Hardenbergh Family Papers (c.00527)
This collection includes letters written by various members of the Hardenbergh, Baker and Stanton families to Catherine Hardenbergh Baker of Barry County, Michigan. They describe various aspects of military life during the Civil War and also reflect life "on the home front" in that same period. Also included is a brief history of the Hardenbergh and Baker families. There are also carte-de-visite and other photographs in the collection. Thomas Baker (d. 10-15-1862) and his wife, Catharine (née Hardenbergh; b. 5-2-1826, d. 11-17-1909) emigrated from Cayuga County in western New York State to Barry County, Michigan in 1852. There, they established a farm on 80 acres of bounty land. While some of Catharine's family later came to Michigan and set up their own farms close to the Bakers, the majority of her family remained in New York State. Before Thomas Baker enlisted with the Union forces (as a private, Company H, 17th Michigan Infantry) in 1862, the Bakers asked Solomon to help his sister run the farm, to which he was ultimately given the deed. Solomon deeded the farm back to his sister when he joined the Union forces in December, 1863 (Company H, 1st Regiment, Michigan Engineers and Mechanics). Catharine also had three other relatives join the Union ranks. James Hardenbergh originally enlisted with Company H, New York State Engineers, and later enlisted as First Sergeant, 133rd Regiment, New York State Volunteers. He was promoted to Second Lieutenant on or about December 3, 1863 for his actions during the Battle of Port Hudson, Louisiana. He was promoted again, to First Lieutenant, in January of 1864. After the war, he moved west to California. Her younger brother, Solomon Hardenbergh, enlisted in the 1st Michigan Engineers and Mechanics, Company C in 1864. Russell Stanton, a brother to Charles Stanton, rode with Company K, 6th Michigan Cavalry and fought at the Battle of Gettysburg and the Battle of Winchester (Virginia, 1864). Edward Davis, another of Catharine's sons-in-law, enlisted in Company A, 161st New York State Volunteers. Although James Hardenbergh received accolades for his actions, the other members of Catharine's family were not so fortunate. Her husband, Thomas Baker, was captured by the Confederate Army, and died of typhoid fever while in prison in Helena, Arkansas, in October 1862. Solomon's letters indicate he contracted mumps and recovered, only to die of typhoid fever on June 7, 1864. Ard Stanton died of his wounds following the Battle of Winchester (Virginia, 1864).