affairs" and about 122 major engagements.

In July, 1865, the War being over, the 3rd was consolidated into the 1st New York Mounted Rifles. A short time later that organization was renamed the 4th New York Provisional Cavalry before being mustered out of service and into history. 



Officers Killed Or Mortally Wounded: 31; Officers Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.: 1; Enlisted Men Killed Or Mortally Wounded: 45; Enlisted Men Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.:150.



In 1865, the shooting war having ended, the War Department took immediate steps to save money. One way of doing so was to muster out and discharge no longer needed regiments. Another was to combine or "consolidate" smaller units prior to final muster and discharge. Often the consolidation was more of a paper move than a physical move.

As Private Bier did not serve in the 1st until after the War had ended the history of that regiment is not being presented herein.


As part of the consolidation process explained above, on 7/2165 the 3rd NY Cavalry was merged into the 1st NY (Mounted Rifles) Cavalry. Finally, on 9/6/65 the 3rd/1st organization was renamed the 4th NY Provisional Cavalry. The 4th was mustered out and disbanded on 11/29/65.


Officers Killed Or Mortally Wounded:; Officers Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.: ; Enlisted Men Killed Or Mortally Wounded:   ; Enlisted Men Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.:  . 

Soldier History

SOLDIER: (3rd)
Residence: Perry, NY   Age: 18.5 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 9/2/64 Perry, NY   Rank: Pvt.
Mustered In: 9/2/64 Perry, NY
Transferred Out: 7/21/65 Norfolk, VA 
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Rank At Transfer: Pvt.

SOLDIER:  (1st)
Residence: Perry, NY   Age:
Transferred In: 7/21/65 Norfolk, VA   Rank: Pvt.
Transferred Out: 9/6/65
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Rank At Transfer: Pvt.

SOLDIER: (4th)
Residence: Perry, NY   Age:
Transferred In: 9/6/65   Rank: Pvt.
Mustered Out: 11/29/65 City Point, VA
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Rank At Discharge: Pvt.

Family History


Ira S. Bier was born on 3/30/46 (this b.d. is taken from Orting Soldiers Home entrance applications). Census years reflect 1840, 1847, 1848 and '49 in Livingston Co., NY His parents were Samuel (b. 3/3/22 Germany or Northampton Co., PA - d. 7/17/92 MI) and Margaret (nee Kennedy b. 12/20/27 NY - d. 5/4/04 Kalkaska Co., MI) Bier. Although it is not documented, the Biers were likely a farming family.

Based on available documentation Ira was the eldest of three Bier children. His younger siblings were Danthus P. Bier (b. 6/4/52 Allegany Co., NY) and Anna R. Bier (b. 4/19/57 loc. unk.)

Beyond his birth, the first information available pertaining to Ira's life comes from 9/2/64 when he enlisted in the U.S. Cavalry. Without access to his military service records all that is known regarding Private Bier's term of service is that he survived the War and returned to civilian life.

Exactly where Ira settled after leaving the military is not known. However, Two years later when, on 12/14/57 he married the ceremony was held in or near his community of residence which at that time was. Almena, Van Buren Co., MI.

Ira's bride, the new Mrs. Bier, was Clara Leonora Campbell (b. February. birth years 1846. 1848. 1849 and 1850). The couple would produce three children. The Bier children were: Erwin (b. 3/75, 78 or 80), Anna M. "Minnie" (b. June 78, 82 or 83) and Edwin (b. 1884). All were born in Michigan and all were living in 1910.

Based on U.S. Census data, after marrying Ira Clara settled in Almena Van Buren Co., MI. In 1870 that was where they were residing and farming. A decade later, in 1880 they were still in Michigan, but then listed their community of residence as Ludington located in Mason Co. At that location Ira noted his occupation simply as "laborer."

Sometime between 1880 and 1900 the Biers departed Michigan and began moving west. Most of the U.S. census for 1890 was destroyed by fire, but we really don't have a clean grasp on their time line.

