Four Short Veteran Biographies
Davis ; Segers ;
Witherspoon and Hamtramck
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Captain Henry Davis, of VanBuren Township, was born in Tipperary, Ireland, on July 1, 1827. In July of 1848, he married Mary Woods, who was born in Ireland in 1823. They came to America and settled in Van Buren Township in 1854.
On October 23, 1861, Davis enlisted as a private in Company B, 14th Michigan Infantry. He was mustered into service as a Sergeant of the Company, holding that office for two years. He was transferred to Company H and promoted to 2nd Lieutenant, and later in August of 1864, he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant.
For his bravery, upon the battlefield, he was promoted to Captain, of Company A, 14th Michigan Infantry in February 5, 1865.
He was wounded at the battle of Bentonville, North Carolina, and taken to a field hospital, and later sent home. He rejoined however, in Louisville, Kentucky, which was mustered out of service on July 18, 1865.
Upon his discharge, he returned to Van Buren Township and engaged in farming. He purchased 43 acres of farm land in 1871, and an addition 40 in 1872.
Captain Henry Davis died May 26, 1893, and is buried at the Hillside Cemetery, in Van Buren Township.
Hiram Seger and his wife, Leah E. (Burdge) Seger came to Michigan around 1833, from New York. Hiram was born in Connecticutt, and his wife was a native of New Jersey. They had owned a farm in New York, and because of the large migration from New York to Michigan, they decided to take their chances and made the journey to Michigan.
In 1834, a land grant from the government gave the family 160 acres of land in Redford Township, Michigan, based on Hiram's military status.
At the age of 17, Hiram was drafted in the War of 1812 and was wounded in battle. His father, Joseph Seger, also had military experience with the Continental Army in 1776, where he fought in the Revoluntionary War.
After his discharge home, Hiram and his wife had six more children. One of their sons, Michael Seger fought in the Civil War and spent 10 months in the Andersonville Prison Camp in Georgia. He was later released and upon discharge he returned to Michigan and settled in Livingston County.
William Witherspoon, native of Scotland, came to Detroit, Michigan in 1834, at the age of 17 years. Upon his arrival here, he made his living as a baker. William met and married another Scotland immigrant, Johanna Hayes, in 1837. He purchased land along the Detroit River and engaged in land transactions with a young man by the name of Alexander Witherspoon (who was of no relation), however, Alexander would later marry Joanna Witherspoon, and become the son-in-law, of William Witherspoon.
When the Civil War broke out, William enlisted in the Union Army, as did his new son-in-law, Alexander, and two of Alexander's brothers, John and George Witherspoon.
In 1862, William became First Sergeant in Company C of the 27th Michigan Infantry. That following February, he came down with pneumonia, during winter maneuvers from Port Huron to Ypsilanti. During his furlough, to recooperate at home, William died, only two months after recieving his promotion to First Sergeant.
Alexander Witherspoon, later became a U.S. Customs Officer, in Detroit, and several of his children were active in local politics.
John Francis Hamtramck, was born in Canada in August 14, 1854. He died April 11, 1803, (aged 48 yrs 7 mths 28 dys) and was buried in Mt Elliot Cemetery. A monument is erected to honor him, by his officers.
He married to Rebecca (unknown) and had a son, John Francis born in 1798 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He (JF Hamtramck, Jr) died April 21, 1858 at Sheperdston, Vermont. This John Francis was a Colonel in the Mexican War in also became the Governor of Saltillo, in 1848.
Hamtramck, resided in Northern NY; Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Detroit, Michigan. He served in the Revoluntionary War at a Captain in Dubois, NY ; a Major in September 1789 ; a Lt Colonel in Command of the 1st Sublegion in February 1793. He also commanded the left wing of General Wayne's Army at Miami, in 1794 and Commandant in 1793. In 1796 he was assigned to the 1st US Inf and became Colonel April 1, 1802. He passed away, however on April 11th, of that same year.
Hamtramck was also in the Advance Guard of General Wayne's Army in Detroit, which evacuated July 11, 1796. Possession was taken July 13, 1796. and later became 1st US Commandant of Detroit.
The City of Hamtramck was later named for this Revoluntionary Colonel and Commander, John Francis Hamtramck.
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