by Theresa Weller
As we begin a period of solemn thanksgiving for the millions of men and women who have, over centuries, gone into harm’s way to protect the values and freedoms of America and Canada, we also owe a debt of gratitude to those who ensure their names and stories are not forgotten. The research presented here is a part of that process and reflects the vital work of local historians and genealogists in perpetuating the story of the French-Canadian and Métis roles in our broader history.—ed.
The following are brief biographies of Mackinac, Michigan men of French-Canadian and Métis descent who served in and survived the American Civil War. The men from Company K of the 7th Cavalry were primarily recruited from Mackinac and Ingham counties of Michigan. Most of the men enlisted between February and April 1864. Company K was part of the Michigan Cavalry Brigade consisting of the 1st, 5th, 6th, and 7th Michigan Cavalry Regiments eventually under the command of George Armstrong Custer. Custer was from Michigan, as well, and coined the battle cry “Wolverines!”
After the end of the war, many men of the 7th Cavalry were transferred to Company C, 1st Michigan Cavalry, which was sent to suppress Indian uprisings on the western frontier. The Company saw service in the Dakotas and through Montana and was then consolidated into the 1st Michigan Veteran Cavalry. They were finally mustered out on March 10, 1866.
William Henry Blanchard, son of Isaac Blanchard and Mary Babeau, he was born December 12, 1846. He enlisted in Company K, 7th Cavalry in March 1864 and was transferred to Company C, 1st Cavalry in November 1865. He was wounded and lost his right hand. He was discharged on March 26, 1866, at Detroit. In 1867, he was admitted to the Soldiers Home of Dayton, Ohio. He died there March 21, 1879.
Michael Cadrow, son of Michel Cadreau/Cadrow and Sophie Pogay, was born in Canada circa 1847. He enlisted in Company K during March of 1864 and transferred to Company C, 1st Cavalry in November 1865. He was mustered out at Salt Lake City, Utah, in March 1866. He entered the Soldiers Home near Grand Rapids in 1916 and died there on June 10, 1921. He is buried on Mackinac Island in Ste. Anne’s Cemetery with a veteran’s marker.
Andrew Jackson Chapman, son of Bela Chapman and Mary Charette, was born January 23, 1846. He enlisted in Company K in February 1864 and transferred to Company C, 1st Cavalry in November 1865. He was discharged at Detroit in March 1866. He married Sophie Boulanger February 2, 1879, at Ste. Anne’s on Mackinac Island. He died November 27, 1929, and was buried in Ste. Anne’s Cemetery with a military stone.
Isaac Lapine, son of Joseph Biron L’Epine and Marie-Louise Charbonneau, was born April 10, 1840, in St. Ignace. He enlisted in Company K in March 1864 and was discharged in June 1865. He married Angelique Pelotte (sister of Gabriel Pelotte, below) February 2, 1866, at Ste. Anne’s on Mackinac Island. He died and was buried at Ste. Anne’s January 17, 1887.
Louis J. Metivier, son of Louis Gedeon Metivier and Sophie Granger, was born January 8, 1845. He enlisted in Company K in February 1864 and was discharged in Cumberland, Maryland, in May 1865. He married Josephine Lambert at Ste. Anne’s on Mackinac Island October 12, 1877. Employed as a lighthouse keeper, he died of pneumonia April 12, 1902, and was buried in Ste. Anne’s Cemetery.
Antoine Mirandette, son of Antoine and Genevieve Menard (of St. Cuthbert in Quebec). He was one of the oldest recruits in Company K, enlisting at 45 years of age in March 1864. He was wounded in action and mustered out at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in July 1865. Prior to coming to Michigan, Antoine married Marguerite Joly November 15, 1841, at Berthierville, Quebec. His widow applied for benefits in May 1892. His grave is marked with a military stone on Mackinac Island.
Pierre A. Paquin, son of Jean Baptiste Paquin and Lucy Chaussé, was born July 20, 1841, and was baptized at Ste. Anne’s. He enlisted in Company K in March 1864. He was admitted to Harper Hospital and discharged at Detroit in June 1865. He returned to marry Emma Mirandette, daughter of Antoine Mirandette, December 26, 1865, at Ste. Anne’s on Mackinac Island. Pierre served as sheriff in Cheboygan County. He died February 21, 1892, and is buried in St. Ignatius Cemetery in St. Ignace.
Gabriel Pelotte, son of Ignace Pelotte and Rosalie Boucher, was born on Mackinac Island and baptized at Ste. Anne’s February 15, 1843. He enlisted in Company K in February 1864 and was transferred to Company C, 1st Cavalry in November 1865. He mustered out in Salt Lake City, Utah, in March 1866. Gabriel did not long survive the war, passing just 10 years later, on October 5, 1876. His grave is marked with a military stone in Ste. Anne’s cemetery.
Adolphus St. Andre, son of Charles St. Andre and Rachel Pond, he was born around 1845. He enlisted in Company K in April 1864 and transferred to Company C in November 1865. He mustered out at Salt Lake City, Utah in March 1866. He returned home to marry Therese Provencal on 06 January 1870 at St. Anne’s on Mackinac Island. He died at the Old Soldier’s Home near Grand Rapids on 22 June 1909.
Charles B. St. Andre, brother to Adolphus, was born March 28, 1841. He enlisted in Company K during March 1864. He was promoted to corporal in June 1865 and was transferred to Company C, 1st Cavalry in November 1865. He was mustered out in March 1865 at Salt Lake City, Utah. He returned to the Mackinac area and married Elizabeth Obeshaw October 28, 1870, at Ste. Anne’s. He died June 8, 1906, at U-M Hospital and was buried in St. Ignace.
Joseph Augustus Truckey was the son of Augustin Troquier/ Truckey and Marguerite Plante. He was born around 1843. He enlisted in Company K in April 1865 and transferred to Company C, 1st Cavalry in November 1865. He was mustered out in March 1866 at Salt Lake City. Truckey’s information was difficult to locate because part of his Army records is listed under the name Tucker. He apparently fell in love with the west because he stayed out there, eventually marrying a Mrs. Carrie Obert (nee Elleman) October 31, 1893. During 1893, Joseph applied for disability pension in the state of Wyoming. He last appears on the 1910 census in Wyoming. There is a military marker for his grave, but no date of death is inscribed.
A version of this article first appeared in the St. Ignace News April 3, 2014. It has been modified here to present the French-Canadian and Métis veterans of the Civil War from the Mackinac, Michigan region. Thank you to the St. Ignace News and Theresa Weller for sharing this work on Voyageur Heritage.–ed