Pueblo County, Colorado
THOMAS J. TARSNEY
Contributed by Karen Mitchell.
Mr. Tarsney's history is interesting. He is the son of a blacksmith and was born in the small village of Medina, Lenawee Co., Mich., September 16, 1842. To do a larger business than he was doing in Medina, his father changed his residence to Ransom, Hillsdale Co., in 1854, removing his son from the place of his birth at an early age, and just as he was becoming of an age to appreciate a birthplace's happy and sacred associations. He lived at Ransom, working on a farm, excepting the first three winters, which were spent at school, till he was nineteen. At the first call of the United States in 1861, for volunteers, he enlisted for three months, in Company E, Fort Wayne Rifles, Indiana Volunteers, and was discharged at the close of his term of enlistment at Fort Wayne. That was a prelude to the life which was admirably adapted to his nature and which he was destined to follow six years, in a war which was second to few, if any, which have been waged on the globe. Two of his brothers were in Company E, Fourth Michigan Volunteers, and to be with them he went to Washington where their regiment was, and joined their company, enlisting for three years. Fighting was " the order of the day " with the Fourth and he began a soldier's life in earnest shortly after his enlistment. Gaines' Mill was the first battle in which he was engaged. In the Peninsular campaign he took part in the battles of Savage Station, White Oak Swamp, and the big battle of Malvern Hill. He was at Bull Run, but not in the fight. In McClellan's command he marched against Lee in Maryland and was in the fight of Antietam, and at Mayre's Heights in the Fredericksburg campaign. Under Hooker, he fought at Chancellorville. Winter quarters were endured on the Rappahannock. In the spring of 1865, he joined the veteran organization, and received a thirty-day furlough, which he used by going to Michigan on a visit. When he returned from his visit, the command of the Army of the Potomac had been given to Gen. Meade and with his amassed forces he marched into Maryland and carried the colors of the company at Gettysburg and in the chase of the confederates into Virginia. After the re-organization of the army under Gen. Grant, he was wounded by a ball in the shoulder-blade at the battle of the Wilderness, on the 6th of May, and did not again join his company till fall, but in time to be in the fights of Yellow House Tavern and Gravely Run. Only two companies of the old Fourth veteranized; they served with the First Michigan, and at the close of the war were ordered to join their own regiment, Col. Jairus W. Hall commanding, which had been fighting in Tennessee and was on its way to Texas. He overtook his regiment at New Orleans, and with it went to San Antonio. There he resigned the office of Orderly Sergeant, to which he had been elected by his company in 1864, to accept the appointment of Orderly on the Colonel's Staff. The mustering-out of the United States service, of this regiment and his return to Hudson, Mich., occurred in the summer of 1865. He and Miss Lucy A. Smith were married May 8, 1866. From that date he began railroading, first as fireman on the Wabash Railroad, being promoted to engineer in three years, and given an engine on the Michigan Central Railroad, which he ran two years. He then took an engine on the Flint & Pere Marquette Railroad; then one on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, which he ran till 1878. Taking an active part in the great railroad strike of that year, he was imprisoned at Topeka until the trouble was over. Since his release, he has run an engine on the Kansas Pacific Railroad, and one on the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. At the present time, he is proprietor of the Clifton House, South Pueblo, Colo., and does a fair share of the general hotel business, besides receiving an extra share of the patronage of railroad men.
History of the Arkansas Valley, Colorado
O L Baskin & Co., Chicago, 1881
to the Pueblo County Index Page.
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