Cpl. Charles Nelson

Charles Nelson was born about 1842 in Saltfleet, Ontario, Canada, according to his military records. He moved to Ohio with his parents when he was young and later moved to Michigan to live with relatives.

1860 U. S. Federal Census, Tallmadge Township, Ottawa County, Michigan

Adna Sherman, age about 38, born Canada, physician

Lydia Sherman, age about 27, born Ohio

Abby Sherman, age about 7, born Canada

Charles Nelson, age about 18, born Canada, boiler maker

Harriet Nelson, age about 11, born Ohio, sister of Charles

Military Service Records

Charles (Lonn) Nelson enlisted in Co. I, 3rd Michigan Infantry, on May 13, 1861, from Grand Rapids, for 3 years, age 19. He was promoted from private to corporal on October 20, 1862. He was mustered out on December 23, 1863, and re-enlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, for 3 years. Charles was on furlough at Lamont, Michigan, on April 7, 1863.

On the company muster roll Charles is described as having black eyes, black hair, dark complexion and was 5 feet 5 inches tall.

Charles received the Kearny Cross for his participation in the Battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia, on May 3, 1863. Charles was slightly wounded in his left foot near Gettysburg, PA, on July 23, 1863.


Charles returned to duty and was later taken prisoner at Wilderness, Virginia, on May 9, 1864.

Andersonville Prison records, which are now listed on the internet, state that Charles Nelson, Co. I, 3rd Michigan Infantry, captured on May 9, 1864, at Wilderness, Virginia, was held at Andersonville Prison and survived.

According to Third Michigan regimental history, on June 8, 1864, the men who did not re-enlist and men who joined the regiment after it was in the field, with some officers, proceeded to Michigan for muster out. This action depleted the regiment and so an order was given by the secretary of war to consolidate the Third and Fifth Infantry on June 13, 1864. The records of Charles were transferred to 5th MI Infantry at this time.

When the war was over and he was released from prison, about June 1865, Charles moved back to Lamont. Charles died a short time later and was buried in Maplewood Cemetery, Lamont, Michigan. Charles Nelson is buried in the lot with Harriet Nelson Sherman who died December 18, 1864, mother of Adna Sherman, and two children of Harriet Nelson Sherman, Sarah Jane Hill and William Sherman.

Transcribed and photo by Joan Van Spronsen
Created: 25 July 2011
URL: http://ottawa.migenweb.net/otibs/k-r/nelsonC.html