In 1900, however Ira, Clara and their three children were living in Kellogg, Shoshone Co., Idaho. At that time Ira's occupation was noted as "merchant." Ira would later note that he became a resident of Washington State in 1901.

Where the Biers may have settled when they first entered Washington State is not known. However, by 1910 the family   - parents and children - was residing in or near the community of Nooksack located in Whatcom Co., Washington. What had drawn them to Washington and when they had arrived are not known. Once again, Ira noted his occupation as "merchant", but specifically pointed out that he was a "retail" merchant.

The Bier's community of residence during the next two years is unclear. The 1911 City Directory for Bellingham, Whatcom Co., WA indicates the Biers were residing there, but the following year they were said to be back in Nooksack. That was where, on 10/30/12 Clara died. There are no details pertaining to her passing. She was/is buried in the Nooksack Cemetery.

At some point in time following Clara's death Ira departed Whatcom County and moved southward into King County, WA. There, on 5/18/15 he remarried. The new Mrs. Bier was the previously wed Ella E. Willison (nee Doolittle b. 1860 CT).

Ella E Williams was the wife of Thomas B Williams b/1845/PA died 7/9/1914 Retsil OSH Kitsap Co. WA 9th MN Inf. Co. D buried in Retsil OSH Cem.

At the time of the 1920 U.S. Census Ira and Ella were cited as residing in Orting Pierce Co., WA without an income. From here Ira's life story line becomes somewhat muddle because although the census doesn't state it, the two were likely residing in that town's Soldiers' home. (Ella had been admitted to the home on 6/29/20.Not known when Ira admitted.) (Maybe John W. Willison Co. G 117th OH Inf. and Co. G 1st OH H.A. Another John w. Wilson, but he deserted. Ella's husband had pension so was honorably discharged.)

As best as can be determined on 4/27/21 Ira was "honorably discharged" from the facility. He then- somehow- acquired a house and lot in Orting. Later, on 7/10/22 Ira began the application process to re-enter the Soldiers' home. On the application Ira listed his assets as being the house and lot ($500 of which he claimed 1/2) and household goods and cash ($75 of which he claimed 1/2). Ira's admittance application being granted, on 7/25/22 he returned to residence in the Orting Soldiers' Home.

On 9/28/22, while in Seattle "on furlough" from the Home, Ira died. No details are available pertaining to his passing. He was/is buried in the Seattle Grand Army Of The Republic (G.A.R.) Cemetery located near the north end of that city's Capitol Hill.

Dropping back some years, around 1908 Ira had applied for and been granted a U.S. Government disability pension based on his days of Civil War soldiering. The monthly stipend began on 7/20/08 at $12 per month. Over the years it increased to $16, $35 and, as of 5/1/20 $50 per month. Upon Ira's passing Ella, as his widow, applied for the right to continue receiving at least a portion of that $50 monthly payment. Although her widow pension file is not available, it seems likely that request was - at least to a degree - was granted.

It appears Ella remained in the Orting Soldiers' Home until the date of her death: 3/7/32. She was/Is buried in the Soldiers' Home cemetery in Orting Pierce Co., WA.


Ella E. Williams was born July 31, 1859 in Hartford, Connecticut. She was the daughter of Reuben and Eliza (Stanley) Doolittle.

She was the widow of Thomas Williams, who served with the 9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War. They had married at Cordova, Minnesota on the 8th day of October 1873. He had passed away on July 9, 1914 at Steilacoom, Washington. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas were the parents of seven children.

Ella remarried to veteran Ira S. Bier on May 15, 1915 in Seattle. After this marriage, she married John W. Willison, another resident of the Veterans Home. He died November 7, 1927 and was buried in Clarkston, Washington.

Ella E. Willison died at Retsil on March 7, 1932 and she was buried in the Home Cemetery. Her grave next to her first husband reads simply, "Ella E. Williams".


Buried at Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery Seattle

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