Edwin Ferris Underwood

Company G, 1st WI Volunteer Heavy Artillery


Great-Great-Great Grandfather of

Kelly Underwood-Dzemske

     Edwin Ferris Underwood was born March 28, 1828 in Herkimer County, New York, the Son of Chester Bucknam Underwood and Susan Stetson.  He married Permela Margaret Van Slyke on June 3, 1847 in Oneida County, New York.  Thew moved West to Wisconsin in 1852 after having two children in New York.  Edwin soon began farming in Dodge County, Wisconsin.  He continued farming and three more children were born into this union during the next thirteen years.

     Edwin was thirty-six years old when he answered the call to join his comrades in the Civil War.  General Orders 21, issued September 12, 1864 called to the men of Wisconsin to recruit an additional eight companies to complete the regimental organization.  Edwin was assigned to Company G of the 1st Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry.  This Unit was assigned duty as part of the 4th Brigade, De Russy's division, 22nd Army Corps.  Edwin was stationed at Fort Ellsworth, a fortification constructed west of Alexandria, Virginia.  It was one of the defenses of Washington, D.C. throughout the War.  Fort Ellsworth was built in 1861 by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.  It was only in use during the Civil War and was dismantled in 1865 at the close of the Civil War.

     Although in the Civil War a relatively short period of time, the war took its toll on Edwin.  He completely lost hearing in his right ear from persistent Heavy Artillery fire.  He also suffered from debilitating dysentery and rheumatism for the remainder of his life.  Many affidavits, provided by his friends and neighbors describe how a healthy man left for war and a sickly and weak man returned.  Many of his friends and neighbors helped him on his farm until he became to infirmed to do any farm work and had to sell the farm.

     By 1887, Edwin's eyesight began to fail.  In 1902, his wife passed away and he was unable to take care of himself.  He moved in with his daughter, Nellie.  In 1914, he became completely blind and relied on Nellie and the help of a nurse for his care.  On March 19, 1919, at the age of 91, Edwin passed away.  He is buried in the Union Cemetery in Lebanon, Dodge County, Wisconsin.

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