Charles J. Grandy


Charles J. Grandy

Vermont, USA
Death 31 Dec 1899 (aged 80)
Wells, Faribault County, Minnesota, USA
Burial Wells, Faribault County, Minnesota, USA
Memorial ID 94773083 View Source
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Charles J. Grandy
Name: Charles J. Grandy
Company: C
Veteran; promoted Corporal, Sergeant.

Date: July 20, 1819
Place: Vermont

Mustered In

Date: February 17, 1862
Rank: Private
Age: 42
Residence prior to military service: Vermont; New York (about 1829-1854); Wisconsin (1854-1857); Carlston Township, Freeborn County, Minnesota
Vocation prior to military service: Farmer


Date: Unknown (betwee 1883 and 1900)
Place: Unknown
Burial: Unknown

Mustered Out

Date: September 6, 1865
Rank: Sergeant
Age: 46
Residence following military service: Carlston Township, Freeborn County, Minnesota
Vocation following military service: Farmer

Charles J. Grandy Biography and Civil War Narrative
Charles J. Grandy was born July 20, 1819, in Vermont, possibly the son of Charles S. and Polly (Thompson) Grandy. Around the age of 10, Charles and his family moved to New York. In 1846 married Miss Huldah Winters, born April 1824 in New York. Living in New York, Charles and Huldah had at least three children: daughter Elizabeth Ann (born May 1846), daughter Emma E. (born about 1849), and son Henry (born about 1851). In 1854 the Charles Grandy family moved to a farm in Wisconsin. Son Samuel was born about 1856. In 1857 the family moved once again, this time to Carlston Township, Freeborn County, Minnesota. Son Francis was born about 1858 and son George W. was born October 1860.

On February 18, 1862, 42-year-old Charles Grandy enlisted in Company C of the 5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Company C began its active service with garrison duty at Fort Ripley, north of Little Falls, Minnesota. On June 19, Private C. J. Grandy left Fort Ripley with a detachment of 50 men under the command of Lieutenant Timothy Sheehan to report to Fort Ridgely near the Minnesota River. Marching about 200 miles via Elk River and Henderson, they reached Fort Ridgely on the evening of June 28th, and reported to Captain Marsh who commanded the post. On June 29th, the detachment was sent on to the Sioux Agency on the Yellow Medicine River to help preserve order during the annuity payment to the Sioux. They camped at the Lower Sioux Agency along the Minnesota River the night of June 30th, and arrived at the Upper Sioux Agency at Yellow Medicine on July 2nd, reporting to Major Thomas Galbraith, the Sioux agent at that place.

On August 4th, about 800 Sioux warriors surrounded the camp of the detachment and stormed a government supply warehouse, which the soldiers defended. After annuity goods were distributed to the Indians, the detachment marched back to Fort Ridgely, arriving on the evening of August 12th. Five days later (August 17th), Private Grandy and Lieutenant Sheehan's detachment began marching back to Fort Ripley to join the rest of their company who had remained there.

News that a massacre was taking place at the Lower Sioux Agency arrived at Fort Ridgely the next morning (Monday, August 18th) so Captain Marsh quickly sent a dispatch to the Company C detachment calling them back to Fort Ridgely.

Marsh left Fort Ridgely leading a rescue team to the Lower Sioux Agency and left Lieutenant Thomas P. Gere in command at the fort. When the orders reached Grandy's Company C on Monday evening, they had already marched 42 miles from Fort Ridgely and were setting up camp between New Auburn and Glencoe. Sheehan immediately led a forced march back to Fort Ridgely and arrived back at the fort on Tuesday. They had marched 42 miles in 9 1/2 hours. Upon their arrival at Fort Ridgely, Lieutenant Sheehan took command of the fort. Meanwhile, about 2 miles west of the fort, Indians under the leadership of Little Crow were congregated and planning their movements.

On Wednesday, August 20th, while Little Crow approached the fort from the west, a party of 500-600 Indians attacked from the northeast. Soon the fort was surrounded, and the Indians kept up their attack on the fort for five hours, the defenders responding with artillery and muskets. At nightfall the firing ceased and Little Crow withdrew his forces to the lower agency.

Two days later on Friday, August 22nd, Little Crow again attacked Fort Ridgely, this time with a force of 1200-1500 men. For six hours the battle continued, but once again the fort was successfully defended. In the following days, defensive works were strengthened. On Wednesday, August 27th, additional reinforcements arrived. On the monument at Fort Ridgely, "C. J. Grandy" is inscribed as one of the privates of Company C who defended the fort.

Charles Grandy and the Company C detachment once again left Fort Ridgely on September 18th to return to their companions at Fort Ripley. When they had concluded their service at Fort Ripley, Company C joined the rest of the 5th Minnesota on December 12, 1862, near Oxford, Mississippi. From mid-May to early July 1863, the 5th Minnesota participated in the Siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi, serving in Mower's 2nd Brigade in the 3rd Division (Tuttle) of the 15th Army Corps (Sherman), Army of the Tennessee (Grant). On May 22nd they participated in a large assault on Vicksburg. While the siege was going on they went on expeditions to Sartaria and Mechanicsburg, Mississippi, and to Richmond, Louisiana. They also toiled in a failed attempt to divert the Mississippi River through a canal. The Confederates surrendered Vicksburg to the Union Army on July 4, 1863.

In early 1864, Grandy and many of the rest of the soldiers of the 5th Minnesota re-enlisted as veterans. That spring they particated in the less-than-successful Red River Campaign that took them through much of Louisiana between March 10 and May 22, 1864. On December 15-16, 1864 at the Battle of Nashville, the 5th Minnesota participated in a route of General Hood's Confederate Army, and from March 7 to April 12, 1865, they were involved in the Campaign against Mobile, Alabama and its Defenses. During the course of the war, Private Grandy was promoted first to Corporal and then to Sergeant. He was mustered out with the regiment on September 6, 1865.

Following the Civil War, Charles J. Grandy returned to his home in Carlston Township, Freeborn County, Minnesota, where he returned to farming. The 1870 U.S. Census shows Charles and Huldah Grandy farming in Carlston Township, with four children: son Henry S. (age 19; works on farm), son Francis M. (age 12; works on farm), son George W. (age 9), and daughter "Madora A." (age 2).

In 1880 Charles continued to farm in Carlston Township. Children who remained in the household were George (age 19) and Medora (age 12). Also living with them were Charles' sister Lydia Winstanley (sp?), a 47-year-old Milliner (hat maker) born in New York. In 1883 a list of military pensioners was compiled. Charles J. Grandy was included in the Freeborn county list. His "cause for which pensioned" was listed as "chr. diarrhea & dis. of rectum." His monthly rate was $8.00 with his pension having started in December 1879.

Charles J. Grandy apparently died between 1883 and 1900; the 1900 U. S. census shows his wife Huldah (age 76) living with their daughter, Elizabeth (age 54) and her husband, George Hawkins (age 64; born in England in June 1835). Their home was located in Minnesota Lake Township, Faribault County, Minnesota, about 15 miles northwest of the Grandy home in Carlston Township. Meanwhile, Huldah's son George was a 40-year-old Farm Laborer who boarded with O.D. Ackerman in Foster Township, Faribault County. Huldah continued to live with Elizabeth and George in 1910, and George (Grandy) had also moved in. Huldah's son-in-law, George Hawkins, died March 18, 1912, in Faribault County, Minnesota, and Huldah Grandy died four and a half years later on November 20, 1916, also in Faribault County.

With permission:

Thank you Tim Bode.

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